North or South

2023 will find us in the North. We have things to attend to here, and it just works out better to stay local. Once we made this decision, we bought a new snow blower to make moving snow easier.

We have a Ryobi battery lawn mower that we really like so it made sense to try their 21″ snow blower. Batteries are charged and waiting. We may get to try it out the end of the week, but mid week we’re going to almost hit 60.

The temperature have been in the 40’s-50’s, and I’ve actually gone out and done a ‘little’ branch clean up in some areas. I for sure haven’t tacked that big tree that is down, but I’ve made some progress in the surrounding areas. Because of the warmer temps, there are tulips coming up, and that’s not a good thing in January.

What’s keeping me busy? Right now I’m working on a paper piecing pattern. Paper piecing is when you follow the numbers on the paper pattern and sew the material right on the paper and then remove the paper when you are done. It keeps the brain firing because you have to pay attention.

As we have watched the news coverage this week of Pope Benedict’s passing, it brought back memories of our trip to Italy and the opportunity to visit the Vatican and see him in his motorcade.

Some travel destinations hold a special place in your heart, and this was certainly one of them.

Here’s hoping you have a healthy and happy new year, a good book, great gardening season, your sewing machine or needles hum, and your travel plans come to fruition. 🙂

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About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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64 Responses to North or South

  1. BERNADETTE says:

    Here’s hoping you have a gentle winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Judy, I’m a little surprised that you are not heading South for some time in the sun. I’m sure your friends there will miss you. Anyway, glad you are prepared with your new snowblower, but maybe you won’t need it. I’m curious about your paper piecing project and look forward to seeing the finished product. We had two days of winter (40’s on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), then we climbed back into the high 70’s. It won’t stay like that, but I’ll enjoy the pleasant weather while I can. Wishing you a wonderful new year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will definitely post more info on that project. I’m about finished with the top and then need to quilt and bind it, but it’s a small table topper so won’t take long. Yes, that is cold for you. Glad you’re back to regular temps. Happy New Year to you as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oddment says:

    As a child, I stared at photos in books and dreamed of going to Europe; the dream became a goal and then a reality in my 1970 bachelor days. (I had saved $1000. Five weeks, five countries, fare both ways, food, lodging, etc. and I had $200 left over!) I remember walking into St. Peter’s and gasping at the enormity. Thanks for bringing back the memory! It’s a hard decision, to accept the winter, but, once made, it’s good. You’re as ready as you can be. I hope you will show us the results of the paper-piecing, the very thought of which boggles my mind and my fingers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those were the days to travel for sure. When we went, I’d need to add digits to your expenditure. 🙂 St. Peter’s is mind boggling for sure and especially for Catholics. Yes, I will post the project, and I should have counted the number of times I ripped pieces out because I did it backwards. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oddment says:

        Backwards?? I am shaking my head here. No way would I have that patience! As for St. Peter’s, I remember standing next to the holywater font near the front door and feeling like some country bumpkin. I’d never seen anything like that! Europe was the dream trip I’d always imagined it would be.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Nancy says:

    Happy New Year Judy!
    We have to all make decisions and staying North for you is what is best for you both. Hoping the winter will be calm and you only have to use that new snow blower once or twice.(Gosh, you need to use a new toy, right?)
    Hope to see the paper piecing in process and then the final project!
    Here’s to a great 2023!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, some years things just need to be taken care of at home and not on the road. 🙂 Yes, I want to at least use it once or twice. 🙂 I will show you the project, and I’m sure your creative skills will kick in. One piece I took apart four time and then still did it backwards. All I can do is laugh at myself.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dan Antion says:

    The January thaw seems early this year, Judy, but I’m glad you’re prepared for snow. I’ll be interested in hearing a report on how well that snow blower works. It will also be good to see the results of the paper piecing. I’ve never heard of that. All the best this first warm wet week of 2023.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Maybe staying north will give us a milder winter! (hopefully!)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We got dumped on a ton over the last three days. First solid rain for 24 hours that then turned to heavy, thick snow for 48 hours. We got 15 inches of snow they say contains 7 inches of water. I hope it’s a drought busting winter! It got me looking at snow blowers too! I liked the sound of the Toro 60V, and He-Man loved his Toro lawn mower, but I’m sure for here it’s over kill. 🤣 I’m looking forward to your review and seeing your paper pattern project.

    Happy New Year, Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dawn says:

    Wishing you a cozy start to the New Year, Judy! It sounds like you are well prepared for winter days. It always helps me to repeat “Snowflakes are winter’s butterflies.” while sipping hot tea or cocoa! I’m fascinated by your paper piecing project, Judy! Perhaps you can take a few photos of the process for us as you work. Tulips popping up in January? Oh my! Our gardens are so confused by all the crazy weather lately. Sending warm hugs for a happy days enjoying Home Sweet Home! 💗

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Murphy’s Law says:

    Winter in the north will bring back memories of years gone by spent sleigh riding, snowballs, making snow(wo)men and building snow forts! Except old bodies can’t do that stuff anymore unless you want to add a trip to the ER to the list! 🥴

    Curious how the new snowblower performs. And I really want to see the Paper Piecing project. I hope you’re able to show us in stages and then, of course, the finished masterpiece. I’m trying to imagine how easy or difficult it will be to remove the paper fragments from under the stitches. 😳 I’m jealous because my arthritic hands don’t function well any more. So I will enjoy this project through you!

    And listen my friend, I know you’re itching to use the new snowblower, but don’t be running out there after you’ve had a dusting of snow! Lol!
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    • You made me laugh at all the trips up and down the hills with a sled. Those were the days. 🙂 Yes, I’ll post some sewing photos. I have batteries charged and lined up ready to roll, and we have icy rain. 🙂 We plan, and God laughs. 🙂

      Like

  10. Happy New Year my friend!
    I only did a paper pieced quilt once and found it frustrating. No zen place! Of course, I chose a Mariner’s Compass, so I probably set myself up with that one!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Joyce says:

    What a privilege to have seen Pope Benedict’s motorcade at the Vatican! The St. Peter’s Square experience alone is an enviable one. The closest I’ve ever come is through slides in art history class.
    I thought of you the other day when I saw a photo of a turtle line-up on a log very similar to the “readers’s favorite” you’ve posted here. The only difference was a little squirrel bouncing along, using them as stepping stones to get to the other side!
    Paper piecing! I’m sure that’s addressed in one of my 100+ quilting books, but I’m not familiar with it. I join the other readers in hoping to see your finished work some day.
    Tulips in early January is frightening. Our own Christmas Eve snow dump of 12” disappeared in less than two days. That was pretty disquieting, but my senior years appreciate dry roads for the few trips I make for groceries, church, or babysitting. Looking forward to putting Christmas away slowly and getting back to hand quilting my blue log cabin.
    A blessed happy new year to you, Dennis, and the kids!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joyce says:

      Allow me to correct to “readers’ favorite”….I sure wasn’t the only one who asked about the turtles over successive years!

      Liked by 1 person

    • The trip we went on was coordinated by a MA church rep so we saw and experienced a lot of things behind the scenes. We were directed to hold up any religious articles we wanted blessed as he went by. I had a clear glass set of rosary beads I bought there and that I held up. To this day, when I have a real crisis, I grab those beads and pray. I will share the project. Our driveway is on the north side, and unless it gets really warm we end up maneuvering the snow and ice for a while so I try to clear it. I’m glad yours melted. I would love to see your blue log cabin. If you post it somewhere, I hope you will tell me so I can see it. I hope 2023 is a wonderful year for your family.

      Like

  12. Happy New Year! I hope you have a wonderful 2023 no matter where you are, North or South, East or West.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Brenda says:

    I know you will miss your community of friends, the beach, and the plants in South Carolina. But, with this freaky weather, you may be able to spend almost as much northern winter time outside as you would if you had headed south. I spent the whole day working outside today–felt like April. I’m longing for a couple of feet of snow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’ll miss friends and the spring like plants, but some years it just makes sense because of circumstances to stay where you are, and this is one of them. You are so right about the weather. It is down right strange. I saw buds on a Rose of Sharon yesterday. The poor plants are more confused than we humans.

      Like

  14. Eliza Waters says:

    With winters getting milder, your new Ryobi might be all you need. It didn’t seem all that long ago that 18-24″ of snow fall was that unusual. It is weird to look out the window and see green grass.
    I hope the new year is a good one for you and yours, Judy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It definitely wouldn’t have done the job a few years back, but I’m hoping it does with this new weather pattern. Right now, our snow is all gone and Sunday when I was out picking up sticks, it was muddy. Hope 2023 is a good one for you too.

      Like

  15. We finally gave up snow blowing. It’s too much driveway. We need a real plow. So far, we’ve had no snow and if we don’t get any, I’ll be just fine with that. Have a great new year and maybe it’ll be better. We deserve a good one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The area to remove snow from seems to enlarge each year. 🙂 I definitely can’t shovel anymore so I’m hoping this will do the job for a while. A plow would definitely do it in record time. Happy and healthy 2023 to you both.

      Like

      • Our driveway is more than 100 yards long. From the house to the street, it runs entirely UP hill. If we had known more about country living — and how much snow this area can get — we might have rethought the purchase, though probably not. It was a good purchase at a fair price with a reasonable amount of land. With all of the drawbacks of rural living, it is a beautiful area and I don’t regret it. But man, that driveway is a KILLER.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I was thinking it was about time for you to head south and then this. 😉. Sometimes you just have things to do. I imagine the new snowblower will be a big help. I always enjoy seeing what creative things you’re up to as I can’t do any of them. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Happy New Year! Well, hopefully the South will get some decent weather like us.. (NC was a weather- shocker in mid-December!).

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m surprised you didn’t go south this year but at least it sounds like you aren’t covered in snow. I’m always a bit sad when I see a plant or tree blooming off schedule… I hope they do okay.

    California is getting a lot of rain (even here in SoCal) which is great. It probably won’t be enough to put a dent in our drought, but we’ll take it!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It sounds like you’ll have plenty to keep you busy in lieu of your usual southern trip. It would be fun to use the new snow blower but hopefully you won’t get too much from now on.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Judy, enjoy your stay at home winter! I hope you will make time to do some fun things!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Nice to think of you staying North for the winter, but I do hope it wasn’t too disappointing for you. Even though I am firmly rooted in the North, I certainly understand the appeal of living in a place where you can look out the window and see dolphins swimming. Happy New Year to you and yours. I did some branch clean up, too, after that last doozy of a storm. Looking forward to seeing some of your winter projects.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. germac4 says:

    Well, I’m sure you will find plenty to do, and read, and watch at home this winter! However, moving snow sounds like an exhausting business so I hope your new Ryobi 21” snow blower, works well for you.
    We went to the Vatican when we were in Rome. We went on a tour of the garden…. gorgeous! Italy was one of our best holidays.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Ally Bean says:

    I can understand your logic for staying north this year. I mean once you buy a snow thrower, you’re committed to a place! I’d like to visit Italy sometime. So much of our culture is predicated on its history, its food, its focus on family. Seems like an inviting place to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. bikerchick57 says:

    I hope you’ve had a good week, Judy. It’s been a little warmer than normal here, but with gray skies. I’m needing a nice sunny day and blue skies.

    I can understand how Italy has become special to you, especially seeing the Pope in motorcade and all of the surrounding sights that went with it. Not having been to Europe at all, I suspect it’s a place that one never forgets.

    Have a great weekend and I hope you don’t have to use the snow blower too often.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Wow, tulips in January. It’s a sign of the times!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Karen says:

    Tulips in January, that is unusual for this time of the year. Since you are staying north perhaps it is your garden’s way of giving you a smile. 😊 I remember pruning our apple trees in February one year as there was hardly any snow on the ground. It only happened once in the 20 years we were in New Hampshire.

    Liked by 1 person

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