Monday, January 11, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

This week it's supposed to warm up a bit, but boy it's been cold here in northern Illinois!  I am in nesting mode inside, working on finishing up the book--making little projects that aren't quilts, quilting some of the small quilts and getting those patterns written. Four of the 5 large quilts are all back from the machine quilter and just need bindings put on. They look fantastic and I'm really proud of the colors and patterns I chose. Think you loved the quilts in Remembering Adelia? I think some of these are even better, just my humble opinion.

Speaking of nesting--we have a pair of cardinals visiting our feeder regularly. I love seeing the male's brightness against the snow. The females are a more subdued brown color. Cardinals are “mate feeders.” Sometimes I spot the female waiting in a tree--then the male cardinal will pick up a seed at the feeder, fly over to the female bird, and feed her.

Puppy Ophelia (Princess Lia for short) would like nothing better than to cavort with the birds in the back yard. We have a large dog run on the side of the house that's closed off to the back yard--mostly to keep muddy paws at bay, if necessary, when the snow melts, and also because she's so small I'm afraid she could slip through an opening in the fence somewhere when no one's watching. A dog on my block got out of its yard recently and was hit by a car, so I take no chances--my dogs are pretty much supervised when they're out in the back.

If Lia had her way, she'd go out every 5 minutes or more most days, especially if it's cold and/or snowing, and so I pretty much let her wear her sweater all day because I'm tired of taking it on and off. But for some silly reason (??) I don't WANT to go out in the back yard every 5 minutes with the dogs, can you imagine? So I let her out on the side in the run often enough and she watches the birds and squirrels through the fence, and then when I eventually do let her out in the back to play, she's not sure why they all scatter. Why don't they want to play? Better yet, why won't MOMMY play all day??

Back to birds--don't forget to feed them. They need some fat in their food more than ever now to help keep them warm in the cold weather. A little bit of sugar is good for energy also and won't hurt them.

Sweet Suet Recipe for Wild Birds
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup Crisco
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 cup honey
A handful of bird seed or oiled sunflower seeds
1 cup chopped dried berries or raisins

Heat the Crisco in a saucepan on low heat. Mix all ingredients into the pan. Remove from heat and spoon the mixture into a muffin tin, pan or Jello mold and cool. If using a pan, cut into squares and freeze until needed.

Make a hole for hanging--insert a piece of a drinking straw into the warm mixture. Remove the straw once the mix is solid and cooled, thread with wire or thick yarn and hang.


Bonnie said...

Princes Lia is a doll. Love her little coat. Mr. Raggs doesn't seem to think he need a coat. Good thing as I'm not making him one!

Renate said...

We had a snowy and stormy weekend. It is really winter here. Many schools are closed.
But in our house is it warm and I can sew. :-)))

Anonymous said...

Hey Kathy,
It looks cold and snowy there. Where do you live, the North Pole???
or maybe just Deerfield. It is never too cold to make a small quilt...Julia

Kathleen Tracy said...

Haha, you're cold and snowy too Julia.

Anonymous said...

kathleen, thanks so much for your sweet suet recipe. we have so many birds coming into the yard, going thru lots of black oil sunflower and store bought suet. Will try your recipe, have all ingredients in the pantry. Stay warm, love your little Valentine's quilt. Judy


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