St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Monday, February 23, 2015

The Kitchen Office

On these cold winter days, (-20 today -- Feb 23), when the sun shines I move into the sun room that becomes my morning office.  It is bright, filled with green plants, and doubles as the kitchen nook, office, project table, and the center of the morning activities. 

  We painted it with a $5 gallon of  "oops shelf" yellow from the local hardware -- a mistake in mixing that cut the normal cost from $35.  Margo and Sis-in-law Connie put the wallpaper border.  Mom, Alberta, designed it and Dad, Vivian, built it with the help of his brother Maurice and his sons back in the 1950s.  

Mom loved winter plants changed a dark house with no south windows into a burst of sunlight and outdoors and a place to eat breakfast, dinner and supper for the farm family of six big eaters. 

The flaws are mostly it was built on a poured concrete slab with concrete blocks as the foundation and no insulation around the base.  That means the floor is cold!!!  We keep an electric space heater running on cold morning just to add a little feet heat.  

So what is in the room this winter?  

Twenty flower pots on the extra wide window ledges -- geranimums, cacti, forced bulbs starting and some geranium seed germinating. 

The 1950s porcelain topped table bought new by Mom in the late 40s to relace the old round oak table that was not bright and modern! It disappeared after a few years in the dining room replaced there with a stainless steel formica topped modern table (still here).  

The chairs are 1960s vintage going on their second or third coverings and in need of the next one.  Stainless with hard seats and backs that mom redid as needed.  

A few wall hangings, calendar, clock, weather dials, binoculars (the birds are fed outside the windows) and of course my computer and camera. 

And a full view to the east so we can check on the neighbors and the south that used to be to check on the livestock barns. 

The wave petunia didn't do much this winter, but is starting to grow with more sunlight. 

The maple syrup bottles are to dissuade birds from thunking into the windows. The morning sun shining through them is golden. 

A tomato stem begins to root -- cutting from the tomato plant we brought in last September. 

A maple tree grows in a geranium pot.  All of the potted plants were outside all last summer, so interesting plants sprout and grow in the winter.  Red maple I think.  
Mom had us plant a row of pines, cedars and spruce to the SE of the yard.  In the winter that blocks the morning sun from about 8 am - 10 am, good for my computer work.  When the sun streams in earlier and later it is too bright to see the screen.  The row was planted in about 1960 anticipating my need for a few hours of morning shade.