Rock Tumbling and Other Winter Pastimes

With the cold stretching long before us and the bright busy-ness of the holidays over, we at the Smythe house find we are, more and more, relying on hobbies and creative projects to fill our days.

Pepper received a rock tumbler for her birthday earlier this month and finally broke it out.

It’s been a fascinating process to watch. Here are the rocks just before they went in:

And this is the goop that works to smooth and polish the rocks – at least for the first round.

The whole process takes weeks rather than days, but when contrasted with the amount of time it takes for rocks to round themselves out in riverbeds and on beaches, it’s lightning fast.

Here’s what a couple of the rocks looked like when they came out of the first round of tumbling:

Now, just two more rounds to go!

We’ve been trying to get the chickens out for a bit each day to walk around the yard. Here’s CPT A taking his turn as “chicken shepherd”.

As you can see, the dogs are out too. They’ve gotten used to the chickens now and hardly notice them, though Kipper doesn’t appreciate getting chased. (There’s one particular chicken that seems to have it in for him). And, though we would never leave the two groups together unattended, it’s amazing how far the dogs have come in just eight months.

A Nor’easter brought us close to two inches of freezing rain earlier last week. Ginger took advantage of it, digging out an old pool toy to test on our backyard slope. By the end of the day, she’d managed to make it to the bottom of the hill without falling off the board. She did, however, run into the chicken fence several times.

Cooking has been a pleasant way to spend some of our indoor time, though I confess I haven’t been brave enough to try making these:

It’s nice to know frog legs are available, though, should I ever get a hankering. The meat counter was even kind enough to supply flyers with recipe ideas.

I did, however, make fudge. I found a recipe for Nestle Toll House Famous Fudge on the back of a bag of chocolate chips, gave it a try, and was really impressed with the results.

CPT A spent some time in the basement stripping Ginger’s closet door. He stalled a bit when he realized previous owners had wallpapered parts of the door, then, later, painted over the paper.

It wasn’t a pleasant discovery, but CPT A soldiered on and finally managed to get all of the paper off.

And, in knitting news, I finished my Crazy Zauberball socks!

Normally, I try to match the stripes when I make socks, but you can’t really do that with a Zauberball. Instead, you have to embrace the mismatch. Ginger says she actually prefers her socks to look like this.

And, finally, an update on the Fireside Throw.

Just looking at this photo, it’s hard to see the progress I’ve made. I know I crocheted lots of hexagons this week, but the only tangible proof I have of the throw’s growth is the fact that I’m having to spread it out on the floor now, rather than the table.

And that brings you up to date. Hope you’re finding similarly crafty and creative ways to amuse yourself during these cold winter months. And, if you decide to make frogs legs, please let me know how they turn out.

From the dining room table, getting ready to make some tea,

Mrs. Smythe

8 Comments on “Rock Tumbling and Other Winter Pastimes

  1. I’m impressed with the rock polishing. the end of the first round is really an amazing transformation in itself. I tried that once a long time ago and the changes were even slower. Seems there has been some progress in home polishing techniques

    • I was surprised at how well they came out after just one round. I remember being intrigued with rock tumblers as a kid – seeing them in the Sears catalog and such. I think I’m as pleased to have one now as Pepper is. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the finished product.

  2. Wow, your throw is really growing. Looks like a flower garden. Very pretty!

    • I’m glad you can see progress. It’s one of those projects where each round gets larger and larger, so you seem to slow down considerably. But, I really like how it’s turning out, so that encourages me to keep adding to it. Not sure yet what I’ll do with it when I’m done, though… 🙂

    • Jane! I’m amazed! You’re going to have to tell me how and when you tried frog legs! I want to hear all about it!!!