Well, I’ve been out of touch for a couple of reasons. This time of year, I end up in the inevitable funk from the winter, darkness, temperatures and just plain cabin fever. Outside of having to shovel the snow, raking the roof and walking the dog, I don’t fancy being outside this time of year. The chickens don’t need much, just refreshing their water a couple of times a day and food, so no need to be out with them. I have also been busy with making some gifts for my new grandnephew. His shower is next weekend, and had lots to get done. And, I just haven’t had much interesting going on here. Winter on the homestead around here tends to be garden planning and crocheting and knitting, cooking and reading. I could post the recipe I have for some really yummy mushroom soup, the clear broth kind, not the cream type. If anyone is interested, let me know. We’ve also been dealing with the frozen water pipes off and on as the temperatures ebb and flow. We are going to have to come up with some more permanent solutions to that problem, and since the electric bill was almost $400 (!!!) last month, the little space heater we are using right now is not it.
This past week I went down like a stone right flat on my back when I slipped on the ice under the new snow fall we had. Yes, it did hurt, quite a bit actually. And let’s face it, staring down the barrel of the big 5-0, I don’t bounce like I used to, nor do I spring right back up like I used to. I lay there with Brady at the other end of the leash looking for all like his face was saying “What the heck, Mama?” I lay there a minute in the wet snow as the breath was knocked right out of me. You know, it’s that laying there where you’re asking yourself if you can still wiggle your extremities and if nothing is screaming OUCH! at you. Brady came over to me, sniffed my face as if to say, “okay, enough drama, get up now”. Honestly, he kind of looked like he was thinking what a great time to pounce on her, but not at all sure he should. I am happy to report that he did not. He is a remarkably sensitive dog and somehow knew the time wasn’t right. Unwilling to chance another swipe of my feet out from under me, I literally crawled over to where I could grab the garage to pull myself up. Which I did, covered in wet snow that stuck to me everywhere. No one in the house saw me go down, nor did they wonder why I came back in full of snow. If they noticed, they didn’t want to know why. Boys, not always the most observant of the species.
Today we are trapped in the house in an ice storm, the ground is glare ice out there right now. I walked the dog a few times, considered going on a couple of errands, but thought better of it because I have about an inch of ice coating the entire of the outside of the car. We have for years now had a garage at our homes, and never once have we parked in them, which would be great if we could. Being in New England, where the winters are long, hard and a lot of work, it would be nice to be able to use the garage. But since we don’t have a basement or attic that are usable for storage, we have no where else to store all the stuff you might normally put in either of those places. And my husband is a bit of a pack rat and keeps so much stuff that he will likely never use again, but that’s a post for another time…and we are hoping to eventually get offices made over the garage so that we can have more creative (in my case) space and more room to live in the chaos without it affecting the rest of the family (in my husband’s case). Love him, but it’s like an episode of hoarders sometimes. I will say, I was very proud of him, when earlier this fall, we rented a dumpster and were able to fill it with stuff that we either couldn’t donate or had no other place for. But, now the garage is all blocked off with stuff as people tend to walk in the door and dump it inside the doors so you still have to wade through it to do anything. Someday, we will have a different system, really, we will.
Our property is a work in progress as well. We have a bunch of smaller trees that need to come down as they are blocking sun that we need and also, just make it so that we don’t have much of a yard or animal space. So, hopefully my hubby will get to dropping those before the sap starts running hard it them. Certainly easier to dry the wood if it’s already got its sap pulled down into the roots, is it not? This is also the better time as the poison ivy is leafless and much less likely to cause him rashes this time of year when he can be fully clothed. Not looking forward to having to deal with that again this summer, we have so much of it on the property and there is just no winning way to get rid of it. Goats, yes, that was our original plan, but I’ve learned from a couple of people that some goats don’t like poison ivy. So, since we are only getting them for that reason (not necessarily milk or meat), that’s risky since I don’t really need any other mouths to feed around here that aren’t earning their keep.
I have been planning the back of the property and what I’d like to do with it. I think we’ve decided where the garden is going to go, just need to be sure it will get the right sun and that we can combat the rabbit that would be living in the adjoining lot. He’s wild and likes to eat in the place where we want to put the garden, so he may have to be relocated. I put pencil to paper and made a little plot plan to work from that is coming out pretty well. I’ll need to get my husband and best bud’s thoughts on it, too. Always good to have more then one set of eyes on it for sure. Lots to be done, but I feel like I can manage some of it without my husband’s busy help. Now that our oldest son is man sized, he’s much more useful around here with his younger brother coming up on his heels. Pretty soon, I will have two “slave laborers” as they like to call themselves. Yes, this is met with a very large and exaggerated eye roll from their father and I. Kids have no idea what hard work consistently is, but this summer, they are gonna get their hands dirty and find out!
Well, not much else to report on. Life is moving along, we’re attending to our sons’ activities schedules with it being basketball season, percussion ensemble practice, competitive shooting and boy scouts…never a quiet moment around here. Hope you are all enjoying your spring planning, too. Until next time- be well, be kind to each other and blessings to you all.