A very special celebration occurred. My younger daughter and I went down to Florida to celebrate Mama’s 80th birthday. I posted happy pictures of the celebration on Facebook and a friend posted… “oh you are so fortunate, love it!” Yes, I am so fortunate along with my whole family to be able to share these happy events. It was a wonderful and fun couple of days, albeit strangely warm and humid, almost surreal when you come from wind chills below zero and take two plane rides, spend 48 hours in this oddly warm but familiar weather, and then 2 planes later it is 6 degrees. I found myself wondering if it had really happened, but the wonderful warm memories I was filled with made me sure it did. It is a blessing and an honor to have my parents in my life at my age, and I know it everyday.
When I got home from the trip, it was back to what felt familiar, loading the wood box, and guiltily saying yes to hubby standing in the front hall with all his gear on saying, “would you like me to do the chickens?” I got some bread made, caught up on billing for business and did some reading. Strangely, not a reference book! I haven’t had an urge to read fiction in over a year or more, but suddenly I woke up one morning literally itching for fiction! I surprised my own self! I had a long time ago, maybe in the 80’s read a book called “Gap Creek” by Robert Morgan, I remembered liking it so much but could barely remember it apart from a few major events in the book. I started reading the book and within 2 days it was devoured and I couldn’t wait to get hold of the next book, “The Road from Gap Creek”, also by Robert Morgan. I have not had as much time since I started it last week, but I am half way through it and have so enjoyed both of the books. The character was strong beyond anything I could ever imagine. It seemed whatever disaster happened and there were many, that despite the conditions in which she was living she could always pick herself up, sweep up the kitchen put coffee on the stove and make some corn bread from the bottom of the corn bin. Over and over, from the worst of circumstances, and they were terrible. Each time she swept out the bad and made yet another beginning. I’d like to think I could have had her vision but instead I will just be in awe of her character.
Today was quiet, it lightly snowed all day and I spent the morning under a blanket getting almost the rest of the way through Barbara Kingsolver’s work of art, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”. I started it last year in the mid winter, actually about now, and got half way through but then became buried in the pre-Spring cramming session for all learning related to my own Animals, Vegetables and Miracles that were coming our way with that being our first Spring of true Homesteading efforts. I also got to doing some research today on raising Sprouted Fodder, which is a way of turning 50 pounds of seed into 300 pounds of food for the chickens, as well as some reading on mini chicken tractors and on raising meal worms, it doesn’t seem too hard and it ups the chickens protein at very little cost. It was a nice mix of a day, and the snow kept falling.
The afternoon question of what to make for dinner came around and I can’t help the thrill and pleasure I get from collecting the meal from what is here. Tonight: Pork Steak with grilled onions and Rhubarb Chutney, Applesauce, Winter Squash, Green Beans seared in the pan the Steak was cooked in, as well as Corn, Collards and fresh bread. I can’t lie the Collards were not as happily greeted by hubby as myself, therefore, the green beans.
It was a delicious dinner, we knew where it all came from, and it was handled by only the butcher and myself. I don’t take this lightly, I value it very much. When I hear things like I did the other day about a national chain restaurant “conditioning” their bread with something that is also used in Yoga mats, all I think is, “know your food”. That’s our goal.