Alone Time

A while back hubs was out of town for 2 weeks. I have had a week out here myself, but this was probably the longest I’ve lived alone since I was just out of college and had my first apartment! I do well alone, so that was not any problem. It was warm when he left and we had no snow, much to my disappointment.

I developed my routines… start coffee perking on the stove, start a fire in the house, go out and check on the cattle, let the chickens out and then inside to my coffee. This all went pretty easily. The third day I woke up to a beautiful and wonderful snowstorm and it literally snowed some almost everyday of the rest of those two weeks. Some days 8 inches, some days 2 but it just kept snowing! It got cold enough for wind chills of -25 at night. I was thrilled with the snow and cold, but it definitely changed my routine up a few notches. What Hubs forgot when he told me, you probably won’t need to start a fire in the workshop, while I am gone, was that he is used to starting a small fire out there routinely to take the chill off the shop, enough so that it stays generally warmer in there since it gets a bit warmed each day. I quickly realized when the cold weather hit that I was going to have to be building fires everyday out there and would have to keep them going to protect the plumbing.  The wood he left me well set with, was behind the house and I had to get wood to the shop and the snow was deep. I was making 4 trips a day with an old metal sledding saucer to get it there. I surely could do it, but as the snow got deeper it got harder and it was time to ask for a hand from a friend. He came the next day, cheerful and ready to go, with two toboggans! It was beautiful out, the sky was brilliant blue, the sun was shining and he made the work more fun and oooooh so much faster and efficient. We enjoyed the weather, the company, and some fun on the job. He left with some “thank you pork” and I was left with a giant pile of wood in the shop, making the rest of my time alone much easier. Helping friends out, and trading skills and goods are things we both enjoy. It’s a pretty common way of doing things where we live.

Wood for the wood stove in the basement. I made things far easier by putting this basket on a dolly. I loaded at the back door and rolled it to the basement stairs. Always, always looking for a few back saving tricks!

I got a fair amount of work done on my blanket, for our bed, while he was gone. These are strips that I will put together when done. I am working on another wide strip now and then one more narrow one and it will be completed. My time while he was away was very precious, to be alone with myself for periods of time, is important. He gets his alone time too, when I go out of town. We both have our own things we like about it.

I worked on several craft projects, and finally watched the Nikon School DVDs and am armed with new knowledge for using my SLR camera. I’ve used it plenty, but sadly all on auto. It is time for turn off the auto feature and take pictures without training wheels! I tried out my, new to me, sewing machine, and I tried new recipes, read and planned for gardens, chickens, mushrooms, and learned about new things to try that I haven’t grown yet. I even got a cow unstuck from a feeder by myself. I studied more about Spring edibles that will come up soon, and I ate 2 meals a day, most days, about mid morning and late afternoon and that was a perfect schedule. I needed nothing from the store, I just ate from our stored foods, although I did buy plenty of milk and coffee before I settled into my hibernation on the farm. In fact I didn’t leave for 9 days, and even that was grudgingly done, being on the farm is such a happy place to be, it makes it hard to find good reasons to leave sometimes! All in all my alone time was restorative and fun. Having said all this, I sure was happy to see him come home, it’s a loooooong time to be apart!

I’ve discovered a good Rye bread recipe. It tastes great and it is the recipe I have been relying on a lot lately. It is a dough that can be refrigerated and so I make a large batch and then make small loaves every other day. It is fresher for us this way, and we don’t eat a lot of bread so a small loaf is just about right. These were gift loaves and so they were larger.

Meet Fidibus! Hubs gave me something for Christmas that I have really wanted! It took a lot of research. This is a grain mill, so I can now grind my own flour. I really looked at that beautiful Country Mill manual grain mill. If I were 20 years younger I would have picked that one, but I just don’t have the shoulders for it at this point, and sometimes you just have call it, and this was the mill for me. This, of course, was the gateway to other thoughts, and I am now researching small scale grain growing. In the meantime though, I got wheat berries from a local organic grain supplier and my store bought flour is just about gone, and so my journey with home milling local grain begins. It’s a German made mill and is beautifully made, it grinds fine pastry flour and course grains for other uses. I’m not sure why it is called Fidibus, I assume it is a German word or name, but I like it.

The tiny-but-mighty-greenhouse, keeps on trucking! It made it all through the Winter! A fresh spinach salad in the Winter is quite a treat!

This little bowl/cup is from a local artist. I fell in love with it’s simplicity, and I do love my coffee.

I end so many of my entries with a sunset, but they are always new ones and they never look the same. I look forward to the show each night.