Saturday, February 7, 2015

focus

(Pssst: Looking for the Grow Your Blog post? It's right here.)

~~~

This is how cold it has been lately.

These days, I often remind myself to "focus in."
Keep my mind on little things.
Small, manageable tasks.
Small, quantifiable achievements.

It seems like a good way to stay positive and avoid becoming overwhelmed by...well, anything.

Just before falling asleep,
I try to jot down one thing I've done that day,
that I feel good about.
One day it was finishing some onerous paperwork.
Twice - on two separate days -
it was successfully extricating the little green sportswagon
from a mound of deep snow.

One day last week, it was cooking this squash:


The biggest of the Sow True Seed Pink Jumbo Banana squash
raised as part of the 2014 "Reporter At Large" planting project
hosted by my blogfriend Tipper at Blind Pig and the Acorn.

The three varieties of winter squash I planted in my garden all produced so little and so much later than everyone else's, I was not much use as a reporter! But eventually I harvested a few squash and carefully saved them for Winter.

Which is certainly here.


So.Much.White.
Isn't it time for a little color?
Or a LOT of color?

Isn't this refreshing to the eye?



Everything about cooking this squash -
the weight of it, the colors,
the lovely fresh smell -
reminded me so happily of the garden.
The sun, the rain, the aching back, the sweat.
The magic.

Summer in the garden, August 2014 

Summer in a bowl, February 2015




And nothing was wasted,
which is always satisfying!
The seeds were cleaned and saved
for eating or planting.
The fibrous core was a treat for the hens,
who appreciate fresh vegetables in the winter
as much as I do.
And who always eat organic, even when I do not.
Happily, this time we all did.

And now, it's time to bring out my Deep Winter Survival Strategy:
the 2015 seed catalogs!

I do not even peek at them until February.

We are expecting two more days of snowstorm.
It is definitely time for the seed catalogs.

And a continued focus on little things.


~~~~~

23 comments:

  1. Yuumy squash ... but squash always reminds me of the fall! I usually send all the seeds out for the birds and the squirrels, but Cody thinks they're all for him. I can't imagine having to eat my dinner with snow up to my belly, can you?! Poor goats. Still snowing here tonight too. Wendy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, they don't HAVE to eat belly-deep in snow. Most of the goats CHOOSE to be outdoors a lot of the time, unless it's very windy or raining. I put hay both in the barns AND outside, unless the weather is wet or windy. Throughout the day and night, some goats will be inside and others outside, switching around. They are a hardy bunch! :)

      Delete
  2. That is very cold!! Did the chicken forget that the coop is where she shoukd lay her eggs in winter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The egg was in the coop, in a nest box filled with shavings. It has just been THAT cold.

      Delete
  3. Wow that's cold.. I'm surprised that your hens still lay eggs in winter, usually when it's so cold they don't. Your squash brings lots of colour. A friend of mine makes crisps with the skin, she brushes them with oil then spreads them on a tray and bakes them in the oven, A tasty snack.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I kept a light on for a few hours each day, they would all be laying, but even with the short winter days, I'll see one or two eggs each day. Tough Yankee hens! ;)

      Delete
  4. As one who doesn't get snow now, but was raised in it, I feel for ya', girlfriend! Egg cracking weather is no fun!!! Looking at this on my phone with the lower strength reading glasses, I thought you had yourself a 63lb. squash! That would have been something, but BRAVO on the 6.3lb one, from your snowless friend who also has soil (kaliche) that won't grow ANYTHING! STAY WARM!

    ReplyDelete
  5. There's nothing like a good winter squash to be happy about! That's not a variety I've tried, although one summer I had a 23 pound Cushaw. That was some squash! I've given up on pumpkins because they never do well here.

    I love your idea about writing down something positive accomplishment every day. Dan and I were just talking this morning about how controlling thought life is key to the day. Negative thoughts, discontent, and discouragement do nothing but drain the day. We all need to work on that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both my "giant" varieties grew into massive plants but were disappointing in terms of production. Expecting 25-40-pounders, and this was my biggest, even though I started them early in pots for a longer growing season. I bet they'd do a lot better for you - the seed is from your neck of the woods!

      Delete
  6. Maple Syrup Mob's blog has gone private. I'll email her for you. Love squash and the soup looks yummy. Gill in Canada

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Gill ;) Next I think I'll be making soup with the recipe Jane just posted!

      Delete
  7. Hi! I saw your comment on Ilona's blog. She is correct in why have had to go by invitation only. If you would like to be invited,I'm happy to send you an invitation!
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - I was sure I had visited your blog previously. Was afraid maybe I had spilled something on your carpet. Glad to be invited back ;)

      Delete
  8. Hi Quinn - be safe out there; put your name on prayer list, thinking and praying for you. You've been hit hard this winter and I remember last year and how tough it was for me. There were a lot of days all I did was get up, have devotions, do chores, eat and get warm so I could go do chores again. I miss my sheep, never realized how much a part of "ME" they were; when I move, I'm thinking a couple of pet sheep are in order.
    Spring is coming, of this I am sure. Of this I am also sure, it seems to be coming slowly -lol-. Just tending to the goats every day is a HUGE something to accomplish and tending to yourself as well...HUGE HUGE accomplishment! I'm glad to mark something off my list and, frankly, count marking off as an accomplishment. I am so easily satisfied...grin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you so much Sandra for the encouraging words - you do SO much more on your place than I do here, but I sure know what you mean about getting done with one round of chores just in time for the next. Oh yes.
      You just reminded me of something and made me laugh. Once I mentioned to a friend that I had not managed to cross much off my list that day, and he immediately and very seriously replied, "You need to learn how to make better lists." :)

      Delete
  9. I love your bowl of summer! Hang in there - this onslaught of snow has to stop soon. I can only imagine how tough your chores are now - but I love your strategy of small achievable goals and writing down what you accomplished to keep your spirits up. You're amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the encouragement and the pat on the back, KB - you are very kind. I've been thinking what I need is a good shove between the shoulderblades every time I have to go back outside - especially with water buckets. I can only carry one bucket per trip now, awkwardly held in front of my body, because I can't lift them high enough to carry them over the snow on either side of my (somewhat imaginary) path. Chores are do-able, thank goodness, but quite a workout for me. Even the exuberant snowdog Piper quits and goes back inside long before I'm done!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the encouragement and the pat on the back, KB - you are very kind. I've been thinking what I need is a good shove between the shoulderblades every time I have to go back outside - especially with water buckets. I can only carry one bucket per trip now, awkwardly held in front of my body, because I can't lift them high enough to carry them over the snow on either side of my (somewhat imaginary) path. Chores are do-able, thank goodness, but quite a workout for me. Even the exuberant snowdog Piper quits and goes back inside long before I'm done!

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. It's especially nice to have something that didn't come from the freezer or a jar...just a vegetable that looks like it was picked from my garden yesterday :)

      Delete
  11. I happily relieve you of some of that snow ... and of some of that pumpkin, yum!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment! I enjoy reading each one, and will usually reply either here or on YOUR blog!

Due to spam, Anonymous comments are blocked. I'm hoping to avoid the annoying Word Verification gizmo! If you find you cannot leave a comment, please email me so we can try to sort it out.