Sunday, December 13, 2015

a smattering of snaps

In no particular order, a few snapshots of the past week.

Hay, more of.

Still plenty of room:

In other hay news:

 I installed four secondhand hay racks, purchased at a recent farm sale. Two are in the bigger barn and two in this little shelter built off the west wall of my workshop last autumn.

Violet, munching.

I thought you might enjoy this view, looking down through the window of my workshop. Lily on the left, Sambucus on the right:

The racks may need to be lined with mesh to slow the goats down, but I'm trying them as is, first. No need to go looking for more projects!

Enough about hay.

I did something this week I haven't done in, gosh, maybe 8 or 10 years. I bought eggs. Because the hens are in winter production mode, but I can't seem to stop doing this:

I keep baking cranberry-apple cakes.
Even when I just baked one a few hours earlier, and gave it to the good friend who brought my firewood.
Even when the springform pan is in the dishwasher and I have to experiment with one of my old Pyrex pans.
Even when I run out of cranberries when mixing the batter.

Yes, it has now been proven: 2 cups of cranberries is the minimum necessary for this recipe. I am slowly eating this cake, of course, because wasting food is a sin. Also, it's a pretty fair cake. But it needed another half-cup of cranberries to make it a really good cake.

This is how we learn ;)

We've had some remarkably balmy days lately.
And I've done an unusual amount of housecleaning this week.
It's not my strong suit, as you may know.
I'm not good at it, and I don't enjoy it.
And it's painful.

I won't pretend I have "become" a terrible housekeeper
as my joints have become increasingly painful.
No, I have never been a very good housekeeper,
and that shortcoming has always bothered me, quite a lot.
But now it is physically difficult to be even a poor housekeeper.

Last week, I decided to force myself to do something more than the minimum in the house, every single day that I was able to. So I did as much as I could, on 5 days of the seven. And it was truly exhausting. Nothing else that wasn't absolutely necessary got done. Piper had no walks in the woods, I am ashamed to say. I cancelled an appointment at short notice. I skipped a holiday fair. I haven't posted anything here for the entire week because I have been so completely wiped out.

I wanted to write here. A couple of times I started to choose images, and fell asleep with the laptop on my chest. Once also with a heating pad on my neck and icepacks on my hands. I didn't know a person could fall asleep holding icepacks.

The house is still mostly a shambles, and I don't know if I can keep up the every-day-possible housework efforts. But right now I'm going to share this little snapshot of my kitchen, looking toward the back door. Because having this much clear space in my little house is sort of a miracle.



  1. Getting your rest is important.
    The kitchen right side against the wall near back door looks like a man standing there, and the cat on the left doesn't notice. So I'm guessing his hat is a lamp. lol
    I dislike taking pills, but I have to say, one Aleve does help the aches and pain when they get really bad.

    1. I think you are seeing my big straw summer hat, sitting atop the clothesrack by the back door. I suppose I could put it away now? Still, you never know...Boud in NJ reported 70F yesterday!

  2. Beautiful! I have never been a good housekeeper either. And now my spine makes it impossible. I try to keep up with clutter, but I'll admit that I have someone help me with the heavy cleaning.

    I'm so glad you found all that hay, and it looks like your hay hoop house is doing a good job.

    1. I hear you, KB. And it's hard for me to commit to allocating limited physical resources to something that brings me so little satisfaction as housework. But the state of the place has been getting me down lately, with more time spent indoors on these short days. I hope that writing about this here - True Confessions! - will help me to keep puttering a while longer this month, to see if I can finally make enough overall gain to feel good about it. I need all the "feel good" I can muster, especially in winter.
      Reading your blog helps with that, too ;)

  3. That's a nifty hay storage tent. I hate cleaning house. In fact, I do it as little as possible. Since I'm not working now, you would think I'd have an immaculate house and everything would be in order. Not at all. I do think it's highly overrated. ha! Everyone in this country, except me, has maids. I bet they wouldn't clean either if they didn't have someone doing it for them every day. I just think it's a waste of time. Enjoy the outdoors while you can. Winter will come soon enough and then you will be stuck inside more and can do some housework then, if you really must. :) With the colder weather here lately, my joints and bones are aching. It's like every injury I've ever had is coming back to haunt me. That's what I get for being a tomboy. Ha-ha! Take care and have a good week.

  4. Ok, if you can do it, I can do it. I keep thinking I'll clean one room a day and I'll keep up that way. But it only last a couple of days. Then I think I'm retired I deserve to slow down(not stop). Then I visit sister Suzie and walk into her spotless house and she is 5 yrs older than me. So I think if I clean one room a day.....Oh I'm back where I started. I quit.
    We will get it yet. In the mean time enjoy your kids and and girls, mine are lay well either. It seem very time they can find an off day ( too hot, too cold, molting whatever) they take it. No ones told them about Holidays yet,thank goodness. If I don't see you before Christmas, have a safe and merry one.

  5. If there's any chance of some household help that might be a great gift to you and your other tasks. You may a bit remote to get it, but I can see great barters -- eggs, yarn maybe.. Don't know your exact sit. When I was working long hours and had a young son and me and pets to feed, I bartered some great antique china for cooked food ready for the freezer. Saved my life at a time so difficult I hate to look back!

  6. Take care of yourself, my friend! I'm counting on you to make a trip to Vegas one day! ;-) OK, when the goats don't need you. XOXOXO

  7. I love a galley style kitchen like yours. That's what I tried to do with my kitchen but there was no way.

    Your goats look so healthy! Plump, with shiny coats.

    Winter is a good time to rest and recuperate. Do take care of yourself Quinn.

  8. I love the photo of Violet! She looks very happy with herself. That cake looks so good. You made me laugh out loud when you said you can't stop making them though :)

  9. Hay tent looks really useful. The goats look so happy and well-fed. Take care of yourself, housework is not worth exhausting yourself over, as it never ever gets all donešŸ˜•

  10. More cranberries is ALWAYS better. As for housework - yuck. Perhaps the old 'thing' of setting the kitchen timer to a prescribed amount of time (like 20 minutes) and only doing what you can in that time period has some merit.

  11. Oh Quinn, I'm with you and just do what I'm able, when I'm able and devil take the hindmost. Two bad falls and a cat attack have left me worse for wear. I've decided to take this winter off, do as little as possible and heal.
    Tonight, I made cranberry marmalade to give for gifts tomorrow. Maybe I'll buy a banana and make some banana cranberry bread; you've lit the fire. Merry Christmas!

    1. A cat attack?? I can't even imagine :(
      Sorry about the falls, too. I don't know how many times I fell last winter, but the memory came back to me tonight when I almost fell in the barn paddock: not from slipping on ice but in MUD!
      Enjoy that banana cranberry bread, Sandra. I'm beginning to think cranberries are the answer to many of life's problems ;)
      And Merry Christmas to you, too!

  12. When we picked up my daughter from university on the 23rd, I had to warn her there was hay all over the living room floor from her rabbit's cage being pushed and dragged all around as I decorated for Christmas. I just said "don't judge me" and then got things sorted out on Christmas Eve day. It took me the entire day to clean the house to my satisfaction (I don't have high expectations there!). At the end of the day all my son wanted was some homemade cookies! So I had to ask myself if my time was being spent in the right way. We only got Christmas cookies made yesterday, and now no one really cares to eat them. sigh I do think housework is sometimes overrated. Your kitchen looks nice 'n cozy ;)


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