Monday, March 16, 2020


When I checked the thermometer at 2 AM today, it was 20F. By sun-up and morning chores, it was a rip-roaring 22F. Water buckets were not just iced over, but frozen solid. This is why, even though I unplugged the two bucket de-icers in the barn, I left them in place so it would take only a moment to plunk them back into the buckets. And why I never unplugged the one in the more exposed paddock water bucket at all. This is not my first March in Massachusetts.

Although it was cold it was also nice and sunny today, and all the goats were very happy to spend the day in furry pools, nibbling hay, chewing their cud, or snoozing, until evening. A pleasant day in Goat World.

One nice thing about the return to quite cold: it prompted me to make a crockpot full of soup! And one nice thing about the habit of putting containers of "extra" food in the freezer is that making soup is just a matter of pulling out containers until enough contents have been identified to sound like good soup: turkey meat, candy roaster squash puree, carrots, a very rich broth made - also in the crockpot - from the bones of the whole turkey roasted a while back. All organic but the carrots. Add a little seasoning, leave it to simmer in the crockpot for a few hours, and that's it - lovely soup, served over rotini pasta, also from the freezer. I love that freezer!

A tiny but exciting bit of news: when I walk Piper in a few minutes we will carry up the package left at the bottom of the driveway earlier this afternoon. It is my first ever order from a welding supply house! (I told you it was exciting.) And you can guess what it is if you want to (Liz will probably get it in one) but you'll have to wait for the answer. I'm not going to confirm or deny until I've got pictures and a story to tell, whether successful or just a "learning experience."

Off to have a little walk, then chores. Too cold for the pond today, but a walk along the road here isn't bad. Lots and lots of things to sniff, and that - apparently - is what matters most. Get that sniffer ready, Piper!


from the inside


I very rarely link to a single blog post and encourage readers to visit, but these are troubled times and I think many people will find something useful in the very down-to-earth "Inside - A Guide" written by "a frequently overwhelmed, happy soul," Josie George. This is not about the corinavirus/COVID-19 pandemic per se; it is about the experience of "staying inside" by choice or necessity.

Personally, I agree 100% with this:

"Over the next few weeks, many of us will need to stay inside our homes. Either we’ll be self-isolating due to risk or symptoms or, more positively I hope, simply staying in as much as possible while healthy to help protect ourselves and others, slowing transmission rates. Not everyone will be able to isolate themselves voluntarily, but I hope those who can, will, for the sake of everybody. Every time you can choose not to go to a group or crowded place right now, you ease the risk on those people who have no choice or who are working to keep the rest of us safe and fed."

And this:

"The best thing is that I believe these ideas to be life-enhancing irrespective of what is happening in the outside world. Who knows, maybe by incorporating some of them into your daily life now, they’ll enrich your life and the lives of others for much longer than the next, uncertain few weeks."

Dear Comptonia readers: if you find even one useful idea in this well-written piece, it will have been worth reading. And I think you may find more than just one.