Tuesday, September 25, 2012

stacking wood and books

My mornings back home from the fair have a new pace to them. I feel now that I am home and there is nothing to do but prep for winter and keep the farm humming. I am free to really dig in. I have plans to fix the horse cart, get a piglet, and start really focusing on my next moves in my writing career. Change is on the way, and not just the weather, people.

Fall is in full swing and nights are into the 30's now. I wake up to a bowl of oatmeal with a chopped apple cooked in it while it boils. I do it over the stove and it is ready in five minutes. People think it is crazy I don't have a microwave, but I find them intrusive. I like my stove, electric and wood, and cook with them. (And I still technically have a microwave, I'm just using turned on it's side as saddle stand in the tack room.) Anyway, OATMEAL! You add a little cinnamon and maple syrup and you have an amazing breakfast with enough sugar and carbs to stack a full cord of wood, which is exactly what I plan on doing today before it rains tomorrow. Wood as nice as this, delivered yesterday by Bob Ackland of Maple Lane Farm, should not get rained on.

Tonight at 7PM I plan on heading into town to listen to good friend Jon Katz talk about his newest book (his 22nd!) a collection of short stories called Dancing Dogs. He is doing a reading and a signing and I'm sure the place will be packed. His dogs Red and Lenore will be there, and I'm certain Red will perch right next to him and Lenore will fall asleep on the hardwood floor around 100 people. Lenore lets rest stop for no man.


Blogger Anna said...

That's my fall breakfast, too. With plain yogurt on top. Sadly I don't have a woodstove or, therefore, wood to stack but when the mornings are cool I'm drinking tea and stirring the pot on the stove to start the day.

September 25, 2012 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger kbrow said...

I'm with you on the oatmeal thing. A spoonful of peanut butter or a handful of toasted pecans here, with some of summer's blueberries, thawed in as it cooks. I've been adding a dollop of yogurt, too, to add tartness to the honey sweetness.

September 25, 2012 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger J.D. Collins said...

So happy for you as you achieve more and more and for Jon on his latest publication!

September 25, 2012 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Stephen Andrew said...

I don't believe in microwaves either. I started a (small) fire in one when I was little and have yet to be convinced they are worth the space since. Lesson from my six year old self: aluminum foil catches on fire in the microwave. Lesson from my adult self: I'd rather have my pretty KitchenAid mixer on the counter than a bulky radiation robot.

September 25, 2012 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Brenda London said...

if my evening chores get done in reasonable time we will get over to the bookstore. One thing about the wood piles: you may want to make sure that the big pile is well away from the house as it attracts mice, termites and any other local critter. also, insurance adjusters/inspectors hate wood near the house, can deny a policy or a claim. We try to have about a quarter cord near the house, especially if weather is expected, then use that all up before moving more near the cabin. This is another warming chore to keep the blood moving after the morning coffee (which I drink while listening to the mares eating their breakfast). Life is good. I tried to post this yesterday, not sure if it got to you and if it did, just feel free to delete it. Maybe we'll see you tonight.

September 25, 2012 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Wow, I've been just too busy to read and keep up with my internet interests in the past couple weeks. I just now caught up on your goings-on. Sorry to hear about George! He lived a very happy life with you though Jenna, and that is what's most important now. Screw the mealy-mouthed jerks who spew bull****- sad people who obviously need more joy in their lives~ Glad you had fun at the fair and I'm glad you're getting closer to your "winter-ready" goal! Nothing like a crisp Fall mornin with your coffee, oatmeal, crackling woodstove and farm to keep you warm :)

*raising mug to our favorite season*


September 25, 2012 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Brenda London said...

nothing to do with anything you posted, sorry, but I just wanted to share: we were gifted a one horse open sleigh!! Not a fit for a draft, more for our standardbreds. not sure where we'll use it, but I'll keep you posted. as you know we have a racing stable so our retirees do know how to drive but the trails here are too hilly. RT 40 would be great if only we could stop traffic!! anyway, just thought I'd share this with a person who could appreciate how cool it is to have that sled out there. (came with tack too).

September 25, 2012 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

About 10 years ago I didn't own a microwave and didn't watch t.v. that much and people would say "how do you cook?" and "don't you care what's going on in the world" I did care about the happenings in my world but half the crap on t.v. was just bad news or pointless celebrity scandals and leftovers can be heated up in the oven Ha!!!

September 25, 2012 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Sounds like a really lovely life. Well done to you, and your community, for making it happen. ;)

September 25, 2012 at 11:50 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

Sounds like a great day! Oatmeal!! I think I will cook it tomorrow for breakfast - it is time.
Our microwave is almost only decoration, and I really just need to chuck that thing. It gets used about once a week, if that.
Have a great day!

September 25, 2012 at 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question regarding your ads: I read in one of the comments something that made me think that if a reader clicks on an ad, you will get a little $$$? Let me or us know if that is so, I would be more likely to click!! Some ads really look very interesting.


September 25, 2012 at 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Sally said...

Hello Jenna
I don't have a microwave either, through choice. I make porridge for my kids in a pan on the stove every morning if the weather is right for it. I love toast, butter and yeast extract myself, but this morning I cleaned out my hens before breakfast and so I had a very fresh poached egg as well. I live in the UK and keep three hens in my garden. I just found your blog and am enjoying reading through


September 25, 2012 at 1:01 PM  
Anonymous Jenn Bartley said...

Great way to start the day. I love a warm bowl of oatmeal. I make mine with a handful of ground almonds and cranberries. Cooked up nice and slow in some local raw milk with a drizzle of maple syrup and it's like a gift from heaven on a chilly morning. Hopefully soon I'll be enjoying my morning bowl with wild foraged walnuts instead of California almonds.

Also wanted to say, your keynote at MENF really struck a chord with my husband & I. We were the thumbs up couple way in the back. Good stuff, as always. Would have loved to stick around to just say Thanks in person but we had to meet our friends to get back to our campsite. Your talks last year really launched some of our ambitions and built up our own confidence while others around us were saying, "You know you can buy perfectly fine butter at the Giant down the road right?" So, thanks!

September 25, 2012 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Sounds like a great day planned as well as some awesome changes coming. Can't wait to see how things pan out!

September 25, 2012 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

We got rid of our microwave over a year ago now and I don't miss it in the least. We got a solar cooker and I love it. It does the best meat, it comes out so tender and the potatoes are great since you don't add any water so you get all the vitamins. Sorry to hear about George. He was a good cat and live a wonderful life with you. People who said mean things obviously have never had a cat. Cats do what they want when they want and he might have been waiting for you to leave. Sometimes cats wander off when they are ready to die. I know that you loved him and don't let the naysayers get you down, girl! Sending hugs and smiles your way :)

September 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

Would you ever write children's books about the farm/homesteading? It'd be neat to have a book about Gibson "signed" by him too for kids!

September 25, 2012 at 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Hentherapist said...

My chickens get a similar breakfast when it is cold, oatmeal maple syryp and I throw in frozen corn (it thaws as the oatmeal cooks) and they ADORE it. Happy chickens= more eggs.

September 25, 2012 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger Paulette said...

We don't have a microwave either, probably because we don't eat the kind of food that you cook in one. Plus, how do you know that you aren't irradiating yourself or the food?

Your breakfast sounds delicious. What specific oatmeal do you cook?

September 25, 2012 at 8:08 PM  
Anonymous H said...

Mmm, oatmeal on the stovetop is my cold-weather breakfast, except for Sundays when it's bacon and eggs day! :)

Enjoy that firewood! I spent part of this summer splitting and stacking about 12 facecords in preparation for *next* winter (this winter's wood has been seasoning for the past year or so). I do agree with the advice above about keeping your firewood away from the house though - mice and other critters love it!

(And I was sorry to read about George :(

September 25, 2012 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Crisy said...

I took you up on your Battenkill order day and on a whim got Jon Katz's Running to the Mountain - I laughed and cried and became hooked! Awesome can't wait to hear him at Words and Wool!!!! Seriously wanna relocate to Washington County...just sayin!!

September 25, 2012 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger Lynn Brown said...

Yum, I'm craving oatmeal now that I've read this post!

September 26, 2012 at 7:38 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I'm ridiculously excited about the return of oatmeal season as well.

September 26, 2012 at 10:01 AM  

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