Sunday, February 28, 2010

high spirits. low bars.

What a difference a day makes. Friday night I was shivering in the dark under a blanket and today it's a balmy 40 degrees and sunny as hell. The power came back on yesterday afternoon while I was in town. Coming home to a warm cabin and an armload of clean laundry was downright decadent compared to the days prior.

I felt good this morning. Really good. I woke up and took care of the morning chores, and then hopped into the shower before a truck trip. Annie and I had a date with the feed store and some groceries. Two girls, the open road, an orange truck and the sun fighting off the wet flurries that the morning teased us with. What a fine feeling that was. I turned up the music and put my arm around my dog, kissing her on the forehead. Damn, I was happy. Contentment belongs to those of us with high spirits and low bars.

We loaded the truck with straw and feed at Whitman's down in North Bennington, and then stopped to pick up some groceries. I wanted to work on my cheese making in the afternoon so I was kinda pumped to see that organic whole milk was on sale. I grabbed a gallon and put it in my cart. I could nearly taste the salted warm curd, grinning as I strutted m cart past the eggs. I don't think the other shoppers in Bennington had any idea I was off to turn my kitchen into a dairy. I'm a little embaressed to say I strutted as I wheeled my cart down the dairy isle past the five-dollar-a-carton brown eggs. Not only did I remember to put on mascara and was having a crackerjack hair day—I don't buy eggs. I got my own supplier. Twelve hens in the backyard.

It's the little things.

I just came inside from checking on the chickens (egg production is through the roof!) and realized I was over dressed in my thermal shirt with a flannel over top. Standing there in the sun, I looked around at the melting snow and bleating sheep and for the first time really started thinking about watermelons.

Yes. This will be the year I slice into my own Moon and Stars heirloom watermelons. Every year I try and something goes bonkers. I planted them in the wrong spot, the chickens pecked them to pieces, or I finally got an orb started on the vine and killed it with a hoe by mistake turning over the dead snap pea vines... But this year I'm doing it. Mark my words: come August there will be melons.

I'm off to make cheese, play guitar, and write about some music. You folks behave yourselves. Don't let all this sunshine go to your heads.


Blogger Crystal said...

Beautiful day Jenna. Thank you for sharing it with me.

February 28, 2010 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

You are so very right it is the small things that give us joy!

While you may already be familiar with this quote I thought I would share it with you ... it is a favorite. =)

"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to the stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear on cheerfully, do all bravely, awaiting occasions, worry never; in a word to, like the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common."--William Henry Channing

February 28, 2010 at 5:43 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I had that day yesterday - it was glorious!

February 28, 2010 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Moon and stars hasn't worked for me either. However, last year, the coldest and wettest summer I can remember, I got a good harvest of Sweet Siberian, started and coddled in Wall-o-waters--you never can tell!

February 28, 2010 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger Rois said...

I beam every time I walk past the eggs in the store.And then I hear in my head a little cha-ching knowing I just saved $5 for some other yummy thing!

February 28, 2010 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sounds like a good day all around. I am ready for some of that in my neck of the woods.


February 28, 2010 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Karen L. said...

Yes, it's nice to see something other than gray for a change which seems to be all we have had in NC, except for the white stuff off and on. I am excited as I was finally able to reserve your Made from Scratch book from my local library! First they did not have it and then someone already had it checked out. But (drum roll) I pick it up Tuesday and I cannot wait to read it. I am betting that once I do read it, I am going to want to buy it. Meanwhile, keep that sun shining!

February 28, 2010 at 8:01 PM  
Blogger Artful Gathering said...

Jenna, Sounds like a wonderful day.... enjoy

February 28, 2010 at 8:09 PM  
Blogger Sense of Home Kitchen said...

"Crackerjack hair day", love the adjective and the image of strutting past eggs, feeling good. I love the little things in my day.

Hope your cheese turned out. Are you trying the mozarella cheese from this month's Mother Earth News. I'm thinking I will try that soon.


February 28, 2010 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger From the Country Farm said...

What a sense of empowerment it is to be able to walk past the eggs, milk and bread sections of the grocery stores! And in the summer then the rain hasn't drown everything to walk past the produce is wonderful! I haven't purchased eggs in 2 years nor milk in nearly a year. Come to think of it I don't buy soap anymore either, I make my own, it's good stuff! I grin when I talk to my mother and she has to run to the store for 'bread, milk and eggs' and I can say not me!

February 28, 2010 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sounds like a good day. Good luck with the melons; I think it takes a bit of magic to grow them.

February 28, 2010 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Dayle said...

Oh, I so know what you mean about the watermelons!!!! I have the same thing going on with my pumpkins!!!! argh! This year for sure! I will have enough to give to family and friends and make pies, to boot. I read you every day, but have never commented. I have barnheart disease, too.....but but am making progress with my cure!!! Check out my blog, too!

February 28, 2010 at 11:12 PM  
Blogger Carrie in Wisconsin said...

Ohmy! I was just thinking yesterday, that I have spring fever terribly! I can't get garden plans, and seed ordering off my mind. I get giddy thinking about all the seeds I'm ordering. I can't wait to taste the first salad from the garden. I'm so excited to be expanding my garden this year....I can't say that I don't have to eggs anymore quite yet...I'm hoping soon, all this talk about eggs really makes me want chickens even more.

Ps. I was thinking about the little things on the way home while I was listening to "Simply Folk" on Wisconsin Public Radio. And every little thing I thought of made me SMILE!

March 1, 2010 at 1:06 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Heh. This post made me smile. :o) I had to buy canned tomatoes from the grocery store the other day, it seriously bruised my ego. Haven't done that in eight months.

Do you ever find that you'd like to be able to advertise that you don't buy "that stuff" because it makes you feel so good inside? Except that would be really socially incorrect. :oP

Just finished your book, so had to check out your blog, too. I'll be coming back - what fun you have!

March 1, 2010 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Andria Crowjoy said...

This post made me wonder if I could start salad greens yet, then I looked back out the window at the 3 feet of snow. Not quite yet. :D

And *clink* here's to watermelon this year!

March 1, 2010 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm trying Moon and Stars again this year too and I'm hoping for a little less rain. Just a little mind you, I don't want to go jinxing things.


March 1, 2010 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hopefully you do get those watermelon. We grew that variety this past year, and they were delicious, and I'm normally not a high fan of watermelons.

March 1, 2010 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger unpackingtreasure said...

I can relate...the other day I was at Lowes,and in their organic seed section, I found a packet of Moon and Stars watermelon seeds...granted,it was 35 degrees outside, and SO windy,but I stood there with my seeds,smiling away idioticaly...I cant wait to try those melons.

So little little mars.
... willa cather

March 1, 2010 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 2, 2010 at 3:55 AM  
Blogger Cris said...

Okay, I have been reading about Moon & Stars watermelons, which sound delicious if tempermental to grow. And I have a plan (who knows if it will work, but hey...): I am going to start them indoors a couple of weeks before transplanting them into a bale of straw. I did this with cucumbers last year, and had so many cukes I nearly...well, you can rhyme, I'm sure. But, it was a HORRIBLE summer here and no one else had good luck with their cukes or pumpkins or squash--and I had tons. And, all of them I grew in straw bales. I am hoping the same trick works with Moon & Stars--and I think I am going to try trellising the vines over a bent hog panel. I think it should keep the vines from going afield through the lawn, and maybe it will help with mildew issues. Just some thoughts that you might want to give a whirl. :-)

March 2, 2010 at 9:21 PM  

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