Sunday, December 16, 2012


Snow is just starting to fall here. I'm watching it from my office window, a little tired from morning chores. In my hand is a green clay mug of warm oatmeal spiked with apple and maple. When I came inside from the first leg of morning work I was famished. So I cut up a Honey Crisp that had been renting space a bit too long in the cupboard. It was just starting to soften, perfect! I threw the chunks of raw apple into boiling water for a lobster-style death before adding the porridge. I added a tiny bit of brown sugar, cinnamon, and maple syrup and ended up with a meal worth staying indoors for. Every bite of apple is soft, at first, but follows up with a crisp center of naturally tart sugars and spices. (That's what the flash boiling did, just partially cooked it.) I'm chew in savoring bites while watching the geese waddle from the barn to the artesian well. They seem to not mind the occasional flake sticking to their down before sliding off. I feel the same way this morning. Most of the chores and feeding are done, but I'll head out there soon after a big glass of water. I still need to bring in firewood and the kindling bucket. I also need to fill up any water sources and do a double check before I retire to the house for a few hours.

Today is all about rest. I have been out on all sorts of adventures these past few days. Friday I drove Merlin on a six-mile road trip with Patty and Steele. It was such a wonderful time, even though some of it was a struggle for me. I could not keep Merlin on the right side of the road, he kept fighting me to track left. Patty made a joke that he probably drives on the left side, sine he's British. I scoffed, thinking he was just being a bossy pony. But when I let him have the left side of the road on a long, safe stretch he drove straight as an arrow in a parade.


Merlin came back home Friday night. Jasper could not have been happier. I'm so glad those horses are here to stand up on that hill outside my kitchen windows, walking through the snow like something out of a legend or another time. I hope to get some photos of this place all lit up and snow-covered later, before any rain steals the joy for that greedy water table.

Yesterday, as you know, was all about the hay. I'm thrilled to tell you I ended up putting away 35 bales and buying 200 pound of grain for the chickens and pigs. No animal needs anything, food wise, on this farm and I am all set to hunker down, which is exactly what I plan to do after last night's party...

Last night was my friends Jimmy and Wendy's Christmas party and it was a blast! He rented a storefront on Main Street in downtown Greenwich. There was a live folk band with some of the best fiddler's in Washington County playing carols and we all sang and toasted each others scotch, nog, or wine. I saw friends I had not seen in months. There were writers and farmers, locals and out-of-towners, and between the meatloaf buffet (as glorious as it sounds! Three types and sides!), singing, and fiddler's envy I came home singing my favorite carol, Good King Wenceslas past the trees barren and waiting for snowfall.

...When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even!
Brightly shone the moon that night!
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuuuuuoooooooellll....

I woke up with a slight hangover, but nothing hydration and some fresh air couldn't cure right quick. I've got the best medicine on my side: daylight, fresh snow, and a happy tiredness. Banks are closed, the mail does not come, and my only job is to keep the animals here safe and happy. I have a Freedom Ranger in the crock pot who will be a pot pie by nightfall. That will be the day's big accomplishment. I was going to see the Hobbit with friends but we canceled based on weather. It's not fear of bad roads keeping us indoors as much as it is a fear of missing the big show at our homes. All of us wanted to tuck in. Why ruin a day like this by driving around in it! I'm be here with my mug of oatmeal (or chicken pie) reading about Hobbits instead of seeing them in 3D. Watching the first real snowfall kiss and snuggle into every corner of a scrappy farm beats the big screen any day. And this oatmeal, Holy Crow, it sure beats popcorn


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a wonderful day - I'm hoping our snow holds off until I get my vehicle off the mountain and into the shop tomorrow for it's annual MVI - after that, let it come - I have a wonderful pot of ham and split pea soup on the simmer for tomorrow and all the wood I need!
Lovely picture of Merlin in the snow!

December 16, 2012 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Isn't wonderful to just tuck in for a day? We had spitting snow and more rain yesterday = hoping for at least a dusting on Tuesday. Here's to a day spent enjoying hearth and home.

December 16, 2012 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Wow those are some huge chickens! Hope you get the snow you have been waiting for~

December 16, 2012 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Hi Jenna,
Enjoy your snowy Sunday!!

Finished your book "Barnheart" just a few minutes ago. What a touching story and one that makes me very proud of you. Your words are MAGIC and I was crying along with you on the last page.

Blessings to you,

December 16, 2012 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

such a cozy feeling:plenty of food for the animals,plenty of good food and wood for us and snow. so nice that we are surrounded by like minded souls like you Jenna up here in the county Washington.. I have a lame horse out there, probably a gravel so she got a bute, has the little run in barn for herself and I may even blanket her if I feel she is not moving around enough to stay warm. all in all a good farm Sunday. now here's a cute craft I saw, using smallish pieces of birch bark to glue together to make little houses, hobbit like houses. Then tiny bits of dried woodsy stuff for details. what a cool shire Christmas village to make. I may have to get out there and look for more bark if my wood shed seems sparse in the bark department. stay warm and cozy my friend.shalom.

December 16, 2012 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

I need a couple copies of Barnheart for gifts, are there any more signed ones over at the bookstore?

December 16, 2012 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

It is snowing moderately here in South Central NH and the temperature has not risen above 21 degrees all day ~ Brrr!!!!! The chickens are tucked away for the night and our Golden Retrievers are out checking on things before they settle in. I have stuck close to the woodstove today ~ making curtains and finishing up my Christmas cards for the mail in the morning. We are expecting 2 to 4 inches here but rain later in the week. I'm hoping that the rain doesn't materialize since it would be so nice to have a white Christmas.

December 16, 2012 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

It is a chicken pot pie kind of day! I roasted one of the broilers that I raised this summer for dinner with friends last night and turned it into stock for the freezer, stew for tonight (to go with the leftover cheesy biscuits) and country chicken pies for later this week to be given as gifts. It's a good feeling knowing something you've raised will create so many meals for about 8 people!

Enjoy your snowfall! We're expecting upwards of 8" and I'm thrilled!

December 16, 2012 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Your mention of reading "The Hobbit" spurred me to break out my audio copy and listen to it on my run this morning and this afternoon while doing housework. I also started reading "Hit By A Farm" which I seem to recall you suggesting at some point. Quite enjoying it thus far.

December 17, 2012 at 12:43 AM  

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