Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Friday, January 28

Old Man Winter...

In our part of the Midwest, Old Man Winter has January firmly in his grasp...temperatures continue to plunge (we woke up to a brutal -10 yesterday morning), the northern winds are strong, and the notorious black ice has made its return. If you've not experienced driving on black ice, it's truly a dangerous thing...a thin coating of icy glaze on roads, and while the ice itself isn't black, it's practically invisible tricking drivers into believing the road is dry and safe.

So, among frosty winds and slate-colored skies, you know what this "fiercely independent" gal is doing...pulling on a barn coat and stacking wood, arranging an old quilt over the door of goat pen, and tossing the chickens a few handfuls of scratch grains as a treat before bedtime. 

Friday night, and it's a quiet evening...although vaccinated, this week both of the kids tested positive for COVID, so they're curled up under fleece blankets getting their rest...hubby and I are hoping to steer clear of it, but really...what are the chances?

There's a cozy fire burning in the kitchen fireplace and I'm ready for a cup of herbal hibiscus tea. Snowy days give us the time to settle in and the freedom to daydream...that's exactly what I'm going to do. Pen and paper in hand, dreaming dreams and making wishes.

Below are a few snapshots of what it looks like in our corner of the world...hope all is well wherever you are!

snowy fields and a neighbor's barn...

frost on the old glass...

the girls and their bachelor kept a little warmer
with a  heat lamp...

ready for a snowy drive home...

GB, Glowbug, and Tardis getting a bedtime snack...

Azzie curled up on a wintry day...

I love the fireplace in the old kitchen...

this is what -10 looks like at chore time...

a friend shared her fresh milk...yay, time to make
snow ice cream!

Sunday, January 16

you say "Fiercely Independent" like it's a bad thing!

This morning sunlight poured through the kitchen window of the old farmhouse casting pleasant shadows...a cheery glow to the woodpile which is stacked high, the kindling in the old woodbin, and the checkered bench that's drawn close to the hearth. 

In our part of the Midwest we get ready for winter beginning in October...we count bales of hay, fasten tarps around the chicken run, put heated water buckets in place, and cords of wood are double-checked...just how much do we have? 

We make sure there's propane and kerosene for the heaters, count food storage, clean the chimneys, and put the garden to bed. We've talked about what we'd do if the power went out, have spare batteries, prepped power tools, keep oil lamps handy, and learned to cook over an open fire (and let me tell you, a turkey cooked in a tin kitchen in front of a fire is wonderful!).

wood pile...check!

To me, all this just makes sense; yet, once upon a time, someone told me I was "fiercely independent" ... now I could be wrong, but it didn't come across as a compliment. If having a plan so that we're prepared, no matter what happens, makes me fiercely independent, well then, so be it. Personally, I think that's a good thing.  

I want to be sure when the snow and ice come, we're ready...that we're warm and fed, as well as our animals. And not in a "barely surviving" kind of way...let's have s'mores, play board games, watch movies, and make snow ice cream. Goats will get apple slices and chickens warm mash...tell me, fiercely independent, or simply practical? 

And so with that long intro, today makes day 30 with no furnace. It quit, along with the heat pump, the week before Christmas...and with any luck, the part we need will be in this week. 

early morning blue skies and indigo clouds...8 degrees

It's put our preparedness to the test; and that's a good thing. The coldest outdoor temperature we've had so far is 8 degrees...and let me tell you, keeping doors closed to rooms we don't use means a brisk run when we need to pass through them! 

The forecast is for snow beginning in 3 hours...3-5 inches. And you know what? This "fiercely independent" girl is ready...let it snow. 

I thought it was very appropriate to re-read The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder (you can find it free to read or listen to online) and so now I'm sitting in a comfortable chair beginning a knitting project and I'm thinking about the year ahead. Oh yes, my wish list is long, maybe too long, but the calendar for 2022 is empty...new and clean, just waiting to be filled. What will we do with the time given us? 

Azrael warm & cozy by the fire

Happy New Year friends...stay cozy & warm!

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