A beekeeping neighbor dropped off this gorgeous honey today. It looks like a jar full of sunlight, doesn’t it?

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I have no idea what the new normal is, but I’m trying to find out! For now, it consists of sunny fall days, DH set up in his “office” on the front porch, so many friendly, kind, loving, concerned, and helpful friends, food—lots and lots of wonderful food, trips over the mountain to doctor’s offices, and long de-stressing walks along the river with Split, my faithful, neurotic Border Collie.

Mostly, these days, I’m full of gratitude for all we have. Thanks for everything, I have no complaints.

 

 

It was spring all winter; now it’s definitely summer. I’m dealing with the odd seasons oddly—I’m confused and rushed. I haven’t done a thing in the garden, in part due to the tennis elbow I’ve developed working at the dairy. Tennis elbow isn’t a joke, as it turns out—it’s seriously debilitating! I may have to give up my remaining shift at the dairy to let it heal.

We sold the two Dexter cross calves—Hester from last year, and Maeby’s new calf. We just don’t like the Dexters, and there’s always the issue of breeding when you have a breed that’s smaller than any of the other breeds in your area. We would have to find Dexters to breed to, or Dexter crosses, and they’re not very common here.

I’ve also sold the Khaki Campbells. They are just too much of a pain to deal with; a pond or stream would help, but it also turns out I don’t really digest duck eggs all that well. Chickens and chicken eggs are more my thing. We’re keeping our little flock of Anconas and one Muscovy—they’re so much calmer than the Khakis, and then we’ll have a few duck eggs for DH.

I’m spending a lot of days in the kitchen making cheese right now. The girls are bringing in 6-7 gallons of milk a day, and we’re about to have a goat and a few sheep in milk. The relentless tide has begun! ED and I (and DH and Bernard to a lesser degree) are revisiting the idea of a small licensed cheesemaking facility—a micro-creamery. I’ll keep you all posted on those plans! Meanwhile, I’m pleasantly lost in the world of acid titration, butterfat, and flocculation.

This seems a little early—here’s hoping a late freeze doesn’t kill all the flowers (and therefore the fruit)!

It’s yet another dark and rainy day—which, along with uncommonly mild temperatures, has been the default for this winter. No, that’s not fair—there’ve been quite a few beautiful sunny days, too, but it really has felt like a dark, damp winter.

So today, stuck inside with the rain driving down outside, I have spent the day in the kitchen. We started with hashbrowns made from our russet potatoes that DH dug this morning, fried in lard from our neighbor’s pig. Those were pretty dang good. Then for a late lunch we had twice-baked potatoes with smoked sausage, also from our friends, and cheddar cheese. Wow, were those good! But now, being a little burned out on the (admittedly delicious) combination of potatoes and pork, I’m making homemade pop tarts, some chocolate, some blueberry.

Here’s hoping the sun comes out tomorrow.