Flowing Gently

It is snowing this evening. We have had some lovely sunny days over the last few days, which I have enjoyed no end. There is something soul quenching about sunlight streaming into a room.

We have been getting a lot of freezing rain, ice pellets, snow, and associated bad roads this winter. The freezing rain and ice pellets are particularly tiresome, and dangerous for those who need to travel. The snow, although it seems to keep on coming, also melts back frequently this year, so the accumulations are not overwhelming. We are now well into February, with less than five weeks until spring. Spring, here at Mist Cottage, sends envoys of hope into the month of March. Something to look forward to in the very near future!

Life has been relatively uneventful since my last entry. The days flow by, gently.

One benefit of having to make all food from scratch is that food preparation becomes a vocation, perhaps an obsession.

I am back to baking our daily bread. My bread baking has been intermittent since I was working at several low-paying, short-shift, on-call jobs. That was awful. That is a lifestyle that a lot of young people have to put up with. I have to admit though, adjusting to that kind of work chaos as I entered my senior years was very, very difficult to adjust to. Your stamina does decrease with age. Now I have time to pay attention to the long process of baking bread, and am not exhausted when I am trying to do it. I love retirement, even though I don’t have a pension, and there are a lot of serious financial challenges involved, it is much preferable to working multiple crap jobs at the same time, for less than a living wage.

But I digress.

The reorganization of the basement, which is contingent on the reorganization of the garage, which became feasible just this past autumn with a new roof, is beginning to pay off. The canned food, empty canning jars, and canning equipment are currently all stored in one area in the basement, which makes it so much easier to manage. The thing about having your own canned food is that, when the food has been consumed, the empty jars need to be washed and stored. In order for this to proceed smoothly, organization is required, and has now been achieved to an acceptable level. More thought needs to go into the canning storage areas, but they are functioning relatively smoothly for the moment.

I canned a dozen liter jars of Paula Red Applesauce last fall, and we are down to two jars left on the shelf. It makes a lovely breakfast served with homemade 100% whole wheat bread, spread with a bit of peanut butter. It is extra special when drizzled with 1 teaspoon of maple syrup, a small indulgence, but a worthy one.

The stores of canned tomatoes and Red Pepper Tomato Sauce are dwindling.

The Green Tomato Mincemeat, and the Crab Apple Jelly will be enjoyed for many years, as sugar is not a large part of our diet.

As the winter passes it becomes obvious how much of each type of canned food we will need in a given year. The quantity of some canned foods is just the right amount. Some we will run out of before canning time comes again, and others will last several years before needing to be replenished.

It is my plan to eventually can soups and stews, so that there is instant food on the shelves, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet. Canning takes up a lot of space in the kitchen, and it will still be some time before the effects of the organization, that began when the new garage roof was finished, will be felt all the way into the kitchen.

So, happily, not much going on here at Mist Cottage ,except enjoying the passage of time, and the good things that life brings my way.

Worldly

Weather

FREEZING RAIN WARNING
-4°C
Date: 7:00 PM EST Wednesday 20 February 2019
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 102.1 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -4.2°C
Dew point: -5.5°C
Humidity: 91%
Wind: E 17 km/h
Wind Chill: -10
Visibility: 6 km

Quote

“The conceit of people, to think that if they’re not reading about you in a newspaper or magazine, then you’re not doing anything.”
Patti Smith
Via Alan Light interview in Medium

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10 Responses to Flowing Gently

  1. Eileen Barton says:

    I was wondering where you had gotten off to, Maggie. 🙂 Glad all is well with you. We had several inches of snow today and now it is raining. Tomorrow the temps are going to be in the 50’s so hopefully all signs of snow will be gone. Can’t wait for spring to arrive…itching to start planting flowers. I did notice that my hyacinths are sending up good shoots…yea!

  2. meriset says:

    I’m glad you’re doing well. I’m only sixty, but I’ve sure noticed that decrease of stamina. The last year of work, I’d come home exhausted most nights. So it’s been a bit of a blessing, my surprise retirement. …Joan

  3. Here I am Eileen, lol. Hyacinths!!! How wonderful. Spring travels north very slowly; still, at Mist Cottage it arrives about a month earlier than it did at our country house. Yay spring!

  4. Joan, I’ve been thinking about you and early retirement, hoping it is a good experience. I have found the decrease in stamina incremental and only noticable when I try to undertake marathon-like projects. Pacing myself has become more and more important as time goes by. I learned about pacing myself from my Grandpa, who had it down to an art.

  5. It’s the pacing, exactly! (Right? Not aging. LOL)
    I find I want to do too many things in a day. It’s ridiculous already, now that I’m observing myself not enjoying the activity because I want it to be finished so I can do something else. So silly.
    Lately (I’m 60, too) I remind myself not to assign too many tasks in a day. Even if I decide on one main one and no others, I still end up doing a constant stream of smaller things. Ask me what I do in a day (and my husband does) and it won’t sound like much — even if I can remember everything, which I can’t — but I’m still tired by suppertime.
    I don’t think of myself as a busy or ambitious person, but as I watch myself go-go-go during the day, I’m beginning to wonder.
    -Kate

  6. Kate, I’ve always admired the variety and quantity of your projects! You are definitely a “can do” kind of gal.
    I have a mental list of possible projects. Some need to be done every day, like cooking dinner. Some need to be done “today”, they are time dependent, such as calling for an doctor’s appointment, or following up on an incorrect billing. But most could be done today, or tomorrow, or the next day… and those are my “box of chocolates” to dos, to be picked out of the box as the fancy takes me.
    If I had to make an account of my daily activity, I would be spending a lot of time writing it all down to keep track of it, there is a lot.

  7. Teri says:

    The weather has been so nice here the last few days, sunshine and high temps hovering around or just above freezing. Some of our ice and snow is melting. I actually walked the dogs with DH today, though I had to walk in the snow around 3 or 4 ice patches. We still have spots on our driveway that are 2 inch thick ice, and on our road there are spots where the ice is closer to 4 inches thick!

    I’m really looking forward to March and warmer temps.

  8. I share your enthusiasm for milder March weather Teri! There is a lot of ice this year, with all the freeze/thaw cycles. Keep safe around those ice patches!

  9. How wonderful that you are having a peaceful life! I’ve been reading your blog for several years now, and have been following your diet adventures with interest! It’s great that you bake your own bread and do your own canning. This is rare in today’s culture. Kudos to you!

  10. Thanks Diane! I grew up around kitchens (Granny’s and Mom’s) where food was made from scratch, it is a familiar and satisfying way to spend time. Fortunately, having fun in this way has the side effect of putting healthy food on the table! It makes a difference too that I live with Attila, who also has a passion for such things.