Sunday Afternoon Banana Bread

Sunday Afternoon Banana Bread

This is how Sunday afternoons should be: reading a fascinating story about Alaska from American Nature Writing, 2001, during a light lunch after church, critters asleep on the living room floor, my husband asleep on the couch, me clacking away on the WordPress editor.

I just put a couple of loaves of banana bread into the oven. Soon, the house will fill with the smell of bananas rescued and resurrected, and we’ll enjoy tea (the drink) and bread in a midday snack the Scots and Kiwis sometimes call “tea.”

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Solitude

Solitude

Corn stalks in a fresh, unbroken snow fall.

I could scarcely contain myself the morning after the winter storm, raising the blinds to reveal snow’s glow under the trees and switching on the Christmas lights (only half of which worked).

Staying inside was impossible. I pulled on my Carhartt jacket and thin rubber boots, and jumped into three or four inches of powder.

No one heard me, not even the doe tiptoeing through the cornfield, picking her way through the stalks. She reached the road and drew up her head, crossing in the slow, meticulous way she had used to get there. Continue reading “Solitude”

Stars to a Golden Hour

Stars to a Golden Hour

The stars surprised me when I swung open the back door and stood in its frame Monday morning. They were there. They hadn’t been there Sunday night, hidden by clouds during my five-minute walk through the crisp, clear air in an attempt to shake the stir-crazy of being snowed in for two days. But they were here now, some drowned out by the security light. I walked in the shadow of the smokehouse to greet them properly, the Big Dipper most prominent.

“I didn’t see the Big Dipper for a year — more than a year,” I said to no one in particular. “Isn’t that crazy?”

Fog accompanied my drive to the farm. I slammed the truck door shut to reveal stars unveiled by human light, a planet in the east the brightest of all. Red tinges peeked over the trees, the rest of the world silver and silhouettes, silver snow blending into silver mist blending into dark tree tops. Fence posts stretched and disappeared into the fog. Horses trotted through the snow toward me, gentle thuds of hooves the size of dinner plates against the powder. Ice had created a wild hairstyle for them, bangs frozen arced up, stray strands rigid in every direction. Noses pointed toward me. Continue reading “Stars to a Golden Hour”

Preparing for Winter

Preparing for Winter

We had freezing temperatures last week and early this week before it thawed a couple of days ago. With the cold came a need to brace for several months of it, protecting pipes, heating water, and such. 

The first place I needed to cold-proof was in the chicken coop. The chickens drink from a five-gallon bucket with small metal waterers drilled into the bottom. They push their beaks against the metal to release the water. As soon as it became cold, though, the drops around the metal froze, and the water in the bucket turned to ice. 

So I rigged up a system where I wrapped heat tape around the bucket to keep the water flowing. So far, it’s worked pretty well. 

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I’m Ready for….Wait, What Season is Next?

I like winter. Snow, a barn full of newborn livestock, sledding, frigid temperatures that encourage staying inside and reading a book, drinking tea by the fire, gathering with the family at Christmas.

In July, it is winter in New Zealand, but the picture I usually associate with the season is not here. There is some snow in the southern part of the South Island, and I can see snow-capped mountains, but there is none where I am. To be fair, it has been a mild winter here.

I am all right with that. Continue reading “I’m Ready for….Wait, What Season is Next?”