Archive for January, 2011


“…are soon proven wrong.”

That’s in the book of Proverbs in there somewhere, right?


Hm. Well, I’m sure that for the number of proverbs in the Bible that speak about the fool and the consequences of his behavior, there’s at least one that’s applicable in this situation.

Remember my post from Friday? The seven quick takes?

Remember how I mentioned that the fire had been going for four days straight?

Yeah, it went out Friday night.

And Saturday night, come to think of it.

This resulted in a two-hour battle of agony yesterday morning that involved smoke-stung eyes and proclamations of, “If that fire doesn’t take this time, I give up and we’re turning on the propane heater.”

(I’ll refrain from noting who that statement was from, as I know that it has been spewed from both of our mouths during times of angst, frustration and smoky despair.)

Well, guess what?

It was still burning this morning.

Now, granted, I did wake up at 4:00 A.M. with a calf muscle cramped up on me, which woke me up enough that I decided to check the fire, but… when we got up this morning, it was still burning. Hallelujah!

And to think I was going to ask if anyone had any home remedies for leg muscle spasms during pregnancy…


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…it’s a Sunday morning, and you’re pushing the time-space continuum to move from barn chores to shower to vehicle to get to church on time…

…and two Belgian draft horses go trotting past your living room window.

“Ummm… WE’RE NOT GOING TO CHURCH!” is what you yell as you rush to find appropriate footwear.

I’m sure my husband and I made a humorous sight as we came down the snowy driveway: me, with my clunky barn boots laced over top of black maternity dress pants, my freshly-showered hair slowly freezing into chunks of hairsicle, and my husband, still in his gym shorts, having pulled on his nearest footwear – tennis shoes.

Yeah, life is always interesting.

(But at least we don’t clean snow off our roof by hoisting a snowblower up there. Just sayin’. I think that would cause us to graduate from “farm” to “redneck” status…)

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This is my first time participating in Conversion Diary’s Seven Quick Takes, and… err… my quick takes seem a bit lengthy. I’m working on it! I believe I became overzealous because I am just getting back into active blogging again, and… I… have zeal?

(Yes, I know that’s redundant. Shh. Just read.)

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This is what a corner of our living room look like right now.

This is what happens when you get several feet of snow, which is then followed by sub-zero temperatures (don’t even get me started on wind-chill factor!). Oh, and then top that with a delightful couple of days above freezing, and you get… roof leaks! Yay! No, really.

Our landlord was very vigilant about the front of our roof, but for some reason it didn’t occur to them or us that… umm… the ice might build up on the back of the apartment, too. So, my husband and I were sitting here watching a movie Wednesday night when we realize that a) we hear dripping and b) Andy is poking around the carpet in the corner of the living room.



Bubbling of paint.

A mildly panicked young woman calling her landlords after they’re already in bed, to tell them about the leak. (Sorry about that, guys.)

Fortunately, it seems to have dried completely (thank God for fans), and our landlord thinks we’ll be able to patch it up without having to replace any drywall. Woot!

Hey, this is tame compared to our other adventures lately. You know, a shot wheel bearing – and I quote: “If you guys had tried to drive to Pennsylvania in this, you would have died.” Yeah, he’s a cheery mechanic. A dead battery. A finicky alternator.

I’ll take a leaky roof any day. J

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“Look, Ma, no feet!”

Well, okay, my feet are still there, but this is what I see when I look down. Correction: this is what I see when I look down, except my vision actually focuses, unlike my camera at this particular moment in time.

I has belly. J

Oh, wait. I has baby. Thirty-two weeks, two days! Hard to believe Baby J is almost here.

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Our woodstove has had a consistent fire burning in it since Tuesday morning.

Do you realize how outstanding that is? How proud I am right now? I know, I know… most people would consider it to be a simple feat to keep a woodstove burning through the night, but for some reason my husband and I couldn’t seem to keep it alive through the night, no matter how many different positions we tried with the damper and/or little-vent-hole-things-at-the-front. There’s a technical term for those, isn’t there? You’re shaking your head at me right now, aren’t you? Well, good for you, and your knowledge of such technicalities.

I’m just happy there’s a fire. Consistently. Burning. We use a lot less wood this way…

Granted, it’s probably because one of us has woken up around 2-3 A.M. each of the past few nights, for various reasons (well, I’m pregnant – I don’t know what his excuse is) … which invariably results in stoking the fire, and results in a fire burning through the night. (Please refrain from envisioning the pregnant woman doing a happydance. Even if she is doing one in her mind.)

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Did I mention my brown wall? I like my brown wall.

I love my brown wall.

Brown is just spiffy.

*points at wall behind fireplace*

See? Brown.

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My wonderful man moved this cupboard for me last night. It had been next to the woodstove, and was really doing nothing other than acquiring lots of dust and getting hit with random pieces of firewood that didn’t want to stack well. Call it nesting if you must, but I had him help me move this, the filing cabinet, and the table last night. Well, okay… I basically just watched him move this and pretended like I was somehow useful. But then! Oh, then. Then I moved things inside it. Mwaha.

Like applesauce.

And mulberry jam.

And a five-pound bag of potatoes.

And two shoeboxes.

What’s that? One of these is not like the others? Well, you see, in one shoebox are baking potatoes… and in the other are some onions, because… I’m weird like that.

Oh, and a jar of pizza sauce. Because… well… like I said, I’m weird like that. It looks so lonely in the midst of that bottom shelf, as if it is being shunned by the jam and the applesauce. Poor thing. Mayhaps I shall have to make pizza, and relieve it of such shunning.

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Then, I moved my “special shelf” from a living room bookshelf to one of the upper shelves on this cabinet. It now contains poetry, cookbooks, and books on gardening and home health care. Oh, and The Essential Works of C. S. Lewis, because… Clive is just special like that.

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I shall end with an update on what I am reading this week. At the moment, there are two books: Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, by  John Taylor Gatto. Lest you think he is merely some uninformed, unsocialized proponent of home schooling, I will inform you of the author bio on the back cover:

John Gatto was a teacher in New York City’s public schools for over 30 years and is a recipient of the New York City Teacher of the Year award and New York State Teacher of the Year. A much sought-after speaker on education throughout North America, his other books include A Different Kind of Teacher and The Underground History of American Education.

You can read that second book in its entirety on his website, because he’s just that generous. I’ll probably be posting some quotes from Dumbing Us Down over the course of time in order to discuss what I have read; however, now is not that time!

The other book I’m reading is The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball. Yes, the very same Kristin Kimball who runs Essex Farm in northern New York. Yes, the very same Kristin Kimball who owns Kimball’s Jet Peaslee, the English Shepherd to whom I would one day like to breed our working livestock guarding dog Spice. I did not know this when I pulled the book off of the shelf at the library.

I’m only a few chapters into it, but thus far I am enjoying it. I shall leave you with a quote from the inside cover:

“As much as you transform the land by farming,” she writes, “farming transforms you.” In her old life, Kimball would stay out until four a.m., wear heels, and carry a handbag. Now she wakes up at four, wears Carhartts, and carries a pocket knife. At Essex Farm, she discovers the wrenching pleasures of physical work, learns that good food is at the center of a good life, falls deeply in love, and finally finds the engagement and commitment she craved in the form of a man, a small town, and a beautiful piece of land.

I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

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On my mind

This post is inspired by on my mind over at down to earth. Mind you, this is my first post since discovering that I can get a WordPress application on my new phone, so bear with me. I have to figure out how to copy the URL from her post so that I can link back to her. In the meantime…


Devon and Andy are on my mind. Or rather, the impending baby that resulted in the changing table they’re sleeping on is what is on my mind. They just happen to think we brought the changing table home for them, and they look super-cute when they sleep on it. And no, I’m not really sure how Andy managed to get himself inside that blanket.

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