Like the Groundhog

Each year around Groundhog Day, the sun begins to have strength, and the earth starts to waken. Several cultures have names for this time – Candlemas, St Brigid’s, St Blaze’s, Imbolc, and Groundhog Day. Like the Groundhog we all feel it – plants and animals Most people recognize the times of solstice and equinox. Old cultures also recognize that magic time between – February, May (May Day), August (Assumption, Lughnasa) and Halloween. This is when …

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Wood Heat

Ken and I always heated with wood. There are advantages and disadvantages like any heat source. Ken used to spend a morning felling trees. Before we had a splitter I would go out with him after lunch and upend each piece that needed splitting and as he split I loaded the trailer. Then we would stack it in the yard. Downstairs there is a culvert queen stove. It takes 24″ wood and will heat the …

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Local vs. Anonymous Food

I took a year off gardening. Why? Well, I knew I could not do it as we had and I had no idea how I wanted to garden alone. Quantity, for example. But i do miss walking to my root cellar and having a second pantry – of “fresh” food. This morning I realized I have quite a bit of local food for my meal. No, the rice is not local; nor is the ginger …

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Rendering Lard

When Ken and I raised pigs, I grew accustomed to rendering and cooking with lard. Before you say eeew, let me point out a few things: people have used lard for eons – it is not some created or highly processed oil or hydrogenated fat. If the pigs are outside it has the “sun vitamins” like D. I can use less and cook hotter than most other fats and oils. A friend asked why one …

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Sub Zero Alone

This week the temperatures have dropped. And I find rather than my usual confident, calm self, I have felt less capable, vulnerable, even at times helpless. I am in transition from a working two person system to creating a single life With cold weather coming I thought about bringing wood in alone. With a bum knee, I am slow and the door is open far too long each trip. So I got out the bulb …

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Swimming and…

My focus for a workout program has been swimming. I go regularly and increase speed and number of laps as I get into shape. My Dad, the self appointed coach, expressed concern that I was only focused on aerobic exercise. Did I lift weights? Was I doing weight bearing exercise? I told him I thought I had that one covered!

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Taxes Done (just waiting for a couple forms)

I was a bookkeeper in a former life back when I worked in a law firm in the 80’s and early 90’s. Although it does not come to me naturally, I enjoy the tidiness of it. And once I have the tax prep done I move on to tasks I view as a treat like sewing or weaving. Now I am just waiting for a couple forms like the interest from the bank.

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Three Survivor Stories

This year I read three stories of strong women from the Middle East who survived great hardship. Two received the Nobel Peace Prize. I think I needed to read of their resilience. Lest we say their stories are unique to the Middle East, I would point out that there is sex trafficking in this country, domestic violence, and rape. Until we can solve our own problems here, I would avoid pointing fingers elsewhere! The first …

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Lap Swimming – Reaching Goals

I find lap swimming a good exercise for me. I swam laps before I met Ken. I used to teach swimming and work as a lifeguard. I love water. With a bad knee and previous rotator cuff shoulder problems, it’s a good choice. I have been inching up the number of laps to avoid injury. And yesterday with the threat of a large storm keeping me home later in the week I pushed to 50 …

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