Thursday, October 27, 2011

These Autumn Days

Our weather has taken a turn this week.  Cold mornings mean more to me than they used to.  In the ancient past, it meant scraping windows to drive across the city to go teach school.  In the not-so-distant-past it meant just staying in with the kids and playing.  Now, it means frozen stock tanks, crazy cold milk-covered hands and hunkering down close to Buttercup to warm up while milking.

Yesterday, I found some insulated coveralls to wear, and got a tank warmer the neighbors offered that they didn't need.  Can't do anything about the hands.  Even fingerless gloves would simply get soaked.  I will look forward to hooking Buttercup back up to the machine once everything heals up.

The trees are all showing their colors and the countryside is lovely.  I leave the barn door open for evening milking time and just enjoy soaking in all the colors.  It is warmer then.  Once the sun sets and I am still milking it cools down again dramatically. 

I am working on just trying to stay in the moment and finding the beauty and joy right now, not trying to think what might go wrong next.  Sometimes, I am really good at this.  Other times, we just won't talk about.  It can get ugly.

There is so much to learn and do and sometimes, it just overwhelms.  I do try to focus on how far we have come and all that I have learned.  Seriously, who would have ever thought I would be doing what I do now? 

This morning, I am taking a much needed break.  My Thursday mornings off, fell by the wayside when Buttercup arrived.  But I am sitting in a cafe in the next town north of us hiding out so I can focus and write a bit without interruption.

It is time to head back, but I have enjoyed each minute.  I collected a big bagful of elderberries on the drive up.  They have probably frozen on the bushes, but I am going to try steam juicing them anyway and see what I come up with. 

We are still waiting for apples to ripen, though with our cold temperatures at night, I am not sure what will happen.  The second pear tree is ripening, though the basketful I picked last week went to the compost pile yesterday.  Alas, there have simply not been enough hours to do everything that is possible.  I was able to pick and preserve a bunch of our free-stone plums which was nice.

The good news is, the trees will still produce produce next year.  And hopefully, by then I will have a better plan to deal with it all.  I have been stuffing as much as I can into the freezer and dehydrator and not relying on canning as much.  I wish I could do all I want to do, but it just isn't possible.

I am hoping to restart schooling soon.  It went to the wayside with all the milking and preserving that is time-sensitive.  We can "do school"  according to our own seasonal schedule.  I just have to keep reminding myself of that.  Being a product of the regular school system and teaching all those years, that schedule is ingrained in me.  But it doesn't have to be that way.  It doesn't have to be that way.  It doesn't have to be that way.  (Reminding me.)

Coolest thing to happen lately:  I was holding Cupcake the other night and clear as a bell she said, "I love you."  Melt this Mama heart.  Most of the time I have no idea what she says, but this was just perfect.  *sigh*


Katie Riddle said...

This is a great post. Honest, real and sweet. I love it. You're further along in homesteading than I am and it's so helpful to learn from and hear how others navigate through it. You are going a fabulous job! Blessings!

Stay At Home Farmer Mom said...

I just love reading your posts. You are very honest about how hard this life can be at times but you are also quick to find the bright spots. I look forward to your next posts :)

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

I enjoyed the post. I so remember milking when I was a kid. I also remember bossy getting mastitis. Glad things are falling into place.

Buttons said...

Oh that I love you will get you through the hard times. Keep it in your heart and pull it out when you need it. I am enjoying your posts but sometimes it makes me sad thinking back. It is hard isn't it? Take care. B


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