So here we are, another chat round the hearth at Greyhouse… been a busy time of late, mostly trying to keep warm as this cold month of February unfolded and we’re finally into the last week of this month…
We’ve had lots of snow in Atlantic Canada!! .. Too much snow in the last couple of months and like most folk round here, we’re simply running out of room to put it!! Any time that Skadi would like to take her leave will be just fine with me!
Cabin fever is raging rampantly for us, as well as many of our neighbours – and many of the long-time residents have said it’s been the harshest February that they have endured in many years! As it’s just not possible some days to get out – cannot get our car out of the carport… so… we’re stuck indoors!
But this time also brings introspection and time of quiet reflection… Spring will be along soon and time to get into the gardens and plan for activities during the summer months…
We’re expecting a visit from family from England around June and perhaps another visit later on during the summer.. And more on the go it seems this year..
And I’ve enjoyed trying all kinds of new recipes, particularly new cookie recipes (any excuse to use the oven for some residual extra heat for the kitchen smile ) – some have been keepers and a few have disappointed and won’t be tried again.
I’m a huge fan of “stirring the cauldron” in the ways of Olde, as my ancestors did and can be found making lots of different soups for the evening supper – some homemade artisan bread to go along with, and we’re set… quite a simple life with very simple foods, but one that satisfies…
Using up staples in the pantry and freezer brings a sense of accomplishment that I have planned reasonably well for the winter, when trips to the grocery shops are not always possible, due to weather and / or counting one’s pennies on a tight budget. It reminds me that I am made of tough stuff and come from a lineage that can weather most storms. You just have to go day by day and get through!! And my Mum, like my Gran, always held to the tenet that anything is fixed by putting the kettle on!!
And that is the way of life round the hearth and hob at Greyhouse…normal hob duties: laundry and washing up, cooking and such, tea times and sorting the evening supper…sharing some time with friends in an impromptu music jam session… writing the articles every month and more work on the book (I am aiming for publication-ready status by early 2016.)
When one thinks of “what do you do all day when you don’t go outside the home to work”, it often seems like there is far too much time “doing nothing” But I have come to the conclusion that sometimes, “doing nothing” is good for the soul – a time to take a nap (you remember those?) when busy workdays did not allow for such simple pleasures. And within the moments of “doing nothing” you get a window of opportunity to think, plan, just “be”, and ask inside what makes your soul sing! Those moments are precious gifts that are there for the asking, and like an advertisement I remember, though I cannot remember what it was for… “if you miss it, you miss it!”
Naps rejuvenate the soul, calm the body and oftentimes are exactly what is needed – especially when the previous night did not result in restful slumber. I never used to take naps, but now find that if I need to, I freely allow myself this little pleasure. It has become one of my “moments of awesome”
I am becoming more aware, as I write these columns, of the awesome…those days that are tough and challenging, seemingly never going to get better, and then when things clear, and change and you’ve survived it… you find the moment of awesome!
So as this brutally cold month begins to wind down, and March is round the corner, unpredictable and stormy, I take heart in the notion that Spring is near and days will be ever longer, and warmer, the great mounds of snow will melt away and the earth will begin to show signs of green that remind us that the “wheel weaves as the wheel will”…the cycles go on and each new season in each new year brings a promise of opportunity…different that the one before with things that no longer serve being discarded and renewed vigor to bring order and balance to your life before you.
So… enjoy the comfort of a warm hearth and cozy blankets, warming winter foods to keep the internal fires working, keeping you warm…If you are able to be out and about, enjoy the days as they get a wee bit longer and brighter..
I think I’ll go put the kettle on and make a cuppa…work a little on the book whilst the muse is urging me on….
I bid thee many blessings in the name of Clan Mackenzie & also of my maternal and paternal Clans… Slàinte mhath! – “Good Health”…
So sayeth the Lady at Greyhouse ….