• Holidays,  Ramblings

    It’s the Hap-Happiest Season of All

    I have a confession. I’ve already started decorating for Christmas. I don’t think I’ve ever decorated for Christmas before. We’ve had trees, of course, the doodads we painted, and outside lights, but I’ve never filled our rooms with themed things. For me, it’s just stuff I’ll have to dust, and I abhor dusting. But this year has been different. The moment Halloween was over, I started to get excited about Christmas. I know Thanksgiving is in there, but since food has shifted for us, and family is too far away to be with, Thanksgiving is more vacation time than holiday time. Plus, while I am looking forward to the cozy, sparkle-filled look of a house brimming with snowy squirrels, boucle plaid pillows, and twinkle lights, I do not have any desire to add faux leaves and twig wreaths to my already exorbitant amount of things to dust. Seriously. I hate dusting. Tonight, more fairy lights, glittery trees, squirrels, candles probably scented like pine and peppermint, will be scattered around our itty bitty place. Speaking of squirrels, that’s what that little guy in the picture is… If you want him, you can find him at World Market. Do you see how glowing white…

  • Ramblings

    Burgers and Fries and Cherry Pies

    After a few days of sitting in the living room, our new stove is finally in place. It looks … interesting. The old range was white, as was the old refrigerator. The new appliances are both black and stainless steel, but since they’re not made by the same company, each is its own shade of silver. On top of the slight color difference, the handles don’t match. It doesn’t matter since the fridge will be coming with us, but it looks a bit silly. However, the most important parts are all fantastic. The oven turns on and back off again the very first time you tell it to do so. This is amazing to me. It’s been quite a long time since that’s happened. On top of that, the temperature is right where it should be, not 100+ degrees too high. The stove works and there are burner caps, which top off the sealed burners, making it impossible for mice to crawl up through the cooktop. I’m sure they’ll still invade, as is their wont, but at least it’s not as easy. Tomorrow I may bake the pumpkin bread I mentioned before, cement the measurements, and possibly post the recipe. I…

  • Food,  Ramblings

    Tally Me Banana

    Note: Please excuse this awful photo full of darkness and overexposures. The lighting in this refrigerator is straight out of Saw. Right now our new refrigerator is sitting in the kitchen, properly blocking access to the kettle I use to make my fancy instant coffee every morning (a relatively new habit). It’s resting upright, as instructed, for six hours, before we will move it into place and throw the old one into the Goat Shed. It’s taken quite some time to finally get the refrigerator here, but now that it’s arrived, I’m extremely excited. There are still some feelings of trepidation since the fridge remains encased in its dirty cardboard shipping box, potentially hiding dings that would require smashing it back out the door it barely fit through, but the overwhelming feeling is that of excitement. Our little pianoforte table has been home to a lot of our produce for the last several months. The windowsill above the table has been lined with marble to allow fruits to sit up there as well. Currently, there are three pears and three apples on the sill, and on the table are eleven bananas, a pint of cherry tomatoes, two enthusiastic basil plants, one small…

  • Places,  Ramblings

    And May You Need Never to Banish Misfortune

    Things are troublesome here at the moment. When I wrote the mini bio for this blog I said, “the hovel I call home,” but hovel was written about 60% in jest. A hovel is defined, according to dictionary.com, as “a small, very humble dwelling house; a wretched hut.” Originally, I was hinting at the humble dwelling portion of that definition, now we’re approaching the wretched hut portion. Our bedroom floor has collapsed. I can’t believe I have had to write that sentence. Now, to avoid giving the wrong impression, our bedroom floor isn’t caved in with all the contents in a heap down a giant crack through the room. There are support beams that remain intact and some portions of the floor are still holding solid. However, one 1.5′ x 2.5′ section is now carpet covering a void. I can thwump it like a trampoline. I don’t know how deep the hole goes but it’s definitely a hole. Multiple other sections, all along the main walking path through the room, are soft, with another section immediately on the verge of collapse. Should this new portion fall into the abyss beneath the carpet, I will have to leap along the support…

  • Places,  Ramblings

    A Cold Wind’s Whispering Secrets in Your Ear

    In every state I’ve lived in, someone has used the line “If you don’t like the weather here, give it ten minutes and it’ll change,” but never has that been more accurate than my time here in Montana. Last Saturday we had our windows open, enjoying the mid-sixty breezes that brought the smell of crunchy fallen leaves and wood smoke drifting through the house. By Sunday night we had the heater cranked up to counter the drop to single digits and snow was whipping furiously in every direction. In our tiny Connecticut cabin, we had a monstrous wood-stove we relied on for all our heat. There were a few baseboard heaters but they couldn’t keep the drafty former-stable-turned-home above freezing and there is a charge on Connecticut electricity bills for “transfer” as there are no power plants in the state itself, so they have to purchase power from neighboring states, which means any electricity you use is essentially doubled in price. Rather than experience more than one $600 electricity bill, we burned. Unfortunately we don’t have any alternate source of heating in our home here, where -11 seems to have cemented itself as our daily temperature. Hopefully the electricity is…