Sunday, January 21, 2007

tending the homefires

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We have been having cold and squally weather! Yesterday, I went out to do the chores, and got caught right in the middle of a squall that was passing through. It was the first real snow fall I have seen so far this winter.

The rabbits water is freezing continually. I need to make several trips a day, with the hot kettle in hand, to melt off the ice in their crocks, and supply them with fresh water. I have also been leaving apple and celery slices with them overnight.

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I leave the kettle on the woodstove so the water will stay warm. The stove takes center stage in weather like this. The Mr. and I are different in the methods that we practice to tend the coal fire. I am more of a "shoveler", where he is a firm believer in "pouring it on" style. The stove has been burning steadily since early November...it has a life of its own.

I find myself devising plans to stay close to the stove in this cold weather. I made a nice batch of wedding soup and some baked apples for desert last night. Baking on the stove is a little bit of a trick. It helps to have several different thermometers...one for the stove pipe, one for the stove top...and one for inside a dutch oven. After a time, you get to know your stove, and how it should look and feel when you want to cook certain things... When you cook on a woodstove, things take a little bit longer....but they smell and taste really great, and pretty soon you notice that people are hanging around the stove. I sometimes move my spinning wheel near the stove....to keep my eye on whatever it is that I am making.

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Another benefit of having a stoked stove is that it makes a terrific dryer. I have been washing up wool, in the evenings again. Right now I am working my way through some Black Finnsheep, which is splendid! So, winter is good.

Oh, and I fell down a few rabbit holes ...while working on the Gunnister Man's Pouch..but that is a story for another day.

13 comments:

Marcy said...

Ohhh. Magical snow pictures! Nobody ever takes pictures of the falling snow. Just lovely!

Anonymous said...

As the top photo loaded, I became aware of a very large eye regarding me from the left edge of the picture, at about center level.

Eerie, but otherwise a very peaceful setting.

Claire said...

It sounds rather cosy- that coal fire. I grew up in a household with a combustion stove, it ran every day as we cooked with it and it heated our hot water.

My dad and his wife still use it everyday.

As a bookworm teenager it was lovely to read in front of it but I hated the whole proceedures around getting firewood, stacking it and bringing it in.

cyndy said...

Marcy- Glad you liked the photos, the camera was covered with snow when I finished!

Anon- I had not noticed the "eye" until I read your comment...but there it is! The woods are watching...

Claire- It is cosy, and a lifestyle choice...and yes...work...

Judy said...

It was gorgeous while it lasted. The kids woke this morning expecting a two hour delay but were sadly disappointed. I am so looking forward to having the woodstove next year even if the kids aren't looking forward to the working part of it!

Anne said...

How lovely - but what a pain it is to keep animals in water when it's cold enough outside to snow. I miss our woodstove. The gas fireplace is very nice, but somehow just isn't the same. Stay warm!

debey said...

I also miss the ''woodburner'' BACK ON THE FARM warmth in my life...in fact, i make it a practise to go out and cut wood with several ''woodburner owners'', just so i can pop into their home/shop/garage, fake a shiver & say...''HEY!put another log on the fire!"
PS at the farm, i had the dining room so warm that the candlesticks ''drooped''......

Cathy said...

I too miss cooking on a woodstove but the furnace keeps the house uniformly warm. Always tradeoffs.

meresy_g said...

Lovely fat snow flakes. We had a little snow here last night, but they were fine, sleety things that stung your skin. Just looking at that fire makes me warm

judy said...

Your "snowing" shots are spectacular! It is so difficult to get it just right. You did it! I have water on the wood stove, sometimes I add sented oils to it, not as practical as a tea pot or for the animals, but sure makes the house smell good.

Jessica at Bwlchyrhyd said...

I am SO jealous of your snow! I don't get homesick very often, but snow is definitely something I miss...

vanessa said...

oh, i love love love the top photo!

Fiberjoy said...

The first is such a beautiful snow picture. A snow covered road leading through woods seems to beckon.

We often cook soups, and always have tea simmering on our wood stove. I'd miss not having it, though the pile of oak that was dumped in our front yard the other day is dampening my enthusiasm a bit.

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