Screaming Mistress Wind

The day started off so nicely.  It was not warm  but the calm was nice. The animals woke up slowly. kunekune

But soon after breakfast Mistress Wind arrived – her black cape flapping – unpacked her bag of demon daughters and they let loose with a terrible wind that blew like hell itself for the whole day.  I had already put the goats and calves out into the fields but with all that wind I did a Mary Poppins (but in fast forward) my feet barely touching the ground and brought them all back in again.  It is not even warm. Every night for the next week we go down around freezing. Sigh.

The wind makes me anxious. I think it kind of deafens a person as it buffets you so you don’t feel quite in touch with your surroundings. And no-one likes to feel unsteady on their feet.  I never feel quite sure of my body or its place in the surroundings  in the big winds.  The dogs and I hunker down, tucking our chins into our chests and move as fast as possible from one sheltered spot to the next.  And I wanted to work on the Fellowship Forest yesterday.  rooster eating with cats

Where we live out here in the Midwest, Illinois, the county sells bunch lots of trees cheaply to the farmers in an effort to reforest the land. They have a great prairie land program too that I am looking into. The day before yesterday I collected my trees (the black walnuts, the wild plum and the red stemmed dogwood) but I cannot plant them in this wind, so they are still waiting damply in their bags. This kind of wind makes it hard to stand up let alone dig in a slight stick of a tree.

rooster eating with cats

So the wind gave me the opportunity to work on our second fellowship Book – Letters for my Baby Girl.  The letters are in and being collated and now I am calling for recipes, handy tips, anecdotes,  etc. Short and succinct. These will be on every other page (I hope) weaving in and out of our stories and will make this book even more memorable and useful. So if you have a recipe of your own, that you would like to hand down. Or a method. Or even a non recipe for making an old family treat. Or how to get red wine stains out of the carpet.  How to pick up dropped stitches.  How to plant out cabbages. How to make one pound of ground beef feed Twelve. The perfect pasta recipe.  How to make Hokey Pokey.  How to potty train a toddler. How to grow sunflowers. Things like that. Stuff that ordinary women and men will find useful. Please send them to me at Set them out  IN AN EMAIL the way you want them printed and don’t forget to put your name or your pseudonym and the date and the country you are writing from.  This is so exciting.  This will be a great book for our daughters and their daughters.

rooster eating with cats

Good morning. The Old Codger is pleased to hear we are planting Black Walnuts. He said they were a very popular tree in his day and everyone had huge Walnut trees on their properties. Evidently they are great in brownies. I said he can do the nut cracking.

I hope you have a lovely day,

Your friend on the farm,



86 Comments on “Screaming Mistress Wind

  1. When I was in Indiana during my first year of college, 1972, there was a woman in my dorm who loved black walnuts and collected them everywhere she went. And then proceeded to sit in her dorm room and smash the shells at all hours, with a big hammer. It’s funny now, but at that time I don’t think any of us appreciated it!

  2. What a great series of the rooster and barn cats eating together! I don’t think Mary Poppins’ feet ever touched the ground once she had opened up her brolly 🙂 Laura

  3. Oh boy, I remember the stained fingers from my childhood black walnut forays. Grandma and grandpa used to have a great big tree too and we used to collect them and give a hand shelling them. Then they were stored and used in Christmas cookies. Oh, Czech cookies are the best in the whole wide world! 😀

    • By the way, your old mistress wind blew so hard that she whipped round the world and came up from the West by evening to howl and form such white caps on the ocean like you haven’t seen all winter. But she must have picked up half of the ocean along the way and dumped it on Vancouver the minute she hit the mountains.

      • Vancouver certainly gets its fair share of rain!.. And now , of course, we all want the recipe for those czech cookies.. the grandma cookies.. for the book!

  4. I do hope that the wind has died down a bit. Its not great when you take flight and have no control over the rudder……That is a great idea planting trees, if only more countries did this instead of chopping them down….
    Keep your breeches tied on tight and have a great day

  5. My father always put black walnuts in his brownies. He was quite the baker. And I think one ,f the forthcoming black walnut trees is in his honor. However, I have never been able to bring myself to make his brownies recipe. It would make me too sad. So I have my own brownie recipe that I will share for the book. It is so special that my Kelsea asked if we could make them together for her high school graduation party, and she had never before asked to cook with me.

    • Yes it is .. that one is going in the fellowship forest, right here in the Daily View! .. I should take a shot of that view soon now that it is all greened up THANK YOU for sharing your own brownie recipe.. you could also note that this is the one you made with Kelsea for her graduation, she will like that memory.. . Looking forward to that! c

  6. The wind was crazy here as well and it is only 27 degrees this morning. Brr. After my week in Alabama and Florida last week it is difficult to come back to below freezing. Guess I need to pull out the boots again.

  7. I too hate the gale winds, definitely unsettles my soul. Will get to thinking what else to share for your book.
    Have a beautiful day C.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  8. Wind is exhausting. I hope your stinker has died down now. It’s still pretty breezy here, but we’re going to walk by the sea this afternoon. I love those pictures of a pile of cats and poultry.

    Bon courage for the tree planting.
    ViV xox

  9. My father absolutely loves black walnut ice cream. It must be an acquired taste because I find it nasty bitter! Black Walnut wood however is the most beautiful wood though. My aunt had a dining room table and chairs made out of the old black walnut tree from the home place in east Texas. It was struck by lightening one spring and was killed. It was 6 ft in diameter at the base!!!! Huge tree – and the table had a split down it’s length where the lightening had split the trunk. The furniture maker had made decorative metal straps and laid them over the split counter sunk so the table was smooth. It is a beautiful piece of wood work. Sadly, when my aunt passed in 2001 – my good not *$%$&%()$ uncle sold the table for gambling money or booze or for his new women…..

    Boy – that brought back some venom thinking about that….

    And I agree – high winds only bring bad things!!!!

        • I know why….. The family table is full of memories and history. Our family has always gathered around the dining table – or kitchen table to talk, play games, work on a tough subject…. and lastly eat… Tables are strong surfaces that we lean on for support in all the good and bad times….

          I should write a poem about tables….. if I wrote poetry…. which I don’t.

          That might actually be a great topic for a blog post and conversation….. What is your best memory of being at the table! I have SO many!

  10. Hi Celi. We’ve had a few unfortunate ‘run ins’ with walnut trees on my sister’s property and in our village. Be careful where you plant them. They can affect the plants, trees and shrubs around them. They can also affect alfalfa growth … They produce a toxin called juglone that gets into the soil and can wreak havoc. They seem to be successful when they have their own stand. They’re not great in a mixed forest. Here is a link to some more information

    • Yes, I have been planting black walnuts for years.. not to worry. I think it is very clever of these trees to repel all intruders, They are to be planted right down the property line on the wild side. So hopefully each tree will grow to its full height and width with no interference.. though I already have very old ones over at the other farm growing in with the maples and ash and elms.. Imported Dutch Elms also repel other trees from growing up around its roots.. I love planting trees and I do considerable research before ordering trees. The other reason for growing the black walnut is that it is an american native and like the much maligned mulberry it was food and medicine for the indigenous tribes who passed through this area many moons before Johns family came here. Not to worry. and thank you for your warnings.. c

  11. What had every body’s interest? Here in the Rockies, spring means winds. It seems to never end and all I want to do is hunker down.

  12. The weather lady is saying the wind will not be near as strong today. Let us hope she is right. It was bad here in town and I know it was much worse on the prairie with little to slow it down. Very mixed feelings on the black walnuts. Love the wood, it is beautiful. Detest the walnuts, way too strong and bitter for my taste, Learned to sniff the brownies, fudge and cookies at a young age to escape the disappointment of a mouthful of bitter black walnuts. My mom loved them. Not too fond of the process to get the walnut meat either. I always figured they were popular among the older farm people because they were basically free for the taking . When times were tough they could still have walnuts.
    Couple of thoughts on the cows. Do you think it is possible that Lady Astor’s heifer could have been a twin? She is very small and seems to have some signs of being born early. (Not as active, temp regulation troubles, small size). I wonder if you were sold Lady A because she miscarried the other twin as I remember she was an unexpected offering. I’ve also wondered about Elsie and how she reacts to the dogs, especially when they are not trying to herd her and just hanging around.

    • No. I chose Lady A out of a number of bred cows on offer. But yes baby is small. In fact these evenings being so cold I am putting her coat back on and that has helped. She could have come early but she is drinking well and improving every day. She is out galloping about the field this morning and nibbling on grass. The wind is coming back up again so she will have to come back in soon. I don’t think there is much more I can do.

  13. Cheap trees sounds like an excellent initiative, especially when you can buy black walnuts and wild plums. I would imagine that sour wild plums added to gin would produce something very similar to sloe gin 😉

  14. I find that wind blows my thoughts right out my ears. It’s unsettling–like being underwater.
    What on earth are the kittens and the rooster so entranced by?

  15. I certainly prefer the flavour of a black walnut (not my favourite nut though) to english walnuts. However, you definitely need slave labour to hull, crack and shell the nuts. The nuts are very hard and the meat is not easy to extra. Wear gloves when hulling or your fingers will be black for weeks.

    • We have a bread we make for a particular customer who likes raisin bread with black walnuts in it, he supplies the nuts from his own trees. It’s loaded with equal weight of raisins and walnuts. He calls it squirrel bread since he is in a constant battle to harvest and keep the nuts safe from the squirrels; they go mad for them.

  16. Oops , I forgot about mailing you a recipe ? What kind of recipe would you like for the book ? Schnitzel? Potato pancakes? My apple cake or something else.

  17. Celi ~ it’sbeen fun reading all the comments about walnut trees. When I lived in Chatsworth we had a few very old walnut trees at our place. One was destroyed when the tornado came over Chatsworth, so Dale took the huge old tree and put it in the old building to dry it so we could use it toward a fireplace when we built a new house someday. Well, life brings changes and he died in an accident in ’92. A man who knew we had this walnut tree took it and made 2 big memory boxes ~ one for me and one for his parents. all of my cards and other memories in there ~ walnut wood is so beautiful. I absolutely love these incredible shots of Mr Rooster with the Kitties!! Have never seen anything like it!!! Now those are magazine cover shots and one should go on the calendar!! Selling any prints??? have a good day planting some trees!!

  18. I read online that peanuts in the shell aren’t as good for squirrels as hazelnuts are, so I buy hazelnuts by the pound and put them on my back porch then watch with delight the squirrels come and eat them.

  19. I have a black walnut story for you–
    When my kids where little and growing up we lived in a trailer home–with a metal roof– and the trailer was set right beside a black walnut tree–
    which during the summer gave us great shade and helped keep the trailer cool–but come fall when the nuts matured and fell from the tree–
    well–they were not ‘quite’ when the hit the top of the trailer–they were large and hard and loud–very loud!!!!
    We, also, had a couple other black walnut trees near the road and every year an elderly couple came and picked them all up and took them home to shell and eat!!
    those where the simple days!!

  20. Well, I missed the first deadline… so if I send something within a week is that too late? I was too overwhelmed to think I could send anything, but I might be able to now.

  21. The look on the Kune Kune faces seem to be saying: “Do you think she knows what we were up to?

    I have my thinking cap on…. for the tips, sayings and recipes!

  22. There was a black walnut at one of the homes I lived in years ago. It dripped sap all over the car which was parked under it. The sap proved to be a fairly decent sealant, where the sap was left there was no rust (it was an older car to begin with and the paint in bad shape). There was a lot of noise in the autumn with the falling nuts. I would love to contribute a recipe, will look through my heirloom ones.

  23. I’ve already replied, but I failed earlier to note my one and only reason for loving black walnuts—the horrible stain they leave on skin and clothes and fingers. When I was a little girl, all the neighborhood children would wait, wait, wait until the black walnuts would begin falling from the tree down the street. For days, we would have the equivalent of snowball fights with the walnuts. We all knew better than to come to fights in our best clothes, lest we receive a spanking in reward for our fun. Welts and brown stains were the marks of friendship as school would begin in the fall.

      • I did not. I’ll look it up the movie now.
        Every Fall I would give Black Walnuts another try. Every year I thought they tasted like I imagined turpentine; even in banana bread or chocolate chip cookies. To this day, their stain is all that holds a place in my heart.

  24. My grandparents had a Black Walnut tree, too. We weren’t allowed to touch them (kids, you know) for fear of ruining our clothes.

  25. Celi: now DO be honest – are one or two briefish tales of what happens when you take primary age daughters travelling in Europe of any use whatsoever? You know of my sad family history but fondly and vividly remember occasions which would make a few smile: mainly how a kiddo sees Italy for the first time at 6 or 8. Maybe no interest whatsoever . . . does one have 2-3 days?? OK, our ruddy winds down tho’ the rain was incessant thru’ the night . . . . love, love, love

  26. I’ll send you a couple of recipes, ones I get asked to repeat time and again. And my ‘recipe’ for garden tea… wait and see!

  27. I envy the animals getting out slowly in the morning. I don’t complain about the wind so much. Here it’s like getting dermabrasion treatments on the skin, with our sandy soil aloft in the wind… and we say, “Put some rocks in your pockets, girl!!”. I do feel for you though with the freezing temps. All of that warm and sunny was just a darned teaser! How unfair!

  28. Oh, cool wind site, Valeriedavies!
    cats and chicken – that’s worth a grin or two.
    Black walnut does make beautiful furniture.
    Planting trees is a beautiful way to leave a legacy and gift for the future

  29. Mistress Wind is getting around. We have felt her disruptive presence this week… August Winds in April.
    Gorgeous photos. I’m not surprised the rooster is wanting his share of cat food, our visiting magpies love it.
    Wonderful idea to include snippets, recipes etc on the other pages of Letters to My Baby Girl. I have emailed to you the Rock Cakes recipe I mention in my letter contribution.

  30. I hate wind more than anything other than lightning. Makes me jittery. I learn so much coming here and wish I had time to read every comment. Your fellowship is so wise. I like the idea of the recipe and tips book. It should be wonderful.

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