ALL Those Things

The holidays have always been a difficult time for me and for many of you all too.

I tend to either Clam Up or just turn into a mumbling grump. This time I think I just got on with it and dealt with the fallout once the children were gone.

I was out in California with children so there were Christmas Carols! God help me. I put on a brave face.

But it’s not all about me! I don’t want to be a selfish old curmudgeon.

Though I did escape the cold !

I have been talking lately with a scientist based in the UK about sending soil samples from around our farms for testing. This group is particularly interested in carbon capture. I am not a scientist so I am playing catch up on all the latest vernacular but it is a fascinating study and I hope they allow us into the trials.

It would be especially interesting to me to see if the soil in the Fellowship Forest registers any significant numbers.

I am also getting our well water tested.

It takes years for water to get to a tap – (the average about 25 years but up to a thousand or more years) but this varies drastically with the variables of soil, rainfall, the level of the ground (we are actually the lowest around here because this is a drained swamp), the flow of the groundwater – all that stuff – so water can take from a year to a thousand years to reach my glass.

But I am positive that the water here on the farm, from our well, twice filtered: tasted and smelt different when I returned after my summer traveling. And again after returning from California.

Taste buds adapt very fast so in this case first impressions are the most reliable.

I boil my drinking water but still:

💦I am going to send a sample off to be tested. For the record the test costs $265US so this is not a flippant decision.

And I vowed a long time ago not to buy water in plastic jugs so I hope the results are not dire. I will keep you posted.

Quiche and Salad!

I always have a big pot of salad greens growing. Or two or three! And parsley pots – I have loved parsley all my life. D

id you know that parsley has 196% more Vitamin C than an orange. Plus iron!

The chickens are actually laying well in their chook house. We get around 8 eggs a day – in the middle of winter! I think the young ones have started laying- you remember – those chicks that were hatched in the barns!

Most hens will start laying around 6 months old. Many of the new eggs are green!

TonTon is now officially The Old Dog. No one knows why he has chosen to start sleeping in the washing basket. Least of all BooBoo.

Boo watches me work from the couch.

The food scraps from the restaurant have been very tasty lately. Wai is doing well on them. Tima still spends a lot of her day in the fields with Mr Flowers and his old rooster.

After an exceptionally warm period following a cold snap the temps seem to be settling in around freezing. I hope it stays cold a while to give the fruit trees and the wheat a good chilling.

I hope you all are having a great day.

The Pilot Sustainable Home Workshop is keeping me busy!

Take good care.

❄️Live Lightly so the Planet can Live Long.


35 Comments on “ALL Those Things

  1. Cooking at Christmas keeps me cheerful, but I’m in total agrement with you on Christmas carols! Poor TonTon looks like he’s hiding from thunder. Beautiful quiche!

  2. We have lived on a farm for 41 years and until a year ago we used well water. We got our drinking water for the Town Garage until about 6 years ago when we discovered “reverse osmosis.” Do you know about it? It’s a filtering system that we put under our kitchen sink and it has a separate faucet that we use for drinking water. Most people around here do not drink their well water because of coliform. The filtering system made our water safe to drink and it is delicious. Now we are on public water but kept the reverse osmosis system. It cost us about $500 and we have the filters changed each year. Check it out.

  3. Oh it warms the cockles of my heart to see TonTon and Boo Boo and Wai and Mr. Flowers! I didn’t see Tima though.But it also breaks my heart to see TonTon curled in the wash basket.It doesn’t look very comfortable.I hope he isn’t ill. It’s just so hard to see our companions grow old. I showed the pictures to Bob who couldn’t remember at first– particularly Boo. (He’s now 88 and had triple bi-pass this August.) I said to him, “Don’t you remember petting him on the couch?” “Oh! Yes!! Of course–what a beautiful dog!” He needs his memory jogged a bit.
    You know, Cecilia, I remember the day you got him at the fair/farmers’ market. You held him on your shoulder and said he was a Blue Heeler. I’d never heard of one before.

  4. I find it problematic drinking water straight from the tap because I always find it smells, irrespective of where I am. We have a gravity-fed ceramic water filter on the bench, and it takes out not only the smell and any unpleasant tastes but also removes chlorine and heavy metals, neutralises bugs, and you can also get versions that remove fluoride if that’s your preference too. The ceramic ‘candle’ filter lasts for ages (longer than they claim) and can be scrubbed to remove the iron oxide staining the water from our Australian orange soil. I filter endless litres of water for us to take away with us when we travel as I hate the waste of bottled water and I won’t drink anything that smells bad.

    • Hmm. I too am plagued with the smell problem. This ceramic filter sounds interesting – the fact that you can scrub the filter sounds much more sustainable too.

      I will research them out here.

      Thank you Kate!

  5. So good to know that I am not the only grouch about Christmas except, for me, that also goes for virtually every other holiday that one might mention. I guess it’s that I am just not a celebratory person——–is that a type? Maybe because when I was growing up we lived in the places where my parents worked (hotels, motels, country clubs) and so “real” celebrations with family and friends weren’t an option. I just didn’t learn how to celebrate or acquire the expectation of celebrations ? It does make me feel kind of weird, a pathetic loser with a sad childhood, which is not at all the case. It’s funny, as a child you just assume that the way your family does things is the way everyone does things and once you become an adult you realize that that is not necessarily so.

    • Oh that is so true Victoria. We all had different upbringings and different traditions. No question.

      And you are not at all weird!! Maybe we should form a Christmas Grouch Club !

  6. Because I rent I can’t make major adaptations to plumbing but I won’t, unless desperate, drink my tap water. The pipes admittedly by the landlord are old so I really can’t imagine what state they are in and how that influences what comes out of them. I use just a commercial jug and charcoal filtration system. If I ever accidentally take a sip from the tap I can taste the difference right away. Boo looks so confused in that picture with Ton. It makes me sad that so many of the animals I knew when I joined the farmy are gone or aging and near the end. I realize how silly that sounds, as this is a farm for goodness sake, but they all seem like friends. As Mad Dog said, whenever the time comes for Ton I hope it is an easy transition.

    • – I understand – totally. And I cannot keep the farm running at that rate now that John is not working because I have had to go out to work instead.

      I miss them all too.

      Life cycles!

  7. I enjoy Christmas per se but not the excessive trappings, so I extract its essence from the best of my memories and distill it into my own particular festive spirit. I dislike the forced bonhomie of Christmas parties and making small talk with people I have nothing in common with the rest of the year… age and wisdom have conferred the art of declining resolutely.
    When we travel in our caravan water is a factor, do we hook up to public water or take our own… we sensitive to taste and smell. The G.O. is diligent in his maintenance of our house drinking water that is collected via roof and gutters into rainwater tanks… we drink it how comes out of the tap and feel fortunate we can do so.
    Thank you for this kind of post… such day-to-day is of much interest to me… its connection and like-mindedness tangible.

  8. Gorgeous quiche- with what and how was the crust made? Love love your photos- I missed seeing your blog – thanks for posting! Hugs to you and your family!

    • The SECRET is the base.

      ➡️1 cup rolled oats and 1 cup flour mixed with 1/2 cup smashed up roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Salt and Pepper to taste.

      😂SO SIMPLE!

      ➡️Then mix with 1/2 cup good local olive oil and 1/2 cup precious water.

      Mix until you can form a sticky ball. (You may not need all the liquid – that will depend on your flour).

      Let this sit covered in a wet cloth for 30 minutes. So, the water and oil can hydrate the flour and oats. Don’t miss this step.

      Pat into quiche dish.

  9. I cannot join the Christmas Grouch club. I love Christmas music! Especially the old religious and pagan-derived carols (no “Frosty,” “Santa,” etc). I love traditional Christmas foods and baking. I love having a tree in the house lit with mini-lights (I bought a small living tree this year and will re-pot it for next year). I love choosing gifts for people — and I’m good at it. I love getting cards and well-chosen gifts. Winter is my happy time. My least favorite season is spring: mud, icky foods, weeds.

  10. Thanks, as always a great post with much to think about. I am going to try your pastry although I am not a great cook And as you know, I love Wai and am always happy to see how well he is doing. Happy New Year, Cee

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