I remember when I was pregnant with Thomas. The due date rolled around. The baby rolled around. In my belly.
Philip and I took long walks. We went to the zoo. We walked some more.
People would call and ask how I was doing. Eventually I took the phone off the hook.
After putting life on hold for a few days, I decided I might as well get back to normal living. Two weeks later, after a nice water aerobics class at the gym, labor started, and the rest is history. I am so glad Thomas was finally born because he helps me so much with dishwashing and wood splitting!
I expect you know what I am talking about?
Priscilla is still chewing her cud, in the barn, in her solitary confinement. I mean stall.
I thought her udder could not grow any larger. It has.
So what do I know about birthing cow babies? Very precious little!
We continue to wait.
It is cold. There is still a significant covering of snow. The pond has a strong water flow so it hasn't frozen like usual. The girls are ice skating on puddles instead, these days. The moon is coming up pretty late at night, and is getting smaller and smaller. I feel like hibernating. Can I hibernate?
Perhaps I should mention that Carmelita makes me laugh so much! When I milk Coco, Carmelita chases the geese and ducks out of the stall. She tosses her head and leaps and prances. What a cutie pie. Even when I feel down in the dumps she coaxes a chuckle out of me. What a precious little thing.
A friend gave me a couple of amazing books for Christmas. One is Your Country Kitchen by Jocasta Innes. It was published in 1979. The book has lovely illustrations and concise directions that instruct one how to brine, slat, smoke dry, press, pickle and preserve. I was very inspired. I also received a collection of recipes, notes and little odds and ends from my grandmother. In the box was a Ball Blue Canning book from 1941. I have been wanting a Ball canning book, and am very happy to have this old copy. It was especially interesting to note historical trivia, like the paragraph mentioning that since rubber and zinc were used in war times, one might find it hard to find rubber seals or zinc lids those days, and suggested alternative ideas. I was shocked to look at the table that listed canning recommendations for the typical famliy of 5. Hundreds and hundreds of quarts were expected to be grown and put up to take care of the family meals throughout the year. Wow. I feel very inspired. Wonder if I can can even half that amount?
Am looking for an alternative to the standard canning lids. I read that they are coated with the bad plastic and that when this plastic is exposed to acidic foods and high temperatures, a significant amount of the bisphenol A leaches out into the food. Darn.
A friend suggested that I try looking at estate sales for the old fashioned glass lids that one uses with rubber seals. Maybe someone has some boxes of those lids languishing in their basement somewhere? I hope so.
Winter is a good time for waiting. Waiting for springtime. Waiting for green. Waiting for babies. While we wait, I hope we remember to be still and enjoy the smell of cold air and the feel of the hot fire and the taste of winter foods and the sight of little girls skating and big young men splitting firewood. And hopefully the sound of a new little moo in the barn, very soon!