Blustery winds today, with the temperature only at 2 degrees-I don't want to know what the wind chill factor is, I just know I'm glad to have plenty to do inside. But, this cold weather has been here for over a week, so it's beginning to feel like Mother Nature has put us on house arrest or sent out a double-dog-dare-you to see if we are brave enough to venture outside for more than the ten minutes it takes to bring in more firewood.
Yesterday I did go out but there was no real wind. Even so, with it only about 10 degrees, I put on layer upon layer--long johns, jeans, wind pants, wool socks, shirt, wool sweater, down jacket, ear muffs, hat with ear flaps, down hood, scarf, wool mittens inside leather chopper mitts and heavy boots before venturing out for a walk. My glasses instantly fogged up so I took them off and walked semi-blind out to the mail box and back, about one and a half miles. I was still warm once I got back to the house, but was glad I hadn't gone any farther. This morning, one tiny spot on my cheekbone feels a tiny bit frosted where it was exposed yesterday. I will have to be extra careful today if I decide to brave it.
At least it's warm inside and we have plenty of food on hand and lots of books to read.
Plus, I am tackling the enormous task of rewriting my novel. After having several beta readers give me feedback, I realized the whole structure needed to be revised, so am starting over from page one. It actually feels good to shift everything around and find a new flow to the whole thing. And since it is set in ancient Mayan times, I can forget about the cold outside as I wander with my characters through the warm Mayan jungle. Sometimes I am so immersed in the book that I forget where I am in real-time and get a jarring surprise when I come up out of writing to look out my window and see all the snow and hear the wind!
Keep warm, stay bundled up if you go outside!
So, here it is the middle of January already; how the heck did that happen so fast?
The little tracks we saw in the snow around New Year's turned out to be an ermine who took up residence in our woodshed for about five days before moving on to another site. It was a little unnerving to have it around as it liked to jump out of the wood pile when we went to get firewood. But, it was fun to see it skimper across the snow from the big picture window in the living room.
My next-door neighbor planned to make crackers today, but she was nervous about the whole process. Mainly because her oven is not working quite right and she was afraid of undercooking the crackers. I told her just to keep an eye on them and pull them out when they are a nice golden brown on the bottom; the temperature and timing can fluctuate from oven to oven and even day-to-day as moisture and humidity can affect baking, so any of the baking times in the book are an approximation as cooking and baking are not rocket science but more trial and error.
Some women in the next town over from mine plan to have a cracker bake and exchange later this month. About ten of us plan to gather and make a variety of cracker recipes, then divide the results up so everyone gets to take home an assortment of crackers. It should be fun and far healthier than those cookie swops we all went to back around the holidays.
What recipe(s) have you tried this month? How about planning a cracker exchange for Superbowl Sunday? While the guys watch the game, (okay, some of us girls will be watching, too) how about making some Barbecue Crackers or some Cheddar Cheese Crackers? They are big hits at football parties.
We will be rooting for the Patriots this weekend even though my husband's daughter is married to an avid Ravens fan. Sorry Steve!
Until next time . . .
Wow, 2013! Seems like a year out of one of my childhood sci fi stories rather than an actual date but here it is....The wind is up today, blowing the light powdery snow that fell last night around the yard. Looking out the back window, I can see tracks of some animal that wandered through the fruit trees and berry bushes last night and I need to get outside before too long to identify the mystery visitor.
The month of December was a bit rough emotionally as I moved from daily mom to empty nester when my youngest son, Finn, joined his brothers out in Hawaii. My oldest, Yule, has had his own construction company out on Oahu for four years now and over time has hired his two brothers and three other young men from the Jackman, Maine area to work for him. According to Facebook, they were all headed to the humongous party in Waikiki last night, with firework shows every hour from nine o'clock on until the grand finale at midnight. I can't wait to hear what it was like. I know Finn must have been thrilled as he is a little bit nuts about fireworks and has talked of wanting to become one of the men who detonate them.
With the new year, people set resolutions--I used to do this, then always felt like crap by February when I realized I was not able to fulfill the promises I had made. Now I set year-long goals and that feels better to me as it allows me more flexibility in my life and my work. Although I didn't achieve all my 2012 goals, I did meet some of them. I got a finished manuscript for a cookbook into the hands of a publisher and saw the book come to life and be for sale by the end of November. I reorganized my work space and made myself more of an office, so I feel more professional when I am writing. I vowed to increase my income and actually exceeded my daily goal for the past four months. That feels really good as I can see a potential light at the end of my debt tunnel--bills accrued while I went to school for several years to get my Bachelor's in Fine Arts. I applied for a prestigious writing grant and even though I know my chances of winning are very slim, the process of having to write essays on why writing is important to me helped me focus my intent. I am more determined than ever to get more of the stories in my head down on paper.
With that thought, I turn to my goals of 2013 and know I need to spend part of today writing the new list. Two things come to mind immediately--pay more attention to connecting with other writers and readers and finish writing the novel I started two years ago. Two writing lapses of six month's time each has delayed the completion of this story for long enough. 2013 is the year to finish it and find an agent for it. Not to mention the new cookbook idea(s) I have in my head--those need to come to light as well.
What goals do you plan to achieve this year?
Best wishes to all of you!
About Ditched the Niche
One woman's perspective on