A Day At Green Grove

Trying a bit of a photo journal for today’s post….because it feels like it’s going to be packed with the magic of this place.

7 am–It’s a dreary drizzly day with temperature hovering just below freezing. The weather map says it will change to snow and or ice shortly.  As I enjoy a second cup of coffee, I am trying to prioritize the possibilities for the day ahead.

I plan to make the pecan pie for Thursdays feast. I want to try our some new lotion ideas, there are garlands, wreaths, and other outdoor decorations to make. My amazing husband is going to make Danishes. I have to whip up a batch of laundry soap as we are running low, and a holiday hand and body wash for using and giving might also be good. I’m thinking something with some pine and peppermint.

8:30 am Here’s a picture of Brandy and I heading out for her morning walk….we don’t want anyone to mistake either of us for a deer. Miss kitty wants very much to join us but she doesn’t have any blaze orange so she got left at home.

photo 311:30 am We have the new freezer up and running and are making some soups to see us through the busy days leading up to our winter holiday. I have managed to get the pies in the oven.

We’ve also had a delightful chat via Facebook with our very dear UK friends, really family just not genetically speaking. We are so excited to be planning for their first visit to Green Grove. It’s months away yet, but the anticipation and excitement will ebb and flow until they are here, sharing a cup of tea and laughing and soaking in the peace and beauty of this magical place.

1:00 pm Off now to work on some garlands for the gates. I’m sure glad I cut the pine yesterday as it would be a nasty job in the freezing rain today.

Gar1

4:00 pm Got one garland finishedfinished and 2nd is ready to start. Gar2

piessoup

Also the pies came out nicely, as did the soup.

 

 

 

 

 

6:30 pm And then there’s dinner—Ham, Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts tossed in Orange Cranberry glaze, and of course the “extra” pecan pie for dessert.  Cheers from Green Grove…we will raise a glass in honor of all our family and friends tonight with a wish and a prayer that you may one day join us and experience the magic for yourselves.

dinner

Though we didn’t accomplish all the things on my list from this morning, we had fun and will sleep well knowing we have another day tomorrow.

A Hunting We Go

As I mentioned in earlier posts, it’s opening day of buck season here in WV. The gear is all layed out and my 15 year old is like a kid waiting for Christmas….his first year of hunting is a big deal. He was up at 5 ready to go. My husband, he and I will be out early …..I’m finding all the hype and commercialism of hunting rather puzzling. I mean why do you buy camo and then top it with blaze orange? Well I mean obviously the blaze orange is so you don’t get shot, but why the camo? Seems contradictory to me. Then this whole thing about de scenting…..I don’t figure those early settlers had camo, blaze orange, or scent away….in fact I imagine they were quite fragrant since baths were not common. Yet they managed to kill critters….hmmmm.

Yet as you can see, we bought in….so a hunting we go.photo 1-3

They are home for the day….the deer were the lucky ones today…maybe tomorrow will be better for the hunters.

 

A Skiff of Snow, A Fire’s Glow

It was 14 degrees fahrenheit when I woke up, and now at 10:30 am its a balmy 17 degrees fahrenheit. There’s a lovely powder-sugar dusting of  snow, blue skies and the windchill is about 10 degrees fahrenheit. Needless to say the dog and I set a brisk pace on her morning walk and she was unusually anxious to head home.

The fire is burning brightly and I am enjoying a second cup of coffee and a biscotti as I plan my day. There’s a faint scent of pine, cloves, and peppermint from my essential oil diffuser which sits atop the fireplace insert.

I think I’ll try to do some baking, I have a hankering for gingerbread with whipped cream. I will also make some harvest bread and perhaps a batch of snicker-doodles for munching throughout the week. The recipes are at the end of this post.

The guys are getting everything ready for hunting tomorrow. The young hunter is so excited that he can’t sit still. He’s packed our gun bags, descented every possible clothing item we might wear and checked his scope to be sure it’s sighted in correctly. It’s fun feeling his energy and excitement.

A skiff of snow, the fire’s glow, yes life is good here at Green Grove.

Recipes from “A Skiff of Snow, A Fire’s Glow”

Gingerbread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit

1/2 cup shortening 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon soda
1 egg 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup dark molasses 1 & 1/2 teaspoons ginger (I like to use 1 Tablespoon freshly grated)
2 &1/2 cups all purpose or 1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 & 3/4 cups cake flour 1 cup boiling water

Cream shortening adding sugar gradually and beating until fluffy.
Add egg and beat well
Add molasses and mix until thoroughly blended
Sift flour, add salt, soda, baking powder and spices and sift again
Add dry ingredients to wet mixture
Add boiling water and stir until batter is smooth (It’s a thin batter)
Pour into parchment lined 8 x 10 x 2 inch pan

Bake 35-40 minutes until tester comes out clean

Snicker-doodles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit

1/2 cup shortening 2 & 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup butter 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 & 1/2 cups sugar 2 teaspoon cream of tarter
2 eggs 1/4 teaspoon salt

cinnamon and sugar mixture for coating

Cream butter and shortening adding sugar and eggs and beating until creamy
Mix dry ingredients in bowl and then add to wet mixture (no need to sift)
Roll dough into balls the size of walnuts. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar mixture and place on parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes

Garden Harvest Cake from MyRecipes.com

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/garden-harvest-cake-10000001886431/

Morning Musings

Today begins slowly, lingering over coffee, looking out at the November woods, imagining all that the next week might hold.

It is what is often referred to as deer week here in WV.  Since the Monday before Thanksgiving is the opening day of deer season, and since an overwhelming majority of the folks who live here hunt, schools are closed for the week. I want to spend some time in the woods. I also want to get the outside decorated for Yuletide. I’m thinking big sprays on the gate posts, garlands on the gates themselves, crows foot garland around the front entry, mason jar luminaries along the walkways, and…well whatever else strikes my fancy.

Then there’s baking and cooking. For Thanksgiving I’m thinking mincemeat pies, pecan pies, two kinds of cranberry relish, and some harvest bread. As we’ll be joining family I don’t have to prepare the entire feast.  I’d love to end the break with lots of cookie dough in the freezer for rolling out as needed, a plan for when we’ll tackle the biggies like fruitcake and plum pudding and the ingredients ready, and some frozen soups and stews for easy crockpot meals during the busy days os December.

This afternoon, I’ll use the ride to meet the kid’s dad to gather crafty ideas for decorating and homemade gifts from Pinterest (the weaver and the dancer are spending the week with their CT/ Iowa family in CT, the hunter is staying here to hunt).

Look for updates throughout the week…I’m just getting started.

It’s Good to be Home!

We went to PA for a wedding this weekend. It was a lovely event and we were glad to be there to celebrate with the happy couple, family and friends. We enjoyed being in posh accommodations, eating out, and getting some pumpkin spice lattes.

Yet, this morning we woke up at the crack of dawn, both quite anxious to get home to Green Grove and to be with the kids again. After a way too long brunch, and a very long 31/2 hour drive, coming across “our” mountains and back into WV was so thrilling. We were both near to tears with the joy of being home.

After greetings and unloading the car, we gladly put on our hiking boots and took the dog for a walk. We would pause and breathe in the fresh air and woodsy smell, then walk on, pointing out the buck rub on the tree near the entrance to the clearing, or noticing that the Witch Hazel had finished blooming, or wondering if the tracks on the far side of the stream were fresh ones? Then we’d take another  deep breath and feel the noise, grime, and stress melt away.

Yes, it is truly good to be home!

“The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” 
― Maya AngelouAll God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes

 

 

 

 

Living and Loving at Green Grove

It continues to amaze me how much more full, rich and enjoyable our life is since moving to Green Grove. We have plenty to do, what with keeping the wood boxes full for the fires, taking care of nearly 7 acres instead of less than one acre, cooking from scratch with no real take out options available, etc. Yet, we always seem to have time to listen to one another, time to stop and sit a spell when a neighbor (which means pretty much anyone from a 20 mile radius, not just those who live on the next property) stops in, time to pause for a minute and watch the squirrels playing or the clouds scudding across the sky.

I notice that we’re all talking more to each other, and the conversations are somehow more meaningful, not just “Where’s my grey hoodie?” or “Did you remember to get me new shoelaces?” No now it’s, “Mom, why do I feel so much more confident and able to stand up for myself here than I did in MA?” “What do you think about this idea for a new weaving pattern?” or “I didn’t see any squirrels today, but there were these cool little birds running up and down the trees where I was sitting.”

It has been a disappointing season for the Trapper and his apprentice. We will persist and hope as the weather gets colder more animals will be out and about. There’s still so much beauty to see when out there in the fields and streams and woods. We saw several hawks and some beautiful cloud formations last weekend.

The Weaver had an amazing day doing another demo Sunday. He sold a really nice wall hanging, got some more custom orders and was asked for an assortment similar to what is at the Lost River Trading Post for a Craft Shop in Winchester, VA. All very heady stuff for someone who just finished high school with a dream and loom in June.

I treasure our sit down dinners, something I’ve always insisted on but that somehow here,  everyone willingly pitches in to get it on the table and clean it up. Our big country kitchen/dining/great-room area is truly the heart of our home with homework, sewing projects, someone reading a magazine or the paper in the rocker and the fire burning brightly.  Then we bank the fire in the stove and everyone migrates down to the family room, with a fire burning there as well. It is so cozy in our cabin on days like today when the first snow flurries were flying around and the wind was gusting through the trees.

In the words of Tove Jansson, in Moominvalley in November   —“The quiet transition from autumn to winter is not a bad time at all. It’s a time for protecting and securing things and for making sure you’ve got in as many supplies as you can. It’s nice to gather together everything you possess as close to you as possible, to store up your warmth and your thoughts and burrow yourself into a deep hole inside, a core of safety where you can defend what is important and precious and your very own.”

A Glorious Day

Beautiful blue sky day. Heavy frost this morning then warmed into the low 50s. A perfect day to be out tromping the fields and streams. Saw lots of wildlife, from possums to hawks.

Warren and the hunter went to see family in PA and get a few things to get them set for hunting season.  They had a really good time. The weaver got all set for a day of demonstrating his craft at the Lost River Trading Post tomorrow.

Watched another sappy holiday movie with my daughter while we knit and crafted.

Also got all  our purchases from trip to town last night stowed away. Our garage is our local supermarket. We go out there when we need to restock the kitchen cabinets. That’s something you quickly learn  living 30 miles from the nearest big market.

Beautiful cold night, stars and moon are so near you can touch them…..almost.