Every once in a while, I like to share what a week in the life looks like around here. Enjoy!
After a whole lotta rain these past few days, I took a chance when the clouds parted and headed over to the beach at a spot about 15 minutes from our house. When you're self-employed in a pandemic and your house is eerily quiet and the most exciting social interaction you have is at the grocery store? It is pure therapy to simply go stare at the sea, lean into the wind, and remind yourself why you moved here.
And the sun returned later that afternoon as well, causing our bees to rejoice! Usually we have our gabled roofs on our two hives, but after a vicious wind storm last weekend that blew the lid off one of them in the middle of the night (thank goodness they survived!), we grabbed the flat roofs from some unused boxes in our barn and they've definitely saved the day, because my husband could weight them down and keep our honeybees safe and dry! The hive on the right is definitely the stronger of the two, but we aren't giving up on the left one as the queen's still in there and they're still eating their winter snacks. Out here on the coast, beekeeping is way more challenging, and we've lost several hives so are hoping we have two strong hives in the spring to harvest honey and pollinate our flowers all over the place!
Those who have been reading my blog over the past couple of years know that our farmhouse that we've been restoring used to belong to our next door neighbor's grandfather, who bought it in 1940. The neighbors built their own home 5 years ago and when we moved in, have been so good to us, like having an aunt & uncle nearby. She has shared a bunch of pictures of the house over the decades (texting me the above one a few days ago), describing so much about the history, how rooms were used, along with little factoids like how her granny used to hang clothes in the attic (which is now where all 3 bedrooms are) and how she helped her grandpa build our barn (including where he used to let the cows out, long since boarded up). The vantage point you see here is of the rear, which now looks wildly different, as there's now an attached garage on the side, and the shop behind the house no longer exists. Our neighbors, in their 70s, decided to take advantage of the insane housing market out here (everyone in the city wanting to move to the country, matched with low interest rates) and managed to sell their house for $50K over the asking price in a bidding war after it being on the market a whopping 36 hours. So we say goodbye to them, and thank you for 2 1/2 years of having the best neighbors we've ever had.
It's been a week and a half since we said goodbye to our girl Lucky, and our hearts still ache for her loss. Every time the sun has come out this week, I look over at the patches of sunshine in the house and think of how she would do whatever it took to bask right in the sunbeams. I get up in the morning ready to let her out, where she'd trot out to the pasture to do her business or sometimes just stand there and smell all the smells, then realize it's just the ducks and chickens now. I fix something to eat in the kitchen and wonder why she's not there waiting to take the scraps with her notoriously bad ability to catch food tossed her way ("you'll never make the team!" my husband would say), and I sit here on the sofa typing this post and my heart drops to not have her snuggled up against me, nose pushed into my leg, snoring away.
Finally, we butchered our little silver heirloom turkey that we co-raised with our neighbor. It was the smaller one - perfect for just the two of us - and because of that, we were able to use the kill cone we'd used for the chickens last year (our neighbors used the axe on their big tom) and it was able to fit into our stockpot (let's just say after plucking it was more like a huge chicken) for brining by a hair - woo hoo! While we're not big turkey eaters (Thanksgiving tradition for us is pulled pork, mac 'n' cheese and collard greens), I wanted to try smoking it, and found an absolutely LUSCIOUS recipe that literally made me change my mind about turkey - twice. First, we followed this Smoked Beer-Can Turkey recipe (except we used a smaller can since the bird was below traditional size) which found me gnawing on a leg that was so crazy tender and savory I didn't want to plate it, then we shredded the leftovers up, added some homemade BBQ sauce, and we had "pulled turkey" that was fantabulous. After the storebought birds of past, even the organic/local ones, this was a game changer.