I can’t breath.
It’s HOT and the humdidity is wet. All my family is in WV and I’m sitting on the farm in the air conditioning, waiting for
Autumn I mean December. Early in the morning, I’m in the barn, feeding horses and cats and that’s after feeding dogs and the porch cats, then dragging myself to the house to think about turning the thermostat down to frost. The dogs and I took a nap then we thought about taking another nap and all around I hear snores. All the cats are outside, sprawled with limbs pointing north, south, east and west and they seem to be enjoying this weather.
I do not understand. Not at all.
I’ve been reading or I should say re-reading because every so often my favorites are pulled from the shelves and enjoyed all over again.
Jeanine MacMullen is the author I’m currently finishing again. Born in Australia, she made her way to the UK, had a variety of jobs and ended at a BBC broadcaster where her “A Small Country Living” was hugely popular. Unfortunately it’s no longer available on the BBC website. Her books are Wind in the Ash Tree and A Small Country Living and A Small Country Living Goes On. I highly recommend all three.
Another favorite is Gladys Taber; while I don’t have all her books (she wrote 59!), I do have a lot of them (nonfiction) and find great comfort in her words, especially Another Path. This book was written after the death of Eleanor Mayer, her childhood friend and companion Jill in the book and with whom she set up housekeeping at Stillmeadow. With great fondness, I remember Butternut Wisdom, her monthly column for Family Circle.
Jan Karon (link is to her opening remarks at Mitford Museum) is another favorite (24 books!) and I’m still in need of her first three in order to make my bookshelf complete. Last year she opened the “Mitford Museum” in the same building she attended elementary school in North Carolina and a friend, Vicki Bostic, gave a lovely tour of the museum on June 26, 2022.
Another farm related book by Helen and Scott Nearing is The Good Life and The Good Life Center in Maine is a testament to their living a self sufficient lifestyle. The Center has Resident Stewards and folks from all over the world apply.
Another author I’m on the lookout for is Ruth Janette Ruck, a Welsh woman who wrote Place of Stone, Hill Farm Story and Along Came a Llama. She was brought to my attention by McMullen and I know I’m going to enjoy her books, once found. If you haven’t sussed on by now, the memoirs are the books bringing much enjoyment while the Mitford books brings solace in a world gone mad.
More favorites: Mary Jane Butters, Alexandra Stoddard, James Herriot, Nick Bantcock Tasha Tudor and sooooo many others!
This week I’ve made eighteen pints of strawberry, blueberry and strawberry blueberry mix jam; I’ve made cottage/farmer’s cheese from fresh, raw milk. I should have churned butter but that’s put off for week coming and I need to freeze some whey (left over from cheese making) and will also make some peach whey water drink for the HOT days ahead. Wednesday I’ll make a big pot of Great Northern beans and a pan of cornbread for parents and will share with them.
Lately, the world has been too much with me. All the ugliness, meanness, small mindness, people throwing stones. I miss civility. If you’re of a praying mindset, please remember me and thank you.
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