Friday, December 31, 2010

Charlotte's tidbits for 2010

Over the past year, I wrote on one of the pages in my organizer (go figure, say those of you who know what a neurotic organizer freak I am) things of note that I found and thought were useful small lessons for life.  Or at least, small lessons that pertained to my life.  I thought that I would post a few of my favorites here:

-life is not a race
-life is not a competition
-remember you may have no idea what is going on in another person's life
-small actions in your own life and your own community do change the world
-when you're angry or unbalanced: take a walk
-don't compare your life to anyone else' have no idea what their journey is all about
-schedule the important things in your life into your organizer and do them
-if I'm not enjoying the Christmas season, then I am doing something wrong
-the meaning of life is to live it
-trust your instincts: your doctor may know more about the human body, but you know more about your human body
-be yourself: life is too short to pretend to be someone you're not
-don't put anything on your skin you wouldn't eat
-trans fats are not food, they are chemicals: why would you eat them?
-grocery store eggs and farm fresh eggs are not the same product
-if you can only make one organic food switch in your life: Milk

#1 Lesson for 2010 is:  (this one is awesome! I love it!)
-WabiSabi: the beauty in the imperfections (for example, the red wine splashes on your walls are not a stain, but a mark of friendship and a reminder of the loves in your life)

I enjoyed writing those tidbits down, and I think I will do it again this year.  Again, I will put them behind my top ten goals for the year...maybe I can do a little better on that score in 2011 than I did in 2010...but what's life about but trudging along and moving forward.  And to keep on trying!!  At least, I am accomplishing things...slowly, I mean, I just accomplished a goal for 2004 this past year: taking Taylor to Best Friends in it happens...eventually.  Besides, lesson #1: life is not a race.  

Happy New Year Everybody!  
See you next year!!!

And if you still haven't bought your 2011 Calendars, feel free the check out the BumbleChick Farm 2011 Wall Calendar!!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Skiing and Snow Shoeing

Paul and I are enjoying the snow!!!!!  I've decided the secret to winter is having a winter activity you love...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

"Be Careful What you Wish For..."

Yes, it's true, WindyFields Farm wished for puppies and got one.  Now it's our turn.

Paul got snow shoes for Christmas and there just wasn't enough snow on the ground to really try them out, so we wished for a little bit more snow.  Looks like we're gonna get it: more than a foot between now and tomorrow night!  Whoohooo.  Now, I am going to enjoy a hot cup of tea and sit in the window, by the fire, and watch it begin.

Merry Snow!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Flaming Coffee

Christmas Eve

I love Christmas Eve and because of the way the holidays fall this year, we have Christmas Eve off together which is really nice.  We're off to breakfast and then to play with a friend's Christmas present...and chocolate lab puppy...what better way to spend Christmas Eve than smothered in puppy love.  No worries, no puppies in the future here...just Troy!

Tonight, it's happy, local stuffed chicken with carrots and Brussels sprouts...I just hope chicken isn't on the menu for Christmas tomorrow night.  And then FLAMING COFFEE...yum!  A favorite holiday tradition from my childhood...I always thought I was getting a treat of Kahlua and brandy and coffee as a kid, as I didn't know the flames burn away the alcohol.  No wonder Mom was always happy to keep my flame going a bit longer...but not too much...she did want us to sleep after all.

And then...How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  The real one, the Boris Karloff one.  And then bed to wait for Santa!

I do love Christmas Eve.  It's all about the food and drink and family...ahhhhhhh.

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

Flaming Coffee:
Make a pot of your favorite coffee and have it near the stove.
Make fresh, yummy whipped cream...the way you like it.
Light a candle in the middle of your stove.
Have a metal ladle ready.

Use sturdy wine glasses (or the snooty flaming coffee mugs you inherited from your mom) and steam them over a pot of boiling water upside down and immediately dip into sugar to sugar the rims.  Mom was always super generous with this: going almost an inch down the glass with sugar.  Set glasses aside.  (Make sure your glasses are sturdy and warm so they don't break with the heat!!)

Warm half brandy and half Kahlua on the stove so that it is warm enough to flame over the candle, but not so hot that it ignites in the pot--that's bad.  (And this is an art, by the way, and one I am still working on).  Quickly ladle the brandy/Kahlua in a glass and use the ladle to ignite a spoonful and pour into glass flaming the warm alcohol in the glass.  Holding the stem of the wine glass, turn the glass so the flames crystallize the sugar.  Let the flame go for how long you want, but the more it flames, the more alcohol you burn off.  Put out the flames with the coffee.  Add a dollop of whipped cream.  Yum!!

Then clean up the mess...maybe in the morning!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Lunch finally died yesterday morning.  He's been getting more and more neurotic as the weeks have gone by and we've known he was going to have a hard time getting through the winter.  He never really was able to perch and would lie prostrate on the floor of the coop...twitching.  Lately, he has been unable to get into the coop and has been spending the nights under to coop in the cold where we haven't been able to get him to put him away.  I would carry him into the barn in the mornings to feed him and thaw him out.  The last few days, I finally locked him in the barn all together to save him any extra useless suffering out in the cold and snow.  We probably should have put him out of his misery...but...well, that involves killin'.  But he is finally at rest and it's better for him!  Bye, Lunch!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tis the Season...

to be thankful for good friends and good family!!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


It was gloomy and dark this morning and cold...the perfect day to stay nestled in bed with all the kitties.  But, I was good and got up and moving and started my day.  Planned to go to Church, but it was cancelled due to icy roads.  Hmm...what happened to us good hardy New Englanders?

We had awesome pork chops last night cooked on the wood stove.  I smothered the chops with BBQ sauce and molasses and brown sugar and a little water and cooked them all afternoon on the stove.  We had frozen corn reheated on the wood stove for a side.  It was so yummy.  The meat was so juicy and tender.  And we used no extra energy to cook it...I wonder when the novelty of cooking dinner without expending any extra energy will wear off?  I find it so satisfying to cook on the wood stove!  

This is my new winter book I am hoping to utilize this year...though I find that I am more of an improvisor than a recipe follower.  But it should give me some good ideas!

And I have stooped to a new low in trying to save energy.  I've strung up a clothes line across the beams in the living room.  Yup...I've gone off the deep end.  It just seems such a waste to use the dryer when we have this wood stove going all day long.  Of course, I can't decide how much I'm saving washing smaller loads so I can hang them on the limited space.  But that dryer...eek, they use so much energy!!!  I did loop the ends of the lines over nails, so it's easy to take down the line and hide them away so no one learns my secret.  I just hope we don't have any surprise visitors!

I'm off to study for my final exam, but am thinking I will get lots of writing done on my latest novel in avoidance tactics.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Waiting for Snow

The cold has finally descended here at BumbleChick Farm.  It's getting harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning, especially when I am snuggled under piles of cats and fleece and Paul tells me it's in the single digits outside...and not much warmer inside.

The goats have each other to pile on top of and are staying pretty warm.  And they are in the barn, which helps.  Troy is in a calf hutch, where he is most happy, but I brought him a fleece throw this morning for him to cuddle up with...well, um, he enjoyed it all right...but, umm, I think its probably in shredded pieces all over the yard.  Oh well.  Whatever makes Troy happy.  Now, I'm off to take him for a walk!  And maybe make up my almost-quarter-mile run I didn't do this morning...whoohoo, don't tax yourself too much, Charlotte!

Happy Cold!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Begins

The Christmas Tree is up and decorated.  I love open up the boxes and they explode all over the house and then after Christmas, you box the explosion back up and your house seems clean again.

It's so nice to go through the ornaments and remember Mom making this one and that one and the other one, looking at the reindeer you made in 1984 that Mom kept, the ones you gave your grandma and grandpa, and the ones you've inherited.  It's like a treasure trove of memories.  I love it.

All that's left to do is put out the collections of Christmas candles that were Grandma's and the houses Mom painted.

Yesterday, we went to Ashfield for their craft and art fair...and for lunch at Elmers.  Yum.  And then we got our tree.  I think it's becoming a tradition: this is year two.  I'm in love with Beverly Duncan's watercolors...and fortunately, she had cards and tags within our price range.

Today, we got some wood cut today, taking care of some of the trees along the driveway that have come down over the past year (or two) and we've got quite a little a dull, nicked chain and a broken sledgehammer.  Well, we know what to ask Santa for Christmas, I guess.

Bree was humming a bit today and had a little bee out front, so she's made it this far.  I think we'll be replacing Avalon's bees with Russians...they seem to do the best for us.  I don't know how Chalice and Dionysus are doing as I haven't been out to look.

Sorry for the lack of pictures these days...the camera is still on the fritz.  We are hoping Canon will repair it without giving us too much trouble for a lack of receipt.  Things just should not break after half a year.  It's crazy!!!  We've been wanting to get pictures of Troy and his new soccer ball he stole from the twins.

And now, I am off to look at how the bread dough is rising and see if I am capable of making a loaf of good, homemade bread.

PS...the new Mountain Rose Herbs blog.  I thought people might be interested in checking it's got awesome ideas:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lilly Goats

We've been very slow on updates these days.  Things and life are beginning to slow down as the cold weather creeps in.  The goats are all happy and fat and fluffy for winter.  The doggy is anxiously awaiting the first real snow he can play in.

Little Lilly took me out in the barn yesterday.  She's a little goat still, but when she steps under you and you're trying not to crush her, you end up face first on the floor of the barn with a sore knee and the goats looking down at you wondering why you're on the floor.  I really think it was karma: I always tease Laura at WindyFields Farm for her animal mishaps...well, payback.  I bet she PAID Lilly with beet pulp and treats to trip me.  I'm on to your secrets, Laura.

Anyhoo.  Christmas is just around the corner and we're very excited.  This weekend, we're heading out to Ashfield to shop the Christmas fair there and bring home our tree.  I'm so happy for Christmas...I finally am making a stand that everyone should just do Christmas the way that makes them happy and we should stop judging each other for how little or how much we buy and just enjoy the season and each other.  It's not about the stuff...and some people love to shop and buy for others and other people love to keep it simple.  And it's all O.K.  I figure, if we spend Christmas in the way makes us truly happy then we're doing it right and everybody should be happy because we're all happy.  If we're frustrated and angry and annoyed all the time, we're doing something wrong.  I mean, what's not to LOVE about a holiday about getting gifts, eating lots, drinking lots, staying warm and cozy, giving to the ones we love...and enjoying family and friends?  I mean, really, us Americans are so discontented sometimes...for having everything we need, I don't understand how we can be so malcontented with life and joy.

So, my wish for you is to truly have a happy and joyous holiday season!!!