Winter in our Neck of the Woods


Winter is coming. The White Witch passed through our woods leaving no footprints. Everything is pillowed in soft snow.



This sparkling magic is starkly different from midsummer’s slow twilight and leafy splendor. Dim dayed and long nighted, wrapped in blankets, bare-branched, warm kneed, Winter.



Everything is solid! The full water bottle burst and froze to the nightstand. Pixie whined and licked at the ice in her water bowl. The pickles are trapped in pickle juice ice. The apples are too cold to hold in our bare hands. The coffee grounds were stuck to the press.


We stay in the kitchen, knees pressed close to the wood stove and watch movies on the computer. We cook ourselves glorious meals and ignore the dishes for as long as possible.


Authentic Dog Food

Beef and Carrot Yum

As Pixie gets older, we look for ways to fill her life with small luxuries. Recently, we have been making her food from scratch. This delight contains raw hamburger, raw beef liver, one soft-boiled egg: shell and all, carrots, brown rice, brewer’s yeast, and her dose of glucosamine/chondroitin. We add regular dry dog food for texture. She LOVES it.

Apparently, the calcium in the egg shells balances the phosphorus in the meat. Bones would do this in the “wild”. The vegetables are cooked soft, as partially digested vegetables would be in a wolf’s prey. It’s nice to know for sure what we are feeding her and very nice to see her enjoy something we prepared for her.

Learning from Friends


Careen’s Considerations:

1. Make sure there are hooks in the cob walls to hang hammocks from!

2. Mixing one’s own little batch of cob gives the stomper complete control of the batch. Dancing alone has it’s merit.

3. Really wet batches are easy on the body and quick to mix.

4. A nice little pot of tea makes breaks more special. (Especially fermented and rolled Dong Ding! Thank you for leaving some, Careen!)

5. Carve out little Fairy Corners by guiding growth and weeding out even native invasives.

6. Make sure wood embedded in cob stay nice and dry. Here is her idea for window installation we are considering.


7. When the cob is not doing what you want it to do and you become mad at the walls, sleep on it.

The Regathering and The Going On

Back up goes the kitchen. Back up go the tarps. A new delivery of dry wood. Remove some nails. Pound in new ones. Dash outside when the sun shines. Hole up with a warm fire and a movie when the rain pours and the wind blows. I can see spring just around the next bend.





Life feels much warmer these days.