September 2017 does not want to be taken lightly. In Houston, dear friends — plus thousands of their neighbors — ushered in the month with catastrophic loss. As I type this more dear friends and beloved members of our family are hunkered down in the path of Irma in Florida. Out west the country is burning, and there’s so much else going on we’re barely even talking about it.
Here, in our little nook of the world, the November-esque chill with which the month arrived is trivial in comparison, but chill it did. Last night as I settled into bed with a hot cup of tea and an interesting late 19th century book on world religions and spirituality, a frost advisory popped up on my phone. And, if the unofficial reports I’ve seen on social media this morning are any indication, a county or two north of us did in fact experience a light frost overnight.
The laying hens we added back to the farm this spring after being without any for several years are beginning to lay in earnest now. I had forgotten how much more enjoyable eggs are when they’re straight from the chickens outside the window. Tall, proud, bright orange yolks that slide out of thick, strong shells you have to really rap against the bowl edge to break will always be my favorites. Stay tuned for egg availability in the coming weeks and months.
The other day I decided to wash the floors on hands and knees. When I was in college full time, plus working off-farm full time, plus trying to raise two tiny humans I hired a woman who came to do the deep cleaning a couple times per month. She always washed my floors on her hands and knees. They were, of course, sparkling clean when she was done, and I am sad to say it’s also probably the last time they were sparkling clean. It’s certainly the last time they were washed on hands and knees. Generally I’m more of a once-over with a mop kind of anti-Martha-Stewart housekeeper. Don’t get me wrong, I love truly sparkling floors. I just don’t crawl-around-on-my-hands-and-knees-for-half-the-morning love them. And, having done it for the first time in years last week, I quickly remembered why. Just as I finished I turned around to see the dogs waiting at the backdoor, muddy from paw to tail to tip of their snouts. They were of course so smitten with themselves it was impossible to be upset. Tails wagging, eyes bright and exuberant. Look what we did! Aren’t you proud?
I just opened the door and let them paint the sparkly floor with muddy paw patterns and then gave it a quick once-over with the mop. She’s old and he’s spoiled and I can have clean floors in another lifetime. When I’m dog-less… and sad.
Until next week…
Do Good: “When you not only hear a treasured story, but also are pressed against the most important person in the world, a connection is made that cannot be severed.” -Maurice Sendak
My incredible publisher is running a book drive for child victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. They’ve reduced their titles — all of which include meaningful messages — well below the cost of the books themselves and, for just five dollars per book, you can buy five and ten book bundles to be sent to the disaster zones. I can’t say how many, if any, of my own book will be send through the program, but even if none of them are The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen, I hope you’ll still help them meet their goal of sending at least a couple pallets worth of books to kids who have lost their treasured stories to the storms.
Eat: Speaking of eggs, if you’re looking for an easy fall meal check out this Castilian Garlic Soup from Williams Sonoma. Add a little ham to your pan when you fry your egg and it becomes a simple but substantial dinner.
Listen: Three White Horses by Andrew Bird, because that steel guitar. My god, that steel guitar.