· Thing #1 Yes, it is still winter
I suppose I could stop right there. I mean, look at the calendar. It’s February, fer cryin’ out loud. But… but…
Farmer’s Almanac says we’re past the middle of winter, which point is not the same as Groundhog Day but close enough. Feb 2 is the day for the peculiar North American tradition of rousting a tired groundhog out of its den to tell us how long winter’s going to keep on messing with our lives.
Personally, I’ve never understood how a groundhog’s shadow in Pennsylvania relates to a forecast for here in New Mexico. No matter, apparently the groundhog’s accuracy is lousy, maybe also explaining why Punxsutawney Phil is not the only forecasting groundhog around. Some of them are better at the job than Phil is, too, or so they claim.
At any rate, whatever Phil or any other groundhog says, what I know is that there’s only 34 days till the Spring Equinox (yay!). And also, it’s awfully white outside. And not too warm, no matter how close we are to spring.
Bubbaz loves the snow. He capers around in it like a puppy. Tuxedo Tomcat is not willing to be left behind, but he complains a lot as he bounds from footprint to footprint. The snow is 10″ deep and he figured out pretty quickly to stay in the path I’ve created between the house and the barn. Rosie is more inclined to stay in the house with Lili Kitty next to the wood stove.
I don’t blame those two. It’s pretty outside but chores are not so much fun when there’s the added challenge of trudging through shin-deep white stuff. Yeah, yeah, it’s not like Michigan or Alaska or some other place where the snow buries cars and traps people in their houses, but it’s deep enough to be a pain in the butt. Ask Rosie. She knows.
More snow forecast for tonight and tomorrow, too.
· Thing #2 I started another blog
So? Can’t a girl have more than one blog? Seriously, why not? For one thing, the other blogs are about magic and music, magic and creativity, Jimmy Page’s music, thoughts about magic, and… you get the picture. Here I write about snow, critters, food, homesteading, adventures, and like that. Think of it as my stab at personal organization.
Anyway, I just wanted to announce the new Mage Music blog. I haven’t posted much to it yet but I will as the mood strikes.
· Thing #3 Food: experiments in gastronomy
Gastronomy is such a great word! It means “the art or science of good eating” It sounds like astronomy, geology, archeology, biology, cosmology (not to be confused with cosmetology), and all those words that imply seriosity when all you’re doing is mucking about in subjects that you’re interested in.
Yesterday was cold, snowing, and generally a day when staying inside sounded like a lot more fun than playing outside. Not that I don’t like playing outside in the snow, but yesterday I was more into cozy and warm. It happens.
I was planning on working on a story I need to submit by the end of the month, so of course I got sidetracked by a sudden desire to make something good to eat, using whatever interesting ingredients happened to be around the kitchen. My favorite kind of cooking adventure.
I didn’t write down what all I put in the dish, which ended up vaguely Southeast Asian. The base was the usual veggies, sautéed in olive oil. I had started out thinking maybe black bean soup, but I didn’t want to take the time for dried beans and had none canned. So instead I made a topping for rice noodles. I added cubes of tempeh and then some chopped fresh green onions for color. A splash of sesame oil, soy sauce, some cilantro, turmeric, cumin, and a bit of a spice mix called Land of Enchantment for heat. But all I got for all that chopping and stirring and anticipation was an okay dish. Better than meh, but not by much.
Not the biggest problem in the world. And at least I wouldn’t have to cook anything for a couple more days.
But wait! Today was a different story! As so often happens, chilling overnight and reheating made a great dish from an okay one. The flavors blended into a sublime glory, rich and satisfying — just what I had in mind. Yay! For lunch today I stuffed myself full and was happy that I have one more serving left to feast on. Darn, I’m good!
· Thing #4 Sorry, more snow stuff
I love seeing footprints in the snow. So many critters live around me that I don’t get a glimpse of generally, and only know they’re there because they leave evidence like tracks, poop, and damage to my plants.
Overnight there had been a light snow and this morning when I went to the barn there were cute little bird tracks on a brick right outside the door. No doubt it was a canyon towhee, at least that’s what I think I’ve got. Bold little birds that have no hesitation to hop through the cat door and fly around inside the barn. I don’t think they nest in there, but they poop on my BMW that’s covered in dust and waiting to be made drivable someday in the future.
Canyon towhees are actually large sparrows, a fact I only learned just now. I used to attempt to chase them out of the barn, until the day I saw one coming through the cat door right after I chased another out of the human door. The cat door is just a hole in the window screen that I made for Tux before he decided he’d rather live inside my house and sleep on my bed than be a barn cat. He prefers me to open and close the human door for him anyway, so now I guess what I have is a bird door that the towhees use as they please.
· Thing #5 Technological turbulence on the horizon
I’m getting a new (to me) phone that should arrive the end of this week. My iPhone has been repaired too many times and soon is going to need more work. I’m on my brother-in-law’s family account and I can get a phone via that for free. Except it’s not going to be an iPhone. I started out years ago with an Android phone but in all the swapping around over time I ended up with a series of iPhones. I hated the first one, but shut up Lif, it was free. Now I’ll have to learn the new interface, I’ll probably lose access to some (all?) of my purchased apps and app-specific data, too.
Shut up, Lif. It’s free.
I’ll have more flexibility, that I know. Apple only works with Apple stuff and I’ve been having to work around that issue for years. In my heart I’m not an Apple fan. It’s always rubbed me the wrong way that with Apple, Apple is the only choice. It’s also rubbed me the wrong way that Apple Knows Best. Grrrr.
Everything else I have is non-Apple and I’m not changing any of that. So I have to keep reminding myself that this return to Android is a Good Thing. At the end of this week if you hear howling and screaming coming from 7000′ altitude in western New Mexico, you’ll know who it is and why.