Good morning, all! It's a warm (47 degrees) but hazy morning at Swamp River Ridge. Jam Dandy Muffins have just come out of the oven, and I'm into my 2nd (or is it 3rd?) cup of top-notch percolated (for 14 minutes and not a second longer) coffee.
After a long, much-needed shower last night, I crawled into bed with the laptop to blog. I posted a couple of new videos on the Home Movies page (follow that link above to see them), but, after that exertion (!), that was all she wrote. I couldn't keep my eyes open a moment longer. But, here I am now!
After boiling sap for 3 days straight, I let the fire die out last night and haven't rebuilt it yet. Why? I'm getting down to the bottom . . . but I know there will be more sap to add to the pot(s) yet. And, in the meanwhile ('til I add more sap), I'm getting too close for comfort to the syrup stage - the stage where I need to be ever vigilant to ensure that the syrup doesn't scorch or turn from syrup to sugar. At the very end of the process, I'll bring the syrup into the kitchen to reduce those final cups of Mother Nature's goodness on the stove. Nearly all of the water should be evaporated by then, so I shouldn't have to worry about the sugary steam coating every inch of the kitchen in stickiness (which is exactly what would happen if you did the whole process indoors). I'll be interested to see how the sap run is today since it's warm but not sunny. Although, now that I look out the window across the valley to the west, I do see blue sky peeking through . . . !
Day before yesterday, I hung clothes out on the line for the first time this year. I could have done it much sooner what with the snow melting so early, but, for whatever reason, I just didn't get around to it. Matter of fact, since Tom moved out, the amount of laundry I've been doing has dropped precipitously! With him going through a full set of clothes (shirt, slacks, socks, underwear, and undershirt) each weekday, I didn't realize how often I was washing clothes! But now, of course, I notice the nice absence (of the clothes, not him!). But, as soon as I get an outside job here, I guess that amount of laundry will zoom right back up! (And, for those of you who have been asking: no, I haven't yet heard back from that job I interviewed for a week ago today. I'm trying to not get too disappointed. There is a new, full-time job opening at the credit union, though, that I'll send my resume in for. I'm quick with an adding machine / calculator, so that's something in my favor! And, hmmm, I wonder if my paycheck there could directly go towards the mortgage?! Ha!)
As I write, the blue sky is pushing the high clouds out more and more, and I'm feeling hopeful that I might have a chance to do something tonight that I've been promising myself. Before the bugs come out (usually the last days of May although it may be early this year due to the early spring) and on the evenings that it's warm enough to really enjoy, I want to sit out on the deck, cocktail in hand, and simply savor the evening. Even if it's for just 10 minutes, I want to try to do that for myself as often as the weather allows.
And, speaking of enjoying the evenings, the nearly-full moon was GORGEOUS last night as it rose in the eastern sky above the 12 cords of firewood.
Signs of spring: the red-winged blackbirds have returned, the rhubarb is popping up, and Annie Blue (cat) insists on spending the nights outside until asking to come in around (ugh) 3:00 or 4:00 AM.