Friday, April 24, 2015

End of the Week Assessment=Tired

I've reached the end of the week feeling bone tired [an elderly sort of complaint] 
and needing to assure myself that I must have done something to list as accomplishments.
In a year that has included moving house--twice--and being involved in the renovation of two houses to date, I have lost the sense of personal satisfaction that has usually been provided by my sewing and writing. Even time to read has been at a premium--I sit with a book in my hands, but often rather foggy in concentration.
My week in review includes feeding and cleaning up after cats--of course!
The laundry gets done, bed made, dishes washed, etc.

I water the little plants residing in the pantry: these are the three surviving rosemarys, still so small, but they've had larger pots and fresh soil for encouragement.
The seedling muskmelons, tomatoes, lavender and coneflower are out-growing their containers on the pantry windowsill. I must find better accommodations for them in the next few days.

A good morning to bake--temps only just above freezing at daybreak.
Chocolate chip cookies with dried cranberries and pecans.
Not exactly what we needed, but chocolate is comforting.

Cinnamon rolls to share with a neighbor.
I am justifying the sweet treats as fuel for our labors!

Our favorite loaves--anadama bread.
I usually make this traditional New England favorite with a cooked cornmeal mush as the base.
A friend in Vermont says he adds the raw cornmeal to the other ingredients. In the interest of time I did this today and I'm pleased with the result--a bit more 'crunch' to the crust.

I took advantage of the wood stove to simmer a hearty potato soup.
Bread, still warm from the [electric] oven, with a slathering of pimento cheese which I made Wednesday evening.

While Jim worked Tuesday repairing the ceiling at the Cane Valley house, I clipped shrubbery and then loaded up a pile of bricks which had been left by the former owners.
At Jim's request I applied polyurethane in a swath down the left side of the hallway--muttering as I did so that I would not have laboriously ripped up the carpet in that area if I'd had an inkling we'd be moving. He 'polyed' the other side today.
Thursday was [at last] a day of bright sunshine.
My load of bricks from Cane Valley was still in the van. The former occupants of the lower farmhouse had placed bricks around an old well head, now overgrown with weeds. Moving the top layer of bricks was easy, but the bottom round had to be pried out with a shovel.
In spite of a late lunch at The Mustard Seed I was definitely flagging by the time I unloaded and stacked my bricks in the area where I hope to create a perennial garden. 
Our soil is gritty with many small rocks--I foresee much effort will be needed.
I parked the van between the shop and lower porch, trundled out the shop vac and spent half an hour hoovering out crumbs of earth, several families of wood lice who had emerged from the bricks and several gruesome looking spiders.

The electric company arrived with three trucks and sufficient manpower to install the overhead wires and hook up power to the 'box' just inside the gate to the lower house.
Jim promptly ran the heavy cable across the ground and into the basement.
He has several outlets installed--very evident as he has the radio or CD player blasting over the noise of drills and power saws.

Today Jim put up the partial wall which will divide the huge square room into kitchen and dining space. I am pleased to note that he has taken my suggestions to heart regarding location of the bathroom and laundry area.
[Of course he now believes it was all his own idea!  He did have a great brainstorm for creating a 
new pantry.]

Thus another week has unraveled--no great accomplishments,  rather a certain sense of plodding [not running] in circles.
If I have a job description it may be 'The Person Who Picks up the Pieces'!
I am not as martyred as I sound--merely feeling my age!


  1. I think you have achieved a good deal Sharon. Especially cooking up a storm! The lower farmhouse is coming on well, and thank heavens between you both you have the skills to get it looking as you want it. It will just need doing the once and then you can rest on your laurels.

    I love the way everything is starting to green up with you. Spring is ahead of us in England (we were in Somerset on Wednesday) but we are always late tree-wise up this valley as we have 80% ash trees I think, and they are always the last to get their leaves, though they are currently in a race with the oak trees.

    1. I think we have a good sprinkling of ash trees in our wood beyond the stable--as well as oak, persimmon and maple. Ash trees in the south are subject to the onslaughts of the Emerald Ash Borer which has destroyed many trees. It is interesting to note the difference in species of trees and flowering wild plants from one end of the county to the other.
      As for 'cooking up a storm'--we have neighbors who give us fresh eggs in exchange for baked goods--fair enough!

  2. I am always in awe of your energy as you have so much going on in your life and so many jobs to do each day.
    Your baking alone looks time consuming and very delicious, I wish I could come and visit with you and chatter over one of your wonderful cinnamon buns.
    I'm not surprised you get tired out, I bet you're up while most folks are still asleep ( apart from Leanne!).
    Hopefully you can sit back and enjoy your home this time, no more moves please Jim!

    1. Kath; I am such a plodder--it is the only way I get anything done! I can imagine we would enjoy chatting over a pot of tea and a plate of cinnamon buns.
      I think Leanne takes the prize for being up and about early in the day with her wits fully collected.

  3. I think you've accomplished quite a LOT. Digging up, loading and unloading the bricks is a back breaker and it's no wonder you are tired! Not to mention daily living and all that that entails.

    You inspire me. Have a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

    1. Rainey; I think you and I are the original 'ants' who believe that by continued pushing [and putting out our backs] we can move the 'rubber tree plant' and anything else that needs rearranged in our gardens!

  4. Well now I know what anadama bread is after trying to puzzle it out on F/B, looks good and well risen. What a lot of work moving into a new house entails but I am sure it is all worth it.

    1. Thelma; We gained two houses on this move--both needing modern amenities installed. I think you know a bit about the work of moving!

  5. Everything looks so beautiful, including the Anadama bread. I discovered this bread about 30 years ago and also include corn meal. That might be the kind of bread I make next week - thanks for the reminder.

    1. Lillian; Anadama bread is such a delicious halfway point between white bread and a heavier whole grain loaf. If you make it, be sure and have some for toast--its the best.

  6. You know that eventually all of your hard work will pay off.

    1. Janet; The 'pay-off' on the hard work will be the rental income from the lower house--right now, renovating two is a bit of a financial drain, to say nothing of requiring many hours of labor.

  7. You've earned the right to be tired, Sharon! I'm exhausted and a little ashamed of myself just reading what you've accomplished. Can't wait to have a tour of your farmhouse. It sounds like a dream!

    1. Jane; I feel thatii would like to fall into my rocking chair and refuse to budge--somehow I do revive and keep the meals coming and the cat hair swept--surely there will eventually be a bit of leisure.

  8. I know exactly how you feel....shattered! Very impressed with your baking prowess. I've been trying to lose weight for the last four months and avoiding anything approaching what I see here....nice to look though!

    1. Em; I like the term 'shattered' to express over-tired--I think I shall add it to my personal lexicon and use it with great drama!