Winter Wonders

So.  Enough time has passed that some people are curious about what’s going on here.  After a long summer of visitors, family and friends we’ve now settled into our reclusive winter mode.  With hot water and heating issues inside the cottage still outstanding our clothes are getting seasonally dirty again, as are we.
We once had two incredible cats, both female: Loki and Tryxé.  Both managed to get themselves impregnated by some no-good vagabond Tom.  One night Loki, the most affectionate and happy cat either of us have known, came crying to us when she was ready to give birth and we comforted her through the trauma.  Shortly after first Tryxé and then Loki disappeared.  Either an eagle, snake or some other evil end befell our two cats.  So now, for the second year here we begin again with kittens.  Loki left us three sons:  Narfi, Fenrir and Hel.


We dug up the floor of the cottage to lay pipe for water to leave the house, smashing up a few stones on our way out of the house (pictured right).

One of the hazards of living in a dirt-floor building site is that when you leave your floor in a big pile of dirt the kittens think you’ve built them a marvellous new indoor toilet.

Our list of winter projects is large, from indoor plumbing to hot water, a stove, and many other improvements minor and major.  Urgent projects slip down the list as even more urgent emergencies emerge.  We hardly even blink anymore when, after a very hard rain we realise storm run-off finds its way running under the hill behind the house, over the bed rock and straight into the house providing us with our very own private stream of  unstoppable water flowing directly into the dirt mud floor.  We’ve rigged up a cement channel and hose pipe that drains the river into our newly laid plumbing system to get the water out of the house but we’re still slowly drying out.

Four more new residents keep the grounds well pecked.  Some of you donated some money to us to have a chicken named after you, so we now have living in our newly built chicken house, Fay, Myki, Shaun and Mara.  The garden is in winter mode now with Mustard Greens, beetroot, chard, carrots, radishes, beans, peas and tiny fields of winter wheat and rye holding on through the cold.

Winter darkness is here and we’re fast approaching the weeks of winter festivals,  Tomorrow is the solstice and longest night.   We’ll be celebrating it the following night with Modranekt and then of course Christmas comes shortly afterwards which gives us plenty of excuses for sampling our home-made sloe gin.  We hope you all enjoy the winter festival season as much as we intend to.

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5 Responses to Winter Wonders

  1. 'dena & Mom says:

    What a fun read! You guys are great writers, in addition to wonderful farmers. Hope you do get the water problem figured out for your own sake! Love you!

  2. Jerilyn says:

    My hat is off to both of you for your physical & spiritual tenacity as you manage (at least on the whole) to “keep your sense of humor” (Grandma Arlys). She would get such a bang out of this whole adventure. Kids & I were rear-ended Monday evening (very gently; no injuries to us, and the van is being repaired by the other guy’s insurance) and so heard the story about Grandma Arlys some dark, icy night in Michigan, coming over a hill to find her vehicle unresponsive to brakes. She crashed into the car ahead of her at the stop sign, and someone called the police. The police came over the hill, and Grandma’s car became the cheese in a 3-car sandwich, which –I hear– she found hilarious. The cop declined to write her a citation. Please continue to enjoy your adventures, and keep us posted!

    • Paris says:

      Jerilyn! Thanks for the thoughts and wonderful antidotes. I do wish very much that Grandma Arlys was with us to share life with still. I may have a book recommendation for you soon; I’ll finish it up shortly and email you.

  3. Eve Garlyn says:

    Your letters bring smiles and chuckles!! Does the sun hit your cottage in the winter? Hug a chicken for us!
    Eve & Steve

    • Paris says:

      We are south facing so we do get the winter sun, however we are a bit low down in a valley so the sun sets for us much earlier than it does for the villages above us up on top of the hills. Will a little pat on the back do for the chicken? much love