Follow by Email

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Putting Threads into the Warp

It's a waxing moon, new calendars hung on the wall (antique tractors in the kitchen, Gary Patterson cats in the office) and this "long term variable periodic" housekeeper (a term I borrowed from my astronomy days) who follows the path of a hearth Goddess, has finally been kicked in the butt to do some serious cleaning!

The worst parts of being such an irregular housekeeper, especially when coupled with working in town, having a business that requires much of my time actually creating stuff, AND farming/homesteading are that the mess can rapidly get out of control and the time available to shovel it back out again quickly vanishes into painting that needs doing, food that must be harvested and processed or go to waste and similar tasks. Eventually, though, Frigga kicks my butt and I get it in gear again.

One of the big tasks in my life involves "putting by" food -- canning, freezing and just plain stashing away root crops and long keepers for the winter. Not having a proper root cellar, and not even a basement, nor the prospect for one any time in the near future, can make this a challenge. I had planned to construct a space the the room that was added on to our mobile home (AKA the back porch) that was lined with recycled styrafoam panels from work. Some of the impulse purchace goodies come in cardboard boxes lined with 1 or 2" thick pieces of the stuff. But as life got away from me and winter arrived early, that did not happen.

What DID happen was a bumper crop of potatoes and a massive harvest of winter squash, and a less than anticipated sale of same to the buyers club. All of which resulted in several large paper bags of potatoes and piles of squash "stored" in the back porch when the temperatures dropped below freezing and stayed there.

The first part of my turn of the calendar project was to rescue as much of the bounty that the land had provided as possible. I dragged the heavy bags of potatoes into the kitchen to allow them to warm up a bit and piled squash into laundry and bushel baskets to the same end. Many of the squash proved to be a bit soft, upon thawing and I have been busy cutting, seeding and baking them to scoop and mash. Once mashed, the wonderful orange flesh can be frozen in one cup "glops" on a cookie sheet, then placed into freezer bags for later use as a quick, vitamin A-rich side dish or in baked goods. I still have over a bushel of "good" squash, and have stored them in the slightly warmer environment of the master bathroom for now.

The potatoes are a different challenge. I have yet to find an acceptable storage option beyond just keeping them in the cool and dark. Freezing does not do well by them, and I had feared that most, if not all, of the crop was lost. Upon warming them, though, it appears that our bumper crop has left us with a lot for storage despite losing around half of them to rot. I am most thankful to The Powers That Be for this blessing, despite my failure to properly husband my harvest. We still have around a hundred pounds of potatoes of various varieties, which have been sorted, washed, dried and stored in the dark under a built in china cabinet in the kitchen.

After getting all the squishy and wet potatoes and bags out of the kitchen, I was well motivated to attack a much-neglected kitchen floor, and then the living room floor. Still not done, but a least it now looks like I am trying!

Tomorrow I have a short day at my town job, then another day off and hopefully I will be back on track with the cleaning so that I can resume work on the hex signs that have been ordered. Previously, the chaos pretty much made it impossible for me to concentrate on the work, let alone be in the proper mind set to work the energies needed to paint the signs as more than "just for pretty."

So what does all this have to do with "putting threads into the warp?" Well, you see, I view life, the universe (and everything... apologies to Douglas Adams) as a tapestry, with threads made up of the life of everyone and everything, moving back and forth, touching and parting, beginning and ending. Intentions take form in the Tapestry of Life and, sitting on the weaver's bench with the Norns, one can tweak, adjust and even add threads. And that is what I have been doing, as I work with the harvest stores and run the vacuum and the mop... I have been setting threads in the Tapestry to move ahead into the future... threads that will help me keep on top of the work... threads that will help organize the remaining months of my Year of Transition and move on into the rest of my life.

This time of year is good for these things. It's what folks try to do with "new years resolutions." And with the input of the moon as well and the change of the calendar, things done with intent have extra oomph.