Gosh, I’m craving milk lately.  I almost didn’t milk Gwen this morning, but when I checked the refrigerator and saw I only had a half a gallon of milk left, I decided I had better milk her.  Milking by hand is an extremely therapeutic activity.  While it’s not terribly quiet out there, thanks to the ducks, chickens, guineas and calves, it’s still peaceful.  I’m looking forward to the goats coming back into production so I can start to make cheese again.

Yesterday afternoon, I applied for two different jobs, both of which are a reasonable commute away, but it seems that may be what I have to do in order to get back into my profession, or at least doing something I can use my brain for.  My poor brain is suffering from not being used.  Writing and researching helps, but I really, really miss the challenge of being a paralegal.  One of the positions is as a part-time paralegal which would be ideal.  Wally and I are committed to living on less and to have weekends and holidays free would be perfect.  That isn’t going to happen working in retail or a restaurant.

I feel much better today and I think on Wednesday I’ll be able to go back to MM and put my head down and work for my allotted six hours (I made a mistake, I thought it was five hours a day, but it’s six) and then go home.  I’ll enjoy getting out at 2 and getting things done.

I won’t be going out to South Mountain to ride today because my farrier is coming by this afternoon to trim the horses.  I plan to ride around the house instead (assuming I can get in the saddle).  I’m going to try ponying Al Bin off Trophy and see how that goes.  I hope to have enough ambition to get the front part of the house cleaned.  Maybe today I’ll spend some time working on the Spellcast Farm web site.

The chicken soup I made yesterday was amazing!!!!!  The bread didn’t come out as well, but it was still good.  The smell of it cooking was enough to make your mouth water.  I think I used too much pesto in the batter which made the inside of the bread too moist.  I’ll use the rest of it to make croutons.  I think we’ll eat the soup again tonight with some cornbread.  I use the cornbread recipe in the Thrill of the Grill cookbook by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby. Here is the recipe:

East Coast Grill Cornbread
yields: enough to fill a 10” cast iron skillet (thick),
or a 12” cast iron skillet (thin)
Oven @ 350°F

2 c all-purpose flour
1 c corn meal
¾ c sugar
½ t salt
1 T baking powder
2 eggs
1 ½ c milk
4 t vegetable oil
½ c melted butter

Muffin method. Sift together the dry ingredients. In a separate container, mix together the liquid ingredients. All at once, add the liquids to the dry and mix just until combined. Incorporate butter after liquids. Bake @ 350°F for 40 – 45 minutes in preheated, greased cast iron skillet.

I hate to regret things, but I wasted a lot of bounty from the garden this year. I should have tried to nurse the tomatoes through the heat and drought, harvested more basil, rescued the butternut squash before the squash bugs ate them up, etc., etc.  I checked the greens I have growing under the Agribon fabric and they are growing well.  I watered them this morning.  Wally and I talked about installing a drip irrigation system using PVC and I think we’ll see how it works with this one bed.  We have a lot of four foot long pieces of PVC left over from making the hoops and it would be nice to use them up.  We can’t use soaker hoses because of the amount of granite in our water.  Before now we either watered by hand or used sprinklers, both of of which are wasteful, one in time and the other in water.  Since all of our gardening will be in raised beds this year, drip irrigation may work out well.

Off to poach some eggs for breakfast and drink a big glass of milk.

Until later …