Thursday, October 30, 2014

two days before

In my mind, there are four types of farmhouse cleaning: the quick mop and dust of a surface, just to give it a shine, the light going over all essential spots, the basic whole shebang -- but not with a lot of elbow grease, and then, finally, there is the all out, spare no corner, wash everything that can be washed, lift furniture, do vinegar soaks, chase Isie out of the bedroom -- that kind of cleaning.

I hardly ever do that last one.

But because there will be a baby shower here on Saturday, I throw myself into it today. I'm determined to make this place shine.

It takes hours. I wanted to be done before breakfast, but I can't do it. And so we pause, we eat...


... and then I go back to the cleaning, playing, too, the role of inspector -- trailing after Ed and his vacuum cleaner and pointing to spots that he missed.

Finally, done!

It used to be that I could do party preparations all in one day. Pans would fly, sauces would percolate, ten different pages of recipes would be stacked, one on top of the other.

No more. I prefer the slow and steady approach. So today I clean and shop. Tomorrow I cook. Saturday, along with my younger girl, I put it together (and we're getting help from the local bakeries, so it's not as if we're cooking the whole thing). That's the plan.

It's a good day to be out in the grocery stores. The colors there are far more radiant than the colors outside right now. It's a cold and gray day -- perfect for thinking about food preparation.

By late afternoon I'm home again. Unpack, put away, fold, discard, done!

Ed's pals from the days when he was heavily involved in the coop movement in Madison (this would be forty years ago) are in town and we all go to the Dane Pub for an early supper. They then proceed to attend some coop meeting or other and I return home. Not a spooky home. A cheerful place where only the cheerful tread.*

On days like this, all you can hope for is cheeper photos. And the hens help me out today! They all put forth their best profiles and so you get all three, in separate poses. They are, indeed, the spark and color at the farmette right now. With the occasional stray bloom thrown in to adorn their stately presence.




And since it was a farmhouse cleaning day, my last photo will be of the puffed up cushions and pillows on the couch. Yes, there appears to be a theme here. Indeed.


*This is my opportunity to respond to comments on my post of yesterday. In answer to the question  -- what did happen out there, at 2 am?? The answer is so straightforward and bland that I am surprised that even in my sleepy stupor I did not hit upon it. Here's the play by play: It's 2 a.m. The outdoor sensor chimes. It is, in fact, Ed, leaving the farmhouse to try something out on one of his machines in the sheep shed. I do not know this. I'm asleep upstairs. By the time I recognize the chimes, get down to the front door, he has walked to the shed, setting off his own sensor lights there. Yes, he looks kind of sinister from a distance. Like two persons, cloaked in black. Especially to a person who is not wearing her glasses and who is sort of confused by the world around her. No money changes hands, no one has makes a late night delivery -- legal or otherwise. No one gets into a car, or on a bike to ride off in a hurry. The night is full of wind, the cheepers sleep, Ed proceeds to work at his machine and I return to bed feeling not a little foolish.