Cold January Day


It’s a cold January day. Elv is home today puttering about beams with a level and jacks, posts and ceiling tiles. I hear him and Brad down there now talking and deliberating about how much to lift it. Elv came up here and laid the level on the floor here and there asking himself, “Shall I raise it the whole inch, or just part way?”
“That’s what you always ask when you work on this house.” I answered even though I knew he wasn’t necessarily talking to me.
“The doors don’t fit anymore.” He says in mockery of our complaints in the past.
Our old house is always a work in progress. Now it is the basement getting insulated at last. No more damp in the summer and cold in the winter. But, progress is a relative term. Before we can do one thing we have to back up and do other structural things. You don’t even want to know. Hence the beam dance today.
    The camera I’ve been anticipating did arrive.  Brad sent me a picture of the package while I was at work when it came. YES!!!! I texted back to him.
As of this morning I still cannot use it. Amazon has even now shipped an adapter that I’m missing. Oh well, let patience have her perfect work! 
    Today I am sitting on the couch with my lap top on my lap, feet tucked under my skirt to stay warm. Every few minutes I get up and either shut the draft or open it for a little to be my own personal regulator of the heat output from the wood stove. The flames lick the glass  happily when the draft is open and droop sullenly when I close it. I am convinced that a little electric thermostatic control could be installed to save firewood and my getting up all the time.
    My sister Amy posted a verse on FB this morning about living generously and the promise of pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing returns. That verse always makes me think about the blessings/windfalls that I fail to take account of properly. It’s too easy to keep track of the wrong side of the ledger or any ledger at all. I suspect that pressed down, shaken together and overflowing are not about ledgers at all. More about abundance and plenty, which ideas are hard to corral into math, which is just as it ought to be. 
    A friend dumped all of her excess gf flours onto me the other day. Her bakery is kind of closed for the winter, and nobody is baking THM anymore around here anyway. So, that was a real windfall for me. This morning I took cups of almond meal, sorghum flour, and brown rice flour and mixed up some muffins. Don’t ask me for the recipe, please. I never use a written recipe for muffins. You need to follow a few simple rules: the correct ratio of baking powder to flour, a little sugar, some eggs, fat, and spices. Last of all, throw in the right amount of frozen blueberries, in this case, and bake in left over Christmas cupcake papers… muffin pans. I sprinkled a few of Lisl’s Thai maple flavored sugar squares on each one before baking. Little gourmet touch there.
    So, the beam guys came up from grunting/hauling oak logs around down there for uprights and took a muffin break. I put cold shavings of butter on the two halves of mine and ate it with a fork. Food, fit for a king! The guys poured milk and sugar over theirs and ate them with a spoon.
    The days are still rather short. You just get the day going good and suddenly it’s two in the afternoon and clouding over and dusk is coming soon. I love this about winter, though. Because long winter evenings are ever so nice with warm stove fires and family times. I have a fresh pot of coffee ready. Amy will soon be home from work and then we’ll have our coffee here by the fire and catch up after the weekend. You’re welcome to join us. There are a few muffins left, too. And they’re still warm.


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