Sunday, December 28, 2008

YULETIDE 2008-2009

It has been a very interesting Yuletide around here! In November I recieved an email from the folks at The Barre Christmas Fair asking If I was interested in being a vendor. Other than the Pagan Pride Fair in October it has been a few years since I had done any fairs and I was more than happy to be a part of this one. Then I found out about a couple more Fairs and was scheduled to be a part of the Holiday Farmers Market at Hampshire College, and possibly the Holiday Fair held at The listening Center in Barre Massachsuetts. The Christmas Fair in Barre was wonderful! Folks from as far away as Worcester came to spend their hard earned dollars at a local event. I had enough stuff from years past to sell and had been making a few things here and there to sell at my eBay store - Harvestand Home Natural Fiber Garb - so I had a good selection of what I call my artf-full eclectica. I have been making wands for a couple of months, Faery Wands mostly, some Jingle bell bling, and a few hats. Then the weather hit ! The Thursday before the Hampshire Fair the hill was in a deep freeze. Ice coated everything. The roads were closed and the National Guard called in. I lost electricity and telephone on Thursday night around 8 pm and it wasn't turned back on until the following Thursday around 4 in the afternoon. The Telephone service came back on the Monday after that about 7 pm or so. I have two woodstoves, one at each end of the house so heat wsn't an issue. I am heating only with wood this year anyway so that was no change. Refrigeration was an issue and I emptied the contents of my fridge into a Cambro cooler, shoveled some ice form the back yard and kept things cool enough. Water was the other issue. Our local volunteer emergency squad kept the Fire station open 24 hours and I was able to get water from them. I am truly blessed to live in a wonderful community. Each time I went up to the Fire Station there was a pot of hot coffee, hot water for tea, donuts, homemade cookies, chili etc. Folks from town were stopping in to drop off goodies and to see what the chat was about the weather and affected utilities. Route 202 was closed because of all of the wires brought down by the ice laden trees. I stood outside my house and listened to the crack and crash of branches. A good bit of next years firewood has already been felled thanks to mother nature! I was able to heat water up on my Jotul Black Bear in the Kitchen. It has one burner ring. I would fill up one of my large stainless steel canning pots and would wake up to nicely hot water each morning. I have continued this particular habit because it helps to heat water without oil or electricity, it adds mousture the air, and it helps to heat the kitchen as the water holds onto heat throughout the night and early morning. It is a great way to warm chilly fingers too! I just wrap them around the pot of hot water. I even managed to cook a whole Turkey on the woodstove! I have a large stainless steel roasting pan that I had picked up at a yard sale awhile ago, I butterflied the turkey, laid it flat in the pan and in about 7 hours it was done. The skin never crisped up the way it does in my oven but I had plenty of meat for the week. Needless to say I couldn't make it to the Market at Hampshire college or to the Fair at The Listening Center. The next week about 12 inches of snow fell. I am in deep gratitude to the utility workers who cleaned up and got us back on line as quick as they could, and much appreciation to the emergency workers who knocked on every door in New Salem to check on us folks living out in the Quabbin Woods. Just this past week our band merry revillers went door to door caroling through the snow! I love this place. Blessings of the Yuletide to all.

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