Posted in Change, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Food, Gifts, Gratitude, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Water, Weather, Winter

Twenty minutes

Icy morning.
Icy morning.

Winter then in its early and clear stages, was a purifying engine that ran unhindered over city and country, alerting the stars to sparkle violently and shower their silver light into the arms of bare upreaching trees.  It was a mad and beautiful thing that scoured raw the souls of animals and man, driving them before it until they loved to run.

~ Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale

Winter sunrise.
Winter sunrise.

Winter is here.  No doubt about it.  The harsh and blustering winds of the past two days have brought with them arctic cold.

Reminders of summer.
Reminders of summer.

I thought we’d take a break from Washington, D.C. to see what’s happening here on the ranch.  I bundled up, layer after layer, in hopes of taking a long walk.  Instead, I lasted about twenty minutes out there in the brutal cold with little to show for it.

Holly in the sunlight.
Holly in the sunlight.

It is difficult to show you the cold.  I have no snow or icicles or anything tangible to show you except for an image or two of the lagoon which is frozen on top.  The water is brackish — a mix of salt and fresh water — so it has to be very cold for the surface to freeze.

Queen Anne's Lace posing in front of the icy lagoon.
Queen Anne’s Lace posing in front of the icy lagoon.

The creek, which is tidal, is still flowing, although there are small islands of ice floating around out there.  The very edges are frozen and white with ice and frost.

Sunlight on water.
Sunlight on water.

Even the sun is lacking in warmth right now.

Wax myrtle in the woods.
Wax myrtle in the woods.

It’s still windy, but not gusting and blustering like it has been the past two days.  Yesterday the house shook and rattled with the wind.  I wondered if all the huffing and puffing would blow the house down, but it’s a sturdy house, a house with good bones.  It will take more than that to sweep it away.  Not that I’m issuing Mother Nature a challenge, mind you.  Just expressing gratitude for a house well built.

Magnolia wishes.
Magnolia wishes.

It is a good day for staying indoors and making kimchi.  Have you ever made kimchi?  I haven’t.  It’s something I’ve been wanting to try so I decided to pick up the ingredients during our grocery shopping trip in Annapolis.  The only thing I’m missing is the Korean pepper, but I did some research online and came up with a recipe for a substitute that involves chili flakes and smoked paprika.  Since I’m making a vegan kimchi, I am using miso to give it the umami flavor usually acquired with fish sauce or dried shrimp.

Getting started.
Getting started.

I found four or five vegan recipes that have aspects I like, and have come up with a composite recipe that I think will suit my taste.  At least that’s the hope.  The last time I tried to ferment vegetables (sauerkraut), it didn’t work out well.  Fingers crossed that this time around I’ll have a winner.

Napa cabbage.
Napa cabbage.

As of this writing, the Napa cabbage is soaking in a brine (sea salt and water).  When I finish here, I’ll blend the seasonings in a food processor to make a paste that I’ll be adding to the vegetables when they’re ready.  The seasonings include green onions, garlic, the pepper substitute, miso, and ginger.  The vegetables are the Napa cabbage (of course), daikon radish, and the green part of the green onions.  I’m keeping it simple for this first attempt.

Ready to brine.
Ready to brine.

I reckon that’s it from the Wabi-Sabi Ranch for today.  Thank you for stopping by.  I might brave the cold and go out to the platform to watch the sunset this evening.  It’s at 5:00 PM.  What I’d really like to do is go out and look at the stars because they always seem to shine so brilliantly during the winter months.  You’re welcome to join me.  Make sure you wear plenty of layers.  It is a biting type of cold, and you really want to protect those extremities the experts warn about when it comes to winter weather.

In the kitchen this morning.
In the kitchen this morning.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Ready to ferment.
Ready to ferment.

Today’s joys:  Experimenting in the kitchen; a quick and invigorating walk in the woods; sunshine on the ice and water; mittens and scarves; hot soups and beverages that warm from the inside out.

Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, yoga teacher, sometime poet, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She shares her daily walks and meanders, a lot of quotes, some of her artwork, and a lot of her photography here on Ye Olde Blogge. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are (still!) in the midst of renovating the house and cleaning up the property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

19 thoughts on “Twenty minutes

  1. it is titicles cold here. I feel stalled out now on the decorating, feng shui-ing(is that a word?) and sorting. I feel guilt that I have done everything besides make flour mix, mayo and dressing and install printer so that I can scan paper items and get rid of piles of …pile. I am telling myself now that it will be dark soon, so the end of the day. ha

    we are at a degree above predicted high, a balmy 18 degrees with a real feel of 13 mmm cozy

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    1. We had a brief warm-up, Elisa, and it felt downright balmy out there when it finally got above freezing. It’s in the 20’s again today. Brrrrr! “Titicles cold.” lol! Great way to put it.

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  2. We finally warmed up (41) here in Oregon but it feels even colder than it was when we were in the low 20’s! It has been very, very foggy for the last three days. We made the mistake of going out the other night, not knowing that we were in a fogless pocket until we drove about a mile and found ourselves in about 1/4 mile visibility! We have an air stagnation alert in effect til Friday. But I cannot figure why it seems so, so cold!

    I love your kitchen picture. What a bright spot and I love the windows!

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  3. Lovely photo of sunlight on water today, Robin. You are braver than I. I’ve stayed in stirring soup and mixing the next batch of sourdough, letting my sturdy partner run outside. My new gallon of Neptune’s Harvest arrived by UPS today. Spring is in the air…. I hope your Kimchi turns out delicious. It certainly looks great 😉 Stay warm, WG

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    1. Thank you, WG. 🙂 I had a sneak-taste of the Kimchi and it’s tasting pretty good. It is VERY spicy. Next time I’ll try ancho chilies rather than the red pepper flakes (unless I can locate the Korean pepper in the meantime).

      Spring??! Where? lol! It is freezing here today.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I too love the view from your kitchen window. Our weather is unusually warm and dry for this time of year. I appreciate that, but know we’ll pay for it in the summer. Tried kimchi once in Seoul, decided it’s not my dish of choice. Kat loves it now she’s living there.

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  5. I’ll have to look up kimchi…I have not heard of it! Today is a lot warmer than yesterday when we stayed around 1 degree with wind. I just spent a good amount of time shoveling 1/4 of the driveway. I’m going to drive over the rest of it on my way to work. Wish me luck!

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  6. Brrrr, we actually had a two hour delay to the start of school on this day(Thursday) due to the wind chill warning! I saw a weather map showing that parts of Canada and northern New England were actually colder than the surface of Mars on Thursday (well, Mars in the summer at the equator, but still!) I have to say I am really enjoying your photography these days! You always find an interesting variety of subjects – especially impressive at this drab time of year – and your color and framing and artful ways of presenting are delightful. 🙂

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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