Although I love Christmas, when I give free rein to my inner magpie, at this time of year my energy is always at a low point. The short days, too often cloudy, sap my energy and keep me inside for far too much of the time. It seems like my only moments outside are brief forays to other buildings on campus or to and from the car, and weekends never have enough room in them to spend all the time I want outside.
But last Saturday we celebrated the return of the light here at Henbogle, inviting a few friends over for good company, good food and a Solstice fire. Each guest had a spring of evergreen to throw on the fire if so desired, and after the blaze died down we warmed ourselves with some delicious homemade eggnog, courtesy of the Henbogle girls. We certainly enjoyed ourselves immensely, and I hope our friends did, too.
The promise of lengthening days and a fresh new year are energizing, as is having some time off together here at home. Dan and I have spent quite a bit of time clearing the clutter, weeding the bookshelves, reorganizing our files (aka giant piles of paper) and puttering about. We've both had colds, so the desperately-needed cleaning of the barn hasn't happened, but it will, as a February vacation project looms.
We visit the girls daily for bonus midday treats, (frozen pumpkin, breadcrumbs, leftover green beans, yum!) and took advantage of a warm day to clean out Henbogle Coop and put in fresh bedding (that's Pippi checking things out). A recent winter rainstorm had exposed a few blades of grass which the girls greeted with enthusiasm. The snow dome is working out remarkably well, now that the girls have overcome their fear of the snow.
A big pile of gardening catalogs awaits my attention, and with the promise of snow for the next few days, I am sure to have time to start planning for spring as the light increases. And of course, there are a few birthdays ahead to look forward too as well. Happy new year, everyone!
12 eggs, separated
2 cups sugar
2 c gold rum
1 c apricot brandy
3 pints milk
1 pint heavy cream
Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until thick. Slowly stir in the rum, apricot brandy, milk and cream. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled and pour into a punch bowl. Beat the egg whites until stiff and and fold gently into the eggnog. Grate fresh nutmeg on top to taste