Picture it, January 2nd, 2015, in southern Wisconsin where it is brown, cold and lacking snow. I’m perched at my home office desk in my workout gear after just sending off a first draft for another article at N Magazine, have downed the last of my decaf coffee that I cooled to drinking temperature with some unsweetened vanilla almond milk and it occurred to me that I hadn’t written a post for Fancy Coffee Friday yet! That just will not do, so I better get on it!
This was a short work week for me which worked out in my favor because now I get to explain the title for this post.
I work at a small, professional office, and while the owner is very generous for a lot of things, vacation time, personal time and sick time are all wrapped into a package of 3 weeks. Not the most generous time-away-from work package there is though better than what a lot of American’s are given (that would be nothing…. big fat zero), it means that when people are sick at the end of the year they seldom have days left so they come into work spreading their illness to all of the office equipment. Such was the case this week when two coworkers came into the office on Monday complaining of being nauseated and having a sore throat. I attempted to stay within the confines of The Fortress of Solitude, however, eventually I had to go pee – especially with the amount of coffee and water I drink. Touching something that had been contaminated with germs was bound to happen.
So that what how I found myself feeling not-so-great Wednesday afternoon, which I initially attributed to being glutened when I went out for lunch, but by 9:30 PM as I was crawling into bed to lay in the fetal position shaking with the cold sweats, I knew I’d contracted the plague from one of my thoughtful coworkers. I’d drank down an extra dose of Emergen-C when I got home along with a quart of Tulsi Peppermint tea to quell the nausea and by morning on New Years Day, I was feeling nearly back to 100%.
And that brings me to the dead chicken.
I had full intentions of finishing my article for N Magazine yesterday, but of course, just as I was finishing up some laundry so I could get to work on the computer, Mr. Muse popped his head through the patio door and stated, “There is a dead chicken floating in the water tank… I’ll get the hose.”
The water font heater for the chickens had malfunctioned the other day and we’d been hauling fresh water to the chickens twice a day while we waited for the opportunity to run to the farm store to pick up a new one on Wednesday. One of my Rhode Island Red hens decided she was going to take things into her own wings and attempted to get a drink out of the goats water tank (also has a tank heater). Sadly, she appears to have not been the smartest hen in the coop and had fallen in and drowned.
I was still feeling good, so I grabbed a bucket and began bailing water from the tank to reach a point where we could tip it over and scrub it out. Marilou the goat came over to supervise, and get pets and hugs, and I crawled into the tank (it’s a big tank) armed with my scrub brush and my hose on the “Jet” setting. Once the tank was scrubbed, rinsed, set upright and refilled, I was left with algae-coated mittens – one of which was soaked through – a nose dripping “snotsicles”, and eyes watering from the biting wind, so I headed back into the house to clean myself up. I oozed sexiness at that moment. Okay… mostly just mucous.
Once I’d cleaned up and gotten things fixed up as they needed with myself and the aforementioned laundry, it was time to start the cake. Mr. Muse is a huge fan of all-things-almond, which works out with my being gluten free as many recipes use almond flour, and for New Years Day I thought I would make another recipe I found on Pinterest (it’s the devil, I tell you): Amaretto Poppy Seed Cake. I made it gluten free, of course, and despite my spraying my bundt pan liberally – the cake stuck as I tried to remove it, the top (once it’s inverted) of the cake stayed in the pan. After a quick, “SONOFABITCH! I sprayed that pan REALLY WELL!”, I salvaged the top of the cake (in pieces), replaced it and eventually drizzled it with glaze. Only a quarter of the cake was left looking ugly, but it didn’t matter anyway because it was incredibly moist and delicious and we ate that part first. In fact, I had a piece of it for lunch today. That’s right, I ate cake for lunch and I thought it was delicious.
Lest you think that I only had cake to ring in the New Year, I also made Hoppin’ John Soup, another Pinterest recipe find, and even though there was a copious amount of collards in this soup, Mr. Muse (who is NOT a fan of vegetables) commented, “This is really good. I like it.” So, that’s two wins in one day!
Which brings me to today. My article has been submitted for perusal. I had cake for lunch. I still need to get in my workout (the treadmill is staring at the back of my head right now) and once that has been finished I’ll resume crocheting a hat requested by the daughter of some friends as she’s outgrown the last one I made her. Her request is stretching my skills this time as she’s requested matching scarf and mittens, too!
So, happy Fancy Coffee Friday and 2015 to you all.
How did you ring in the New Year?