It’s not that difficult to stay indoors these days when we look out the window at a crisp,new mantle of snow. Check the thermometer at wakeup and it’s minus 17 degs. At coffee time we have minus 9 degs. But no worries, spring is coming. I look to the northern flicker a-drumming on my chimney and at daybreak today, despite the temperature, his possible bride-to-be is feeding on dropped seed under the bird feeder.
I tell, ya this resident northern flicker of ours sure has something to say. There he was drumming his brains out on our chimney yesterday letting all who could hear that a) he/she is looking for a mate, and b) this is my territory.
I interpret the drumming as a sign of Spring.
The other thing is he serves as a neighbourhood crier for me announcing to all to take note that Beginnings at the End of the Road is available as an ebook. Exciting.
This novel is my fourth book (third novel) and to me the thrill of this writing life is seeing the results of months and months of work finally in all its popular forms, hardcover, softcover and ebook.
I learned yesterday too that a very good friend now enjoying life in the Algarve region of Portugal already has her ebook copy.
Beginnings at the End of the Road is a tender tale all about how a surprise gift propels a polio survivor down a bumpy road of astonishing outcomes.
The book itself is now available any online bookstore in the world.
Best buy for the ebook though might be direct from my publisher at www.westbowpress.com/bookstore.
Regardless of what some gopher/groundhog/ground squirrel might tell us, I can truly attest that Spring is round the corner. How do I know this? Information came first hand from a Northern Flicker just yesterday morning.
Drumming on our chimney is the definite true report. He or she is up there a-drumming like crazy advertising for a mate and defining territory, the true signs of Spring.
That is really good news after the wee disaster that occurred at our place just 24 hours earlier. I bake our no-knead bread every two days and Thursday was the day we tried something just a little bit different. I arose about 5am or so to begin the second proof.
This style of amazing bread baking calls for the dough to be resident in a cupboard some 16-18 hours. I’ve changed the morning of sequence just slightly after gaining some new knowledge from a magazine I picked up at the Avenida Market. Bridget, our youngest daughter gave me a couple of Banneton proofing baskets at Christmas. The trick is how to use these. After prepping my dough from its overnight bowl, I lodged it into the floured basket, covered it with a tea towel and pushed it to the back of the kitchen counter.
Lois suggested it might do better if I put it in the oven with the light on. Nice, warm constant temperature vs the chill on the kitchen counter.
Good idea. I already had the Dutch oven on the rack. I set the timer for two hours, figuring on preheating the oven after 1 ½ hours to 425 degrees.
Again, good idea, but I forgot to remove the Banneton basket. When I checked progress, smoke funnelled volcano style out the stovetop vent, an acrid smell filled the kitchen, and flames were a breath away inside the oven. The result: one tea towel destroyed, a willow basket sadly-burned, and a semi-baked loaf of bread damaged beyond recovery.
Lesson learned. I did get the basket cleaned though and the day’s bread comprised bagels Lois made in the air fryer. Cool, eh!
With a new loaf created yesterday, and a drumming Flicker, I celebrated and went out and bought myself a new safety razor — an early Valentine’s gift from Lois.
The razor is a beaut red, handcrafted by Ralph Sears at www.justwriteink.ca. The razor ranks right up there with my fountain pen and roller ball pen.
Today I’m clean shaven. This awesome little razor did what I expected it to do and I only suffered one small nick.