Grit Blogs > Windy Meadows Farm

Coziness & Contemplation

Mary Murray head shotLately, the winds have howled furiously around the old farmhouse. Waking up to frosty temperatures between 4 and 10 degrees, we feel as if the wind is bearing down around us. Inside we hear it rattling windows, while
outside, chores are done with heads bent down against its icy fury. Oftentimes, it feels as if the entire house will sail away…thankfully, it never does.  For 149 years it has been defiant against wind, rain, sleet, and snow.


ice on creek

Today, the kids have an unexpected day home from school. Freezing rain and ice have made it a January day to be blissfully content inside by the fire. It’s been a day of playing games, watching movies, homemade doughnuts & hot cocoa. Simple pleasures, indeed.

Days like this are also perfect for puttering. Sitting by the warmth of a crackling fire in the kitchen, I’m working to finish a knitted
shawl I began last winter.  Yes…last winter. Time flies. And so, if I want to enjoy it anytime soon, I’d best be knitting away. I also have a skein of lovely llama/alpaca yarn that is calling me. I’m thinking it will become a warm & cozy hat. (Perhaps to be enjoyed next winter!)
 Tinkerbell on coop 

Farm cats don’t seem to mind the snow…Tinkerbell can be found observing the world from a high spot on  top of the coop, while Azreal and Midnight are content to stay a little closer to the back door in hopes of sneaking inside for a bit. Yes, they come in a cozy up by the fire on frosty nights and are quite content to settle in for a long nap. However; by morning they race out the door to see what the new day has brought.

Today seems one of those rare days when there is enough time…time to cook & bake, time to play, time to settle in and enjoy kids while they’re still kids.  It’s almost time to make lunch, and then I think I’ll put on a pot of soup to simmer until dinnertime.

With the wind continuing to howl, a crackling fire in the fireplace, and the laughter of children in the next room, it seems the perfect day. A day with plenty of time, when nothing seems impossible. 


The next time you make your favorite soup, try this homemade cracker recipe shared with me by a friend...they're so simple!

1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1-1/2 t. cream of tartar

1 t. salt

3/4 t. baking soda

1/4 c. oil

1/2 c. water

1 egg, beaten

2 T. water

2 t. sugar

Sift together flour, cream of tartar, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add oil, stirring until mixture resembles crumbs. Stir in water, then continue to blend until a soft dough forms. Place dough on a lightly-floured surface and roll to 1/8-inch thickness. Whisk together egg, water, and sugar; brush over dough. Cut out crackers using cookie cutters. Place crackers on a lightly-oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until crackers are golden. Amount of crackers depends on thickness of dough and size of cookie cutter.

I sprinkled dried garlic and minced onion over the dough right after brushing it with the egg mixture...but you can use anything that's a favorite. Try dill, rosemary, sesame seeds, or coarse salt.

Mary is a Midwest farmgirl who enjoys the simple pleasures of living in the country. "For us, living where there is plenty of room for gardens, animals, and for kids to play and explore is the best kind of life." You can visit Windy Meadows Farm at

mary murray
1/29/2013 4:14:40 PM

I hope so, Dave...the kids are growing up too fast and I'm trying to capture every moment! And yes...soup is always best on those icy days; warms us through & through. Ahhh yes, retirement from the daily grind; well deserved! I don't mind the daily ups & downs from home though...setting my own schedule is nice. Of course, sometimes the critters (2-legged and 4-legged!) do set it for me! -Mary

nebraska dave
1/29/2013 3:01:42 PM

Mary, what a memory building day you had. Howling wind and frigid temperatures always makes a bowl of soup taste so much better, don't you think? It's one of those things that I enjoy about winter. Only in my case, I don't have outside chores that need to be done. I can watch out my living room windows with a hot cup of coffee in my hand those that still need to make their way to work. Ah, yes, I've been waiting for these golden years a long time. :0) Have a great memory building day.