Snowbound Chores

We’re not exaggerating. This is record-breaking snowfall – more than has been recorded in the last 150 years. I’m feeling housebound. And so I tidy. Yesterday, I cleaned the pantry. I organized my flours (I have more than six types that I bake with, including my favorite for pizza, King Arthur Italian-Style Flour). I’ve been meaning to put labels on the canisters. Yesterday I finally got around to that task.

There. Now I feel better.



I’m also sorting through my collection of vintage chicken things. These were originally purchased for the photoshoot for Tillie Lays an Egg and for future books in what was supposed to be a series (until my editor was laid off, long story, but typical in the publishing world). I’ve some lovely things that I never look at. I might as well send them off to new homes, and so I’m listing a few on eBay. This egg crate label is up for grabs.

egg label 1


If this snow keeps up, I’ll go to the next level of tidying up – ironing. But not yet. Setting things right by smoothing out wrinkles is a last resort. It’ll take another snowstorm for that. Unfortunately, I hear that it is on i’s way on Sunday.

Do you clean and organize when you’re restless?


  1. When we get heavy rain for days on end our garden can get like a swamp, ( we have the girls on the higher drier part of garden thank goodness ) as can’t be outside I will do the tasks that have back logged like cleaning the ovens and going through old paperwork, I to resist ironing seems a total waste of time for something that is going to get crumpled when you put it on. I hope you get a break with the weather soon, when we lived in Slave Lake Alberta we could be snowed up for 8 months a time. ( distant memories ). Be safe keep warm :)

  2. I’m keeping a close eye on the weather in MA and am checking the hencam daily to check on those piles and piles of snow! Living in the Green Bay, WI area we also pride ourselves on our stoic resilience and winter-hearty attitude, but this year has been a piece of cake compared to you! Last year we had a dandy of a winter with record breaking snowfall, but you had a lot of snow last year, too…how does it compare to this year’s massive volume?

    I love the blog and look forward to catching up with you regularly. I have a little 2 year old granddaughter in Omaha so her mommy puts on hencam for Maddie to see “Nana’s friend” with the chickens, goats, rabbit, and horsey. When we skype Maddie always asks me how the chickies are.then we talk about Terry’s chickies, too! See Terry, you are very popular and famous!!

    I giggled when I saw the neat pantry because that’s exactly what I do when the weather is cold and snowy…clean and tidy. Always glad I did it when spring rolls around and would rather be outside! I also bake bread during snowy days and bake other goodies too. Makes the house feel so warm and cozy and welcoming after traipsing out to care for the hens. Hang in there! It won’t be long and we’ll be thinking about the garden!

  3. Ha! Whenever I had a paper to write or a test to study for, that somehow put me in the mood to organize…oh, the powers of that devil Procrastination!

    But I’ve always found organizing and re-organizing food cupboards to be highly enjoyable.

    Hang in there! Here in S.California it is hot, sunny, windy…perfect fire weather. :^(

  4. Ummm, cleaning? Organizing? Ummm, no. That has to be put on the To Do list. Not my choice of entertainment. :D If restless, as in not in the mood to read, I’ll fuss with my indoor critters (currently cats, hamster, lizard, hermit crabs, and fish) or do something crafty. I’ve been working on repurposing shadow boxes to store my crystals in so they can be seen and not tucked away out of sight in boxes. As for ironing, if I voluntarily picked up the iron without some event looming, after they recovered from the shock, my family would probably call in the men in the white coats to take me away. :D

  5. Oh Lord, I can tell you ironing would be the last thing on my list, I’m terrible at it and avoid it at almost all costs. I also clean and organize some when the winter weather keeps us in more than out. Isn’t it awful, all this snow and cold? Bleh.

  6. Just been watching the usa today slot on Boston, showing the road, rail and air disruption ( amazing set of pictures ). Feel for you guys you’re really going through it out there. Saw the Ladies out getting some air, Phoebe’s just takes it in her stride, makes me smile. Are you all safe and able to get groceries, etc ? lol

  7. I love to iron. I find it very relaxing. I suppose it is from my Southern family. Even sheets were ironed! I am not that driven! Stay cozy!!

    • Rebecca I love to iron as well and yes it is a southern thing..very relaxing for me…

      • My grandma ironed every thing including underwear and towels. I can still see her standing there with sprinkle bottle in hand and watching The Price is Right and Young and the Restless, just ironing away.

        Back in the day clothes were line dried and ironing help soften them. This is why mom said they ironed every thing.

        Oh and my grandma was such a Scrubby Dutch that she washed her clothespins before she used them.

  8. LOL. Don’t do anything drastic, Terry. I tell my friends I’d rather clean the bathroom than iron. Guess it comes from growing up prior to permanent press.

  9. yup lots of sorting going on, always feels good to catch up on the jobs on to do list

  10. well, i am not an ironer. i don’t hate it. at least not like i hate doing dishes by hand and then eating off the soapy- tasting things so i don’t do that, either. however, you’d never know it b looking into my dining room because i have an old-fashioned ironing board, all nicely covered and very firmly set up – and why?
    my cat loves it.
    and he uses it all the time – and that keeps him from getting squirted with the sprinkling bottle if he ever should try to step on the dining room table. a set-up that makes perfect sense, we think.

  11. I clean and organize either as a way to soothe myself when I’m mildly anxious about something, or when I’m feeling very content. There is one exception– I love really good quality table linens and bed linens, (try sleeping on good Irish linen sheets, you’ll never go back), and am never happier than turning on a classic movie on, listening to a violent rainstorm happening outside, and a tucking onto a pile of good linens waiting to be ironed. A pile of table linens reminds me of the fun dinner party I must have just hosted, and ironing my best bed linens means I can anticipate the lovely feeling of crawling between those glorious sheets that night. I can kill an entire afternoon puttering around my house on a rainy day, ironing linens while watching the Godfather or Bourne movies. No better smell than freshly ironed linens, too! Ok….I’m odd.

  12. Terry, my grandson loves Tillie Lays an Egg. I wish you would write more of those! Maybe there is another editor out there with some sense!

    Meanwhile I am grateful that I no longer live in New England. I am glad my parents chose to move to Hawaii back in 1954 and I’m still here! I watch what you do in absolute awe.

  13. Am loving all of the comments about ironing! I must not have a good enough iron, because it is too much darned work to flatten out those good heavy linens.

  14. I need to put in a word for those of us who aren’t moved to organize, iron, clean or otherwise do household chores during forced confinement: Light fireplace, fetch that book you’ve been meaning to read, snuggle with pets.

    • Barb, that’s exactly what I have been doing! I don’t even feel guilty about it.

  15. I’ve been doing some canning while ‘locked up’ in the house due to the weather. After seeing your pantry I realize I should be doing the same LOL. Not today tho, going to a barn auction and have to get straw for the coop.

    New batch of bad weather heading our way again as well (nothing compared to your weather Terry), very cold and some snow again. We have been picking ice from our paths around the house and towards the coop. Lots of snow, a thaw and then freezing rain to be followed by freezing temperatures made it very dangerous to walk outside. Some places an inch other places up to 3 inch of ice. Is it spring yet????

  16. Very cold here in VA! We have a weather station on our farm and it has been around -10 wind chills, worse at night with the gusty winds. We swapped out the bedding in the coop last week, thankfully, as now I go in there to check on things and it is sweet smelling, cozy and clean during this frigid weather. For some reason the circuits keep flipping and so the water dish warmers aren’t working, so I have to haul water out several times a day. Brrrrr! I do clean inside during this uncomfortable weather, a single pantry shelf or under the kitchen sink kind of thing. I’m currently inside enjoying a bowl of freshly steamed rice topped with two super-fresh poached eggs, and hot tea. Bitterly cold winds howling outside…makes one feel rich, moments like this!

  17. Wow, that’s a lot of snow!! I just got anther dump, but not nearly as much as you’ve got! The vintage egg label is lovely. I want it!
    When I’m housebound I usually read. Or play the piano. I can practice piano all day!!

  18. We have hardly anything here in New York but it’s cold and windy. Looks like no one is shoveled out yet up there. You have your work cut out for you! However the animals look warm and cozy in their barns.

  19. WOW, now that is some winter you are having back there. I remember snow in Ottawa Ont. being 3 feet deep and as a child building tunnels in it. I do not understand how we didn’t end up lost and frozen as we played in it. As a kid we loved playing in that kind of snow. This is beautiful but it seems so extreme now and I have to wonder how on earth you are coping with feeding and cleaning the animals. I bet it would be wonderful if the roads were cleared enough to use horse drawn sleighs and hear that sound instead of the spinning of tires and the smell of diesel from ploughs straining to shift snow. Hang in there and know that the world is watching and sending all of you on the little farm that isn’t…. the best wishes for a slow melt and a reasonable transition to Spring. I look forward to reading more about how you are all doing in this extreme winter.

  20. I should add that I now live in British Columbia and here on the west coast we are having higher then normal temperatures…. sorry. Hubby has cut the lawn once and if this weather keeps up he will have to do it again soon.
    We have been know to get a late snow fall any where from now to April so we won’t say na na quite yet.

  21. Yes, I get restless too. I clean & try to organize too. In my spare time I enjoy reading & watching old movies. I’ve been catching up on the PBS TV series, Downton Abbey. Keep warm! 30 Days till Spring!! :)

  22. Terry, I have a rabbit and 15 chickens and I want to put them together. But I don’t want the rabbit chewing on every thing in the coop. So I was wondering does phoebe chew on the wood in the barn/coop? Also wondering do you keep the food for the rabbit and the chicken food separated and if yes then how?

    • My outdoor rabbit doesn’t chew nearly as much as the indoor bunnies did. I think that the difference is that they have branches outside, can dig, and get more exercise. But that’s just a guess. Still, an outdoor bunny will chew on wires – so put all in conduits. The rabbit nibbles the chicken food, the rabbit food is away from where the hens can get it.