Archive for December, 2009

2009 – In Retrospect

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

As we say farewell to 2009 and bring in 2010, I can’t help but to look back at this year and think of a few things that went a lot differently than I would have imagined…….

I was certain I would be a kid forever, but in January of 2009 I faced the only birthday that has ever bothered me.

For quite some time we had been searching for two “outside” dogs that would live in the yard and protect the chickens and property. In January we found Diesel and Dolly, who have become the only two “outside” dogs on the planet that have never actually slept outside.

And although I swore I would never let my hens hatch out babies, I got my first broody in February, and another quickly followed. I let them set on eggs, and in March, we had several new baby peeps running around the homestead. The cycle of broodies and babies would not end until late September.

2009 found me doing a few things I would have swore I would never do:

And although a few things went a little differently than I would have expected, 2009 was a wonderful year on the homestead. Our blessings have been many, our trials have been few. We’ve worked hard, learned a lot, and been thankful for each day.

Thank you sharing 2009 with me through this blog. I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful 2010, filled with love, happiness, and things that make you smile.

Just a Day

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Hey, Mom. I think Diesel has something for you.

Photobucket

Um, well, I’m not sure what you mean. Isn’t Diesel sleeping?

pups

I think he’s waking up, Mommy.

pups

Hey, Diesel – did you want to tell me something?

pups

Awwwwww. You smiling for mommy??? Dolly – look at Diesel smiling! Isn’t that the cutest thing?

pups

Diesel is boring, Mommy. But I’m happy you sat up and started typing on that computer.

pups

Welcome home, Mommy. We missed you.

Well, I Guess it IS That Time of Year…..

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

We are in the middle of a snow storm. Two hours ago it looked as though it was slowing down, so I took my measuring stick out and sampled a few areas. 16 inches of snow on the ground. And then? It started snowing like crazy again.

At 4PM, this is what the chicken coop looked like.

snow,coop

And it’s still snowing. *sigh* But look at all these gorgeous snow flakes.

snowflakes

I am in awe of these beautiful flakes.

snowflakes

They look like those paper snow flakes all children cut out in the winter.

snowflakes

The detail is exquisite, and simply amazing.

snowflakes

These pictures aren’t the best, but I hope you can see how awesomely beautiful these snowflakes are.

snowflakes

snowflakes

I had dark gloves on, so I laid them on the steps and just snapped some pictures as the snowflakes landed on them.

snowflakes

So very, very pretty. They take my breath away.

snowflakes

I usually don’t care for cold weather or snow. I’m not sure that’s changed much. But there are two things I wouldn’t give a million dollars for today – watching the pups play and romp in the snow, and finding all those gorgeous snowflakes. I almost cried watching them land. Their beauty was awe inspiring.

And, since it really is that time of year, look at this gorgeous wreath:

Christmas Wreath

That’s Nancy, Debra’s (my sister) best friend from childhood. They all came up for a visit last weekend. Debra and Nancy brought everything necessary to make this wreath. The three of us put it together, and now it’s hanging by the woodburning stove.

Christmas Wreath

No sense hanging a wreath outside on the homestead. Not many people wander into the middle of these woods. And I like having it inside where we can enjoy it.

So, it’s officially winter and it’s officially the Christmas holiday – even though my calendar tells me different ;-)

I hope each of you enjoys the season! We’re making the best of it on the homestead!

And it’s Only December…..

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Last Saturday, we awoke to a bunch of this.

pups,snow

pups,snow

pups,snow

But not everyone was disappointed about it.

pups,snow

pups,snow

pups,snow

pups,snow

Some of us got down right frisky about it.

pups,snow

pups,snow

pups,snow

The chickens refused to leave the coop most of the day. This girl FLEW out into the yard, and then just sat there, as if in shock.

pups,snow

I went to pick her up, and she FLEW back into the run, clucking and fussing the whole way.

A few days later, that snow was followed by an inch or two of slush. We’ve still got some of that mess on the ground…..

On the upside, look at what I got in the mail!

dog treats,Lazy G Ranch

Home made puppy treats from Lazy G Ranch!

dog treats,Lazy G Ranch

I follow Susan’s blog, and she posted that she had started a new blog to launch her new business – The Lazy G Ranch. Susan makes wonderful dog treats, made with organic ingredients. So I popped over to check it out, and I left a message. Well, imagine how tickled I was when she wrote to tell me that since I was the first to comment, she was sending me a sampler package of dog treats.

dog treats,Lazy G Ranch

I’ve got to tell you, my pups LOVE these treats. And while they would probably have a hard time picking a favorite, I’m going to say, based on how fast their tail wags when they see me coming with them, they are probably partial to Trixie Lou’s Cheesers. These things have REAL cheese people!

Pop on over and check out The Lazy G Ranch. Susan’s still baking and shipping to get orders delivered by Christmas – but there’s not much time left…….

Can you believe Christmas is almost here already? I’m still trying to believe we got a bunch of snow two weeks before winter has even officially arrived!

I’m tired of it already. And it’s only December…….

A Block of Wood and Block of Mind

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

I took the entire Thanksgiving week as vacation, and dedicated it to doing things around the homestead that I’ve been putting off. I’m sure that doesn’t sound like the ideal vacation to most of you, but for me? It was heaven.

I cleaned and organized the refrigerator, two freezers, and all the pantry shelves. Bernie and I made jerky, pepperoni, and bologna and smoked them in the smoker. We also processed a deer that a friend gave us. I finished almost every single Christmas gift I was working on, and made soaps and lotions. And I cooked and baked. Oh Lordy, did I ever cook and bake.

And, although I intended to take several pictures and make several posts on this blog during that week, you can see that was one task I did not even come close to accomplishing. Somehow, in all the excitement and busyness of my vacation, I actually had a very difficult time deciding what I should write about. My mind just hit a block, and I could not imagine how to make anything I was doing even slightly interesting enough for you to read about! I guess that happens from time to time. And rather than let it drag out, I’ve decided I’m not going to really blog about what I’ve been doing. Instead, I’m going to blog about what Bernie’s been doing…..

Remember that big block of cedar that Bernie and our neighbor were cutting on the saw mill a while back? Well, there were a few nice sized pieces that didn’t quite make a board, but were too nice to trash. And the other day, Bernie surprised me by presenting me with these.

hand made wooden utensils

He hand carved these kitchen utensils for me!

hand made wooden utensils

He did use some power tools to finish them, but the vast majority of it was done by hand. And I just LOVE them! I will drench them in vegetable oil, then wrap them in tin foil, and leave them to soak in the oil for several days before using them. I have cutting boards that are about 15 years old that we made from pieces of an oak from my parent’s property. I treated them with oil in the same manner and they are still great cutting boards. Occasionally, I retreat them with the vegetable oil and wrap in tinfoil for a few days – but honestly, not very often. The oil soaks into the wood very deeply.

Bernie also took the time to make himself a little present.

hand made wooden box

I just love how he made the lid so that the middle actually fits down inside the box.

hand made wooden box

What Man-Cave would be complete without a nice, hand made box to house a couple of guns?

And do you know what the most interesting part of all this is? Bernie does not really enjoy working with wood. He doesn’t think he’s very good at it. I beg to differ with him. Those kitchen utensils are beautiful, and they will be a wonderful addition in the kitchen. I’ll treasure them always. The box he made is very pretty – and I think most people would pay good money for such a nice box.

Bernie’s block of wood is gone now, and I’m hoping my block of mind is gone as well.