Sunday, December 30, 2012

Holidays past...

The holiday season is nearly past. I had a lovely little tree. Which surprises some since I am Buddhist. But the tree, white lights and natural ornaments of birds and such is something I need every year. A little light to get through the darkest days of the year. I guess my tree is more solstice than Christmas.

Our plan had been to spend a few quiet days at the farm. Maybe get a project or two completed and then total down time. That was part of it. Then we decided since it is way too easy to become recluses in our little part of the world, we took up an invitation to have Christmas day dinner at my friends small farm. It was friends and family. She harvested two ducks and two turkeys for the dinner and a friend of her from Longshadow farm brought some amazing homemade cinnamon ice cream. Great meal, great folks. As I always do when I visit, no matter how brisk the air, I take a little farm tour to see what's happening. Mo, with a day job and two kids, and her husband Will, also with a day job, raise duck, turkey, chickens, lambs, bees and now have three milk cows and a beef cow, along with horses, dogs and cats. They do this on 2 1/2 acres. It is amazing. We left with a half gallon of raw milk which is amazing in coffee I must say.

Now it is New Years weekend. Another weekend of friends and quiet time. I am definitely in a place where friendships are very important to cultivate and maintain. I begin the new year very grateful and anxious to see what is in store for this year.

J and I usually spend New Years day, or some time shortly after, writing a list of accomplishments from the year. We are always amazed at what we can do/see/experience in a year. It keeps us humbled and of course grateful. It's easy to get shortsighted and not remember everything when we need a reminder of our bliss.

I look forward to building a new coop, expanding my poultry brood, adding some bees and seeing the fruit trees in their first blossom. I am starting my winter seed catalog review and deciding where J should put his part of the garden. His first.

Now, we are heading out to take the dogs for a walk through the fields. We still have snow cover and the view of the mountains is amazing. Walking more is definitely on the agenda for the new year. As is living life, more and more.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Snow falls...

It's snowing. Like really snowing. Like tap the brakes and still slide by your dirt road snowing. I am in love with this type of snow. Even if it meant spending double time in the dark getting the girls ready and putting some Vaseline on their combs to prevent frostbite, adding more bedding and shutting them up tight for the night. Chores were, well not a chore. More like a meditation.

There is something almost cathedral like when the snow falls and the air is crisp and the sky is dark with bright edges. All you hear is the crunching of your boots and your breath. The world feels big and magical. Like it's all okay.

The picture above is last year during the start of the snow. We were siding the house and trying not to break the lengths of concrete siding in the wind. I am awestruck with the home we have made.

Now, it's time to snuggle down with the pups. And to pray for a snow day tomorrow. It could happen.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Wants....

I've got the wants today. Lot's of sadness and insecurity in the air. Gives me a glimpse into preppers and hoarders, not that they have anything in common. Other than maybe the desire to be protected and feel secure.

My wants come in the form of hatchery catalogs, seed catalogs and websites on pasture raised pigs. In the form of beehives and rabbit hutches and chicken coops. Fencing and pasture grass and tomatoes the size of my fist.

When I take a breath, I still want these things. They are part of my dream. I just don't need them so desperately. Well, except maybe the chickens. I love my girls.

Things are settling for the winter, though it doesn't quite feel like winter yet. Some snow or moisture would be nice. It is a cold task watering all the trees. The cold we have. But that is it.

My live tree is lit up outside. Apparently you shouldn't host a live tree in your home for more than 5-7 days, or less. Little cramp in the yuletide spirit, but a happy healthy tree to plant come spring is worth it. This tree, if it thrives, will be my annual light up tree outdoors. While I am not especially connected to certain holidays I do believe we need to celebrate things. Often. It keeps special things from becoming mundane and inconsequential. Birthdays, friends, family. All things to cherish and celebrate. Even if it is a celebration of two, J and I. And nothing gets me through the darkness of the season like white lights. I drive through town sometimes in the eve on my way home from work just to get that little lift from the twinkling white lights.

Our new addition, Jagger, has settled into his new pack just fine, albeit there is a lot less room in the family bed. We were a bit worried as we quickly discovered he could leap tall fences in a single bound. Well, I see your leap and raise you an electric fence! Our little rescue weekend turned in to two more projects. Picketing the gate so it is as tall as the fence. That didn't work. So on to project two, hot wiring the perimeter at the top. That worked. So, now they are all safe and happy in their own private dog park.

This week is a short week that will flow nicely into a long weekend. As usual, projects are filling my thoughts. Though these are of the in house variety. I am also working on an idea of how to build a large square bale shelter for my girls come next year. It would be insulated to create the perfect cool/warm conditions they would need without having to rely on dangerous heat lamps. It would also fit a good size flock, which our current coops don't.

I am planning to move one coop with the guineas into the garden. They can wander by day and eat the garden pests.

That is one thing I like about winter. It allows for time to let the mind roam a bit with the possibilities. And provides the right amount of reigns to work those thoughts through a bit before solidifying them with action. I love the introspective time of winter. Envisioning my garden, which is of course perfect in these moments. Looking into the future of what two people can build together. It's nurturing. Taking some time away from all the doing.

I look forward to the solstice. Where we move toward the sun once again.