Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ryan at 5 months

I thought I'd include a photograph of my grandson from this Christmas, as I've had a few folks ask me to update since I only have included his birth-day picture! Isn't he the sweetest ?! You better believe I'm partial!

I just took down our Christmas Tree and spent the morning tidying up the house from the holidays. I really don't think the tree would have lasted til New Year's... as I only watered it once or twice. I am SO forgetful about those things. Usually I put it up next to the fireplace, and when it's time to come down, I prune it all up and toss it in to burn as I go along. But this year I put it up near the hallway, so I only had to undecorate it and haul it out the front door! A piece of cake, yet still messy! Amanda put the lights on this year for me, and what a time I had taking them off! I really detest putting the lights on the tree... it's such bore, so I will not complain about Amanda's help!

I cannot believe the New Year is but a day away. May yours be safe and happy! Til next year... Laura of Wildenblue Farm

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Blessings to You & Yours!

I wanted to find a minute this morning to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I hope your holiday is peaceful, calm and filled with joy and the beginnings of treasured happy memories! I am thrilled to report we will definitiely have a white Christmas, as we have had one snowstorm after the other over the past few weeks! (Although it is predicted to switch over to rain this evening...sigh.) But it has not been snow-sculpting snow... just piles of lovely fresh powder! I got in a tiny bit of snowshoeing the other day, but mostly only to pack down the pathways at the barn so the geese and ducks can meander about without disappearing into a drift. The geese will go outside no matter the weather, but the chickens are very cautious when in comes to deep snow, and will only scoot out for a few pecks before they head back into the barn. The Guineas will come out, then fly up onto the roof, where they will stay until you wade through the snow trying to capture them one-by-one (with a lot of fussing and scratching) and put them back in the barn.

I was hoping for a bit of warmer weather, as the entire barn desperately needs hoeing out and cleaning, and perhaps this weekend will allow me that chore, as temperatures could reach into the high thirties. I still think of the story from long ago of who visits the barn animals on Christmas Eve, and I really do try to have a clean barn for that reason, but it will not happen this year. I have so much to do today, as does everyone, and cleaning out the barn for many hours today does not fit into my list of necessities!

I have a simple project to share which may keep little and not-so-little hands busy. I'm sure you've made these Spiced Pomanders before. You'll need a few Oranges or Lemons, whole Cloves, and perhaps some dried ground Cinnamon and Cloves, and an Essential or Fragrance Oil such as Cinnamon or Sweet Orange. (A dollar store may prove to be an inexpensive place to purchase the dried whole Cloves and ground spices if you cannot find them in bulk.) Take a fresh orange or lemon, and pierce the cloves into the skin. You may either insert them tightly together to completely cover the whole fruit, or space them apart in a desired pattern from one end to the other a few times around. When you have completed clove-covered orange or lemon, sprinkle with a few drops of Essential Oil and roll into the ground Cloves and/ or Cinnamon. Do what is pleasing to you, and when complete, place them in a bowl where it is dry and warm so the citrus shrivels and cures... which will take several weeks. Affix a loop of ribbon to the top and hang from a peg, or leave in a crock or bowl to display.

Well, there is much to be done today, from wrapping gifts to cleaning house to feeding the wild birds and barn critters to baking, so I must get busy! Please remember to take a few minutes to yourself if you're feeling overwhelmed to sit with a cup of tea and remember what this holiday is truely about! I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and may blessings abound this coming New Year! fondly, Laura of Wildenblue Farm

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tis the Season...

Hello friends! Yesterday's high was 11 degrees. We've had a bout of very cold weather this past week, and a few inches of very heavy wet snow and ice. The trees look lovely and fragile encased in their crystal armor. It is very difficult to get up the driveway, even with four-wheel drive, and getting down is equally challenging! Walking is out of the question! And yet tomorrow, they are predicting rain and temperatures in the forties! Go figure! I would appreciate a goodly dumping of real, old fashioned snow! Ah well! We have had a lovely little pheasant visiting the birdfeeders this past week. She arrives early in the morning and stays most of the day. She is often joined by a large grey squirrel (no doubt the bandit who has been making off with all the peanuts lately!), at least half-a-dozen plump black crows, and two yearling fawns who also seem to take great pleasure in pruning the yew bushes just off the back porch... as well as the more usual birdly visitors. I finally managed to finish my Christmas Cards this evening; I don't know why I always put it off til the last minute. I'm the same way with Christmas shopping. I dislike shopping of any sort, and I find this frenzied time of year especially distasteful... much too crowded and hectic for me! I am not really a Scrooge... just not a shopper! So I still have much to do at this late date. I hope all is well with you and yours, and that your holiday plans are coming along well too! I wish you a very peaceful and pleasant holiday season, and that you find many blessings and joys come the New Year! Til next time.....