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