Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Best of 2009

Sometimes I feel that I spend too much time complaining: about not running, about the weather, family members, job, too little time on my hands, the work of a little farm, and so on. But as I look back on the year, I realize how very much I have to be thankful for. A glance to the right of my blogpage shows a handful of blogs that I visit everyday and which never fail to life my spirits and give me motivation.

My little dog Tipper (and the dog parade check it out here KatillacShack )

My grandson who is a constant source of joy and exercise!

Our nearly annual camping excursion to an island off the Maine coast. Real rustic living and the kids and I never want to come home!

Our surprise baby goat Cookie Dough. I remember us all running out to the goat pen that morning before school but most of all, I remember my 9 year old son looking at me with tears in his eyes telling me that he was so happy he couldn't help but cry. And then there was my trip to San Antonio. The dramatic plane ride from which I was sure I would never return! It is a beautiful, beautiful city!
And now, my new-to-me truck is fixed, and my family and I are going to visit family up North and ring in the new year!
Happy New Year to all of you my good friends! Thanks for taking the time to blog and to share your lives with us all!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside.....

I'm having a hard time keeping the fire blazing in the woodstove enough to keep us warm. It is a venture into the arctic to go to the bathroom. To help keep the kitchen warm, I've been baking: brownies and wheat bread. I have a pot of ham and bean soup on for supper tonight. The wind is howling outside even though the sun is shining brightly. The colors of the first of the Seven Mountains outside my door are spectacular! But oh, how the wind freezes my ears!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Look at these beautiful angels!
I need the protection of an angel today. I hope.

Friday, December 25, 2009

All is calm, all is really tired . . .

We've had a busy, wonderful Christmas Day: I've spent time with family (both humans and animals), spent last evening in the company of friends listening to some beautiful music, had plenty of good things to eat.
We are blessed, every one.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wintry Night 019

Wintry Night 019
Originally uploaded by wannaquilt1
What a great production it was! Although our country roads quickly turned into slippery sheets of ice, we still had enough of the congregation for our children to put on an outstanding production of the Christmas story!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Brrrrr it's cold out there!

Sebastian is keeping warm - he wants nothing to do with going outside.

Clover doesn't care - she's got her winter coat on and she is enjoying the wintery weather!
I knew it was suppose to flurry today but it did a bit more than that. We have about 4 inches of

snow! The kids were out sledding and playing around in the snow. I stayed inside with my grandson and made bread and spaghetti and oatmeal cookies.

I had planned to clean - thoroughly. I have many strengths - but neatness is not on the list. I used to beat myself up over it. I horrify my mother - who is extremely neat and clean. My oldest daughter is nothing like me in cleaniness. She is a very neat person - being in the military does that, I think.

The only area that I really work hard to keep clean is my kitchen. If I was overly focused on being neat, I would have missed out on so much. I wouldn't have time to hang out with the kids, wouldn't have time to play the piano or learn the dulcimer (which came in the mail the other day but I can't open it until Christmas.

If I spent my time cleaning, I wouldn't have time to spend with my animals or explore in the woods or go for walks. I wouldn't have time to try out new hobbies like basketmaking or cheesemaking. I wouldn't have time for a lot of things that I like to do including nothing.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Peeps!

I'm hanging with this crew this weekend . . .



My grandson, and Max - the farm chihuahua!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

One of these things is not like the others

First of all.... I often take the area in which I live for granted. I am accustomed to driving rather slowly because of the buggies in the area. We have a large presence of Amish in this area. I love to see them and because I come from another area in Pennsylvania in which there are many

Amish, I don't often consider how lucky I am to have this diverse population in my midst. So the shot above is a local Kmart parking lot. There actually were a number of buggies in the lot but I thought this was a nice mix.

I have found myself over the years being thankful to have Amish people around me and also, on those days that I am in a 'hurry', lamenting the fact that the buggies share the road with me. On most days, thoughtful days, I am thankful that I have the buggies to remind me to not be in such a big hurry. What is scary is when cars are flying by and there are a number of Amish bikers on the road. That is scary.

We are lucky in that many of the local roads have berms wide enough for the horses and buggies and there is not such a risk. Occasionally there are reports of accidents with buggies and that is always heartbreaking. We are in a hurry. For what? Another meaningfull experience? An experience for which we are willing to risk the lives of our family?

I don't know - it can be aggravating to be stuck behind a buggy. But really, isn't it a reality check for me? Time to take reflecting on the meaning of life?

I don't know.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

So back to the farm......

Ok. So this morning, I went out to feed and water my animals.

I am very very methodical in how I do the morning work. Since I am not quite awake and am apt to forget a step. I put the collar on Tipper, my chihuahua, who I don't trust and put him on a leash. I let Sebastian, my lab, and Bear, my chow run free. First stop. Chickens.

Now, I have about 5 chickens who flat-out refuse to stay in the chicken coop. They prefer to perch themselves on the goat fence. Even when it rains. Even when it is stinking cold - like it was last night.
They were still there. Four chickens on the fence. One standing in the goat pen.
I feed the chickens - the warm chickens - who sleep in the coop. I look, and the 5 brave chickens are still there. Still sitting. Still standing.
Next step is scooping carrots for the goats and the horses into 4 different buckets. This takes a while. In the meantime, the other chickens are out and about but the others are still standing, still sitting.
I feed the horses and the llama. Chickens: still sitting, still standing.
Now I am worried. Are the chickens frozen? Are they dead? My MO in life is avoidance but I can't avoid this. I must see if they are alive - because, in order to feed the goats, I need to move them.
They are alive. Apparently they weren't quite ready to get up.
Tonight I put them in the coop.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Just wonderin'

am I insensitive? callous? blasphemous?

On campus--on any given day--there are sidewalk gospels screaming in front of our student union building about various religious concerns. Those same people shoving religious propoganda in our hands (or trying to) as we walk by.

And I wonder......

Have they ever 'saved' anyone using these methods?

I find this to be incredibly annoying. If one follows their example, do we want to follow an example like that? I don't like to have religion screamed at me. I don't like to be threatened. I don't like to be told that my beliefs are wrong and that I will go to Hell if I don't redeem myself in the manner suggested.

Has anyone ever listened to these prophesies of gloom and doom shouted to them across campus and decided to make a switch? I wonder.

During my lunch hour, on my time - my hour of contemplation and reflection - I don't want to listen to this crap (as well intentioned as it may be). And I find it very hard to believe that God, in any form, would want his agenda shoved forcefully down people's throats.

I would love everyone to share my beliefs. But I realize that everyone has his/her own belief and their own way of worshipping (or not). I'm ok with my neighbor having a different idea of the God force that surrounds us, protects us, cares for us.

So I'll respect your beliefs. And hope that you respect mine. And in so doing, please let me enjoy my lunchtime walk in peace.

A torrid love affair

 I've written about the ducks quite a bit. It's a little like Peyton Place around here I think. A couple of months ago, the male d...