Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Thursday, December 31

happy new year!

This morning we woke up to find the windows frosted, snow drifted against the barns, and the wind whistling as if it's celebrating and welcoming in the New Year. Although brisk, it was a great way to begin the day. Bailey was bouncing through the snow, goats were anxious for their morning treats, and chickens seemed ready to explore outside the coop, only to come back quickly and have a little breakfast before committing to the snowy morning. 


We were blessed with a beautiful white Christmas...almost as if by magic, snow began falling Christmas Eve and continued giving us 4 inches. It felt like the perfect Christmas for this unforgettable year...we were all together, sneaking off to finish wrapping secret surprises, a fire was crackling, Christmas music in the background, and Bailey was curled up...all was well.

Today, as always, our New Year's Eve is filled with traditions...there will be a movie marathon during the day and everyone's favorite snacks to munch on. At midnight, we'll grab pots, pans, & spoons, step outside and bang loudly as we greet the new year. (it's a good thing our nearest neighbors aren't too close!)

As we launch into a new year, dinner is always pork and sauerkraut, two foods said to assure good fortune in the coming year, we'll be determined and make resolutions, and be sure to take quiet time and think about this past year...how fortunate we are to be healthy and to be together. In a world that seems to sometimes spin faster than we can keep up with, I'm grateful for a quiet life in the country and it's steady pace. 

As we jump into 2021, the unknown is ahead of us, just waiting to be filled with whatever we dream of...may we all have a new year filled with blessings, good health, and love.

Ending 2020 with a few snapshots of our winter on the farm...

looking out the front doors at the Christmas Eve snow...

someone asked me how Mae was doing 
(our 1950 Hotpoint stove), 
she's doing great and baking all our favorites!

The kids couldn't resist building mini snowmen on the car hood!

This made me laugh...a local ag store had "Rudolph" pulling a spreader.

A new delivery of hay...always a good feeling going into winter,

along with cozy fires,

glowing candles,

and curling up for a long winter's nap. 

And me? Well, I'm dreaming!

Thursday, December 24

merry Christmas...

As I sat down to ponder what I'd write now that Christmas is here, as well as the end of an unforgettable year, I happened to be listening to a favorite old radio show. 

The words and message seemed perfect, and I typed as quickly as I could to record the thoughts spoken by Harold Peary.

I'm sharing them with you, and wishing you a peaceful, joyful Christmas. 

“Children all over the world are eagerly awaiting midnight
 and the arrival of Santa Claus.

In a few hours from now, many of you will attend midnight
services in the church of your faith.

It is the Silent Night, the Holy Night, it is the solemn, thought
provoking night that precedes the dawn of another joyful Christmas.

Of the many gifts men cherish most this Christmas Eve,
surely the one all spirits yearn for is the illusive gift of peace.

Peace on earth good will toward men, so it was eloquently
phrased in ages past.

May each and every one of you find that abiding peace in
your own hearts this Christmas Eve.

And if enough of us, in enough places, earnestly and bravely
seek out such peace, the world cannot help but heed this
growing desire for lasting good.

So amid all your holiday rejoicing, pause for just a moment,
won’t you? To add your silent prayer to the fulfillment
of that great promise:
peace on earth, good will toward men.”


Harold Peary,
“The Great Gildersleeve” radio show, 1940-1954 


Tuesday, December 8

'tis the season...

This year has been like no other...each passing day we anticipate the holidays, while closely watching the news. As a parent, I'm filled with complicated emotions...should our son be back in classes at school? Should our daughter return to in-person college classes? After months of limiting our exposure to others, and feeling the uncertainly of the weeks to come, at times I feel heart-wrenched at the decisions to be made. 

However; no matter what is swirling around us, I feel the need to count our blessings. We are healthy and settled in for winter...wood pile stacked, goat & chicken houses buttoned up against the winter winds, hay delivery on its way. The days are brisk and blue-skied, with a bit of snow to cheer the season. As we anticipate the days to come, let's remember all there is to be thankful for, and say a prayer for those who have lost loved ones. 

This year, more than ever, I wanted to make our Thanksgiving special. I did my best to fill it with everyone's favorites while old-fashioned Christmas music was playing in the background. The four of us made a day of it...watching the Macy's parade, eating, laughing, and enjoying the National Dog show. Naps were a must!

We decided to get our Christmas tree on Friday...we headed out to our favorite tree farm, walked through the woods, and soon found the tree for us. And if we're going to lay on the ground to cut down a tree (no chain saws here) it was one of those "just right" days...not snowy, muddy, rainy, or below zero.

However; even with all this fun, realities of living on a farm can still happen. Saturday we noticed one of our goats, Bud, wasn't his usual self. He had separated from the other goats, and while he was eating, he continued to distance himself throughout the day. A few years ago he had a bout with listeriosis so we always keep a close eye on our little herd. As the day went on, we decided we needed to call the vet...Bud was pacing and I couldn't help him get comfortable. Our vet was on another farm call and rushed as quickly as he could (even being pulled over by the State Patrol for speeding while on his way). Sadly, there was nothing we could do for Bud and we lost him. 

While many will say, "It's only a goat," I've always felt differently.  Of course he's a goat, but when we brought him to our farm, like all of the animals that find their way here, he became part of the family. Goats get treats and chin rubs, chickens get warm mash on chilly days, cats and dogs get snuggles on fuzzy blankets...to us, it's the right thing to do. We'll miss Bud...he was a sweet, friendly soul.

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small.
All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.
Cecil F. Alexander, 1848


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