Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sugar Cookie crumbs...

As we all wake from our sugar and carbohydrate induced comas... I hope all are left with the lingering joy of Christmas that is hanging around our home.   What a beautiful holiday it was.  We spent it together and with local family.   My boys seemed pleased with their gifts, knitted warmth from mama, a few toys and lots of music!

As I am typing, the oldest two are singing Christmas carols (the exactly correct lyrics are unimportant-- just as long as they can get to fa-la-la-la-la) while they get wood from outside for our wood stove.  I can't begin to tell you how much we are enjoying our woodstove.  Even the cool of the morning before we get the stove re-lit... it's bliss.  We are learning how different the house warms than with our electric furnace.  Cool spots,  the luxury of a space heater in the bathroom and how necessary slippers are to everyday wear! :)  This does cramp the middlest one's style just a bit as he would be happy to wear nothing but his under-roos year round.  This morning he broke into our room around 5 to ask daddy to please start a fire b/c he was freezing.  He was only in underwear... I told him that is why we invested in warm jammies and why he has more than one blanket on his bed.... he promptly cuddled in with us and fell back asleep.

I got wonderful gifts this year... all of which held hope.  A new beautiful nativity set, a warm coat perfect for the farm, an empty picture frame ready to fill with memories and two new beautiful jersey wooly (aka dwarf angora) baby bunnies.  The nativity will be a year long reminder of the goodness and hope of Christmas.  My coat will quite literally see me through many of the adventures that lie ahead of us on this homestead.  The frame will be filled and refilled again with physical reminders of these adventures and my baby bunnies, they have expanded our farm once again.

It's been a beautiful advent season for our family.  Full of laughter and light.  I hope this new year holds the same for you and yours.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Our hoosier cabinet...

This hoosier cabinet is beautiful.  Not just because it has been well made, well finished and well cared for... but because it comes with a beautiful story.

This isn't the first time this cabinet has had a home on this farm.  It was purchased by the husband's great grandfather.  It served them well.  Deep worn memories of his great grandmother cutting biscuits and dumplings cover the ceramic coated counter top.  The flour sifter is still fully functioning and you can hear it come to life when you turn the crank.

When they owned it, it was painted white.  How pretty that must have been in their kitchen.

My father and mother in law moved to the house on our farm in the mid-1970s.   The house is a pre-civil war era home and had no built in cabinets in the kitchen.   My mother in law decided to ask her grandfather if she could borrow the cabinet while they lived there.  She had such fond memories of it.  One condition-- she would like to help him strip it down to the original wood.  He said he would, as long as she would help.  She agreed.

The day came for her to help strip the cabinet, and Pappy was already at work in the basement.  But she couldn't help.  She called down to him and apologized... for as much as she wanted to help...  she couldn't.  She couldn't be around those fumes now that she was pregnant.  Pregnant with my husband.

Now here it graces my kitchen.  On that same farm, although in a different house.  Three decades later.  My husband stopped in the center of the kitchen the other morning, walked a couple more steps, stopped, walked back.   I looked at him puzzled.  He said with a huge smile "Do you hear that??" He walked again... the cabinet rattled.  He smiled again.  "That.  That sound is so familiar to me.  It's a sound from my childhood... this was the sound of my kitchen."

And now, it is the sound of ours.  It's beautiful.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy Birthday to my sweet husband!

Happiest of Birthdays to my sweet husband... who after a delicious very
homesteady birthday meal, fell fast asleep on the couch.   What a happy birthday. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The end of The General...

Our poor rooster is ready to meet the pot.   In the last few weeks he has steadily gotten more aggressive, both with us and with the hens.  We're not quite sure why.  He pecked our littlest guy on the arm pretty hard... strange behavior for our favorite roo on the block.  We just did away with two baby roosters in and kept him because he had been so calm and steady while we had him.

Then came the attack...

I was out scattering scratch in their favorite spot and was turning to leave when I felt a hit on my leg.  I thought two of the hens were getting into over the pecking order, but I was wrong-- it was the General and that small bump was the start of an all out attack of my legs... I kicked back at him to shoo him away and he ran right back and jumped talons out at me again.   This is when the fight or flight instinct kicked in... in the world of predator or prey... I'm most definitely prey.  I ran!!   When I saw that my steady jog was no match for the now pursuing attacker.  So I starting sprinting.  Literally dropped everything I had and sprinting for the door.  He chased me as far as the porch and then we had a stare down.  Well... I had a stare down and he more or less just stood there.

That's when I noticed my leg really hurt... and something wet was running down the back of my leg.  Overall, not horribly mangled... but I believe this is the first time an animal has ever attacked me.  It's quite possibly the scariest thing ever.  For the remainder of the day, every time I went outside he would start towards me and I would just panic.   I started to think about what if he went after my boys?  What if he got meaner with the girls?  So it was time.

I was the one to pull the trigger... literally.  I waited until the husband was home because I don't know how to clean and dress the bird.  He's gotten quite the experience lately.

It's bittersweet, really.  Something about having the general and all his crowing and strutting made our farm feel established.   I loved his morning/noon/night crow and he was just oh so pretty.   I am pretty excited to show off and share though!  My parent's are coming in from Michigan this weekend and I'm ready to show off my dumplin' making skills!

It will be my final salute to the dear ol' General.