Christmas decorating & enjoying the farm during my mini-vacation

Sunday, November 22

It’s been quite the day. What started out as a typical relaxing morning quickly spiraled into a frustrating day. We had guests in the cabin and they had a slight mishap yesterday so we thought it was important to see them off. That still, small voice was urging me to make sure we were here when they checked out. Good thing we listened. Come mid-morning there was a faint knock on the back door. The one guest had walked down to tell us the side-by-side was deader’n-a-doornail. not good. CountryBoy drove the truck up and tried to jump start it but it was a no-go. He ended up bringing the guests and their stuff down and they were on their way. We quickly devised a plan so that he could bring the buggy’s battery down to put on the charger and get the cleaning supplies and bedding up to the cabin before I had to go to work. Once that was done I was on my way. An hour or so later it started raining. He worked in the rain cleaning the cabin and trying to get the buggy started. Long story short, the buggy still would not start even with a freshly charged battery. I left work right after I threw the last load of sheets into the dryer so that I could get home with the truck in order to tow the buggy down before today’s guests arrived. Before I made it home he decided to tow it with the tractor. Good thing because today’s guests arrived a few minutes before I made it home. However, the cleaning tote was still at the cabin and CountryBoy still needed to take wood up. Thankfully, the guests were very understanding and were able to make it up the hill to the cabin in the rain in their 2 wheel drive car. whew! Is this day over yet?!

Monday, November 23

It was another day for the books but a smoother day than yesterday. Today was our Tuesday at the paper and the day was spent laying out the pages and getting them ready to send to the printer. We had the approval of our pages by mid-afternoon. During a slow moment I hopped online to see if the yarn I needed was on sale this week and lo and behold it was! I thought maybe we could squeeze a trip to town in after I got home from work.

Meanwhile, CountryBoy drove the lawnmower with the cart behind it up to the cabin to clean it after the guests checked out. Thankfully he and the mower made it up there OK. He also checked the buggy again and was making banana bread when I got home. Once the breads were out of the oven we left for town.

While we were waiting on the banana bread he called to see if and when we could get the buggy in for a diagnostics and to hopefully be repaired. We have an appointment for December 1. That means that we now needed some way to haul the buggy. CountryBoy has been wanting a utility trailer for years so now seemed to be the time to bite the bullet and get one which was another reason for a trip to town. We checked out the trailers at Lowe’s and wound up getting one at Tractor Supply. I was not as successful at Hobby Lobby. There were only three skeins of the yarn I needed so I decided to just get one skein so that I could get the first baby blanket finished. I will check again at a later date and hope they have enough skeins in the same dye lot for the next blanket. I also picked up some circular knitting needles and was able to get them at 40% off. yay!

It was another jam-packed, eventful day but not as stressful as yesterday.

Tuesday, November 24

Work was just like the buggy – deader’n-a-doornail. I did the billing, counted the money from the counter sales for both papers, and sat there wondering if my email was working properly as not one email came in requesting any ads. However, when the occasional junk mail would come through I knew it was working. Even the phone was quiet. I think everyone already has Thanksgiving on the mind. I left at 1:00, stopped at Family Dollar for some money/gift Christmas cards then went to the B&B to do my Wednesday’s work. CountryBoy is leaving early tomorrow morning for Arkansas to spend Thanksgiving with his Mom & brothers and I will be without transportation. I wanted to make sure to get the shelves stocked with enough sheet sets to hold them over until Sunday. I worked a couple hours and was on my way home. It seems like we’ve both been non-stop since Sunday. In reality, I guess we have!

Wednesday, November 25

We were up at 5:30 this morning and CountryBoy was on his way to Arkansas by 6:30 and safely arrived early afternoon. Me? I’m staying home and taking care of the farm. As much as I dislike celebrating the holidays separately I do enjoy being home. I’m a homebody that rarely gets to stay home so I am going to take full advantage of these upcoming few days and savor every minute.

As soon as the sun was up I wandered out to the barn to unlock the chickens’ door and feed the chickens, turkey and Miss Mabel. Of course, I have to feed Mabel first or I won’t hear the end of it. She’s spoiled! What she actually does is gobble her food down and then goes out to help herself to the cracked corn that’s tossed out for the chickens. She’s a pig – what can I say?!

My goal for the day was to start decorating the house for Christmas. Last year I didn’t do much decorating because I was just plumb tired and didn’t want to bother. This year? I’m not quite as tired but this year I think we could all use a little Christmas cheer so I made up my mind to put out every last decoration I have. Today I managed to get the tree put together. It’s a fake tree – one that I bought the end of last year for 70% off – but it’s a nice, full tree and not too wide or too skinny but one that’s proportional to the size of the rooms in our house. I strung the lights around it and put the few ornaments I have as well as some floral picks on it and it looks pretty good. I put a few knick-knacks around but I’ll finish the rest tomorrow or maybe Friday. This was all done while listening to and singing loudly to my Christmas playlist on my iPod and diffusing the delightful Christmas Spirit blend of orange, cinnamon bark, and spruce essential oils. Gotta love it!

The wind and rain started about 10:30 this morning making it a perfect day to spend indoors decorating. It rained a good part of the day and the wind, mercy, the wind was extremely gusty. In fact, I had to chase down some feed bags that were blown from the barn and halfway up the hill…

See them all? There’s even some around the curve in the road and that’s one just above where the road disappears. mercy! I was trying to fold and stuff several of the bags into one bag but Mabel heard me and started demanding her supper. What could I do but put the bags in a stall out of the windy breezeway and go feed poor Miss Mabel. Spoiled I tell ya!

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I’ve done three rounds of the border on the baby blanket. Three more to go and it will be finished. I also started and finished knitting a Dish Scrubby while watching ‘The Dressmaker’. I’m actually surprised I figured out how to turn the TV on since I never touch it, ha!

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Farm news: 13 eggs

Thursday, November 26

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! I hope you’re eating lots and enjoying the holiday. Eat some turkey, mashed potatoes and a nice slice of pumpkin pie for me, would ya? My supper is going to be a leftover baked potato and some leftover chicken strips. MMMmmm!

I’m two days in to what I’m calling a mini-vacation and it’s been fabulous! Quiet but fabulous. I’ve spent the time decorating and crocheting. In fact, I finished baby blanket No. 1 this afternoon…

I’m hoping to start baby blanket No. 2 in a few weeks if I can get the yarn I need but for now I will start another blanket using the bulky yarn I bought last week.

I also finished decorating this afternoon and hauled all the totes and boxes up the stairs and stowed them in the guest room. Here’s how the ol’ farmhouse looks now…

I put the big tree in the dining room because that’s the only place that was open and I added a few touches to the fireplace mantle in there…

My newspaper boss gave me the garland and some lights. I wrapped a strand of lights around the garland and draped it over one of the front doors (the one we don’t use!).

There’s a little snowman theme in the corner of the living room as well as our teeny tree that we used in the fifth wheel while we were traveling…

… and here’s an overall view of the living room…

… a quilted Christmas wall hanging hung behind the couch and a cross-stitched Christmas angel – both were made by me years ago and a few little other knick-knacks that I’ve had for years as well.

I even hung a Christmas apron in the kitchen…

It’s been a productive mini-vacation. I think I’ll put my feet up the next coupla days and do some knitting, reading, gathering eggs, and whatever else pops into my head!

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Farm news: 15 eggs

Friday, November 27

Today has turned out to be a beautiful day! It was mid-morning before the sun broke through and chased the clouds away and it has been shining ever since. After the last several gray days it’s a welcome sight. Before that I spent some time searching the internet for just the right bulky yarn blanket pattern. I’m particular about my patterns. There has to be the right amount of texture, simplicity and the overall appearance is important. I haven’t been able to find a pattern that tickles my fancy using the super bulky yarn that I mistakenly bought the other day so I’ve decided to wing it. I learned to do the Cartridge Rib Stitch that I’m going to use around the edge and I think I’ll simply knit one row, purl the next and repeat. We’ll see how it goes. I never thought using this yarn would be such an ordeal but an ordeal it has become. Maybe I shouldn’t be so picky but I like what I like and if I’m going to put some time and effort into creating something I want it to be something I’m happy with and proud to say that I made it. So yea, there are times when creating something is an ordeal.

I started on the blanket but since the sun was out I decided to check the temperature in the greenhouse and saw that it was a nice 65 degrees. Time to open the door and let some of the warmth into the house. While I was in the greenhouse the basil flower stems laying on the shelf caught my eye. I had snipped the flowers off the basil before drying the leaves and the other day I noticed that there were seed pods on them with little seeds peeking out. I decided it was time to collect the seeds…

See the seeds in the pods? Each pod held five or more seeds. As I took the time to break each pod open to release the seeds I couldn’t help but think how awesome our Lord and Creator truly is – right down to the finest of details such as plants producing their owns seeds for the future.

I stared out the dining room window as I worked on the seeds and the sun began calling me outdoors. After I had finished and cleaned up the mess I grabbed my camera and LizzieBelle and I went for a little walk. We stopped at the barn where I ventured into the paddock. Miss Mabel was getting a dose of Vitamin D…

Our lil’ portly pig! Her belly no longer drags the ground and we can see her eyes so she is actually looking pretty good. Of course she’ll tell you we don’t give her enough to eat but we beg to differ. Those jowls…

teehee!

This girl is thankful that Thanksgiving is over!…

Little did Speckles know that her being the only turkey left in the bin that day at Rural King was her lucky day!

She’s truly such a sweet girl. She loves attention and likes head and under-the-wing rubbings. When she arrived at the farm she gained a bunch of chicken sisters, a couple of noisy rooster brothers and a pig sister to hang out with…

… all of whom will get to enjoy and live out their lives here at the farm.

After the stop at the barn LizzieBelle and I went to check the mail. Actually, I walked up and checked the mail while LizzieBelle got distracted by a smell down by the bridge. I met back up with her and we wandered by the creek a bit. These trees amaze me…

… how they’re able to stay upright even though the roots have been exposed due to erosion. We have quite a few trees such as this along the creek bank that are still standing strong. They remind me of many people I know – how they’ve been through hard times and life seems to be hanging by a thread yet still remain standing strong.

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Farm news: 15 eggs

Saturday, November 28

Wow, the last three days have just FLOWN by! I suspect today will too – the last day of my mini-vacation. It has been so refreshing to not have any plans; not have any place to be; not have a schedule; not have to worry about any guests; to just BE and to just enjoy all the little things and moments throughout each day. I didn’t even have any projects lined up other than decorating the house which speaks volumes! Life can be pretty mundane at the farm but that’s exactly what I enjoy and I’m grateful for these last few days, as mundane as they are – caring for the animals; gathering and washing eggs for the customers; keeping the fireplace going as needed to keep the house from getting too cold; and so on. I like taking care of my own little world and these past few days have given me that and I am grateful. It’s been a much needed break.

CountryBoy is heading home today. YAY!!! I can’t wait for him to see the house all decorated. I’ve got Chicken Cacciatore going in the crock pot for supper and I’m about to start the laundry. I plan on knitting while the laundry is going and around noon I’ll walk up to the cabin to take the banana bread up and make sure it’s ready for today’s guests. I’m guessing they’ll be arriving about the same time as CountryBoy.

Speaking of guests and the cabin… when the side-by-side quit working last weekend I blocked the rest of this month and the first week of December until we could get the buggy checked out and hopefully fixed. Yesterday our internet was slower than molasses and last night I couldn’t even open the email account we use for the cabin so I gave up trying and went on to bed. I wasn’t too concerned about anyone booking because of the blocked days on our calendar. This morning I was finally able to open the email and discovered that someone had booked it yesterday for the end of this month for three nights. WHAT? How could that have happened with the dates being blocked? I have no idea but the next email was a cancellation email from the same guests. I’m going to contact Airbnb to find out what happened. Little mishaps like that aren’t good for business.

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I’ve come up with a simple pattern for the bulky blanket. It’s a simple pattern – knit 3, purl 3, repeat for 3 rows. After every 3 rows purl 3, knit 3 and so on. I’m going to be using three different color yarns so I’ll be switching colors after at least two sets of rows. I’m playing that by ear. It took me a bit to get comfortable with using circular knitting needles but it’s going smoother now. We’ll see how it turns out.

The sun came out about noon. It has truly been a wonderful Autumn this year – like real Autumn weather for an extended period of time. We’ll take it for soon enough the skies will be grey, the nights long, and the temperature cold. Of course, if there’s snow involved it’s all good! I tell ya, these Floridians still get excited when it snows, haha!.

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Farm news: 14 eggs

2 Comments

  1. Suzi, so glad you had a productive and pleasant mini-vacation! Baby blankets are gorgeous and I love the decorations in your lively home! Hoping you guys have a very special and precious Christmas season❤️

    Liked by 2 people

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