Monday, December 05, 2016

Sheep shuffling, snow, and surprises

Today was my self-imposed deadline for moving sheep. The "little" girls have been with Nightcap for a month . . . and both are lame. Whether they are bred or not, they needed to move back to the fold to recuperate and get help, if needed. I put Sarai and Vienna in the Ram-ada Inn lot with Nightcap to keep him company – and to be bred, if they didn't settle with Blake. Not that I want May lambs, but it seemed the safest management decision.

By the time I got back to the house after all that, a wintery mix was falling. I don't think it's going to stick, though . . . today.
Time to pull those geraniums inside!
Now I must get busy in the kitchen. Tomorrow is Brian's birthday. After school he has a basketball game, which he knows his parents and grandma plan to attend. He also knows Grandma is bringing his birthday gift to give him after the game. What he doesn't know is that Grandma is going to show up at our house after the game for a surprise birthday dinner, featuring his favorite Green & White Lasagne, and from-scratch German Chocolate Cake. Yesterday he asked me if I have to work on Tuesday as usual. When I said yes, he said wistfully, "Oh. I was hoping maybe you could make a German Chocolate Cake for my birthday and Grandma could come eat cake with us after my game, but I guess that won't work." Can't wait to make his day!

That's it for now from . . .

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Chilly changes a-comin'

So bundle up! ;-)

Isn't he cute? I got him in the gift exchange at the Christmas party last night, along with a holiday plate and a matching bowl full of chocolates. Now Mr. Moose is perched on the half-wall in the great room; we have officially decorated for Christmas – ha!

I've seen on Instagram and elsewhere that winter has finally arrived in various places. It's coming here this week, too – our first hard freeze (we haven't even had a light frost so far) and a good chance for some snow. I'm fervently hoping that we don't get snow or worse, freezing fog or rain, any time Tuesday night or Wednesday, because I have to drive my MIL to Portland for an early morning doctor's appointment. Interstate and ice do not a good combination make.

It's already getting colder out there, but it's cozy inside thanks to a fire in the insert and plenty of wood to keep it going.

Warm wishes from . . .

Friday, December 02, 2016

A-a-a-n-d . . . WE'RE OFF!

Or, as I put it in our Christmas letter (which I wrote two days ago; check): "We’re already sprinting down the bobsled track that is the holiday season and soon it will be all I can do to hang on for the ride." Then I pasted in this photo.
My first idea was a ski-jumping analogy, but when I found a photo, that ramp made my stomach knot up and I decided NO holiday season deserved to be compared to THAT; ha!

So, bobsledding it is. The first curve was getting that Christmas letter written. Another major curve is getting envelopes addressed, cards signed, and mailing it all out; I'm hoping to finish that this weekend. I did deliver two Christmas cards with gifts today; first to a neighbor when I walked down to pick up two packages the mail carrier left there, and the second to Brian's violin teacher. So there has been a bit of gift-wrapping, too!

One of those packages contained yarn (you'll have to check my horse blog re the other), so a Christmas gift for my nephew is now on the needles. This precocious almost-five-year-old requested a scarf "in his size" – and red is his favorite color.
The "whee hills" in this run are the three scheduled Christmas parties. Usually I can only make it to two, as there are either conflicts, child care constraints because of Rick being out of town (an annual veterinary convention occurs in early December), or both. But this year I get to go to all three! The first one is tomorrow evening, so today I made some biscotti to take – my first Christmas 2016 baking.

There will be more baking and more parties and more gift-wrapping, along with the Christmas greetings to get off. Oh, and Brian's birthday is Tuesday so I'll be making a from-scratch German chocolate cake for him on Monday, and basketball season has commenced which has us all hopping 3-4 days a week, and I have to take my MIL to at least one more doctor's appointment in Portland next Wednesday. I also need to find someone to do chores while we are in Texas for Christmas, and work, and....

One of my best friends is famous (to me) for saying, "You need to cut off the bottom half of your list!" – or offering to do it for me. Well, believe it or not, we HAVE cut a big item off the holiday to-do list; we're foregoing a Christmas tree this year. I tentatively suggested it to Rick since we are going to be gone for Christmas, but he thought Brian would rebel at that idea. Then Brian asked me in the car a day later if we were going to get a tree, following with, "I don't think we should since we're not even going to be here." Rick waffled a bit more, but finally agreed. I'm feeling a wee bit sad, worrying that I've become Scrooge and wondering where we'll put our Christmas presents, but mostly I'm feeling rather light and free about it. I think having two fully decorated 15' trees crash to the hardwood floor sucked the joy out of that particular holiday tradition – at least for now.

We'll enjoy our evergreens out of doors this year at . . .

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Grabbing the last brass ring

It's late on the last day of November – just barely time to grab for that last brass ring. I missed posting just four days this month – not too shabby, considering all we had going on. I'm not sure posting every day is a great idea, though. I've noticed that page views and comments have gone down some this month (not that have I ever have lots of either); perhaps followers got blog fatigue!

In honor of this tail-end of the month post, here are some "tail-end" photos.
The last Red Sex-Link hen died this week, leaving the six young black hens, two old Speckled Sussex hens, and one ancient Welsummer from our first year of keeping chickens (2008!). Chicken longevity seems highly variable, and I don't have a clue what the factors are.

My big Japanese maple is pretty much naked – except for this little spray of delicately colored leaves nestled between their trunk and the spirea bushes. Most of the trees look like this now,
which I still find beautiful . . . beautiful "bones."

I usually show you sunrise photos; here are some sunset pictures for a change. I snapped these from our lane yesterday while riding my mental health mustang.
Lovely remains of the day!

That's it for November from . . .