Wednesday, December 02, 2020

It's beginning to look a lot like . . .

Motel 6???
That's the light outside our daylight basement door (with solar lights along the steps and valley lights in the distance), by which our neighbors will be coming and going as of tonight. They had hoped to be in their new house long ere this, but construction projects being what they are.... The wife had mentioned to me a couple weeks ago that everything was getting damp in their temporary living quarters in the shop and their little RV trailer is not really big enough for the two of them – plus their two little dogs – to sleep comfortably. At the time she was housesitting for some people and looking for a short-term rental that would accept the dogs without success. Rick and I talked it over, and decided to offer them our rudimentary basement guest quarters. It has a separate entrance so we won't have inside contact during these COVID-conscious times, and they can have a warm, dry space to sleep, shower, relax, watch TV if desired, and dry things out at night.

But it is beginning to look a lot little like Christmas, too. Last week when I rode Lance down the lane, I saw that a Christmas tree lot on the other end where we have purchased a u-cut tree before is closed for the season already(!?!). I wasn't sure what we would do; u-cut options are very limited this year and tree prices are up thanks to high demand in these unsettled times. I mentioned to the Lord that it sure would be nice to have a BIG tree again if He saw fit to provide one; it wasn't a formal 'request,' I was just sharing the desire of my heart.

Last Sabbath at church, a member gifted us a poinsettia, our first bit of seasonal cheer. Then I happened to see an announcement on a friend's Facebook page. They were planning to clear out some untended Christmas trees to create more horse pasture, and were inviting people to come out and cut them for free the next day. Hallelujah! Rick and I headed over on Sunday afternoon (Brian was busy – again – with friends), and found the perfect tree for us, this tall, lovely and fragrant Grand fir:

Yes, us two 'old folks' managed to get that in and up ourselves. Rick secured it with strings to the deck door hinges, although as you can see there are as yet no ornaments on it to break should it tip over. I'm not sure when (if?) the decorating is going to happen but hey; we have a Christmas tree!

Sunday morning before the tree excursion, Rick and Brian cleaned out the sheep fold. It was DEEP and hard-packed, so a big, heavy job; I'm so grateful! The walls are much taller now; heh.

While they did that I dipped fresh cranberries in chocolate, the anticipation of a Christmas tree putting me in the mood to make holiday treats. Yesterday I made chocolate peanut clusters. Next on the list? Probably Russian teacakes, but before I can get to that, we have a 19th birthday to celebrate. The boy has requested green & white lasagne and cheesecake.

This month is starting out unusually dry and clear. Fortunately we had near-average rainfall in November and there's a lot of December left in which to catch up.
A rainbow over our temporarily merged households

While the weather allows, I'm trying to work both horses daily; here are some scenes from my ride down the lane on Lance this afternoon:

Working with my animals helps keep me sane; this holiday leave is not going wonderfully well. 😒 Poppy and I get to go to agility class again this week after a two-week partial lock-down due to skyrocketing COVID cases in Oregon.
"Did you say 'class'???"

Poppy has been BORED the last few weeks without class or playdates. She has lots of toys and I play with her, take her to the barn, turn her loose to hunt when I can, and take her for walks. But it's just not the same. Fortunately, she got to play with the neighbor dogs today. She has figured out they are downstairs tonight and that's really hard, but she's finally settled down to nap on my lap.

Trying to hold it together at . . .


Retired Knitter said...

What an absolutely PERFECT tree - and for free, no less.

So while you have the ear of God, can you ask him (for a blog friend) if she could have .... hmmm ... and I sat here thinking about what I would want you to ask for me ... and discovered ... I have everything I want. Isn't that a lovely discovery! Thank you, Michelle, for the opportunity to discover that! Wait ... I thought of something. A country that heals itself since we have new leadership just waiting in the wings. My blood pressure has gone down a bit just thinking of January 20th!

I have yet to put up our artificial tree. Need to do that this weekend.It will be Aja's first Christmas with us and I don't know how cat and tree will make out together. It should be an adventure.

You guys are so kind to offer your basement for your future neighbors. (and good friends maybe in the future.). Take care.

wyomingheart said...

Stunning tree!!!... I’d bet a Rock Star could really have some treasured moments up that big green conifer...! Just sayin! Great shots of that pre ious puppy too! Have a great week!

Mama Pea said...

Two temporarily combined households and your wish for a gorgeous, big Christmas tree . . . karma in action! Poppy may be a bit bored lately, but such a wonderful life she has. I've had a much too busy week and would like to trade places with her for a day or two! As for your stress level rising, just a normal (but sometimes an awful, bad, terrible) stage for mother and child to live through. Sigh.

Tim B. Inman said...

Love the Poppy pics. I like your tree 'as is.' My tree comes out of its box for a little each season. Then back into hibernation for the duration. I'm not much of a 'celebrator.' Maybe that is a reaction to my years as a merchant way back when. At any rate, it looks great.

Michelle said...

Elaine, this will be Poppy's first Christmas, too; I'm a little nervous about putting ornaments on the tree! As for country-healing, I'm afraid that will be limited because so much has been – and is being – broken by the current administration, some of the worst of human nature has felt validated and empowered, and, well, just because HUMANS. Only God can fix this mess, in His time. Truly something to look forward to!

wyomingheart, Chuckie might be a safer bet with the tree than Poppy, at least if the ornaments come out!

I don't think I like the concept of karma, Mama Pea, because I'd have to wonder who am I or what have I done to deserve such a difficult son! 😉

I'm a pretty low-key celebrator, too, Tim. Rick asked if he should invite his mother out to decorate the tree and I demurred, knowing she always had an elaborate meal and holiday treats, music, stories, etc. for the occasion. Uh, that's not me!

A :-) said...

Your son is not your karma - he is his own karma . . . And the tree is a stunner!! What a wonderful gift! And what a gift you have given to your neighbors, staying safe in the process. They will always be grateful, I'm sure. :-)

Michelle said...

A, I'll just keep rolling with life, doing the best I can, asking forgiveness for my shortcomings, and being thankful for the many gifts!

FullyFleeced said...

That was very kind and generous of you both to offer your basement accommodations to the neighbors. Hope that they take that sentiment and pay it forward in some way to other folks. Would be cool to think that you kicked off some sort of kindness chain reaction. :)

Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm said...

"Cast your bread upon the waters..." because God is God of the little as well as the big. Happy Christmas to you and yours; I've yet to decorate and thinking I may not. Again. It seems like just so much more work that keeps me from doing what *needs* to be done. We've had a lot of rain, last Friday it was more than two inches and yesterday sleety rain. I wish I could share. Sandra at Thistle Cove Farm