Friday, December 24, 2010

Just Some Christmas Eve Beauty around the Farm

Mostly oak but we also have some hickory...when you burn hickory it smells like youre cooking bacon...

The only thing you could hear was birds flitting around the feeders..just peaceful.

We left some sorghum on the stalk for the birds and they love it.

We have a local guy pickup two bags of trash a week but we burn all paper and cardboard. I enjoy it.

Two days ago we barbequed ribs on this grill.

King Crab pots on a Missouri farm.......

Icicles on the well house

We fill four of these two or three times a day and on this day, we had a Downy Woodpecker show up for a snack.

Bird tracks all over the place.

It doesnt look cold but it was.

And finally...what keeps us warm and toasty.

Tis the Season

Its been a time of wonderment, family, friends and festivities around the old homestead. We have had some snow, some ice, and very cold temperatures interspersed with periods of almost balmy weather. All the Christmas shopping is done and today, Christmas Eve, we are just baking and enjoying our over night snow from the big storm sweeping the Midwest and Atlantic coast. I got up this morning and fed the birds (we have four wild bird feeders that get emptied several times a day), stoked the outside wood boiler, and burned some paper trash in the cold snowy morning all before 08:00. We then went for breakfast at the local hangout and saw a bunch of friends and delivered our Christmas cookie tins to some of the local people who we know. Judy and I also went to a farm a few farms down to get one of the kittens from their barn cat and I got seriously bitten by the poor thing when we tried to get it into the carrier...had to go to the emergency room for a tetanus shot and anti-biotics but we were in and out in 30 minutes and everyone was extremely friendly.

We are toasty warm and just enjoying the beauty and peacefulness that surrounds us...and right now we are enjoying a bowl of homemade pea soup and watching Frank Capra's "Its a Wonderful Life"....and you know, it is a wonderful life.

Here are just a few pictures of the last couple weeks leading up to Christmas and we hope each one of you has had as relaxing and enjoyable holiday period as we have.

This was our Christmas parade, we are a small town of about 119 people but we put on a very nice little parade and we are proud of it. Here is Joe brining in Santa.

The T.O.P.S. ladies who served as grand marshalls.

The high school marching band from the school that serves this area.

No politics in this parade...if your not into family, friends, and god dont come.

Does he look happy or what?

The poor horses pulling this float had to contend with me running the siren on the pumper truck not too far behind.

It was bitterly cold this day and at one point a couple of horses jumped thier fence on a place along side the parade route and ran down the side of the parade...a couple of locals corralled them into someone elses pasture and all was was just

None of us have much money but these are good people and this was a great parade. I think this one won first or second place.

Yours truely was driving the pumper truck and a couple of ladies from the Fire Department Auxillery were throwing candy...we were warm and had a great time. If you dont understand why driving a fire truck and hitting the lights and sirens is great then I pitty you.

The town Christmas tree was located on an old foundation of a bank that was wiped out during an F5 tornado in 1960. We used to have a bank, a hardware store, and a small theatre...all wiped out during the tornado and the town never recovered.

And of course Santa was on hand for all the kids. We are in the Lions Club and we all gathered the night before to put together bags of candy and fruit for everyone and no one got left out.

Was it cold?...Yes it was.

Everyone managed to stay warm though.

It may be cold but it is really so beautiful and quiet around here that I just cant get enough of it.

The big gift is Holly's...I think she will like it.

Country festive.

No hearth but we make due!!

Boo Boo found his stocking a bit early in the spare bedroom but he has to wait until tomorrow to open it.

Yes we are a little redneck

We made Christmas cookies the other day and had fun decorating them...just wish the kids and grandkids  could have been here to help.

Good eats all around...bad for the diet.

We need a better camera but we are festive outside as well.

The manger sceene has been one of our traditions since we married.

My best friend at work cleaning up from baking.

So we are all warm, we are in a holiday spirit, and we want for nothing. Merry Christmas to everyone.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fall at the Homestead

Fall has arrived a bit late this year. WE did our usual thing for Halloween with the pumpkins, we had candy and we were all ready for some trick or treaters but we only got three. The next Monday at a first responders meeting several people told me they brought their kids by but we werent home....turns out they did Halloween here on Saturday since Halloween fell on Sunday this year. Who knew!!
These were some of the pumpkins from our garden this year and the hay was from our first pasture cutting.

Holly, Judy and I all had to carve our own pumpkins.

Boo boo being his normal lazy self

We dont have a very good camera but this full moon was beautiful.

We had a great Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for. We had a traditional meal with my favorite brined turkey and it was cold and snowy out which is perfect weather for a feast. We talked to all the kids, watched football, cooked and ate. The first Thanksgiving in our new homestead; it was special.

The night before Thanksgiving we had temps around 70, thundershowers including high wind and rain (6 .5 inches) and there were three tornados a little to the southwest of us. This was Thanksgiving morning with temps around 29 and it started to snow. The outside wood bouler kept us nice and warm.

The extreme temperature change in the span of a few hours was shocking but the snow is beautiful.

It was so quiet and peaceful. I think my blood pressure dropped about 20 points.

And so on Black Friday I got up early to 19 degree temps, threw a couple of logs in the wood boiler and then got paged for an ambulance call. An elderly lady had fallen outside and laid in the cold for a couple of hours. When we got to her she had an extremely low body core temp and was hypothermic and unconscious and we ended up calling for an aero medivac. I hope she will be okay, its hard to think of the temps here being dangerous after living in Alaska all those years but it can be dangerous and many folks here live in poorly insulated houses and have marginal heat. But instead of going shopping, we walked around the homestead and enjoyed the beauty. Here is Holly and Boo boo by the lower pond.

Some interesting ice shapes in the pond.

Dandy in our upper left pasture

The upper pond didnt ice over except on the sides

The cedars were covered in ice and in the sun looked like they were covered in jewels

Lots of poolen on the upper pond from all the rain we had. The inner row of  trees to the left of this picture are being taken out and we will plant grass for a picnic table and outdoor grill but there is another outter row of trees behind that to give us a wind break. Thousands of birds were flitting around up here today.

Just a view towards the barn from the mid pasture.

Holly with Lil Bit in the upper pasture

View from the orchard of the barn and house. It has a stark beauty with all of the leaves gone.

Most of the snow melted off by mid morning and temps are expected to get up to about 50 today.

Still not sure what I want to do with the old road grader

And finally Holly and Boo boo in the orchard. Boo boo doesnt like to walk in the ice and snow and has to be carried. This is the same wild feral cat we found half frozen in Alaska about 8 years ago....he has definitely gone domestic in his old age.