It feels so good to be back on a normal farm schedule again.
Don't get me wrong... I love the holidays as much as anyone,
but almost better than the celebration is the return to normalcy
that follows thereafter.
It's been an unusually warm winter to date.
Wet, but warm.
Morning chores were done in the rain yesterday.
The smarter ones remained indoors.
Never to be lumped into that category, the horses ignored the precipitation
and carried on as any other day.
Chores are done pretty much the same no matter the weather.
We wear the appropriate gear and out we go.
Thankful that our work vehicles have roofs,
we don our waterproof pants and jackets, and pull up our muck boots.
Let it rain... we'll stay dry just to spite it!
I used the early morning drizzle time to begin to reclaim the house from
its holiday finery.
The Christmas tree remains decorated, and will until the 1st.
However, centerpieces and kitchen decor has been safely
stowed away for next year.
It feels good to re-arrange items from other areas and make new displays.
What was this...
I used a much smaller dough bowl for the table centerpiece
and filled it with what I could find...
pinecones, seed pods, nuts, fungi...
all manner of wintery natural findings...
a reminder that the world outside is still asleep - as it should be.
"To everything there is a season."
And the present season is one of rest.
I am just fine with that. I'm a seasonal gal. I enjoy change.
It gives me the chance to enjoy the present while also
looking forward to the future...
all the while basking in the memories of the past.
By afternoon, the drizzle had stopped. The sun peeped out, but only for a second.
With temperatures in the 40's we ventured out without gloves and hats...
lighter jackets and hiking boots...
to take the dogs for a hike in the woods.
While warm enough to be comfortable,
it was still cold enough to keep the loamy smell of Autumn's decomposition
from reaching our noses.
Instead, the air was crisp... washed clean from the past day's rains.
It amazes me how keen the dogs' noses are.
While we are smelling clean fresh air,
they are picking up the scent of critters that passed through the woods hours before,
or even of critters in woods beyond our own.
What a sensorial experience it must be to be a dog.
No wonder they love their adventures in the woods!
The woods are brown now... all life lying dormant.
Color is found only in the the species that feed on decay...
On the way back home, we stopped to do the afternoon chores
and were greeted by our turkeys who were visiting with the chickens.
Through the lens of the camera it became so apparent to me the differences
in these two proud men.
While Fred is in his prime at three years of age,
Tom is beginning to show the ravages of time.
At almost 11 years of age, his life story is deeply
chiseled in the many folds and hairs on his head.
Don't worry, Tom... it happens to the best of us!
Lastly, I would like to wish you the happiest of New Years!!
We'll spend our New Year's Eve with friends,
then have our traditional pork and sauerkraut meal with my Mom
on New Year's Day.
I'll be taking New Year's Day off from blogging...
but will be back with a story on Thursday.
By that time, the house should be back to its pre-Christmas condition.
I'll share the new looks later this week. (maybe)
We also still need to have a little sustainability talk as well.
So much to do... thank heavens we have a whole new year in which to accomplish it all!
Phyllis from Oregon
Karla from Illinois