Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Belated Christmas Gift


It's wet and it's heavy and it's melting nearly as fast as it's falling, but still - it's SNOW!

Monday, December 26, 2011

We Are The Shepherds...

So here is the stable and there is the manger, 
The new Saviour sleeps on his first earthly night
The wise men brought riches, but we brought a candle
It's all that we have but it gives a good light

We are the shepherds, we walked cross the mountains
We left our flocks when the new star appeared
Oh the beautiful singin' of heavenly choir
We had to come see him, we had to come here!

We beg you forgive us for such a small offering
But our sheep are all out there with wolves in the night
We bring you this candle - it's all we have with us
But with it the new Saviour has his first light.

We are the shepherds...
We thank Thee kind Joseph for bidding us enter
Please take our gift for the new babe of thine
'Tis only one candle, but it is our symbol
Of how we believe that his great life will shine

We are the shepherds...

Merry Christmas! 

You know, I don't think there is a farmer across this whole country (and probably the world) that doesn't say the same thing on Christmas Eve if they have livestock to care for..."I fed the animals a little more and spent a few extra minutes in the barn (stable) with them tonight."  I did.

I love the song I opened this post with (by Johnny Cash) - I have listened to it over and over for the past week or so.  I wish I had a beautiful picture of my own flock laying peacefully out in their pasture, but I don't so you will just have to imagine it ;)

I hope it has been a peaceful Christmas for you and your family and if you know Jesus, then it should have been.  If you don't know Him, if you chose to ignore Him and pretend that He isn't the reason there is a Christmas then I hope you did not have peace - I pray that you had a yearning so strong for something, for Him, that you need to seek until you find Him!  Give God a chance in your life, why not?

I hear a lot of religious people shouting today about how the world is changing and trying to take God out of our day to day lives.  I was thinking, though, when I was in the barn on Christmas Eve -  how is that different from the night Jesus was born?  Who paid attention?  People on that night were running around, going from place to place to follow the dictates of their laws at the time and probably complaining or celebrating, depending on their circumstances.  Joseph and Mary were probably looked down on, as they searched for a place to spend the night.  Maybe someone in line behind Joseph at the hotel/inn thought "foolish man should have planned for his trip better and made reservations".  An evil ruler wanted to destroy even the possibility of a threat to his power, the baby born that night.  Did that bright light in the sky (the star) shine only to the shepherds or is it just that out there in the country, living close to the land, they were the only ones who took the time to look?  And the Wise Men who traveled so far to bring gifts - do they represent the few level heads we might have still have in high places of this world, who sought peace in the most unlikely of places?

I don't know - I'm rambling, I guess ;)  But its what I was thinking about on Christmas.  It rushed by so fast, we hardly noticed it.

Is that what it was like on the night Jesus was born?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Five Years and More

Excuse the fuzziness of this picture of a special little hand - it might be a misty-eyed Grandma's reflection of how fast time flies by.  Today our youngest grandson turns five years old, and in just a few more days - on Christmas day in fact - our oldest grandson turns thirteen!  Is it just me, or does it seem like the grandchildrens birthdays go by faster than the childrens did?

Happy Birthday, Little E!!!  We'll celebrate this morning with a birthday breakfast and tonight with a preschool Christmas pagent.  He has been belting out songs for weeks now, his favorite being "Go Tell It On The Mountain".

Five years old and jumping into life with both feet!  Blessed days ~

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Things Are Cooking Again!

And no, I'm not talking about Christmas cooking - although there is plenty of that going around this time of year.  What I'm talking about is the wood cookstove at the Round House!!!  Take a look ~

On Monday this week, my Dad and one of our friends (Vern) came to visit and to work - the goal was to get both the wood heating stove and the wood cook stove working in the Round House.  They accomplished both jobs and in very good order.  We are soooo excited!!!

Can you say warm and toasty?
They checked all of the stove pipe and the chimney outside - everything was in great shape even though it hadn't been used in years.  You can see from the photos that the cookstove especially is in need of a very good clean up, but then I am anxious to give it a try.  I'm hoping my friend Angie might offer some suggestions ;)

While they were here they also did some repair work on the cabin door, and looked at the best way to build a functional ramp on the building so that Bill (and others with disabilities) will be able to get in to this wonderful and historical place.  It will be wheelchair accessible!  This is such an exciting prospect for all of us.

Just wanted to check in with this latest news.  I'll leave you with more from around the Round House....Enjoy!

Iron bedstead (above) and wide plank floors.  More of those plank floors sitting beneath an antique spinning wheel and the current porch entrance (below).  You can see where the door needed repair, something that has now been done.

I'm so excited about the possibility of future Wool Workshops and Spinning-in-the-Round-House days as well as lots of other fun things.  I'm especially looking forward to the first time that Bill is able to make it back to this special place that he has been caretaker of for so long. 

I'll end this post with a final picture from outside the building, showing the huge oak tree that sits next to it on the northeast side.  On the south and west it is sheltered by pine trees.

What do you think?  Will you be able to come for a visit some time?  We sure hope so - the fire is on and the coffee will be perking!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Home Is Usually The Best Place

I was supposed to go away on Saturday, a long day trip to visit another Corriedale breeder and I was really excited, really looking forward to a day of sheep and sheep talk!  But the need to care for family and farm right here at home prevented me from making the trip.  As it turned out, that was probably best as the weather was "iffy" all day alternating between a kind of freezing drizzle to downright rain.  I can make the trip another day, maybe in the spring. 

Staying home, I got a lot of work done around the house!  The back room really needed a scrub down and it got one - walls, door (all those little fingerprints and scuff marks) and most of all the floor.  This is where we come into the house from the barn and it gets all the traffic.  Rugs were washed, old boots and shoes sorted through (do I really need to keep three different pairs of old sneakers to wear to the barn and garden?  Especially when two of the three have holes in them?  Out they go!)  And then I did an on-my-hands-and-knees-with-a-brush scrub of the floor.  Probably no one else but me notices, but it's still a good feeling.  Then I wiped down the washer and dryer inside and out.  Hmmm, I think this room needs a fresh coat of paint before spring!

The picture at the opening of this post is of a homespun, handknit shawl I finished recently.  It's residing on the back of my favorite chair near the window and the fireplace.  Saturday would have been a good day for a fire in the fireplace, but we're having some work done on both our chimney and the fireplace itself so that isn't quite ready.  We hope it will be done before Christmas.  It was gloomy all weekend, and I was very content to be at home after all!  The light was so low all day, even with a lamp on, that the picture of the shawl turned out to be very dim and "gauzy" but I like how it looks anyway ;)

I continue to turn out mittens like a mad-woman and am having a blast doing it!
Today I'm going to have to give in and work in the mud and rain to move some sheep.  I sure hope the ground freezes up and it dries out a bit before we finally do get that snow.

Even washing machines need a scrub down every now and then - here is mine, sparkly clean!
At the end of the day, it was a good feeling to have some undercover but necessary work done and have some gasoline saved.  Bill and I really enjoyed the thick and creamy homemade Potato Soup I had on the stove (potato soup loaded with cheese and onions and carrots and spicy sausage, yummy!).  Still, I really would have liked to have seen those sheep ;)