New Baby

Conquering a Mountain

 

“You can never conquer the mountain. You can only conquer yourself.” – James Whittaker {mountaineer}

My to-do list is growing and growing.  There’s something about the beginning of the year, isn’t there?  I mentioned some of the things I had to do here.  And I started pondering some of the other things I want to accomplish this year:

Learn to speak French

Learn how to take better photographs {I’m so serious about documenting our life.  I am pretty sure that I need a new lens.}

Get some more curriculum written.  It may be my grandchildren who use it, but there we are…

– Get through all of the recipes in Mrs. Beeton.  {no, seriously}

– Design and sew some clothes for the family.  I’m so weary of trying to find things that fit both our bodies, and that are my notion of good-looking and practical.

On the Farm: Design our veggies gardens and feed crop fields, schedule tapping for the birches, and decide what to make the remaining trees into.

– Try to come to some conclusion about changes to one of our businesses.

Schedule some workshops, talks, and classes at the farm {cooking, sewing/handcrafts, kids’ classes…}

– Put together an apprenticeship/intern program on the farm with the Office of Youth Ministry.

– Decide how much (if any) wedding business I want to pursue this year.

– Make it all pretty and practical.

– Have myself duplicated, or call on  {a LOT of} help from my friends…or lower my expectations and accept this as more of a wish list than a to-do list…

What’s on your wish list for 2012? 

 

Not-so-Bleak Midwinter

50 degrees in January?  It has been an incredibly mild winter here.  There have been only a handful of days below freezing.  Everyone thinks that it is spring.

Come January, I’m usually holed up in my big chair, wearing a thick wool sweater, feet covered in my Nana’s afghan, thumbing through garden catalogues, while snow falls outside and frost traces lacy patterns on the windows.  This is all very confusing to mind and body.

I’m still leafing through seed catalogues. 

The gals out for an afternoon nibble. It was an unauthorised outing, but who can blame them when the weather is so lovely?

This year, we’re also checking out milking equipment, breeding bucks (or their, um, produce), boars for breeding, poultry and fowl to increase our flocks…  We’re trying to come up with a schedule for harrowing the hilltop ‘fields’ which were left with lots of stumps as well as some logs, and the lower fields we’re creating from the old tree nursery.  We’ve asked around about the idea of doing a controlled burn to get rid of undesirable debris.  Still not sure how I feel about it.  It beats making huge holes in the ground and moving stumps down to the trench.

We’ve got 30 acres in hay, and can’t keep up with demand.  We need more hayfield.  We’re excited about changing over to a mix of alfalfa and timothy.  Just loaded with good stuff.

The pigs have grown! The boys will be going off to the processor next week, and the gals breedings will be planned. That should save some on the feed bill.

We are also allotting space for growing feed crops for the critters.  In case you weren’t aware, pigs eat A LOT.  They do a lot of very valuable rooting and fertilizing, but they also need additional feeds to grow big and healthy.  We’re trying to get to the point where we’re not dependent on outside products.  Whole, organic grain mix is spendy when you need 50+ pounds a day.

Our Blue Slate tom. He is a handsome love. We're hoping that he and his gals will be very productive. A large flock of these beauties would be very nice.

And this mild weather is making me more impatient, if that is possible.  I know that there are still many weeks until spring, but I feel like it has already arrived.

Perhaps the early weeks of growing someone infinitely more precious will become a pleasant distraction?  I do hope so.

 

What is occupying your winter days?

 

Picking up Stitches

Christmastide is winding down and real life is waiting patiently on the doorstep.  After Epiphany, we will take the denuded tree out to the woods to compost and turn our attention back to the busy-ness of life.  And there is a growing to-do list.  Life keeps on going, despite our festal suspension of time.

Diaconate classes have resumed, and there are assignments to be completed.  And an ordination celebration to begin planning.

The farmhouse is ready for kitchen and bathroom fixtures to be installed – just as soon as the new floors are in.

Before Christmas, I began designing each of the rooms to maximise space and natural light, and collecting some inspiration.  There will be considerable thrifting and building and painting and curtain sewing to be done.

Goats to be bred.  Pigs to go to the processor.  Seeds to be ordered.

A perpetually neglected workbasket to be seen to.

EZ style longies back on the needles. I love those vintage colours. And say, there's that calico I'd been looking for. Isn't it pretty?

Curriculum to be compiled or written from scratch from notes jotted hastily on handy bits of paper and filed not-so-carefully in a crate.

New work projects to give time to, some that have been waiting for their time to come for several years.  For them, it would appear, the time is now.

How is it, then, that we’ve managed to find the time to be planning space in our bedroom for the bassinet?

A basket full of {washable} merino being knit into a receiving blanket. Just right for the arrival of autumn babies.

{this moment} Trimming the Tree

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ at SouleMama for all to find and see.

Sophie

 

James

 

Louis

 

Joséphine (with Caroline's help)

 

Glittery vintage bulb. Photo credit: Cat Gadbois

 

Our last Christmas at the little house…

{One}

This post is late, but too precious not to share.  I don’t usually share birthday parties.  I’m not sure why.  But I’ve been thinking that I want to change that…

On 2 November, Joséphine completed her first year.  It has been a year full of joy and delight.  She is an easy baby, always smiling.  We are blessed.

Jo’s birthday celebration was postponed because there was a rogue October snowstorm that knocked out power for days.  Maybe you heard about that?  So as soon as the power came back on and we caught up with all of the cleaning and re-stocking, we baked a {chocolate triple-layer} cake and hung a pastel rainbow of crinkly crepe paper around the table to celebrate.

She couldn't wait to get a taste...

 

Yummy

 

 

She'd have been content with a bag full of rustly tissue paper.

 

See?

 

"Wait, is there something else in here?"

 

"Hey, I think there's something else in here!"

 

"Oh boy..."

 

"Shoes!"

 

"There are two of them!"

 

"I LOVE shoes!"

 

That's my girl.

 

Lots more in the bag - outfits and jammies. ... and one more thing.

 

"Oh no, not a hat. I hate hats." She handled the disappointment with grace. Until...

 

We made her try it on.

 

But over all, I think she enjoyed her first birthday. I'm sure she'll be looking forward to the next one.

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