Did you have a great Christmas? We did!
There are some out there for whom the holidays are depressing... my own dear mother was one of them. She left the picking out of the Christmas tree (for they were all real in those days) and the decorating of it to my dad and my sister and me. Sometimes, if they happened to be home, the "boys", my brothers, would hang an ornament or two, or throw some tinsel on it. I was of the "thowing" kind of tinsel-decorating, and my sister, of the "hang one on each branch" kind. Our house was decorated as only two little girls can decorate, so maybe that's why I always decorated as well as I could when my own kids were bitty things.
On Christmas Day after church (and after we had opened Santa's gifts) we went to my grandmother's farm. My grandma was widowed, and lived with her unmarried son and daughter, my Aunt Ruth and Uncle Marcus. There, along with my dad's brother John and his wife and only child, Petey, and my dad's youngest brother Frank, his wife and three kids, we would all gather for Christmas Dinner. This tradition has gone out of our family now, as we have begun meeting for a get-together the week before Christmas, so that the various families can meet with spouses's families at Christmas. At the farm were Big Pete (my brother) and Big Mike (my brother) and Little Pete (my cousin) and Little Mike, (my cousin's friend, who had lost both parents) and every year there were presents for all. My cousin Petey had a BB gun, and often shot birds with it, making me cry. I was a softie even then. My sister and I played with my cousins Charlene, John and Tim, until it was time to eat and open gifts. Sadly, we have very few pictures of these happy times, because no one used cameras regularly back then. I can still see them in my mind, though, in the huge living room of the house, where there was always a good fire going on the big hearth. The hearth had a wall around it, just the right size for little kids to sit on and warm up after playing out in the snow!
Keith also remembers many, many Christmases spent with his grandparents at the farm in Southeast Iowa, playing with his cousins and eating big dinners. How we miss those days!
It's funny, because looking back at them with my mother, she told my sister and me how she and my aunt dreaded it, as they had to use the outhouse in the cold, and had to go outside to smoke. My sister, too, dreaded the outhouse, and was petrified of the Holsteins, while I ran among them and begged to be allowed to go get them when it was time for milking. I have to admit I appreciate our indoor plumbing the older I get!
Here are some scenes from around Calamity Acres in the last two days... Christmas Day was fine, though chilly, compared to the last two under a foot or two of snow!
Yesterday, the hawk we often see at Spehar's Ponds was sitting there, looking for a meal. Don't look up the pasture, Mr. Hawk!
This is the lone survivor of all the chicks born in the Little Henhouse last spring. We will give the setting ladies some privacy this spring, so they can hatch their chicks without fear of their being killed by the other hens. This is the pullet I thought for a while was a cockerel, but I am confident she is a pullet, now. Note Flora, next to her... they are both silkie crosses, and I think their coloring is very nice. We are currently getting 8 or 9 eggs a day on many days, so are able to take three or four dozen to the food kitchen weekly, which is a blessing for us.
and Bitsy, the two Naughty Girls, are looking good. They are going to be made into a breeding trio with this guy in the Spring... Big Boots
I am currently thinking of what we are going to do about egg layers in the spring. This year we started 22 chicks in early March, the 12th. We are going to wait a month this year, till weather is a little more temperate. I may actually order from a hatchery, too, though I like picking out my chicks from the chick man at the feed store (he brings hundreds). We'll use the water troughs to brood again, they work so well, but one will be in the new henhouse, we hope, by then. I know that I want some more Welsummers, they lay the nicest big brown eggs, and I am very happy with their docile natures, as well as their pretty selves!
Here are two of the Welsummer hens, and Brutus, the Welsummer rooster yesterday. The other hen is the Wyandotte girl, she also lays a nice egg.
More later, I have to go to the dentist, you know, the week you take off to RELAX is always spent on the go!
I close with a gratuitous shot of pug cuteness!
Revolting, aren't they?