Friday, January 11, 2013

January On The Homestead

These days, it's not hard getting up before the sun rises each morning.  When it does finally decide to come up, it's interaction with the frost and chimney smoke is truly other worldly.

After seeing Jeremy and the kids off to work and school, the younger two and I bundle, baby is worn on my back, and we head to the pastures.  Shamrock, the very protective ram, is the first to greet, er, forewarn us.  I admire his thick, soft, oh-so-usable wool.  I relish the idea of the wool he uses to stay warm this year being sheered in the summer, made into yarn, and knitted into warm things for our family to bundle up in next winter.

Coco the kitty follows us everywhere we go.  I trip on her several times as she tries to rub up against my legs while I'm walking, purring all the way.

Then I remember there are two sheer's worth of wool still in the barn, raw and unused.  I wonder, will we ever clean and use the stuff?  Is it even still good?  Jeremy and I are still on the fence about whether we keep the sheep or not.  We both love the idea of a couple beef cattle.  Then we remember the irrigation that needs fixing first and is there enough in the budget for that?

After breaking open the animals' frozen water, feeding the chickens kitchen scraps and looking for eggs, we head back to the cabin, ready to warm ourselves by the fire.  Simmer pots are my current obsession.  How many fragrance combinations can I create with spices from the kitchen and herbs from the garden?

At the end of the day, when the children are all asleep (and if the baby falls asleep early enough), I enjoy a few moments working on little projects like this wash cloth that is far from perfect but my heart almost burst when the children woke up and delighted so much in it.

January is a month of planning, pruning, preparing, and stillness.  Once growing season starts and daylight lengthens, there will likely be no time for nightly crafts and we will be very busy putting to action all the planning we do this month.  Even when we get antsy and a little cabin-feverish, we are choosing to enjoy this month for all it's worth.  Our bodies need the extra rest during cold and flu season and these long nights make that pretty easy if we choose to cooperate.  I have a feeling in five months as we wipe the sweat from our brows during the many hot hours working the land, we'll look back to January and feel a little bit of longing for the slower months spent in the cozy cabin, sipping warm things, wrapped in blankets, and breathing in the aroma from the simmer pot.

I'm sharing this at Simple Lives Thursday.


  1. The top picture is wonderful!

  2. Oh my word, these same words have come out of my mouth many times lately. I even remember saying them about September of last year as I was putting up food from the garden, still feeding and planning the final chicken butchering date, milking goats, working, getting some things ready for winter, studying, and on and on. Bedtime was tooooo late and morning tooooo early. God made winter so we don't kill ourselves! I savory this time even as I complain about the cold. I can finally feel myself regenerating from the summer months. They are awesome months but oh so busy and exhausting. My milking will start again soon. Milking is a double edged sword. We love and totally appreciate the milk but milking is extremely hard, time consuming work. Wouldn't give it up but I sometimes get so very tired of the unendingness of it. Loved the article. Thanks


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