thankful

IMG_5804 It’s been a beautiful week. I have so much to be thankful for. First of all, I’m thankful for being surrounded by absolute splendor each and every day. And, crazy enough, I’m thankful for the cold weather. It makes one not forget that they are alive. Yesterday, while Eric and I were driving the golf cart up through the pasture to unroll some big bales of hay for the livestock, and the wind was driving the falling snow into our eyes and making it utterly impossible to see where we were going, I couldn’t help but be overcome by hysterical laughter. My stinging fingers, cold toes, dripping nose, and snow pelted body were incredible reminders of being alive!IMG_5814And after that chore time during a snow storm, I was incredibly thankful to come into the warmth of my house and know that a big stack of good firewood, gathered so diligently by the whole family, was ready and waiting just outside the door.  IMG_5773I’m thankful for an overnight get away (however, not to the far reaches of the beach like you, Coree!) to celebrate Ira’s (belated) birthday… and for the amazing boy who is now 10 years old. Oh, my. (More on this topic next week…)IMG_5815I’m thankful for some time as a passenger in the truck to knit while en route to Three Creeks Farm to pick up a new Shetland ram for my wool flock. And I’m thankful to dear friends and neighbors on the farm, Jesse and Hannah, for watching the children while Eric and I made said trip. It was almost like a “date”. IMG_5817 Meet T.J. The new kid on the block. He’s still young (unproven in the language of the shepherd) but I’m going to thank him just the same for the prospect of being papa to a bunch of wooly little lambs in the late spring. Isn’t he lovely? I think so. I hope the ewes like him, too. IMG_5808

i’ll never be cold again

the tale of a wood pile and an ice storm

around here in, south central Kentucky, winter brings with it mostly rain, plenty of ice, and rarely snow.  for the past days as this storm system has moved across our region, our friends north of us pulled out their sleds, and we awoke to this

IMG_0160

ice storms can be beautiful for certain, but i have to admit, it leaves both paul and i longing for the deep blanket of snow that we recall from our childhoods.

IMG_0162

IMG_0175

we heat with wood. we love wood heat, at its best, the warmth of wood heat can’t be beat, but there is a lot of work involved. felling, cutting, splitting and stacking is a chore. over the years, as our workload evolved on the homestead, it was paul who became the woodsman.

IMG_0194

for those of you that know my eldest son, you can remember clearly the days when he swung a hatchet as big as he: wobbly toddler legs and bare feet. you might not have known then that what that guy would be doing at 14. in the most recent winters our favorite adolescent has been joining in the process of heating with wood. originally focused on a wood supply for our winter maple syruping.

IMG_0166

hauling downed trees from the woodland with his trusty donkey, waiting patiently for dad to come and saw them to length, then waiting patiently again for dad to drive them to the wood pile where he could split and stack.

IMG_0865

the waiting game was no fun for this energetic fella so at the end of last winter, we made an arrangement. dad would teach his oldest son the workings of the chainsaw and the four wheeler: the basic tools he would need to manage the wood supply solo. passing the reins wasn’t smooth at first, but with the bone chilling cold that can accompany this damp world the time has come for me to claim: i can’t believe how warm i am. father and son are working together, they’ve ironed out some kinks and i have shed a layer or two.

IMG_0199

isn’t that a beautiful thing?

right now :: firewood to fairy house

IMG_5184IMG_5185IMG_5179IMG_5178IMG_5183Today, in a one hour window of being gone from home on an errand, I come home to find my hubby standing over a freshly felled tree in the front yard. He had the wood all cut to length and was busily stacking it. Coveralls and hat thrown to the side from the first wave of heat that procuring firewood brings about in a body. (The second wave of heat will come in the splitting, the third in the burning.) But what he also managed to accomplish in that short period of time was to transform the gangly top branches of the tree (that we never quite know how best to deal with) into a fun new house for the girls… I mean the fairies.