Tag Archives: gifts

The Quiet

Christmas morning was shared with eldest son, our daughter in law, and eldest grandson.  We had our traditional Huevos Rancheros and link sausages then opened stockings and Christmas gifts.  After a bit of wind down, last year’s rocket was taken down to the field and fired into the foggy, low hanging clouds.  The first one we never saw come back down, the second one we watched, but son and grandson could not find it anywhere it appeared to land in the neighbor’s fields.  Shooting the rockets was something that Jim did with our youngest son after eldest son was out of our house.  I think he had wanted a rocket when he was younger, but hubby wasn’t sure about it then.  Son and grandson got a pair last year for Christmas.  It lives here and gets used when they visit.  With both missing, we will get them a new one for future visits.  The rockets are fun to watch.  I wish I had all the money for all of the ones that have been lost in the past 20 years.

After their launches, they packed the car and headed across the state for Christmas #2 of the day and we were left in a very quiet house.  Since I had prepared our traditional full Christmas dinner on the eve, we had plenty of leftovers to enjoy it again last night.

We did talk with our daughter and her family, visiting son in law’s family in Florida this year.  We spoke on the phone with our youngest son as he was headed into work to let most of his employees have the day free to be with their families, and just finished talking with Jim’s sister who lives in Florida.

I had asked eldest son if he would make me a vertical lazy kate for my spinning bobbins. My wheel has a built in lazy kate, but I find that I get too much twist when I use it as the singles come off the end of the bobbins instead of the side.  This was made for me and under the tree yesterday morning.


Last year he made me my soap molds and this year my lazy kate.  I love that he and his wife are so talented.  She made us ornaments of our first initials and hung them on the tree and made me a decorative bowl of the clay from the MGM site in Baltimore where she helped install a huge art piece also made of the clay.  I went to their house to help out the week that she was away working on that.


It was pleasant having them here if only for a couple of days.

Our children know that we don’t want them spending a lot of money on us, so we love the handcrafted items such as two woodburned ornaments from our youngest.


And the environment gift of an Arbor Day Foundation membership and trees from our daughter’s family.


Cleverly presently with a tiny forest and a note.  We are trying to reforest parts of our farm and this gift will help us on the way.

Today is quiet.  We went to town to get lunch and a few groceries and around that I have been washing the bed linens from son’s family visit and our laundry.  It is cool, gray, and gloomy today so being outside has no draw.  The time is being spent spinning some brightly colored Merino wool and plodding through a book that hasn’t really drawn me in. Santa brought each if us generous gift cards to Barne’s and Noble, so I will get myself a book soon.  He also brought me a gift card to my favorite local coffee cafe.  I will enjoy sitting in there with coffee on many occasions.

The quiet will continue for another 8 days, then life will return to the school year routine of getting the grands off to their respective school days.

I’m hoping for a break in the gloom so I can go for a walk.  We have rain and gloom every day this week except Wednesday, and possible snow on Friday.  We will see.  Maybe I will just put on a jacket and rainboots and go outside anyway.

Hurray, Schedule Met


Sweater # 3, the largest of the three, finished last night.


Sweater #2, for his little sister.


Sweater #1, for one of their cousins.

Her brother prefers sweatshirts, so he gets a Steeler’s T-shirt and Sweatshirt.  His other grandparents are Steeler’s fans so also is he.  The eldest grand wears sweaters, but insisted that he didn’t need one this year.  Perhaps that is for the best as making another even larger might have me knitting on Christmas eve.  It wouldn’t be the first Christmas eve that I was frantically trying to finish a gift.  I remember an afghan, a smocked nightgown, and a set of cross stitched placemats with matching napkins. There is a long tradition of me biting off more than I could chew while raising a family and working full time, but somehow it always got done.  I don’t remember ever having to wrap a not quite finished gift with the promise to get it finished.  But now I’m retired and seem to have even less time.


The doll quilts and pillows.  These for the same two little girls mentioned above.

The Florida family’s gifts will be mailed off today for them to open on Christmas day, then pack for their move to Virginia.  Generally, we leave here on Christmas day and drive to visit them for a week at Christmas.  Next year, we will get to witness the Christmas morning excitement, hopefully with them and our Northern Virginia family who generally spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with us before driving to visit her family on the coast.

The only other request is for mittens, but they weren’t asked for to be delivered by Christmas and will be made to match/coordinate with Sweater #2 for the granddaughter who will be moving here the week after Christmas.  She is Florida born and raised and may find Virginia winter a bit chilly for a while.  Her mittens will be my flight and drive back project, as she won’t need them until she gets here.  I couldn’t get them done in time to mail today anyway.

Today she would need them.  It is mountain snow flurrying with strong gusty winds that penetrate all my layers except when I am wrapped in a fleece and my barn coat.  Today I needed my long johns under my jeans, but didn’t think it would be that cold.

For now, I will return to my sweater, the body is nearly done except for the bottom ribbing and knitting and adding the sleeves.  That will be my project for the next few days and perhaps I will have it ready to wear by Christmas.  It is after all a lovely shade of green.


There are two more hand knit gifts this year, but the recipients often read my blog, so they shall remain . . .?

Where have you been my whole life?

The canning was finished yesterday by early afternoon and Mountaingdad was off riding his BBH (big bad Harley) as it was a beautiful day and beautiful riding days will soon end for the season.   I drove down to the local grocery, a real small town affair with produce displayed outside and much of it local and picked up half a peck each of Golden Delicious and Rome apples and spent hours peeling, coring and chopping them for a batch of applesauce.  Thinking that it would be enough for the season, I jarred it up for canning and realized I only had 7 pints, not enough.  My hands were so sore I wasn’t looking forward to another round of peeling.  Though I am not a big fan of gadgets, trip was made to Walmart for a flat of jars and an apple peeler/corer, but it was a double fail.  This morning, a quick internet search showed that Bed, Bath and Beyond in a nearby town carried the peeler and I knew that Kroger Grocery had the jars, so we made a pre football run to make the purchases.


Quick work of another peck of apples, peeled, cored, sliced and chopped in about 30 minutes.  Part of that was learning how the device worked.  The apples have cooked down and another 6 pints prepared for the winter.

The Green Tomato Chutney smelled so good yesterday, and made such a small amount that I decided to spend some time gathering and picking just about every green tomato left in the garden, many requiring significant paring of bad spots and making a double recipe of the Chutney.  It is simmering on the stove.


I wish you could smell my kitchen right now.  I’m hoping for at least 4 or 5 pints from it after it has cooked down.

Last night after the canning was complete, I did finish one of my sweaters.  This is homespun yarn made by a friend and gifted to me by another friend.  It should be a great fall sweater.


Perhaps I should wear it with a contrasting shirt.  Now I am back to working on the other sweater and the dresses for one of our grandgirls.

Lovin’ life on our mountain farm.

Bambi in the Chicken Pen

Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful husband, my Dad who is an inspiration to us all, to my sons by birth and marriage and all of my readers.


Our overnight guests departed for home half an hour ago, facing a 7-8 hour trip in Sunday traffic on Father’s Day, but he has his youngest son on break from college in Pennsylvania with him and his wife to help share the driving.

We were sitting on the front porch in the sun, it got quite chilly last night, watching them depart when Jim started pointing to the east and repeating, “Look, look.”  I didn’t see what he was excited about and ask and he said it was a solo fawn, probably only a month old tearing down the side of the driveway and around the house.  I jumped up and ran through the house to the back deck to see if I could spot it before it reached the tall still unmowed hay to be and realized that the little guy had somehow gotten itself through the fence to the chicken cull pen.  That fence is not very well set and he was terrified, bleating and slamming his little body against the more stable chicken run fence that makes up two sides of the cull pen.  This in turn had all 22 chickens upset.  The cull chickens and Cogburn hid in the chicken tractor squawking like they were being attacked.  The teenagers who were in the run were flapping and escaping over the 4 foot fence, others in hiding under the coop or in the coop.  Fearful that the little fellow was going to injure himself, we quickly pulled down the cull pen fences and stood back as the fawn took off across the back yard for the woods.  We don’t know where Mom is.  Perhaps our cousins leaving separated them on the road and the fawn ran down the driveway while Mom ran back into the woods.  Hopefully Mom wasn’t killed or injured last night and the little fellow is alone as it is much to young to survive.

The fences are back up, the escapees captured and put back in the pen, the chickens have settled, breakfast is cleaned up and the dishwasher is running so now we will just settle back and enjoy our morning before we figure out where to hang Jim’s Father’s Day gift.


And later drive to “the big city,” Roanoke to buy him a Father’s Day meal at his favorite Mexican Restaurant.

No fawn rescue photos, it happened too quickly, but the little fellow was so cute and so afraid.