An unexpected white Christmas, an impromptu snowball fight, a Christmas eve spent with sudden rushing about to get the animals warm, get them dry spots to sleep and thaw out their water troughs before it got even colder into the night, scrounging for tarps to cover the hay and firewood, a moment in the middle of shoveling shavings where I felt guilty that this is how we’re spending Christmas eve when my daughter looks at me with sparkles in her eyes and says “mama, I feel like Almanzo on Christmas eve…this is so cool!”…(we recently read Farmer Boy in the Little House series), when I then started a cedar shaving fight in the stalls and called her “Almanza” and “Farmer Girl” which she just loved and… the moment I realized this was not such a bad way to spend the eve- like pioneers, hot cocoa REALLY appreciated afterwards, walking into a house with heat also really appreciated. A fourth-and probably final- attempt at making snow molassess candy, turning the leftover boiled molassess into a bran-oat-carrot mash to warm the horses. Definitely a day of reminders to not take things for granted. That’s for sure. Reminders that there is joy and magic even in hard work. If you just look through a child’s eyes. Appreciation for the gentle warmth of candles and modern appreciations such as those battery operated star twinkle lights. Just setting the right mood for some Christmas and solstice reading. T’was the night before Christmas…and what fun we had at the barn on a snowy Christmas eve….
A unique way to approach “New Years Resolutions”: Be productive, go to the gym, attend yoga regularly, get into the outdoors, quality family time. Okay, here we go:
Be productive: Well, we’ve been in prep mode for some time now. Haven’t posted so much about it because I’ve really just been reveling in the holidays and trying to enjoy the family time when I can. However, behind the scenes there has been a great deal of work. Where we are, our winter’s are milder and shorter than many of yours probably are. But they still come hard, fast, cold and with snow.
The wood is ready, stacked and we are already enjoying it inside on these cold nights. My little girl’s a trooper. She actually made this fun! I think that sounds pretty darn productive, no? Resolution #1 CHECK (in barn speak)
Go to the gym: Hay is delivered, unloaded and the hay barn is overflowing. That is ALWAYS a very comforting feeling with so many horsey mouths to feed! Resolution #2: CHECK (again, in barn speak…..hey, who do you think loads up these bales every morning to feed?)
Attend Yoga class: We have had our first hard freeze. With that, of course, I’ve had my first hard morning of breaking ice in the water troughs. Ahem, fifty of them… With a sledgehammer. I just pretend I’m at the gym…only it’s much easier because I know lives depend on it. And, it’s somewhat like the Yoga class I used to attend before I got too busy doing things (like breaking ice)…stress relief, tension and frustrations out, being in the moment. Absolutely. Resolution #3: CHECK
Get into the outdoors: The final birds, migrating off from our little haven. Resolution #4: CHECK (definetely couldn’t be in a better place-both physically and mentally-to meet this resolution every single day, rain or shine).
Quality family time: Homeschooling, living in this unique and life-changing place, learning so much everyday, my daughter and I both growing and bonding through our horses, working together, playing together, learning to appreciate the little things as well as the big, accepting ourselves as individuals for who we are, um….Resolution #5: CHECK!!!
I was looking for something inspiring to post on this first day of the new year. I wasn’t finding it. Although, I did have these winter prep pictures I’d been meaning to get up. Then I decided that part of welcoming a “new year” or anything new in life is one part jumping in head first with wild abandon (as we did when we agreed to move in here and start this adventure) , one part hard work and preparation so that what’s to come happens in an intentional way, and then one part of a big sense of humor. Letting go of perfection and going with what loveliness you’ve got right in front of you.. A little dose of each for a perfect balance. Right?