Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Christmas Spirit Is Here!

We are gearing up for Christmas. Our house is filled with the Christmas Spirit-the happiness,love,and general good feeling that this time of the year is about. While I try to maintain that year round,this time of year it seems to be more on the forefront. There is nothing like a warm fire and Christmas carols playing while you decorate your house,and the fun of picking out the right Christmas cards to send. I love wishing folks a "Merry Christmas"-to me,it's about wishing them happiness more than anything else. Folks can wish me "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays"-to me the sentiment is the same.

One thing we do as a family each year is go to a local tree farm and get a Christmas tree. Some years we haven't had money to buy a tree and have gone out to the woods to get a tree. We have been fortunate the last few years that we can buy a tree from a farm. It costs a bit more than getting one from a box store,but I like supporting local folks and I know that the trees aren't a few months old. The family that runs this tree farm has been farmers in the area for over 200 years.

It was Richie's first Christmas Tree excursion!

We get some hot chocolate and walk around looking for the tree that will best fit in our space. It can't be too tall ( our ceilings are only 8 ft) and it can't be too wide ( it goes in a corner next to our couch). When we finally find it,we motion to the folks on on the four wheelers, and one of them rides over,cuts down the tree,puts in the trailer in the back of the four wheeler,and zips it up to the parking lot. We are usually in and out of there within half an hour.

We let the tree sit in the house for a couple of days to acclimate ,then we decorate it. Since last night and tonight we  are busy with Scout meetings,we will decorate it tomorrow night.

The weather here has turned quite chilly-down into the teens. I am thankful for the wood stove,because we don't have our furnace installed yet. Our neighbor is going to do it for us,as he used to do this for a living.We just have to wait for him to be able to do it,which is suppose to be by Sunday. No problem,we have plenty of wood!

The chickens don't seem to mind the snow too much,but I know they are not fans of real cold weather:

The ewes have no issue with the cold,rain,or snow.Their fleece is so very thick that they will stand in the rain or in the falling snow and not be bothered.

I have finally named the white sheep. I named her Lady Violet after Dame Maggie Smith's character on Downton Abbey. She has her attitude,is very ladylike and does things her way. I haven't come up with a good name for the other one,though. She is tomboyish and shy.

We spend time in the pen with them to help them get used to us. Yesterday we were putting more straw down for their bedding. They pack it down,and we add a bit more so they will have a good bed under them to help keep them warm. We muck out the areas of poop if it's really bad and put it in our compost pile,and make sure they have feed hay and fresh water each day.

One of the ways we try and get them used to us is get them to eat out of our hand. Lady Violet is more brave than her sister:

In the outdoor enclosed area,we do throw down a bit straw and put out some feed hay so they can eat outside.

We have certainly seen their flock mentality in action. If one bolts from us,the other bolts from us. They stick together. The one thing I haven't heard is them talk. No bleating so far. I have spoken  and have bleated to them,but they have not responded yet. Maybe it will just take some time.

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