Sunday, December 18, 2011

The most wonderful time ... of the year!

"It's the most wonderful time of the year 
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you "Be of good cheer" 
It's the most wonderful time of the year 
It's the hap-happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings 
When friends come to call 
It's the hap- happiest season of all " 1963
This song came to mind as I was beginning this blog and I was surprised to see that it was only written in 1963. You see, to me, it has always been around and I thought it was a very old song. I was born in 1966 and this was already a classic - does that make me a classic now too?

Today is December 18, 2011. It is shortly after 9am, as I sit in my old tattered overstuffed chair next to the wood stove crackling in the kitchen. I can see the sun get higher over the horizon, the sky clear blue with a hint of yellow as the sun rises in the sky. The earth is frozen, it is -17c now, not sure how cold it got during the night but it must have dipped close to -20c. The power was out for 5 hours, fortunately we were sleeping during that time, all snuggled all warm in our beds.

Len is in BC visiting with family for an early Christmas and won't be home until the 22nd. I am farming on my own while he is gone. Therefore when the morning starts I can't crawl straight back into my big comfy bed, covered by quilts and appreciating that I don't have to drive off to work. No, I get up, stoke the stove, wake up kids, prep them for school, wave goodbye to the bus at 7:15am, then pull on my coop boots, scarf, work gloves and coat to head out and check on my livestock - then if I don't have to go anywhere I might crawl back under the covers.
Jessica's Christmas card to me!
Perfect - I LOVE IT!
The routine goes something like this: feed Luki our Great Pyrenees dog first, lead him off with the bowl outside Len's studio so that he does not get agitated when any other creatures head near his food. He runs to his bowl, sniffs, then looks up for a scratch and a cuddle. He doesn't feel the sub zero temperatures with his thick double coat of fur. While he eats - sometimes allowing the cat, Finnegan 2 to share his bowl, I head off to set up the other creatures for the day.

First, I take out the frozen water from the chicken coop and put it in Len's studio to thaw. Then I give them some fresh water to work on while the big water feeder warms up. I fill their feeder and have a look around for loose eggs. All breeds are laying now, although intermittently due to the weather and some of the Rhode Island Reds seem to like laying the eggs on the floor. Most of the birds lay later in the day, but I try to get the floor eggs asap. It is then time to check on Freya, my pregnant goat. She is bleating... "mmuuummm, muuummm" , yes even the goat calls me MUUUM! I grab a few flakes off the hay bale and put it in her manger, stuffed down so she can grab it when she wants it, but not so that it hits the floor because then she won't eat it. (I don't blame her there!) I break the ice in her water, either dump it and refill or just crack it up so she can get it... depends on the morning.

I then head back to Luki, hug and cuddle, grab his bowl and put it away for the day. Now that he is fed I can let Freya and the chickens out. Although it is beyond freezing the birds like to go out since there is not much snow left on the ground. 

All that done, it is time to head in for a hot cup of coffee. I love my Reunion Island Privateer Dark fair trade organic coffee... .mmm! If I don't have to go anywhere I just might spike it with my home made Sherman's Irish Cream. YUM! 

This morning after I am done, I have to zip up the hill to the Fosterville Baptist Church to get Jessica from Sunday School. She goes each week from 9 to 10am and gets a ride there with a neighbour/Sunday school teacher. Thanks Louise! Some weeks she stays after to attend church service, but not today. 

Last night we went to bed very late, after decorating the tree and watching the Polar Express and then Elf - fun get in the spirit - Christmas movies. They are favourites at our house. It was not easy to get her out of bed today, but she had to go since tonight is the church Christmas concert and she is in the Christmas story.

Since there are only 5 regular kids in the Sunday school and one who attends when she is in town, there are not many too choose from for parts. Jess is discouraged that she has to play Joseph, but I told her, at least you get a part and to speak. She is mostly disappointed that she has to wear an "ugly brown robe and a towel on my head". This from a girl who is ten and very girly! Oh well, it is a half hour of your life and we will video tape it to send to the grandparents! After the play and concert there are refreshments so I guess this afternoon we will make some sugar cookies to take along.

As I said, it is the "most wonderful time of the year", not because of presents, it is the spirit in the air. I feel sad for people who focus so much on gifts. Yes, I get distressed when I struggle to get some things for my kids, but they know it is usually stuff they need and a few fun things they want - it has never been nor will ever be much of a big department store Christmas. This year I think since Rachel is 17 there will be a few gifts - things to take when she moves out and some cash to get what she decides she wants. Jess is still doable at ten... but it certainly does get more difficult.

I am excited since I bought a TV on Friday and we watched movies on it last night. We have not had a TV for over a year and a half and no furniture, cable, etc. We have only had our computers. So my good friends at Bell, will head out tomorrow morning to hook up satellite for us which will be really weird after so long without.

I am 90% positive we will have our new sofa's for Christmas. I figure if I go pay most of it, MAYBE a post dated cheque for the rest and perhaps flash a little cleavage they might deliver before Christmas! (Hmmm maybe I better put the cleavage away? That works in the city but not so sure out here in the bible belt! Besides the cleavage is also aging and saggy and nothing says sexy like wrinkly boobs.)

It is a goal and that will be my happy Christmas - us sitting in our living room - I am painting the ugly fuchsia wall white today - I look forward to waking up Christmas morning, next to our beautiful tree, fire place burning, TV playing Christmas tunes, drinking our Irish cream and coffees and  being grateful to be together.

Len, I miss you my darling, but you will be home soon and I am so happy you were able to head west for a visit! We are all well here and the kids only have a few days of school left. They attend until noon on Friday, December 23rd, which seems very weird!
Retirement cake for the Farm Market cook
I have a few baking orders left for this week and have the farm market Friday morning. Wednesday night at midnight, weather permitting, I shall head to the Fredericton airport to retrieve Farmer Sherman and happily hug him in front of all the late night travelers. Well, I had better run, it is time to get Jessica from Sunday school and I think the old diesel, Buddy, will need a few minutes to thaw out! At least it is warming up - only -16c now!
Have a wonderful day everyone! MERRY CHRISTMAS!


John said...

I love this because it's "you" .. not a made-up "heart-and-hearth" story, but just the way it is in your life, and heart-warming because it's real. Hugs to you and Len!

John Ambury said...

About Jessica: When my now-wife was around that age, she and her friends made up and acted out plays for their school-mates. She always had to be the Prince -- she was the tallest (and I think the only one who had some kind of cape at home!). She didn't like it at the time ... but eventually realized that the Prince (like Joseph) had the best lines and the most character -- the Princess (or Maiden) was pretty, but insipid and uninspiring!

John Ambury said...

.. not that I'd disparage the Virgin Mary, you understand -- just the role!

.........Sarah Sherman said...

Thank you John, makes perfect sense to me! My oldest used to have a playmate, Joseph, he was great, because he NEVER wanted to be the princess ;) He always let her be and he was her prince. Very sweet!

Memories are wonderful! Yes, no disparaging to Mary at all, however, the lovely actress in the part of Mary did not look very thrilled with her role and I must say MY Joseph, did a wonderful, inspired job!

Thank you both - g'night to all "my John's" LOL