~ red tail hawk ~We're three days into 2015 and it seems the year has already put on skates...and wings. If this year goes any more quickly than last year, I'll probably fall off the globe!
~ red tail hawk in flight ~I cannot begin to believe y'all are interested in farm chores and, these days, seems farm chores are about all I do. Today was beautiful in that it was above freezing and, sometimes, the sun peeped through the clouds while rain waited until late afternoon to begin. Advantage was taken to re-arrange the portion of the barn that holds my wood pile. (yawn) It needed doing to make it safer and easier to get the wood then vehicles were started and moved about so I would have better use of space. A bit of mucking the lot to make it more pleasant for Lightly, square hay bales thrown down from the loft,
~ Lightly, breakfast in bed ~talked to Daddy and Mom, then made home made chicken noodle soup and...ta da! the farm blog for year 2012 was made into a soft cover book. Due to the encouragement of Leslie at Greenberry House, I started blogging in May 2005 and blogging has brought un-imagined happiness and joy into my life. I've met people from all over the world - Timi in Hungary, Jane and Lance in Hungary, Mags in N. Ireland and MK in North Carolina. The good news is the blog to print book prices have dropped; I'll give you a peek when the newest one, number 6!, arrives later this month. Since Dave's death, my blog books have been such a comfort and worth every penny spent! I've finally signed up for their rewards program and will blog about that sometime this month.
~ back photo of TCF 2012 blog book ~Surely, though, I'm due to meet many more folks from the www of the i-net. Today I joined Sisters on the Fly and am expecting to soon "have more fun than anyone". If camping isn't appealing to you, I'll never be able to explain the allure. Especially the allure of camping with women who have similar interests, haven't lost their sense of adventure and wonder and are excited about life. I'm still traveling solo and expect to, hopefully, travel to one of the ABC islands this year. A friend and I have talked about taking a Viking River Cruise and another friend and I are talking about going back to the UK, specifically Cumbria, Miss Potter's home and...since I'm in the area...Scotland. For those times that wheels on the ground are needed, it'll be Sisters on the Fly and my 'lil Serro Scotty Sportsman camper or.........soon to be announced acquisition.
While I was working I thought about work, working and am a firm believer parents should give their children three life long gifts...teach them how to go to sleep, how to enjoy their own company and the deep satisfaction of work. Today, the weather was mild and rainy, perfect for doing outdoor chores around the farm and house. Lightly's middling better, she does better in the warmer temps than the cold and, frankly, I'm looking forward to getting us both into warmer climes. (Please God, soon!) No offense to Appalachia but, without Dave, the thrill has gone leaving only chill.
~ thistle shortbread mold and shortbread ~One of the best things to come out of my kitchen is Thistle Cove Farm shortbread. Early days, I bought a thistle baking mold and, over the course of these past almost twenty years, have made hundreds, if not thousands, of pans of shortbread. Dave always encouraged me to buy another mold; he was concerned about breakage and then...OH NO!...there'd be no more Thistle Cove Farm shortbread. Well, that was something I never got around to doing but a short while ago I found another exact mold...at a thrift store...at a great price! JOY!
The receipt is very simple...2 sticks melted butter, glug of pure vanilla extract, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 2 cups of flour. Mix well, push into mold, bake at 350 F, about 20 minutes or until brown around edges. Let sit for 10 minutes then flip out of mold; it's wonderful while warm and with a cold glass of milk!
~ Gray Tom ~About a year and half or two years ago, Gray Tom walked in from the cold and said, "I'm here to make your life better." And so he has. New Year's Day was spent, among other things, doing some outside work and Tom ended up being locked in the garage. I was frantic! I looked all over the house, went to the barn thinking he was locked in the tack room and, walking back up the driveway, saw this pitiful little face in the garage window. Tom was not amused but forgave quickly, especially when I sat down and he got a quick snuggle and cuddle to get warm.
~ Kitten ~Remember this little feller? He came to live here in September, blogged about here and here and never told his name until suggestions were made. I tried out those suggestions but he refuses to respond to anything other than "Kitten". So be it. Only two more months before he's neutered!
~ Daisy Mae ~is a Redbone Coon Hound and came to live here in September as well. I'd still LOVE to find her a
What are your plans for 2015? I'm planning on doing a lot of living this year; it's been more than three years since Dave's death and I truly feel the worst of the grief is over. People have given advice, some good and some not so good, but the only way for me to deal with his death was to go through it. Through the grief...not around, or over or bury it or get over it but through it. I plowed through it, step after painful step, tear after buckets full of tears, until God brought me through the grief. Yes, it was worth it; yes, I still miss him and yes, I am going to move forward.
I've been working on the Prep Book and if you're interested in helping out, please send me a private e-mail. Sometime this month, I'll send you a rough draft so you may read it and give your opinion, advice, comments, etc. If I cannot find a publisher, I'll spiral bind it and sell it myself. There's so much to do to prepare those who are left behind; taking those steps of preparation now means less money wasted later, more money saved and people aren't left wondering how, why, when... I'm still working on Dave's mothers' estate (she died in 11/08) and on Dave's estate (he died 11/11). I want my affairs left in much better order so my sister and nephews will do what I want and not what they think I'd want done. If those things aren't important to you, that's fine but they are important to me...important enough to leave a record and notebook.
Thank you, dearest ones, for the gift of your time in reading and commenting on my blog. Some of you have said exactly the right thing at exactly the right time to give me the encouragement to keep going. Living isn't easy and death is even more difficult; your sweet and kind comments have been a balm in Gilead to me. God bless you richly! I am woefully slow in commenting to your comments; that's due, in part, to my work load, in part to my physical slowness, but, mostly, because when I see your comment, I stop and tuck you into prayer. By the way, while you're praying, please remember Donna, whose beloved husband passed away the day after Christmas.
May God keep you safely tucked in the palm of His hand now and through 2015. You are so loved!
Blessings ~ each of you who read and each of you who comment ~ my animals and farm ~ this beautiful valley ~ wild life ~ shortbread ~ Dave ~