Friday, December 25, 2009

The good and the not so good

It's Christmas.  Not one of the more memorable ones for me.  Pardon me if I go on a bit of a self pity party here, but it's really hard when your family is really far away.  It's three days drive for me to visit my parents in Canada, which we did last year, but the usual 33 hour drive turned into 48 on account of the weather.  The only other family I have are my 3 first cousins in England, which I can't drive to in any event.  So I stayed here, because we had things to get done. 

It snowed all night and all day too.  We couldn't have driven anywhere even if we wanted to.  This morning we went out to find two chickens had died in the night, likely due to the cold.  Then, the tractor got stuck.  It was high centered on some ice and snow.  Unfortunately, Kelly hadn't found time to take off the mowing deck in the fall, so it got stuck on that, which shouldn't even have been an issue at this time of year.  It took him about 3 hours to get it unstuck.  After which, he promptly got it stuck again.  Sigh.

I cleaned out the office closet, which had been terribly messy and disorganized. I also began some sorting in the basement.  I am pleased with what I accomplished.  It still needs work though.  I made cheese and herb biscuits for lunch, and opened some wax-covered cheese that I had been saving for a special day, but it was moldy, so I had to throw it away.  For supper, I am having leftover macaroni and cheese and a half a pork chop.  Not very festive, is it.  Maybe we'll go out for supper tomorrow.

We have been taking care of a friend's two greyhounds (one of whom is a litter mate to ours) for the last 9 days.  One of them has peed on the floor every single day since we've had her, and sometimes she has done more than that, the record being 2 poops and 4 pees in one day.  She has not been like this before and it's making us a little crazy.  However, she likes to lay down next to my spinning wheel.  Poor girl, maybe she is stressed like me.

The high point of the day was this morning when we opened the gifts my parents sent.  Last year, I was just learning about needle felting when I went home for Christmas, and I brought some wool and felting needles to my Mom.  She has outdone herself with her skills - she has such an artistic talent.  She made me a beautiful needle felted sculpture of a ewe and her lamb!  Look at that!!  It's gorgeous!

They also sent a beautiful matted photograph from a sheep farm in Nova Scotia.  I can't wait to get it framed and hang it in a special place.  Those cute sheep ornaments in the front include a knitted one my mother sent me, and two from our friend Corinne at Crosswind Farm.  We love our sheep!

My mother also sent me a beautiful beaded evening purse which will see a lot of use when we go to wine tastings and the gourmet dinner series offered by our local culinary school.   It's so elegant!

My parents and I are long-time fans of Lee Valley Tools, and they sent Kelly and I an assortment of wonderful things, including the nylon nail brushes (they are the best nail brushes ever!), some small tools for Kelly, a woodworking calendar for Kelly, and a mini microscope with 20x and 40x magnification for us to use to do fecal worm egg counts on our sheep.  I know, it doesn't sound glamorous, but I tell you, it's worth more than its weight in gold for us!

I managed to find a tie with sheep on it for Kelly (along with a wolf in sheep's clothing).  I thought it was pretty funny and he doesn't have a tie in this colour scheme, so he was really pleased with it.  

Kelly's mom gave me a really neat set of glass coasters that you can insert your own pictures into, and she also gave us both gift cards earlier this month, which are wonderful and which we shall both use soon on much needed purchases.  We also had some great cookies from their family celebration. 

Oh, and to end on a humorous note, Kelly found me a very appropriate Christmas card.  Love it!


Flartus said...

Well, at least I got a laugh out of Kelly's card to you!

Sorry your Christmas suc...was disappointing. Maybe you and Kelly should celebrate 3 Kings' Day instead, or just pick a random day for a Christmas re-do, complete with non-moldy cheese and the absence of Nervous Nelly the Amazing Peeing Greyhound!

Hey, at least things can only get better....right?

Spring Lake Farm said...

I'm sorry this Christmas was less than festive for you. I know that 2010 will bring some wonderful times. Please enjoy the snow for me as we never have any for Christmas here in Georgia!


Farmgirl_dk: said...

The grass is always greener, you know? You were sad not to have your family around and I felt sad because of all the continued family drama that goes on in my extended family circle. It makes for tense, odd and unhappy family gatherings sometimes. But, it's over now - and we (you and I) can turn our focus on to brighter, happier things. I'm going to think about warmer weather, spring, what I'm going to plant in 2010 and taking a LOT of pictures of all my beautiful animals. :)
How about you?

Aimee said...

some days are like that... but it sucks when that day is christmas. I hope many good times await you in the new year!

Gail V said...

So sorry you didn't have the sort of Christmas you'd like. We are snowed in up in MN too, and DH blew a tractor tire while snowplowing--
but I hope you can enjoyed enforced idleness, with your normally busy schedule!

Becky Utecht said...

Sorry about the tractor getting stuck and the cheese going moldy and that dog that isn't housetrained -- it sounds overwhelming! I hope you are able to go out to dinner soon. I have to say though, you got some great gifts. That needlefelted ewe and lamb is awesome! And those super cute sheep ornaments. And how thoughtful was it to get that microscope to do your own fecals. I'm sure 2010 will have lots of good things in store for you.

JLB said...

hmmm, microscope for that really a good gift ?? lol

;) I need to get out and do that for my girls and boys too :P you can use it for all your animals though not just your sheep !

Mom L said...

I know how you feel!!! Darrin, Diane and my new grandson have been gone a week - celebrating Christmas in the relative warmth of Savannah. 2 of my neighbors who are also stuck here due to the snow and I have chatted each day, but I have enjoyed just reading, watching TV and videos. I made a grilled cheese for Christmas dinner!!

Oh, well - if D&D had stayed here, I couldn't have gotten to their house anyway. Wind has blown huge snow drifts! I love it!!!


Candy T said...

I'm sorry your about your Christmas. We made it to my parents and now can't get home because of the storm. And our dogs are staying with my sister. She is stuck in deep snow with her dog, and my three. She is probably as stressed as you. I hope your days get better. Love the sheep gifts.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

lol! That card is hysterical! You got some wonderful, thoughtful and generous gifts. I'm sorry that you feel down, though. Sometimes the holidays can do that to you.

I'm sorry about the chickens you lost. I had to bring one of my molting chickens indoors and I put a baby onsie on her because she was shivering. I hope she makes it, but I don't know at this point.

My parents drove to NM from NC for Christmas, but 7 days here was just way too long imo! My stepmom drives me batty and takes over my house and kitchen and hates animals. So she complains about dirt, dust bunnies, mud, and pet hair and scrubs and cleans the entire time she is here. I hate it!
In my own house she complains that I AM GETTING MY OWN FLOOR DIRTY after coming in from the barn or chicken coop with dirty boots. gah!!!!!

I swear. They'd be happier if we all lived in the city in a condo and had no animals at all.

That is NOT the life for me by any means. You are lucky that your family and friends appreciate and respect your lifetyle and don't try to make you feel bad about what makes you happy.

Sorry for getting on a tangent. My parents just left last night...and I hate to say it.....but I'm just so relieved and happy they went back to their own home.

Merry Christmas to you, my friend! Here's to a happier 2010!

Claire said...

Thanks for all the great comments all! Happy New Year all around!

Flartus - we did a bit better on New Years although Nervous Nellie is around until Monday. Thank heavens for our carpet steam vac.

Farmgirl - I like your thought planning! I am thinking mostly about getting through another year of school, but along with that, some fun with lambing and also planting in my garden. Last year a lot of things didn't do well because I didn't have time to tend them. Sigh.

Becky - the weird thing about the dog is she is totally housetrained at home, and has only had a couple of accidents here in the past. This time, she was awful. Who knows what the issue is.

JLB - yes!! I didn't mean to say that I could only use the 'scope for sheep poo. It's just that they are my most worrisome species in terms of weight problems, so I'm hoping worm counts might help with that.

Lisa - oh my word, your stress level must have been through the roof. I make a real effort when my parents visit to keep things tidier than usual, but my mother doesn't complain, and only makes the occasional gentle suggestion. They always help with barn or fence projects when they visit and they love the animals. It is so sad that your situation is more difficult. Ugh. Here's hoping for a great new year!