Here on our little place, Christmas is a lot like any other day since we have animals that require our care and attention. The day started before dawn with thunderstorms, rain, and hail. The dogs braved the weather to go out for a few bathroom breaks today, while the cats lounged contentedly in front of the fireplace (and wondered why those stupid dogs can’t learn to use a litterbox so they don’t have to go outside in the rain). The chickens seemed to enjoy themselves while hanging out underneath their houses where they were sheltered from wind and rain while eating to stay warm and enjoying some kale as a treat.
The most surprising part of the day was the change from rain to snow. Yes, the weather man predicted it, but the weather man is frequently wrong so I’m very skeptical when it comes to predictions of snow. But we ended up with a little bit of a Christmas miracle and got to enjoy 3 hours of blowing snow before it got too dark to see. It even managed to accumulate just a bit (although not as much as I would have liked).
After getting the chickens their special treat and then put to bed and making sure there was food out for the stray cat that has been staying in the barn, we finally got to start cooking Christmas dinner – and ate it around 9 pm. Now the animals are nestled all snug in their beds tonight and a fire burns on the hearth to keep us warm and cozy in the house. Another Christmas has come and gone with blessings, love, and the miracle of snow.
Bundled up to give the chickens their warm snack – oatmeal and cranberries.
Snow and Christmas lights in our village of chicken tractors.
**Click on the photos for full view
It’s three days before Christmas and the tree finally has more than just lights and mitten garland on it. With so much of our lives revolving around animals, most of the decorations are animal themed with a few special ornaments we have made or collected over the years to commemorate special things in our lives. In the last couple of decades together, there has only been a handful of years that we weren’t able to go cut down our tree and bring it home. Some years we have had to drive literally hours to get to a tree farm but it is always worth it. Spending time choosing the right tree and bringing it home to fill the house with good smells and good cheer makes for terrific memories.
This tree farm has activities for families in addition to getting to cut down your own tree.
Lumberjack hubby cutting down the tree.
The tree farm gift shop.
The finished Christmas tree with soft, non-fragile ornaments at the bottom to keep curious furballs safe :).
Reflections of Christmas.
This year’s tree came from Yesterland Farm in Canton, Texas.
Please Note: Our tree is not decorated with icicles – AKA tinsel. Although we love the shimmer effect that icicles give to a tree, we gave them up years ago because they are unsafe for pets. Just one long, thin strand can cause injuries like a strangulated tongue, intestinal obstruction, or even death if ingested by your pet. And just because you don’t see your pet eating things like this doesn’t mean it can’t happen. How often do you find icicles months after Christmas is over – or Easter grass when you are cleaning for Christmas?
Think safety for your pets when you do your holiday decorating.
After a year of off and on knitting, I finally finished my knitted mitten garland, with help from the husband who helped knit the cord the mittens are attached to (yes having a husband that can do things like knit is terrific – I have an awesome husband). I love how it turned out – bright and cheery in the colors of the rainbow. It’s animal-friendly – meaning it can be washed in case someone pulls it off the tree and horks a hairball on it. Or pees on it. And if they do pull it off, it won’t shatter and make a mess for me to clean up or cut little paws. Around here, our inquisitive felines and canines love nothing more than using a tree ornament in a game of hockey all over the living room.
Here’s the link to the pattern for the mittens – it’s a freebie from Knit Picks – if you’d like to make one of your own.
Now if I could just get more Christmas things done like put the ornaments on the tree and do some baking. It’s hard to want to do Christmas-y things when it’s warm enough to wear shorts…
Knitted mitten garland