December is always one of those months that goes by so quickly. And tomorrow is a whole new year! We didn’t send out a holiday card, but if we did I thought that photo of our goat Oak would have been great. We did a hilarious photoshoot of her wearing a wreath. She got the reward of eating it when we were done (after the sprigs of holly were removed.) B brought her treats to keep her happy while I was taking pictures, but she wanted to eat his hat instead. (You know she likes you if she tries to eat your clothing.) She is constantly entertaining, along with the rest of the crew.
Our holiday season was full of storms. First we had an ice storm. (It was beautiful.) Then we had a crazy wind storm. (With lightning, thunder, and some hail thrown in.) Between the two storms, we had no electricity for about three days. The temperature went from 19 degrees to the mid sixties in a matter of days, quite a jump! We kept the faucets dripping in the house to keep the pipes from freezing (so grateful the electricity was on then!) If it was warm enough during the day, it was much handier for the animal chores to keep the hoses hooked up, but we had a nightly routine of turning hoses off in the yard, emptying them out, and removing the nozzles. (We had one crack even when I thought I’d gotten all the water out, and decided we’d rather remove them entirely than have to replace them.) Jeff brought warm water to the goats, ducks, and quail, who all seemed pretty happy about it.
The woodstove kept us warm, and we were grateful. We were more prepared for power outages this time around than we were in the past, and as always we learned many ways we could improve and be better prepared in the future. Having no electricity is inconvenient in many ways, but rather than just waiting for it to be over, our family likes to see it as a challenge to rise to. Jeff inspires me in that way, he always makes it feel like an adventure rather than a nuisance. Some of our main concerns are keeping our food cold (we have a lot of hard work in those freezers!), and not having running water. Jeff strategically placed buckets under areas with dripping water (since it was raining at the time) and we had plenty of rain water to bring to the animals, and flush toilets. A stressful part was having our generator stop working and our food thawing quickly, but thankfully Jeff was able to get it fixed and back up and running. It really helps how good he is at fixing things!
I took a picture of the strand of peppers we used for holiday decor. The dried peppers Jeff had strung were just so beautiful they needed to be on display somewhere, so they decorated our tree. Looking at the ornaments each year as we put them on the tree, brings back so many memories, and makes me realize how much B has grown. When I hold an ornament in my hands that he made, I’m transported back to when he was just a tiny thing… I can still see him then. We baked gingersnap cookies this year and they will forever make me think of my grandma, and the gingersnap cookies she bakes for Christmas every year. Even though I haven’t eaten one of her gingersnaps in years, I can still taste them. I feel quite sentimental in December, my heart fills with all the people I love, and I feel a reminder to be grateful. As we get ready to enter a new year, that’s the message that keeps coming to me. The world is full of challenges, and we will get through them a whole lot better when we keep our perspective of gratitude. Be grateful every day. I’m letting those words carry me into a new year. Be Grateful Every Day.