End of October on the Homestead

Here we are at the final day of October. Already. I wasn't going to mention it again, how quickly time flies by around here, but it is oh so true I just couldn't help myself. {smile} It is snowing ever-so-lightly at our place right now, and there is just a bit of snow on the trees higher up on the mountain.

The rhythm of our homesteading tasks has shifted away from gathering (hay, firewood, propane) to one of preparing for the upcoming winter. My dear hubby has been working on his crawler so it will be ready to use on the driveway once the snow flies. The plow is back on the front of the plow truck. Our septic tank was serviced. Seasonal items like outdoor furniture and warm weather toys have been stored away until next spring. Fences have been checked and tightened. A broken rail on Matilda's corral was replaced.

Indoors, October saw us put up and preserve this bounty of friend-grown apples that we were invited to pick. I finished crafting a cozy shawl for myself and began knitting some simple Christmas gifts. I am beginning to look forward to digging my snowshoes out of the closet. Our eclectic homeschooling activities and many farm tasks and craft projects fill our days. And I did my usual baking of bread (especially) and cakes and cookies and whatever else my tribe fancied. Though I have not been successful at finding much time to experiment with artisan baking and bread scoring... perhaps I will delve more into that artsy endeavor in the wintry days to come.

And the holiday season has already begun at our place! Our son's end-of-October birthday (followed by my dog Jack's first birthday) is *the* beginning of so many celebrations and preparations and traditions to come in the next several weeks... one right after another.

We will, Lord willing, enjoy our annual fall costume party family fun night this week. It is loads of fun! And then in addition to celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas and the New Year, we are blessed with a Christmas Eve birthday, a New Year's Day birthday, followed by two more birthdays (one of those will be my fiftieth!) and our thirtieth wedding anniversary mid-January.

Whew! Lots of planning and cooking and baking and making to come. I love the holidays and doing what I can to make all of those days special and meaningful for my tribe, but they can be quite a lot of work... and even seem a bit overwhelming if I am not mindful to simply abide in the moment at hand, noticing and enjoying the abundant blessings.

But right now, at this moment, it is peaceful. My dog is asleep at my feet and my children are working on their school nearby. The parakeets are softly singing to one another (our new addition, Buttercup, has settled right in). My youngest child is practicing his Christmas hymn on the piano. There is a small fire in the wood stove and a fresh pot of coffee in the kitchen... and pumpkin spice flavored creamer at the ready. Outdoors we have a calm and cloudy 38 degrees (F) to go along with the snow. It is a lovely, ordinary day.

And into November we joyfully go...

Good News

Dear friends, I do hope you had a lovely Christmas! Ours was simple and quiet... we exchanged gifts, enjoyed family time, watched a few Chri...

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