It has been a fantastic week here on the farm. JB was off of work through December 24. He returned for two full days on the 25th and 26th. It is now the 27th, and he is off for two more days. My dear friend Kelsey will be coming in tomorrow evening.
I cannot put into words what it felt like to be on the farm, the six of us, without any major outside things pulling at us. There was no family visiting. No people to cook for. No COVID clobbering my husband. My in-laws were gone, Erin and her kids were gone, the Kotynski family was out of town, and Anni was gone. Only Shane and Linda were in town for the week. While we did, inadvertently, end up processing a deer on Christmas Eve (thanks to a very stellar buck that would provide great meat for our family), we mostly just laid low.
That's not to say I don't love the people we do have in our lives. The in-laws being gone makes a lot of things harder. Erin and the kids bring so much joy. Jacob was a tremendous help. The Kotynski family and Anni are our teammates.
But still . . . just being with us, felt so NICE!
Here are some pictures from the last few days:
Here is Sidge laying low with two of our three doggies. Sidge is ecstatically about animals and nature of all sorts ... just like his Daddy.
On the 26th, I decided to take the kiddos over to my Uncle Ed and Aunt Janet's new home halfway to Greeneville. We rarely get to visit with them just us. They have their own grandkids in town, and so often, if we are with them, it's a large cacophony of children. But this evening, we were simply able to just play some games and have some Indonesia-inspired fruit and dip (which I need to get the name of.) I also had lunch with a dear infertility friend, LaShea, earlier that day, but I failed to get a picture of it.
On Christmas Day, we had to get a paddock run for the animals. Farming is interesting. There is no opportunity, at least not a very large one, to put off things that have to be done. If the sheep need a new paddock on Christmas Day, if you don't get it setup, there will be a catastrophe at some point. Animals need what animals need no matter how you are feeling or what your holiday is. It's a big commitment, and we take these animals giving us meat seriously. Unfortunately, I had to try and run the paddock with the four kiddos which is a BIG exercise in patience. I took this picture of Hannah to remember that while I'm barking instructions for paddock set up, kids are still just looking around at the flowers.
On Christmas Day, Shane took the boys to see Spider Man, and I took the girls to see SING2. I'm not sure I've ever been to a movie on Christmas Day, but with John working, I wanted to make it fun for us all.
Christmas Eve, I got out to do some paddock work. It was 56 degrees with no wind. It was HOT for Christmas. Last year, we had a once-in-a-lifetime Christmas Day wonderland of snow. This year, we have yet to see anything close to snow yet. It's actually one of the reasons I love Tennessee. After living in places that were always hot and NEVER snowed, and then living in places that were always cold and snowed a lot, it's the perfect mixture for me.
We had Gabe's dog Bronco in with us for the week. He's such a piece of work and still a big puppy. I also took care of Anni's animals this week. I had the opportunity to discuss with the kids how having community means "helping the team" even if you don't feel like it. It is an honor to have these amazing people in our "family" here in East TN.
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