Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tis the Season, A Celebration of Life

Greetings my friends! All is quiet on the farm front and since I last posted my Thanksgiving blog I've had happy and sad events that have shaped my little world. I was privileged to have been invited to share my farm advocacy story at the 1st Executive Women in Agriculture conference in Chicago last week and met awe inspiring & amazing women from all over the country. It was a great experience and one I will always treasure. But just before I boarded my plane, I received word that my beloved step-dad had passed away from his courageous 6 year battle with bone cancer. So this past Monday, we buried him and were thankful that he was no longer in pain and know that he will be missed by all who knew him. My step-dad loved the holiday season and was so much a part of our lives that even though he is no longer here to celebrate with us, I am finding my family is banding closer to each other more than usual, and it is like a comforting, warm blanket of love. Despite having a hole in our hearts, we recognize the need to get up, brush the dust off of ourselves and live our lives. We are all aware we need to continue making those precious memories, as when the end is near, all you have is family & memories.  With that thought in mind, the next few blogs will be focused more on this farm-wife's family as December is a quiet time on the farm.  But next month I'll start taking you on "field trips".... and I have some interesting things planned.

And as the air is getting crisper, we have had our first snowfall, and the holiday decorations are going up all over our town, it's getting me into the holiday spirit, Tis the Season! Here are a few pictures of how our farm house is decorated for the holiday season.

I've found many of my treasures from yard sales, estate sales and shopping at thrift stores.  The stains on the vintage table cloths would tell me the tale of laughter, drinks and good food during a gathering, so I embrace the stains and holes as well as  dents, chipped paint or whatever from my other treasures, as just knowing that perhaps these items were lovingly used by previous owners make it all the more special to me.

Snacks in mason jars that are in an old milk bottle basket

I love old enamel ware

The table that greets you when you walk through the front door

The sign on the bear says "1 day of coal
364 days of fun, I'll take my chances" 
  For some reason, my one of my daughters said that sign was "so me"..... I think that is a compliment. =)

I had candy canes on the bottom shelf, but
our dog kept eating them, so had to move the goodies
up to another shelf

These are acutal toys that my grand-angels play with when they come over

And yes, I've been baking.... this little goody is a White Chocolate cake.  I am undecided on what flavors mean "Christmas", so I've been driving my husband crazy by baking so many different kinds of cakes. I made a Gingerbread bundt that was okay and a few others that looked good on paper, but the results were disappointing.  This one was good and it is blog worthy for my reader friends. 

White Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Cream cheese frosting
(look for the recipe on the Cake of the Month page - for December )
As for Farmer Joe, well he has been busy attending Ag related meetings in his role as president for the Idaho Grain Producers Association and working in the farm shop.

So for now, I'll sign off, but as always I am SO GLAD you stopped by and feel free to email me at or leave me a comment.  All my best, Gayle