While I was gone...


I'm back!! As you may or may not have noticed, I have been on a bit of a hiatus since November...November 11th to be exact! First off, I had problems with my internet connection and two days after that was fixed, my computer froze...all of this took two months to remedy but to be honest, I wasn't in a ram-jam hurry to get the problems resolved either! Even though I missed interacting with all of my friends and had lots of recipes and posts planned for Christmas, it was kind of nice having a holiday away from the computer!

For my "coming out of semi -retirement" debut post, I thought I would share a few photos of what we have been up to since our last visit...in October, we had a hen house built for our "girls" by some Amish folks that we know (and before you think "you lazy S.O.B's, why don't you build one yourself?!", we were strapped for time with work, our final honey harvest, Thanksgiving and James went away to B.C to guide another hunt in the mountains!)...AND, honestly we couldn't build one for the price they charged us, steel roof and all!

James did however, insulate the inside for their comfort in the winter and built laying boxes for them too...

...our girls really do demand quality craftsmanship...

...they are quite spoiled that way, not to mention loungey too!

Sadly, we lost 2 hens when a gutsy hawk decided to make a meal out of those two, so we decided to purchase a rooster to keep an eye on them...this is "Red"...he is like the head honcho of the hen house (or so he thinks...those girls can get quite snippy when he tries to throw his weight around!)...

When we lost the chickens, I did some research and found that a rooster will protect the hens, especially the young and sick, sacrificing his own well being to ensure the safety of his flock...Red is always standing guard over his girls, watching carefully as they wander around the yard, even breaking up little squabbles that they may have...quite gallant I dare say!

Christmas turned out to be quite amazing since we had lots of snow this year and we spent time with family, making a gingerbread house, baking cookies and cakes, steaming puddings, sitting by the fire and eating way too much!

Our tradition of a big Christmas morning breakfast, before opening gifts, was another gut stuffer consisting of bacon, french toast (with our own maple syrup), eggs (gathered that morning), fresh fruit, hot chocolate, juice, coffee and of course the old fashioned donuts that I fry up at the crack of dawn!

Of course, every year we all seem to get spoiled but I will have to say that opening presents from my little girl moves me to tears every time...not only does she surprise us with beautiful homemade creations, but also with her thoughtful nature as she gets so much joy from giving. This year, Isabel spent her own money at her school's Christmas bazaar, carefully choosing the perfect gifts for her Daddy and me and excitedly bringing her parcels home to wrap them up in pretty packages...I received some all natural bath fizzies, lip balm, candles and these pretty oven mitts and ball of yarn...Oh Lord, I'm tearing up again!!

Isabel received a G.T Snow Racer this year...

...and she also got a wooden toboggan! The hill beside our house is the perfect place to test these babies out and with all of this snow, we have been out there quite a bit! One thing I have noticed though, is that when I hit a sweet jump on the toboggan and catch some air, I don't land as gracefully as I did, say 20 years ago...it's quite jarring actually! Isabel on the other hand, seems to float through the air like a little bird!

Aside from looking like a contestant on the show "Wipeout" on the toboggan hill, I have had the pleasure of trying out my new snowshoes that I got from James...now we all have a pair and I can hang with the cool kids!!

Isabel lead the way and even taught me how to properly hitch up the harnesses on my snowshoes when we went for a quick walk the other day...

...this kid knows her stuff, I'm gonna stick with her!

I am however, happy to report that I did stay upright on my maiden snowshoe voyage!

We also tracked quite a large coyote that seems to be nosing around the back field near the hen house...I would imagine he fancies a chicken dinner just like the rest of us but I (and I'm pretty sure the "girls"), would prefer it if he got it elsewhere!! Red had better be on his toes!

I have been away too long from my blog because as you can tell, I am bubbling over with things to say...I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year and look forward to sharing more photos, recipes and rambling stories from our country life!