And it has! We’ve gotten snow every day now, at least an inch or two. It’s that light, fluffy Christmas snow so it’s putting us all in the holiday mood. I went out last night to turn off the generator and looked back first on our house all lit up with the lights David and Ashley had put up. Wow! Beautiful! I’m sure the deer and wolves appreciated it too.

Aren’t the Christmas lights pretty?

Last night Will called a couple of our logger friends, from whom he had bought cedar fence posts and the logs which became our new barn’s hayloft floor beams. Will has just about sawn up all of the big logs he had stored up by the old mobile home and needed more logs for David and Ashley’s cabin. Luck was with us! One logger had a “half truckload,” or 5½ cords of big red pine at a nearby logging site. The price was beyond reasonable and David had just gotten paid. So this morning Will took off with our new truck and the three-axle flatbed trailer to pick up part of that load and our friend, Glenn, is bringing his trailer also for the rest of the load, including the hydraulic “clam” so he can unload both trailers. Wow, we’re really thankful for that deal!

Our Christmas tree looks so homey.

The other logger also has several cords of big pine decked up at his place, which he’d cut last year, also for a very good price. So it looks like we’ll have enough lumber to finish the cabin, come spring.

We’ve been very happy with the wood we have stacked all over the place. The inside wood boxes are always full and most afternoons Will goes out and brings in a wheelbarrow full to use for the night and next morning, keeping the wood boxes full. I love that old wheelbarrow! My late husband, Bob’s mom gave it to us back when we lived in New Mexico. Yep, it’s worn, having been patched many times, gone through three new front tires and tons of use. Just last year, Will replaced the handle which had broken when he was pouring cement down at the new barn, with a nice piece of homegrown ash from our woods. (If you’d like to learn how to do this, check out Issue #166 (July/Aug 2017) of Backwoods Home Magazine.)

Here’s our trusty old wheelbarrow; maybe not a thing of beauty but we love it just the same.

This afternoon, I’m working on the painting for the new cover of my latest Western novel and also printing out labels for more of our seed packages! We’re starting to get quite a few orders. Some folks have said they’re giving seeds to friends or family for Christmas presents. What a great idea! I’ve done that, myself, for years. This year my oldest son, Bill, is getting a mushroom growing kit. That should be fun for him and the grandchildren, going into the woods and putting inoculated plugs into oak logs then watching the mushrooms grow. (Maybe Grandma can help them eat some of them, too!) — Jackie


  1. Merry Christmas Jeanne! I love the story of George Washington’s ax! Heck, I think George’s been real busy around here from all the repairs I can think of…..George’s tractors, George’s gates, George’s hoop houses, etc……

  2. Jackie, have the best Christmas and New Year that you can. I enjoy reading your posts about real life on the homestead. The joys, heartaches, disappointments, and accomplishments keep me inspired during those same times in my life.

    Have a great nice warm by the fire looking at the Christmas lights day.

    Nebraska Dave

  3. Really enjoy your posts and pictures -please keep them coming. Been reading them for some years. I grew up on a farm and love to garden but my health has prevented that in the last 3-4 years. You have an amazing amount of knowledge. Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

  4. Merry Christmas to you and your family Jackie. Many blessings to you…Love seeing and reading about what you are up to…

  5. Hi Jackie,you house and tree are so pretty and cozy. Looks like a Christmas card has come to life. Love your posts.

    • Merry Christmas, Sue. I feel like I live inside a Christmas card every time I walk in the yard or look out the window. It’s wonderful.

  6. The tree and wood stove glowing with good cheer! What a beautiful Christmas card image. Merry Christmas to you Jackie and all your loved ones!

    • Merry Christmas, Debra! I have the cover half done now. It shouldn’t be too much longer. If only the oil paint would dry faster….

    • Merry Christmas, Lynn! We thought the mushrooms would be something different and fun (and tasty) for everyone.

  7. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Jackie! Your wheelbarrow has made me think of a little story we refer to a lot around here, as we’re also always fixing things. Seems there was a man who had an old ax. “This is George Washington’s ax!” he would proudly exclaim. “It’s had 7 new handles and two new heads, but it’s George Washington’s ax, alright!” So when we have something that’s been fixed and had parts replaced numerous times, we always call it “George Washington’s bicycle”, etc. Thanks for all you share with us!

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