Ava got up before daylight and made each of us two beautiful drawings!

Even though we had a good foot of snow, Bill and his family, Javid, David, and Ashley made it to the homestead for our second family Christmas get together as Bill and his family couldn’t make it for Christmas. So I got to cook two holiday feasts. This time we had a prime rib plus plenty of tasty homestead veggies. There weren’t many leftovers! That’s always a good sign as I cook plenty at every holiday feast. Mason got “his” deviled eggs. We still laugh about when he was about three and came for a dinner and there were no deviled eggs. He cried! Boy, did I feel bad. So I always make sure we have some. Of course everyone else likes them too.

Even with two feet of snow on the ground, we still enjoyed our “second” Christmas. Will got us all plowed out nicely for Saturday’s doings.
Everyone got a kick out of the battery powered work light David got from his brother Bill. Folded up it looks like a rocket launcher.

Will’s been kept busy with plowing driveways (main and down to the barn), plus cow chores. With all this snow everything takes extra time. But he has managed to start hooking up the new combiner box on our new solar array. I can hardly wait until that’s ready to start producing free electricity! Even now, with our four big panels and eight new batteries, we often go days without having to use the generator. We do have to begin starting it every day so we can run our well for a few minutes to (hopefully!) keep our water line from freezing. That’s not fun. And, yes, the line is buried eight feet in the ground with insulation over it where we have to drive over it on the driveway, where it comes toward the house. Brrr. It’s 5 degrees with a wind and I just got done helping Will set out round bales for the big animals. I’m sure glad they have places to get out of the wind and plenty to eat. I kind of feel sorry for “my” deer as they wade through two feet of snow.

Well, I hope all of you have a safe and very happy New Year! — Jackie


  1. Miss Jackie, As always, I love your blog. In the one for December 24, 2018, in the photo of the Christmas tree I noticed a plant above the couch at the top of the window. From where I sit it looks like it may be an epiphyllum orchid cactus, I have several of these and so far they have not bloomed for me, My Mom , her Mom and her sister each had huge ones, decades old, which produced LOADS of red-orange blooms. If it isn’t that plant what is it and does it bloom? I am already longing for spring and summer and flowers, tomatoes, red beets and shall I go on? So glad you all had great family times for Christmas. I hope Mama Wild Turkey and her daughter survive the winter and produce lots of babies in 2019. I was very glad to see Javid enjoying his visit with the family…..Blessings dear friend!!!! Rick in Pa.

    • Hi Rick! Yes, that’s an epiphyllum. Mom also had a whole load of them in various gorgeous colors. For them to bloom, they need a period of 50 degree temperatures which, I’m told, mimics “winter” in South America. Mom’s bloomed profusely in our Sturgeon Lake, Mn heated (barely!) big greenhouse where 50’s were the HIGH in the winter. Evidently they loved it. Mine has never bloomed as it is way up where it is way above 50 year around. I really have to move it to get it to bloom as I really love those HUGE, gorgeous blooms.
      You made me drool. Shame on you! Now I want all those veggies and COLORS. So far the wild turkeys are doing great. They fly up and roost in the Jack Pines next to our storage barn. I hope the New Year brings an abundance of blessings to you and your family.

      • Miss Jackie, I have an unheated bedroom which does not freeze, but most of the winter it is pretty cool. I think I will move several of the epis in there and hope to get some summertime blooms. Did you know that Jade plant will bloom if it is kept on the cool dry side. There is a Huge Mennonite greenhouse within 25 miles of us and they have some specimen Jade plants which are like small trees perhaps 6 to 7 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet broad which sit in a cold part of one greenhouse which bloom tons of pale pink and white flowers in about March, gloriously fragrant little 3 inch umbrels somewhat like Queen Annes Lace. My plant is perhaps a specimen, but 5 years or less.It is in the cold bedroom. If it is mature enough it may bloom….I hope. Have a cold bedroom with a little natural daylight for your epiphyllum??? I can hardly wait for spring I was thinking about trying to force some pussy willow branches. Blessings Rick

  2. A very happy new year wish to you, Will and all of your family Jackie! Thank you for the update.

  3. Happy new year Jackie and Will. My Mason wants candied carrots, Drew wanes deviled eggs and McKenna wants corn. It’s like a Christmas list. Ha ha.

    • I get the same thing every year. It IS a Christmas list! Fortunately it’s not too much to make it come true.

  4. Thanks for the update Jackie….and may you and your entire family have a wonderful New Year and may it be filled with blessings and abundance and health for you all.
    washington state

  5. Jackie, I sure have enjoyed your homesteading adventures ..I have had to move to Fla.would your seeds any? Do well in #9 zone?? And how may I get a catalog?? I would like a print,we do get some frosts and nights in 20s to40s, yourvegeslookso good..We grow in Aug Sept oct nov dec, etc we stop inApril for most part starts getting hot..Its kinda backwards, in backwoods Fla..we live in a forest..Have a great New Year and prosperous for your home health and homestead sincerely, Sharri

  6. I hope you have a blessed and Happy New Year. I so enjoy reading about your projects. We have done much of what you’re doing but on a smaller scale. It’s really nice and rewarding to eat the food you’ve put up. 😊

    • May your New Year be bright! Hey, it’s not about the scale; someone always does more and better than I do. I just don’t get down about it and figure I’m doing MY best…. That works for me.

  7. How do I order a catelog? I tried to print off the seed photos but it comes out printing on half pages. I like to keep record of what I grew and what I would like to try next year.


    • Just e-mail me at jackieclay2007@yahoo.com and I’ll send you a catalog. The catalog, to keep prices down for seed buyers, doesn’t have all the photos the online catalog does but nearly all the varieties are in the printed catalog. Do you want a 2018 or 2019 catalog?

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