The time seems to be flying by. This Sunday, we had our second Christmas Dinner. I woke up in the morning to get the ham baking and looked outside. Oh oh! Lots of snow had fallen and it was still blowing heavily with new snow. We heard we might get between 10-18 inches but, of course, hoped we wouldn’t. Bill and his family were driving more than 100 miles straight north into the storm. So I called him to suggest we might postpone the dinner. But he just said “Hey, it’s Minnesota and I know how to drive in the snow.” I did make him promise to turn around if the roads got bad. The ham went into the oven and I set about readying everything, praying my family would be safe on the road. Yes, I know Bill can drive well in just about anything, but there are other drivers out there who can’t, yet do anyway. They cause a lot of serious accidents.

David got up and stepped into his coveralls and started up the snowblower. He made a path to the plow truck and cleaned up around our parked vehicles by the house. Then he plowed our driveway (all mile and a half’s worth) and even plowed down to the barn so Will could more easily do his morning chores. All told, there was about a foot of snow on the ground with more falling heavily.

David set out to clear a trail to the plow truck.

A couple of hours later, the snow stopped and the dogs began to bark. Bill and his family had arrived! (We planned on having Javid up from his new place in Duluth but his driver wouldn’t even think about trying the drive.) While the ham finished baking, we opened presents and visited happily. Bill said they’d only gotten rain and didn’t run into snow-covered roads until they reached Virginia (the city), 25 miles southeast of us. The grandkids, Mason and Ava, had fun opening their presents, as did the adults. Last year I’d gotten Will a 20 volt reciprocal saw and this year, I got one for Bill. I had to laugh when both men had their saws out, comparing features. Will even discovered some new ones he hadn’t known about on his saw. Hmm, does “read the directions” have any meaning here?

Everyone had fun opening presents.

Even Spencer, our black Labrador, had a happy time while folks opened presents, rolling on his back, smiling at everyone. He and Hondo had already “opened” their presents. Each had a new “baby” (stuffed animal) and a big soup bone.

Even our dog, Spencer, was very happy with family here.

Kelly, Bill’s wife, and I had each gotten the other gift certificates for Byrns Greenhouse so we were happily talking about our annual Mother’s Day excursion to pick up plants. Spring is coming folks!

While not all our family could be here, those who were made the day special.

— Jackie


  1. We had expected a much worse storm than we got. Yep, we got over a foot of snow but then it evened out and was fine. You have a great New Year! Happy gardening.

  2. What a beautiful family you have and to have all but Javid there with you. I am sure once the weather turns nice again he will come see you. Until then he will be in your thoughts always. Have a very happy new year and a great growing season.

    • We did miss Javid but Will and I went down on Sunday, bringing him his Christmas presents plus some venison jerky and a package of home-grown steaks. I hope your new year is full of promise!

  3. Hope yall have a wonderful New Year! I always enjoy reading your posts and seeing the farm–I’m in TN so our lives are very different! It’s good to see another side of life.

    • Thank you Wanda. I even look back on my blogs to see different happenings way back and different seasons. It’s sort of like a photo album!

    • Thanks Maggie. You bet I’ll keep it up. We’re already making plans for spring, full tilt!

  4. Oh for some snow! It’s foggy, windy and rainy here on the west coat of Vancouver Island and I yearn for the winters of my childhood! I wish you and your lovely family a very healthy and happy new year Jackie!

    • And to you, Robyn! I’d send you some snow if I could. It’s kind of building up around here. The beavers were SO right. Again!

  5. I only dream of a cool christmas here, I’m pleased that you enjoyed having family to celebrate with.
    Sadly here in Australia things have been horrific with bushfires raging over vast areas and all states with some people and millions animals dying. It seems that this is the horror that is finally wakeing our nation up to the effects of Climate change. Oh Jackie, if people lived more simply and frugally this may have been averted but there seems there isn’t the will.
    I have enjoyed your posts and I thank you for the advice you have given me personally (I now use my pressure canner like an expert) and hope your spring comes quickly for you. May 2020 see you safe and happy. All the best, sue.

    • We’ve been following the fires in Australia and pray daily for them to be put out. Please stay safe!!! I’m so glad you’re canning like a pro now. Tell your friends how easy and fulfilling it is! Have a very happy new year.

  6. Lots of good wishes to all of you for a wonderful 2020! Keep all the great articles, blogs, and pictures coming !

    • Thanks Terri! We’re already talking about what we want to try, plant and grow this year….and where it’ll all go. Happy gardening!

  7. That is a happy family photo! Just got my little seed order in the mail to you. Thank you for the pleasant time just reading your online catalog, as well as for growing out and saving these heirloom seeds. Best wishes for the new year!

    • Thank you Patricia. You might not believe it but each and every seed we sell has been hand-handled with love to pass it on to all who grow them. Have a great growing year.

  8. Happy New Year! We do enjoy these blogs. You inspire us in our new adventures on our 16 acre farm in Southwestern WI. We look forward to seeing you again someday at the Energy Fair in Custer, WI. How do we get a copy of your seed catalog?

    • Thank you Margee. Isn’t building a homestead fun??? I hope we can again meet you at the Energy Fair. You can get a catalog just by e-mailing me your address at We’ll put you right on the list.

  9. There is a reason I live in West Texas! I remember Frank moved out here from the finger lakes area (he had to relocate again due to poor health), but he said he opened the door and saw snow on the ground. He went inside, finished his coffee and got dressed. He opened the door again and the snow was gone. Frank stated “I can live like this!”. It sounds like the perfect Christmas though. I am glad your son and family made it there safely.

    • Yep, there’s plenty of snow in Minnesota. It keeps the state underpopulated despite all the wonderful lakes, rivers and woodland. We can put up with cold and snow more than lots of people! Have a great New Year!

  10. Happy New Year. We do enjoy these blogs. You motivate us in our new adventures on the 16 acre farm in Southwestern WI. We look forward to a time when you revisit us at the Energy Fair in Custer, WI !!

    How do we get a copy if yr seed catalog?

    • Oh we’re plenty warm. We have SO much firewood dry, split and under a roof this year. Now if we could just teach the dogs, who bring in firewood and put it in the wood box, to stuff it in the stove at night….. lol!

  11. We watched as the storm came your way and prayed you wouldn’t get buried. Thankfully all made it there for your festivities. Spring will come and my seed order gets longer each day. We wish you all a wonderful, successful, healthy New Year!!

Comments are closed.