It started out pretty nice with a partly cloudy sky and no new snow. Besides, the temperature was 20 degrees above zero and was forecast to go nearly to 30. So I made a quick run to town to do some last minute Christmas shopping. Mask up, dash in, pick up the items and dash back out. Use hand sanitizer on hands, door handle, steering wheel, and key. Drive home. Easy. But that’s where easy ended. I noticed some strange truck tracks, coming in our gate. So I followed them. All the way up to David’s cabin. Thieves? Nope. I had ordered a nice Amaryllis for Christmas and there it sat, right out on the front steps at 20 degrees! Hey, they are marked “live plant,” for heaven’s sake! And next to that box were the two boxes of our new Seed Treasures 2021 catalogs! I was happy about that, but the guy had put them down right where the eaves drips down onto the steps! Luckily, he had been there just a few minutes before I’d gotten to the driveway. Now we’ll be busy sending out catalogs to all the folks who wrote and e-mailed for a new one; returning customers have had theirs sent directly from the printer.

Here’s one of the boxes of our new catalogs, after I wiped the water off the top.
We were excited to get our new catalogs. Now I’ve got to get those sent out to folks who recently requested one.

We wanted to go down and split another truckload of firewood, as it was so nice. This wood won’t be burned this winter; maybe next winter or the winter after that. Down to the beaver wood we went. Oh oh, the ATV had a flat tire! But we split wood anyway, figuring to fix it later. After splitting half a truck load, Will went over to the barn after our break, to water the cows and horses. I came down and saw him dragging out the hoses, so I waited until he had them all together and started the generator, which powers the barn well pump. He motioned me back and to cut off the generator. I couldn’t figure out what he meant, but I did it. Then, peering through the barn, I saw a herd of deer inside the Sand garden. We had been leaving the gate open so they could go in and eat what they wanted of leftover beans and other leaves. But they were scared and felt trapped. Will hurriedly went around, meaning to “herd” them toward the gate. Instead, they panicked, and a few leaped through/over the 6-foot fence and the rest did the same in another place, tearing the tar out of the fence.

He went down to start the tractor so we could keep splitting wood, but I knew the hose often had frozen spots and wanted to make sure water was actually coming out. Oh oh. It wasn’t. To make a long story short, we spent a couple of hours, all the way until after dark, bringing the hoses into the living room to thaw, then dragging them back down to the barn. finally, the stock got their drink!

While Will was fighting to get the cows watered, Hondo took the relaxing approach to the problem.

Hondo got bored and when we came in, he was lying in front of the wood stove, watching the flames comfortably. And who said animals are dumb? Not us. Hey, our dogs even know some sign language; come, sit, down, shake hands, and back. Pretty smart “dumb animals!” — Jackie


  1. I received a catalog. Almost ready to send my order. I hope to catch up on the blog posts. Long term care job has kept me busy.

  2. First time to your blog but Ill be coming back!

    May I have a catalog too?

    Marilyn Russell
    10580 Elizabeth Way
    Colorado Springs, CO 80908

  3. received my new catalog today and have my order ready to mail tomorrow Just so comforting knowing i will have more Heirloom seeds for planting yummy groceries my squash did fantastic this year in horrific gardening weather 3 weeks of triple digits in May then 2 weeks of rain, then drought welcome to Kansas Hopi Blue, Lakota, and Bouchard all produced more than anyone could believe Shared squash with many families, and still had more than 20 to harvest from my small patch just want to say thank you for your extra efforts you’re making a positive difference in this world

  4. Merry Christmas to you and your family 🎄 Thank you for sharing your life and experiences it is so encouraging.

    • And Merry Christmas to you too, Angie! It’s wonderful to have so big a family out there, some of whom I’ve not met yet.

  5. So glad you didn’t have thieves! Glad you found your packages before they were damages too. Those water hoses sound like a lot of work, but glad you got them all thawed. Unfortunately I’m a little like your dog right now, not getting much done and laying in front of the fire. I’ve had a surprise diagnosis with cancer and am recovering from surgery with some chemo and radiation next month which prayerfully and hopefully will be the end of this surprise! I’d love to get your seed catalog, but understand if you run out, please put me down for next year if you do. I’ve still got lot’s of gardens to plant, this coming year and years to come! I’m also hoping to find a good source for wildflower seeds. Thanks! Tracie Taylor 3116 Howard St. Sand Springs OK 74063

    • Hi Tracie. I understand the whole cancer thing. You’ll remember if you’ve read Starting Over; I had my time with the big C. I hope you quickly put yours behind you forever!! It’s so scary, isn’t it? I’ll add you to my prayers. I’ll have your catalog in the mail tomorrow morning. Get yourself well and ready to garden. Gardens heal a lot of ills! Besides, they make your soul soar!

  6. I’m sure Hondo enjoys watching the flames, but he’s resting his paws on those warm hearth stones like a luxurious spa treatment! 😆 Merry Christmas, Jackie!

    • That’s the way he lives his life. If he’s not before the fire, he’s upside down on the sofa with his head on a pillow. So much for a dog’s life….. In the evening when I take my meds, he barks to me, asking for his meds (a dog biscuit). It started when Spencer had Lyme disease and was on antibiotics. Of course Hondo was “sick” too and had to have a bit of goodie. Only his didn’t have a pill in it! He never forgets anything.

  7. I’m so glad you got your catalogs as shipments everywhere seem to be so backlogged!

    Is there a fence post or some place elevated where Will could loop the middle of the hoses over? That might help them drain out a bit before storing and prevent the freeze up.

    The ‘Amazing’ cauliflower I got from you is making nicely! I think I finally found the sweet spot in planting time and the right variety for here. For sure, spring in east central Georgia is a no-go for cauliflower due to big warm and cold temp swings especially in March.

    Merry Christmas to you, Will and all of your family!

    • We do drape the hoses over a barn floor joist from the loft but it’s 120′ of hose and a tiny bit of water left in it freezes solid. In the past, Will used the compressor to blow out the water but he hasn’t gotten around to taking the compressor down to the barn yet. A couple more freezes and he just may!
      I’m glad you’ve figured out how to grow good cauliflower in central Georgia. I know it can be challenging! Good for you!

  8. Yes, we have those days also. Hubby and son were Elk hunting yesterday and Hubby was so tired and went to bed. He usually goes out and gets the rabbits water bottles before going to bed so they do not freeze. He forgot and I did too. So this morning we were putting them in warm water to thaw so they could get their drink. I need to check the waters for pigs and Red our steer. Have to break it up in winter. The chickens have heaters for their water :). Nice thing about summer is our automatic waters. Hope for better days for you too. Sure hope they get their cow elk today, if not next week-end hopefully. Last hunting season for them this year.

    • I hope they got their elk; there isn’t any better meat. I like venison fine but LOVE elk meat!! If you live in the country, something unhappy always happens. But those days are more than made up for by the tons of joys we experience along the way! Merry Christmas!

  9. I need one of the new catalogs if you have an extra. Have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

    Kathy Dorris
    524 East Rose Dr.
    Midwest City, Oklahoma

    • Sure Kathy, we’ve got over a dozen boxes of them coming! I’ll get your catalog off in the mail tomorrow morning. Merry Christmas!!

  10. Just a wish for all of you to have the very best holiday season possible this year. You guys are our inspiration in these troubling times. Stay safe all.

  11. I love your cheerful attitude, for sure that’s what makes you a successful lifelong homesteader!! Happy holiday season to you, we’ve just put away the Hanukkah things and feeling a little flat – but have two birthdays coming up soon. ☺

  12. Merry Christmas Jackie and Will!!! I sure do appreciate all that your share throughout the year. Can’t wait for your catalog!!! Happy New Year!!!

  13. I would LOVE a catalog! But if you don’t have any left over, just let me know how to order. I get so frustrated with our deer as they eat all my new fruit trees to the ground! But I love them too. I am thinking about a few Hopi squash?

    • We’ve got tons of new catalogs JH! All I need is your address. You can e-mail me at and I’ll fire one right off for you. Yea, those deer. We have to fence all our gardens and fruit trees with 6′ welded wire fence. Of course we “lure” them in by feeding them all winter…. But we love watching them. Our cows got in and ate all our Hopi Pale Grey squash but friends have been saving and donating seed as they eat theirs so we do have seeds…just fewer per pack this year to make them go around.

  14. Merry Christmas Jackie to you and your family! You all are so good at putting out fires, so to speak, on your farm and forging ahead to the next task! I love keeping up with all your adventures, as you all are very inspiring, for so many!

    • Aww, so nice of you! I so wish some day I could meet all of my family who reads this blog regularly. Till then, stay safe and Merry Christmas!!

  15. I have already been thinking about the seeds I will be ordering this year. My friend made one her greenhouses longer, so that means I will be ordering even more seeds. She starts the ones that need to be started for me. We know all about the dreaded hoses in the winter. We fill up the waterer, it has a heater, and the undo the hose and lay it on the hill so it drains and is ready for next time. My husband is always saying don’t waste the water. Merry Christmas!

    • We, too, are getting excited about gardening this coming year. Seeds are like hope; you plant them and then watch them spring into life, finally filling up your pantries and your hearts. Merry Christmas!

  16. Returning happy customer here, and can’t wait to get my catalog! :)
    My husband is a fedex courier. I read him your post the other day about the generator being left out at the end of, and in the middle of, your driveway. He was hopping mad and said someone needs to be reprimanded at the least. Wait till I tell him about your amaryllis and seed catalogs!! UGH!!!
    That’s so kind that you leave the gate open for the deer to eat garden leftovers. But so sad they had to panic and wreck your fence in the process. ggrrrr Having come from Pennsylvania (me) and Michigan (hubby), which of course are full of white tail, it’s been very interesting being in Montana and having both whitetail and mule deer. Mule deer are sooo much calmer. Drive past one along the road, they just stand there eating. Drive past a white tail, they panic and spaz and jump in to the side of your car. :( :(
    Glad by the end of the day, all was well for you and Will. :)
    SW Montana

    • I think all of the delivery services have hired extra (often unexperienced) drivers because of the COVID spike in online buying. But, gee, I’ve never driven a delivery truck but I’d sure never leave boxes right in the middle of the driveway or under a dripping eave!
      Yep, we’re real nice people alright. Now we have to fix the fence. You can bet I’ll be shutting that gate tomorrow. But it’s kind of like shutting the barn door after the horse gets out…..

  17. How is it that when you have a horrendous day, you still manage to tell it is such a way that you bring a smile to my face. It’s like NOTHING is going to get this lady down!!! I too would like a seed catalog but am not sure if I am on your list. Here is wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

    • What’s the use in whining about it??? It only makes me feel terrible. Stuff happens in life. Are you Maggie (the birder at SaxZim Bog)? If so, you’re on the list. If not, email me your physical address and I’ll send you one. That’s Merry Christmas!!

  18. Wishing you both-and your family a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.
    Stay safe and healthy. Thoroughly enjoy reading all you do. So much more interesting
    than a lot of other stuff going on in the world and more positive.
    Would like to request a catalog – if possible.

    Send to Janelle Jakubowski
    6N332 Rohlwing Rd.
    Itasca, Ill. 60143

  19. I would like a catalogue please. Actually wanting recommend on sweet corn and beans to order. If low on catalogues please advise via email of your recommendations.

    Marty Miracle
    14133 SD Highway 36
    Hermosa, SD 57744

    • Your catalog will be in the mail tomorrow morning. We just got 20 boxes of new catalogs. So we’re all set to go. You’ll love Will’s Seneca Sunrise sweet corn but I don’t know what type of beans you’re wanting (snap, shell, dry, pole or bush) But all of our beans have met and exceeded our homestead tests.

  20. Jackie I have been a fan For many years. You’ve helped me through many trouble spots. I just want to wish you a merry Christmas and happy new year

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