Sunday, my oldest son, Bill, and his family came for a masked-up, COVID-19 Christmas. We put our presents to them in the back of our car and grandson, Mason, carried their presents to put on the back of our ATV. So we exchanged and unwrapped Christmas presents in the driveway. At 20 degrees. First, though, granddaughter, Ava, had to take us down to the horses so she could pet Ladyhawk, our Friesian mare. (She’s a big-time horse girl … just like I was, and still am!)

We had to get creative for our Christmas visit this year. Here are Mason, Ava, Kelly, and Will.

After presents, we had a quick holiday snack on the front porch. But it was pretty cold. Our juice was freezing in our glasses, into slushies! Now they are very good but when you’re cold, drinking a slushy is not the best. Nor were the deviled eggs that were also freezing on the plate. Oh well, we had a nice, but brief visit, although the Spauldings had to go warm up in their car and us in the house, before loading the Simplicity garden tractor that Bill was taking home to fix up so I could use it in the garden this spring. (My favorite Christmas present from them!) Thank you, Bill!

Bill got my canning book with lots of “extra” stuff written in, just for him!

The kids were tickled when our wild turkeys and seven deer showed up in the driveway, asking for their dinner grain. I fed them and they came right up to eat, much to the kids’ enjoyment — ours too!

We all enjoyed seeing the wild turkey family and some deer coming up for dinner.
Hondo and Mittens resting up from all that Christmas excitement.

Yesterday it was below zero but sunny. We’re still waiting for the granddaughter to be born, as are Elizabeth and David. We thought it would be last night but no dice. Tonight, maybe? I’m sure they’re getting worn out. And David’s been working 10 hours a day, 7 days a week. (He’s not complaining as the pay is very good and he knows a lot of folks are struggling with no jobs.) So we’ll wait until the blessed event finally occurs. Maybe looking through my St. Lawrence Nursery catalog will help. — Jackie


  1. Thank you, Deborah. It’s always great to get together with family, no matter what the circumstances. Maybe next holiday season this will only be a memory. Have a Happy New Year!!

  2. So many exciting things are happening for you!!! We miss you and think of you often. It’s good to read these updates.

  3. While not ideal, you and your family managed to have a holiday while following all protocols. Kudos I say.
    I am more than happy to see Mittens staking out her half of the couch. We’ve always had a dog and cats who slept near, next to each other. One dog used to let the one kitten sleep on her, until the kitten got too big.
    We’re getting snow as I type – about 6 inches have fallen so far. Hoping the sleet/freezing rain stays south of us. I’ll be curious to see if the turkey flock shows up now that the ground is covered with snow. I’m ready for them – bushels of ear corn and I laid in a boat load of feed/seed the other day (ahead of the predicted snow fall).

    • Mittens is queen of the pack though. The dogs sleep on the couch but never bump into Mittens. Out of courtesy or fear, we don’t really know. She still plays with her “big brother”, Spencer, who is now getting old. I hope your turkeys brave the snow and come to get all that great food!

  4. Got to see my kids and grandkids this year, not so distanced but being careful. Haven’t seen them all together since this spring when they helped oldest daughter move, so it was nice.

    • Yep, it’s been a challenging year alright. I haven’t been able to visit my adopted son, Javid, since early spring. He’s in a group home in Duluth and they shut down to visitors due to COVID safety protocols. We talk on the phone but it’s not the same.

    • The littles doe fawn comes within 10′ of me when I go to dump out feed. Luckily I’ve never seen her and her mom off of our land; she was born within 1,000 feet of our house and I’ve tracked the family around and they stick close. I’d hate to have her run up to a hunter like she does me!

  5. That is so cute with the visiting turkey’s and the deer!! Good picture of them

    I know all the Christmases were different this year but we still could see our loved ones such as it is. I am still looking over your catalog!!! Good stuff!!!

    Happy New Year!!!

    • And Happy New Year to you too, Cindy! It’s been a strange year but thankfully, we’re seeing a light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccines.

  6. Sounds like you made the best of a tricky situation! Glad that you were able to spend time with the family. Merry Christmas Jackie and Will!

    • We did, only getting closer than social distancing for photos. But at least we could be together for awhile. Happy New Year!!

  7. Received seed catalog two days ago-Thanks for being so speedy. Now I can dream of spring and fresh veggies, as the snow flies. Stay well to all and a Blessed New Year.

    • We pride ourselves on being speedy! We don’t have a lot of high tech stuff like big companies do, but we do the personal thing, instead. Have a wonderful New Year!

  8. Got the seed catalogues you sent…got 2 so passed it on to my gardening buddy who has her own greenhouse she grows for and then sells starts. She is thrilled. States she has been following you for years. Thank you. Stay warm….I am in Black Hills of South Dakota so not far from you.

  9. While the holidays probably didn’t happen the way you would have planned, they can still be fun memories in the future. The stories about “remember when the deviled eggs froze and slushies standing in the driveway ….” So much is in the way you frame it, and it’s wonderful you were able to get together! Mom and I will be Zooming in to our extended family holiday celebration in January, and hoping that we’ll be able to do some outside gatherings come summer.

    • Yep, that’s the way we talked about it too; future fond memories! Unfortunately, we can’t Zoom or Skype as our internet is satellite and too slow for those. Good for you!! Have a Happy New Year.

    • We thought so too! Because of the mask, you can’t see the missing two front teeth Ava now grins around. So cute! But then the mask went back up….

  10. It was nice that you could get together with family even if it was super cold. We had a white Christmas here in NC. Was very cold for our neck of the woods. Received seed catalog in mail yesterday. Can’t wait to start browsing. Thank you! Hoping you and family have a wonderful, healthy new year. Thank you for your blog. I always look forward to it.

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