Both David and his family and Bill and his family had other family gatherings on Christmas day with the in-laws, so we settled on having our Christmas dinner a day later. No big deal. And it was a good thing, too — because of the mess up with our seed catalog mailing list not wanting to attach we were crazy all week. Finally, on Thursday, the mailing list went, and I got down to Christmas baking. Now this usually takes a week with cookies, pies, etc. I only had one day (besides a few I’d done before). So, I went at it first thing Friday morning and worked all day. I was happy to finally get them done and the cut-out cookies iced. Okay, so they weren’t a work of art, but we eat them, anyway so who cares?

I put in a big ham Sunday morning and peeled a pot of potatoes, again marveling that those huge potatoes from our drought-stricken Wolf garden didn’t have a single bit of hollow heart. When everyone came, we stashed presents under the tree and sat down to enjoy the meal and each other. How very nice that was! We have a huge dining room table that used to be Mom and Dad’s that opens up to a little more than 8 feet. There’s lots of room for everyone.

We all settled down to “After Christmas Dinner.”

We were sad that Javid couldn’t join us. The group home he lives in is having labor shortages and there was nobody to drive him here. And his van, which hasn’t been used in a year, was buried in a snowbank. (It is a hundred-mile drive, one way, so we hadn’t planned on getting the van ready, to drive down and get him, drive back to take him home, then drive back home.) But we did call and have a nice visit via phone.

Then we opened presents and visited some more, especially enjoying baby Delilah’s reaction to some of her presents. Will and I had gotten her a rocking horse that opens its mouth and neighs. I think she was a bit leery of it but I’m sure she’ll get over that! She liked playing with old Spencer much more. That black Lab loves all babies and is in heaven when Delilah crawls over him and pats his head. Ava went down to visit her pony, Whinny and her horse friend, Ladyhawk, giving them lots of Christmas treats. We enjoyed every single minute!

Delilah wasn’t so sure about this neighing rocking horse.
Ava got to visit her pony, Whinny.

After sending everyone home with plates of heaped up Christmas cookies and goodies, we bid farewell to everyone and sat around the fire, enjoying the peaceful evening, glad to have put hay out so even the critters would be full and happy when the heavy snow, forecasted for today would come. Today, it’s here so we did chores and are also enjoying the quiet fall of snow. — Jackie


  1. Hi Jackie! I jut finished reading this installment of your blog and all its comments. You sure are busy! But that’s not bad if it’s your choice! The hardest part is the balancing things so that nobody feels left out.
    I just finished skimming through your new catalog, with my wife just standing there shaking her head! So many attractive varieties, and just so much room, time, and $ to work with! I guess the biggest problem is that I’m now 80, but my mind hasn’t really kept up with that detail yet. so sometimes I get way too far ahead mentally, but can’t quite keep up physically.
    I help my wife can a lot of the produce we get. She won’t use the pressure canner (she saw my mom have a pretty serious accident with it back some years ago) so I do the pressure stuff, while she does the water bath part of it. We also have taught classes in canning and cooking for younger couples in our church, and that really helped some of them.
    I grow a varied assortment of things, and try new stuff every year. One thing that I grow a lot of is garlic, and I even had an article published in BHM a few years back on growing it. I still have the lattice panel, and do it that way when I get around to it.
    There won’t be a lot of new stuff again, because I’m fighting stage 3 esophageal cancer, plus COPD, and a couple of other things, but the desire is still there. Point is, anybody can do something out there in the garden, and anybody can teach their skills to the younger set, and your church is a good place to start that.
    Anyway, I had to take the time and space to thank you for all we’ve learned from you, both in the kitchen and from your accounts of building up your homestead.

  2. I too also enjoyed visiting with everyone. And, I agree that your home looks “perfect”. I am visiting with my daughter in Washington where the temperature is 18 degrees which is “cold” for me as I rarely get snow @home.

  3. You have such a wonderful family:) Some of us have read Bhm so long we remember when David was just a little boy:) Many blessings to you any your family in the coming year:)

    • I’ve been looking through some BHM anthologies and was amazed at David’s “little kid” pictures! Time sure flies, doesn’t it? Happy New Year!!

  4. Lovely family around the table! Someone has to take the picture though ;) . The baking is a delightful chore, isn’t it? I make up all my cookie doughs while I’m baking pies one day and then spend the next day baking cookies. I give them as Christmas presents in pretty containers like pie keepers and such. I can’t afford much, but cookies, fudge, and cinnamon rolls are always appreciated by all. You keep up the great work that you do. I’m looking forward to the new seed catalog. Merry Christmas.

    • True, but I promised to include a photo Bill took on timer, with me in it, even though I look kind of goofy> What’s new??? Check out the new blog. You bet; goodies are enjoyed by everyone. Have a Happy New Year, Rita!

  5. Thank you Jackie for sharing your beautiful Christmas celebration with family. Warms my heart to see everyone around the table enjoying good food and time together.
    Due to having the virus I spent my Christmas here with my fur babies but had a wonderful time with them and the kids and grandkids dropped off gifts and things over a few days as well as we all kept in touch.
    Praying the New Year will be awesome for you, Will and your entire family.

    • So sorry you had “the current bug”! And I hope you’re feeling better. Thank you for your prayers. You have a wonderful New Year!!

  6. So thankful you got together with your family. It is such a blessing to have family gatherings and the grandchildren will remember it forever. We had you Christmas Monday evening and had a grand time playing Bingo and enjoying each other. One daughter lives in Kentucky so it is extra special when she gets to come home with her family. Enjoy your day of rest while it snows.

  7. I forgot how cute your cabin is! The seed bins only add to the charm.
    It is a beautiful soul that treats animals at Christmas, my ancestors did, too!

  8. I enjoy your blog so much, because I get to see ‘family’ and neighbors, generously helping each other. Such endearing caring, helpfulness, and showing love. It’s the ultimate meaning among us, and God is the cherry on top. He gives us the love, generosity, caring, and strength to help. I think that those who live in 4 seasons have the best earthly life. It’s wonderful to see our gardens and orchard take a rest in winter. We get to relax some and breathe easy until March. Winter is the season to dream goals for spring and summer, and the fall garden. There’s no such thing is places with no distinct 4 seasons. Thanks for your blog!

  9. Glad that you were able to have happy family time! Wishing you two all the best in the year ahead!

    • We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful family. And, yes, we did have a great visit and day. Happy New Year to you too!

  10. Hello, I love your blog. Also, I purchased a animal care book that you co-wrote. I wonder if you can guide me. There is a neighborhood cat that I brush every day. Someone feeds him and he has a house. But I noticed a round open injury under his chin and I wondered what I could use on it. The issue is that he really belongs to a elderly woman, but she doesn’t really care for him and someone feeds him, but he’s dirty and loaded with matted fur. I am just trying to help him. I’ve tried to approach her but she says they will take him to the vet. It just never happens. Can I try triple antibiotic cream on him? Thanks so much.

    • Sounds like cat got in fight with another cat. Reason to get cats fixed and keep indoors.
      I would call animal control to come and get cat. After it is fixed by vets and put up for adoption you should adopt cat. Sounds like cat would have a good home with you.
      Your neighbor will never know who called animal control.

    • Rinsing it out with hydrogen peroxide, then patting it dry helps a lot. An antibiotic powder works better than an ointment as ointments attract hair and dirt, both full of bacteria. Lacking an antibiotic powder, just keep up with the peroxide. Cats are famous for their healing abilities.
      Then there is Betty’s reply, if you’d rather go that route.

  11. Happy holidays, Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Your family is well loved. Ava is the spitting image of you, Jackie. Beautiful smile.

    • Happy New Year to you, too, Bernadette. Everyone calls Ava my Mini-me. It’s funny because we love the same things and she’s a tomboy too!

  12. I’m glad you were able to have such a nice Christmas
    We too celebrated the day after Christmas🤗. When you have married children with their other families it’s good to be able to adapt ☺. May you have a Happy and Blessed New Year!🎉🎉

    • Thank you, Sis. We’ve been conditioned by the seasons to be very flexible in all things. Well, most things, that is! It isn’t that important to us what day we get together. Only that we can. Happy New Year!!

  13. What a blessing family is . I am glad you were able to spend time with your family . The picture of them all around the dining room table is beautiful .

  14. Glad to see your family! We had our Cornell Christmas actually on Wed to accommodate the granddaughters jobs but as they had to drive 2 hours each way-just happy to see them! No snow in Iowa(yet) so at least roads were clear!

    • So glad your granddaughters could visit for the holidays! I know how much that means as some of my family live very far away and we haven’t visited in person for a while now and I miss them. We got plenty of snow and it’s still snowing. But, for our get-together, the roads were clear.

  15. Spent Friday baking, too. After getting our homeless fed Thursday, I found out at noon Friday, I was also baking for the Christmas Eve service. It wasn’t much on short notice, but I pulled off some red snickerdoodles. Also unwrapped 2 boxes of chocolate coconut cookies I’d made as gifts for our leadership, promising them more later.
    Then, when I couldnt sleep early Christmas morning, I baked coffee cake for my family’s Christmas brunch and blueberry muffins for our Sunday service.
    The good thing about all this baking for others is that I normally cook for 1, so, after a taste, or 2, it’s all out of the house and on someone else’s waistline.
    Yes, it seems like I bake a lot, but we serve a very low income neighborhood where most cant afford to contribute. Many have very limited cooking equipment. Can’t wait to get our community garden going.

    • You are such a blessing to your neighborhood! It’s a good thing you love to bake. I can tell!!! You have a very Happy New Year and dream of that community garden! Let me know if I can help by donating some seed.

  16. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time, the actual calendar date is meaningless when it comes to family getting together. I *think* my folks have leaves for their dining room table but adding a card table at one end gives more elbow space.

    Happy you could all get together – I’m sure Delilah had a big day and nothing wrong with being a little cautious. All look happy and relaxed (oh and well fed lol) – that’s all that matter.

    • One thing for sure, our family is always happy when we get together. I hear so many stories of tension around the dining room table at holidays and cringe. How sad that is!!! You have a wonderful New Year!

  17. What beautiful Christmas pictures. Wish you were in the group photo.
    Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!

    • Ok. The next blog I’ll stick one Bill took with his camera and timer and I have a goofy look on my face. But that’s okay. I’ll share it anyway. Happy New Year to you too!!

    • We really aren’t New Year’s Eve celebrators. Usually we just toss another log on the fire and count our blessings that we are home and snug instead of out partying (and probably catching COVID…). Don’t need to drink and act goofy to be happy. You have a wonderful New Year.

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