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This morning I’m doing typical Sunday stuff – canning up a few pints of beef stock, cleaning off the dining room table, catching up on emails and blog reading, waiting for my camera battery to charge so I can go take pictures of the seedlings in my new garden bed.

For those of us whose mothers have passed on, this day can easily just be another Sunday, filled with the usual weekend projects, tasks and routines.  Sending flowers and a card or making a special phone call aren’t things we need to remember to do, obviously.  And I was just sitting here thinking how ordinary this day has become without that special person to recognize and honor and spend time with.

But my mom is so much a part of where I am today, and what I’m doing with my life, and she would have loved everything about my plans for the Farm and what I hope to accomplish there.  So shame on me, to neglect to honor and thank her, even though I can’t do it in person anymore.

Thanks, Mom.

Thank you for showering me with love and care and concern as I grew up; thank you for instilling in me through your own life example the ability to work hard and the courage to take on the seemingly impossible; thank you for reminding me to consider the tough spots a challenge instead of a roadblock.

And thanks, too, for encouraging me to dream, and to live the life I have imagined.

I couldn’t do it without you, Mom.


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Lots of places in the country are cold and covered with snow; not here, in San Diego, and not at the farm, where it’s raining and 50 degrees, but lots of other places.  Dallas got a White Christmas this year, for pete’s sake. 

But I can pretend, and be glad for my current climate.  So while the men-folk are out with the horses and dogs on the pond, cutting ice and hauling it to the ice house, I’ll get the pie dough made, start the bacon and eggs and cranberry muffins for breakfast, and prep the potatoes for this evening’s ham feast.

Speaking of food, I made a beet-and-carrot soup last night that is sure to become a Christmas tradition.  Photos and recipe later; it was delicious!

Merry Christmas to all, stay warm out there!

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How I wish I were back at the Farm right now.  Just look at the grass starting to green up, the trees yet to push leaves, still waiting for the days to lengthen enough to be safe from sudden frost.  Someday soon, I’ll live each day of each season there, noting the subtle changes in every living thing as the planet hurtles back around its yearly orbit, tilting the Northern hemisphere once again toward the burning star that makes all this wonderful stuff happen.

I have 30 days left over here in this East African desert; 44 days to being boots on ground right there (points to photo), in the middle of that very pasture, surrounded by the green grass and budding trees that wait patiently for me.  Oh, my farm is my lover, my waiting woman, beckoning me home with graceful arms and bountiful curves, life springing from her soils and grasses and forests and creeks.  How I yearn for her presence, her sounds, her smells, her touch.

This trip I will rescue the corral from certain death by weathering.  It was assembled perhaps 8 years ago, used only once, and put up too close to the Big Pond.  The panels are rusting and in dire need of a new coat of paint; I’ll attend to that then tear the whole thing down and stack ’em in the trees under a tarp, until I’m ready to set it back up again in a better location.  We’ll be there 10 days, so I’ll have time to sand and paint 20 8-foot steel panels.  I hope.

We’ll see if I can get Derril to take some pictures this time, to help illustrate the project story.  Bobby and Alene are thinking of taking a trip to see their kids while we’re there, since our stay is so long; it will be nice to have the Farm to ourselves for a change, and be able to power through the work without keeping a meal schedule or just being dang rude for not coming down off the hill until dark.  I’m bad about that.

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