Things have been less busy here in terms of farm work. The work has changed. No one is bucking bales, no one is mowing, no one is moving pasture fence, and we are all waiting for winter to really settle in. The cow and the steer are on hay and being supplemented with grain and the snow has not been much to speak of at all. The warmer winter has meant ice, a lot of ice, but that is supposed to be changing now and I can see it. Starting next week is supposed to be our steady slide into really cold temps, below zero readings, and significant snow. We grownups have been pretty spoiled by not having to move snow, but the kids have been waiting for real winter. It will also mean that the cows will be spending more time in the barn which more mucking it out and more snow to move but the kids will be sledding which softens the blow.

It makes me think of all those English Christmas songs which are less about snow and more about things being bleak. Winter here is usually not bleak. It can be terrifying but it is bright white and very clean looking with everything covered in a stark blanket of snow. But right now it is cold and cloudy and just, well, bleak. The good news is that it makes great light for photography. I will be trying to get out and take some shots and get some good practice in. I have a class that I have been thinking about taking.

Speaking of being artistic, Claudia has discovered that she likes lipstick. A lot. Like way a lot. I keep a tube of Bert’s Bees Tinted Balm in my purse for when I feel like a need a little pick me up. It is not really lipstick, I guess, but as close as I have. Claudia loves it. I found her happily smearing about half a tube worth on her face. Yay. But I had to get her photo before I washed it off. Had. To.

Lastly, it is the Nativity Fast so we are fasting until Christmas. That means that all the glorious milk that Io gives us is going into massive amounts of cheese for the freezer. I need to make some more chevre style with herbs de provence but I have most been making mozzarella and ricotta. Speaking of mozz, I do not have a microwave and it is totally possible to make it without one. I am going to set up a tri-pod and make a video. My friend, Sarah, says there are way too many microwave mozz videos and not enough stove top ones. We gonna fix that.

Oh, one more thing. The childhood friend of a friend of mine opened the most amazing toy store in the whole world. It is called KC Bonkers and is right here, well, in town here. We decided that it is really important to us to spend our Christmas money locally. In a small, rural, isolated community it is pretty easy to get online and order whatever we want but it means that we are not supporting the fragile economy here. I thought I might tell you guys about what I am getting and from whom in my local area. For some of the things I can’t be too specific because my kids can see my blog, but I will be chatting it up. I would love to see what you guys are getting and what is in your local community.