First Christmas Lights


We have two phases here from our hilltop farmhouse. One is total seclusion from late spring to early fall. The trees surround us, and when leafed out, block everything. It’s like living in the midst of a verdant woodland sauna. (West Virginia is very moist.) We are hidden from the world in our cocoon of trees. I love the privacy. From late fall to early spring, we are exposed on our hilltop through the barren trees. But! As a tradeoff, we can see all the hills around us and down to the river and across to the other bank.

Our “neighbor” Ed across the river is the first to put out his Christmas lights. They showed up across the river a couple of nights ago and I have been wanting to get our lights up ever since. I love our icicle lights on the porch that make me feel like I’m sitting in an outdoor restaurant bar. I would keep them up all year but other people complain. (We’ll see how long I can get them to stay up this year!) I’ve got the lights out and I’m determined to get them up by or before this weekend. You? When do you put holiday lights up outside?

P.S. Bad, no-good evening here in which I sank in the mire in the goat yard. My boots got stuck. Poky was shoving on me and I couldn’t get my balance. Next thing you know, the boot is not coming up but my foot is and then my foot comes out of my chore boot and down into the icky, gross, poopy, mud. YUCK. I hate it when that happens.

I’m going to get a glass of wine and go look at the moon now.

And pretend I did not step in muddy poop tonight. I did NOT.


  1. Mary Kellogg says:

    Take a long hot shower, put yer jammies on, and go sit on the porch for a few minutes, thinking how blessed you are to live in such a special place. 🙂

  2. Joann says:

    Think of it as a very expensive foot mask. People with more dollars than sense might pay big bucks for “Pupa a la Donke”.

  3. texwisgirl says:

    Been there; done that!!! Just horse poo instead of goat!

  4. CindyP says:

    Love the Christmas light view. I would definitely leave my lights up all year if I had your porch. They sell them now as patio lights, but they’re just Christmas lights.

    LOL!, Joann…you’re probably right!

  5. JOJO says:

    Suzanne–with the kind of day you have had–have several glasses of wine and gaze at that beautiful moon–howl at it if you want–youve earned it!!

  6. judydee says:

    Gaze at the moon, have TWO glasses of wine, but be sure to wash that foot!!

  7. Sharri says:

    Well..the lights are nice…the muck…is not…
    But…think of those who pay BIG bucks for a “soak” in
    organic matter. Hehehe… did not have to pay a cent!
    Take a shower, sit, relax, have a glass of whatever
    strikes your fancy..and enjoy those lights! Gingermouse

  8. claudia w says:

    I say, foot bath, massage, two glasses of wine the porch and the moon. Sounds like a perfect evening after a half perfect day!

  9. Eve Davis says:

    As somene mentioned earlier, some folks pay big bucks to soak in that stuff, you got it free! How lucky are you. Will it be a white wine night or red? I vote to leave the light up. On my last birthday my children pitched in and bought me 8 hanging oil lamps and they mounted them on the trees. Very lovely outside when they are lite!

  10. CATRAY44 says:

    You really are a farmer! Raising my glass of wine to you! Tomorrow will be better.

  11. Yvonne says:

    You crack me up! (Sorry about the poo thing.) I will probably put lights up this Saturday. I’ve had orange “Halloween/Fall” lights outside for over a month and planned to keep them up through Thanksgiving, but they decided to die today…got to get some Christmas ones up! I love them, I remember all the oohs! and aahs! from my childhood when our parents drove us around to see them! They are magical to me! (Have you ever layed on your back under the Christmas tree and just loved it?)

  12. Wendy Curling says:

    I have icicle lights on my back patio all year and it’s pretty. We only turn them on occasionally during the year. I LOVE Christmas and you can always find something Christmasy in or around my house all year. Sometimes it’s icicle lights, or a kitchen tree, or just a hand towel in the bathroom and it makes me happy. :woof:

  13. diana in jax says:

    i couldn’t wait and put my tree up today

  14. Joy says:

    Oh, Suzanne, when I was a little girl we had dairy cows. I would take off my shoes and socks and run around the cow yard, which was covered in warm, sloppy poop. I didn’t think of it as poop at the time, in my mind it was warm “mud”. :moo:

    I would squish it between my toes, run around ’til I was covered up to my ankles. Then I’d go in the barn and wash it off with the hose.

    Now that I’m grown up, I look at it a little differently. :help: :shocked:

  15. B. Ruth says:

    Oh Davy, Davy, Davy…..he could’ve had this beautiful picture in one of his Christmas farming editions….LOL What that man has missed! I would title it:

    “Silent Night on a West Virginia Farm” by Suzanne McMinn

    Just beautiful and peaceful to the beholder…reminds me of the total silence on Christmas Eve…and if you listen… it is said that it is the only night the animals truely talk…so Christmas inspiring…Thank you Suzanne….

  16. Valerie says:

    Joy, I work with a gal that used to do that, too! :cowsleep:

    I will confess, that has happened to me, too, but in a swamp. Gluey mud. But the worst was when I fell into a doggie septic tank. We dug about a 4 foot hole, covered it with plywood, and had the plastic lid on top. (This was something I can’t believe we spent money on). I would scoop the poop, put it in the septic tank, and routinely put enzymes and water in there. Early one morning a few years later while outside with the dog and still half asleep, I stepped on it, and the plywood collapsed. I had one full leg down in the tank. Lost my shoe in there, too. Talk about ick. It was hard to get out of there, too, with one leg in poo and one leg outside the tank… :bugeyed:

  17. Cheryl LeMay says:

    Been there, done that! Yuck! I hate the mud.I’ve slipped and fallen and gotten completely covered in mud and poultry poo.Thankfully we are washable.You need a long soak in the tub. It’ll do wonders.

  18. Melissa Marsh says:

    I remember when my little brother was out in the corrals working cattle with my dad and uncles. He must have been about 7 years old. The corrals were thick as soup with manure and mud. He walked right into the middle of it and got stuck. When he tried to move, he fell face forward!!! My mom had to hose him off. Poor kid. So just think – your foot in the muck is better than your face in the muck!

  19. lizzie says:

    Suzanne, you have me laughing once again! I wear my snow boots out to the chicken pen through the mud and muck, I keep telling myself that I am GOING to buy a pair of muck boots! this year and last year, as I slip and slide all the way. A couple of years ago I was walking the dogs (weenies) at night in my bath robe with about three feet of snow on the ground and fell because the big dogs like to dig, I did not see the hole, so down I went, hubby thought it was quite funny! he now has to walk them at night! :woof:

  20. Angela says:

    Hey Suzanne!

    I was just informed by my husband this weekend that if we are going to put up lights this year I need to buy some more. Not sure what kind of lights I am going to get for this year. I’ve done the all white/clear icicle lights and I’ve done the multi-colored icicle lights. He wants me to get the big bulb old fashioned kind. I have always wanted our house to look like Clark Griswalds! :shimmy: :shimmy: :shimmy: :shimmy: :shimmy:

    Angela :wave:

  21. Nancy says:

    Weather permitting, I’ll put mine up the day after Thanksgiving. They seem to be popping up early this year. I wonder why? I had a sink in the muck moment last week! I was out gathering Winterberry, which grows in the yuckiest, muckiest spots imagineable. My foot sunk, I kept going but my foot didn’t…I landed full out on my side and scraped the heck out of my knee and pulled every muscle in my upper body. (or at least it FELT that way!) Of course my 7 mo. old Lab thought I was playing, NOT! I am so thankful no one was around to see (or hear)me fall. I didn’t lose a berry!

  22. Katharina says:

    Our lights went up last week while it was still warm and dry. I turned them on for my son’s birthday. In order to have twinkly lights all year I stapled a straight set of whites to the rafters in our gazebo. They look so pretty at night even in July. NOW we all use them (although there used to be people who didn’t think Christmas lights were necessary–imagine that!). So, get the staple gun and a good ladder and staple up some nice lights on the inside edge of your porch and get that glass of wine or hot cocoa whenever you like!

  23. PossumManor says:

    I put lights on my chicken coop the other night. It looks so nice!

  24. Miss Becky says:

    Seeing a peek at neighbor Ed’s cheerful Christmas light through the woods is such a treat! I have no outdoor outlet so I don’t use any Christmas lights for outside decorations. My neighbors compensate, as the whole block is lit up like a Christmas tree! I hope you enjoyed that well-deserved glass of wine Suzanne! :hug:

  25. Ramona says:

    GAWD, I hate it when that happens and it usually does when I’m in the back 40 and either have to put the boot back on or walk home without it. Both choices stink.

    We don’t do lights, we barely do XMAS. Mainly cause it’s just the hubby and me. But we do XMAS eve snacks and have a feast like nobodys business.

  26. Tina says:

    I hope you enjoyed your wine; I’m sure it hit the spot after “the poop incident”. Beautiful pictures of the moon! I have colored lights out back around my outdoor fireplace. Makes for a nice evening 3 seasons out of the year!

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