A Snowy Day


The birds are stocking up, eating down the bird feeders as fast as we can fill them up.

It snowed all day yesterday.

We aren’t having it as bad as some places, though. The New York City area was expecting 14-18 inches with 55 mile per hour winds and whiteout conditions. I know all about the weather in the Big Apple because we get our “local” network news from New York City. The hill and trees behind our house prevent the television satellite dish from picking up the local networks, which run on a lower satellite than cable networks. I never know about the local (well, from the big city, Charleston) news and weather unless I remember to check online. Usually, I go by the New York weather, which most of the time is pretty similar to ours, but not this time. Luckily, we are missing the worst of this storm and only getting a few new inches every day in a steady, magical, wonderland-fashion snowfall with no high winds to knock out power.

Throughout this Christmas season, I have remembered last Christmas when we were out of power for a week leading up to and through Christmas Day. I’m glad that didn’t happen this year.

In other satellite news, I’ve been having trouble with my satellite internet for weeks and finally had some technicians out here last week. They told me trees were growing into the path of the satellite internet dish. In the pursuit of better internet, five smallish trees were cut down yesterday.

They were leaning inexorably toward the goat yard, but in a stroke of luck, when they fell, they didn’t take the fence out.

Speaking of goats, I’m keeping a close eye on Fanta these days.

She kept going into the goat house yesterday, and I kept saying, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THERE, FANTA?” You know that’s where she’s going when it’s time.

And her time can’t be too far off. Her udder is getting big.

Sprite and Nutmeg are pregnant, too, but their udders are still tiny. Fanta is going to be first.

It’s really hard to take a picture of one goat’s udder when all the goats want your attention.

Show me the udder!

Fanta did her best to cooperate in the face of interference from all the other goats and the donkeys.

Then I gave up and ran for my life. Besides, I had stuff in the oven. Yesterday, we had one more family Christmas get-together. This time it was a trip over to the old farmhouse. The road looked like this:

And the old farmhouse looked like this:

We didn’t actually go in the old farmhouse yesterday. Nobody lives there now and it’s very cold in the winter. I’m probably the last person who will ever live there and that’s only because I’m insane. (See Life at 16 Degrees for a taste of what it’s like to live in the old farmhouse in the winter. I LIVED THERE FOR THREE WINTERS.)

The farm bell was coated in snow.

I brought Georgia homemade soaps, blackberry jam, orange marmalade, candy, a Chickens in the Road calendar, and a coconut-oatmeal rum pie (with walnuts).

I had made some drunken rum cookie logs for my cousin. (Georgia’s recipe.)

I had some leftover rum icing, so I drizzled it on the pie.

Georgia loves pie and she doesn’t bake anymore. She loves jams and marmalades, too, and she doesn’t can anymore. I love bringing her treats that she loves.

We also brought her bulbs for paper whites. I planted them for her and put them in a pot on her windowsill.

Along with other various things, I brought my cousin pepperoni rolls because he loves pepperoni rolls.

I made them with my homemade pepper jack.

And then.


My cousin told me to close my eyes and he brought out a surprise for me. He put something in my lap. I could hear the clink of glass that sounded familiar. I said, “Did you get me some canning jars?”

And then I opened my eyes. Oh yes, he and Georgia had given me some canning jars. But not just ANY canning jars.

I wrote about these jars in the October CITR newsletter–you can see it in the newsletter archives here.

Three of her vintage Ball Ideal jars with bail wire lids! A pint, quart, and half-gallon jar. Merry Christmas TO ME!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on December 27, 2010  

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28 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 12-27

    :snoopy: Wonderful Snowy Day Blog post. I too love canning jars.What a wonderful christmas present. Also love your goats but Georgias smile is the best.
    Granny Trace :)
    P.s your goodies looked yummmo

  2. 12-27

    What a wonderful gifts from the heart—both to you and from you.

  3. 12-27

    Baby goats! You’ll soon have baby goats! Yippee!!!!

    Love the jars! and the bell. I would have to go home with that bell.

  4. 12-27

    You just described what Christmas should be about.

    I love the snowy scenes and the canning jars. The food looks pretty darned good too.

  5. 12-27

    It sounds like a lovely family Christmas. I remember you saying if you tried to sneak one of those jars out of the farmhouse that Georgia would jump out of her lawn chair and tackle you, haha!

  6. 12-27

    Wow! Suzanne, it would be so cool to be on your delivery route for goodies! Georgia and your cousin must have been really happy.

  7. 12-27

    Whooaaa girl that is quite the giving heart you have there. I know the BLESSING you get for that heart God gave you. :hug:
    I hope all of your goats have wonderful healthy, 4 legged babies with the best attitude they could possibly have.
    Now Suzanne, I am new and I need to ask. This road to the Old Farm House, it must be the one that does not go though the river and be icy? Is it pretty much safer than the other road? :snoopy:
    Never thought about you getting that much snow is that normal as far as you know for WV?

  8. 12-27

    Do you ever sleep….You must run on energizer batteries…with all the animals, canning, baking, blogging, gardening and etc.
    I can’t find enough time and energy in the day to do all of my cooking, crafting, sewing, blogging, gardening, and etc. and I “don’t” have the animals.
    I love your blog and I hope next year brings much more!
    Hope you and your family have a “Happy New Year”!

  9. 12-27

    Lisabeth, we can leave our farm two ways, either fording the river, which is the closest access to a hard road, or going more than two miles over an unpaved road to the hard road where my cousin lives. I don’t like to go that way in the winter because the road is always covered in snow and has steep dropoffs and no guard rails. (It’s never salted or plowed etc, it’s not even paved.)

  10. 12-27

    Georga is a real peach. There is just something aboout those old canning jars. Isn’t it more fun to give and to recieve. Georga’s smile says it all. Have a wonderfull 2011.

  11. 12-27

    :sun: Best Christmas presents are from the heart!!! Love the jars and pressure cooker! So happy for u to have ur kids home for the holidays!! Best wishes for u and ur family for the New Year! And we are getting blasted with snow here on the coast of Maine!! :cowsleep:

  12. 12-27

    Oh, those canning jars are a nice gift! So, how long has it been since you’ve seen the ground with no snow on it??

  13. 12-27

    I love your extended/blended family. I read the older post on Georgia and loved it. I could so relate. My mother-in-law was one of boundless energy and wanted to be with you always. She’s been gone now 2 1/2 yrs. and I do miss her incessant talking, going-going-going, and trying to be helpful ALL THE TIME. :)

  14. 12-27

    Lucky gal! I love those jars!!! I am so glad you all had a wonderful Christmas!

  15. 12-27

    My granddau. is in from NYC and is supposed to fly back today.
    I think she will have to call in a snowday. ha ha
    Treasure the old jars,,,I’m glad you received them. Have a GOOD DAY>>>>>>

  16. 12-27

    I love those old jars….I can’t get enough of them….
    They are pretty with those tiny little artifical fruits in them packed in just like real canned ones…I also have filled them with tiny balls at Christmas. Hide a little battery pack underneath the lid and fill with a tiny string of LED lights…so pretty at Christmas..so cute setting of all places on top of the water tank in the bathroom…Of course packed with candy canes, hard candy ribbons..etc..but I always scringe at the tops being taken off and put back on(sometimes hard to find the glass lids anymore, if broken or chipped) so I keep a few canes laying by the jar to grab…LOL
    I betcha Georgia is a treasure trove of houseekeeping information, recipes, patterns and garden information…what a wonderful book she could tell and …(with a writers help)..hint, hint..The two of you could collaborate and with all you’ve learned about candles, cheeses, animal farm life…Really would make a great book….

  17. 12-27

    Such sweet, simple, and thoughtful gifts…made & given from the heart! Your posts remind us all that anything given with love is the most precious gift of all!! Thanks Suzanne! :heart:

  18. 12-27

    Ohhhhhhh!!!!!! You are so lucky…what a perfect gift. Sometimes it is the simple, old things that make us happy!! I have a few of various sizes from my granny’s home with her aprons(they have holes), handmade handkerchiefs, and old oil lamps. I have placed them on her old pie safe. They make me remember all the happy days cooking in her kitchen. She is gone now, but I have sweet thoughts of her daily.

  19. 12-27

    What a wonderful, thoughtful gift Georgia gave you. And LOOK at all those wonderful treats you shared with them! Blessings all around!

    What in the world are you gonna do with all those goats!!! (what do they call baby goats, anyway?)

  20. 12-27

    We’ve got some of those old Bell jars with the bale wire lids. Ours are tinted blue. Love them!

  21. 12-27

    Love the goat pictures! Can’t wait to see pics of Fanta’s KIDS! Maybe very soon! :happyfeet:
    What a wonderful trip for you and your family. I just love Georgia. The homemade gifts you brought her were perfect. Her smile says so. :) And she’d been plotting ever since October when you fussed about those jars. Bless her heart! You’ll treasure those jars always, not just because they’re a part of history, but because they were hers – and she gave them to you.
    BTW, I made Georgia’s Drunken Rum Logs for Christmas my give-away cookie assortment. I have to say, there weren’t as many of those to give away as I’d intended after we finished munching them. YUM! And that leftover icing? Oh yeah. :reindeer:
    Enjoy the rest of your time with the three Santas. I wish you a healthy, happy, prosperous and fun-filled new year… and a new barn!

  22. 12-27

    Thank you Suzanne, this is a great post and so informative of everything that’s going on! I’m so glad you had such a very special Christmas with your family….and electric! :heart:

  23. 12-27

    Your entire story is heart warming BUT when you came to the beautiful canning jars, I was in tears. I too find these the most beautiful jars ever made. Enjoy them Suzanne, you deserve them. Have to tell you< I am now living in WV, temporairly at a sons home but I just missed the storm, coming from NJ, it started to flurry when I left at 5am and I did not hit snow until I hit WV. My parents called and said they got over 12 inches yesterday. Keep warm…OH, I lit my very first, wood stove last night, using your suggestions and IT WORKED! Thankyou… (my son is still in NJ visiting family) You will help make me a farm girl/nurse yet…thankyou!

  24. 12-28

    Luv all the pictures. All the food looks so good.

  25. 12-28

    What great gifts all the way around. See, it truly is “the thought that counts” when the thought is put into what the person getting the gift would actually like.

    Okay, this Fanta thing. Won’t it be hard to keep those little goatlings warm if she is having them in this weather? Now, I know you would have no qualms about bringing a baby goat or two into the house, but what if the other expectant goats have theirs when it is really, really cold.

    And yes, I agree with Sheryl, the farmbell needs to be at your house, not sitting all lonely at the slanted little house. Maybe for next Christmas, you could drop large hints about that to Georgia. By the way, I though Georgia lived in the little farmhouse. I guess I missed a few posts again.

  26. 12-28

    As always a visit here makes me smile and love your photos! It’s like I am with you enjoying it all.

  27. 12-29

    I also LOVE old canning jars – an old glass in general if it’s useful. What a GREAT gift!!! :snoopy:

  28. 12-31

    Oh I have to laugh at all those preggo goats. Looks like a home for wayward girls (goats..) to me that you’re runnin’ Suzanne!!

    Can’t wait to see all the adorable babies!

    Merry New Year to you and yours! THANKS for the daily gift of CITR.!!!!!!

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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