A Quiet Week as Santa’s Elf

Hello friends!
Things are actually fairly chill on the farm, which is a little weird, considering how close to Christmas we are. I’m definitely writing a little early this week, just like with Thanksgiving, mostly so I don’t forget to post. Also going to make use of the schedule feature, although I get a little nervous trusting schedule features. I’ve written enough of them to know it’s really easy to foul them up.
Gifts are all wrapped, and honestly? Can I shamelessly brag for a few? I was on top of it this year, I had all my shopping done by December 1st and 80% of my wrapping done by the fifth. And the entirety of my wrapping was done last weekend. I’m never ever that on top of things. It was such a pleasant feeling.
It helped a ton that my little brother is usually my partner in crime, but he works in shipping and handling, so the closer to Christmas we get, the less time we have, and if I want help I have to get it before, what we refer to as peak season. Since my biggest stress is shopping during this time of year, he helped me get the lions share done before December, so we weren’t majorly behind waiting on his crazy shifts to end.
It did take us forever to put up exterior lights. Our schedules barely meshed and when they did, the weather wouldn’t cooperate at all. It was heavy winds and rains the entire weekend we had set aside to set them up. I finally snuck out and got some of them up after work one day, my dad came out to help, because poor Christopher was so sick, and the weather was just barely cooperating. After helping me reach some of the higher points, my sweet dad offered this summer to put up a permanent set of hooks so, should I have a reason to set up the outdoor lighting alone, I won’t have to wrestle the staple gun up and shoot staples over my head while holding lights. I am very excited about that prospect.
It’s honestly not that I don’t want help, I swear I can totally be a team player, but when you are trying to work around your own work schedule, everyone else schedule, and the unpredictability of care-giving, tasks that can just be picked up when you have a free moment and solved quickly, those are gold. So, having a better Christmas light solution sounds silly, but it means next year I’ll be able to cross it off my list, even if I have to get put at 4 am to do so, without bugging others. Or, like right now, when I have to go fix a dead strand of lights, it’s much easier.
It’s been so windy and gross lately, with rain and snow squalls, freezing temps followed by warm wet weather, basically everything is majorly soupy and borderline unsafe. We’ve been out breaking up ice rinks in the arena and corral for the horses, since it pours and turns into a lake, and then freezes into a slippery situation. I’ve made plans to fix the drainage in those areas, hopefully in the spring, but even if it was fixed, the sheer amount of moisture we’ve gotten this year is completely crazy and I don’t know if my simple gutter and French drain solution would suffice. Definitely makes it hard to work outside, that’s for sure. The wind is so biting, even on the warmer days where we break freezing it’s too cold to be outside. Ears get to hurting, jaw gets to hurting, fingers stop working, too cold. The weird intermittent fog doesn’t help either. It also means I haven’t been outside with my camera in a while, and I miss it!
We had quite the funny situation in my house earlier in the week. I’m not hosting Christmas this year, my cousin wanted a swing at it, so all I have to do is bring a side and a dessert, which I am so excited about. I plan on making a jazzed up green bean casserole and a batch of no bake chocolate peanut butter bars. But earlier in the week, I went to double check the ingredients for my dishes, and I found my mom and dad had gotten very excited about the canned green beans and had eaten the base for my side dish. I cracked up, made a run into town, and all is well, but it was a silly situation to find. I also know I need to keep canned green beans in the house more often, they were a total hit apparently. Also, by the time you’re reading this, unless you’ve read it the same moment it’s gone up, the casserole and bars are done and being enjoyed, hopefully, by my sweet family in Christmas eve. We plan to hide out in our jammies with cinnamon rolls on Christmas day.
I hope your holidays are merry and bright, whichever ones you celebrate, and safe and cozy and restful and wonderful. I’ll catch up with you next week.
Until we chat again my friends! 

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