Guess who doesn’t mind the cold. He also would not get caught so I could put on a blanket! Stubborn rascal.
OK, remember the fairy tale of the kindly shoe maker? At night, the good little elves would come out and do his work and tidy the workshop. Well, I think I have elves too – only these elves are EVIL!! I dust, sweep, mop, and tidy during the day. While my husband is in the hospital, my dogs and I are the only ones in the house. I have a severe cold or flu or distemper or something, so I am not doing any crafting or baking or much of anything. In fact, I keep coughing and sneezing so much, it activates the clapper. The lamp is going on and off all day.
But when I wake up, the house looks like there was a frat party here last night!! There is laundry and dishes and dust and muddy paw prints and clutter – and how did the trash can get full!! Come on!! How is this possible?
So I tidied up again. I made up a cup of tea and curled up on the couch with Baby Dawg. I glanced over at the kitchen floor and there are two hair balls laughing at me – mocking me!! When I catch one of those elves, he is in for a whomping!!
Despite the cold temperatures (dipping under 20 degrees), Gertie Goose still insists on her morning bath routine. I keep two kiddie pools for her, with several spares in the garage – so she will always have clean water. She followed up her bath with an ear of corn (not easy to find this time of year but she does so love it so well worth the expense).
Gertie must be over 20, as she has been here on our farm for 20 years. She and two others just showed up one day and decided they would like here. Gertie is the only one left and despite her bad temper and snippy disposition, we love her.
I have been letting Hector the mule into the pasture with the mares for a few hours every day. I was so excited to see them all peacefully munching hay together!! OK, I know they are not best friends yet, but they are bonding!
It’s Christmas. So I lit a candle, got out my best cowboy china, and fixed breakfast for me and my dogs, Charlie Tarheel and Baby Dawg. We feasted together on hash and eggs. I even baked a birthday cake for Jesus – but no chocolate for the critters. Then I sang Christmas carols – sorry dogs. But hey, the Bible says make a JOYFUL noise unto the LORD. Doesn’t say it has to sound good – just JOYFUL. So I believe my nasally, flat, off key screechings are pleasing and acceptable unto the LORD. The horses and the mule had a feast too – carrots and apples and granola. Gertie Goose had sweet corn on the cob (hard to find this time of year) and butter bread. Flip Flop kitty had Friskies Shreds, hash, and warm milk.
Everyone got a hug and a scratch. I hung onto my horses neck’s and cried into their manes. I hugged Hector the mule and sobbed on his shoulder. I clutched the kitty and shared my pain. Gertie Goose bit me on the thumb – hey, she’s a goose.
My dogs curled up with me on the couch and absorbed my grief and gave me their love. It seems the more I give my love away – the more love comes right back to me. GOD truly sent me COMFORT and PEACE today. And I will be able to visit my husband at the hospital this afternoon.
WildFire is NOT happy with Hector the Mule. So I created a small paddock for Hecter. He can see the mares and they can “chat” across the fence. But he is safely out of range of teeth and hooves. He also has his very own run in shed and hay bale! Hopefully, after a couple of weeks, this Bratty Boss Mare will let Hector join her herd.
We have a new family member, Hector the Mule! He is such a sweet boy who has been a hard working mule for many, many, many years. Now, it is his turn to relax and enjoy love and treats. My red mares are NOT thrilled with Hector, but hopefully, everyone will settle in soon. I have never had a mule before, so I welcome any helpful advice.
Recently, an acquaintance paid a brief visit to my home. Upon entering, the guest looked about and “smirked”. Yeah, I will call it a smirk. I have visited this person’s home and it is quite stylish, very formal and tidy.
OK, being completely honest – I am NOT the world’s best housekeeper. I am NOT the worst either. My house is a simple farm house, no fancy furnishings or carpets. Everything is more “homey” and functional. Yes, there is a mule halter hanging on the closet door handle and I have a saddle in the guest room.
I keep up with the laundry. All dishes are washed and put away promptly and counter tops are cleaned. Beds are sort of made (dogs have a tendency to unmake them). I also sweep and mop at least four times a week. With windows open, my house is filled with good, clean country air – and dust and pollen. I need to dust and wash windows and put away some clutter – so yeah, my house looks “lived-in”.
I have a dog door, and two dogs – hairy, shedding dogs. So, there are little hair balls hiding under beds and chairs. On any given day, there are probably muddy little paw prints about as well.
So, the fact is – if you come to my house looking for dust and dirt and dog hair – you will find it. But, if you come to my house looking for hospitality, friendship, warmth, acceptance, and a hot meal – you will find that too. Visitors are welcome to put their feet up on the coffee table or grab a cozy blanket and snuggle up on the couch. I don’t freak out if a drink or a snack is spilled. In fact, dogs handle most spills rather quickly and efficiently. I invite visiting youngsters to pull out toys and rocking horses and crayons and books, spread them about the living room – and just play.
So, here is my question. What is more important, housekeeping or hospitality? Maybe it is just a personal preference, but I want people to “feel at home” in a cluttered, lived-in house with a few stray hair balls and muddy paw prints – oh, and some dust and dog snot on the windows.
Met a new friend scurrying down my drive way. Don’t worry. I gathered my little friend up and moved him to safety. As a child, I remember my Mom telling me these little Woolie worms could predict the severity of the weather based on their color. Can’t remember exactly, if it was black or orange that meant a bad winter. Maybe it is silly to stop my car to move a little fuzzy caterpillar, but – hey, GOD made caterpillars too – and besides, it is healing to stop and visit with nature for a little while. The grief is always with me, but moments like this strengthen me. Does anyone know what kind of little critter this is??