I can't believe that Christmas is only a week away! It feels like the last month has absolutely flown by. Between working my non-farm job, taking care of the farm, keeping up with my ever growing hobby soap business (and a big thank you for your support!) and chit chatting with friends near and far on social media (I probably spent a bit too much time doing that this year, lol) it seems like the day goes from sun up to sun down before I know it. I am ever thankful to have so many rewarding pursuits to occupy my time and for our continued good health and the health of our family and friends.
The big news of the year is that the hobby studio that my husband has been building for going on three years now, is in the final stages of completion. There are still some finishing touches needed in the interior. Right now he is installing tile in the shower and then the toilet will be installed. After that all that's left is trimming out a few windows and doors and hanging a couple of light fixtures. I've been using one side of the studio for packing up soap orders for the last month or so. It's been really nice to have the extra space to spread out and get better organized than my old system in the house with soap and packing supplies stashed here and there wherever I could find the room. The floor plan is entirely open except for the bathroom, so we can use the space flexibly as different projects and needs arise. We had a very small Thanksgiving dinner with just my in-laws in the studio, which was a fun way to celebrate the almost completion of the new space.
Fall on the farm is the time for deep cleaning coops, putting up extra screens for protection from the wind and rain, putting down a new layer of wood shavings to keep the ground from getting too muddy, and making sure everyone is well prepared for winter. The chickens and turkeys enjoy lots of treats to give them extra calories to keep them warm on these cold nights. It's finally time to take down the fall pumpkin decorations and cut them up and give them to the chickens. The chickens love the seeds and pumpkin flesh and will eat them down to the rind, while the turkeys refuse to acknowledge it as something edible. Despite my best efforts, the turkeys remain too suspicious to eat pumpkins and they give me one more reason to love these charismatic birds! Eggs become increasingly scarce at this time of year as the chickens and turkeys go on their annual vacation from laying eggs in order to take a well needed rest to prepare their bodies for next year. We still have a few of the youngest chickens laying a handful of eggs a day, and each one is special at this time of year. Even after 10 years of raising chickens, I still feel like it's Christmas every day when I find eggs in the nest boxes.
Every Christmas we cut down a small and scraggly looking Charlie Brown Christmas tree on the farm. It's a fun tradition that I look forward to. There are always Douglas fir seedlings popping up in random places around the farm, sometimes too close to the house or shop, or sometimes growing too close to another tree, so we walk around the farm and find one of these to cut down for our Christmas tree. This year I added a few more chicken ornaments to my collection. I like to support small businesses and makers that I've met online when I do my holiday shopping, and I'm often tempted to buy something for myself at the same time. I did a little bit of decorating of the chicken coops this year. It may seem silly to some, but on these cold and rainy winter days, it's nice to have a little extra cheer as I do my daily chores, after all I'm out there no matter what the weather! Even though it's been a strange year to say the least, it has been a pretty happy one here at the farm. I hope you are all finding ways to stay busy and sane during these difficult times. There are so many little things to be thankful for every day if you just remember to take the time to appreciate them. Please stay safe during the holidays everyone, and cheers to a healthy and happy New Year!