And then her heart changed, or at least she understood it; and the winter passed, and the sun shone upon her.

-J.R.R. Tolkein


With the hustle and bustle of Christmas gone around here, and the New Year started, we had thought we would find ourselves with some time to enjoy life and to slow things down a little. Who were we kidding?! Our weekends have been filled with baby showers, family dinners and classes.

For Christmas, I signed up Dan for a class that would fulfill a lifelong dream of his, bladesmithing. He, his Dad and his brother Joe all participated in a two day course of knife making and each brought home their own 4″ hunting blade that they designed and made. Each knife was unique and they all looked great. It was a great weekend for the boys and a nice treat for Dan who works so hard and is always making sure everyone around him is happy, that he deserved his own happiness as well!

Yesterday we had a gathering at our neighbours across the way to celebrate the birth of their new little baby boy. After the baby shower, we had Dan’s family over for dinner and enjoyed Dan’s renowed Wellington with a twist, using the back strap from my deer this year. Venison Wellington may just be my favourite, and how neat is it that I can say I provided that meat!img_20170115_193456_650

15876367_650582398447215_5997462409097248768_nWe have found ourselves finally getting a break in the arctic temperatures and the days couldn’t be more beautiful outside. We got to open the door up on the chicken coop so everyone could venture out for some fresh air and sunshine. It took a little coaxing with our left over pancakes, but before long George was out crowing and calling his ladies to follow. We have seen a big increase in our egg production over the last couple of weeks and are up to usually anywhere from four to seven eggs a day. Even the pigs have been spotted outside the house more, venturing around in the snow and taking in the sunshine. Everyone is loving the warmth! Our little donkey boys are doing great too and their Hee-Haw’s are getting louder with each week.

Throughout the chaos, I have been able to find img_20170113_175252_743the time to slip out to be with nature. Each afternoon when I get home from work, I jump in my little truck Suzi-Q and venture out beyond the fenceline into the woods in the back. Out back I have set up snares in several different areas for rabbits. So far, we have caught two snow hares. I am in the works of preserving the skins to use at a later time.

15877169_144699936026893_6337895686075318272_nGetting out into the woods has been my escape as of late. Walking through the brush trails, listening to the birds and squirrels and even as the warmer weather sneaks in, listening as the snow falls from the branches of the trees above. We had a chance to get back to the very back of our property to retrieve the cards from the trail cam we keep back there. What a wonderful surprise to us to find a couple of Lynx on the camera just this past week. They are such beautiful and solitary creatures it was such a blessing to have seen them on our camera.

img_20170106_094053_299I have also made sure to find time for my other passions, including finally picking up a book I had waiting on the back burner to read. I stumbled across the words of Aldo Leopold this past November while I was “pinning” quotes for hunting season and being outdoors. His writing took my breath away and left me with goosebumps. The way he describes nature and his surroundings is unlike no other. So I had to get his book A Sand County Almanac. It has been a great read thus far and it is encouraging my love for nature and for preservation. img_20170106_102308_554

And of course, there is always some kind of knitting project on the go! Michael’s had a big yarn sale over the weekend so I was able to pick up yarn for a few new and old projects. I have been attempting my first hat, I have a new blanket on the go and of course picked up some cotton yarn to make up more dishcloths!

Last but not least, we bottled a new Syrah here on the farm and our custom labels are my favourite yet! Inspired by custom etched glass bottles we received as a Christmas present, we may just be onto something here with Mad Albert. I see a brand in the future of our wine journey!madalbertwine

So while our lives have seemed kind of crazy as of late, it has been so important to us to make time for ourselves, to make time to get outdoors and to make time to do the things we love. Because really, that’s how one retains their sanity in this crazy crazy world!