It’s been a crazy year, but we still have so much to be thankful for! Ethan got so much work this year, and we are very, very thankful he was an essential worker, since he doesn’t qualify for unemployment.
We had very healthy calves and goat kids born this year.
The chickens made more of themselves!
The garden was so beautiful and productive all year long – despite the chickens ravaging it, and hatching out massive bundles of chicks in the pumpkin vines.
We’ve managed to work really, really hard this year and accomplish things that used to feel unreachable – like building a feed barn to properly store the animal feed, re-building the milking shed that was about to topple over, and fixing up the existing barn to be more of a workshop.
We replaced our old wood stove that was really a huge fire hazard with a beautiful new one. I’m so thankful for this stove, because it’s an opportunity of independence. We might have to work for it, but we can cook, heat water, dry vegetables, meat and herbs; and stay warm without having to purchase anything or use electricity.
The girls and I got to travel and have adventures together.
I tried to not do anything ambitious this year because it was so busy, but I still had people calling me and asking for pork, beef and chicken shares, which made me happy!
We got a Blue Heeler dog, who is finally able to herd the cows when they get out. This saves so much time of me running around yelling and throwing things at cows, while they scatter, run the wrong way, break fences, and generally laugh at me. Now they herd themselves back in right away when they hear me call the dog.
We all caught COVID, even my parents, my brother and his family, my baby nephew, and it was just a regular cold, and now we are all immune. It was not even the worst cold/flu we had all year! My mom and I have asthma, and neither of us even got a cough. I usually get hit hard by respiratory illnesses.
The Teenager realized he likes hard classes better than the really, really bonehead ones he thought he preferred, and has better things to do than sit around trying to make friends mumbling through a mask and social distancing in public school (him being there is how we caught COVID actually). He’s actually trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life now.
Despite everything, we actually made a lot of new wonderful friends and acquaintances somehow! I actually made more new friends this year than I think I ever have just in one year.
Our home school has been so fun, as I am better at planning, pulling in fun ways to learn, and since I’m better at teaching the basics, we have more time to do the fun stuff. Plus, I can see now that my children are older how they got a really good education. I’m so thankful I’ve had this opportunity to educate them at home! I know that’s not an option for a lot of people.
Clothilde used to do gymnastics they made the children wear masks while doing a lot of aerobic exercise, and it was clearly causing breathing problems, so we chose to quit. Instead we’ve been doing horseback riding, which all three of my children love and look forward to every week. Not only is it something they all enjoy, it’s been really good for developing life skills like balance, core muscles, and confidence.
Likewise, I have two teenagers now, and seeing them grow up so healthy and strong, I am so thankful that I was stubborn about what I believed in when I was a young mother. I’m glad I had the grit to long-term breastfeed them, not give them pharmaceuticals, and feed them healthy home-grown and home-cooked food, a variety of vegetables, raw milk, bone broth, and cod liver oil. These decisions were not always supported, and I always had a very small budget, but looking at my teenagers with beautiful skin, straight teeth, perfect vision (Mirin actually has 20/16 vision), and healthy, strong bodies, I think it did them a lot of good.
So even though it’s been unusual and worrisome, there are lots of things to be thankful for.
Meanwhile, here are some of my local and home-grown recipes to share for Thanksgiving this week!
November Mustard and Cheese Wraps
Vegetable Side Dishes
Wishing you a wonderful holiday!