Days of Grace





Hello Friends!


For those of you that have been following along with me here you probably know that I am a Spring and Summertime girl!  And every September when people around me are talking about how excited they are about the coming of Fall and how they love everything about Fall, I just choose to keep my mouth shut.  Because really, who wouldn’t LOVE Fall???  But I do not.  And the only reason I do not love it, is because it means that my beloved Summer is over.  And Winter is right around the corner.  So I go into Fall sort of kicking and screaming.




But at the library this week I came across a book by Jenna Woginrich called One Woman Farm.  I opened it up to take a look and the very first chapter was titled Days of Grace.  I liked the way that sounded so I stood there in the library and read about it.  She explained that on the wet, dreary days when the busyness of summer is over,  we can be happy for the Days of Grace.  This becomes a chance for quiet reflection when life on the farm is a little slower and mornings start a little later.


Upon reading that, I had the most amazing feeling come over me that I need to change my thinking.  I need to look at Fall and Winter as my Days of Grace.  The days that I can enjoy doing all the things I love in my house and around the farm and not just be counting the days until Spring and Summer.


So it’s been a week of thinking of the things I can be thankful for during this time of the year and stay focused on those things.  (With the time change and dusk at 4:30 now, my positive attitude is really being tested!)  So even though it is a gloomy, wet day today I’m determined to focus on the things that I DO love about Wintertime!  Please join me!




Baby calves have to be my favorite.  We are lucky that even though we have very wet winters with some ice and snow we aren’t typically bitter cold and so our Momma Cows can just go about their business having babies around the farm!  We check them daily and monitor if they need help (thankfully, they rarely do) and then ooh and aww over the precious new baby as it stands to nurse for the first time.  Did you know that baby calves stand up within minutes of being born and that instinct (and their momma’s gentle nudging) moves them almost immediately to nurse?  The miracle of it never grows old.




I love walking in the woods on our farm in the Wintertime.  In the Summer, the vegetation is so thick it is hard to walk through them.  In the Winter you can see where the deer and the cows actually have trails all through the woods and they are so fun to explore.  My daughter and I love to take her little girls on nature walks and discover all sorts of things in the woods.  (Are you laughing at the dogs?  Our dog is a an Australian Shepherd – very much what you consider a farm dog.  My daughter’s dog is a Standard Poodle – what most consider a city dog.  Well, he is quickly becoming a farm dog!)




This year we decided to do some Fall and Winter hikes while the weather is still somewhat nice.  Recently we went to Sewanee, Tn which is not far from us and is such a beautiful place on the mountain.  Our daughter and her husband and little girls went with us and we just enjoyed the day of leisurely walking and enjoyed the Fall colors and crisp air.  You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.




With our very busy summer months with our flower farming business, I feel like my house really takes a back seat in the cleaning department!  So I’ve been slowly working through each room and doing some winter cleaning!  I do have to admit that it feels really good and oh so rewarding.  My grand-girls are the best helpers!  (If you look close in the above picture you can see some Fall colors out the window on the right.)




And cooking.  Oh my word, the cooking.  Because when it is cold outside is there anything more fun than cooking and eating?!  One of our family’s favorite things to eat when we need some comfort food is Apple Pancake.  And the apples this time of year are so perfect for it!




Coffee.  I love my coffee in the winter.  I am not a hot tea person, are you?  I’ve tried.  Really I have.  It sounds so romantic!  But I just can’t make it work for me!  And coffee in one of my United States mugs always makes me happy!




I try to do some wintertime porch sitting curled up in a quilt until my fingers and nose are freezing!  Letting go of porch sitting is one of the hardest things to do.  A beautiful old quilt, a cup of coffee and the Hilltop view are something I can pull off almost until December!




And of course sewing.  I’ve always loved hand quilting and I’ve decided this is the winter that I’m going to sit and hand quilt!  (This is my first hand quilting project for the winter.  Isn’t it the sweetest thing and enough to brighten every gloomy day!)




Reading daily!  I don’t read a lot the rest of the year and so its always a treat to have a constant pile of books on my coffee table!  These are some of the books in my reading pile right now.  (The book, “To Animas With Love” was written by my mother about her heritage.  I’m reading it again because I think it is so important to remember where I came from.)




Playing my piano is something I’ve determined to do more of this winter.  I don’t play much anymore and I am so rusty that I feel like I am starting over from scratch.  I’m holding myself to 30 minutes a day and already I feel such an improvement!




So here we are… the winter season upon us.  The flower farm that my daughter and I love so much is completely tilled under and a cover crop of winter wheat is up and growing.  I miss the flowers but love to think of the soil getting the rest it needs to start again in the Spring.  I think I finally realize that I need this dormant season to rest both mentally and physically.  I want to learn to sit still and to enjoy these Days of Grace.


Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.


P.S.  Please leave a comment and share your favorite book to read and maybe in December we’ll talk about that!








  1. ann says:

    Thank you for such a beautiful writing! I absolutely ADORE Fall and Winter! Not that I don’t love Spring and Summer also, but Fall and Winter are my time of year. Crisp fresh air and brilliant sunshine, or cold and wet rainy, misty days — it does not matter. I love Rainy Days — soft and quiet or hard and stormy — either one is okay with me. But I seriously enjoyed your writing and photos and felt a sense of peace and comfort as I read. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  2. Ramona Puckett says:

    I get the winter blues, also, so I will be more upbeat about the coming season changes! I live out in the country and it’s really beautiful out here. Thank you for sharing this! And I love your photographs!

  3. Sandra says:

    Love the gratitude in your post. Honoring the seasons is something i started to embrace with our cold Minnesota winters.

    I love going to bed early in the winter and getting lost in sweaters and lots of layers. Lastly, the lack of bugs!

  4. Kim Rice says:

    Oh my goodness! The things I’ve learned about you!! Coffee not tea, sunshine not so much clouds and you are a second generation author!! Who knew!? Thank you for sharing all this wisdom and wonder!!

  5. Laura says:

    Thank you, Dori, for bringing to mind some of the wonders of Autumn and Winter. I retired Jan.1, 2016, but due to a small house fire, it has taken most of 2017 to finally experience the joys of being home. I still feel guilty when my husband goes out to work, but with all the cooking and reading I am doing, he is seeing how joyful I am.
    I look forward to sewing again (and hubby looks forward to me using up some of the material I bought over the years).
    Thank you again for sharing!

  6. Carol says:

    Dori … What a great post and I love the term “Days of Grace”. The older I get the more I truly understand that everything in life is about how you react to it. I love the seasons we experience here in central Pennsylvania but I hate the lack of color in the world throughout the winter. I am an amateur photographer and I really have search for photos during this season of rest. I do love to sew and have longs days to work on projects. Thanks for reminding us to enjoy the peace and quiet of the winter! Carol

  7. Carol says:

    I hate winter time but you are right that it is truly a time for rest from farm work. I like your idea of sitting on the porch with a quilt as that is one of the things that I miss. This summer the mosquitos were so bad I did not get to sit out much. Hopefully, next summer. Until then I will read and work on my quilts, the same as you.

  8. Krista says:

    I am not a huge fan of the cold weather we get in Utah, but I do enjoy Fall and winter. I’m thinking it mainly has to do with all the holidays, activities, and time I spend with my family at this time of year. My husband works on his family’s farm after his job and during the summer hours I don’t see much of him, but once fall and winter hit he is home more and we can finally spend more time together as a family. In the end I really enjoy the company and memories I get from fall and winter. I’m hoping this season will be much easier on you and it can soon grow on you!

  9. Joan says:

    Dori, I could have written this myself! You and I are kindred spirits. Thank you so much for sharing you thoughts on this. Now I don’t feel like such an odd duck! P.S. I love what you write keep it up. Blessed fall and winter.

  10. Just loved your adventure to find the joys of autumn. I could see myself sitting on your porch, cup in hand and quilt on my lap. My favorite book? Walden by Henry David Thoreau. He is the reason this city born girl gave it up to be a small town girl.

  11. Irene says:

    Dori, I never liked the fall when my kids were growing up. It meant the start of school and I missed having them around. Now I love the fall and winter. They are beautiful seasons. The crisp air and some snow. One of my favorite books is The Key Is Love by Marie Osmond. It’s a heartwarming story.

  12. Binky Thorsson says:

    Thanks for sharing Dori. I’m a quilter and have too much to do outside in spring and summer, that I treasure the fall and winter to be able to quilt more. I also love the savory cold month recipes. Hard to make those foods in the hot months. I always love to see, and hear what you and your family are up to. I have two Authors for you. Being a quilter – Persian Pickle Club, by Sandra Dallas. The second loving history – is Nancy Turner, These is My Words!

  13. Sandi King says:

    Dori, I don’t have a favorite book but I do read a lot. I also look at a lot of pictures of homes that are in the process or have been remodeled as we are still waiting on ours to be started on, the reason being—money. Soon I hope, soon it will begin. But I love fall with all the beautiful fall colors, the leaves on the ground (compost) and the last of the pesky bugs. I am hoping for a cold and long enough cold winter to get rid of some of the summer pests that we have. They are getting so bad it is hard to be outside to enjoy the summer. I love the photographs and your story. The walk in the woods and the trails are my favorite thing to do also in the Fall. I love to bundle up with hat, scarf, gloves and coat and breathe in the crisp cold air of an autumn walk in the evening. It is invigorating and to top it off with a cup of hot chocolate upon arriving back at the house. I also love winter and the snow that covers everything and makes it look so pretty and clean; at least until it is trampled by footprints and ridden on by snowmobiles and ski’s. There is a reason for every season and I try to enjoy every one of them. Happy Fall to you.

  14. Joan says:

    Love your finding ‘Grace’ in the season change. I’m kind of ‘take what comes’ type of person, enjoying each season and new project. Yes I do like cleaning house, windows not so much. Your new quilt looks very intriguing, might you share the name of it. I’m still doing all the antique pieces that were left to me but something new would be great fun. Thanks so much for your uplifting spirit. God bless.

  15. Linda says:

    Have you ever used those little potpourri heaters to keep your favorite beverage warm? They’re safe, plentiful and cheap! I have one in the kitchen and one by my reading/craft/tv chair. In-line switch and “on” light make them convenient! Oh, and you can also use them to heat potpourri! Great year round.

  16. Many of the things you posted are part of why I love fall and winter. Quilting, reading, baking, doing the things my busy summer wouldn’t allow. As to books, I am a classic literature freak so I am working through some Shakespeare and I will probably bring out my Jane Austen (again) because she is like an old friend. ❤️ So here’s to falling leaves and warm cups in our hands ☺️

  17. Marilyn says:

    I love Autumn and Winter. I feel the same way about Spring and Summer the way you feel about Fall and Winter. I like when it is cold and dark early so you can be cozy and curled up with a good book. I enjoy going back and rereading some of my favorite books from my youth. The “Honey Bunch”series,”The Bobbsey Twins”, all the Lucy Maud Montgomery series,”Little Women” etc.

    • martha cook says:

      I love all these older series and just found “Five Little Peppers at School” to round out my Little Peppers collection. Also just ordered 3 paperback Judy Bolton mysteries. Applewood Books is re-issuing the series, but in paperback. I had not yet read Secret Quest, Whispered Watchword, and the new one begun by Margaret Sutton but finished by two friends “The Strange Likeness” that has not been available until now. I have 2/3 of the Judy Bolton series in original printing but the the ones I am missing are scarce and expensive, so paperback is a fun way to go. Wonderful books – they restore my mental peace!

  18. Nancy Hawks says:

    I really enjoy reading about your life on the ranch. You seem to share the same hobbies and interests that I have and I look forward to reading about your life. I too love the writing of Jenna Woginrich. She has written several really good books about her life on her farm and her day to day life as a woman, alone running a small farm. She also has a blog called Cold Antler Farm that you might enjoy. I read it everyday and have been doing so for several years. She is an excellent writer. I look forward to reading about your life and all of the things that go on on your ranch Dori. You, too are an excellent writer.

  19. TeddyIrene says:

    You made me fell much better about the rain and cloudy weather ahead. Thank you

  20. Jodie says:

    Oh Dori, I hear ya! These dark days are hard. I started working at trying to appreciate the dark days of winter last year. It’d help if society let us hibernate like bears. Ha! But, I’m learning that some time spent in my rocker in the evening, allowing for some guilt free knit or crochet time, does my soul some good. Books! My favorites are “Destiny of the Republic” by Candice Millard and “Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown. Both based on true stories and very interesting reads with real history tidbits woven into the story. I hope you get a chance to read them. Enjoy these days of grace, sister.

  21. Grace says:

    What a great post! I love all the seasons, but with an attitude like you just wrote about, your spring will be here before you know it! Sounds like a wonderful winter just around the corner!! Enjoy!!

  22. Bonnie ellis says:

    I love the fall colors and warming days. But when it gets cold (and it can get to 40 below zero here) I begin to get the blues. Luckily the holidays keep us busy. But January brings the reality that there are months of cold and snow yet. Quilts and crafts to the rescue! Quilting is perfect for winter. Cooking warming meals and sitting by the fire. Yes, they are the days of grace, for all of us. Thanks for pointing that out. Happy winter!

  23. Rhoda Tuckey says:

    Thank you so much for the encouragement to enjoy all seasons. God Bless You. Truly we must enjoy the Days of Grace that God in His infinite goodness bestows on us!

  24. Bonnie B says:

    I love the term “Days of Grace”. I’ve always loved fall, not winter so much, but appreciate the beauty of that first snow., and the holidays. I like to cozy up with a good book or making presents for Christmas and quilt. It’s so much better since retiring as I don’t have to go out if I don’t want to! I tend to stock up so there is no need to venture out.
    Some books that I like to re-read are by Gladys Taber. I think you would like her writing. They seem so calm and nurturing. I also like Susan Branch. She writes as though she is just talking to you and the illustrations are wonderful. She has many great cookbooks out also. Love her.

  25. Deb Bosworth says:

    Hi Dori! I so love this posting from you. Even though we had 4 seasons in Nevada, I never really let myself sink into winter until we moved to New England. You must embrace it for what it is, or fly south. Which is what many folks from here do. I often wonder if that’s why so many writers are from New England? I’ve come to truly love winter in New England. I nest like crazy every fall and anticipate my list of things I’ll do inside over the long cold winter. It looks as if you’ve got lots of fun things planned! All wonderful ways to pass the time until the season turns the corner. I’m starting my day with a poem or two from Mary Oliver. And I’m in a big purging mood this season. I’ve filled up my explorer twice so far with books I don’t need, and more ” stuff”. The master bedroom and bath are getting a cosmetic makeover with paint and new bath towels too. But first, one wedding and I must dig the rest of the dahlia tubers. Then I can fall into winter happily and start making my seed list for next season! 🙂 I’ve stocked the pantry with baking goods, and cleaning supplies so I don’t have to go out as often too! I think I’m almost ready. Happy Thanksgiving, Dori! hugs from your farmgirl sister! Deb

  26. Debra Hoek says:

    Love your blog. I feel the same way about fall leading into winter. Summer is my favorite season. And while Fall is a beautiful season, especially here in Michigan, I know winter is just around the corner. As I live with Fibromyagia Syndrome I dread the added pain that the cold and dampness bring. Changing one’s paradigm is not always an easy thing, but it is often a good thing. I need to find a way to appreciate it also. While reading is a favorite pass time of mine, there isn’t much time in my life to enjoy it. I work 50+ hours a week and care for my mom age 99. While I am a country girl at heart, my mom is all city girl. So I enjoy reading about your life style and look forward to one day retiring to the country.

  27. What a beautiful post! I love winter. That is to say, I hate hot weather. I can always put on more clothes, but can only take off so much without scaring someone to death. I also like to live by my natural clock, which is nothing like the hours we keep in the summer. I must admit that I become pretty worthless in winter, despite my vows to get a lot done while we are not growing crops. You inspire me to live up to my resolution to Practice Pretty, which is a joke, as I don’t have a decorative bone in my body. But, since function is beauty on my planet, if I will actually clear and organize some spots, they will be pretty to me. Thank you for reminding me of things (other than hibernation) to appreciate in winter.

  28. Laura says:

    Martha Cook,
    Did you read the Edgar Eager (Half Magic, etc.) and/or Danny Dunn books? They were 2 of my favorites. Oh, and The Pushcart War!
    Laura Staley

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