In The Bleak Midwinter

For many of us, the first day of winter disappeared behind us in a flurry of blowing snow. Looking ahead, the word “bleak” may fit many days on our winter calendar. Bleak, really? “Bleak” is a word winter invented (I think). But ok, like it or not, here we go into the season that makes us work harder at making life fun.

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  1. Debbie says:

    Happy New Year Shery!

    In spite of cold and gray it looks like you’re all making the best of the mid winter blues, grays and whites! I’m not a huge fan of the bitter cold either but like you I’ll make the best of it! Your photos are beautiful as always, and I can just hear the jingling of those bells around Lynn’s horse’s neck ringing across the prairie… Love all your " ranchy" buildings too!
    Stay warm…brighter days are comin’!
    Love and BEACH blessings,

  2. auntpammy says:

    Happy New year Shery!

    Oh how your pictures have made my heart sing! Winter is a different time indeed…but with the promise of spring to follow it is always worth the wait. I find winter to be a beautiful time too, although my old bones don’t quite like it as much as they use too.(haha) The sledding party looked wonderous-it brought me back to childhood days full of winter fun. Thank-you for sharing. Pam

  3. andylynne says:

    I so agree with Pam, your pictures made my heart swell and sing and brought a tear to my eye. What a wonderful way to celebrate mid winter! You have all made the best of the snow and the cold. Such a valuable lesson your sage advice. Cheer up indeed, to be happy is a choice. Even if you find a park in a city, with children sledding you can be a part of it if you choose.Thank you for the beautiful reminder, you made my day. I should have checked in sooner.
    Timmy is a stunner, and Dolly wears her bells and bows with great style.

  4. Brenda says:

    Happy New Year! We are finally getting the snow that has been hitting all around us here in our woods. Hubs has been out plowing our long drive and shoveling a path to the hen house for me. About 1/2 of my hens are molting. A couple are looking really sad to me. My big black hen is almost featherless all around her neck. But she is spunky so I guess it is just taking longer for her to regrow her feathers. They have not been out much as of late. First we had some really fringed cold temps and now the snow is piling up. But they all seem to be making the best of bleak mid-winter days. I am holing up and crocheting and hope to get back to sewing soon. My sewing area is in our walkout basement but we do not heat it much. Loaned my little space heater to a daughter that needed it more badly than I to help keep grandchildren warmer at night. I just might have to have hubs move the machine upstairs for me. So enjoyed your beautiful pictures. Especially the big cow mug with the snow on her face. Reminds me of my Ladybug when she comes in out of the snow. Blessings!

  5. MMGoldstein says:

    I love these notes and pics. I want to refer to this many times.

  6. Peggy says:

    Lovely photos, lovely post! Timmy is gorgeous.

  7. donna (Sunny FL) says:

    Awesome, Thanks from Sunny Florida…Luv the Snow, though haven’t ever had to shovel, plow or endure! Luv your Life, keep lettin us have a peek…Hope to get out west this year, haven’t been in a while! Happy Merry 2011…

  8. Terces says:

    Hi Shery
    So beautiful to look at, and I certainly get the challenge/opportunity of caring for animals in that kind of cold! In California, where we are, a heavy frost is what we face.. not much compared to you and still slows us down, get’s pretty sloppy, and has us appreciate the other seasons more. Thank you for sharing all year, I so love your blog, what beautiful pictures you share and your honesty is so heart warming, even in the middle of a "bleak" winter.
    Happy New Year to you and your family as well.
    Love. Terces

  9. Keleen says:

    I live in an area where the change of seasons is not so blatantly obvious, so thank you for reminding me of the beauty of all the seasons!

  10. Sarah says:

    I do so love your posts. I always want to make a cup of tea before I read them. You take beautiful pictures and you definitely have an eye for the beauty in winter. Thanks for the reminder that happiness is a choice. 🙂

  11. Denise says:

    Thank you for sharing your pictures and activities in your life. Although I dread the cold of winter, you have highlighted the beauty of winter. Love your pictures.

  12. meredith says:

    Thank you, Shery, for your beautiful photos! I am the only farmer in the family who appreciates the beauty of winter. In fact, just today, my 11 year old daughter informed me that while the first snowfall of the winter is fun to play in, after that it just gets old. How sad! I now plan to get my camera out and start shooting pictures of WHY my family should be grateful for this beautiful season. Then they can try to convince me why summer is so great…….

  13. Kathy says:

    Always look forward to your blog. Your pictures are always so beautiful!

  14. Ann says:

    Hi, Shery. I couldn’t agree with you more on your lovely descriptions of winter. I am looking out upon a scene of my tall hemlocks and 150 year old sugar maples with are draped in snow with an occasional snow shower when the wind slips through the trees. I have to talk myself into getting into my boots and other gear to bring more wood into my garage today but will then be rewarded with a toasty fire soon after. As always, your pictures and prose are delightful. I enjoy your blog very much. Stay warm!

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Hen Party & Holiday Happenings

My farmgirl sisters wanted to have a holiday “hen party” and gift exchange. We managed to squeeze it in even though everyone is very busy this time of year. I was the hostess hen for our luncheon. It was a cold and blustery winter day, but spirits were warm and bright. Hey, why don’t you c’mon in and join us …
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  1. Debbie says:

    YUMMY!!! All of it!
    Looks so warm and festive Shery! Thanks for sharing your little piece of Christmas from the Ranch.
    Love and Beach Blessings,

  2. Kathy says:

    Shery, I love your blog. I receive several but enjoy yours is the best of all. I wish I lived near you to share in all the fun things you do. Your friends are so fortunate.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  3. Veronica says:

    Looks lovely! How can you leave a picture of a delectable treat like the coconut things and NOT include a recipe 😉 Come on, where’s the recipe?

  4. Maura says:

    Hi Shery,

    What a fun time you and your ‘hens’ had and the food looks and sounded delicious. I’ve copied your recipe and will be trying that out…I can almost smell it looking at your picture! Merry Christmas to you and your family too.
    Maura 🙂

  5. Peggy says:

    Can’t wait to make that stuffed pumpkin with, be still my heart … bacon, cream, cheese AND cranberries. Yum. Thanks!

  6. Vicki says:

    I so look forward to your postings, love your piece of Heaven. I also live on a little farm in Eastern OK and love my animals, gardens and my own little piece of Heaven…Have a Blessed Christmas Season…..

  7. Shery,
    As always, you inspire me….Thank you,
    as for ‘kitty under the tree’,,,she is the purrrrfect tree skirt decoration! lol!
    Every Christmas tree should have a furbaby resting contentedly under it.
    Merry Christmas from our humble little farmette to your ranch.
    every year at this time I make Lavender Macaroons,,,,,’cuz we too love all things ‘coconutty’…. : > )

  8. MaryFrantic says:

    Wish I could have been there! Shery, did you brush vegetable oil or butter over the pumpkin to make it shine?

  9. bonnie ellis says:

    Shery, I want to move near you. I think you have the best hen house of all! My mom died yesterday and the holidays don’t seem the same. Your house seems so warm and cheery, I wish I was there. God bless you for sharing yourself and ranch.

  10. Sherry Considine says:

    Loved your hen party ideas, gifts & menu. I am going to check out those dishes at K-mart – I think Santa needs to bring them to me for Christmas! I would love the recipe for the coconutty cookies you have pictured. Also, do you sell your jewelry on line anywhere? I like your turquoise pieces & the bottle cap bracelet. Oh, if you don’t mind putting a picture of your "real hen house" on the blog I would love to see it. I have been searching for a good idea to put on my property for chicks I will be getting in the spring. Thank you for sharing you wonderful ideas.

  11. Peggy O'Neale Price says:

    Wow! What a wonderful report. I’m jealous because I wasn’t at the "Hen Party"…Can I come next year….all the way from South Carolina?? I could bring some oysters, shrimp, crabs and other good ole Charleston dishes. Your articles are really heartwarming. Thank you and Merry Christmas. My best, Peggy

  12. Julie W says:

    Thank you for sharing your country "doings"!!! I love all the creativity. You always inspiring.
    Merry Christmas.
    Julie W.

  13. Shery Jespersen says:

    Thought I would check in and answer a couple of questions.

    #1: No, I didn’t oil the pumpkin. They just do that…like magic.

    #2: I can’t give you the recipe for the coconut candies yet because I have to figure it out on my own…sort of. I was given a general guide. But, when I get mine together, I’ll post it. They don’t have to be JUST for the holidays, right?

    Thank you everyone for taking the time to comment and for your kind KIND words of encouragement. I wish I could meet every one of you in person. ~ Shery

  14. Debbie Strong says:

    As always, your "silver tongue and pen" shine like Christmas tree baubles! I smile as I read your wonderful words. Merry Christmas, Shery! Keep those stories coming.

  15. Michele Hieb says:

    I had a wonderful time @ our little get together. Laughter is the best medicine:) I always have a great time with all my farmgirl friends. I anticipate our next get together will be food for our souls…our progressive Xmas party and house tours will be delightfull…Can’t wait my friend:) Oh and your blog is fab! as usual:)

  16. Jan says:

    Thank you for letting us come to your Hen Party. Looks like you all had lots of fun and lots of yummy food! Can’t wait to try the stuffed pupmkins. I love your jewelery, beautiful!
    As always, I so enjoyed reading your latest blog. I really look forward to each and every one.
    Merry Christmas!!

  17. Cheri says:

    OK – you covered most of my bases too – love to quilt, tree and house decorated. My daughter helped me put lights on our pasture fence. No one would see lights out front of the house anyway. So we can enjoy the ones out back. Have used up over 20 pounds of flour and 21 pounds of butter this baking season. LOVED the pumpkin that is beautiful. You should try making marshmallows – VERY EASY and fantastic. Gifts bought and wrapped – but never done till it is all over. Merry Christmas, Cheri

  18. Cora Jo says:

    Sheri, wonderful Christmas to you and all your hen-friends…feathered and non. You cheer us all up. thanks, cora jo

  19. Brenda says:

    I wrote up a comment yesterday and when I hit submit it came back that I had an incorrect e-mail address and it was gone. Did not have time to re-type everything so I have came back to try again today. I’ll just sum it all up and say I love everything that you have pictured and would love to be one of your farm girl friends and be a part of your hen parties. Your baubles are beautiful! Have a Merry Christmas!

  20. Brenda says:

    Love the articles and pictures, I love so much of the things you talk about I too collect things that others think are too far gone. First time for me to read your connections, won’t be the last. Going to enjoy reading all the older ones.Thanks for putting so many of my thoughts in words.

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Much Ado And Merry Too

December is a month of strong contrasts. The coldness of winter and early evening darkness are no longer ahead of us. Winter is here. Preparations for Christmas are in full swing now. For those who enjoy it, the busyness is full of light and warmth … traditions remembered, long-time family recipes , making handmade goodies for gifts and decor. It can feel like there is way too much to fit into one month. But, I don’t think I’d change a thing … would you?
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  1. Paula Spencer says:

    Love it! Thanks and merry Christmas!!

  2. Peggy says:

    Are you ever on top of it!! A lovely, lovely post. My first thing is to bring out my holiday dinnerware set — the Lenox bird set — and it stays out until Valentine’s Day!

  3. Terry says:

    Merriest Christmas Shery! Enjoy each and every moment from the soft sound of the cattle, to the twinkling of lights and ornaments, to the incredibly scrumptious bite of fudge. The Blessed Savior delights in the fullness of your life!

  4. Maura says:

    What a wonderful post! I can only imagine how wonderful Christmas is living on a ranch. We moved to our small farm a year and a half ago and I’m loving every minute of it and although we don’t have a lot of animals …it’s starting to feel more and more like a farm should. Thank you for sharing your tree search photo’s and your decorations…your trees are beautiful. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
    Maura 🙂

  5. Colleen Gotori says:

    Here in southern California on the high desert we have Juniper bushes, not trees – they grow huge and round, but not much taller than 7 feet and I love the blue berries and the green of the spikey leaves. I enjoy your blog so much – we grew up on a ranch and then my kids and my husband and I had horses for years. Sure miss ’em. Your pictures are gorgeous and I am grateful for your references, in this very commercial, and sometimes uninterested world, to the reason for Christmas, the King of Kings. Merry Christmas!

  6. Grace~katmom says:

    Oh Shery,
    The first thing I do to start off the Season,,,, is Music,,,I pull out a "gazillion" CD’s of Christmas Music…I am forever buying new ones and yet they all have the same songs…but I am a pushover for Christmas music.

    I luv your decorated faux fruit idea, and I see ‘plastic’ fruit at the Thrifts all the time,,,hmmm, I think I will have to pick some up, glitter, decorate & display,,,thanx for a great idea.

    Last but not least, from our little ‘ranchette’ to yours,
    Blessings to you & yours for a truly meaningful Christmas.

  7. Debra Brown says:

    You just gave me a great idea. Thank you a lot. Merry Christmas

  8. Raynita says:

    Thanks for sharing your joy and love for this most blessed Christmas season. Have a beautiful Christmas at your lovely home with your very blessed family and friends. I plan on doing the same here at my lodge:)

  9. Debbie says:

    Merry Christmas Shery!

    I LOVE so many things about this post…Where to start?
    Juniper trees… We have them on our property out west in the high desert of Northern Nevada… The blue birds love to build nests in them. I can smell those berries just thinking about it! I can also remember crunching along in the snow on a bright sunny afternoon surrounded by the smell of those tree’s and fresh wide-open space and air. Winter in the high desert is SWEET and quite a contrast to the beauty of more traditional Christmas scenes here in New England.
    We are kindred spirits when it comes to themed trees… I ADORE looking at them but I don’t have the heart to trade in my tried and true decorations (or the new ones we give each other every year as a family tradition) for A themed one.

    I love love love your natural table centerpieces for your farmgirl gathering… It’s so true that those things that please us gals are often lost on our men ( dears that they are)… That’s why our gal pal friendship’s mean so much! CHRISTmas magic is in the air and if we could all just be a little more open to it year round, we would be MUCH better for it!

    Wishing you the best of all this season has to bring.
    Beach Blessings from Americas hometown…

  10. Denise Sexton says:

    I just love reading about your life in WY! Merry Christmas!

  11. Teri says:

    Once again, Shery, you have captured the true spirit of Christmas. I love your Juniper tree and wish we had them here. I look forward to your blog and stop what I am doing to read it the minute it’s printed.
    Thank you and a very Merry Christmas to you and yours

  12. Helen Stoskus says:

    This was great. I love seeing all the old ornaments and the decorations. Took me back to my childhood days. Now I share these with my grandchildren.Merry Christmas to all.
    Thank you for sharing your holidays with us

  13. Mandy Horr says:

    I LOVE your post!! SO pretty and such great ideas as well. And YAY!! Wyoming!! My home! 🙂

  14. meredith williams says:

    You should know that in this busiest of seasons, your post was the one I HAD to read – its always the best. God Bless you and your’s this Christmas! Farmgirl hugs from Virginia!

  15. mellee says:

    I so love reading your posts. I have never been any further west than west virginia, and reading about your life and where you live is always refreshing. I hope you have a very merry Christmas.

    farmgirl #2143

  16. Mary Ann says:

    Shery, Love this blog post. LOVE it as always. And I am crazy ga-ga over that white Christmas tree at Beth’s. I secretly lust for a white tree. Your flow blue plates are beautiful too!

    Love that you used those junipers. I have been considering doing the tumble weed tree for a long time. Blew it this year, as the snow came before I could gather them. But next year!

  17. Rusty McHale says:

    What a great post. You are a wonderful writer and I enjoy reading each and every one of your stories. And your pictures are terrific. I only wish I lived closer so I could get to know you personally and share your love of antiques and horses. Have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.


  18. Hi Shery, Just read your blog about your Christmas. Loved it. So many times we don’t stop and think about the reason for the season and its sad. I am making some homemade Christmas presents. I love it and my galpals love to sit around on a day we pick for lunch too. we will exchange our little gifts as well. Have a Very Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy New Year, Hugs, Farmsister #1020 Juanita

  19. Cheri says:

    Agree – much ado- I love that a lot is expected of me – but i don’t expect it of others. The kids LOVE that I love the spirit of the season – but I am coming to really look forward to our church’s GIVING Tree delivery – where I load up not only the suburban, but also our 2 horse trailers full of gifts for 35 families. The high school youth group prays with the families and paints the kids faces. That is the truest meaning – the sharing of the REASON for the SEASON … and the giving. But, I did string lights along 400 ft of pasture fence – it is great. Have used 4 rolls of paper to wrap, 18 pounds of butter and 20 pounds of flour for baking and I will be cleaning as well – thanks for a great post.

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