Out With The Old

I hope that my next statement is as true for you as it has been for our family: Blessings in 2011 far outnumbered the trials. We also have two new family members. In fact, when I was looking around at our growing clan while at my sister’s home on Christmas day, I marveled at that fact. We were all there, no one missing and with two new additions (and rumor has it, another on the horizon). My sister told me that Dad got a little misty over it; that and the fact that all of his loved ones are happy. Years in the past haven’t always read that way and I know the future won’t either … but … as for Christmas 2011, it was one of the very best. 2011 was indeed a good one in many ways. I can’t help but look back over my shoulder before moving on toward 2012. Care to join me for a farmgirl year in review? At the end, please offer up the highlights of your year in the comments section.

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  1. Debbie says:

    Dear Sister Shery,
    Happy New and Old Year! It does my heart good to know your 2011 was a happy one. We all know life has it’s ups and downs and that’s just the way it is. So, to relish in the years with more happy than sad is a must! You did just that here today. I would say you had a beautiful year, one of quiet reflection, many blessings and a heap of faith to go with it. New ( like/love ) is a blessing in every family! Congrats to Beth and her new man! Our highlights this year were good health all around. My hubby’s SAD, wasn’t so bad, both or our mothers were healthy, our children continue to grown and surprise us with their interests and talents. We too brought home some early spring life in our latest flock of young cottage hens. One might not think this is a blessing, but my husband was let go just before Christmas…No worries here though! We were preparing for such a time and are very excited about what HE has in store for us. It was time for a change and we are ready! 🙂
    One of my biggest highlights of 2011 is sharing the farmgirl blogging lime light with you and our other sisters and getting to know our readers better!

    God Bless you Shery. See you in 2012!!!
    Hugs from your beach/farmgirl sister…

  2. Susabelle says:

    This year’s highlights:
    Got laid off (boo)
    Got a new job (yay)
    New job meant moving across the country away from family/friends in Missouri (boo)
    Moving meant moving to Colorado within the shadow of the Rockies, a place I have always wanted to be (yay)
    Sold half of what we owned to afford the move (boo)
    Everything we brought with us survived the trip (yay)
    Family is somewhat homesick (boo)
    I’m happier than I’ve ever been (yay)

    It isn’t perfect, we are renting a house that has now gone into foreclosure, but we are protected by the law, and we’ll find another more appropriate place. My job is awesome, my husband was able to find work when he got here, as was my 18 year old daughter, my 9 year old daughter is doing great in her new school, we live in an wonderful small-town-style city after coming from a big metro area, we are getting a real winter, my asthma is gone, my knees don’t hurt anymore, we know all of our neighbors by their first names, and I’m looking forward to this next chapter of my life.


    Sounds like more yays than nays :o) Best wishes for a lot more yays all the way around in your new life by the Rockies!

  3. nameTerry says:

    Happy New Year dear Shery. This was the best year in awhile for me, for various reasons. One being reconnecting with you, moving close to Grandkids and family, and priming the pump for the creative juices to begin flowing once again. Despite the 2 1/2 yrs of joblessness, we are SO BLESSED! Love, Terry


    Oh Terry, I know it is has been a tuff pull for ya’all. I hope 2012 is a reap year for you … in which case, the blessings should be a mile high for you. xo, shery

  4. Dear Shery, You have indeed had a colorful year! As always, I LOVE your photographs, and you have inspired me to take a photography course and one on Photoshop this semester to better acquaint myself with the digital photography world. Can’t wait for it to start in a couple of weeks. What a beautiful year you have had. Congratulations, and thanks so much for sharing it with us … as usual, I have savored every part of your post. Our family can likewise look back on 2011 with gratitude. Our country inn business is hanging in there despite the sluggish economy; our oldest son Christopher married a smart and beautiful woman named Elizabeth in June, and it was one of the most beautiful and thoughtfully planned weddings the world has ever seen! Our second son Noah got engaged and we have his wedding to look forward to in 2012. Our daughter spread her wings and started college at the Maine College of Art in Portland in September, and is thriving there. We now have lots of undivided time with our remaining (homeschooled) son Joshua as he adjusts to being an ‘only’ child! I made a precious new friend/kindred spirit this fall, and we were also able to buy a little peninsula on the coast of Maine for my slaty dog hubby to dream about! It has been a year full of blessings. I wish you a very happy new year full of the same, and look forward to every one of your posts. Much love and hugs from your Mountain Farmgirl Sister, Cathi


    Sister Cathi,  I was awed at the wedding photos you shared on your blog. Beauty-full !!! I dream about a New England trip in which I visit both the beach farmgirl blogger and YOU. Ya just never know, MAYbe it can happen one fine day. As for photography, I need to take a class. The new ‘idiot proof’ cameras make it easy to skip that part, but I really ought to do that. I could do a much better job if I actually knew what I was doing rather than let the camera do all my thinking :o)  I hope your new year is everything you hope for and full of surprises too…of the blessed sort…like your new kindred spirit friend!   A hug right back atchya,  shery


  5. Joan says:

    Thank you Dear Sister Shery for the wonderful look back. Your every word brought a thought of my year to mind and yes I too was well blessed. I’m going to try do some picture taking of life this next year to help me remember at the end just how wonderful it was – yes I am looking forward to another blest year and all you Sisterhood bloggers help make it a time to live for. Happy New Year to you and yours – congratulations to your sis and her mate.
    God Bless,

  6. Jan says:

    Hi Shery, What a lovely blog to finish out the year 2011. Congrats to your sister and the new "like" in her life! It was so nice to see that you and your family had such a happy Christmas, and wonderful year with many blessings.
    The biggest highlight of the year for me was the purchase of my palamino boy, Jasper. He is a delight and him and my mare are now best friends. So glad that worked out! Another blessing was having my brother home for Christmas this year. It has been many years since we have been together at this time.

    I am looking forward to 2012 and praying it will be the year that I get my place in the country. Have been trying to settle with seller on a little place, but haven’t been able to get the deal closed yet. Being alone makes things a bit more difficult.

    Many blessings to you and your family this new year!!
    Jan in KS

    Dear Jan, Thank you kindly for the good wishes and kind words. I’m seeing you lope along a dirt road back home to your new digs in the country…and hoping that is just what happens.

  7. Janice K. says:

    Wow, Shery! Such a perfect end to a wonderful year..Now I know where you and your sister get you beautiful genes, as your folks are both so attractive! Yes, you are blessed to still have both of them and I know that you appreciate their presence…Your sister and her honey just GLOW with happiness…
    Happy new year to all!

  8. meredith says:

    Oh Shery! I am happy for you that 2011 was such a good year for you and your family! What a great way to enter 2012! This year has been full of blessings for our family, some really tough times that have proved blessings in the long run. HE knows what we need and when we need it! Happy New Year and cant wait to read more from you in the new year!

  9. Diann says:

    Well, as most of you, there have been good and bad. I still work in a stressful job (law enforcement) but I have a job! I need a new roof on my 113 year house, but I still have a roof over my head! My hog population exploded, got four little calves, my chickens and doves are happily producing and the garden was doubled this year. I am presently sitting at my desk looking out over the plains and into the Sierra Nevada Mtns. at Yosemite Natl. Park….sigh….life is okay even with the negatives. My grown children experienced very positive job changes this year after a couple of really rough years and my granddaughters are thriving. I am finding it hard to remember the lows of this past year as those I love are well and thriving. So! A roof over my head, clothes on my back, food on my table…all is well with the universe. Y’all have a blessed new year. I can truly say it has been a blessing and inspiration for me to read this blog. Thanks!

  10. bonnie ellis says:

    You rock! I LOVE your pictures and words. I love seeing life as it is in your world. I am counting only the blessings this year. We are healthy and heading into our 50th year of marriage March 17.Our town in Minnesota has disappointed us with no snow this year. some think it is great but I am sure tired of looking at brown. I got the new pocket Goosebery Patch calendar and in the front it says: "This year belongs to you". Happy New Year to all our farmgirls. Bonnie

  11. Terry says:

    How could I forget? Mom and Dad look GREAT!!

  12. Brenda says:

    thank you so much shery for the look back. Love the pictures. I do hope that 2012 is a blessing for all the farmgirls. I too am blessed to have my parents at the age of 84 and 86 I know to enjoy them as much as I can. I hope that I can connect with the farmgirls for a long time reading what you and the others write seems to bless me everytime. And I do get MaryJane magazine and look forward to it so much. I don’t have any farmgirls around me that I know of but am blessed with some dear friends and family. Happy New to you May 2012 be all you want it to be.

  13. Linda says:

    I loved your pictures! I live out here in the flinthills and plains of Kansas.
    You look alot like your mother. Two cute gals.
    Now what I really want to know is what was in Beth’s celluloid box? It sounded like it was full already! I love the idea.
    Read you and all the gals each time.

    Or should I say read and look? Great photographer, too!

    Happy New Year!



    Hi Linda…and thank you – thank you.

    I made my sister a necklace and bracelet set.   shery

  14. Becky says:

    What a wonderful, magical blog. . .thanks for sharing your beautiful part of the world with us and the pictures of a lovely country Christmas

  15. Lisa Taylor says:

    Happy New Year Shery
    As I sit here reading this month’s blog, it’s early morning and I’m looking out the window at a nearly full moon. It promises to be another beautiful Colorado day.
    I want to thank you for sharing your Jeweled Chutney receipt with us. My 10-year-old niece, Brianna, and I made it to give as Christmas gifts and was it ever a hit! We did however change the name to Lisa and Brianna’s Jeweled Chutney. She made labels (in her own sweet handwriting) and tied them on with raffia. It was wonderful bonding in the kitchen with my sweet girl.
    Love, love, love the blog.
    Stay warm in Wyoming and thanks for all you do.


    Please tell Brianna that I’m so tickled that HER batch of chutney was so well received :o) Making gifts as children is a golden life-long lesson. Thank you for the kind words.   shery 

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A Farmgirl Christmas

Put on your mittens & cloak because we’re going to go for a lengthy farmgirl sleighride … of sorts. There’s a party to go to and many stops to make along the way. Eventually, we’ll wind it up with an old-time Christmas story. Hop in, snuggle up together under the sleigh blanket and ‘kiss’ Dolly into a nice road-trot…Jing Jing Jing. “Can you see the road before us and sing a chorus or two?”

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  1. Jillian says:

    I’m a 23 year old farmgirl-at-heart in Wisconsin and I love following your blog. This is by far the best blog post about Christmas I have ever read. It made me tear up, smile, and it rejuvenated me. Thank you for spreading Jesus’ message in such a beautiful way! I love all of your Christmas decorations… you are so talented. Also, White Christmas is one of my favorites as well… I just watched it several days ago. And yes, cried when Bing sang to the soldiers. Have a Merry Christmas!

  2. Terces says:

    Thank you Shery for yet another inspiring story and shared experience with you.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.
    The Christmas rose story is such a great reminder.

  3. Karin says:

    Shery, thank you for sharing your beautiful stories with us. Like you I love all the old Christmas movies (White Christmas; It’s a Wonderful Life; Miracle on 34th Street; Holiday Inn) and must watch them every year. And I listen to my Christmas CDs from Thanksgiving on. Thank you for being willing to remind us of the real reason for Christmas. I’m so tired of the politically correct "Happy Holidays". It is Christmas!
    The pictures are beautiful, Emmy Lou looks delightful, and I wish I could spend a day with you.
    Have a wonderful, beautiful Christmas and a blessed New Year.


    I’ve never seen ‘Holiday Inn’…I’ll have to check into it! Thank you for the kind words :o)  Be Ye Merry!

  4. Deb says:


    Scooch over so I can sit for a spell and take it all in! YOU MOST CERTAINLY ARE hip deep in blessings; and so are we for knowing you!

    Happy Holy Days to you too Shery! Pat the horses for me..

    Much love and a big ole’ farmgirl hug from your " mushy " beach farmgirl sister in the East!


    Awwwwww, you say the nicest things girlfriend. One holiday hug comin’ right up (((()))))  :o) 

  5. judy says:

    Your blogs are always beautiful and well done. This one was especially so– thank you for this lovely christmas gift.

  6. L A Brown says:

    Thank you SO much for sharing this beautiful story of the Christmas rose and your inspiring thoughts. Happy Holy Days to you 🙂

  7. Margaret says:

    Shery, I have never heard this story before of the Christmas Rose and so glad I can now pass it on to others, and I was born back in the 40’s. Thank you for it and those Christmas lights in EmmyLou are just fantastic.

    Merry Christmas!!

  8. nameTerry wright says:

    Merry Christmas Shery. 40 years ago, when we were newly married, on Christmas morning, Hubby and I were supposed to go to his Grandmas for Christmas breakfast along with all the aunts, uncles and cousins. But hubby woke up sick, so we stayed home. I was having my own little party, a pity party. I’d asked for a bird book for Christmas, and received one of those little Golden Press books for beginners. As hubby slept, I heard a rapping outside. I looked and saw a golden-shafted flicker in our front yard Silver maple. I like you knew it was absolutely a divine appointment. That Flicker lifted my spirits for the rest of the day, to be sure.


    SO good to hear from you my dear old friend! Just when you need it the most a kind little blessing can fall into your lap. I believe there are superstitions that suggest that birds are often used to deliver such messages. A few years back when we were riding during calving season, I was feeling sorry for myself and I was weary. I just happened to be riding through thick sagebrush and I spied a Golden eagle’s primary wing feather sitting right on top the brush. The chances that I rode by and found it when I so needed such a thing has gotta be a million to one. The feather fell from high in the sky and landed in such a way that it didn’t fall down into the thick brush. Eagles shed feathers like all other birds do. The feather was laying on a particularly tall sagebrush – I didn’t even have to dismount to fetch it. Now, that is key in all of this because the reason I was feeling down was due to the rather sudden onset of arthritis. It hurt to get on and off my horse. The moment I laid my hand on the feather, the scripture verse about relief for the weary came to mind: "Those that trust in the Lord will be strong again, they will rise up like the eagle, they will run and not be weary, they will walk and not tire." Isaiah 40:31  I wept with gratitude and felt humbley grateful for that much needed cheery-upper. You see, I pick up found feathers with the excitement of a child ANYway, but to find an EAGLE feather was a real & true endorphin rush. I’ll remember that moment all the days of my life.  shery


  9. Joan says:

    Thank you Shery, for another of your ‘best ever’ blogs. You made me tear up, with happy tears, smile and helped me remember my Christmas’s of long ago and of the ones not so far gone. Memories — aren’t they the best — they are what we give to ourselves after having lived in the moment. I have the English 12 days of Christmas figures and LOVED seeing the Partridge – oh what a wonderful experience you had. And the Rose – your Christmas dishes are so very special. And Emmy Lou what a wonderful happening she is. Have your self a Merry little Christmas and a wonderful New year. God Bless


    Thank you, Joan. The dishes aren’t mine…but they fit into the rose Christmas theme :o) I believe they’re a Royal Albert pattern … and very expen$ive!

  10. bonnie ellis says:

    Sheri: You have the gift of writing from the heart and also the gift of photography. Merry Christmas to you and keep on giving the gift of your blog. I wish you could be with us at one of our meetings. Farmgirls meet at my house on Saturday. Blessings to your group from ours. Bonnie


    Hi Bonnie! Thank you for the kind words and for the In-vite…I’d love to meet you and your farmgirl pals. Please wish them all a Merry Christmas from me.

  11. KimberlyD says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family and all your farmgirl friends! I enjoy your blogs and your photos, you are a very good photographer and when I read your blogs its feels like I’m there to! I enjoyed the story about the Legend of the Christmas Rose. It was my first time hearing.

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Shery,
    I hope this finds you well. I would like to thank you, SO much for sharing your gift of words. I love your writings. This one touches the heart so deeply. I would love to visit you and your farmgirl friends in Emmylou. : )
    I have never heard the Christmas Rose story before. It is truly beautiful. Again, thank you for sharing this. I will reread it over and over.
    I hope you and your loved ones have a beautiful, blessed, happy, Merry Christmas.
    Take care.
    Peace & Love,

  13. Cathi Belcher (The Mountain Farmgirl) says:

    Sheri, When I was growing up, a lone solitary Hungarian Partridge found its way to our house out in the middle of practically nowhere. Every day for an entire season it would appear and come within yards of our house, looking in the sliding back doors. It was such a friendly little creature, totally curious and wanting to make friends! At the end of the year he vanished, never to be heard from again, but over the many intervening years I have thought of him often. Thanks for another wonderful post, and for reminding me once again of my long lost feathered friend!


    Thanks for stopping by Sister Cathi :o)  I haven’t checked into it yet, but I’d like to raise some partridges if the eggs/chicks are available…ya know, like some other game birds. I’m smitten. Lots of merry to you & yours in my 2nd favorite state. Theres gotta be a corner of Heaven that Vermont was modeled after ;o)  shery j

  14. yvonne says:

    i just want to say that if life could just be the way you have it for me i would never want any thing again. i love the simple life but dont have it.. i am sure GOD has a plan for me. but i love the way you write and the picture you post thank you for being who you are and writeing how you do.. yvonne


    Dear Yvonne,  Few of us have ‘simple’. Finding quiet in the middle of a noisy life is possible…but not always easy or simple. Hang in there, my friend…because the plan for you is ‘a future of hope’. There was a time in my life that I couldn’t feature hope, much less a future with hope. And then, there it was…enough light to show me the way and always enough hope to keep me going. ‘The way I write’ is the result of hope that I have to lay claim to every day….every day. You go get it girl :o)   shery

  15. cora jo says:

    Shery, A blessed and Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for making my afternoon perk up a bit with Christmas spirit. What a great reminder to us all that we are about to celebrate a birthday of epic size. EmmyLou (also my fav) looks wonder-full! thanks for sharing her with us. cora jo

  16. Brenda says:

    Thank you, it is blessing to read you articles. They always make me feel good. It is also a blessing in the world today that there are people that still praise God. That is one thing about the Farmgirls. I love the simple things in life and I am a farmgirl in my heart all the way.

  17. Cindy Lou Hou says:

    Hi there!I am new to your website!I found it through Sugarpiefarmhouse!Love to read your beautiful message!I too am a farmgirl at heart and will be living the dream on my 26 acres in Idaho!The farmhouse will be built this coming year!A very long time in the making!!!Lots of planning and hard work!Thanks for all the inspirational words of goodness and love. God Bless,Cindy

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