Happy Homestead-y Holidays

As promised, here’s my Dec. 24th last-minutes postings.  Some of you, if you’ve missed this past month’s postings, may not appreciate some of the jokes/limericks/verses, but you can always refer back because I know so many of you have TIME!

Dec. 24th  – The first book I ‘read’, when I was 3 (mostly memorized and pretending to read, I expect!) was ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, which tonight is – so it’s fitting I write in verse as follows:


Early in the morning, Looking ‘slightly worse for wear’, The old farts traipse downstairs, To heat the house with care .  That same fire’s been a-burnin’, For many weeks on end, Should we toss in notes to Santa, As that’s the best way for them to ‘send’?


How sweet that this poinsetta, Is wrapped in burlap sack, As that’s what Julie’s business is, “Rustic Revivals” kept on track… For Christmas eve deliveries, we received this full of charm, from the realtor in Grand Falls, Who sold us our dream farm!


The reds go with our kitchen blues, and tie in with all fabric checked. They sit proudly on the old scales; the halls are all now firmly ‘decked’!


The gingerbread made weeks ago, then frozen so they’d keep, Have now been thawed and frosted, The benefits now to reap:


And who’s the first to reap them? Richard’s caught stealing a bright pink star, These pink ones dyed with beetroot juice,  “All Natural” as we now are…  That chair in which the old fart sits, bald head ne’er cold in cap? That was just completely fixed as a gift- but it doesn’t ‘wrap’?  Richard worked so hard on it, and sourced out spindles, e’en, to match, And now it’s strong for company, and on the floor it doesn’t scratch!

Other deckings we have done, To bring Ma Nature in, We’ve added brush and berries to a mug, and cut some tin, to hold the branches sturdy, and on the cookstove cold, we’ve added sumach also, as it’s red and ‘berry bold’!


Richard’s helped to clean the house, as it’s his family that are coming.  While upstairs, Mother/Joy cleans too, we can hear her vacuum drumming!



While Richard goes for one last ski, with his second-hand pole and boot, Julie runs through carols she once played with cousins’ flute.



We aren’t getting dressed today, As for midnight ‘mass’ tonight, We have to dress up prettily, and sing in church – it’s RIGHT.  Because the reason for the season, is what it’s all about, but first we’ll go to neighbours’, and eat more food, no doubt!

The table’s ready for tomorrow,  with birchbark name cards matched-up, with the Victorian mantelpiece you saw before, ready for our Christmas sup.  The lovely ‘antique’ centrepiece, as I have posted prior, Is Grandma Johnson’s NOEL set, for candles, and hung higher:

the angel food cake tin, all hole-punched, to make an o’erhead light, with added wire wound about, posted last fall at our Thanksgiving lunch.  This is a Rustic Revivals original, made for several different tables, and I always decorate per season, this one with nativity’s stables!

Stables are important, because of Christ’s birth, not the least. They’re also personal to me, as I’m often found in one, with beasts:


Horses became my life, one Christmas when I was two, “Mommie, Mommie Horsey Cold” was my first sentence, see – it’s true!  And since I became a young adult, when graduating high school, I’ve collected all many of ornaments , equine donkey, horse, or mule:


The first one I collected, Hallmark-dated ’83, Matched my first pony Silver, so ’twas like I’d put him on my tree!  To the right is the little guy, trained to pull red sleigh, with Christmas gifts for family, one 1978 winter’s day…



Strangely enough, the year I passed my Riding Instructor’s exam, I rode my Palomino for it- he made me what I am!  And that very year, ole Hallmark, puts a palomino out for sale! How fabulous for me – just look at that white mane and tale!


Such a great way for memories, to go with my dated ‘rides’ ; whatever colour horse I rode, Hallmark’s horses coincides!  In 1991, my buckskin took me provincially, to championships so high, and now there he hangs upon my tree!

Other horse ornaments are special, too – I love to see them once a year. I have some from ’round the world, brought by my mother and friends so dear.  Here’s a nesting doll from Russia, and another from Ukraine – but it isn’t just the horses that on our tree are lain.

As Mom is a musician, and so is sister Jen, pianos, harps and trumpets combine with violin, and while some homesteaders simplify with strings of berry and popcorn, my Mother’s made decor from, strips of fabric that she’s torn – the red and green are circles starched together and then glued, the ivory trim at back is from a neighbour’s stash, accrued.

Yes, as you see below – music and fabric were Joy’s life. Like any good homesteader, she sewed and cooked as a housewife. But also, there was music, and every Christmas eve, we’d put on her homemade garments that she would sew or weave, and Jen would play or we would sing, and puppet play for family fun, then we’d fondue and enjoy the magic. Twas indeed a Christmas – Home-spun!

Jennifer bows after violin hymn, Julie accompanies Jen on piano as they sing Christmas carols, then on to the fondue with the  Johnson grandparents – Joy is top left, Julie below her.  (in pantsuit- ‘don’t sew me a dress- I won’t wear it!)

And Richard’s not forgotten – his German Dad would be so proud – we always like homemade, so these are perfectly allowed: a wooden nutcracker stands before a wasteland that is frozen – and this natural corn-husk doll displays his lederhosen!

Richard and his brother John, were both so cute when young – here they are as little Germans, on which their outfits closely hung!

Richard’s in the red, the freaky ‘ghost’ you saw at Halloween. Jean-Marc’s the sweet and shy one, in the lederhosen green.

There’s also quite a few to tell the story of “Rich-with-Jewels”.  The corn-husk angel sports a hat that makes her look a fool! She wasn’t really wearing it, it’s just hung above her hair, and represents when Richard came to my tack store on a dare.  The other is of cardinals, and this one makes us GRIN. It represents how we’ve lived together in what’s called “Cardinal Sin!”


So, there’s the tree in all its glory. We cut it from the side, of a New Brunswick wintry back-road, and I never even cried!  I usually do, because I never like to cut a tree. But this one was crowding out two others, so in a way, we set THEM free!

And one last thing to keep life simple – besides the mason jars of homemade goods, and all the sewing, weaving, woodcraft, that are our gifts, here in the woods – a neighbour boy who’s grateful for the friendship we have given, cut up a bunch of kindling and tied it with a ribbon. And that’s the greatest gift of all, so make yourselves quite merried, by enjoying HOMEMADE, SPECIAL THINGS – they are as precious as they are varied!


We’ll let Smitty have the last word, ’cause Christmas is for JOY – And this dog always has a ball, E’en when he’s been a naughty boy!





4 thoughts on “Happy Homestead-y Holidays

  1. What a good read, before we trek out to early service. Thanks for sharing. Will be remembering you as a fellow alto, Richard as a tenor and Joy as an appreciative audience, at Christmas Services in Carlisle!
    Mary and Dave

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Mary and Dave. Hope you had a lovely service. We thought about you all the last few hours… just WAIT ’til you hear what happened in the middle of our service! More hilarity re: the “choir” … will tell all after Christmas. Much love, Julie and Richard


  2. Merry Christmas Julie and Richard

    Enjoyed your blog this morning. I’m sure you had a fabulous day with family. Such fun. I can’t bet over all you get done! You Guys are having such a good time.

    All the best for 2017.


    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Marilyn – hope you and G had a lovely holiday with loved ones as well! Thanks for supporting and reading! Hugs to all in alto-land, and those ‘below’ and ‘above’ ! j


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