Monday, December 26, 2011

Recovering Tranquility

This morning after breakfast, I carried my parents luggage, gifts, coolers full of food and medication, and my mother's oxygen machine out to their car.  After loading everything up, they headed back home.  Brett left in the pitch dark early hours of the morning for work and the kids are still sound asleep.  It's blissfully quiet in the house.  After my parents' five day visit, the heater is turned off.  My mother has lost a lot of weight and she has difficulty staying warm.  I kept the heater on high and the fire roaring to keep her comfortable.  She also loves listening to Christmas music so it was playing from breakfast to bedtime every day.  For five days.  My mother was very happy sitting in front of the fire, a throw across her lap, listening to Christmas carols, and reading a book.  I managed to sneak away yesterday to the barn for an hour where I washed Jackson's manure stains, and enjoyed the sunshine.  We have had three days of warm weather so it was nice to be outside.  Most of the time, though, I was in the kitchen.

I cooked three Christmas dinners.  Friday, we celebrated with my brother and his family.  Christmas Eve I made a turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, balsamic and brown sugar glazed sweet potatoes and homemade rolls.  Christmas Day we had eight people (Brett and I, Kyle and Camille, my parents, Brett's son and his girlfriend).  I made a loaf of crusty Italian bread, prime rib, roasted potatoes, au jus, and sauteed spinach.

I am wiped.  Absolutely wiped.

My mother, who left her farming relatives far behind when she married my father -- and never looked back, thinks the gifts that Brett and I exchange are hysterical and odd.  But, hey, we are happy.

I gave Brett a new wheelbarrow and muck boots.

He gave me a pretty plaid flannel work shirt and duct tape for Jackson's feet.

...and a year's supply of savon d'alep.  My friend, Sylvie, who lives in Normandy got me hooked on this olive oil and laurel soap.  I have dry skin and it feels like heaven in the shower.  It smells clean, not heavily perfumed, which I love.  Brett also gave me a variety of French soft ripe cheeses.

Today, I am going to be happily unproductive.  I may nap on the couch.  I will most likely sit with the goats and hang out with Jackson.  I am not going to cook or listen to music.


  1. The best gifts show that you are in tune with one another. My best loved gift ever was a second hand book on rose pruning and a box of fertilizer.

  2. i can only imagine how nice it must feel to regain 'quietness' and non-hustle mode! :)

  3. good, you deserve the rest, well earned for all you had to deal with.

  4. Just got up from a stint on the sofa myself. Sounds like you really outdid yourself Annette - you deserve some quiet time!

    The duct tape totally cracked me up. :) My riding friend Sue, gave me a super-sized bottle of Ibuprofren. At least the duct tape is multi-purpose!!

  5. I'm doing the low-key, laid back, no-cooking day today, too. Sounds like you provided your Mother a restful and wonderful holiday week.
    The kinds of Christmas gifts your hubby and you shared sound perfect to me, too.
    I am a soap lover and have heard of savon d'alep soap, but haven't had the pleasure of trying yet. With our dry air here in New Mexico I know that it would be wonderful.
    What is the best, most affordable and authentic place to purchase?


  6. I get it...

    Isn't it nice to be quiet? Your Christmas Gifts were totally appropriate according to Skoog Farm...and the 3 dinners sounded like we should have been sitting there with you.


  7. That's a lot of cooking. I'd be wiped too. Great gifts. Everyone know you can never have enough Duct tape around a farm. The soap sounds heavenly, I think I'll look for it for myself.

    Enjoy your nap!

  8. What wonderful and usable gifts. My kind of giving (and receiving). How nice your parents got to visit and I am sure your mother appreciated the warmth of the fire and the holiday music. Hope you enjoyed your quiet time and got some rest.


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