Dear Santa

Dear Santa,
As always I hope  that you and Mrs. Claus are in good health. I pray that you are able to stay warm in this age of expensive oil and that your elves are getting needed rest in this too-busy season. I am looking forward to your yearly visit. This year my list moves from simple things to  one rather expensive item I have coveted for several years.

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Once again, I would love bags of well-aged manure.  Last year I mentioned that because I live in the country, I thought that if your rounds could be timed carefully, perhaps your reindeer could make a “direct deposit”. I even enclosed a picture of the blue tarp that I had  ready for their use.  Although you could not make that happen last year I have high hopes that this year things will “work out” in a timely way. Please be aware that I am an organic gardener and that if Rudolph, with that questionable Nose so Red, is in any way not organic, than he will have to move off to the field to the south. FYI: Although I did not find a “load” on my tarp last Christmas Day you somehow seem to have arranged things – a few days after Christmas I accidentally ran into a friend in town and she offered us a truckload of sheep manure!! You are the  best!

During a fall visit to Greg’s brother David’s new home, we took a walk around the neighborhood and visited a neighbor’s beautiful backyard garden. She had several bottle trees that inspired me. bottle tree 4 400

OMGoodness – they were such a pretty feature of her garden! I want one! I have started to collect bottles for my own bottle tree but I need many more blue bottles.  I thought perhaps you might know where to find the needed bottles and leave a box or two of them under the tree.

For a long time I have envisioned a focal point, looking straight out the northern gate of the vegetable garden, standing against the woods.  I have thought and thought about just what that focal point might be. When I saw the bottle trees in this garden, I knew immediately that I found the perfect piece of art.

I have started collecting bottles – as you can see in this picture. So far this is the extent of what I been able to get my hands on. My favorite, by far, are the blue bottles. I just know that one of your elves knows where to find blue bottles!

bottle tree start 400Santa, you might  have one of your elves check out this bottle tree site. It is written by Felder Rushing and just scrolling through the pictures will help you understand my passion for this form of art. Keep scrolling down until you get to his collection of pictures, they are inspiring.

Of course, I am already planning our 2014 vegetable garden. One thing I cannot seem to get enough of is floating row cover. I use it to stretch my gardening year in the spring and fall.

row cover tunnel 400

This fabric can be easily cut to size and thrown over crops to protect them from cold temperatures. I also make hoops out of no. 9 wire, cut  64 inches long and poked into the ground, for tunnels. I start early crops in these tunnels. Santa, please be aware that row cover comes two ways. One type is for frost protection and one type acts as an insect barrier. I need the insulating type. FYI: Territorial Seed Company catalog sells row cover. this is how I use row cover in my garden:

I have started to organize my seed lists using the catalogs as they show up in the mailbox. Sadly, my wish lists ALWAYS exceed the reality of my budget. So . . . a gift certificate to Territorial Seed (see the link above) would make my seed dreams come true.

boots 400

My Santa lists are always practical and frugal. This year I am going into new territory. I have been looking for new garden boots. I want them to reach my knees, keep my feet warm, my pants mud free, and last a looong time.  I have decided that, instead of buying inexpensive boots – again,  I would rather find boots that can stand up to the daily wear and tear of heavy use. I would be so happy if you could find a pair of Le Chameau Vierzonard  boots, size 7/ 8 in RED. I have had a picture of these boots pinned up in my study for several years. So . . I thought that this just might be the year to ask for them.  Here are more pictures and a description of the boots.

Well, that about does it. I cannot imagine how difficult these last days before Christmas Eve must be for you and your elves. We will leave a plate homemade cookies and a cold glass of milk on the dining room table and several buckets of corn by the blue tarp in the driveway.  We wish you safe travels and the JOY of the season.

it was a cold winters night 400

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

From the looks of ZuZu and Gracie Mae the mice could be winning! Merry Christmas to all!

Fran       The Country Cousin

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4 comments to Dear Santa, I Still Believe!!

  • Debbie Venus-Fenrich

    Merry Christmas to you and hubby! I hope you get your boots, they look lovely. The bottle tree is so cool! I hope Santa brings you a boat-load!
    I have to share this simple and easy recipe I recently found. It is easy since you have your new woodstove going. Just slice thick (at least 1″) slices of cabbage, lay them in a cast iron fry pan with lid. Lightly coat with olive oil (both sides), sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook on each side for 30 minutes. Flip one time and cook the other side for 30 minutes. It turns lightly brown on the edges and is so tender. I used red cabbage and it is just as good. Enjoy! Your kitty has the ticket! LOL Comfy!

    • Thanks for the recipe. I just finished a roaster full of stuffed cabbage and have cabbage leftover. I think I will try it – I love cabbage and your recipe sound sooo good. WE hope you have a wonderful holiday and are excited about the new year.
      Yesterday we had to dismantle one of our good sized wood piles to rescue a hen that had some somehow gotten herself tightly wedged between a fence post and the wood pile. What a job – after dark yet. She seems fine and is back in the coop safe and sound.
      Fran

  • Debbie Venus-Fenrich

    Chickens are just too weird sometimes! Glad she is OK. Wondering how your girls made it through the cold weather? With a little Vaseline on their combs and waddles, mine made it through without frostbite! Turkeys too! But my poor Sweet Pea (turkey hen) decided to molt!!! Yikes! What a bad time to do so!! I hope they grow back fast! Silly turkey. Oh glad to pass on a recipe you might enjoy. They are so good!

    • The coop inhabitants are out and about today. Everyone weathered the cold. We don’t normally heat the coop because we know the hens have to acclimate to the cold. The coop is well-insulated and fairly weather tight so they are comfortable on cold nights. But – – – when we had two nights of way below zero cold and high winds, we plugged in a safe oil heater for the night. We left the heater in the walkway of the house – not in the room with the hens. They were fine and are still laying for us. We see no damaged combs and everyone seems calm and happy..

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