(Photo - my friend Belinda made the Santa pillow on the bunkhouse shelf.)
I started the fireplace going yesterday afternoon. In the bunkhouse I took down a Tony Hillerman book with Jim Chee stories to read by the fire, with a cup of coffee with a little Bailey's Caramel added. I had read it, of course, but it has been a long time. Hillerman was the first author to instill in me some knowledge and a love of the Four Corners area. When Sarah was a senior in high school some years ago we went on a vacation there. Sarah called it the Hillerman tour. I kept seeing the places Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn lived and worked. Shiprock, Canyon de Chelly, Turquoise Mountain, Window Rock, Crownpoint. We made the rough drive out to Chaco Canyon and then on to Mesa Verde. It was beautiful.
(Photo - my sister Kathy gave me the Christmas longhorn on the mantel above.)
Outside the back porch the little pine siskins were hopping around on the frozen water in the star shaped birdbath I have there. I added some warm water to it for them. My 5 year old great-grandson Anthony made me some pine cone feeders, with help from his Nana Lisa, and I had hung them on the sign above the birdbath. The pine siskins have eaten one already.
Rickie had done some winterizing this weekend so we were ready for the freezing weather. Our main worry is always the water lines. We have them all over the place; to the garden, the water tanks, the bunkhouse, the cabin, and of course, the pumphouse where they all originate. After we had 5 water line breaks one year on the water tank lines, Rickie made some modifications and added some valves so we can drain the lines there.
My friend Martha and I went on a Christmas homes tour in our county a week ago. We saw some beautiful houses and a little tiny chapel in a community called Ivy. The Library Club, the sponsors of the tour, had the chapel decorated and served refreshments there. It is a beautiful place with a lot of history. It has been a schoolhouse and a chapel and a gathering place since the late 1800s.
This summer I added a mobile device to make a hotspot at the cabin. You have to be on the porch where there is a clear line back to the tower to get a 4G signal so you can have internet access. With the freezing weather I didn't want to leave the device on the back porch. So I found that it would work in the bathroom window and now it has a new home.
(Photo - the curtain hides our water heater and supplies. The little ceramic Santa in the window was a gift, made many years ago by my friend Debbie.)
(Photo - I made the sheep pillow; it has a hooked wool top I made years ago. The Santa pillow and the Cabin pillow were gifts from friends.)
The cold weather, the fireplace, the Chrismasy things I love, a pot of beans on the stove and a good book. In this place, at this moment, right here and now, life is good. As Augustus McCrae said, "The only healthy way to live is to learn to like all the little everyday things, like a sip of good whiskey in the evening, a soft bed, a glass of buttermilk, or a feisty gentleman like myself."