The Big Cover Up   8 comments

Our first dusting of snow for the 2011/12 autumn/winter season. It wasn’t forecast and it came early in the morning departing later that same morning. The beauty was in the light cover and the quick leaving. We are enjoying the ‘moderate’ weather and the wonderful lack of deluge rains that we have had the past two autumns. No Mississippi mud flats for us thus far. A joyous, thankfulness that after the initial frost in the early morning I can get about in my sport Crocs and maintain dry socks. These are the indicators of a good autumn in my ‘book.’

If you look closely at the chrysanthemum plant you can see a sprinkle of snow on their leaves. These flowers are another source of joy for me. Here we are deep into November and flowers are still blooming. When I lived in Oregon often I would still have roses blooming in December but to have them still available in November in this place of the long cold autumn/winter is for me a miracle. Such joy to pick and place in the chapel a little bouquet for the altar. We have a heater now in the chapel allowing us to continue our morning devotions there.

Not only do we have heat but also light.We picked up a pair of these lamps earlier this autumn for an amazing price they were actually two for one. The other one is in the porch room and with the greatly shortened daylight these lamps are beyond value. The chapel is so warm and cozy and we hope to keep having our morning devotions and prayer time throughout the winter.

Speaking of cozy, when we look out the chapel window toward our house we can see the smoke rising from the chimney in graceful swirls. We are learning the methods that keep the home fires burning during the night and when we are away. The secret is large chunks of dense wood like oak and keeping the stove dampers shut providing low oxygen and the chimney damper barely open. Also never, never buy paraffin fire starters, they smell, they smoke and are totally inefficient.

Now the news from the farm proper.

 Oh the indignities of being a sheep and needing your bum end tidied. Ian is a good shepherd and likes his animals looking nice and being well looked after. So hand blades to the ready he kept the sheep in over night and before I went to Madona for a haircut he gave the flock a bum trim. Just so the whole family is tidy, I gave Ian a haircut last evening. Now we are all ‘pretty.’

Ian has been watching the flock to see indications of forthcoming lambs and some of the girls are looking to be with ‘child.’


Here are the rest of the flock waiting their turn and not without trepidation as is normal for sheep. Can you spot the ram? Now where are the goats you may be wondering?









They are in their pen, next to the sheep. The kids, of course, climbing and wrecking their hay rack. Both the sheep and the goats are enjoying extra pasture that our neighbors, Nina and Uldis have offered us at the back of their land that runs parallel to ours. They offered it to us earlier in the year but with the longer moderate autumn we really needed it. Of course we always have the language barrier but God provided. Another neighbor, Andris came for a visit, home from University in Riga. He was most willingly to go with Ian and ask about using the pasture land that had been offered. Labi, labi, labi was the response, meaning good, good, good.  The exchange took place on Saturday, Sunday Ian completed fencing the area with a break to take Andris to the bus station in the next village. We are always glad to help by providing transport for our neighbors. In addition to helping us with the language Andris will set up refuse collection with the village council when he comes home in 2 weeks. He and his mom have this service and is glad to set it up for us. Now we can get rid of cans, bottles and rubbish easily when we get this in place. That is a big praise and one less irritation of Latvian life. We wish we had recycling locally but it does not exist, so this will be the next best thing to get it off our land.

This past Monday saw Ian walking the newly fenced pasture, checking the fence while I started down the field toward our evergreen trees to pick out our Christmas tree. He joined me at the edge of our big ditch and we walked along its edge assessing the trees as we went. I had my eye on one particular one that I could see from the house and it turned out to be the very one.

The picture is blurry but that little one on the right is now marked to be our Christmas tree. We have decided just where it will stand in all its glory. Hoping we can locate the tree stand sometime soon. Ian must go up into our roof storage and move the decoration boxes to the front along with locating an unused box of outdoor lights to put on the chapel.


Actually, a bit of decorating has already begun. These were a recent purchase and needed to be stored, so they are already on display instead of storing them away. Some other ones may find their way into the homes of friends for the Christmas season. Though we have a Celtic Christmas Cd in the car I am resisting putting Christmas music on the music center in the house. I will wait until November 24th, the American Thanksgiving to start the Christmas music. I am planning to make up the one remaining can of pumpkin into a pie to celebrate the day.



Now for the Big Cover Up.

This is for my son, Keith. He saw a picture on Facebook of the snow fall and our old red tractor without cover over it. He always lets us know that we should cover her properly for the cold weather. Ian has grouped the various farm equipment implements and the old red tractor together covering and securing them against wind/weather.


Ian recently harrowed all our pasture land against the encroachment of moss and enjoyed the job having a cab on the green tractor protecting him against the wind and rain showers.

We have been embracing a spirit of thankfulness and rejoicing over God’s protection as we continue to live out the gospel here on our little plot of land. The spiritual warfare continues but faith triumphs over fear because we worship the One True God and His Son, Jesus Christ. We see His presence in very real ways on a daily basis. We are not perfect but His perfect love radiates warmly over our lives.



8 responses to “The Big Cover Up

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  1. Our weather here in Ohio seems to be much like yours this season. We’ve had mild temps so far, but to be sure, we’ve already had a good frost so our growing season is over. The gardens are taking their long winter nap. I always enjoy reading your blog. Keep the news and notes of your days there coming. Many blessings to you! Will you be cooking turkey for Thanksgiving?

  2. Hi Karen, Thanks for reading and commenting on our blog. Our pasture remains green and the chrysanthemums continue hanging on by a thread but most everything else has gone dormant. We have frost most mornings. Probably not doing a real Thanksgiving dinner but turkey on the menu for Christmas. Bless you for following and encouraging us.

  3. This Autumn seems to be mild compared to others, praise God for that. I have so many projects going that require mild weather. Presently I am trying to finish a below grade wall on my barn that collapsed. Presently the barn is sitting on jack posts. I am not finished with the seasons wood. Mostly cut but needs split and moved down to the shed. I am seriously considering a chapel like you have, can really see the benefits of one. Is that a green house in the picture? Can you elaborate on the design and how many months out of the year you can use it? I love your little homestead, it is so similar to mine. Life is good when it is simple. Thanks for keeping us informed. alex….

    Alex Chrapowicki
    • Sounds like we are certainly in similar places Alex. Yes that is a green house. It is one of those strong plastic kit houses. We use ours from about April to October with the addition of a thermostatic heater, during the colder times. We grow our tomatoes in the ground within the greenhouse and start our seeds cost the equivalent of $360 and as I said came complete as a kit from a Depot store, like Home Depot in America. It isn’t very big but is fine for us.It is about 6′ X 9′ and Ian has built a bench on one side for working and holding seed trays. Would love to see pictures of your homestead. I hope you do build a chapel, it really sets the land apart as belonging to God. Blessings, Kathleen and Ian

  4. Thank you for the lovely pictures and updates on your life. So thankful for simple blessings like lamps, flowers and gorgeous sunsets. His grace is truly all around us.
    You are loved!

  5. = )

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