Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas Tale...Dec 2011

Years ago and actually to this day I was and am a huge fan of the TV show, Northern Exposure.  It was more than a TV show to me-  it seemed perhaps to portray to me the most ideal town and life I could ever dream to live in.  Rural, outback, hick, wilderness, small community, a well balanced brew of intellectual and simple, interesting people from all walks of life who enjoy the isolation of living where they live with whom they live with.   I actually bummed around Alaska one summer thinking I would find it there, but little did I know it was closer to home than I thought...

Just the other day I awoke to thee first major snowfall of any accumulation here in southwest Wisconsin.  Tree branches bowed with white thick snow!  A good 5 inches on the ground.  Unlike most grown adults, I LOVE the snow and have been impatiently waiting and almost manically depressed about the lack of snow this December.   Alas!  Here it is.  So with the last sip of morning coffee,  I clipped on my cross country skiis and off we went over hill and dale, and barbed wire fence, avoiding the cornstalks and frozen clumps of black earth pertruding out from the pure crystallized blanket of white.   My dog, Daisy in the lead as always, scouted out the route ahead.  I was just out of my mind with exhileration and awe taking in the beauty, the cool air in my lungs, the sun on my face...I was muttering to myself, as I often do out here, of the quality of the flat, smooth and slick field in which I was skiing, "Wow, these soy beans kick ass!"  I believe were my actual words when I actually caught the eye of a man doning a big fur hat and a shot gun pointed up to the sky, quietly gazing out of the briars along the bottom of the hill.  I quickly realized this was my neighbor, as the crow flies half a mile or so east.  His name is Bill and he is a retired baptist minister who loves to hunt and eat and can just about anything he can get his hands on.  I very much surprised to see anyone at all, and said, "oh, hello!"  Bill remarked, "Seen any rabbits?"  "No, I haven't" I said, still whizzing along through the fresh powder.  "No tracks either." he muttered.  "Beautiful snow!" I said. "Yes it is." he smiled.   How crazy to see anyone out here, I thought!  A year ago I came out from our rental house in town just about everyday, strapped on our brand new baby underneath layers of thermalwear and not once had I seen a soul.  Now actually living at our residence out of town in the country, I was happy to know, oh that's just Bill hunting rabbits. ( If you are also a Northern Exposure fan you can take a guess what character he might be.)  I guess I had this grand realization this is home now.  This is my town and these are my people. It is simply and absolutely a dream come true. 

With this little warm winter's tale I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ahead. 

From Gratiot House Farm this is the Farm Coordinator signing off.  May your days be merry and bright.

Chris, Heather and Duncan

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Kitchen Island made from old oak

The 4x8 kitchen island was made from salvaged oak planks found underneath an old corn crib at my Aunt Mary's old farm. Chris and his dad planed down the wood. We left as much character as possible- worm holes and knots. Held tight by steel rods and wood glue; it took lots of sanding and some wood filler.
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Our first snow of the year to play in!

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Our head carpenter unloads some choice wood for winter projects

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