I got some really great Christmas gifts this year. By and large they were modest, but they were perfect for me, and I'm just wild about all of them. Dearest husband gave me a tricked-out garden seeder that digs a trench, drops seed, covers it and marks the next row for me, all as I walk along behind it. I don't have pictures of it since it's still in the box, and I won't get to use it for awhile yet. I do plan to supply some pictures of it in action as well as a review. It came from Lehman's, and I have coveted it for some time. I have a pretty sizable garden plot now - bending over to hand-plant each seed? I think not.
There are a couple of items, however, that I do have pictures of, and they might be the two most interesting gifts I've ever received. I was gifted this year with a copy of The National Geographic magazine, dated December 1925. The advertisements alone are worth it, and there is a roughly 120 page story on...cattle. Coolest. Thing. Ever. Check it out:
Okay, so it might not be THE coolest thing ever. But if it isn't, then this is:
Many moons ago - probably a year ago or more - I saw an article in a magazine about how to knit a rug out of second-hand wool sweaters. The idea is to collect unwanted sweaters from thrift stores, garage sales, your closet, wherever, and cut them into wide strips. You then use very large needles to knit these strips into a small area rug. My mother is an accomplished knitter and I thought at the time that this seemed like a project she might enjoy. I tore the pages out of the magazine, stuck them...I don't know, somewhere, and promptly forgot all about it. Six months ago when I was packing to move, I found this article and actually put it aside where I'd find it again. I finally remembered to give it to her at Thanksgiving. So, this article had been swimming around in my possession for easily a year or more before I finally gave it to her.
Guess what I opened at her house on Christmas Eve? She spent the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas making this rug for my husband and I, and I couldn't believe it! It is my understanding that there was a considerable amount of cursing involved. Evidently the wide strips of wool are hard to work with, and even before that she had problems locating enough wool sweaters to complete the project - we do live in Texas, after all. Not much call for wool sweaters here. She managed to pull it off, though, and I must say it looks (and feels) amazing. It still needs to be blocked, but we'll do that ourselves. Here's a picture showing some detail:
So, kudos to my Mom for slogging through what turned out to be a truly inspired gift!
On an unrelated note, I plan to start a new series of posts next month. I will be chronicling a year on the farm, beginning in January of 2009. I'll put up a post at the end of each month serving as a sort of diary of things that happened here in that month. I hope it will be interesting to others, and at the very least I think it will be interesting to me. I hope to read over it again this time next year and get a good sense of what we've accomplished and how far we've come. There will still be regular postings as always, too (intermittent though they may be) to keep you entertained. ;-)