Two years ago, when one of Emma's favorite farm cats was killed, my uncle's first words to her were, "Emma, life on the farm is tough." This summer when one of our guineas"disappeared", again his words to her, "Emma, life in the country is tough."
And so this afternoon when I looked out from the upstairs window and saw a large red-tailed hawk sitting in the juvenile oak tree in our backyard, staring at my five clueless guineas scratching in the flowerbeds below him, those words started playing on a loop in the back of my head.
But, I didn't let it stop my attempts to save my poor guineas from a traumatic attack or even death. I called for the dog and flew down the steps and out the door, ripping the scarf from around my neck, flinging it over my head and making all kinds of growly, intimidating shooo-you-big-mean-red-tailed-hawk kinds of noises as I came busting out the front door.
And then he jumped…in a downward swoop towards my guineas. It was like slow-motion. And if it hadn't been for my trusty dog, who was 20 feet ahead of me, heading out towards the field, I think we would have lost one.
Life on the farm is tough. But you better believe I'm going to do everything in my power to keep my little outdoor brood from harm. Phew.
Now if they'd just stay off the road, I might be able to relax a little more. I've come to get used to a car passing by the house, hearing it slow down, honk it's horn and then carry on. And peeking out the window I see the guineas and the rooster casually walking from the roadside, business as usual.
Moving on to less traumatic thoughts, I'm really excited about having our first Christmas here in the Thomas Run house. I haven't decorated a house for Christmas since we were living in Wisconsin three years ago. And even more exciting is that this house is so much more, "me", closer to my true style, not the Victorian, "closest thing I could find to east coast charm in Wisconsin" house that we used to live in.
My favorite way to decorate, especially on a budget, is with lots of natural materials–greens, dried flowers and seed pods, holly berries. Baskets, fabric, candles in the windows…oh, don't get me started.
Here are few pages from this month's issue of Country Living that I clipped (tore wildly) from the magazine, full of inspiration: