Holidays on the Homestead

Thanksgiving and Christmas

It has been pretty hectic here the last couple of months, and I have really enjoyed the holidays we have been through this first year in our new home.

Christmas came quickly, and I am never totally prepared for it. Besides my immediate family members, I only sent out a few cards with a simple gift of a handmade dish scrubby to some close relatives, I kept one for myself as well.

Festive dish scrubbies!

Lots of Snow!

We have had a white Christmas here, with some big winter snow storms, and snow is still thick on the grassy areas this January 11th. We bought studded snow tires for our car, and a snow blower after the first small snow just in time before the big drops. I even was put up in a Hotel one work night, as it was unsafe to drive home overnight. Here are some pictures.

Our son using the new toy. See the frozen flamingos in the background?
Before the big drops of snow.
Elk hoof prints in the snow.
My husband had fun writing in the snow with the snow shovel.
Beautiful scenery in our area.
The tree at our church.

Now for some interesting news.

I have decided that I will grow elderberries, and make elderberry products in the future. Elderberries (the blue or black ones, not the red) are very good for your immune system, and can help you feel better sooner from the flue, colds, etc… I have ordered 20 elderberry cuttings, 10 cuttings of 2 kinds each, and a food dehydrator. The first year I will cut the flowers off, if any, and just use the flowers, so the plants can build energy in the root system. You can make a tea with the dried flowers, which is good for the immune system.

The book ‘Elderberries’ by Alicia Bayer (2017) on page 66 states that “…elderflowers work well as fever reducers and in supporting the respiratory system and immune system in general.”

It gives the directions for a tea of: “2 heaping teaspoons of dried elderflowers to 1 Cup boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes, strain the flowers out, then add a squeeze of lemon and some honey if desired. DOSAGE: Take three to four times per day at the first sign of symptoms. Children can take half a cup, three to four times a day.”

I’m expecting the cuttings between the end of January, and the middle of February. Elderberries are very easy to root up from cuttings. Many people just stick the cuttings in water or soil, keeping warm and moist. I am going to use a rooting hormone compound, just for a little insurance of better rooting.

After they root up, and put out some leaves, I will take a week to harden them off, which just means to slowly get them used to being outside. Then I am planning to plant them as a hedge between us and the neighbors to our north. Eventually, I am going to sell products from the elderberries.

Emotional Strength:

It’s easy to be anxious in these times. Here are some Bible verses to give us strength.

“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7

“I want you to be free from anxieties” 1 Corinthians 7:32

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels not demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans *:38-39

That’s all for now. Keep on doing the good work God has preordained you to do!


Published by Grandma

I have a certificate in horticulture, and am a master gardener with my county extension agency. I also spin yarn from fiber, knit, crochet, sew, and cross stitch, as well as cook, bake, and preserve foods using freezing, canning, and pickling methods.

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