I’m looking forward to the holidays and enjoying some time outdoors. (Corey Bullock file)

I’m looking forward to the holidays and enjoying some time outdoors. (Corey Bullock file)

Farm life: Things slowing down, and looking up

December is here, the weather is fantastic and things are looking up. I think we can all agree that there is a glimmer of hope knowing that the holiday season is approaching, a covid vaccine is on the horizon and ultimately – 2020 is nearly over.

November was a very busy month. Between battening up the proverbial hatches on the farm for winter, ensuring all of my gifts were purchased and sent off to family members, procuring firewood and being busy at work, the month flew by.

I’m truly looking forward to the holidays and some time to slow down. E and I are taking a few days off of work at the end of the month just to rest and re-charge. We typically have family come visit but since that won’t be possible we are going to embrace the quiet time together. We plan on baking, cooking, taking the dogs for long walks, spending time outdoors, having campfires in the backyard, sitting by the cozy wood stove, and playing vinyl records.

Here are some of the things that I enjoyed in November:

Reading: At the beginning of November I finally got a library card. I so love going to the library to pick out books. I have always enjoyed the experience. There’s a smell and a feel to libraries. It’s comforting. As soon as I walk in the door, there’s a smile on my face. I feel calm. It’s a place filled with imagination, learning and brilliant writing. The two books I took out were ‘A Spark of Light’ by Jodi Picoult (which took me a while to get into) and ‘I’ll be Gone in the Dark’ by Michelle McNamara.

Also, if you are a fan of my column, you may be interested to know that I also write a personal blog. Head over to www.welcometomysparetime.com if you’d like to read more of my musings.

Listening to: I recently came across a musician named Nubya Garcia. She was featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk at home series with her band. Garcia is a British jazz musician. If you’re a fan of the saxophone, give her and the band a listen.

Now that December has arrived, it’s totally appropriate to switch gears to Christmas music, right? Two of my favourite songs are Bruce Springsteen’s version of ‘Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town’ and ‘So This is Christmas’ by John Lennon. Also, if you’re looking for a fantastic Christmas album, may I introduce you to John Legend’s ‘A Legendary Christmas’.

Watching: I haven’t had much time for T.V., but one series I’ve really enjoyed recently is ‘The Undoing’ with Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant and Donald Sutherland. I look forward to the end of each week, when a new episode comes out.

During our time off, E and I will likely watch a few holiday movies. My favourites include ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, ‘Home Alone’, ‘The Grinch’ and ‘Christmas With The Cranks’. Oh, and ‘Elf’. We mustn’t forget Elf! Last year we got to watch Elf at the Wild Horse Theatre in Fort Steele Heritage Town and it was magical. What are your favourite holiday movies?

Making: This will be the second year in a row that my family participates in a low-waste secret Santa gift exchange. The rules are: we either have to make what we give, or find something second-hand/thrifted. I love this gift exchange and I truly look forward to it. I can’t tell you what I made, because the recipient may read this, but I can tell you it feels good to put thought and effort into a gift.

I’ve also been shopping local as much as possible. It’s so important to support our amazing community right now, and we have some seriously talented people living in the area. Don your mask, head out to the shops, and support local!

Wishing you all a very merry December. I hope this month is cozy and calm for you and that you, too, get to enjoy some time to slow down and savour the little things.