Friday, January 7, 2011

The Farm in Winter

{Christmas at Home}

Snow, Swedish mittens, Carhartt suits.

Christmas candles made from beeswax from our friend's Rhode Island hives.

Bacon, heavenly, salty bacon, and a mug from Joshua Tree potter Andy Tellford.

Bluebird box, home to mice in winter. (I checked.)

A blustery sunrise = billowy Biscuit bloomers.

Paterfamilias, suited up for chopping wood, plowing snow.

The littlest sister on the wood-splitter: sassafras, apple, cedar and elm.

Banter, wine and beer over a post-Christmas meal of salmon and asparagus.

A respectable collection of rakes, shovels, post-hole diggers and whatsits.

Black ice, splayed toes.

A Christmas treat.

The Middle Sisters take old Lemon out for a spin. Lemon, who is three decades old.

A treasure brought back from Rajasthan. Owl? Otter? Mermaid-Bear?

The San Francisco sister gets corgied. Left, Biscuit. Right, Dyna.

One week ago: The farm, population seven. Currently: Calcutta, population 15 million. (We're in Calcutta/Kolkata for a few days, but more on that later.)

Going home for Christmas was a glorious mid-chapter break from our India saga. When they saw us Biscuit and Dolly went nuts with whimpers and smothering kisses, and there may or may not have been tears of dog-joy. The sisters and I brewed pot after pot of coffee, devoured an entire slab of our family friend's honeycomb on buttered sourdough, and my little sis and I chopped a lotta wood. P. made his killer scrambled eggs (sauteed onions and cherry tomats, a fistful of chopped herbs, a bit of cream and grated farmhouse cheese) and we sisters did an equally killer job making it disappear. My parents brimmed with happiness to have the nest full, the house boisterous, if only for a week. And I was happy to stoke fires and stay up late with sisters, play George Winston's scratched December album on repeat and chase dogs in snow; I was happy to be *home.* 


  1. i love it. oh love that kinda of some and crsp air and snow. what a treat to go home and what a contrast of places. may this year be magical!

  2. honeycomb! honeycomb! me want honeycomb!

  3. Your description of P's perfect scrambled eggs and you having treasured time with your sisters brought tears to my eyes. THAT is the true spirit of Christmas

  4. That honeycomb on sourdough looks AMAZING. Your life inspires me.

  5. Always such lovely stories Lily. Glad your travels were safe and secure, home will always be just that, home. We had a crazy snowstorm here in the high desert, made it look like New Jersey farmstead for a minute. Pappy and Harriet's is still there standing, waiting for the next generation of high jinxs. I love a full dressed overflowing table with beeswax candles. Happy New Year to you, and yours.

  6. ahhhh! i love that apron on p! and i love the lemon pic too - that ole' pony! and the picture of bad biscuits bottom is the cheese. LOVE YOU! the usa was happy to have you home even for a week. xo

  7. Beautiful! Sounds like all of the things that make coming home so magical.

  8. I want to come live on the farm. Please.

  9. Gosh Lily. I'm so glad you guys got to do that. Good things do happen in this crazy world.

  10. Oh man do I miss home!! Such a lovely post, La. Miss you buckets.

  11. A 30 year old horse?....! That can still be ridden?.....! WOW!

  12. Just a side note for cheers; I grew up with a Black Welsh Pony named Tony. We used to rip snort through the desert in a fancy leather seated pony cart, that dang little horse would head straight for the Joshuas, only to side step and throw us to the winds. He was good at gymkana, keyhole and pole bending, those crazy turns of his earned blue ribbons, and ahhhs. He also lived past 30. Snuggles and love.

  13. Love this recap!!! What a dreamy way to spend your holiday!!! Hugs and Love! xo!

  14. This makes me wish for a farm even more. I love this.

  15. lily, i really heart your writing and photography

    rachel, come take a visit to the east coast some other time when lily is around

  16. Aw, thanks team. We were SO lucky we got to go back to the States for Christmas. P. spent so many holidays in Iraq that we've really come to treasure our time with our family. Especially if it involves excessive bacon-eating.

    And Ginger, LOVE the story about Bad Tony; sounds quite familiar. My sister cart-broke Lemon when we were kids, and instead of starting by dragging a tire and working her way up to an actual cart, my 9-year-old sis just hitched Lemon up to an old farm cart and said GIT! Lemon bolted and flipped the cart, but by the end of the afternoon she was broke to drive. (I don't know where my parents were during all of this, but I think the entire day went by unchaperoned.)

    And yes, Julia a field trip to the farm for one and all needs to be organized. BLTs for 50?

  17. I love all of these photos...but I'm especially in LOVE with those Swedish Mittens!!!

  18. So gorgeous! And Corgi butts are the cutest ever. And I'm totally trying scrambled eggs with onions next time! We add a bit of cream cheese to fluff ours up. :)


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