So with the holidays approaching, I am also approaching the close of my shemitah year in the vegetable garden...a year I took off not so much because the land needed a rest, but because the farmer did. Oh, I grew a few things here and there, but nothing like I normally do. I grew flowers and decorative corn for fun, put in a couple of no maintenance squash plants and some cucumbers in and around the corn (since they required little care and I needed to can relish). Since I was growing vegetables at work, I still got to get my hands dirty, but it was nice to come home and not have to worry about what was going on in my own plot of land.
But I'm looking forward to a full planting here on the homestead this spring and summer. I have to admit, the down time seems to have been good for the soil, it's healthy, it's been amended with plenty of compost from the chicken and yard waste and is just waiting for spring crops.
But now is not the time for that. Now is the time to decorate around the house for the holidays. I'm not sure, but I think I've taken a shemitah year or two away from holiday decorating too, from time to time. There have been a few years recently when I just wanted to minimize the hassle, and I was afraid it was the start of a new, downsized trend.
The great thing about taking a shemitah year in anything is that it comes and you get a rest. Then it ends and you get to start up again. It's funny how the chores that seem onerous when you have to do them year after year become pleasurable to think about once you've taken a year away from them.
Anyway, this year, thanks to watching too many Hallmark movies and having some cold seasonal weather (low last night of 26 degrees!), I've been on a bit of a decorating binge. I bought a new, thin "pencil" tree for use in our dining room and did the big tree in the library in red and green, which is much harder to do than just stringing normal lights but is definitely worth the effort. I even put some garland over the range hood.
And outside we have Bruce the Blue Spruce, who is decorated in his Chanukah finest. We're nothing if not holiday-confused around here, but it works. I always say I celebrate all gift-giving holidays, so why not?
Enjoy the pics.