Leaving the Chevy Cobalt open to potential chicken attack, we made our way toward Heartrock Farm. Nephew H, and M came out to meet us, closely followed by nieces H&G, and ALV! We were immediately led past the barn, past the chickens, up a hill to meet the newest members of the family: a trio of Icelandic Sheep imported by way of VT just a few months ago. They stood in eerie stillness watching our approach...
We came bearing gifts (apples and grain) that managed to coax them over to us, food overwhelming caution. I learned that these sheep have no top teeth! Because of this, they can't really bite you when you feed them, they just sort of mouth your hand. They also have horizontal pupils (better for sighting predators on the horizon), and super thick, shaggy coats. They are the envy of all the knitters in the surrounding area.
After meeting the sheep, we paid a quick visit to the chickens. There are now 19 of them. I gave Little Ren Hen a little pat on the head. Such soft, smooth feathers! Leaving the animals behind (except for Eli, who seems quite spry for his age), the seven of us hurried into the warm house.
My black wool dress coat was not suitable for sheep/chicken/dog petting, so I left it in the car. The wood stove in the cozy dining room immediately warmed my chilly bones. This is a room I love; a room that feels like the heart of the home. I don't have any pictures of it, so I will do my best to describe.
To the left, a doorway to the living room, framing the Christmas tree, holiday cards decorate the wall to the right of the stairway leading to the second floor. To the right, a low wood-stove works diligently to keep the house toasty. A back window looks out on a side yard, framed by shelves holding various projects and books. The room is dominated by a large, sturdy table, the kitchen can be glimpsed throught the back, right corner doorway.
H went to work on an apple strudel of some kind, using phyllo dough, cinnamon, sugar, yum.... G&H hunkered down to read in the living room, popping in from time to time to say hello and generally check in on all of us.
Still in holiday food recovery mode, I couldn't have been more thrilled with the lunch we had! Soup with escarole and meatballs, grapenut bread (ALV - Thanks for the recipe!), and salad; to finish -- H's delicious baked apple dessert and eggnog in our coffee. Our plates were blue with white speckles.
After lunch, we sat and talked until it was time to start on our way to see A, E, and T. P & I began the process of bundling up (except for me with no coat), tugging on boots and shoes, moving Eli off of H's helicopter upon which he had decided to rest, and heading out of that warm house to get back on the highways of WNY....
Thanks to the LVs for a lovely lunch! Wish we could have spent more time with you. Next time!
Next: WNY concludes, and the return home...