Dec. 14—The frost holds. Worked all day with Allan. Does not feel cold in the bush. The trees break the wind that is so piercing in the clearings.
Dec. 15—Milder; in the sun at noon almost warm. Got out ox-sled and went with Brodie along Yonge-street to buy pork. Bought three carcases. People are kindly. Have never called at a house where we were not invited to return and pay a family visit.
Dec. 19—Have had a three day snap of frost, Either getting used to the cold or are adapting ourselves to meet it, for do not feel the discomfort we did. Ruth going to the ox-stable without putting a wrap over her head got her cheeks and ears frozen. Robbie trapped a hare. Pleads for a gun. Ailie will give him a surprise New Year’s morning.
Dec. 24—The snow helps greatly in hauling fallen trees and logs. Give them their own time, and oxen beat horses in handling difficult loads. Gordon came walking in this afternoon, quite unexpectedly, for we did not look for him until this day week. He says Christmas is the big day in Toronto, and not New Year’s day. His master had shut his shop for a week. He gave him a deerskin jerkin as a Christmas present.
Dec. 27—Gordon has been busy making snowshoes. His first pair was for Ruth, who can now walk in them. Snowed all day; not cold. He has taught her to ride one of the oxen.
Dec. 28—A thaw, much needed to settle the snow, which was getting too deep. Youngsters shovelled a strip on the pond and made a fine slide.
Dec. 31—Made preparation to keep Hogmanay, inviting our two neighbors. Had built a big fire, with a beech back-log, so heavy that an ox had to haul it to the door, and put a smaller one on top, while in front split wood blazed, and made the shanty so light that no candle was needed. The young folk had a great night of it, and braved the frost to go to the stable door and sing their old Hogmanay rhymes. The feast was plain as plain could be, but contented and merry hearts care not for dainties.
January 1, 1826—All gathered again in our shanty after dinner, when we had a fellowship meeting to thank God for all his mercies, and surely, when I review all the dangers he has led us through, and the mercies he has bestowed on us during the year that has gone, we have good cause to adore him. Gave Star and Bright an extra feed of oats.
Jany. 2—Ailie had just sat down after clearing the dinner dishes away, when Ruth came running in crying she heard sleighbells coming up our road. I went out and was astonished when a sleigh came in sight, the horse dashing the snow into powder breast high. It was Mr Dunlop and his wife, who had come to pay us a New Year’s call. They stayed an hour and it was a happy one, for Mr Dunlop is a heartsome man. Was greatly taken with the improvements we had made. His wife brought a package of tea for Ailie. She made them a cup of dandelion coffee which, after their drive, they relished with her oatmeal