I am not complaining, I love my little farm, and all of its critters…yet, there are mornings I would rather not venture out quite so early. Like this morning all damp, and cold. Once I step out of the kitchen door, everything seems as it should and I relax in to the morning’s flow of activity ~ happily ~ if not admittedly a skosh weary.
Mind you this is not a glamorous undertaking.
This is how I usually go about my chores:
Farm Fashion, or early chore attire
By the time I get out the sun is usually cresting just above the east hills; the roosters are crowing, the ducks are squawking; and the llamas are chewing their cud quietly greeting the new day. They all know the routine; the girls (llamas) line up at the fence line. The Chickens and ducks come running full steam ahead to greet me raucously at the fence gate; ducks scurrying past the Roosters so as not get pecked.
I call him Mr. Nasty…this could be an entire blog. Let’s just say he makes egg gathering an adventure.
We use large round bales, and have a covered shed for the girls to munch at their leisure, just outside of their barn. This morning it was empty, wiped clean…guess that is where I will start this mornings chores… The farm truck is at work with Howie, so I’ll cut the twine surrounding the huge bales, then pull down the hay that peels off in fragrant sheets, layer by layer; fill the wheelbarrow and head up the hill to the girls shed – repeated as necessary. Gym membership, who needs a gym membership? My blood pressure is 112/60, my pulse is 62! Who ever would like to save their membership fees…come on over.
Morning goes something like this…
smooch big dogs
feed big dogs
start tea water (and/or have a cuppa coffee)
fill water buckets
fill dog and cat waters
lay out 14 feed bowls
measure out sweet mix for all llamas
measure out beet pulp for all llamas
fill bucket with layer pellets
make tea..(if I haven’t had coffee)
let dogs out
carry 12 of the bowls to the girls pasture
carry 4 bowls to stud pasture
fill poultry grain feeder
gather eggs as I defend my legs against Mr. Nasty (bantam rooster with king sized attitude) – no eggs today :(
carry water bucket to replenish girls water
carry water bucket to replenish studs water
carry water bucket to replenish poultry water
bring hay to the girls
pick up all bowls
pick water buckets
dogs and I head in…In that moment – animals fed and watered,on this damp cold morning, the smell of hay and the sound of llamas chewing contentedly,dogs frolicking in the yard… I am at peace. Maybe mornings aren’t so dreadful after all.
Note to self…remember to enjoy tea!
Have a blessed day,
Inspiration found. With the setting sun comes evening chores; the water, the grain mixed with the appropriate amount of beet/soy mixture; chickens fed, their eaters filled (and de-mudded – thank you dear ducks), hay carried, barns floors mucked, and wheel barrows pushed…yet, last night the evening sky was full of color and vibrancy. We lingered, the dogs and I; sitting at the edge of a pasture.
The llamas seemed in no particular hurry to be fed. They milled about eyeing us, and nibbling on any persistent grass leaves that dare to brave the frost and snow showers. Llamas silhouetted against the setting sun.
It was one of those nights..where you feel as though everything will be ok. There was no reason to be afraid – of anything. It helped me remember—and I need to remember. Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world, and despite all of the uncertainty in our lives and the lives of those we love – it will be ok.
While it may look different for all of us, I suppose this is the feeling we wait for in life: a sense that there’s boundless beauty out there, and we have the capacity to feel, channel, explore, and express it. We just have to slow down, open up, step outside of ourselves long enough to see it.
Notice what really matters…
Sing out loud! Although, at my house, I would dole out ear plugs first..to the humans. My animals don’t seem to mind that I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.
Let go! Sometimes.
Tomorrow, My husband and I are traveling to NYC to bring my Sister and Courtney home. If all goes well her transplant can happen after Christmas. Thank you for all of your good thoughts and prayers!
Remove dead and non-productive vegetable crops.
Apply manure and compost to our clay soils.
Planting crops for late autumn harvest: lettuce, swiss chard, spinach
Drying peppers and squash.
Start new strawberry beds.
Dig up and divide garlic, perennials, iris, daylilies, bulbs, and…
Keep watering properly even as the weather begins to cool.
Clean up all dead fruit.
Fruit trees fed and mulched…
worm and trim llamas feet,
breed 4 girls for early fall cria,
order more minerals,
rake around llamas barns..keeps bugs and slugs down…then,
Remove any dead shrubs and trees.
Mulch trees and shrubs.
Raking fallen leaves and add to compost pile.
Purchase bulbs from nurseries.
Remove spent blooms from roses.
Weed vegetables and shrubs, mow lawns.
clean chicken and duck house,
Start to prepare sheds, tools, and equipment for Winter weather.
locate heated water buckets,
Repair roof on garden shed….oh, and
stack the remainder of wood for heat…
My daughter, Julianne; looking for usable old barn wood; she and Josh are making a table.
It is September after-all.