Monday, March 26, 2012

As Spring Arrives on Middleground Farm

As spring slowly rolls in, it always makes me think of how I could do things differently, more efficiently, better for me and the animals. This past winter was a real blessing weather-wise, as we had so little snow. I dont even think the ground froze for long, and just yesterday I threw clover seed out on already-growing pastures.

The cattle are making quick work of their rangey ragged winter coats; its almost as if they can not throw them off fast enough. A week of record temperatures in the 70's has really pushed us into a premature spring!

While the balmy weather is welcome after months of vitamin D deprived grey (aka: Rochester NY winter), it is a bit hard on the cattle as they stand panting in the sun under their winter hair. There is no shade to be found, as the trees have yet to leaf out. It is kinda weird.

This winter went by quickly for us here at the farm. No snow to plow, and the wood lasted with some to spare thankfully. My deep sadness has also embraced a new begining, and I now find myself looking forward to the future and all its possiblities. Its as if God Himself has said, "its enough". For my greif was great at the loss, but God is faithful, and now, looking back, I can truely understand the parable of the footprints i n the sand, where there is only one set of footprints, that is truely where He carried me.

And so here I am now. Expecting a few calves this spring and summer, the fences will be pounded and pulled, ratchted and braced. I was fotunate to find enough hay for the winter and early spring, which was delivered right to my driveway and unloaded; my ever so kind neighbor moving it around for me the next day. I wont mess with small bales anymore, or round bales, as they are difficult to store and feed...but prefer the large rectangular bales. We use approx. one 800# bale a week for the animals (8, differnt ages) so its farely easy to estimate what we will need.

The barn did not get pitched out this winter, instead I opted to bed on top of things to keep them off the damp ground. Needless to say, a loader and truck will be doing that chore as soon as things dry out.
Thankfully all the animals came through another winter in good flesh and fit.
And so did my girls and I.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Miniature Herefords, Real Men, and Life as I know It

So here it goes.
We have had a very soft winter; meaning very little snow, the driveway needing to be plowed only one time, my daughter has unhooked the plow from the 4wheeler already (thanks Al!)
The pastures need a rest, as they have taken a lot of abuse from the constant punching from hooves all winter since the ground never really froze for very long. Frost seeding is in order!
The posts need to be straightened and pounded in from several years of heaving and wire stretching...this is the first year my fence has not been torn down from drifts since its been built!
I have had offers of help from many, and I so appreciate it. It is nice to know there are still men, real men, out there that would be more than happy, willing and able to swing a chainsaw and run a loader for a day just for the exercise! And i am grateful!
Although perfectly capable of doing so myself, its just so much more fun with two than going it alone. And with our easy iPhone computer sit on your ass all day society, guys seem to want to get out and do "man work". Go for it! Real sunshine, don't get that in a gym....working all day outside, throwing stuff around, sweating, getting dirty, strong....ripped. Ok, I do realize theres guys reading this as well, but hey, don't think us women don't appreciate a man being, well, a man!
Sure we like the suit and tie; sure we like the clean just out of the shower sweet soft and sexy. But sexy man is a man who is a man, works like a man, acts like a man (man-whores do not qualify...) smells like a man, and has the muscle and heart to provide, produce and protect like a man.
And you know what....? I do believe those guys are still out there. And although they may have a woman standing right beside them working just as hard, throwing firewood, or pounding in fence posts, there is a very clear, unspoken sense of whos the man and who is the woman. Teamwork . And, it definitely has its benefits later, if you get my drift....
There is nothing quite as satisfying as spending a day working with your man on some project...figuring things out, lending a hand, running for tools or parts. Cutting and splitting wood for the family for winter, standing back to admire the pile...helping to change a belt on a mower when 3 hands are needed instead of a small part out of a Harley because your hands are smaller than his, and you dont mind digging around in the oil to help retrieve it..
Its even biblical.
"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? "
Ecc. 4:9-11