Friday, January 18, 2019

The Sweetest Moment

Her eyes were deep, brown pools of mystery.
Her lips, soft, sweet and furry...

A love poem, you thought, until you read that word.
Furry.
Furry lips?

Those brown eyes of mystery...
(with their perfect eyeliner)


Those lips would be these...


and they are lips that I never hesitate to kiss.


These two sweet donkey sisters...
I can scarcely find enough adjectives to describe how absolutely sweet they are.


You seriously must get to know them in person.
If so, then you would agree with me.
There's not a sweeter soul in all the world than these two 
big-eared, big-hearted mini-donks.


I've had people exclaim that truly they had no idea how small these two are.
It's hard to ascertain their actual size from photographs.
Their backs are no taller than my hip.

We are kindred spirits, these two and I.
I only need walking out of the barn and calling "donkey girls",
and they come trotting to wherever I am.
They are never an ounce of trouble for me.

Yesterday, when they were done grazing the morning away in the front pasture,
(while the horses spent the day in the upper pasture)
the donkeys came in and took a nap in their shed.

I had just finished afternoon chores and decided to join them.


I sat down in front of Daphne, who was laying in the pine shavings on their floor,
while Chloe stood next to her, keeping watch on their yard.


I slowly slid over beside Daphne and laid my head on her neck.
If you've never smelled a donkey...
they smell lovely.
They have a subtler smell than a horse (and I love the smell of a horse!)
Their fur is coarser... almost wooly.
But their muzzle and lips... so soft.

I laid there breathing in the scent of Daphne, as she laid her lips on my hand.


(Meanwhile, Chloe was busily playing with my pants and my boots
with her lips.)



While all this was quietly happening inside the donkey shed,
outside, the pups were wondering what the heck I was doing.


Lying with donkeys?
Has she gone mad?


It was a sweet, gentle moment that lasted for quite some time...
a moment of sweetness in an otherwise busy chore time.
It's moments like this that make every bit of work done during the day
completely worthwhile.
All of the years of care that I have given my animals has paid off.
They give back to me the affection that I feel so strongly for them.
This farm life is sweet and gentle.
I wouldn't trade it for any other.

It's Friday again and we are possibly facing a winter storm this weekend.
Time will tell...
Either way... we'll be back on Monday to share the stories of the weekend.
Have a good one!



Thursday, January 17, 2019

Grey Days

We are entering that monochromatic time of year.
The landscape is softly painted in shades of grey and browns.
It takes a bit of searching to find a patch of green.
And the reds, pinks, yellows, and purples of summer and autumn are gone.


I've come to love the austere beauty of winter...
if for no reason other than its contrast to the colors of the other seasons.
Realizing the brevity of the seasons helps us to hold them dear
while they are with us.


Dressed warmly, I try to spend a bit of time outdoors each day...
observing the subtle canvas that is winter...
all the while remembering that the brilliant colors lay sleeping
just beneath the surface.


It's been a good winter for grazing.
Our pastures continued to grow well into autumn this year
with the summer's abundant rainfall.


And although the barn is full of hay,
we've been able to avoid using that hay too quickly.


All of that is soon to change, I hear.
Weather forecasters have predicted a split in the polar vortex,
which may cause our area to experience a long period of extreme cold...
beginning, perhaps, as early as the coming weekend - 
and possibly extending through March.


With that cold will come quite a bit of snow, they are saying.


If that happens, we will likely use much of the hay that we have stowed.


Work on our solar panels continues, slowly.
The weather forecast has dashed my hopes of reaping the benefits of solar power,
at least in the coming days.
At some point, though, the sun will shine again and we will 
grab every ray of it that we can!

Yesterday, I made some modifications to the woven wrap that I showed you.
I folded it in half, partially sewed up one side, added more fringe,
and added the remaining original knitted piece as a collar.
The final result is this poncho...


I believe I will get a lot of wear out of this.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Quacking-Up

The runner ducks have spent the past two days in their own yard.


As you can see, we still have most of the snow that fell this weekend.


I have noticed, when watching the ducks, that they don't seem to like the snow
on their little webbie toes, and are constantly either standing on one leg,
or lying down and pulling their legs up into their down.


Rather than turn them loose on a world that is snow-covered,
I have decided to keep them in their yard,
where much of the ground is melted
This also gives them the option of going into their house,
where soft, dry bedding is available.


It seems, however, that at least one of them is not happy
with the present arrangement.


The littlest, a female, is constantly quacking her opinions...
and rather loudly!  


Apparently, she has a lot to say.


Really?


You don't say!

Only the females of the runner ducks "quack", the males make a softer sound.
It looks like this little girl is the designated spokes-duck for all five of them!

As for the rest of our ducks...
they all seem to weather the winter just fine...
spending their days in the water.


We keep a couple aerators bubbling at all times,
to keep the pond from freezing completely.
There is always, at the very least, a bubbling sauna available for the ducks in the middle of the pond.


In addition to last summer's mallard babies, who have all grown and
assimilated themselves in the pond duck clan...


we have several visiting pairs who have stayed for many weeks now.

The pond is a peaceful place.
Everyone seems to get along just fine.
And even though the number of males far outweighs the females...
no one seems stressed.
Perhaps we shall have some ducklings this coming spring!

I finished the piece of recycled wool weaving that I started last week...
It's big enough to use as a wrap or a lap robe.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Dreams Of An Old Dog

If you've stopped by here in the past,
then most likely you are well-acquainted with our Brown Sammie.


He holds the rank of oldest (and wisest?...not sure about that one) of our farm dogs.


He's a love, for sure -
but like a cat, only when he is in the mood.


Otherwise, he spends most of his time resting up for potential adventure.


One thing we know for sure...
Sammie is a dreamer!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Freshly Fallen Snow

A layer of snow quietly crept in and covered the farm
as we slept Saturday night.
On Sunday morning we awoke to this.


An inch of snow is just enough to turn the farm
into the most lovely winter wonderland...


but not enough to interfere with life.


I would love if we could have our snows in one-inch increments!


It's been quite cold lately, so I doubt that this snow will be in any hurry to melt.


I am told we can expect much more snow by next weekend...
and most likely not in one-inch increments.


It looks like the snow to come will require a bit of shoveling.


We'll enjoy this little appetizer for the four-course meal that is to come!


After morning chores were complete,
I set the table and began to prepare Sunday Farm Breakfast.
Farm Breakfast is a Sunday morning tradition that we have held for many years.
Most weekends, Dr. Becky and her family join us,
but, on occasion, we have many more at our table.

Yesterday I tried this recipe...


from this book...


They were the most scrumptious pancakes I have ever made!
Along with local bacon and homegrown eggs, 
homemade blueberry syrup with last year's frozen blueberries,
and fruit,
it was a perfect breakfast.

Breakfast was followed by a couple rounds of these two games.


Great family fun... for young and old, alike!




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