Perhaps one of the most important ways to make it through
the wintery days on the farm is to have an occasional day-off from farm chores.
Sleeping in (relatively speaking) and starting the day slowly
truly recharges the batteries.
And so, on occasion, Jack and I give each other a day off from the work.
Because we had guests to tend to on Sunday morning,
he did the chores while I worked on getting farm breakfast ready.
It only seemed fitting that I reciprocate,
so I did the morning chores solo yesterday morning arriving at the barn before the sun.
Even when we do chores alone, we aren't really alone.
Of course I had my sidekick who loves to ride shotgun.
I spread hay in the snowy front pasture and turned the horses and donkeys out
there for the morning.
Of course, not loving snow, or wind, or rain, or any deviation from
a perfectly hot, sunny day, the donkeys retreated to the barn.
Being the softy that I am, I gave them some hay to eat in the barn stall.
An hour later it was clear that they had no intention of venturing out into the pasture,
so I put a little more hay in their house.
Cats fed, pigs fed, manure cleaned up, ducks and guineas tended to...
we (the dogs and I) headed up to the chickens, goats, and turkeys.
This part of the farm looked deserted, as no one was too interested
in venturing out into the snow.
Only a few brave souls were interested in the scratch that I had spread.
Everyone was fed and watered and cleaned...
and muck buckets were taken to the compost pile...
so we headed down to the duck pond to check on the last of our feathered friends.
The pigs stay inside their house most of the time,
I can't just pass by without handing out treats,
so we stop and visit for a few moments -
giving everyone a yummy cracker,
Even the pups get a treat.
Sammie, with his very soft mouth...
At the duck pond,
Sammie, with his very soft mouth...
Chester, always equally gentle...
Annie just about takes off my fingers -
sometimes she forgets her manners.
our three resident ducks were eagerly awaiting their breakfast...
most likely due to the 16 visiting mallards that were happily swimming around
on our non-frozen pond
(due to the aerator that we have bubbling away preventing ice from forming).
With chores all finished, we headed up the driveway past the front pasture.
The sun was now well above the horizon...making for a great photo opportunity.
I climbed the pasture fence and hiked up to where the horses were eating.
A happily little family.
I'm not sure why the ponies would rather scratch in the snow to find
some grass beneath it, when there is plenty of hay available on top of the snow.
With me lying on my stomach in the cold snow,
I took a few photos.
The scene was curious enough to stop the ponies from their digging and they
walked over to where I was lying.
Donnie joined the others in eating while Scarlet continued on
and came over to nose me.
"Hey! Whatcha doing?" I heard her say.
I got up on my knees and gave her nose a kiss and then she pretended to bite off my nose.
She's a sweet pony... but would never want you to think so.
She prefers a sassy reputation.
Duly noted, Sassy Scarlet!
With that I headed back to the house where I found Jack busily working in the kitchen...
a load of wash already started.
I am very lucky to have a husband who sees housework as a joint task.
I never have to ask for help... he's always way ahead of me!
Here is a quick video that Jack took a couple weeks ago...
Today, our littles are coming to spend the day on the farm.
We have risen early and are doing the chores in the dark,
so that we will be finished in time to spend the day playing here on the farm.
I predict there will be lots of rides on the "go-go"!