Assisted Living

The thing about having a farm full of critters is...
eventually the farm becomes a retirement home.

I wouldn't have it any other way... it was the plan all along.
Eventually all of our animal friends will grow old and 
end their lives here at the farm.

And while this has the potential for sounding quite depressing,
it's important that one have the right attitude from the start.

After all, animals have a much shorter lifespan than we humans,
and it's a good thing, when you think about it.
How awful would it be to have a farm full of animals who will 
outlive you... not knowing what their eventual fate will be!

This way, as each of my sweet friends passes,
I will have the knowledge that I cared for them in the best way possible,
for their lifetime here on the farm.
I will know that they were happy and healthy and well-loved.
And although I grieve the passing of a beloved animal,
I try to keep my focus on all of the others that still remain in my care.

I may not have been thinking straight when I brought these two
gals home to live on the farm as youngsters.

I am, most likely, going to have to live beyond 100 in order
to outlive these two.
I'm planning on it!

The turkey pen has become a sort of assisted living facility these days.
Old Tom Turkey is quite elderly...

although I believe he is trying to break the domestic turkey lifespan record.
He might have another year to get through to make that goal.

Our two turkeys spend their days communing with the chickens -
taking advantage of all the snacks that the chickens receive.
Then each evening, the turkeys find their way back to their house
and put themselves to bed.

Fred roosts on a roosting rail that is about a foot-and-a-half off the ground.

Tom, on the other hand, roosts on top of the nesting boxes that are in their house.
(this particular shed previously housed hens)

The top of the nesting boxes is over three feet from the floor;
and for the life of me, I have no idea how he jumps up there each evening.
Somehow he manages.
Getting down is the difficult part.
If left to his own devices, he jumps down and ends up skidding along
the ground on his chest, quite clumsily.

To prevent this, we lift him down from his roost each morning

and gently lower him to the ground.

Hence:  assisted living.

I truly believe he appreciates the help.
Perhaps this simple act will help to extend his life,
or at least the quality of his life.

Yesterday morning, I made another trip to Amish country for fabric.
I'm moving on from face masks to other items....

waxed canvas bags and aprons.

Now that people are cooking at home more, I have had a few 
requests for my 1940's style full-coverage apron.
Here is yesterday's fabric haul:

This will make four aprons... each with coordinating trim.

While I was in Amish country, Hubbs picked our grape vines.

We had four big buckets of fresh grapes...

which I steamed...

to make juice.

We don't drink a lot of juice because of the high sugar content,
but will use these to flavor the fizzy water that we make and drink.

It's been delightfully cool so far this week.
It feels like autumn... which makes me happy!
Happy September, friends.


colleen said…
Happy September to you. You could put the game camera in with Tom to see how he gets on his roost....I really would like to know lol.
You always pick out gorgeous fabric. Can't wait to see the aprons.
Marsha said…
Thank you for taking such good care of your animals!
The JR said…
I could not have said it better. Actually, I think that is what I've said to our friends about not wanting our critters to outlive us.

Can't wait to see your aprons. They will be beautiful.
Margy said…
Thank God for people like you who have animals solely for love and not sport, selling babies or neglect and hoarding. I wish I could do the same and would if I had the means. My dream was to have a mini-horse and take it to help children. Instead I have a great dane puppy now I hope to train well enough to be a comfort pet to visit nursing homes... someday!
jaz@octoberfarm said…
that is the sweetest turkey story. what is the steaming contraption called? i would love to get one and make juice. i too drink fizzy water and that would be a great addition. how long does the juice keep and do you keep it in the fridge?
Your farm critters lead such good lives, compared to most other agricultural animals.

We have added goats to our farm and I just absolutely adore them. They are so very friendly - talking to us all the time when we are outside. Fresh grape juice - the perfect addition to a seltzer water! We have the same deal here - a geriatric ward up at the horse barn, plus our newer girl who is just 8.

This N That said…
Yes, it is sad to see our animals age. They are very lucky to have you help them through the process. They have great lives.
Love your new fabric. Are you going to be making masks for Christmas and Halloween? It will never end. Hugs
deodar said…
I actually have written instructions covering whatever animals I may have when I die (dogs, horses, chickens, goats, pig and one mini donk right now). The larger animals to retirement/rescue farms, along with an endowment to sweeten the pot.
Judy said…
Another beautiful post! Thank you.
billie said…
We also have two miniature donkeys and I too need to live to be 100 to outlive them! I say they’re going to be my walkers - one on each side - and we’ll keep each other upright to the end. :)