Monday, November 23, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
It’s worth saying she was a very affectionate goat and loved being petted and kissed and she loved having her cheeks scratched. During the winter, the milk parlor is freezing so I would tuck my nose in the crook of her back leg and rest my head there. It was so warm and soft and the smell was so pleasantly earthy and sweet. She seemed to enjoy taking care of me.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Yesterday before evening chores Linda and I went out for a hike. We like a path that outlines and snakes through the back 230 acres of the property, We think it may be three miles. Since we moved here we've had the opportunity to see the Forest change day by day. It was raining lightly so our steps were quited as we mushed through the thick fallen leaves.
The light through the filter of clouds and misty rain made the Forest flora stand out in vibrant color. Blues were intensely blue, greens were vibrant and bright. and oranges and reds screamed out for attention.
Under all these decaying leaves was an ocean of pulsing breathing shining life.
all these years I had been fooled
all these years I had been fooled into thinking this was a time of rest.
I'll never be fooled again or be sad that summer is over
I'll see a cold rainy day not a day to stay indoors but a day to visit my new found friends and to celebrate my life that is now cafefully and thoughtfully interwoven with theirs.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I let the new sheep out into the ten acre goat pasture yesterday. Over a week and a half of observation and getting to know each other they seemed very healthy and incredibly ready for some serious grazing. I’ve had them in a small pen behind the house were they had a beautiful and taunting view of the eighty five acres that someday soon will call them in.
I feel in some ways I’m hunkering down for the winter or something. My dog it’s been like spring around here, I have enjoyed every second of it! The winter garden is off to a raging start and the warm weather and sun has given me a chance to really get some things done, but its November 15, 2009 its time for spring and summer to move aside and let the natural process take its course, right? Winter is just around the corner. I am ready to see snowflakes and thick steamy breaths come out of my mouth and nose. But for now I’ll enjoy this day getting ready. I hope my Carharts still fit.
Late this morning I’m on a panel at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa ready to discuss the movie food inc. http://www.foodincmovie.com/ for a forum series they have after the first service. I watched it again last night so I’m fired up and disturbed but I have to admit I’m really bad at public speaking so I hope I don’t make an ass of myself.
Off to milk now.
Friday, November 13, 2009
BAM! the first one hits the trailer bed startling us. The bails are heavy and its hard to just toss them around like he does. but we manage to finally get all 70 snug as a bug and tied down for the ride home. He checks all my tires, which are of course all low he tells me with a eye rolling sigh that says, dang girls. He also tells me I don't have the safety pin in the trailer where it hitches to the truck. I say "oh is that what that is". more eye rolling.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
There is this fascination I have with the romance of yesteryear and when I see things like this my mind goes there for a spell. I think about it in terms of closeness and interdependence of community. I wonder what it would be like not to have the option to speed down route 66 going 65 or 70. The fact that our bodies’ race through time by train, plane and automobile must be proof of our own species rapid evolution that we are encountering in real time. But thinking like that just makes me crazy.
The year is 1868, Who would I be? what would I be doing? Probably the same thing I am doing now but knowing how easy I have it now, a whole lot harder. Daily chores and tasks like washing clothes would sound and feel very different. Maybe I wouldn’t go through so many clothes if I had to wash them all by hand, or I wouldn’t have so many clothes if I had made them myself or traveled far and paid a pretty dollar for them. If I had to boil the water, carry buckets in from the well etc. What would it be like when the folks you knew called and it still meant they came over? “The Dr. called on mother today”. “The tinker called and mended some tin”. Wouldn’t I value things and people more? Wouldn’t I care more? Or would not knowing the difference keep me benign. I don’t know. I will give myself a little credit I do put an extremely high value and gratitude for the people in my life and the task at hand.
Folks welcomed “progress” I’m sure I would have, fast traveling electricity and so on. I get that. But, the tradeoff I think is how “progress” has polluted us as a people, poisoning our bodies and environment. There are so many wonderful advancements that I can’t even pretend to imagine life without but…what is the trade off? For each of it is probably different. For me the trade off is the cancer my sister died of last year, it’s the obese children in our schools that are malnourished, and the fact that we’re just so busy and overwhelmed to do anything that actually addresses the cause, Because in doing that we would have to compromise “progress” or admit that “progress” is actually killing us and saving us at the same time and for that there may be no compromise.
This fine gentleman in his horse drawn carriage reminds me of the balance I need in my values for a way of life and the ease in which I’m able to conduct it.
What would you leave behind?
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The great thing about growing garlic is it over winters, so it’s not really affected by those snow storms and freezing cold wind we get, it just keeps in truckin’ till spring. So in February when everything else is dead, the garlic shines bright with its green leaves spiking up tall out of the ground. It’s really beautiful!
Garlic is planted in the fall. Each bulb’s cloves are separated, and these are the “seeds”. Each one of these cloves will produce an entire clove of garlic! How cool is that. There are hundreds of different varieties. We’re usually offered only one variety in the grocery store called California early or late, surprisingly much of the garlic we see in the grocery store comes all the way from China. You can order garlic on line and get a choice of all the different offerings which each has its own unique character and flavor. You can only plant grocery store garlic if it is organic. Any garlic that is not organic is treated with a chemical to stop the plant from ever sprouting. Yup, and we’re eating that!
Garlic loves rich soil, they call it a heavy feeder so it really benefits from composted manure or if you are lucky like I am to have a barnyard worth of fertilizer, sheep, goat and llama works great. Anyway if you ever want to plant go to www.Ronnegers.com or www.sse.com (seed savers exchange) to learn more.
Racey report: She seems to be slightly and I mean slightly better. She gets her last round of antibiotic this morning and we’ll just have to cross our fingers. I spent a lot of time with her yesterday telling her how much we love her and what a wonderful goat companion she is. It’s really sad to think I might lose her. So were all just hoping for the best giving her whatever we can. She’s pretty used to being spoiled rotten.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Everyday I’m torn about this very thing of making a living and making a life. I’m happy. I mean really happy. But I stress about making ends meet. I’ve never felt more happy and content in all my life but I worry how I will pay the hay bill. What’s the compromise? Is there one. I could be unhappy and be stressed about the same things right.
Yesterday Belize one of my milk goats looked a bit under the weather so I put her on the stantion, let her eat grain while I stuck a thermometer up her butt. She had a high temp. So I mixed several aspirin with warm water and molasses and sucked up the mixture into a syringe that had the needle removed and squirted it in her mouth. I checked her every few hours, shes doing better this morning. Several days ago I found a hen unable to walk. Can’t for the life of me figure out entirely what’s wrong, been giving her water and food but no success, she’s one of my oldest hens and she seemed content and calm, but I made the decision to put her down, if I hadn’t I was sure she would die a slow death of starvation and dehydration, now she is in my freezer.
I have such a profound respect for the cycle of life and my role in it. There is death in my future I’m sure of it. So that settles it for me. Making and celebrating a life comes before making a living. Yes I am a full time farmer like most making a part time wage, but living a life I love.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I've talked about having fiber sheep and goats for a while now but strangely in spite of my desires, I have actually been in the market for more St croix or Katahdin Hair sheep to add to my flock. Its funny because even though I really wanted fiber sheep I was too scared to even think about getting any. The shearing, the fiber, I dunno the unknown, uncharted territory, insecurity, fear of.....who knows.
The new sheep are in quarantine for a while so I can make sure there are no potential problems or diseases but the goats are really curious and ready to be introduced, and keep getting into their pen but so far the sheep seem very healthy so hopefully all should be well.
This is all pretty exciting for me. I'll keep ya posted!