Thursday, August 16, 2012

listen to the wind

     I live on a farm, on a dirt road, 2 miles from pavement.  The house does not have a furnace, clothes dryer, TV, or microwave.  Cell phone is for trips to town only, as there's no reception here.   There is a wood fire cook stove in the large kitchen.  In the winter we gather fire wood from the woods and stack it on the front porch.  We heat the house, cook our food, make coffee, dry clothes, and relax with the wood stove.
    Get up in the morning between 5 and 6 am every day.  Set up the stainless steel cans, strainer, and milk pails.  Let the chickens out.  Miguel brings the cows in from pasture.  We milk them by hand.  Milking 7 right now and I usually get 3 done while he's finishing his 4th.  He washes the stainless while I let the cows out and spray down the cement floor of the milk house.  Then we feed calves.  They mostly eat grass but we have an abundance of skim milk and whey and there's no pigs here yet, so the calves get all they can drink.  The skim comes from butter making and the whey from cheese.
  Give the chickens some old cheese and milk so they'll stay away from the back door while we finish chores.  Stain the kefir grains and give them fresh milk.  Taking care of the kefir grains is important.  We both drink more kefir than we do milk.
      During the day who knows what we'll do.  Check the fences for a good charge.  Look at the dry cows to see who is getting close to calving.  Feel their udders for any hardness indicating a problem.  Work in the garden.  Post an ad to sell calves or bulls.  Let the lambs out and make sure all the gates are closed so they don't go across the road.  Sit and stare at the chickens.  Listen to the wind in the cotton wood trees.  Listen to the birds.  There are so many birds.  Feed the baby chickens and the adolescent chickens.  Make cheese, skim cream, wrap up the butter, take pictures...
     In the evening I collect the eggs from the chicken coop.  And check the one spot in the barn.  Usually there's a blue egg in there.  Close the chicken-sized door on the coop so a hungry fox will go to the neighbor's instead.  Feed the lambs some skim milk, just because we have it.  They are big enough now not to need it.  They will go back in the orchard much easier for a bottle though.  I wash the cans now too.  We fill up four, 5 gallon stainless steel cans every morning.  They're a little heavy and after a few days of this task I made sure to lift with my left arm at least as often as my right.
     Get to bed before 10 pm and read a little, then fall asleep.  Sleeping has been difficult for me off and on during my short life.  Not so much since moving to the farm.  Falling asleep is very easy and sleeping soundly through the night happens more often than not.
      There's no work here.  We just live our lives.  Time rarely matters.  Pace is slow and relaxed.  Cows will teach a person that.  A few years ago my life was totally different.
Now I live on a farm, on a dirt road.


  1. picture of the chicken coop and the swamp last fall

  2. Ah... this is a good life, full of love and work and the wind in the cottonwoods. Namaste, dear Kari!

  3. I finally figured out how to open and read the entire blog! You are a talented writer, Kari! I feel as if I am right there, walking beside you, no talking necessary as we go to the hens secret spot in hopes a pretty blue egg will be waiting.