Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Average day

Wednesday Oct 30th 2013
     Got up a little later than usual.  It was real foggy out.  Took a rope along on the way out to get the cows.  Miguel used it to capture Curly the horse.  He was at the salt block, escaped again from his pasture.    Moved Morgana, Yarrow, Morgan and Jolene towards the milk house.  He came up then, gave me back the rope and headed off to get Belle.  I was able to get the rope on Labora's halter and start moving her towards the little pasture.  She followed better than yesterday and it was a nice sensation to be walking along side such an animal.  Labora is big, a nice looking calf, maybe 4 months old.  I felt honored that she would walk with me.
   Today I milked Yarrow and Morgana.  Brought a warm, fresh quart of milk in to the kitchen after chores and made the kefir.  Made fried eggplant and hash browns while Miguel was out capturing Curly again.   We made toast then too and enjoyed it all together.  Sat on the front porch and drank our tea after breakfast.  It was so warm and sunny and still.  Just an unbelievable day for the time of year.  Socks off, I ended up being barefoot the rest of the day, almost.
     Miguel took our neighbor, his father, into town then.  There were a few things we needed and Dean doesn't drive well anymore, so it worked out for everyone.  I went last week, but this time he wanted to pick out a new chain saw.  I picked up two buckets of apples and set them next to the buckets Miguel had collected yesterday.    Started up the tractor and loaded the apples and 3 buckets of milk into the tractor scoop.   Grace the dog came running down the road looking for Dean.  She followed the tractor and our four dogs down to Jake's.  The pigs were waiting at the fence for their breakfast.  I dumped milk in their pans and walked all the apples out into their pen.  They came right up to me and let me pat them on the back.  They're not so jumpy and scared of us anymore.
     In the drive way, our dogs had Grace circled.  She was holding her own but I called them off.   Grace came over to me and I scratched her ears and called Pepper over to see.  Trying to make them understand that Grace is our friend and its not ok to attack her.  I think it helped a little bit.
Walked out then to count the cows.  I could think of eight for sure and I found eight in the pasture.  Later Miguel said that there should be nine out there.  There wasn't anyone stuck in the swamp though, so we'll look again tomorrow.
     Rode the bike down to the bull pasture to fill the water.  Miguel's sister Margi was there and she had already filled it for us, which was a nice surprise.  She talked quite a bit about her ideas to make Dean's life easier and relieve any anxiety or worry he might have about anything.  She seems to maybe be struggling with watching her father decline with age as she remains unable to practically assist him from her home in Iowa.   This is a common problem in our society today.  I pointed out that she is describing something that rarely happened in our culture 100 years ago.  Family members lived geographically closer to each other, neighbors knew and took care of each other, old people were looked after just like young people are looked after.   Miguel and I are taking it one day at a time with Dean.  There is no easy answer to the situation he finds himself in and we're not looking for one.  So far, things have been going well and we are all learning and adjusting as we go.  I felt her frustration that the situation would not be 'handled' before she returned to Iowa, and I silently celebrated that I am not leaving the farm.  I get to stay and deal with things day by day, as best as I can, with my partner Miguel.  It is an honor to participate with Dean and his life.

firewood goes in the wood fire cookstove  
     Then we checked the weather and decided it was important to get firewood today, because tomorrow its going to rain and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are all booked up with processing the bull and planting trees.  I got to use the new chain saw.  It is four pounds lighter than the old one.  Miguel gave me a lesson and watched me cut a little.  He corrected me when I wasn't keeping my left arm locked and explained that's how to stop the saw if it kicks back.  It is physically challenging to cut up wood.  And we were cutting it on a hill with lots of brush.  I was pretty nervous and taking my time.  Being a trauma nurse for 10 years gave me an active imagination when it comes to things like chain saws...  It was a pleasure to learn that I have truly trained my body to strive for balance.  Even though this was the first time I've ever really used a chain saw, I could feel my muscles repeatedly trying to move the saw into my left hand, giving my right arm a break.  Instead I learned to alternate which leg was forward and that helped maintain some balance.  Muscles will have to be developed before I am able to cut for any length of time.  I am glad to cut down on the amount of time Miguel has to use the saw.  Sharing this work will be good for him.
     We stacked the wood on the front porch and I closed the chickens.  They gave us two eggs today.  Thank you chickens!   We sat out on the deck for a bit in the dark.  It was still so warm and pleasant.  Now its raining and time for bed.  Another day on the farm.  I am excited to see what tomorrow will bring.  Every day is a gift of work, good food, learning, and loving.


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