Thursday, January 17, 2008

Whiter than Snow

We had a beautiful snow storm today. 5-7 inches of fluffy flakes blanketed the farm. The ducks were so curious as they waddled out of the chicken yard toward the frozen pond. It was much easier swimming through snow than swimming on a frozen pond. it was also much easier getting children out to sled than to get them to sit at the table for schoolwork. One of the funniest moments of the day was when I saw the steers tearing through the fields, running back to the barn. Seeing them run through the snow,kicking their heels was pretty cute, but not nearly as funny as the sight of the pig, trotting behind as quickly as possible, trying to keep up. Our pig thinks she is a cow.

My nicest moment today was this evening, walking back from the barn, quiet cushioned nighttime, glittering all around me. Peace. Thank you God for blankets.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Where are you, Coco?

Well, just know that if you live on a farm and have animals that if you plan on leaving for a day or two, it will cost you. We seriously needed a mental health trip, so while our wonderful friend, Sean, was still home from college and willing to milk Coco, we made plans to go to DC. Philip took the kids a day ahead of me, and I met them on Tuesday. We ate junk food, watched LOTS of tv in the hotel, and went by subway to the National Zoo. It was so much fun! Nora had never been to a big zoo before. She was in awe and terrified amazement looking at the hippo and elephants. In fact, I was in awe and terrified amazement looking at that hippo. Yikes! They are scary! The weather was fantastic, the sun was shining, breeze blowing, close to 70 degrees. Easy to leave the farm behind for a day.

We spent the next day with Philip in the hospital at UVA, Charlottesville, for a scheduled cardioversion, and got back the the farm last night. What a relief to be home, to smell the fresh air, see familiar animal faces. Well, to see a few familiar animal faces. The faces I most wanted to see were Coco and Moose, as it was milking time. Imagine my delight to hear that they had gotten off our property sometime during the day.

So, off we go to find them, Sean, Maggie and I, into the dark misty night. One of the darkest nights of the year. In our town clothes and rubber boots. Calling sweetly off into the distance "Cocoooooo!" Shaking our bucket of grain. Up hills, down hills, covering 40 acres(our and neighbors), falling into thorn bushes, stumbling into holes. No Coco. No Moose. No other cattle. Surrender isn't that sweet. I kept mumbling to myself "this is only a test" hoping that I wouldn't let out a nice stream of swear words in front of Sean and Maggie. We lowered all the newly set up electric fence and returned to the house for me to make supper.

Early this morning, off the find the cows. Thankfully, all was well, and the girls and Moose were socializing with the neighbor steers across the fence just one property beyond ours. It wasn't that difficult to walk them back to the barn. To tell you the truth, it was kinda pleasant to be back, getting some unexpected exercise, even though I was trying to not be miffed that later on today, all the electric fence would need to be REDONE. I guess that little trip didn't cost THAT much. Several meals I didn't have to cook. Lots of Starbucks coffee. Five kids, mom and dad, all laughing together as orangutangs behave amazingly like some kids we know. Riding on the subway, all of us, together, grateful we like each other. A farm to come home to. Life is sweet.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year

So Philip has taken the kids to town to see a movie. For the first time in what seems like weeks I am alone. I wrote a poem. Here it is:


Cold outside.
Fire crackling.
Lights turned off.
Candles lit.
Me, alone.
Venison tenderloin, pan-seared with garlic and black pepper,
bearnaise sauce made with Patrick's chickens' egg yolks and butter from cream from milk I milked from Koko,
broccoli and deep-fried sweet potato shoestrings and yummy cheap spanish wine and seamus heaney at my finger tips.

Just one more proof that God loves me!.