I have been at my other dairying pursuits yesterday and today. My co-workers were in jolly moods. It is New Year's Day and we were paid time and a half. This does much to make the hours go more swiftly. Our beds have been full as the little tax deductions just kept coming. I go often and farm dollars from the local hospital where I work helping human offspring and their mothers accomplish their daily feedings together. It is always amazing to me what a natural act nursing is to the animals, yet, we humans need so much assistance and encouragement. On the rare occasion that an animal mother or her newborn are unfit in some way, they fail to feed and die. This is frowned upon in American hospitals. So they pay me to make certain that it doesn't happen. I do this, in order to produce money for the feed that our hungry animals expect every day. Milking at home, milking at work.
The forty meat chickens are now consuming fifty pounds of feed in twenty four hours. Were we not planning to send them to freezer camp on Sunday we should have to file chapter thirteen. I am amazed by their appetites and eager to see their weights at the end. Stay tuned.
I love the beginning of a new year. It is pregnant with possibility. 2009 went more quickly for me than any other. The first half of the year was full of anticipation for Joseph and Joni's wedding. It was everything we hoped for and will cherish the memories forever. I know that this year has been hard for many who have no jobs and who, like ourselves, are struggling to deal with increasing costs at every turn. I met a man in the elevator at the hospital today who looked to be carrying the weight of the world. I bid him a happy new year and he offered back , "I just hope it's better than the last one." I hope it is better for him too.
On the farm we have had birth, death, and sickness. That is the order of the day on most farms. We ended the year with more animals than we started with. I suppose that is pretty good accounting. We certainly do no look to estimate the worth of a year by the dollar. My friend Bob Yoder passed on advice that has served him well, "If you farm don't figure, and if you figure don't farm." That is very well put.
Things we look forward to in 2010:
- We anticipate new birth in the spring. Our Great Pyrenees (Gus and Bo Peep) appeared to be whipping up a fresh batch of puppies today. That puts them here some time in March.
- Our first goats are set to arrive then too.
- Our cow Mabelle, is expecting her firstborn some time in March or April.
- We are looking forward to the 2010 goat shows. We will be attending our first national show in Lousiville this summer.
- We have been offered the use of an electric milking machine in exchange for weekly milk deliveries this year. My hands and arms rejoice.
- Nic's cabin is to receive its siding as soon as we finish staining it. That will hasten him toward completion of the interior.
- We are looking forward to a garden again this year. With the wedding this past spring it just never got done. I received some heirloom corn from a friend in South Carolina almost two years ago. I have never seen ears so massive, just look at 'em! He has been selecting for firm stocks that do not blow over so easily, among other traits. In a time when ninety eight percent of our corn is genetically modified I cherish this small store of untouched vintage seed. Fortunately no one around us grows corn that could contaminate it.
- Oh! We will be adding two beehives too. I can't believe that I almost forgot about the bees.
- More than anything we need a permanent solution to our driveway debacle. Please deliver us Dear Lord. *sigh*