Monday, December 28, 2009

new baby

We have a first here on the farm....a December kid! We realized a couple of weeks ago that one of our doelings was building an udder. It seems that while we were away in Virginia the end of July she came in heat and was bred. I know! I was late getting our bucklings out of the doe pen and didn't want to do it just before leaving for 11 days. Well, I came home 2 days too late LOL! I will have to DNA test 3 bucks but this beauty will be worth it.
We have also had a really wonderful holiday season at the kennels. Things have been so slow that I had feared we would have almost no dogs here. Thankfully,I was wrong. Our cow Missy is coming into full production and giving wonderful sweet milk with loads of cream. As soon as we slow down from the holidays I will be frantically making as much butter and cheese as possible. I plan to start another churn of kraut soon also. I look forward to the real winter weather that comes in Jan. and Feb. Our kidding season begins the first week of Feb. so I need to get the kid stalls ready and heat lamps up.
The seed catalogs are coming in and it is time to sit by the woodstove and plan my orders. Life is good!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day!!

Happy Birthday Jesus!! I wonder how the wise men could find their way today with all the lights on houses,trees and even cars. It has become quite a circus. A total diversion from the true meaning of the day. We as Christians celebrate this day and the virgin birth of our savior and Lord ,Jesus Christ. The son of God was sent as a gift to man to give us the opportunity to be saved from our greedy sins.
He was born of the most humble of means yet we insist on honoring him with the most garish of ways. Strange ,Yes!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Well,all the ingredients are purchased for the Christmas meals. Now I just need to find the recipes to start preparing the food. Everyone has a favorite dish so we never have that balanced table that you see in the magazine. We are all tired of turkey from Thanksgiving thus we will have Prime Rib on Christmas day. We will have plenty of side dishes and more than enough desserts.
It never tastes quite as good to the cook and as it should after preparing it, but the happiness inside that comes from feeding your family is always there.
My conviction this Christmas is to make sure that each and every one of my daughters learn to cook a complete dish. I must admit that I have been a near failure in being insistent in teaching them things in the kitchen. I always seem to be too tired,too busy or they were at a sports practice etc. Suddenly,I realized that time has passed much too quickly and they are young ladies without the proper Southern lady skills. Oh my,how will they ever catch a husband! This Christmas I will begin a new tradition of compiling a family recipe book. I desperately want them to grasp this part of their heritage and treasure it as I have. I want my grandchildren to eat the same Southern soul foods lovingly prepared by their elders hands. I am not being prejudiced just proud of who I am and who my forebears were. We sometimes smugly think that we are different and unique. I say that just the opposite is true. We are bits and pieces of so many before us.I lost my grandmother to illness when I was 5 and missed many of the things that grandparents do with a child. I desperately cling to the memory of me sitting on the kitchen counter watching her cook. I remember a gruff old great aunt lovingly helping my little hands pat butter in molds and indulging me with treats all the while acting like I was trouble.I remember this today when I teach my own daughters to make butter from our cows. I am always amazed at how certain foods bring back memories and emotions.Tea Cakes with chocolate icing will always belong to my Aunt Eva. I will never dig a sweet potato with thinking of Uncle Boss. Fried egg sandwiches belong to cousin Joe and chicken pie to Aunt Hesta Lou....I could go on and on.
Some things are contributed through blood and still others by association. I catch little glimpses of many in the kaleidoscope that is my life. Some colored me happy and bright while others touched my life with dark cold hues. Each and every one contribute to who I am and what I pass on to my children. We are not one whole but tiny bits of many treasures collected along life's path. When I look in the mirror and see the eyes of my grandmother or I see my husbands father in the way that he walks.
Many notes must be played to compose a song. It is the same with life. There are just so many moments to make a life. My wish for Christmas is that each child would receive the gift of heritage that I offer. It is my dearest gift to give.

Friday, December 18, 2009


It has been raining since last night. This is a cold rain. I think that we are barely above freezing. I sure wish that I was in Virginia. They will get almost a foot of snow and have a beautiful white Christmas. I will have to suffice with a cold mushy mud filled Christmas:)
My poor critters are not happy,especially the goats who HATE rain. They are huddled up and grumpy. I bet the chickens won't lay today either. I am so happy that we have loads of split fire wood for the wood stove. I will just hibernate until milking time. I am making a grocery list for next weeks baking.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

WOW! Christmas Eve is a week away

Time sure flies. I can't believe that next week is Christmas. It is always a stressful time of the year trying to get gifts and food bought in advance as we all work during the holidays at the kennel. It takes effort to refocus on the true event that we are celebrating,the birth of Jesus.
We were blessed yesterday with the birth of a healthy great nephew.
It had me thinking about how Mary and Joseph must have felt ...trying to find a place to deliver their child. Most of us are fortunate enough not to be wandering around homeless,9 months pregnant on a donkeys back no less. I actually pondered what it must have been like to give birth in a stable last night as I was milking Missy (our Jersey). Things were so quite and calm. All the goats were bedded down and chewing their cud. I leaned in close to Missy in an effort to keep warm and felt her velvet fur against my cheek. The rhythmic movement of her body as she eagerly ate her grain carried me in a gentle rocking motion. I was lulled into a dreamlike state. In comparison to the hustle and bustle of today's hospital the stable would have been a very peaceful place to enter this world. I know that I find peace there at night after a long day.
The night sky was bright with stars and there was a crispness in the air but inside the stall it was warm and sweet. Steamy heat rose from the animals bodies. An occasional hen chuckled softly to herself...quite happy with her days work. The day might have been created to provide life to our plants and allow us to work but the night was created to nourish our soul.
I feel very fortunate to be able to spend this quite peaceful time with our animals. Their contentment washes away my contempt of what our society has become. For a short time the peace and simplicity of the barn envelopes me and renews my faith that God will prevail. What a more poignant way to show us that life needs to be unencumbered by "stuff"and more enriched by simply living. The "King of Kings"was not born in a palace of stone but in a warm cozy stable. If it was good enough for Jesus it is just fine for me. Excuse me while I go to my quite place:)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Montage Dairy Feed

I was so excited today when our new feed was delivered! All the animals seem to really love it . I am anxious to see the results of the nutritionists work . All the water tubs were frozen this morning but the sun was shining so bright that it melted pretty fast. It was really nice to see the sun come out after all the storms .