"The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land."
-Abraham Lincoln

Merry Christmas (belated)

I hope everyone has had a very Merry Christmas!   Around here we woke up Christmas morning and were kind of surprised to find that there was still a small amount of snow on the ground from the last "blizzard" that dropped a little less than 2 inches on the ground.  Nothing deep but it definitely looked more "Christmasy" than the mud we've gotten used to seeing around here.
Even though we only had a light dusting of snow on the ground for Christmas day, by Christmas night we were in the midst of a full blown blizzard. By the time it was all said and done (at least I think it's all said and done) we had received a full 10in. of snowfall.   It's the classic story over here, the children are extremely excited for the snow while the adults are dreading it.  Thankfully, I got DH a brand new pair of insulated coveralls and fleece-lined jeans for Christmas so he was well prepared for today's work.

Blizzards mean preparations, and lots of them, when you live in the country.  We piled up on salt.  Brought the shovels close to the house.  We spent part of the day hooking the snow plow up to the old tractor and attempting to make a drivable path down the lane.  We spent most of last night spreading an extra layer of straw down in the barns for added warmth for the critters.  But when we woke up this morning we found that the snow had blown through some of the cracks in the old walls and was starting to fill the pens and stables.  So we had to move the animals and clear out the pens, patch up the holes as best we could, remove the wet straw and all before feeding time.  Uggh.

We added a calf to the day of Christmas surprises.  A beautiful, big short horned baby girl.   The mother of this particular calf is normally quite the trouble maker, always getting out of the fences and into the orchards and corn fields, but she's a fairly experienced momma and her calves normally do really well so we weren't too worried when she arrived Christmas afternoon even with the approaching storm.  The only thing somewhat concerning is the fact that the calf had refused to suck for awhile but she was big enough and seemed otherwise healthy enough that we felt confident in taking the wait and see approach.  Sometimes, just like with human babies, it just takes a little time.  In this case the wait and see approach worked and by this afternoon she was eating like a champ.  One less thing to worry about. 

I spent most of these last weeks before Christmas making gifts for everyone and now that Christmas has come and gone I'm back to having empty needles, hooks, and sewing machines.  So I'm off to hunt for the next project. 

Happy Belated Christmas everybody!


Kelle said...

Congrats on the heifer calf! We won't have any babies til April and unfortunately we've given up on getting our heifer bred, tried AIing her without luck and a bull isn't possible at this point, so we've decided to sell her. The goats work better for our needs right now, maybe someday dowen the road we'll try cows again. We'll continue to raise been steers :) I'm resting and recouping before tackling tax stuff*whew* Glad your Christmas was good, ours was nice but disappointing in te fact that the grandkids didn't come up, bad roads stopped them.

The Craftivist said...


I'm sorry to hear that your grandkids couldn't come up to see you guys over Christmas. The blizzards so far this winter have just been brutal, this last pass through we had ended up with at least 4 cars in the ditch down our road alone.

New calves are always a hopeful sign for the coming New Year. I can understand the frustration with AI. We've tried it on a few of our heifer's in years past with mixed results. We own our herd jointly with my father in law and currently have about 300 head, all down at our other property. At the moment we have two bulls out with the herd which seems a bit strange but they were raised together and have never had any problems getting along together. So at the moment all of the calves we've gotten in the last two years have been from those two bulls.

Good luck with the tax preparations. I know I'm not looking forward to starting into that mess this year ;)