Archive for December 10th, 2011

A Long Awaited Moment



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Morning at Sassafras Farm


Chores here are decidedly different. I start the day at the barn.

I derive an immense amount of pleasure in anything that involves going to the barn. I love the barn. Pinch me, I still can’t believe I have a barn.

And I get to play with it every day.

The first thing I do each day (after counting heads in the goat yard and ascertaining that Cookie Doe has STILL NOT DELIVERED) is go to the barn. I flip the wooden bar on the door that opens into the side of the barn with the access to the hay loft.

I go up the steps to the loft.

Once in the hay loft, I’m greeted by cats. My indoor-outdoor cats (aka house cats) are still in the house (and out of it, when I can convince them) while my outdoor-only cats have now become barn cats. (These aren’t the kind of barn cats that multiply. All of my cats are fixed.)

I bring cat food with me, and the cats are happy sleeping in the hay and eating their cat food without any chickens bothering them up here in the loft. Hopefully, if there are any mice in the barn, they are chasing them.

Then I head for one of the big stacks of hay and nudge down a bale.

I get the bale of hay plopped over at the window that looks down into the barn yard.

I give a look-see to make sure I’m not about to squash a chicken then push the bale out the window.

Then I can go down to the yard and clip off the strings.

If you read my post from about a month ago as to the ridiculous extremes I had to endure at times to get a square bale of hay to the cows at Stringtown Rising, you can understand why I feel like this is almost cheating, it’s so easy.

It could be even easier. I’m hoping to move some round bales over here from Stringtown today. Each round bale will feed the cows for a week, so I won’t need to get hay for them every day anymore. Whatever will I do? I might have to start eating bon bons on the sofa.

Meanwhile, those people over there are wondering when it’s going to be their turn.

I toss out some hay from the barn for them and load it into a wheeled cart that was left here by the previous owners.

I take a couple trips back and forth to bring them a whole bale, but the land is flat between the goat yard and the barn, so it’s not difficult. (I have a bigger cart, but I haven’t brought it out of the barn yet.)

Flat, flat, flat, no obstacles, flat.

Now everyone is happy.

I kick the dogs out of the barn.

I shut up the barn and check on everybody’s water, using the handy faucets at the barn and the goat yard, then I go home for another cup of coffee, having completed my easy chores on my easy farm. I consider tripping into the creek, climbing over a couple fences, letting the goats walk on my back, or helping one of the sheep escape so I can feel like I’ve had a real farming experience.

Never mind!

It’s morning at Sassafras Farm and I feel lazy.

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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