Hello Friends! Happy Spring!
I have just returned from my unannounced Blog Sabbatical and am bursting with things to tell you. Like the side gig I’ve taken on, whereby I sit and work in a dedicated fashion for a prescribed amount of hours and then receive financial compensation for said work in a reliable manner. It is much like this blogging gig in the sitting and working for many hours in a (mostly) dedicated fashion minus the financial compensation part. Perhaps you can see why the new gainful employment has drawn my attention away from here for the last several months while we reconfigured Life. While that blogging life was put on hold, the farm was not; it kept up the 90-miles-an-hour pace it is accustomed to. Let’s get you up to speed, shall we?
Andrew and I tried our hands at Hog Inseminating. Turns out that, despite our best efforts, we’re not that great at it; we failed to knock up Aunt Rhody. Even so, the experience produced a pretty great story and an even better boar semen shipping box, which we look forward to using as packaging for some lucky bastard’s gift sometime soon. Or maybe we hold on to it.
I am pretty sure that I manifested this rabbit. She showed up on our front porch in November, scared and clearly out of her element. It was obvious she was someone’s pet, so tame, and we tried our damnedest to get her back to her rightful home. After no luck, we named her Hazelnut, gratefully incorporated her into the Acres and bought her a husband and a sister-wife. If we had to invest in rabbit infrastructure like a waterer and feed, we might as well get a breeding trio set up, I posited. Buck Rogers and Beatrix Potter, the husband and sister-wife, have also settled in quite nicely.
The fiber flock has changed dramatically as well. We took a little New Year’s Day drive to pick up a couple of bred ewes to add to the group. It was another banner day for the minivan.
The new girls are Blue Faced Leicesters and have retained their names from their last gig as circus performers. Meet One-Eyed Myra and Horse-Faced Ethel. I’d also like to bring Yodeling Elaine to join the crew, but she’s still touring with the circus and remains elusive.
In February, Imogene gave birth to twin ram lambs. It was a chilly day to enter the world, a transition we like to ease with some time by the woodstove. Meet Bartles and James.
After a few years of talking about tapping some of our Maple trees, we fell upon a clutch of old galvanized pails, a stroke of good fortune that similarly galvanized our resolve to do it this year. Andrew pulled a genius evaporator setup out of thin air and we’ve just now completed our first year of sugarin’. Our larder is lined with gold.
I mentioned that the rabbits had settled in nicely; both does have successfully produced litters and we are bursting with adorable, bustling new life. I trust they will get slightly less adorable by the time the offspring are mature enough to harvest; they have to. Isadora informs me that the bunny above is named Annabeth, a blue Silver Fox born to Beatrix Potter. I’ve repeatedly informed her that Annabeth will join the others from her litter in the freezer when the time comes.
And most recently, we celebrated the arrival of 100 Freedom Ranger broiler chicks. We enjoyed their presence for about 18 hours, give or take, until the electrical breaker was tripped in the wee hours of the night and power was lost to the heat lamps that kept them alive. When we discovered the calamity in the morning, not one of the 100 were alive. So it goes on the farm – the celebration of life pretty quickly leads to the mourning of death. We’ve made some key adjustments to the program, ordered a new batch of chicks, and counted our blessings that the loss was not greater.
With that, I will leave you to process it all. I look forward to returning to our conversation on Thursday. Will I see you there?