Thursday, December 8, 2016

Goodbye Fall, Winter is Coming

The crisp air is fading to Jack Frost kisses. Snow has fallen. Much hot chocolate has already been consumed. Still, winter has not officially arrived.

Though, it is my least favorite of seasons, I still dream of a white Christmas. The reminder of how, by the blood of Jesus, our sins are washed away and we are made new.

Currently, my husband is re-building the ice rink in the back yard. Hopefully, this year, I will, finally, be able to try ice skating. Crazy, I know! How could I live in cold places and manage to never ice skate before?

Things are going ok with our cows. So far our efforts to breed the mom and heifer have been unsuccessful. However, the calf is getting big and doing fantastic. We aren't sure, yet, if we'll breed her or eat her. Being part jersey,  I'd like to try, but she doesn't like to be handled much. We also have a young bottle angus calf. I must say, though they are only a month apart, he doesn't  compare much to our jersey-shorthorn. She's being raised on mother's milk, (we milk share), hay, alfalfa pellets, and the occasional scoop of grain. He is also mostly on hay, but gets grain everyday!  I look forward to having our own cows' offspring on the dinner table. 

Speaking of milk sharing, our cow is a hoarder. She gives more milk when my husband milks her than when I do. On average she gives me half a gallon. Every once in awhile, I manage to get close to a gallon. My husband usually gets 1 1/4 gallons. Sometimes, he gets as much as 2. We have a milking machine, so it isn't how I milk her. I know there is more there because I see her calf going to town when I put them back together.

Regardless, we enjoy the milk we do get. We've started aging some cheddar and Parmesan. I've got jars of feta in the fridge. I did end up getting a yogurt maker and have made a few batches of it. I like to add berry compote to it. If we could get more cream from her, I'd love to make ice cream and butter.

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about, or gotten rid of our sheep. They have been divided up into their breeding groups and should all, hopefully, be pregnant by the end of the month. They aren't fans of the cows, which can be a downside when they are on the same pasture, but they all seem to be doing well.

There isn't much to say about our turkeys and chickens. Our chickens took a hiatus from laying eggs, for some reason, but at least one has started laying again. Hallelujah!

Thoughts of next year's productions, are already on my mind. I'd like to try building incubators with the boys as a project and seeing if we can hatch some poultry with them. Garden plans are brewing. Even, thoughts of hunting and foraging are dancing around my mind. I hope to have a full larder, a full house, and an overflowing heart over the next year.

I really don't like to see fall go. I hate being cold. However, right now, the hope of what is coming, should Christ not return, is bringing a joy to my heart and an excitement for winter.

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