Shades of Ireland

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Blessed Thanksgiving!

Salena is home and has taken over the kitchen so I have a little time to write and catch up this morning.
Our big meal will be in the late afternoon so that our day is not so rushed. Salena treated us to gluten free pancakes, scrambled eggs and vanilla coffee for breakfast. I just love getting up to a fire already going in the fireplace and hot coffee waiting in the pot.

The craft fair in Elk Falls went wonderfully. The bathrooms worked with no failed flushes or overflows. The heaters worked and the electrical system did not overload. We had lots and lots of visitors who spent their money and blessed us all. The only snag came last night when I got a call claiming that they were missing a table and two chairs from the gym. I am pretty sure that they aren't missing at all....... Even if they are, they are really just not in their normal place. I refuse to be irritated or upset about a ratty old table and two folding chairs.

I love doing the craft fair even with the little problems and petty stuff that goes along with dealing with crowds of people. I have been going to this one for about seven years and running the whole shebang for four or five years. "My vendors" are old friend now...... some of them are getting very old. My heart is very heavy because I know that some of them are not going to make it to many more craft fairs. Cancer, pacemakers, knee and shoulder replacements were the topics of conversation alot this year. One vendor lost her husband to a stroke since last year, another has survived cancer and the treatment FIVE times. Another couple are new grandparents...... this is almost like a family reunion for us...... in fact there are three sets of sisters who set up booths, some together and some seperate. I used to say that some day I was going to live in Elk Falls. I am not so sure about that anymore but I do have a great fondness for that beautiful part of Kansas.

On the home front, things are still moving along in their normal rythmn. Moving my young pullets to the garden has proved to be a very bad move. Between the Seth's German Shepherd puppy, Elsa, and the hawks and owls, I only have 6 left. I have decided to just make our life easier and the chore list shorter by moving the survivors back over to the barn and into the henhouse. That is not a sanctuary either. All summer I have been leaving the hen house door open into their covered, closed run. Apparently, there is a hole somewhere. Both roosters and one hen went missing....... no feathers, no remains. That usually means a 'possum or raccoon. Closing the hen house door at night has stopped the disappearing chickens but I haven't found the hole yet.

I am watching my old friend/enemy Brindle. She is due to calve any second...... literally. I watched her ease across the pasture in to a secluded wooded area about an hour ago. All the other cows were up at the feeding area chowing down on the hay. She is so high strung that I really have to be careful not to check on her too much. I am looking for the binoculars before I head back over. This is her second and last calf on our farm. She does a good job but she is such a rebel that she is a bad influence on the other cows and calves. Since I am the head wrangle around here, I cannot have one renegade cow messing up my system. She is old and wise and reluctant to come into the catch pens and convinces the calves to stay out, too. That's a really a good survival technique on her part but terrible for my marketing scheme.

Looks like we will be shopping for a new bull after the first of the year. I am pretty sure that our guy is very low on the fertility scale. Our calving season is really strung out and we have seen many re-breeds. Earlier, we could have blamed it on the heat and drought but at this point, I am afraid there are no good excuses for him, now. We have kept several of his heifer calves so it will be a good thing to get him off of this farm anyway. We have not had really good luck in keeping our bulls penned up in the past......

On a holiday note, I have been contemplating my blessings. There are a vast number of wonderful things that God has given me. The love and devotion of my husband, a houseful of happy, healthy children. I have more tears from laughter than tears of sadness in my everyday life. Work that challenges me mentally and physically and fills me with deep contentment. The steadfast promise in these bewildering times that there is nothing new under the sun.

Andrew Peterson is one of my favorite recording artists. His song, "Faith to be Strong", pierces my heart every time.  I won't put the whole thing up but here is the chorus:

Give us faith to be strong
Give us strength to be faithful
'Cause life is not long but it's hard
Give us grace to go on
Make us willing and able
Lord, give us faith to be strong

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

PS: Just checked and Brindle has a calf. I THINK that it a heifer..... can't get close enough to really check with out a trip to the ER.

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