Wally is a great man!!!

I forgot to write about this last night:  I was glad I had my sunglasses on as I pulled into the driveway, because I was momentarily blinded by a shiny black truck.  Wally had given Yoda a bath!!!!  He also did a really good blow-out and spray-down of the milk parlor.  Good thing he did that because as I was milking Gwen she shifted and knocked me off the milk stool onto my butt.  Luckily she didn’t knock the milk bucket over.

Often, running the farm is frustrating and really hard work, but just as often, it is a gift.  Sometimes, while looking for something else, I’ll come across a book that I read and will take it back out and re-read it.  That happened recently with The Year of the Goat.  I don’t have much time to read, so often these books sit on the stand that is near the toilet and I skim through them.  On the first page of this book, I read two sentences that really hit home:

“…the plight of the American small farmer was enough of a catchphrase to make that obvious–but other than weather and disease, I had no idea what they were.  I saw them with their battered trucks and dirt-streaked work pants, and I imagined that their lives had a kind of purity of intention that mine lacked.”

First was the dirt-streaked work pants … my work clothes are all so dirty that they are never going to come clean.  Oh well, they got dirty doing something important.  The second was the “purity of intention that mine lacked.”  Wally and I talk about that a lot.  So many people have little to go home to after their real jobs are over.  Both of us rush to get home after work.  We have a lot (too much sometimes) to come home to, but that’s where we both want to be.  There is great purity of intention in our lives.

Last night before I started milking I saw that Ace was pacing back and forth at the gate leading to the back pasture where Sudi was.  Ace has some separation anxiety issues, something I’ll eventually address perhaps with homeopathy, but more likely with ground work.  He is seriously lacking in ground manners and that’s dangerous.  This lack of ground manners was made very clear while I was hosing him off at South Mountain.  My friend rinsed her horse first and then took her back to her trailer and Ace had a fit and became very difficult to work with.

I walked down and let let Ace into the pasture and he trotted off.  Sudi came to me and I scratched and loved on him for a while.  Sudi has great ground manners and he loves the games we play on the ground.  I don’t think Ace is going to like them as much as Sudi does.  Sudi is from old, foundation Arabian stock, horses that trace back to the Arabians the Bedouins kept in their tents.    While Ace is an Arabian, he’s just a run-of-the-mill Arabian; Sudi is desert-bred and eventually he’s going to be my Ace in the Hole.  I’m still afraid to ride him; heck, I’m still sometimes afraid of riding Ace.  Maybe that will get better, but for now, I’ll focus on Ace and see if maybe I can’t do a couple of limited distance endurance rides in the spring.  Once my confidence is restored, or, which is probably a more likely event, my riding fitness improves so I’m not so likely to fall off, I’ll return to riding Sudi.  I think if lived in a tent, Sudi would like to be in there with me.

Remember the kitchen island we got a while back?  We bought that with farm money.  We often buy things with farm money, but always things the “farm” (or its caretakers) need.  I use that kitchen island every day to process farm products; it’s been a very useful tool.  For a long time now, I’ve wanted to buy a Kitchen Aid mixer, but Kitchen Aid mxers are very, very expensive.  You can buy a low-wattage model with nylon gears (vs. metal) new for around $250 and you can find them used for around $75.  I knew with what I was going to use a mixer for I’d burn through nylon gears.  I finally found an older model Kitchen Aid mixer for a reasonable price and will be picking it up today.  The farm is going to pay for it.  What will it be used for: churning butter, processing soft cheese spreads, bread dough, etc.  I can’t wait.  I’ve got several jars of cream ready to make into butter and a bunch of batches of cheese ready to be mixed with garlic, etc.

Don’t you love the Internet?  I have a pretty good idea of how to cut up a fryer rabbit, but I really wanted to see it done before I did it.  I found a good video and soon I’ll be getting the rabbit out of the refrigerator, cutting it up and marinating it in preparation for putting it on the grill tonight.  I haven’t decided what I’m going to serve with the grilled rabbit.  I’m leaning towards polenta and a chunky tomato sauce (using my canned tomatoes).

I best get my butt in gear and get my milking and other chores done.  Cynthia is supposed to get here around 9:00 so we can process the two roosters.  Hopefully that will go as well as the rabbits did.  Then there’s chicken soup on the menu, which will be a good thing given we are finally supposed to get some rain, which we very much need.

Until later …