No, Mom, There’s A LOT Of Clover

Photo on 2013-03-23 at 14.33

Evidently Lucy has been looking for a four leaf clover for weeks. Me? Years. She ran in today with her found treasure. A big shout out to Brent for seeding clover, but who knows, this beauty may have been a volunteer.

I look at this as some good luck for a good season of nitrogen to fuel our pastures. Good find, Lucy!

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Tag, You’re ‘i’T

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It’s what separates the men from the women. Namely me, the women. If I were to run this farm all by myself, there is NO WAY IN HECK I would tag a calf in the field. Why? Oh sure you mortals thinks cows “chew and moo” all day, but in reality, they are animals. They are domesticated animals with feelings for their offspring. All calm, I could get ‘hold of a calf and quickly tag it, but the minute that little calf does a little “meh,” the herd is on it. They swoop in, right at you ready to deal with any trouble. They’re a herd, after all, a village, they look after each other. Should some farmer go tagging a calf in the field, they’ll let you know what they think about that. So, we try to do it safely. To tag a calf at all is an amazing result of regulation. I’m sure in the old days, tagging calves and the danger within was a non-issue. But, in these days and times, it’s what you have to do to make great meat. So the farmers, mainly men, have their strategy. Since Brent moves the girls each day, he took an opportunity to close off the fence when the girls went through ( and the calf did not ) to drive the tractor in and tag the calf. It turns out, the roar of the tractor muted any “meh” a calf would make, but this girl didn’t really make a “meh.” Brent tagged the calf then radioed in that he had done so. Good move. If he had said, “I’m going to tag the calf,” I’d be completely worried and vulnerable as I have my toddler running around and dealing with husbands tagging livestock, isn’t easily accesible. But he did it. “Infinity and Beyoncé” has her ears pierced. She’s happy and milking Luna, her mum. This is the type of task on a farm that separates the girls from the men. I’m so impressed this went well without any stress to the animals. She’s a great, chubby calf that may be around awhile breeding lovely, grassfed beef.

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Our pasture must be fenced. We had some help to get the Yukon paddock ready as quick as possible for the herd to munch and crunch. It’s wet, you see, so we need to push in as many posts as possible before the dry, hot sun makes this feat impossible.

Okay, so it’s an ‘i’ year. We have a HUGE list of ‘i’ names. But if you come up with something grasspunk-worthy, we may have to use that name (with credit of course ). ‘i’ is not easy, but this limitation leads you to amazing paths. Trust us, we’ve done a few sessions.

With Socks, I Go By Thickness

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I haven’t worn a matching pair of socks since Otto was born. It’s no big deal really. Most of the time I don’t even wear socks. I grew up a beach girl. This whole sock thing never took shape until I moved to Eugene Oregon. And only then did I need socks when Eugene was covered in ice during the great freeze of 1991. I’ve never wished or hoped for socks more than the time I was waiting for a bus, the LTD, to take me home after my shift at The Emporium during a freak blizzard. I, in pantyhose, cream and fellow LTD riders in state-of-the art Northwest fleece. My California roots were upheaved. I made it home okay, but it wasn’t without clinging to the bus shelter like a kitten tossed on curtains so the wind and snow would lay off my sheer fashion choice.

Today, I hit a new low. I grabbed for mismatched socks, but came up short. I didn’t even notice until I sat down on the doorstep to watch Zelie navigate the fig branches on a small rock wall ( she likes to keep me on my toes … all day long … without even a short nap for a break ). One foot is feeling great, the other is a bit left out. All in the name of great beef.

As a side note, my kids and husband are fully equipped with proper gear. It’s Tosca and me that jog up behind. Now that the sun is shining, my socks will be washed and accounted for. Though, it will be too gorgeous to bother.

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In other news, the kids came home to a gorgeous sunset. Lucy and Brent checked the heifers.

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Then, Brent rolled the hay bale while Lucy fed the boys. Would you believe they escaped castration a third time?! The tricky bull babies blinked at Brent convincing him to give them some hay when, in fact, they were not to be fed the night before their procedure.

We’ll catch you next week, cheeky monkies.

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Z and Minty played on the old wine press. Then we all ate beef curry and broccoli.

It’s A Quarter To Seh-ven, I’m A Little Stunned And I Need Some Sun

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Sun, a bright orb, has at last spoken through this little playroom window, through the hallway and onto my velvet warming curtain. It’s almost seven pm, you know, so seeing light in the sky or through the playroom, onto the hallway and brightening my velvet warming curtain is a pleasant surprise. It means Spring is near. It means hours and hours of light and warm.
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It means more daylight for work.

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It means hay season is approaching.

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It means calves are coming.

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It means my daughter looks pretty cute with halo lighting.

This Is Our Willow This Is Our Retriever

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She’s an old girl, our willow, growing in a courtyard not suited to her liking. She carries on none the less.

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Despite her partial paralysis, she keeps on keeping on. You’d never know she had an incident.

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She wants to be with us despite the crazy kids and the weather.

She’s based on limestone, but with all this rain, she get a little grass.

If she should front a band, her CD flap ( or a downloaded equivalent ) would look like this:

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She’s not old, our T-Pot, she’s big boned. She likes to search for food under that old willow to make sure the chickens didn’t forget anything.

The willow holds strong in the wind and holds the nests in place.

Together, the courtyard stays alive.

Lucy’s Flower Garden Beginnings

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Through the blustery, Spring winds of March, Lucy is working on her flower garden. She’s excited to try flowers in the triangle plot that is the first peek a visitor sees as they approach the courtyard. I’m trying to help her plan the garden as my older sister taught me. My sister has a great eye for artistic plant arrangement as well as extensive knowledge in plants and their time to bloom. She helped me lay out a flower bed that had something gorgeous from April to September. I’m hoping Lucy can lay out something similar.

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This future flower bed has direct sun all day long, so she might be limited. Limitation can fuel creativity. I suppose we’ll sit back and watch her blossom.