Boy, has it been some time since I posted last. I could go on and on with the usual excuses that life has been too busy, etc. But the real reason that it has been so long since I have posted is that I have been too focused on this Covid pandemic and just trying to keep my hubby and I alive so that we can someday see all of our children and their families and our families in Texas “once this is over”. Yes, “once this is over”, We are all waiting for that day, right? Crazy. I have been spending too much time waiting for that day. I have no answers just like most of you really have no answers either on what to do about Covid. But I can share what is going on at our farm and with the animals who share this little island of pine trees and pasture in Black Forest on the outskirts of bustling Colorado Springs. So let me catch you up.
We have almost a hundred chickens now. The True Blue Whitings and the Lavender Americaunas who we added to the farm as little chicks last spring are laying more than ever now! Even with the cold winter weather and drops to zero degrees, they keep hopping up in their nests and gracing us with big beautiful blue eggs. We are getting about 3 dozen eggs per day from our chicken herd.
The Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are also still laying nicely through the cold weather. This is their second winter. They are so broody at times and often I have to reach in and pick up and cuddle and pet one of the hens so I can get her eggs. You have to be understanding with them and loving because they are often in a bad mood and fluffed out flat over the eggs. It is cute because when you pick the hen up and set her on the floor of the chicken coop she stays in the same position. I try to coax her to the food and remind her that we do not need to hatch eggs at this time. She usually disagrees and there is not even a rooster around pressuring her into this behaviour. The roosters are all together in their own bachelor coop and pen. Some of them I have to admit could be on death row, especially if the price of chicken keeps going up in the store. Most of the time, I just get too fond of them and how beautifully feathered they all are. So, what do we do with all these eggs? My neighbour Johanna helps me sell some of them and I have some friends who come by and pick up a few dozen at a time. Let’s just say that our dogs and pigs are very well fed with the extra eggs we have around. The Lord has abundantly provided all of us on the farm with what we need for the day and usually more than we can even take in for ourselves. He is our God, our provider.
We have 3 cattle right now. Dolly our milk cow is due the end of this month! Thank God because we have been having to drink store bought milk which tastes like water compared to Dolly’s rich Jersey milk when she is in milk. She was initially artificially inseminated this past year with semen from a miniature jersey bull from Sure Shot but she did not get pregnant after all that expense of shots, sexed semen etc. Dolly instead took matters into her own hands, i.e. hooves, and got out of her pasture and had a one night stand night on the town with our Jersey Dexter bull, Torito and sure enough she got pregnant . Now we have NEVER had a female calf out of our Dexter bulls in the past. It would be something if this was the first time. The calf from our last milk cow Abigail grew up to a good sized steer and he is now in our freezer in little packages. Thank goodness, because the price of beef is just out of sight. Remember, Dolly had a calf named Ellie? Unbeknownst to us Dolly had been bred back to an Angus when we got her and Ellie, her calf is this beautiful sweet black as night heifer with no horns. My husband bucked common sense and fell in love with her and decided to keep her and see if she will make a good milk cow herself. And beside she is the first heifer calf we have ever had born on this farm! She is grown up and now in the pasture with Torito so someday I am sure we will have a lovely black bull calf. No matter how hard we try to control things in our lives, it is almost always to no avail. The best is to trust God as he usually has the answer for our problems right in front of us. We just need to open our eyes and look.
Oh, the best news of the farm is about Gracie , our pinto arabian mare. She had severe laminitis and we thought many times she was going to pass to the great horse pasture in the sky. We had 2 different vets out to see her in July and they both thought she was ready to put down. We rented a backhoe and our friend George dug a grave for her and we scheduled the vet to come out the next day to put her down. I kept praying and pleading with God for a miracle, for us to be able to have Gracie a little longer. Well, Gracie got wind of all of this and the next morning she came to her senses and looked at my hubby with those soulful Bambi eyes as he was giving her hay and told him she was not ready to go. We called the vet and cancelled the appointment for the euthanasia and boy have things changed since then! She is SO much better. She has put on great weight and is walking around in her paddock and even going out to the pasture on good weather days.
Kenny our farrier said he would have not believed it if he had not seen it when he came to do her last trimming. Gracie is doing well. Some cold mornings she is a little stiff but so are my hubby and myself. We have learned from her that being reminded of a grave awaiting us can be a big wake up call to start living.
We have also been reminded most of all how much the Lord loves us and our animals and hears our prayers. I am so thankful that He has chosen to give us more time with Gracie on this earth. I hope when we both go to heaven I will get to ride her in heaven.
You know there are horses in heaven, right? Our Savior will be riding on one when He returns!
We have pigs! Remember Bonnie? She got huge and we quickly learned she was out of our league. Our friend Theo traded a smaller blue butt pig Daisy for her so we could have a pig more manageable for two late 60 somethings like my husband and I. We renamed her Bathsheba after finding out that she loved to take long soaking baths in her tub. Well Bathsheba came to us pregnant and wound up having eleven little piggies!
Now that is a lot of piggies and 4 of them did not make it despite much effort to save them. Bathsheba herself never fully recovered from the ordeal and passed away before this past Christmas. We sold 2 of the piglets to a local farm and we decided to keep and raise 5 of them. They are so cute. We are going to keep 2 for breeder sows and 3 of them we are raising for meat for us and the Brewery where we get our spent grains. They have been huddling together under a heat lamp in an A Frame house with straw for bedding and doing very well.
They love to run in the pasture and the alpacas still voice their discontent over sharing the farm with pigs. Things never change. We also added three Kune Kunes to our farm last summer. One of them, Puddles had piglets as well and we sold all of the babies once they were weaned to local farms.
The Kunes are doing great even with this extremely cold weather. They are amazing with their bright colored and spotted fat little short legged bodies. They look like little toy Tsum Tsums. Who would have thought we would have gone from one pig to now 8 pigs on the farm. The Lord keeps multiplying our blessings.
We lost our beloved Akbash, Jacob last year. That was indeed one of the saddest mornings when we found him peacefully asleep and gone to heaven during chores on a sunny cold spring morning. We were never able to make sense of it. He was with us and then he was gone. We reached out to the Akbash breeders we knew in Texas and before we knew it we had 2 puppies in our car and driving back from Central Texas to Colorado Springs stopping often to give water, food and letting them out at dog parks we could find on the way to run and pet and love on them. We have named the girl Ayla and the boy Judah.
They are amazing and loving dogs. We are looking forward to breeding them someday and having little Akbash puppies who can go on to bless and protect local farms and ranches in our community. Hope is a blessing.
The Lord has kept us safe and well this past year. I pray you will see when and where He has done the same for you. Yes , there have been many days of sorrow with missing our children and grandchildren who live across the oceans where we can’t get to one another at this time.
Our hope is to someday soon see them and hug them again. Lord increase our faith during these trying times. We know with You all things are possible. and we are not alone.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”