There is a fun group on Flickr called A Day in the Life of …, and four times a year at the changing of the season you are supposed to take five photos that illustrate a day in your life. Today is my eighth time participating. (I have a collection of all of the sets here.)
Today started by finding out that the horses were out. Frank was headed out to turn the tractor on, to get it to start warming up to see if the hydraulics would work if it was warm. I was watching him go out the window when I saw the horses. Oops! We knew they were going to need a new bale of hay today, and a fence came unstapled off of a tree at a corner, so out they came. Their water was also frozen, had come unplugged, so it’s not surprising that they wanted our attention. Still, that’s not the best way to start the day.
Normally the start of the day involves lots of Maggie cuddle time. She is so happy to see us in the morning, and wants lots of petting and cuddles, from the people and the pups. It’s very sweet. She goes running up to each of us in turn, giddy with excitement. She has this little sound that is almost like a whine, but it’s very cute. She and Bjarki in particular have this huge love fest that I just love to watch.
Dealing with the horses made me late to milk Elly, and she did not approve. She’d even wandered out of her shed so that she could be sure I heard her bellowing. Oh, yes, Elly. I’m pretty sure the whole village now knows I am 15 whole minutes late to milk you! The nerve. She is the crankiest darn cow when any part of her routine is interrupted. It’s a good thing Danny’s moo is still pretty quiet, because once she gets going, he loves to join in.
It’s so nice that her milk volume is going back up. That balage really seems to be the key. We gave them a new bale of it today, but we probably could have even pushed it another day. No one had even started complaining yet, and that’s a full week on one bale, which is sort of amazing. I should have made cheese today, since I didn’t yesterday, but my day was just too busy. Tomorrow for sure. (I think I might start looking for another raw milk customer, since one of mine moved away.) Her milk is so good!
Warming up the tractor for about an hour did indeed get the hydraulics sort of working. (Frank is also going to change the filter to see if that will help.) We brought a new bale of dry hay down to the pigs, and boy were we popular. They love hay. The both eat it and bed in it, and they are so big that they move the bale around to wherever they want it. (I never guess right.) Looking at Albus next to that bale shows just how big he is. He’s huge! He’s well over three feet tall, and probably six feet long. It’s a good thing he’s so friendly!
After we got everyone fed and watered, the Icies and I went to town for errands that seemed endless. We stopped at the food bank, to load up on vittles for the pigs. We bought hydraulic fluid at one place, a filter at another. We picked up newly sharpened chains for the chainsaw. We went to the butcher for more raw food for Maggie and bones for all the dogs. (I was so hoping our stuff from the other butcher would be ready so I wouldn’t have to buy any, but it’s not ready yet and I am so concerned about feeding Maggie enough that I didn’t want her to even go just one day on kibble alone. She’s still a growing girl and underweight.)
All of the evening chores are pretty much a repeat of the morning ones, except that everyone already had hay. We do calf rodeo, and I was going to have Frank video it again because the Day in the Life of … group has a video group as well, but Elly saw me coming and drove all of the sheep to the far corners of the paddock and the dogs went nuts because moving sheep! Chase them! Oy. So sorting all of that took forever and was far more of a fiasco than it usually is.
My last chore is to check on the chickens. Egil always brings them all into the coop when it starts to get dark, so all I do is make sure they still have food and water, check for eggs, add hay to the baskets as needed, and close it up for the night. There’s something wrong with the timer in there that controls the lights that Frank’s got to fix, and I need to check tomorrow to see if the spot I put the water heater is level enough that it doesn’t pour out overnight. I love my chickens. They are one of the easiest critters we own, and I love all the fresh eggs. I made a fat bomb of an ice cream the other day with browned butter, milk, cream and egg yolks. It is absolutely divine!
So that’s a day in my life. Today felt harder than usual, with a down fence, critters out and a misbehaving tractor. It was windy and cold, so being outside in that for hours and hours has made me more tired than usual. Still, I love my life.