Nick Zigelbaum and Kate MacLean together with their young son run at small diversified Animal Welfare Approved farm on 120 acres in Chelsea, Vermont. Nick raises Milking Devon cows and Kate raises Icelandic sheep and Ossabaw pigs. The farm carries with it many chickens, dogs, a few goats, and a Jersey milking cow too.

12.16.2013

Winter portraits/ Pictured, Not Pictured

I have lost most of the muscle memory required to write. It has been that long. My thoughts on what to say are so numerous and so cluttered that in order to make mind space and come back to this at all gracefully, I thought I'd throw a softball of a pictured/not pictured post.


pictured: 

1. They are an Icelandic breed. True to their name they remain unimpressed by all winter weather.
2. The chickens, however, appear averse to snow. We ceremoniously open and shut their coop door, morning and night, but not one chicken foot-print outside.
3. After watching my does go through two heat cycles without successfully finding a buck for hire, I caved and bought one on Craigslist. His name is Ferdinand and he is a sweet pea. Even though I swore I would never have a buck again. Here he is, living in my barnyard, ravishing my sweet does.
4. The girls.
5. Rose, in a stable of the new (half-built) barn. I'm intending to breed her this winter, which means in addition to the buck that I am not happy to have, I will soon have a boar. Balls always mean more work and more trouble in a barnyard.
6. Snowy cows.
7. One of this year's steers.
8.  Despite a foot of snow, Hawkeye knows with eerie precision the location of each bone.
9. Tractor, Nick, hay. Every three days. Round bales are the bussom of efficiency.

not pictured: 

1. The hoop house that Nick built, in a tangled, snowy, plastic-y mess. The weight of the snow and my idiocy caused its collapse in the last storm.
2. Fortunately I hadn't had my new life-as-a-mom together enough to plant anything of significance in it. Unfortunately, I never filled out the Warranty card for the hoophouse kit.
3. My unmotherly screaming of F-U-C-K on repeat, like a verbal and angry hyena, when I found #1 and realized the latter half of #2.
4. The tornado of the house. Pre-baby Kate would have been aghast and would have judged very harshly. Post-baby Kate watched with bemusement tonight as a pitbull stood on the futon licking peanut butter from behind a pillow. She was too intent on keeping a quiet house for the sleeping babe that she offered no discipline to the dog nor any attempt to clean up the remaining peanut butter. She believes it to still be smudged in behind the pillow.
5. Leland's second chin. It closely resembles a pelican's pouch filled with fish. I kiss it often.
6. The weather has brought Nick inside temporarily and it is so nice to have the company. It makes me feel like a human again.
7. The moon tonight. The brightness combined with the reflection from the snow. You need little modern assistance to see outside.
8. A meeting on Saturday to plan the second and final part of the new barn. Already planning of things in June and July, how adorably optimistic.
9. Little calves, and kids, and lambs, all growing in their mama bellies (with any real luck). 

12 comments:

  1. Pre-mom house makers don't know nothing! I swear if I got to look around at so much beautiful snow, I might be in more of the holiday mood. Best of luck with hoop houses and house cleaning.

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  2. Yay very glad that you're back! I've missed your posts!

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  3. Icelandic sheep! Glad you're back and your world is so sweet and disheveled. Happy Yuletide!

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  4. I've missed your posts too but so looking forward to seeing your smiling faces
    and that adorable double chin to kiss.

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  5. I'll take your "softball" post any day! (Wow, the snow!)

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  6. Hi Kate! The deep red cow in the background of the picture of the steer - what breed is she? The dairy farm where I work acquired a cow just like her in color, eyes and horns, but the breed is unknown. She's beautiful!

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    1. Hi Lindsay! She is a milking Devon! Hope that helps.

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  7. oh I don't care how long it's been, I always love to read when you write! I had to giggle to myself when you said balls are more trouble.

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    1. rawketstarling, I couldn't agree more! On both loving to read Kate's newest adventure to the balls jab, haha!

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  8. I was so glad you see your post today! I only dream of one day experiencing the farm life and I live vicariously through your blog. I wish you and your family (animals included) the best of holidays!

    With lots of admiration for what you do,
    Cindy

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  9. So, if my dog is already licking peanut butter off the sofa, what does this mean once my buck gets around to ravishing me and I'm heart deep in double chins? I fear. I fear.
    Also, I think it's high time Nicky built a little porch for your birds. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a very real thing.

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  10. Baby double chins are the best!

    I love reading whenever you are able to write. Best wishes for that hoop house :/

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