December walk

December 19th, 2013

My sister and her boyfriend, Jacob, flew in from California yesterday and came up to the farm to join us before we all pile into one car to visit my parents for Christmas. 

It fills me to have visitors...to see this land populated with our young smiling friends. It isn't a treat we are granted often in the winter. We aren't near any large ski mountains, and the thrill of Vermont in the winter sans alpine ski is lost on many. We've sung our mightiest gospel on the virtues of the snowshoe, the sled, the cross country ski, and the propsect of an aprรจs-snowshoe whisky. 

There is also the yurt who has proven a bit chilly for most guests, even with the coax of a pumping woodstove. In that vain we've smashed two couches into our downstairs room, to accommodate the intrepid and rare beast of a winter's guest. Every so often we catch one or two, and take them tromping through the woods, to throw snowballs at them. 


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.


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). 
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