Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Leather work

I apologize for the missed day yesterday, it was a busy one on the farm. I woke up early, and did the regular chores. Kim helped out since she had to be to work a little later and closer to home. Then, while she got ready I raced over to the feed store for bedding for the chickens, rabbits and horses. With snow on the way, I wanted to make sure everyone was dry and warm.

I cleaned up the farm house because we had guest arriving in the afternoon! One of my college friends was coming to visit with her new (7 month old) baby and husband. The farm is never a picture of neatness, but I took some time to at least get the wood stove dust and dog hair down to a minimum. Next on the list was cleaning the barn, a regular chore but one I like to do especially when visitors with non-farm shoes will be trouncing in to snuggle goat kids and baby rabbits.

After a quick lunch and some wood splitting, Mary and her family pulled up the farm drive. I lost all track of time, visiting, eating and touring the old place. It's a treat to watch a baby open her eyes as wide as the moon when faced with a flock of 50 chickens. She was vaguely amused by the rest of the animals, but the chickens were the real treat. I mean, I get it- dinosaurs with feathers.

The visitors ended up lodging over night, by the time we had finished dinner (braised rabbit, salad, and potato pancakes) it was dark with snow on the way. They chose to settle in and get a good farm breakfast in before heading out this morning, during a break in the weather (and with all wheel drive). It's always nice to have folks who appreciate good cooking around, and to get to share our work here. Plus, adorable babies are always welcome. Our dogs were less than charming, but that's nothing usual. We are often solitary here and the hustle of visitors makes them a bit noisy and restless. The plight of introverts I suppose.

With our friends gone and Kim working from home, I'll set to cleaning the horse gear. The leather needs some care and I bought oil at the feed store yesterday. While I'm at it I will finish the rabbit hides. I love the smell of horse leather- earthy and salty. It will be nice to get the harnesses good and clean, even if we aren't ready to use them just yet. These will never be show pieces, but good care of equipment makes it last and that's crucial.

The plow trucks will keep the dogs on edge all day, they hate the sound of those trucks going by. But I like it- it means that the winter rest is still here. The warmth earlier this week felt like spring rush- my heart was in my throat worrying about plowing and seeds. It's good to see those on the horizon and plan accordingly. But it's also good to let it be winter. To prepare ourselves for the next season with careful planning and plenty of rest. The light tending of the greenhouse and a day spent working leather sounds just fine for this January day.

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