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Sipz

I realize I posted a very sad Eeyore themed post the other day and never talked about Casey coming home. She showed up at 5:30 in the morning, barking at the door, and trotted through the kitchen like nothing had every happened at all. It took Sadie and I a while to get back to sleep, but we did!

I am currently at a coffee shop – I know, crazy right? Other than stopping by a place in Farragut, this is the first time I have ever purposefully left the farm to write at a coffee shop. My friend Charity and I showed up, sleepy, with a list of tasks to accomplish. We ordered our coffee and are now sitting in big arm chairs by a fire, the lights are low and Christmas Jazz is playing. If it wasn’t for the delicious coffee, I think we’d both be asleep by now.

It’s nice, to relax, to come to a place where you feel like your at home but you know your bed isn’t in the next room, that you can’t head there until you’ve checked a few things off your list.  Updating my blog isn’t on the list, but it’s so nice here I couldn’t help it. Plus it’s too cold and grey outside to do much of anything else.

When I lived in Savannah, there were several shops I would go to, to read or write or catch up with a friend. Being in Tennessee, it feels a little different. Also, the farm is at least 15 minutes from anywhere – it isn’t a very long drive, but long enough to make you think twice about heading out. Even just for coffee.

Depending on how icy the roads get this winter, I might just have to escape to Spiz to keep from going stir crazy. Although there is no place like home! My family is coming up after Christmas, I’m so excited. Sadie and I haven’t decorated yet, but we have talked about it. We did start decorating at work, I turned around and there was a fake tree in the lobby. I got one in my office that has teacups on it – go figure.

I’m thankful to put last week behind us, there are a few surprises coming up this month that I am excited about. Stay tuned, you never know what could happen at the farm!

Cheers,

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This week on

Farm Life:

Wrong place at the wrong time resulted in getting cow-kicked by a horse (sorry mom). Moral of the story is don’t get close to a horse that hasn’t been handled in a while. He kicked me in the side, just above my hip. I hit the ground knowing why football players get paid so well. I remember pulling weeds up by the roots, gritting my teeth, and with dirt under my nails I let the horse know what a huge mistake he made.

I lost a hen and my Rooster to an unidentified animal. Walking up to make sure everyone was settled for the night, I found one hen twitching and the rooster on the other side of the pasture. The hen died there, and the rooster died sometime in the night, nothing was broken but he had puncture wounds and was shaken up pretty well. Moral of the story is don’t name your chickens or get too attached. I set a trap, caught an opossum the next day, then found the broken trap 10 feet off with marks in the mud and an orange dog collar on the ground. The opossum got away. I was not pleased.

Long story short, a youth ran our 4-wheeler into the fence, breaking the 4-wheeler and the fence, surprisingly no bones in his body. We are currently without the darned thing and managed to repair the fence temporarily.

Today we sold my Grandfathers 1964 135 Massey Ferguson Tractor to pay for propane this winter. I also sold an absurd amount of equipment with it, including a bush-hog, disc, several tillers, a carry-all, hay spear and single and double-tine plow. I also helped load all that heavy, rusty, cumbersome machinery.

The tractor ran well, but the oil leaked and we had problems with the starter. I hated selling it though, it’s like selling a piece of him, and my Uncles away. It looks so empty out there now. I keep telling myself it’s going to someone who can fix it up and use it, instead of sitting outside for the cats to perch on.

My Aunt’s told me stories of when my Grandfather bought it, when they rode on it with him, and the endless hours spent farming tobacco with it. Growing up, Mom told us that he would drive to the farm, take the battery out of the truck and put it in the tractor, then at the end of the day, take it out of the tractor to put back in his truck and drive home. Sadie told me he would only ever put $1 worth of gas in it at a time. That he could tell by how it sputtered how much fuel he had left to get back to the barn and fill it up again.

It’s certainly the end of an era. We are not equipped to run this farm full-tilt, much less full-time. I feel like we are not doing the land justice. But then again, letting the bush-hog, tillers, plows and discs rust away under grass and brambles isn’t doing it justice either.

Just like finishing the garden for the season and letting the land rest, this might be a year of finishing the tractor and all it’s equipment and letting us rest.

Someone else bought our antique John Deer horse drawn mower, apparently as lawn art. What’s lawn art anyway? If it’s not old fence posts, the trash can, broken branches or tree stumps, we don’t have any. Also, that thing weighed a ton and a half and I’m surprised I didn’t pull what little muscles I have.

It’s late, it’s been a big day. I’ll save all the details of how beautiful the sunrise this morning was, that there was frost on every leaf and blade – even on the horses’ whiskers and ears.

Casey got out over 2 hours ago, sometimes she trots around on her own but she usually comes right back. I went out looking for her, then Sadie did, then I went again. I hope she comes back. I hope she didn’t run off for good or get hurt or anything. We turned the porch lights on, Sadie said when she gets cold enough she will come back.

I want her to come back safe and happy so we can officially finish this week and put it behind us. Farm life is a great life, but it’s a hard life. It’s made a lot easier with a good dog by your side. Send a prayer up for her to come home, we are waiting.

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A Poem by my Mom

There was a little toddler
With curls down her neck
She loved to play with horses

In dirt and tall hay stacks.

She started dreaming one night

Of a land far far away

The mountains met the heavens

Where horses always grazed.

Now her hair is long and thick

(Similar to a mane)

She loves the land and horses

She’s home, on the range.

Ta da!! Love you, mum

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