Last week, finally, we were pleased to find a calf in the barn! We had a feeling about one of our cows calving first due to the signs, but sometimes you just don’t know for sure. By the time we saw the calf, Mama already had it dried off and it was nursing like there was no tomorrow. Its legs didn’t even seem wobbly, so we figure it was at least twenty four hours old already. It is a beautiful chocolate brown with a fuzzy coat that makes it look like a little teddy bear. The chocolate coats usually turn to black by the time they are full grown, but I sure wish they’d stay a chocolate color. The Highland calves are the cutest calves ever (of course I’m bias about that). We were sure another calf would come last night being that it was supposed to be so cold, but thankfully, there wasn’t a new calf this morning. What a blessing to not have to be out in the cold helping with a birth. Some friends of ours were out helping deliver lambs in that terrible cold and snow, I just couldn’t imagine! That must be why we are so attached to our extremely hardy Highlands. They don’t take much work at all unless a cougar comes through here and pounces on a calf.
We did venture out in the cold yesterday before the sun went down. We wanted to spread some grass seed before the snow came and after the birds went to bed. By then the wind had picked up terribly, so all I had to do was throw the seed into the air and the wind spread it perfectly for me. Never mind that my bare hands were frozen stiff by the time we were done, but now I’m looking forward to fresh green grass in the spring.
One thing I genuinely love about the Ozarks, is that you can put complete strangers together in a room who love bluegrass and can play an instrument and they can spend hours playing, singing, laughing and telling stories. We enjoyed a night like that this past weekend. Something extra special happens in those places that you just hardly see anymore. The children are eager to learn from their elders of all ages. They will soak it up like a sponge and the rest of the world fades away. Traditions from generations gone by are kept alive during this time and passed on for the children to teach their grand-children. Heritage is treasured. Words cannot describe what happens to the soul by music and musical fellowship. We simply feel very blessed to have these opportunities. One thing I do know, is that our daughter is a much richer person for it and so is our family and we thank those who are so giving of their knowledge and talent. Another treasured sight to see is how much the older generations value the children’s eagerness to learn the old ways and music. We all become a musical family and relationships are built that last a lifetime. We watch this process continue every week. If your child ever expresses any interest in playing an instrument, I would strongly urge you to do whatever is necessary to follow up on that interest, but don’t let them just set it aside when it gets difficult. Surround them with others who play the music they are interested in for encouragement. Practicing an instrument alone is no fun. We would not have known all of this if it hadn’t been for someone in the area, that we are extremely blessed to have, who gave us the encouragement necessary to get involved.
At the moment, there is homemade potato soup bubbling away on the stove, the chickens are enjoying their shredded greens and yogurt, the sun is shining on top of the fresh snow and the sewing machine is waiting for me to find my thread box. I am learning the art of taking a pair of jeans and turning it into a skirt….nope, I still don’t have it done, but we’ll see how it turns out. If the weather gets as nice as they are saying, it might be the last thing we sew around here for months. The eggs in the incubator should be hatching soon and we just finished making a nice big brooder box from a sheet of plywood that I’m awful pleased with. Hopefully next week I can report on the chicks!