The Lord is near

to those who have a broken heart… Ps.34:18 NKJV 

SonnyEatsHayCrop

Oh, how I miss you, Sonny. Would love to be able to wrap my arms around you, feel your raspy tongue lick me, and let your soul touch me one more time.

Goodnight my dear friend, until we meet in spirit.

Reminding myself: “When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me.”  Micah 7:8 NKJV

JackSonnyBebe

The Lord is near

The Lord is near.  Phil. 4:5b CEBBebe Jack wait for breakfast long view

Three minutes before midnight the electricity flickered, then shut down–heat and lights. Having called in the outage to the power cooperative, at 4:00 a.m. when the alarm went off, we were still in the dark.

Taking Sam by flashlight out for his constitutional I checked on the horses. Jack came up to me, got his nose kissed and I could see Bebe was OK too. The night’s deluge of rain, thunder and soft snow drifts had stopped, but the wind was high. Outside it was 20 degrees. It could have been so much worse.

Sonny in snow 2

Inside the cabin the temperature was 64 degrees. Crawling back under the covers was the best of all options. Later I heard the whir of the refrigerator. What a terrific sound. I rose, turned on heat, lights and brewed coffee before sitting down for my devotional time.

Holly Bebe & Jack in distance

Thank you, Lord, for Your protection for me and mine.

There are persons for companionship

but then there are friends who are more loyal than family.  Prov. 18:24 CEB

Bebe and Sonny

Bebe licks Sonny (2)

Living in adjacent spaces the horses and bovines became grooming partners. It all began when Buff, the copper-colored Charolais-Angus bull, started licking Bebe’s mane.  Soon Jack, the Palomino paint, began grooming Buff and then both horses included Sonny, the Brahma bull.

Jack licks Buff Mon 5_24_10Bebe hugs Buff

This God—his way is perfect

the promise of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.  Ps 18:30 (NOAB)

For three days I cut grass with a push mower and delivered the cuttings to my farm pals: Sonny, Holly, Buff, Jack and Bebe.

Hay is scarce. Following droughts in neighboring states farmers and ranchers learning of available supplies in West Tennessee traveled with their trailers and hauled full loads back to their animals.

Following breakfast grain Bebe diness on hay

The local farm supply held out serving locals until there was no more.  Last weekend I found someone who had older rolls of mixed grass. Two rolls were delivered the next day. While it lacks that fresh, sweet scent my group is accustomed to at least the cattle will eat it with a sprinkling of green. Except for the edges it is too rough to feed the horses.

Jack eats Bermuda with breakfast

Buff washes up while standing in the morning sun

Yesterday I connected with the person who delivered nine square bales of Bermuda a week ago, and he brought us 15 squares.

We have hay. We have fuel. We have grain and chow for all of us. Everyone is in relatively good health.  And we have a safe place to sleep and good tenants for neighbors.

Life is good on the farm thanks to God’s grace.

Cooler weather brings relief

and Bebe’s bandage is removed

Settling into life

on our new farm

Sonny and Holly together

The Brahma Sonny and 12 year old heifer Holly have been extraordinarily lovey-dovey of late. It must be spring!

Palomino paint Jack has moved to a space adjoining Buff, the Charolais-Angus bull who has been spending time up against their shared fence.

Sweetest of all, chestnut Bebe, whose leg was injured the end of April, is nearly healed. She began prancing about as her grain was served yesterday. New tissue has filled the gouge and a sulfur-oil antifungal crème is being applied to complete the repair. Soon her bandage will be reduced to expose the edges of her wound to the air.

Tiger stripe kittens Ty and Mimi turned one year the end of May and both are solicitous of affection just like their mother Nikki. Tab, Alma, Gordy—orange tabbies—and sister Audrey enjoyed their first anniversary the beginning of June.

The only long hair in the group, Gordy, goes everywhere including the kitchen counter despite my admonitions. He is quick, whether leaping in the air on fly-catching missions or escaping capture jumping from the loft to the living room below.

When storms arrive, which have been occurring frequently, Peek, an all-American canine, panics. So she, and another canine Sam, and 17 year old feline Patches join me in the living room where we watch through the glass door tree branches sway and listen to the rain and sometimes hail spitter-spat on the metal roof.

Watching nature’s showy display with some trepidation we see lightning strikes and hear the thunder on its heels.

By grace we are settling into our new home.

Tommy, you are

a mench

Jack and Bebe savor blades of ryegrass

The land between the cabin-on-wheels and my neighbor to the south looks much better since you arrived this afternoon with your tractor and bush hog.

As you and I both realized the blades of grass would make a choice meal for the horses and cattle. So, using a pitchfork and tarp I retrieved the clippings and fed them to my pals.

If you get one of your mowers functional for me to use that will be fine. However, I placed my name on a list with a local small engine repair shop owner for a pre-owned push mower. In this way I have a back-up plan.

This day I am grateful for life and the sweet smell of ryegrass cuttings.

(Note: Link to video of Tommy on tractor at right sidebar Tommy arrives.MP4 under YouTube)

Living simply

and simply living

Brahma bull and Lineback dun

With the cabin behind them up on the hill Sonny and Bebe share a meal

This weekend is filled with joy and sunshine. Our move completed by day’s end Friday all tasks ahead seem lightweight by comparison.

Palomino paint

Jack

Oh there is a creosote post to place, some wire to tighten, contents of plastic containers to sort, writing, photography and advertisers to obtain to sustain us.

Charolais-Angus heifer

Holly at her new home

Most importantly all 18 pals are safe and becoming acquainted with their new surroundings.

Palomino paint, Lineback dun, Charolais-Angus bull

Jack and Bebe with Buff in background

Life is simple, and we are simply living.

Nikki is learning the window sill is off limits

kittens

Tiger stripes Ty, Mimi, Nikki and orange tabby Gordy inside the cabin

Thanks to you, God, for peace now.

Only a hint of snow

or was it

In the morning there was just a hint of its arrival. Scarce, icy droplets glanced off and melted before hitting the ground.

By mid-day the drops turned to flakes floating through the air, and amateur forecasters said there would be no accumulation.

As the temperature dropped one layer carpeted, then two. Well after dusk it was still falling.

Charolais-Angus bull and Palomino paint

In for more snow

Misreading the tea leaves

a retreat is better than charging off the cliff

What appears to be an answer to a prayer may not always be so. When taking a second look reveals the precipice ahead, I have learned it is better to step back and regroup. On Saturday Buff, the Charolais-Angus bull, refused to load giving me time to rethink the plan.

The horses, Jack and Bebe, had settled into being with the herd and were thoroughly enjoying grazing on the 40+ acres. They pranced about with such delight. Jack discovered the pond, taking a dip and later showing it to Bebe. What an abundance of natural beauty surrounded them!

From housemate Jay I learned which side of a T-post should face out to provide maximum tension and how to use a nail to twist a clip around barbwire securing it. From Nick I learned greater patience with the animals allowing them to signal when it was right to go forward.

Yet there was an underlying river of conflict, being held at bay by the newness of the relationships. Despite money paid and horses on the ground, the way was clear. Loading the horses for the second time in less than a week was easier than the first time. On halter Bebe nudged Jack from behind to take the next steps.

And for the first time I experienced the exhilaration of transporting both Jack and Bebe in the trailer. As we were driving off, Nick advised thinking of having an egg-shell underneath the accelerator pedal, which is exactly what I did.

Now, like the Shogun, when no move is preferable to all the alternatives, we wait for time to reveal a better way.

Early morning on the farm

 

Siddhartha–a wanderer of another sort

 
 
 
 

 

Siddhartha and Jack search out grain pellets

Any grain pellets Jack left behind earlier Sid helps him find

and definitely not the Siddhartha of Hermann Hesse

 

Sid, the wanderer, just appeared one day with tail wagging at a gated area beside the house. Asking around, I was not able to find his owner. Sid has the build, the color and the markings of an Australian cattle dog which seems appropriate for our farm.

Friendly and eager to please, he has one annoying habit that could be the reason he ended up fending for himself out in the country. Sid thinks jumping up on people and horses will endear him. To the contrary, this is a habit we have been working to dissuade for the better part of a year.

Jack, the Palomino paint who shares space with the canines when they come out for their constitutional, has taken an interest in Sid and one other canine named Sam. To my surprise Sid will lie on his back in complete surrender or sit perfectly still while Jack sniffs or licks him.

Fed grain directly on the back porch since he tips over his dish, Jack usually misses some pellets before beginning to consume hay. Once Sid hits the back yard his first stop is the porch. Leaving the hay Jack returns alongside his pal to find a few more morsels.