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I woke up to birdsong, the soft rustling of maple branches right outside my bedroom window, and dog breath in my face. Friday (who will not sleep on the bed with me, but instead prefers her floor bed by the bedroom door) always crawls up onto my mattress around 5AM and splays across all the pillows. Then she puts her head against mine until I wake up. If I sleep there another hour she will wait, but this morning I pulled her closer. I wanted snugglesand she wanted kibble. We are a marriage of convenience.

Chores were overcast and damp. Rain yesterday, and throughout the week, has the farm happily rehydrating, but shrouded with an overall grimness. Let me tell you what livens up a gray, forest-fire haze of a morning - fluffy little chicks.

My small flock of 14 has nearly doubled, thanks to four very dedicated hens who have spent most of their last few weeks crafting some home-brewed antlerborns. They are a mix of Ameraucana, Japanese Silkie, production reds, and other various mixed breeds.

I didn't want to set up and mess with a brooder this year, and I am not raising meat birds (or I don't think I will) so letting nature tend and raise up these birds is the plan. They are all currently in a smaller coop, separate from the main coop, and so I have been bringing them feed and water every morning and evening because these little poofs aren't quite capable of following their moms up and down the stairs yet. I won't lie, tending to them is one of my favorite things to do before coffee.

The lawnmower died, which I think I shared, and beyond my ability to repair it so I have been using the horses to mow by setting up fencing all over the yard and letting them graze. yesterday they took care of the fire pit and barn area. After I run to the granary this morning I'll move them to the front and side lawn.

I can't lie, I love having them right next to the house and near my swinging hammock chairs. It does take them 2 days to do what my mower did in 2 hours, but who cares? They get to eat more green grass (Merlin needs all he can get at his age) and I can weed whack down any areas they don't like. They won't touch the buttercups, and I don't either. So usually after they graze it's a shorn lawn with dots of yellow.

All the sheep have made up from whatever differences they had between ewes and lambs and are grazing and eating hay happily as a family unit. Well, a family unit with a weird uncle that's a goat, but I'm sure some of you can relate. I moved their fencing to more pasture and they've been enoying the rotation. I need to find more electric netting to expand their range, but for now moving more often works.

Sweet corn jumped a few inches! First Jack pumpkins are sprouting! I planted more winter squash and it's almost time to plant another round of lettuce greens. I am behind on weeding and garden tending but planning on doing something about that this weekend.

I'm out of firewood, but my Amish neighbors sell slab wood from their mill for a few dollars as camp wood. A $4 bundle is more than enough for a whole evening with a fire. You might think, a fire in June? But this house is old and doesn't have heat, and when you have days of rain and no sunshine, a fire in the evening makes the house a pleasant 70 degrees instead of 59 and I sprawl out on my yoga mat and do a class with Underbelly Yoga online, candles, a warm cup of tea and crackling fire and it's the best part of the rainy day. Or, at least, tied with the chicks.

I am looking forward for the heat and sunshine to return. Winter is so long, and so hard, and it's not like I can jump on a plane to Orlando so I am grateful for the sun when it's here and shining. It doesn't take much to make me happy.

I've got buckets to haul, feed bags to stack, hay to move to the barn and a script to write so I will talk to you all tomorrow if this trend continues. Hopefully the sun will shine soon, the horses will graze the lawn, and some of these flowers I planted like a crazy woman will start to bloom and shine.

Take care of yourself and yours, wherever you are.


If you appreciate what you read, I encourage you to contribute towards my writing with a tip. To be clear; no one has to pay anything. I will still write here and it's always available for free. But if anyone wants to volunteer to venmo/paypal at least one dollar, it means I will write a post the next day. If no one does, then I'll update when I feel like it. Might be the next day, might be in a month.

Please understand, that I do not mean a dollar for every post or from every reader! I mean, quite literally, if a single person anywhere in the world sends a single US dollar, and that's all the money I earn that day, I'll write tomorrow.

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