The frost is blanketing the ground with regularity these days. The leaves shimmer in the morning light with a million little diamonds sparkling across the ground. With each inhale I feel the crisp morning air cleanse my lungs. Even my face feels refreshed in the cold morning air. Its exhilarating. Here comes the days of my Schmidt insulated overalls and fleece lined jacket. I even dug out my deer skin gloves to keep my fingers toasty warm as I go about my morning chores.
With the hustle and bustle of preparing for the Thanksgiving Feast, I have felt withdrawn and rushed during my chores. Briskly I would pat Milo on the head or shout "good morning" to the girls as I would hurry about the feeding. I hate mornings like that. I like slowly strolling to the barn, gazing across the meadow, scanning for the wild flock of turkey that often eats breakfast in the field. I love listening to Hijeevey call out his morning crows as he sees me round the last corner of fencing. I like Milo weaving in and out of my feet as I attempt to walk without tripping over him. I like the time I spend there... just being in the moment.
This morning in order to get refocused, I threw on my bibs jacket and boots, reached from my hot cup of Joe and took me a little ole' stroll down to the barn. I sat on the kids wood swing and drank my morning cup of coffee. Hijeevey belted out his morning hellos. Milo rubbed his body along my pants leg. Jasmine and Jessica quietly chomped their cud, as I listen to the melody of sounds that sang out to my heart, drawing me back into my little piece of heaven. Here I can relax. Here I can breath. Even on thanksgiving its easy to forget to be thankful... but here, looking out at the trees, the grass, the animals.... here, I am easily reminded to give thanks.
Finally my meditative state had to come to an end... I said my final "thanks", and started the chores. Tuesday I cleaned the chicken coop but due to the freezing cold rain I had put off the barn cleaning for brighter days, which was this morning.
I started with the girls stall. For two little goats, they use the bathroom a lot! I piled the manure on last years garden plot. I examined a pile of goat poops from a few months ago... It was the darkest richest dirt I have ever seen! If you don't understand my excitement, come on over. Ill teach you how to become excited over poop and dirt! It's a lovely sight!
Next on the list, everyone needed watering. Everyones buckets were frozen over. Even the rain barrel had a couple inches of ice. While busting out the water buckets I was forced to remember our first winter with livestock (last year). For some reason the absolute most valuable lessons of homesteading with chickens slipped my mind!
*Never, I repeat NEVER bust the top layer of ice out of poopy chicken water with your mouth slightly ajar....
Its a good thing I gave thanks before the chores. ;-)