Things have calmed down since my last blog in November and the winter routines are well underway. The weather, though, is not cooperating. It has far too warm and damp all through December.
The ewes have all been marked with a red or blue backside, so early in the new year we can take away the rams. The five calves in the shed have settled down into their routine, looking forward to their daily bucket of nuts. Archie is handling them as much as possible, grabbing them by their horns for a little wrestle, and they are getting very used to him.
The rest of the cattle are in two fields with feed rings. About every three days they are delivered a fresh bale of haylage. Our beef sales have gone well, there is little of the last steer left in the freezer. And we busy delivering several trailer loads of our seasoned logs every week. So the farm is ending the year in a good place.
Last Sunday at Nine Lessons and Carols I heard again the story of those poor shepherds, no doubt frightened out of their wits by a host of angels singing! I am sure those angels must have promised to stay and watch their flocks before the shepherds abandoned them to go see the baby.
God’s son born in a stable, maybe not the nicest place. But they would have kept it warm, and really, they don’t smell so terrible either. The baby was surrounded by lovely beasts that give us wool to keep us warm, and milk and meat.
By C.S. Lewis
Among the oxen (like an ox I’m slow)
I see a glory in the stable grow
Which, with the ox’s dullness might at length
Give me an ox’s strength.
Among the asses (stubborn I as they)
I see my Saviour where I looked for hay;
So may my beastlike folly learn at least
The patience of a beast.
Among the sheep (I like a sheep have strayed)
I watch the manger where my Lord is laid;
Oh that my baa-ing nature would win thence
Some woolly innocence!
Merry Christmas and a Happy and healthy New Year to you!
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Jo Stover has daily adventures on her small farm, together with her Highland cattle and Portland sheep, bees, a few hens, dogs, and some two-legged family and friends.