GREEN WITH ENVY

RUTABAGA COMMERCIAL MARCH 2018 BARLEY DARTS

Yes, I envy Southern folks.  Their Spring gardens are already planted.  While they are plodding in warm soil, I’m treading on thin ice.

Yet, I’m still thankful it’s March.  And I refuse to see anything but green.  In fact, I’m determined that plants will pop up here, there, and everywhere… inside the house.

Instead of stir-crazy, I get a little seed crazy this time of year.  Guess, I’m not alone.  Maybe, I’ll just blame it on the sunlight.

FOURTEEN

PIGLETS 14 MARCH 2018 BARLEY DARTS

Wednesday’s Word is fourteen.  That’s how many piglets we have so far.  Mama Lily  and Mama Speckles farrowed, just a day apart.

We had thought each sow and her piglets would keep to themselves; in their own little worlds.  But, they soon taught us about communal pig piles.  The piglets benefit from the additional heat of others.  And the sows benefit, too.

While one mama is nursing, she’s also becomes a babysitter.  The other sow is then free to go shopping for a tasty snack.  As for Natasha, she’s still a lady in waiting and hasn’t farrowed, yet.  But, she’s due any day now…

DARBY BUCKLING

 

GOAT BUCKLING DARBY MAR 2018 BARLEY DARTS.jpg

My name is Darby.  I’m a male, baby goat.  My mom and dad weren’t purebreds.  So, if I were a dog, that’d make me a mutt.  I was born a twin.  My brother’s name was Kelby.  He only lived for a few hours.  But, I was strong.  And now, I’m a week old.  I spend my time drinking milk, napping, and bouncing in the sunshine.

MONDAY MEMOIR: IMPOSSIBLE

STEINHAUER BARN BARLEY DARTS

Impossible!  I thought.  But, I recognized her.  She’d been my son’s teammate.  The last time we had really talked, she was a little girl who’d come to play with our goats.  That was a decade ago.  But, honestly, I didn’t feel that old.  Looking at her uniform now, however, there was no denying this gal was a dental hygienist.  Yet, I continued to wrestle with the fact that she was an adult.  Still, and whether I believed it possible or not, she was all grown up.  And she assisted the dentist with my root canal.

Impossible!  Before the dentist began, this gal suggested that I watch a movie.  As I reclined, it would be played on a digital image screen, “on the ceiling” above my head.  It was the exact same one that, moments earlier, had been “on the wall” with photos of my teeth.  I was told it would entertain me; the whole time.  I laughed and scoffed at the idea.  However, I decided to humor her, anyway.  I chose a nature documentary.  Ironically, it was on mountain goats.

Impossible!  I mumbled (and drooled), as I watched adult goats scale vertical cliffs.  Had my mouth not already been wedged open, it would’ve dropped when the baby goats followed.  They dangerously slipped and slid, with marble-like pebbles underfoot.  I just knew that they’d fail and fall.  And I was certain, they’d be broken and shattered on the unforgiving ground, thousands of feet below.  I wondered, would it be an instant or a slow and painful death?  Yet, the baby goats held their ground.  They didn’t fall.  I questioned why.  Perhaps, the answer had something to do with their special hooves, vision, and youthful agility.  And perhaps, they’d never been told that it was impossible to do what they were doing.

Impossible!  Yet, my root canal was done.  Indeed, the movie had made the time pass more quickly.  I was also surprised when the hygienist asked about our homestead.  After all, she’d only visited once, ten years ago.  Then I realized that for her, that ten years was a long time ago.  So, I pulled a telephone out of my pocket.  And on it, I showed her pictures and videos of our goats.  If there had been another camera on our goats’ pen, she’d have watched them “live”, too.  (No, the goats weren’t dead.  I mean “live” as in, real-time and not previously recorded.)

Impossible!  The dental hygienist then shared her own homestead hopes.  Her income, little by little, would contribute to her dreams.  Even her partner didn’t discourage her.  In fact, he worked on farms, in the summer months.  And maybe, just maybe, one day her homestead would be close to where she grew up.  Perhaps, it’d be so close, she’d live in her childhood home.

Impossible!  Only two days later, another young someone told me of her homestead dreams.  She said she wanted healthier food for herself and family.  Meanwhile, her spirit cried out for the direct connection to chickens, ducks, pigs, cows, and goats.  After all, she grew up in touch with lots of critters on her grandparents’ farm.  It was a farm that had been built, little by little, over decades.  It required sacrifices, hard work, and persistence.  Still, some folks doubt that such a farm and it’s massive barn was built by a young man with a passionate dream.

Impossible!  She said she still remembered her first chicken and a duck.  In fact, they’d been gifts from her parents… when she was a little girl… decades and decades ago.  But, it could’ve been the fairy tale without the happy ending.  Why?  The family dog ate her chicken.

Impossible!  Decades later, this gal has a score of chickens, but her dog protects them.  And her heart has bubbled over with the addition of baby ducks.  Now, she’s wondering if pigs, cows, or goats would be possible, too…

 

“Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done.  God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing.” – G.M. Trevelyan

SUNDAY SILENCE: 31

FROSTY MORNING MARCH 2018 BARLEY DARTS

 

 

SATURDAY SNAPSHOTS: PIG THOUGHTS

” ‘When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,’ said Piglet at last, ‘what’s the first thing you say to yourself?’

‘What’s for breakfast?’ said Pooh.

‘What do you say, Piglet?’

‘I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting to-day?’ said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. ‘It’s the same thing,’ he said.’ ” – A.A. Milne

 

FROSTY PIGS MAR 2018 BARLEY DARTS

 

 

FRIDAY FRONTIER: ENDURANCE

 

FULLER HOMESTEAD MAR 2018 BARLEY DARTS

This vacant homestead is a couple of miles up the road from our own.  The humble little shack on the far left, was likely the house.  To the far right, is the modest barn that may have sheltered a working horse and a milk cow.  The two small sheds in between, may have housed chickens and a workshop.

Year after year, these remnants continue to endure our bitter, winter storms with strong, north winds.  And year after year, I marvel at the skills of the folks that built it; all by hand.  I marvel at their lives of endurance, their sacrifices, their blood, their sweat, and their tears.  I marvel that America’s very foundation was built this way; one rock, one stick, one day, and one life at a time.  And I marvel that it was built with the help of family, friends, neighbors, churches, and communities; from one generation to the next.

Meanwhile, I marvel at modern Americans.  They have ample free time.  Yet, instead of helping one another, they live to rip each other apart.  And the only thing they work hard to do, is to tear our communities and country down.  Few, if any, understand what it actually took to build it all up.  In fact, few have the skills to build anything at all, besides chaos.  And even fewer sow anything, besides discord.  Alas, even the remaining remnants of yesteryear, may not weather and endure even one more generation…