This is an agriculture area, mostly cattle with some sheep and horses. I believe I've got the largest flock of colored sheep in southwest Virginia as well as the only herd of rare, hypoallergenic American (Bashkir) Curly horses. All my animals are raised to be companion animals; I'm too old to waste time in hospital because I've broken a bone on a peckish horse. It's imperative my horses be gentle and calm. A few weeks ago, HayJ, the son of Danny Boy, broke out of his pasture, just after midnight, and was pestering his father over a gate. I went outside, clad only in a nightgown, slippers and shawl and spoke sternly to HayJ. "You! HayJ! Go back to the barn, stop this nonsense NOW!" He turned to look at me, I flapped my shawl at him a couple of times and he turned and walked back to the barn.
By the way...HayJ is a Curly x Percheron, about 18 hands and almost 2,000 pounds. See what I mean about raising companion animals? They must be raised and trained to bend their will to mine; there's absolutely no way I can "make" an animal that large do anything they don't want to do.
There used to be turkey drives in our valley - no kidding...but now it's only cattle, sheep and horses. We have a very small farm, the smallest in the valley and our neighbors all have acreages of one thousand acres or more. Not all their acreage is contiguous and they move animals from pasture to pasture as needs dictate. These cattle were being moved from a pasture to their barn lot where they would be vetted. Most people around here do their own doctoring and only call in a vet when it's a huge emergency or the last effort.
Thursdays nights are reserved for my Quilting Bee; a fine group of women who gather together to help one another, share stories and touch base with each other's lives. Most of these women have known each other for decades but they have made me feel very welcome. They helped me finish a small block lap quilt and we took photos, signed a card and are sending it to a service person who needs remembering.
I cut material for two quilts at a time; makes it easier and it's no more trouble than cutting for one. I've cut enough material for two quilts and materials already purchased for the next two after these. I've decided to give quilts for Christmas this year as friends/family members have a knitted scarf and/or hat. It's time for something different and a "Turning Twenty" quilt is easy enough for my limited skills; at least, I've been assured this is true.
It's time for a HOT shower; my back feels like it's seizing up...probably because of the large rocks I moved today. They were in the way of where I wanted to put the truck. Danny Boy's has a run-in shelter but he likes standing in a spot where there's no wind break on one side and, silly me, I like to think he's not suffering when the cold winds blow. So, that meant moving the rocks that were blocking the path of the truck; now that means a hot bath, ibuprofen and muscle rub.
Dave thinks I'm crazy for working as hard as I work but I love it. I count it all joy to live here, to work here and to be a steward of this piece of heaven on earth.
Happy New Year - may the worst of 2007 be from the best of 2006!