Monday, April 13, 2009

We're Back!

I apologize for not updating my blog since last week. Jason and I had a brief getaway over Easter weekend. My parents have a beautiful place on the Gulf Coast that we are welcome to go to any time we want. My sister goes so often she keeps a key on her key ring. Jason and I have not been since 2006! We decided that was pretty stupid on our parts and decided to rectify that this weekend. So we made a quick trip to the coast and enjoyed a short break, ate a lot of fresh seafood and relaxed.

The view from the master bedroom

One of the more popular local residents is Chuckie the alligator at the zoo. Chuckie is an eleven foot alligator that weighs over 1,000 pounds. He lives at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo which was featured in the thirteen episode Animal Planet series The Little Zoo That Could. If you have never watched this series I highly recommend it. This zoo did what no other zoo had done before - a complete evacuation of all the animals before a hurricane. I will admit I am often not a fan of zoos as sometimes the animals just don't look happy and I feel bad that they are stared at all day. But the animals at this zoo truly looked happy and well cared for. And if you've watched the series you know just how much the caretakers care about these animals . . . it kind of reminds me of Jason and I with the horses here. You have to love the animals and love caring for them to really do it right.

Chuckie's story - he was harassing guests at the state park for their picnic baskets. The zoo offered to take Chuckie so he would not have to be destroyed.
Chuckie was sunning himself lazily

Although it was nice to be away for a couple of days it is always nice to come back to the farm. I had a really nice gift waiting for me when I got home. I read Luanne's blog All In a Day's Work. She is not only a horsewoman with a lovely farm but she is an amazing artist! Recently she gave away some of her handmade dichroric glass jewelry to some of her readers. She had a fun contest where we answered a few questions that were easy if you read her blog! Then we had the fun of picking our jewelry! I even had Jason helping me out, they were all so beautiful I had a hard time deciding. Plus, it was hard to accept such a generous gift.

However not only did Luanne send me the gorgeous necklace I picked out, but opening the whole package was a fun experience. First there was this really cute box that I realized was a recipe box. The necklace was inside, but she also included a handwritten recipe from her own collection for Chocolate Nut Pie. Clearly Luanne has been reading my blog since she knows I love dessert! The whole presentation was just so perfect it would have made anyone's day and it definitely made mine. I guess I am just not that . . . nice? Or that thoughtful? Or that creative? I sure as heck cannot make jewelry (or at least nothing anyone would wear!) much less put so much thought into creating such a cute package.
My wonderful package: the recipe box, necklace, and the Chocolate Nut Pie recipe

Isn't this necklace awesome? I love the colors and love the fact that it is a one of a kind creation, no one else will ever have one just like it!

It was nice to be back working on the farm today. Aside from a very brief rain shower this morning and another ten minute rain shower this afternoon the day was beautiful. Bright sunshine, a gentle breeze and a temperature in the low 70's. I have noticed there is one Canada Goose still hanging around the pond. He also hangs out in the pasture next to the pond where Buffy and Harmony live. I don't know if he got separated from his group or what. He appears to be perfectly healthy and happy. The geese stop by the pond both when they head south and then again when they head north.

He (or she) is between Buffy and Harmony in this picture but is tiny and hard to see in the pictureStrolling through the pasture
Hanging out

Other than that we don't have a lot going on around here. The exciting news one day last week was that Cuffie actually stopped grazing for a moment when he was outside! This was newsworthy since he has literally never lifted his head from the grass when he has been out. He took the time to roll in the grass and now does so every day. The grass will still be there when you get up Cuffie! I was trying to take a picture of him today for his family and was desperately trying to get a picture of him doing anything other than eating. I was waving my hands, clucking, etc. to no avail. I finally resorted to pulling his head up by the halter and taking a quick picture. I got a picture of Cuffie looking very displeased with me! Bella the dog did find it interesting to watch me being silly.

Cuffie with a big sigh says "will you please GO AWAY, I am trying to eat!"
Bella put HER ears forward watching me trying to take Cuffie's picture
As you can see Asterik took advantage of our brief rain today. I don't know why I am even posting this picture as he is so filthy! He is normally white . . .


Anonymous said...

What an interesting idea - a mini-vacation! Hmmm . . .

Blue Eyed Tango said...

Welcome back! Good to hear you are able get away some..... with all the work you do there, you need it every once in a while! We don't get away often enough (2006 last trip too)together because one or the other has to stay home to tend to the horses (we did a lot of traveling before though). We don't have the luxury of someone to take care of them for us! My father in law lives next door but he's not able to do all of the work. He can oversee them in the pastures when we want to leave for the day but that's it. We're grateful for that. Glad you enjoyed your necklace! Thanks for including that in your sweet of you! Cuffie reminds me of Romeo about the grazing....loves his grass!LOL! We have another dreary day here....rain! Boo!

Unfiltered Meghan said...

What an amazing view from that bedroom! I can't even imagine getting to wake up to that every day. I'm glad you guys got to get away, even if only for a little while. You both work so hard!

That necklace is beautiful too, and I know what you mean about having a hard time accepting gifts like that. I have a Polish guilt complex :)

Oh, and in closing, I want that pony! Even when irritated, my God, the face!

Sully said...

I am so happy to hear that you two were able to get away!!! We all need that once in a while.

That necklace is very nice and the packaging ideas are wonderful. I wish I could be so creative.

ZionFarm said...

I am officially jealous of you and your vacation! What a great way to spend Easter.

Great pictures!

ezra_pandora said...

What a view!! If I were you, I'd be more like your sister and keep that key on your ring to remind you of something you need to do more often :) I sure would be. I know how hard it is with animals, even more so for you guys with so many.

And I LOVE that series on the Little Zoo that Could. It was just so amazing everything they did and all the planning that had to go into it spur of the moment. Just crazy.

and nothing better than free goodies, especially that beautiful.

Jason said...

Amen sister Ezra and everyone else too !! :)

Achieving balance in all things is key, and that's hard to do when you are starting a business. But after three years and with 36 horses plus a whole bunch of cows which we sell as freezer beef by the side I think we'd be doing something seriously wrong if we weren't able to pay some help so that we could take a break on occasion.

Every farmer works long, hard, tiring hours, but not every farmer comes in from a long day in the barn and the fields and deals with regular client updates, phone calls, butcher dates, butcher troubles (ongoing and confounding) blog updates, etc., etc., etc. Most of this extra stuff falls on Melissa's shoulders as I was reminded on Monday evening when we got home as I watched her normal 12 hour workday stretch to fifteen and then seventeen hours before we finally called it quits for the day.

We are blessed in all we do and we have excellent help when we need it. What more could anyone ask for really ?

Anonymous said...

Glad you guys are back and that you had a nice get away (few and very far between for us too). And I am glad everyone is OK!