And now the CHF 2014 awards presented by Chris Jordan.
This year I nominate myself and humbly accept the award for best dressed. The holes in the clothes, the hair that says, “I’m already married.”, the too much stuff being carried to show off for my wife. Oh yeah. Winner.
Of course I’m kidding. Julie wins any beauty pageant. Even if she doesn’t try. Here she is not trying at Aunt Marian’s birthday party. Isn’t she pretty?
What do pigs do on a farm? This one wins every year. Talk about SEO. Sheesh.
I’ll tell you what pigs do. They escape and come looking for me…the guy who brings the food.
My favorite post…and the top post we published this year…
The Way I See you, The Way I Love You. Read it for yourself.
Most Valuable Player
We love our new chicken house. I can’t say enough about it. We have lost ZERO chickens to predation, it kept the birds cool and comfy in the summer. Egg production stayed high all summer. We captured manure in the bedding on the floor we could redirect to specific locations on the farm. It’s easy to move on down the road. Just great. I would make two changes to it though. The next one will be a little taller and four feet longer. And the nest boxes will be on the other side so we don’t get dripped on. Other than that…great.
With a minimum of effort and expense and against my wishes, dad single-handedly and somewhat magically converted a field of corn stubble into a magical land of clover (and weeds). We cut it for hay then, later, we grazed our way through.
I must have read The Farming Ladder 10 times this year but, in spite of that, I think I liked Farmer’s Progress better. What a great book. Well, that and Carry On, Jeeves. But please, let’s don’t think I’m an anglophile.
Best Money Spent
We bought a truckload of oak odds and ends from the local sawmill really just for the price of the hauling. This isn’t all of it. This is a nice picture Julie snapped for ..like..art..stuff.
Livestock and Farm Animals
What a great year. We had a hen go broody and hatched chicks we weren’t expecting. 5 calves were born with no problems at all. We raised pigs, we raised chickens, we had fun.
But you know, sometimes things just don’t make it on the farm. It’s a hard place. We lost a calf this year. That was pretty hard. A mink killed 12 ducks one evening. My youngest’s favorite cat got hit by a car. That was rough. There were also whole litters of kittens that didn’t survive. We really thought Horatio was going to pull through but another, older kitten took his mama’s milk. My oldest daughter took it pretty hard. But that’s just how it is. Animals have a hard time. Especially the semi-feral barn cats. Most especially the semi-feral barn cats we name.
Lesson Learned Repeatedly
Julie doesn’t want to milk. Every. Stinking. Day.
Aunt Marian was suddenly gone. One day she was peeling grapes at her sink. The next day she was in the hospital. Within a month we were remembering her life. At a birthday party this year she looked at a plat map with me. The map was from 1893 but farms don’t change hands frequently. She told us what she remembered about each farm, where the house was, how folks were related. She knew everything. We miss her every day.
So that’s the year in review…awards for 2014. Some of that was pretty rough but we’re ready for more. Aunt Marian won’t fall asleep in a chair at the next birthday party but we move on. There are eggs to collect, cows to milk and calves to tag. There are children to raise. So here’s to 2015. We pray that God will enlarge our borders and keep us from harm.
One additional note, most of the pictures in this post were taken with Julie’s MotoX and are untouched. The old MotoX not the new one. That may be something we wonder about some day. I doubt a reader cares though. Indoor shots seem to suffer with that phone. The bearded Christmas selfie and the picture of Farmer’s Progress were both taken with my iPhone 5C…my employer’s iPhone 5C.