Monday, March 24, 2014


Have you ever had those unexpected moments?
The ones that catch you a bit off guard.
They stick in your memory and make you remember that life has to be taken in stride.

Sometimes you walk out the door on the first day of spring and are taken back by the sprigs of green that have appeared from a barren ground. 

Sometimes you eat birthday cake for breakfast. It just so happens that someone I am very fond of has a birthday on the first day of Spring. What more cause do you need to celebrate?

Sometimes calves do the darnedest things.


Sometimes you find a tiny treasure.

And sometimes you treasure tiny moments.

I didn't expect for these babies to love me.

Or these girls to look so regal.

I didn't expect to sit for hours with a sick calf instead of sitting in church

Or to have a pint sized girl that was determined to beat the odds.

Whether good or bad, farming provides many unexpected moments. It's a constant surprise of sorts.
I have found that everyday provides new reasons to smile and new reasons to pray.
Nothing is definite. Nothing is permanent.
Not always good. Not always bad.
But always worth it.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

"One of those March days"

" It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade."  
 - Charles Dickens

I always tell myself during February's fury, that March is only a month away. Soon the grass will turn green, the birds will wake me up with their singing. While March is certainly not spring in it's entirety, it is at least a glimpse. A glimpse of the sun when you need it most, yet you still remembers winters sting enough to appreciate it fully. A glimpse of a flower coming up from ground that has been bare for so long. It is enough to remind you to keep going.

Over the past few weeks there were times when things have been sunny and bright and other days I thought the winds of change were going to knock me right off the beautiful hillside. You see our farm is experiencing the full effect of a season of change. We are smack in the middle of what has been and what is to come. 
This week we took the first giant step into the unknown as we moved calves into a new barn. It was a bittersweet feeling as we loaded them onto the trailer one at a time. One barn was filling up new and full of promise as the old was being emptied getting quieter with every group that moved. At the end of the day I stood at the doorway of the old barn, exhausted from the long day of moving. The littlest calves on milk are the only ones left to move and as I walked in they all looked to me but none made a peep. I felt a wave of realization come over me that the calf barn that I had always known would never be the same. For the first time in years, the one thing that had been the same in rain or sun, winter or summer, day and night was suddenly different. We had planned it of course. I had rehearsed in my head a million times what the new barn would look like and what I would do there. But I hadn't heard the old barn empty. I hadn't felt the change until now.
But before I had time to shed a tear, I heard a loud bellow from behind me. I turned around to see 42 faces reminding me how wonderful that first glimpse of sun can be. 

Here is what we've been up to for the past few weeks at Hillside Farm!

The snow melted and gave way to mud. Bandit didn't want to miss out!

My babies have been anxiously awaiting the move to the new calf barn

Which we moved into on Monday, yipee!!
Only the bigger girls who are weaned have moved for now but the little ones aren't far behind.

View of the new barn from the old calf barn

All clean and ready to move in

The grooves help them not to slip on the concrete

Spreading the sawdust for the first time

Happy farmers!

Really happy farmer!

Sawdust angel to break it in

Moving day!

Safe to say the new calf barn is a hit for calves, people and dogs alike. Bandit has positioned himself as the barn guard. Unless it's his nap time of course.

Trusses were set on the milking cow barn.

And the roof is on!! 

Some of the men have been working so hard they even walked right out of their shoes.

Probably didn't need that one anyway.

 As excited as we are about all the new things happening, 
it is always hard to say goodbye to the way it has been for so long.

Last feeding with all the calves in the old barn

In my free time I have been enjoying some time with these characters.
We have all breathed a sigh of relief as the days get warmer and longer.

Don't worry Lola, didn't forget about you.

 Wishing you all a glimpse of sunshine this week! 
Happy March!