I hope all of you dear readers had a lovely Christmas, and are ready to embrace this coming year. Well, it's here, whether we're ready or not!
I'm blessed to be able to say that every year, as it happens, is a good year for me. Sure, there are challenges, but what doesn't beat us makes us stronger.
I feel for those who lost loved ones last year, or who suffered from illness, and I wish for you a year of healing, good health and happiness.
Mother Nature is certainly giving us some attention lately.
One of a pair of Golden Robinia trees at the front of our home fell over, leaving a big gap in the garden. The above photo shows how big it was with the remaining of the pair still standing.
How lucky we were though, with the tree crashing in the only direction that caused minimal damage. A metre either way and we would have had serious structural damage to either the fences or the house.
In true Brian spirit, the chain saw had a work out, and all fallen and damaged trees were dealt with before morning smoko. Fortunately, he was on annual leave for the days between Christmas and New Year, so was on hand to get into action immediately.
fence jumping incident and with treatment every day, she is recovering well.
After a five day course of antibiotic injections, we waited for more than double the with-holding period, before drinking the the milk.
For those of you who regularly read this blog, you will know that we don't use antibiotics or conventional pharmaceutical preparations on ourselves or our animals, but in this case, and under the guidance of our trusted vet, we had no other option. For smaller injuries and ailments we always use Vitamin C injections for the animals, and this is the first time in twelve years of cow raising that any of our animals have received antibiotics.
Having had so much treatment and endured such pain and trauma, I am amazed that she still walks into the dairy every day and allows me to put the milking cups on the remaining three good teats.
In fact, in the last few days, she has been easier to bring in and we have confidence that she will return to the easy going cow that she was earlier in her previous lactation.
Over these past few years we have learned from our experiences of what this land of ours can comfortably manage. We have learned about what we want from our land, how we prefer to manage it, and what our needs are. We observed how the cows and sheep prefer to move around this land, what feels more natural for them, and so we have adapted our new yards to suit.
We call this "evolving" with our needs and our gained knowledge.
Those new rails are covered in Creosote, so poor Brian suffered horrible burning skin on his arms from the fumes as it was he who did all the work there.
Those days were hot, and I was in the kitchen preserving cucumbers and during the heat of the day, doing some of the other jobs that keep piling up,. I confess I have nowhere near the stamina that he has.
To soothe the skin on his arms he's rubbing on organic coconut oil that I use for cooking and for all of our skin care. He's also taking Milk Thistle capsules as a liver cleanser to help rid his body of the toxins absorbed through the skin. Our skin is our largest organ, and everything that goes onto it is absorbed into the blood stream. I'm also making him green vegetable juices and making sure he drinks lots of water.
A twisted willow tree was planted in the corner to provide shade when it grows tall. The leaves are medicinal and contain natural Aspirin. Stock will eat them when they feel the need.
It's wise to have an area like this where stock can be enclosed if needed, for treatment, for moving, or just quietening them down and getting them used to being handled.
I'm stunned at the number of people who buy farm animals, but have no infrastructure in which to enclose them if needed.
What happens when the cow gets a grass seed in it's eye? How can it be treated?
The damaged teat is healing well, but now when she lets down her milk for the calf, or when being milked in the dairy, the milk from that teat runs freely.
Only time will tell how this will be managed in the long term, but for now she appears to be happy and no longer in pain.
And all this was only a part of our Christmas, New Year activities.
We ate some lovely food, enjoyed some time with family, checked bee hives, moved sheep to different paddocks on the other side of town, and all of the other daily farm tasks as well.
Is it any wonder that my year flies past so quickly?
Happy New Year and lets get the most out of each day, give thanks for every new day, and appreciate all that we have at the end of the day.