It occurred to me this morning as I trudged through the mud and the snow to throw hay (deliriously expensive dry blades of grass in a big heavy block) to my three horses, that I really need to dig deeper into the basics of life. I love my horses and whenever my husband and I begin to have that talk about budget I always find a way to “justify” keeping them. Lately it’s more about the inability to sell them to some other poor soul who can’t afford thosebig heavy blocks of grass called hay, than it is unwillingness. I don’t want to put my family in jeopardy for a hobby no matter how dear the horses are to me.
I tossed them their hay and feeling a bit chilled I climbed onto Oliver’s neck (my big black “tractor” of a draft horse) letting him lift me onto his back then I turned around and lay sprawled out on his wide back to keep warm and to think. What a dilemma it is feeding a family let alone the animals we need and love. Horses, as you probably know, are one of the least productive animals on most US family farms. We don’t eat them, we rarely reproduce them and if you make money with them it is by running them silly till they make lots of money for you, or showing them in the big circuits while you spend lots of money on them.
Oliver’s thick neck twitched as he munched and my mind continued to re-play my years of owning and caring for these friendly beasts. My thoughts came one after the other none of them staying long enough to dwell on but all of them leaving an impression:
Horses… hay…the economy… sweat… mud…$$ dilemma… a harness… a chicken coop on wooden runners I saw in a book…hens…farm eggs…$$-in the black or in the red… HEY!!! I’ve got it!
Oliver IS a tractor. While listening to his breathing, steady, strong, faithful I realized, “this has potential, he already knows how to pull, I already know how to drive I can put most anything on runners and he can work too.” I’ve got plowing to do, leveling, ditching, firewood to move, rocks to move, I’m going to get back to the basics and scratch “tractor” off the list of things we are saving $$ for.
Speaking of basics, my next attempt at the gluten free sourdough is about to go into the oven, stay tuned for results and hopefully I can post a successful recipe!