Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas on the farm

It's almost Christmas!

- When a teacher was reading a book about Jesus lying in hay, my son yelled 'STRAW!'  Why straw?  Because you bed down cattle with straw.  It's wheat ... it's soft, yellow, and common bedding material. 

Hay is another word for alfalfa or grass, which cattle eat.  I told my son that technically Jesus was lying in a manger, which is a feeder where the cattle eat, so it very well could have been hay.  He said, "No, in the picture it was YELLOW." 

- Kris - and everyone else here - of course work on the holidays.  The cows stop for no one!  I well remember waiting until my dad got home from the barn to open presents on Christmas morning.  We do the same thing now ... Kris gets up at 3:00 a.m. to get an early start ... but so far every year, so have the boys!  

- Milk prices are so bad this year, and they're projected to go even lower at the beginning of the year.  There's not one day that goes by that we don't think about this.  Dairy farming is a cyclical business, but we're getting half of what we were getting for milk last year.  So what to do?  Everyone, double your milk, butter, and cheese consumption!  Think eggnog at every party. 

- I had no book to read so I searched my shelves and found an old one.  I opened it up and was delighted to see ... my great grandpa Floyd Anderson had signed his name in it in 1896!  Age 14.  He was the third generation to farm here and lived in my house.  The book is a 'Brief History of the United States.'  I was so excited and told my whole family.  We're not sure why I have it or where it came from ... but then I decided the next day I should check all of my books. 

Lo and behold, I opened up another unfamiliar one and ... it was signed by my grandma's brother! Arnold Lamb!  He didn't date it but the book was published in 1911.  I don't know where it came from, I don't know how I ended up with it - it was a lovely Christmas surprise.  I'm going to check more books today.

- Everything on the farm is headed into the holidays.  We have special schedules, everyone's working different times, and mostly, everyone is working together to make sure that it all runs smoothly - but people don't miss out on anything important.  We're a family farm, for sure.

- Tomorrow we're moving the heifers to the barn closest to our house.  Everyone's coming home for the holidays!

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