Today is Winter Solstice—the longest night of the year; which means we are at the half-way point of winter. Tomorrow, the sun will begin its return and the days will begin to lengthen.
As I sit here and write this morning, the wind is howling outside the window (which is leaking air like crazy in this old house!). I am a mere 2 feet away from the pellet stove and I can see my breath! Ah, but no matter, spring is on its way as the cycle continues. Jason and I are making plans for the coming growing season here on our little mini-farm. Jason has obtained a couple of grants to return to school and is in the application process for Wright State to work on an associate degree in agriculture. I am beginning a course of study online with Demetria Clark, which will earn me certification as an herbologist. Many plans to move onward and upward with Raven Mist this year!
We have been busy over the last months dealing with life and its ups and downs. Xena was diagnosed with pancreatic insufficiency which means that her pancreas no longer makes the enzymes necessary to digest food. Not to worry, though; we have to be much more careful about what we feed her and she must have replacement enzymes with every meal; but finally, she is thriving. She has gained back the weight she lost and should live out a healthy and happy normal life! We are much relieved! We found an amazing veterinarian in our area who was able to diagnose this rare condition. And bonus: I have learned how to make kefir! Xena gets about a half a cup of this amazing power food with every meal to keep the good bacteria thriving in her gut—living food helps her to digest better!
We have also added a ‘barn’ cat to our farm. Well, we don’t have a barn, but little Grim has taken up residence in our abandoned truck cap behind the greenhouse and he is warm, toasty and protected from predators there! He is a tiny little grey tiger kitten who was abandoned at my daughter’s house. I will snap a photo for you as soon as I can catch him! He is always busy prowling the fields for mice—a fabulous addition to our gardens!
And remember our tiny little Buckeye chicks? Well, they are all grown up and gorgeous birds! They tower over our Wyandottes, but thankfully, the pecking order was already established with the Buckeyes on the bottom, so all is well. We are so happy that we decided to add Buckeyes to our flock; they are the most beautiful birds! They love this weather and the hens are even laying a few eggs in this awful cold! They are so gentle and curious—they follow us around the yard like dogs! We have them behind a fence, but when they see us pull in the driveway from work, they just fly right over it to come greet us and beg for seed! We are considering isolating them this spring, hatching eggs to renew our flock and maybe even selling a few chicks along the way.
. . . . . . . . so, now I’m off to get ready to celebrate Winter Solstice tonight. We will light candles after dark and keep them burning to welcome the return of the sun and to ask for blessings on our little farm for the upcoming year!
Have a wonderful Solstice, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
From Jason, Lisa, Xena, Grim and the chickens!