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New lambs, blanketed tractors, and other hopeful signs

Posted 1/21/2009 1:00pm by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

What an eventful past week; more for our country, than for us personally.  After some morning errands I was able to return home in time to watch the inauguration of President Obama.  Perhaps it is the dormant history teacher in me, but I found the events very moving.  I am still kicking myself for not planning ahead and making arrangements to actually be there in person.  It surely would have been more memorable for our daughters than their parent’s (okay, mostly mom’s) euphoric outbursts and the fake-looking grocery-store flowers and box of ice cream we shared in celebration.  One reporter’s story of parents frantically searching for their lost child in that crowd however made me think twice about my wish to have taken the girls. 


Here on our frozen farm life is pretty good.  New lambs began to arrive on January 6.  The first little ewe lamb was deemed “epiphany” and yesterday’s hulking, energetic ram lamb was named “Obama”, of course.   So far we have eight live lambs and two that were born dead or very weak.   This is just the beginning of lambing so every time we go to the barn we are expectant.  It is like an extended Advent season for us.

 new lambs

My husband, Roy Dale as childhood friends and immediate family know him, unlike his father, farmer Roy of Village Acres, is not friendly with machinery.   I too am not mechanically minded.  I am more apt to kick and curse a machine than to ponder its inner workings and try to figure it out. I wish I were more curious about them.  I just want them to work for me.  Roy D. would prefer to work with animals than machines and he is good with them.  This is in part why Mac is such a valuable member of the family farm.  Already his skill at keeping animals in their place or moving them where we need them to go has been invaluable.  All this love of animals however doesn’t change our reliance on some machines.  While Mac is great at moving cows and sheep, he really struggles getting those half-ton round bails to move into the feeder.  For that we have a Bobcat skid steer and an old David Martin tractor pulls the feeder wagons around the farm.  Because we need them and they do good work for us, we do care for our machines too.  Like anyone suffering from over-exposure in cold weather, this weekend they needed a little TLC.  Their fuel lines froze in sub-zero temps so we took our electric bathroom heater and some old blankets out to barn to warm them up.  They responded beautifully and in no time sputtered to life. 

 tractor TLC

There are many signs of life and hope around us, even during these frigid days of winter.