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Summer Begins

Posted 6/6/2011 10:32am by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

In two days summer begins in full force; the girls will be home from school!   I'm ready for relaxed mornings and the break from packing lunches.   I find food preparation to be a challenge this time of year, both for packing lunchboxes and for preparing meals.   This spring is especially difficult as the wet spring  and busyness of farm life kept us from getting our garden planted early.   Last year's stores are nearly gone and this season is off to a slow start.  Riley keeps complaining that she is tired of PB&J!  How can she be tired of PB&J, she's nine!! Her father routinely ends his day with a PB&J sandwich and a glass of milk and he is, well, a good deal beyond nine.   I think we are all ready for a bit of a change to our school-year routine, so summer, bring it on!!

Last Friday we had another litter of pigs.  Summer farrowing is far less stressful than winter.  The sow made a nest for her brood in the corner of cattle loafing pen rather than the pig hut were we wanted her to have them, but it has worked out quite well anyway.   This way we have a much better view of the litter.   We have seven plump, healthy little piglets and a very small runt, who depite eye-dropper intervention, died on Saturday.   We are enjoying watching these sleek little piglets root around each other and their mother.   I am amazed at the difference in size between sow and piglets; pigs may not seem like graceful animals, but a mama sow that can negotiate standing up and laying down in a nest full of piglets without squashing any deserves a tutu and Pointe shoes.

Our other piglet, Ebony, the bottle pig, is not so little anymore.   She continues to amuse me immensely.   She comes when we call, prefers dog food to pig chop, and, has claimed Mac's old dog pillow as her bed.  She is a very spoiled pig.   Babe she is not however.  You would be very mistaken if you assumed she quoted poetry at our lambs or befriended Mac with her courtesy.   She is more likely to chase the lambs and bite their tails and in general, is not intimidated by anything.  I've read Winston Churchill once quipped that, "Dogs look up to us, cats look down on us, and pigs view us as their equals."  He was clearly a man with some farm experience. 

Ebony and Frances.                                                                    I just can't resist picking up our squalking, demanding, pig-headed pet.

We continue to adjust to not having a team of horses since the loss of Bud.   We thought about farming Bob out for a while till we find a suitable teammate for him, but a good friend advised us to keep him here and if need be, borrow a horse for the summer till we find another.  For now, Bob seems to have adjusted to not having Bud around.  It helps that he can be out on pasture, keeping company with our bull.    We'll certainly keep you posted when and if we decide on another horse.