All posts tagged horses

A First Time for Everything-A Day in the Life of a Farmer’s Wife, Day 15

I’ve experienced a lot of firsts lately.

Building raised beds in our garden, planting seeds in white plastic and watching them grow into healthy plants, observing hummingbirds drink out of the feeder right outside my window.

I’ve watched fox cubs grow up, wild turkeys graze in our field, and a wild bear cross my gravel road.

I’ve petted a donkey, picked ticks off of Tom, attended a small animal auction, spent a morning picking wild blackberries at the edge of our field, fed apples to horses, and cleared a path through the woods.

One morning, Tom and I watched as a mammoth crane lowered our new house onto a brick foundation and then raise its roof. A few days later, a truck carrying a commercial drill dug 400 feet into our land and capped off our well.

I’ve never done that before.

Our new house

I killed hundreds of flea beetles in one day, and on that same day, planted pumpkin seeds that have already sprouted into vines.

I’ve seen purple okra shoot out of a stalk and watched a tiny yellow bloom grow into an almost ripe cantaloupe.

Beautiful purple okra

I ordered 75 baby chicks will arrive at the end of the week. Today, I helped Tom build a brooder to keep them safe and warm.

This evening I sang hymns to bulls in the field by our homesite. They came closer as they chewed their cud. A few listened intently. I asked Tom what we should name the listener.

“52740.” Tom noticed the numbers on the bulls side. I opted for Heratio.

The list goes on and on.

What’s my point?

I’m not sure.

But a few ideas have crossed my mind.

First, it’s never to late to try new things. Just because you’re over 50 doesn’t mean you can’t change careers or move to Mayberry. Or Green Acres.

I’ve also thought of how one day, petting a donkey won’t be such a big deal.

I don’t want that to happen.

This is where you come in, friend. No matter where you live–in a big city or a small town, take time to slow down and admire God’s creation.

It’s magnificent.

Tonight, I sat on the porch with Tom and listened to the end of the Tampa Bay Rays game. I marveled at sun filtering through towering pines until it disappeared and the lightening bugs showed up.

It was some show.

Nothing on TV could compare with that scene.

Tomorrow, I think I’ll pet a donkey and prepare for my chicks–the ladies.”

Help me think of 75 names.

Heratio is taken.


Horse Talk, A Day in the Life of a Farmer’s Wife Day 7

“So let me get this straight.” I collected my thoughts as I leaned on the massive horse trailer my neighbor owned–one of many. “If I go into the fence where the horses are and they don’t hate me, they probably won’t kick me, right?”

Jamie nodded and looked at me. “Right.”

“It’s okay if I go into the pen isn’t it?”


I asked him if I could ride a horse and maybe if my friends could ride when they visited.

“No problem.”

“And do you have the stuff to ride with?”

He patiently explained, “It’s called tack. I have about 35 different saddles and bridles and stuff. That’s what I do. I buy horses and equipment and sell them.”


I thought only people in westerns were in that profession. I asked about the horse I’d fallen in love with–the one with the blue eyes. He explained how he starts them in the pasture on our property when he first buys them and then transfers them to another 20-acre pasture he leases that has actual grass.

I’d missed them yesterday. There’s something both stately and comforting to look out your bedroom window and see two horses grazing.

“You won’t recognize him when I bring him back. He’ll look just like those horses.” He pointed to the healthy looking ones in back of his house. “The white one there is nice.”

“What’s her name?”

“Horse. She’s for sale.”

I pouted. “I really love that blue-eyed horse you had here.”

“He’ll be back. He came from a family of young-uns who let the horse do what he wanted.”

“I need you to help me learn how to make a horse do what I want.”

“I can help you with that.”

I couldn’t help but smile. “When you see that blue-eyed horse, tell him I asked about him.”

“I will.”

I think Jamie smiled too.

A Day in the Life of a Farmer’s Wife, Day 6

I thought you might be interested in what I did a few days ago. It was incredibly interesting to me since as a city girl, wildlife had nothing to do with animals.

First we visited the farm of a young man of 25 years with about 50 years of farming experience. We made arrangements to meet  him at a local park and thought we’d follow in our van. He opened the car door to his well-used truck and invited us to ride with him.

“The roads are wet and pretty bumpy. I can barely get my truck in there.”

We traveled windy roads with majestic views of low mountains.

“You could spit into Virginia from here,” he explained. I decided against it. Mine always seemed to hit the side of the car.

First he showed us his bottom land. It had a grayish brown hue as opposed to the red clay on our land. There were several rows covered with black plastic. Healthy plants pushed through.

“We’ll be harvesting soon. I think there’ll be several thousand pounds of squash.”

He uttered those words as if he were stating it might rain. I couldn’t imagine that much squash. Ever.

Part of the reason for our visit was to see his irrigation set-up. We’d purchased the same one and had no idea how it worked.

“Let’s go down and look at the pump.”

We traveled through thick brush down a steep embankment to the river. Quiet and cool, I imagined Tom and Huck hanging out at a place like it. A large highway passed overhead and I wondered how many dreamy places I’d missed in my life as I talked on my cell phone on my way to a mall or a concert.

The places that are really beautiful and no one notices.

He took us to his two other fields and let us pet his cows. They felt soft and furry. He fed one Nab crackers. He might process some of his herd, but says,”She’s our pet. We’re gonna bury her.”

He showed us a lot of land on a lot of hills owned by his father, mother, and grandparents.

Up until recently, I hadn’t known many people whose land dated back for generations. Around here, it’s the norm–not the exception.

It was right kind of that man to help us out. We’re gonna take Joshua and Katie to dinner sometime. These are young people that I’d like to get to know better.

Later, I took a walk with my neighbor and new friend. Her two girls joined us. Christy lives about a 1/4 mile from me on a dirt road with a sign that reads, “Rainbow Lane.” She owns a mammoth horse and two guard dogs and a 1975 Chevy truck. I’m kind of jealous.

I shared with her my fear of horses. “There’s nothin’ to be afraid of, once you know how to act around them.”

We decided to visit the two on our property. She petted them and spoke to them and scratched them. I admired her courage. The horse I’m partial to has blue eyes and followed me all the way down the fence.

I think he likes me. I named him Blue. He just doesn’t know it.

That afternoon, Daphene–Mom’s new caregiver noticed something on my neck and picked it off.

“It’s a tick,” she announced.

We found one on Tom later.

When you’re a farmer’s wife, you gotta be tough.

We ended the day making soil blocks for our baby seeds.

Then we played solitaire and watched fireflies.

Exhausted and tick free, we fell into bed.



A Farmer’s Wife, Day 2

Suffice it to say, yesterday I didn’t build the chicken coop.

I went to the airport to drop off one friend and caregiver and pick up another. I visited an upscale place to get expensive, natural food–for my dog. I can’t afford it for me.

Today, I began with coffee, prayer, worship–staples for a farmer’s wife. We unpacked our seeds and read the tree hugger farmer manual. I ordered the cover crop for our unworked fields from the patient man who helped me yesterday. Couldn’t get the oats so we’re going with soy bean because Gray from the seed place thinks it’s a good idea.

After we had breakfast, Tom sauntered across the gravel road to our field 50 feet away and began to disk it. I watched in my robe with my 3rd cup of coffee from the front porch. Often, he’d dismount from the tractor to toss a rock out of his way. That was Sam’s cue to chase it down, sniff it, lick it, and run back for another rock.

I walked up the road to befriend the horses. They didn’t take come when I called even though I had apple sections and carrots. I did get Pete the donkey to look my way and eat a piece of apple I tossed near him. Making friends with horses and donkeys must take time. Even if you do feed them. Horses and donkeys aren’t like teenage boys.

Right before lunch, I set off through the woods with a floppy hat, a walking stick, neon construction tape, and Sam. We marked a path from our field to the homesite by tying the bright tape around trees. The air was cool as we crossed the creek. Sometimes I led the way, other times, Sam took the lead.

My walks through the woods always make me think of the saying, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it really make a sound?”

I think it does.

Just because we can’t see or hear everything and verify its existence doesn’t make it untrue.

Just mysterious.

Like farming.

Like life.

Like God.

This afternoon I’ll pick up my order from the seed place and meet the man who knows I know nothing. I don’t know how to dress. Like a farmer’s wife, or like a professional writer? Since shower times are scarce, the natural look will have to do.

Tonight, I’ll make dinner, do dishes with Jan and Tom, go for a walk, and end the day with a seed-planning meeting.

Life is good.

I think the chicken coop can wait.