It takes a little extra time to do the chores these days but other than that things go on fairly normally. Sir Loin doesn't even know that anything is out of the ordinary. All he cares about is that his feed box, hay rack and water bucket is filled twice a day and that he has clean, dry straw to bed down in. Of course the water in his bucket is frozen every morning (and afternoon recently) so that takes a few extra minutes to get the ice out before refilling with fresh water. He decided the other day that he wasn't getting enough exercise so he took to jumping over the rail fence of his pen. I put him back in and he promptly repeated the process. So I tacked up an extra board (temporary fix) until the temps abate a bit and I can undertake a more permanent solution.
Lil Bitty kitty doesn't seem to mind the cold either. Every morning when I go out to do the chores at 5:30 am she greets me as I open the cellar door. She could be all curled up and snuggled in amongst the hay bales but she chooses to wait out in the freezing cold for my arrival each morning. Lil Bitty is suppose to be a barn cat but Marla has taken to her more than I thought she would. She will often leave her in the house for an hour or two in the afternoon and then give her a special treat of a little warm milk. I've never been much of a cat person but I enjoy watching her when she goes into her "hunting mode". She'll "stalk" the rooster in the barn (just for fun), the birds and squirrels out by the bird feeder and even the neighbors chickens when they get to close to our house. She has made herself into a very utilitarian farm cat. She enjoys our company but doesn't want to be coddled or pampered. And I haven't seen any signs of (live) mice or rats since she arrived back in late fall. Kudos to ya Lil Bitty! !
Two weeks ago Ryan took "Pork Chop" to the butcher. Well, he's back; only in a very different form. I picked up the fresh meat from the butcher yesterday and will pick up the smoked hams and bacons next week. The butcher said the pig was really nice and meaty (not fatty), weighing in at approximately 392 lbs. This is the largest pig I have ever raised - (and just a few short months ago he couldn't keep up with his other two buddies that were here.) Since its just Marla and I now we don't need a whole pig so we split it with Ryan and Tara. Each party received approximately 1 1 0 lbs of meat. Nothing like having meat in the freezer that you raised yourself! ! Love it! !
The last blog was about "winter waiting". Well, I forgot something. When I walked down to the barn today to do the chores I noticed the Blue Bird houses and how they too look cold, empty and forlorn in this oh-so-bone-chilling winter. Seems as if the bird houses too are waiting - waiting for their yearly Blue Bird occupants who will set up house-keeping and raise another batch of young ones here at Lil Bitty.