Something just flew by me and I think it was Christmas. You can get just too busy on a farm at times. Important events can get left in the dust and all you can do is scratch your head and say, "How did that happen?" and try not to do that again.
For a couple of years now Lee and I have kidded out most the full bloods in Oct. in order to free up the barn for January kidding of 4-H wethers that would be for sale. This has worked reasonably well, leaving time for our favorite event, Christmas. And, in our family, not only is there Christmas but also all these wonderful birthdays of people in the family we love that were born close to and after Christmas.
This summer we made an investment and bought a couple of young bucks from some very nice people in order to add new bloodlines to the herd. We also had some young full bloods reaching a year old (when we like to breed them) and Voila! The new nine month old buck was put in with these yearling full blood cuties and also any other unbred, short, mature full blood doe, and a December kidding it was going to be, besides the October kidding.
Business wise, this is a good move to be producing new kids from these new bloodlines to put up for sale to recoup the cost of the buck, but I lost Christmas. The second batch of full bloods would be kidding throughout December, which means a lot of time at the barn, late nights, sometimes all night, and then being too tired to get very festive over Christmas.
Some people may be a Bah Humbugger to Christmas, but not us. We love Merrying and Christmasing all over the place. But, duty called, the girls needed care, and also any bottle babies that happened to be produced.
We were just weaning the October bottle kids when along came the December bottle kids. Now the October does wanted to bless our socks off and produced a lot of triplets, which I kept taking one away to bottle feed since it was always the two teated does that produced them. Our policy is to take one kid away to bottle feed if the doe only has two functional teats.
Not to be out done, the December girls decided to show the October girls how to really kid and not only did the December two teated does have triplets, but they also were having four and five kids! So eight brand new bottle babies appeared on the scene and more to come at any minute, Iím sure.
So, a week before Christmas I was talking to mom and the way she worded Christmas, it sounded like Christmas was already over. I remember exclaiming, "Oh no, mom, donít tell me Iíve sat down at the barn on a bucket and lost Christmas!" She had to laugh at that one and assure me that Christmas had yet to happen.
Still, I had no time to send out Christmas cards or put up decorations, not with the girls keeping me busy, plus doing regular farm chores. But, I did take the sack off a foot tall decorated Christmas tree mom had given me years ago and also took out a small Santaís village that my sister gave me last year, and proudly sat them up in front of the picture window in the living room. Then add the Rubber Maid tubs of bottle kids under the decorations, it was just down right festive.
When the family was all invited to be together at momís & dadís on Christmas Eve, Lee and I had been busy with kidding, plus putting up extra kidding stalls getting ready to put the 4-H girls in when they hit 145 days for their kidding. We arrived late for the festivities, looking like farmer zombies, terribly tired. And, we ran smack dab into jolly people. Through bleary eyes, these happy rambunctious folks, eating Christmas snacks, handing out presents, seemed like an alien race to us.
I whispered to Lee, "Do regular town folk really have that much energy?"
He whispered back, "Itís a sugar high." Ahhhh, and cookies were being used heavily that night. Made sense.
So, after seeing what jolly Christmas town life was like and going back to our regular kidding life of sleeping in our clothes on the couch and easy chair, waiting to jump up at a moments notice to attend a kidding, it made you pause and think. Particularly when you jump up in the middle of the night near Christmas to chase bottle babies and put them back in their tubs. Was this really how to spend Christmas?
For instance, one night Lee thought he heard something over the baby monitor connected to the kidding barn and he leaped to his feet from his easy chair, and took off almost in a run. The bottle babies were all nestled in their tubs in the living room until Lee did this and one particular little doe kid leaped straight up and over the tub and took off at a dead run at Leeís heels. Iím figuring she was thinking if something had scared Lee that badly that he took off, she wasnít going to stick around to see what it was. I had to chase her down and put her back in her tub, making a mental note to get the bottle babies moved to the garage in a bedded down plastic wading pool and a hog panel wrapped around it to keep the babies in.
So, next year we donít plan on kidding in December. No sense in missing Christmas. But, just in case my plans get messed up, how do you feel about receiving your Christmas card in September?