Monday, April 25, 2011

Winter Evening Chores

Our barn used to be a semi cozy place during the winter. Chilly for me but comfortable for our animals. LV used to make sure the barn never got too warm, a cool 40ยบ was the healthiest temperature for the animals. I never got tired of the sounds that greeted me when ever I stepped inside. The cuds being chewed, hay munched, and the little water bowls next to each cow being used. Our dog always came running to meet me and a few cats walked unconcernedly around my feet in hopes of getting a handful or two of cat food. The heifers and calves moved around their pens at will and clanked at the stanchion openings where we scooped their silage, grain, and hay into the feed bunk in front of them.

In the back of the barn our horses stood munching their hay and the chickens added their own happy sounds. I used to push Sailor's stroller to a spot where he could watch us and then went to gather the eggs while LV fed each cow her correct rations. As he was finishing up I assembled the milking equipment and made sure our lantern was filled with kerosene and ready to go as soon as it started getting dark.

Not long after we started milking it would be time to pump air into the lantern, fill the little bowl next to the generator with Paco and light it to heat the generator in order to be able to light the lantern. Once it was hot enough the lantern was turned on and brought into the barn where it was hung on a hook hanging from a beam near the middle of the barn. We had an air hose with a special attachment at the end that we fastened to the lantern to keep the air pressure consistent and the lantern burning as brightly as possible. It added it's noisy hissing to the rest of the sounds of chore time.

Once the milking was done I had to wash up all the equipment and get it ready for the next morning while LV cleaned the gutters. We both bedded the cows, and once a week took time to curry and brush all the cows. Before we went to the house we opened the door to a large pen in the back of the barn and unsnapped the chain from our buggy horse's halter. He would walk into the pen where he would spend the night on a thick comfortable bed of straw.

8 comments:

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

I love hearing your descriptions of life as you lived it. The barn seems like a friendly, warm place, and the sharing of chores, a bond you and your husband share, a beautiful way to start your married life out!
Joni

Barbara said...

Oh yes what a blessing to hea how your life was, so serene an simple, those are the times I love, way back when things were simple. Great post here, blessed my socks off, hugs my frind.

Joanne said...

Your descriptions make me feel like I am right there. Thank you! Blessings, Joanne

Magnolia Tea said...

Like the others, I love the happy, peaceful serenity of your lives back then. A simply beautiful post. Thank you!

Toriz said...

Sounds like - despite it being work - you enjoyed your Winter evening chores. And, you paint such a nice picture that you make me wish I'd been there helping you.

Tanya said...

Where I live we don't have widespread snow in winter and do not need to barn animals over a time. I've always wondered how that scenario was managed and you described it so well, even down to the simple things.

Knitwit said...

You bring back fond memories - I've never lived on a farm, but I grew up in the country, and had a riding horse for a few years. I didn't have running water or electricity in her little shed - but I loved the scents and sounds, especially in the rain.

The imPerfect Housewife said...

Nope, sorry, I have a Farmville and the animals don't need that much tending to - are you telling me that Farmville isn't like real life?? My purple sheep and yellow cow beg to differ. :D Loved the descriptions of the barn life! ♥