Sunday, March 8, 2009

Purple Cow

We are buying a purple cow.

Actually, "Little Blue" as she is called, is a brindle "blue roan", meaning the black and white hairs on her coat are intermingled in such a way as to make her take on a bluish or purple tinge. I kid you not, this cow has a blue tongue like a Chow-Chow dog.

Yes, the Dagen family took a trek down the road yesterday to go see the cows we are purchasing to add to our little farm. We went to a dairy farm owned by one of my husband's seed dealers, and truly enjoyed the tour. It was fun to see the pretty baby calves, to have a look at the cows they will be delivering to us next week, and to enjoy a visit with some really nice, down-to-earth people.

This will surely be an adventure... its been twenty years since I last worked with cattle and so will need to refresh my memory on a few things. Both cows are to to calve April 15th, but just like any other mammal, can deliver anytime two weeks before to two weeks after that due date. The blue cow is a big, sort of rangy animal, while her companion is smaller, spotted, and... well... prettier. Maybe beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but I do believe a cow can be pretty.

And so, the girls and I spent some time in the barn today, working with the horses and cleaning it up a bit. We dewormed all the horses, and got a bit of a start with the spring cleaning. Call me crazy, but I take a lot of pride in having a clean and organized barn. It really got away from me this winter while I was laid up, and I will just not be content until it is back in order. It is a slow process as I must be so careful to avoid reinjuring my back, but a little work every day should have it back in shape soon.

It felt *so* good to get outdoors today; we are in a blizzard watch for Tuesday and wanted to get all the hay in place and the stock tanks filled in advance. It feels as if we are on the cusp of spring, and it feels hopeful. Everything is sort of dingy and grey at the moment, as it always is this time of year; in this country, however, once Mother Nature makes up her mind to turn up the heat, that will change in a hurry.

Last fall the girls and I planted flower bulbs....tulips, crocuses, daffodils... and it will be such a joy to see them bloom. I've got a corner of my barn picked out for a henhouse, the footings are already there. It used to be a feed room or something, but the previous owners tore it out, leaving only the footings. All I need to do is put up two walls and a door, and install a window, and we will have an 8 x 12 hen house, plenty of room for a little flock. My husband is adamantly opposed to raising meat birds, just hates the butchering... but we will see what Murray McMurray sends in the mail... ;-)

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