2010 is quickly winding to and end and I've got mixed emotions about it, you see 2009 was a doozie and 2010 was awesome so naturally I hope that 2011 will be good and I certainly hope that we won't have another 2009. I've got lots of things nay goals for 2011 and I'm hoping to be able to pull them off to some degree by using some of the lessons I've learned this year. The biggest things I've learned is that above all other things time need to be taken to enjoy the ride. Don't get so wrapped up in it; what ever it is, that you forget to enjoy the ride. We only get one shot at this life it would be a shame to miss it, don't ya think?
Some of the other things I've learned are:
1. "They don't eat much hay." is a subjective term. Much hay compared to an elephant or a goat?
2. There is a reason for the old farmers saying that fences need to be horse high, pig tight and bull strong...
3. No matter how much you prepare your self or steel yourself against it taking animals to the abattoir hurts more than you think it will.
4. Good neighbors are amazing!
5. Do some research before raising animals, (especially for food) as you don't want to go in blind, but know that it will cost you more than you think, but not too much and it's worth every penny.
6. Farms are built by blood, sweat and tears and worth every drop.
7. Others will laugh, scoff at or even make fun of your choices and that's ok, let them. Forgive them, they just have now idea how blissful your life really is.
8. Enjoy the breeze on a warm sunny day at the beach with your children.
9. Crops fail, livestock eventually becomes deadstock, and large amounts of wind, rain and snow happen, roll with it. Hopefully it doesn't all happen on the same day, sometimes it does. On those days count your blessings and move on.
10. Lots of things just don't matter, it's the little things that do...
11. Sunsets are beautiful and a nice way to end the day with the hope for a beautiful tomorrow.
12. It's easy to bite off more than you can reasonably chew at one time and it's ok to say no.
13. It's very exciting to see an egg being laid and even more exciting to watch one hatch!
14. Children grow up way to fast and horses age way too quickly.
15. Sometimes it takes a 500 pound heifer and a show ring to give a young girl some self confidence, and it's heartwarming to watch.
16. We do all get the same 24 hours in a day it's how we decide to spend them that makes the difference. We do have the time if it is a priority. But sometimes even the best laid plans can get 180'd because the pigs got out or the truck got a flat or whathave you and not everybody understands. I hope you make it a point to surround yourself with people that do.
17. You are able to do exactly what needs to be done when it needs to be done even though you didn't think you could.
18. Red and grey squirrels; albeit cute, are very destructive!
19. A barn full of happy animals is a wonderful thing to hear first thing in the morning, or anytime really and a ride on a trusty steed can lift even the darkest cloud.
20. White tile flooring is not really ideal for my lifestyle. It shows way too much crud and despite the fact that the floor is swept daily it rarely looks that way. So I'll take a bit of wording from Joel Salatins wife, 'If you're coming to see me come anytime, if you're coming to see my house make an appointment.'
There are lots of other things I've learned this year so this is just a smattering, but I don't see how it would be possible to learn it all at once or in one year, nor would I want to. Learning is part of the journey. So here's to a look back at 2010 and lessons learned and a hope for a prosperous 2011 for you and all of us here at From the Country Farm. Good Night, God Bless and Happy New Year! Welcome 2011!