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Posts Tagged ‘farm life’

Decisions reflect how we see ourselves.  The decisions we make tell volumes about us.  I bought a horse six years ago that turned out not to be a good match for me temperament wise.  I worked with her, hired trainers, read books, asked people’s advice, etc., etc.  I was told she would settle down when she got older, that she just needed more ground work and other well intentioned advice.  I thought about selling her and moving on time after time but always seemed to find a way to talk myself out of it (by trusting someone else’s advice).  All the time I really didn’t enjoy her much of the time and never took her anywhere to do anything.

Finally, a few months ago (with my husband’s no nonsense counsel) I declared that I was done with trying.  I was going to look for a calm, smart, willing horse.   After scanning hundreds of email ads, talking with people and visiting some horses, I found Flynn last week.  I had thoroughly checked out his breeding and history and when I met him I had a great gut feel about him.   I was still anxious about my judgment though, after all, I had made the decision to get the mare.  I called my husband and blathered on excitedly cautious about this and that and his good points and his liabilities and he said with characteristic simplicity, “Just buy him.”  I will always remember how he cut through my jumble of fear and excitement with that simple statement.  I whooped and hollered and bought him.

Now that I’ve had Flynn for a week, I can’t believe I put up with the mare for six years.  At only 4 years old, he is calm, tractable and all around a pleasure to be with and learn with.   Why did it take me so long?  To use an acronym a client once shared with me, it’s an AFGO (Another F____  Growth Opportunity).   It made me aware of how we sometimes make decisions and tolerate things for not very good reasons.  Pay attention to your decisions, what you tolerate and what it says about you.

Flynn, my new love

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I first learned of the “Total Compensation” phrase years ago when I worked in the corporate world.  We used it to describe the various ways an employee was compensated in addition to their salary.  We were attempting to show employees that all the other stuff:  vacations, health benefits, insurance, training were all part of compensation.

A few days ago I heard a radio guest (never got her name) say that when she focused on being grateful and all her blessings she felt happy and when she focused on the lack in her life compared to others she felt down.  I have experienced the same thing, I don’t think it’s uncommon.  I began to connect this idea with the Total Compensation idea.  When I view my life in it’s entirety and notice all the blessings instead of picking apart one area or another that I may be dissatisfied with, I feel more at peace.

I also have occasional fantasies of just having one or two main focuses in my life instead of the several I have.  I imagine being just a mom or just an executive coach or just a horseback rider  or just a fiber artist, etc.  Wouldn’t life be grand with a singular focus!  While this would be fun for awhile, I then remind myself of who I am and how easily I can get bored or obsessed with one thing.  It’s all these different things, I tell myself,  the total package – that makes life dynamic and challenging.

So when I contemplate the “Total Compensation” in my life I am filled with gratitude and happiness.  I’ll take those feelings over envy and self-pity any day!

Speaking of blessings, I asked my 9 year old son if he could make dinner so I’d have time to ride after work and this is what I walked in the kitchen to find; lot’s of veggies and lots of dishes!

A joyous moment, my son making us dinner!

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Well after three weeks of turning our eggs and hopeful anticipation of many fuzzy chicks to play with, we hatched one.  Yes, you read right, 36 eggs and one baby!  So the children and I used the failure as a science project.  We hypothesized that perhaps the thermometer that came with our new incubator was inaccurate.  We gathered five thermometers from around the farm and put them in the incubator and found that the one we used was 5 degrees too cool.  So we believe that we cooked our chicks.  When we thought we had them at 99.5, they were actually at about 105 degrees.  We can’t figure out how we have one live chick that survived this sauna.  He was our biggest egg which led to more theories.  Here is a picture of “Buddy” as my son named him, I think “Miracle” is more fitting.  He shivers quite a bit and seems to like being right under the heat lamp, hmmm.

Buddy the Wonder Chick

We think his Dad is “Officer” and his Mom is “Triple Time Cuteness:”

Dad, our sweetest rooster named "Officer"

Mom, "Triple Time Cuteness," an Araucana who lays olive green eggs

This weekend we will test our hypothesis by putting a batch of fresh eggs in the incubator with a new, tested thermometer.  So back to waiting anxiously for three more weeks!

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It’s our third year incubating eggs.  It is a miracle that I can’t get over.  We put these tiny eggs, which can sit for a week or more after they are laid, into a warm (99.5 degrees) and humid place for three weeks and they turn into birds!  Nobody is feeding them, they just sit there and grow, all we do is turn them a few times a day.  I find that astonishing.  I used to think that the yolk became the chick and wouldn’t eat them as a child.  Now I know that the yolk is what the chick absorbs for fuel it’s last few days in the shell.  That’s why chicks can be mailed soon after they are born with no food or water across the country (we got our first batch from McMurray Hatchery in Iowa).  So while we don’t need anymore chickens (28 or so is enough) we can’t help but hatch more.  The fun of trying to guess who the mom and dad are (we have about 16 varieties who all look different), holding those fuzz balls, naming each and every one – we can’t resist.  Plus the reality is that many will not make it to adulthood (foxes, hawk, dogs, etc).  So, as crazy as it is, we have about 38 eggs in the incubator this time, all “due” the 25th of April or so.  Look for fuzzy chick photos in my next post!

More of what we don't need but can't resist

I guess I’m egg crazy, I even think the egg itself, the pink,terracotta, blue, olive and turquoise tones they have are gorgeous:

A bowl of beauty

Here’s a low fat egg fritata we eat about once a week:

Healthy Egg Fritata:

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Crack 4 eggs and 8 egg whites into a bowl

Add about a 1/2 cup milk

Add any variety and combination of vegetables you have on hand, I’ve tried:

chopped roasted red peppers, olives, zucchini,

chopped mushrooms, broccolli, green onions

sometimes I add chopped ham

add your vegetables to egg mixture, season with salt and pepper and any herbs you like

Pour in large tart pan or pie plate.

Bake for about 40 minutes, testing for doneness in middle. Can be served with green or red salsa.

Enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

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