Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Guest Blog: Cold Turkey! We've Left the Farm!

Top of another bright, fresh, San Franciscan morning to you all, I have to admit, we are in withdrawal… having left Heidi’s farm.  My wee son Hugh (7 yr old) asked, as I tugged on his ankles, to get him out of his hot bed and into the crisp 7 am air, Are we going to milk Lucy? ..and was very disappointed to know that he was headed for school and no farm chores this am.  Poor wee innocent, divilin.

In truth, it has been a wonderful week at the farm.  Declan (the experienced, Monaghan farmer!!) did come to milk Lucy on the sixth morning, and was put to instant shame by his offspring!  No Dad, it’s this way. Well the two men, left to their own smarts (as the stand-in farmeress took photographic record)..

had a great time, with their manly teamwork, getting Lucy to “let down” and give us our daily quota, of a jar-load of the best, creamy milk.   She did her usual wee low, flinging, “get-yer-hands-off-my-tits” kicks, but we are used to the highland jigs, which resound so well on the wooden base (and not to mention the roving, farmers hands!).  If only my sprightly, 86 year old Irish step dancing mother, was here to join in the rhythm of this morning, she’d add some amazing footwork to this pulsing, milking ritual.  Contented with the satisfaction that we were ready for a grand cup of Barry’s tea with decent milk, the hens were let out and the bleating kids raced to the their mother.  The forceful, repeated dunting of her deflated udder seems to give them that early morning comfort they had being waiting for, but lads, it gives me the heebee-geebees!  I’m so glad I’m not a Mama goat and have finished with breast feeding! Yeeeouch…get off-of-a-me!

Visitors came and went over the Thanksgiving holiday. It was good craic watching each of the characters come n’ go; some without encouragement, gave their opinion on how they would remodel the whole place!, others just soaked it all up and wanted to run out and buy themselves a bunny or a hen.

Well, ahem,.... speaking of hens.. I guess it’s time to confess the fatal mystery of one of the hens- (It’s fortunate I can’t match plumage and name). Well, Day 4, the “5” hens were let out as usual in the a.m. and we hung out about the farm till early afternoon. On our return at 5ish, there, lying DEAD as a dodo, in front of the coop, eye poked out, and somewhat defeathered, was a hen!  God save us from all harm!.. What on earth happened?. I did as much detective work as I could, but have come up with nothing conclusive, a freak accident? And then the animals in the pen did what animals do!

Anyway, post Thanksgiving my husband did get to prove some of his farming talents as he briskly plucked and gutted the hen, as effortlessly as if he was pulling a pint of Guinness, as he chatted with the relatives/customers who had stopped by. 

Lucy’s cheese mixed with herbs from Heidi’s garden were always a nice treat with visitors. Hugh and his friends had super fun running up and down the blocks with Mr. Tink, and watching the never-ending antics between sleek housecat Luna and one crazed, dog.  

Gosh, we miss ALL of the animals, I’m sniffing my woolen cuffs to get even the slightest whiff of a goat. I do believe we are to celebrate Miss hen’s life by bringing our two families together and feasting on her. Thank God I'm alive!   Slán (goodbye), and as they say in Roscommon ”that a crow may never pick yer stack!” or “that you may live till the skin of a gooseberry makes a nightcap for you”.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much Monica! I'm glad it was you who had to deal with poor Pop Tart and not me. I know that's terrible, but geez did Declan do a great job on her.