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Happy Holidays 2008!

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

2008 has been a very exciting year…with both highs and lows! We’ve added to the farm in many ways and have cut back in other ways!

During the winter, I finally got the family on board for some horsey activities, namely skijoring! Bear, Marina and Evan (supported wholeheartedly by freezing mom, Michelle and Vera on the side lines) competed behind Manny and me in two divisions. Bear and I took second at the Newport Winter Carnival…a product of smart strategy and great skiing! Videos are on my blog (see below). 2008 was the best winter in memory for me, full of snow! We had over 100 inches last winter…truly beautiful!

In the spring, we had a blessed lack of mud, thanks to the heavy snow and thin frost underneath. We started our spring renovations…a farmer’s porch for the horses on the barn and a composting shed….a place to make manure a renewable resource! With rising diesel prices, I parked the big truck and limited my distant horsey activities to a minimum. I am totally grateful to Dad for the gift of a small farm truck last summer. I have enjoyed that truck and its gas savings immensely during these rough gas price times.

I spent the summer riding in my new arena and upgrading the farm. We added 2 Nigerian Pygmy goats…Alice and Betty…who have been immensely helpful in managing brush on our property. They love bushes and small trees. I built a chicken coop and populated it with birds over the summer. By the fall we had full production and a half dozen eggs a day. Yummy. We sell 2-4 dozen eggs a week, which pays for not only the organic chicken feed, but subsidizes the goat’s grain as well! I finally feel like I am a real farmer…

Brad and Kris hosted their annual ‘Mud Fest’ over Memorial Day weekend. It was the first time all the Judkins and Provencher cousins were in one place in many, many years. There was a lot of laughter and storytelling around the campfires that weekend.

Over the summer, I became affiliated with a grass roots organization promoting ‘draft animal power’, attended (and volunteered) at their ‘animal powered field days’ and learned tons about what can really be done with a big horse and not much else. Talk about ‘fuel efficient’!
This fall, I finally got Peanut into work. He spent 3 weeks at a trainer (Ted Russell) to get him started driving. Since he has been home we have been driving all over the place. We even learned to skid wood! I have big plans to use Peanut to move manure and drag the arena as well as other of the more mundane farm chores I have. We’ve got Miss Molly (miniature horse) pulling a cart as well.

We had Bear, Michelle and the kids, as well as Brad and Kristen over for Thanksgiving. Everyone made something…the kitchen was bustling! The kids enjoyed the barnyard and took turns driving Miss Molly around in her cart. The adults enjoyed a relaxing weekend catching up and taking it easy.

After the Holiday, I lost my beloved Dog, Dax. She died quietly at home after a yearlong battle with congestive heart failure (full story below). I was sad to lose her, but grateful that she went without pain, suffering or a trip to the hospital. With the addition of Maxwell Smart over the summer, life goes on…here at Resting Heart Farm!

Wishing you and yours a blessed holiday season, full to love and gratitude! Merry Christmas!
Jennifer, Laila, Manny, Canon, Peanut, Doc, Magic, Miss Molly, Max, Newt, Lucy, Banjo, Lilly, Alice, Betty and the girls (in the coop)!

PS. Click on image to enlarge…

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