Dull November brings the blast, then the leaves are whirling fast.

Susan Coolidge


Dull. As Aneliese’s rhyme of the month describes, that about sums up November for me. It’s quite honestly a difficult month for me.  It’s grey, grey, grey with only brief glimpses of sun a few times in the month. All of the garden work is basically done and I have a hard time shifting into the season of slow and cold. Then too, it’s a slowdown time from all the summer bustle and visitors and when I face that Christmas won’t be spent with our family but instead we’ll be mostly alone here. So I mostly just feel sluggish, grey, and well, lonely.


Not to worry though, I rarely express those thoughts and I’m done now. Besides it’s almost December when I get wrapped up in the wonder of the Advent, our little family traditions, and the warmth of the season. And just because I’ve felt a little dull doesn’t mean that November hasn’t been a decent month. I’ve been busy trying to get products ready for the Christmas market that is in two weeks and we’ve been getting ready for the cold days of winter.


The first real snow fall came on Sunday and the temperatures have officially dropped below freezing. That means we’re packing water from the house a couple of times a day for the animals and putting away the hoses. Did you know that a lactating cow drinks anywhere from 25 to 50 gallons of water a day?


Our chickens are nice and cozy in their new, smaller house. Dan built it so that it rests on the bars of the dog kennel that is our new chicken tractor. We still need to attach wheels, but come spring we’ll be rolling that baby around the field and have pastured chickens that can’t destroy my gardens. Hah. For now, they are happy and snug, the coop is cute, and we’re getting four eggs a day from my downsized to fifteen hens flock.

Sugar and Copper have pulled out their Highland coats and are getting all furred up. Copper is cute, Sugar is a wee bit hairy for milking. But with a good brush before milking, we’re making it work. We ended up not being able to get a barn built so have a three sided shelter that I also milk in. Makes me super thankful that we have a hardier milk cow.

You know what’s funny? Almost everyday, twice a day, I wish that I could get out of going out in the cold to take care of the animals and milking. I dread the cold. But I bundle up and honestly, the instant I set foot outside the door I’m so glad that I did. I love the animals. I love the outdoors. I really mean that. Needing to take care of them forces me out because there is no option; they are waiting to be cared for. And it’s what clears my brain fog and strengthens my body.

Even the other night when it was cold, snowy and incredibly windy, I felt revived. The chickens made their peaceful night sounds while I scrounged for eggs and closed their coop. Copper tousled his hay and chewed contentedly. Sugar rustled around for her grain as the milk spray struck a rhythmic beat in the bottom of the bucket. As I walk back through the blowing snow, seeing the light glowing from the kitchen window I feel that yes, I can do this.