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What Makes You Feel Rich?


When my husband and I were in college we would walk into town for dessert and coffee.  The dorms gave us plenty to eat but it was wonderful to leave the university atmosphere for a short visit out into the real world.  At that point we had almost no money so we would buy two coffees and share a strawberry banana sundae.  Back then being rich would have meant having so much money that we didn't need to share a single dessert.

When we lived out in Simonton, being rich meant a huge pile of firewood.  The fireplace in that house was huge and the entire base was a grate that let the ashes fall into the bottom of the chimney.  To clean the ashes out you went outside where there was a trap door in the bottom of the chimney.  That seemed like a great design because we only had to clean out the ashes once a year or so.  Unfortunately, the constant flow of air meant we burned wood at an amazing rate and got only a fraction of the heat into the house so not a very good design afterall.

These days, being rich means a barn full of hay.  I have bought hay from Larry Janicek for the entire 28 years I have owned livestock.  It started with horses and migrated into the goats, then alpacas and llamas too.  Through it all, both when we lived in Simonton and when we moved out here to Cat Spring, Larry has been bringing me hay and stacking it in my barn.  An empty barn means stalls can't be bedded, animals will go hungry and won't be able to keep themselves warm during the winter.  Hay grows in the summer and is cut, allowed to dry in the fields and then baled.  There is rhythm to the cycle and it only happens in it's own time so there needs to be some planning involved.  

Larry and his brothers have been growing and selling hay for pretty much their entire adult lives.  They all have or had day jobs, of course, but the hay was always growing.  They have worked very hard over the years to get rid of weeds and unwanted grasses in their hay fields and to keep everything growing with appropriate fertilizing and tending.  Hurricane Harvey threw them a curve by washing in all sorts of seeds for unwanted plants so this spring will be more work than usual.

Larry brought me a small load of 55 bales last night.  He isn't baling now so these bales came out of his barn.  They should carry me over till the new hay crop is ready to cut and bale later this summer.  Fortunately, the grass is starting to grow now and the worst of the cold weather is behind us.  I think the 55 bales will work nicely.