Thursday, September 16, 2010

Let's Begin Again.

Thursday is the new Saturday morning. I'm sitting in the rocking chair on the front porch, with the Statler Brothers seeping through the living room windows. I spent the last ten minutes giving little Bud some TLC as he seems to have some unidentifiable pest problem right now. It appears he's itched his underbelly raw, although he's on both flea and tick medication, and so, we gave him a bath this morning, but his sad eyes are hard to walk past without tugging on your heartstrings a little. The other animals on the farm seem to be in a better state of mind. At least one of the members of the A Team have started laying, and I can happily report that the goats still love eating peanut shells.

On the "to do" list today: get the press off the back burner and begin my new relationship with the press head on. Owning a small business ain't always the easiest thing in the world, i'm sure that's not news to anybody, but what i've been dealing with these past few months is something completely new for me and Brown Parcel Press. The press has been transitioning from being a shared entity, with a partner, to being solely owned and operated. When a partnership mutually decides to terminate it's agreement and a "we" becomes an "I", you're left with a lot of questions. In a sense the press has experienced a death, and i'm trying to breathe a new, different life into it. There is the small brand that me and my former partner built, but now it's time to really examine what we had and what I would like that to become. It's a weird thing to share, but I feel like somewhere it should be noted that this is what is happening. I'm very thankful to my former partner and all the ways in which he gave me confidence, support, and a helping hand and mind. I'll always know where Brown Parcel came from, but now it's time to take ownership of what I want the press to be. Things are going to change a lot, but in the end I know it's all for the best.

To old and new.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Satin in the foreground, SNL in the background.

Two pictures above taken at Heavy's BBQ on Saturday night.

A few months ago, our family made the drive to Madison, GA to visit the Sowhatchett Mule Farm. When Merlin died at the beginning of the Summer there were rumblings of whether or not we should dive back into the equine world. We adopted Merlin when we took over the farm, and although we were happy to have a retirement age horse around, keeping us company, we had never really talked about what we would do once Merlin wasn't with us anymore. We couldn't foresee how we'd feel about the back pasture being empty. Once faced with an overgrown field, empty feed buckets, and no horse around the "horse crossing" sign it was clear that this was a hole that we should attempt to fill. My pop, brilliant and outside the box thinker that he is, went on an investigation of sorts. What did his snooping around dig up? Mules. An animal that I was only vaguely familiar with before their existence on this farm became a possibility, are kind of unbelievable animals. I won't go into all of the ins and outs of muledom, but the basics are: a mule is a cross between a male donkey and a female horse. A mule has the vigor and strength of the horse, but the sure footedness, patience, endurance, and smarts of the donkey. If you don't believe me just look into a little book called "The Natural Superiority of Mules". For centuries these animals were an extremely large part of the farming culture in this country, but were eventually phased out of modern farming, in the middle of the last century, with the invention of the tractor. They are still used today by the Amish, the Army, and a few other smaller alternative farms.

Getting to the point, our family fell in love with mules, and the Sowhatchett Mule Farm, and for the past few months we've been working on repairing all of our fences and our handling skills, so that we could provide a good home for our very own mules. On Saturday we took delivery of Satin (her full name is Chief White Cloud's Satin) and Saturday Night Live. Never there was a finer looking pair. I'm sure i'll have more pictures to post on my Flickr as the weeks go by. Who knew? Mules are amazing.