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Farm Life

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Spiritwind
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:37 pm

I wrote this yesterday afternoon, but couldn't post it because I was too lazy to get up off my butt and go out and brush the snow off the dish. Not really too lazy. Shoveling pathways through the cement, I mean snow, kinda wore me out. Then it rained heaps and made it a slippy slidey wet mess. I think I'm going to do a lot of contemplating today, and not much else. Maybe put some fresh straw in everyone's shelter so they have dry bedding for the cold front coming in. Bring in Freckles blanket to make sure it's good and dry too. And keep that fire going. At least the cold makes for a nice ruddy complexion.

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I'm sitting here with my feet up, looking at the non stop snow falling out the windows, and with a big sigh realize I'm not going back out there again anytime soon, not even to brush the snow off the satellite dish. It took me two hours to do what normally takes no more than 30 minutes this morning to feed and water everyone. And my coat and snow pants were soaked all the way through. My coat must have weighed about 20 pounds when I took it off. There was no waiting until it let up or stopped as it hasn't for hours and doesn't look like it going to anytime soon. It's wet and heavy stuff, and I am so thankful we spent the last couple days cutting up wood in preparation for this.

In a few days we're supposed to have very cold temperatures, possibly below zero (F), which is always worrisome. Next year we want to rent out a ditch digger and put some of the electrical and the water to the animals underground. That will make life easier in the winter. I have to laugh as I remember my long time friend who came to visit last week and said the Farmer's Almanac predicted it to be a drier winter. I thought so too until just a few days ago. It's doing some serious catching up. I think I mentioned we decided not to take the free snow blower, beings how it was a Montgomery Wards model that would take some kind of young weight lifter to pull start, if you could get it to start at all.

We did manage to get the hay off the truck before this latest storm hit, for which I am grateful. I found a new outlet from a local farmer to buy my hay. Really nice guy who hand loaded it for me. I told him about my previous experience and he agreed that almost a quarter of the two ton I had bought from the previous guy being unusable was definitely not okay. I briefly thought about tying it down and thought, I'll just drive slow and it will be okay. Which works some of the time. This time it did not. I hit a pothole and looked in the rear view mirror just in time to see a bale hit the road behind me and come apart. Another fell off too as I was already pulling over but didn't split open and was salvaged. My own damn fault for not tying it down. About 3 - 4 vehicles went by and then one guy stopped and offered to help me. I declined, saying I was just going to push it off the road into the field. But he was really nice. And then the guy I bought the hay from texted me and offered to replace the bale I lost. That was pretty nice too. I declined that as well, as I totally knew better and figured the loss would help me remember next time, to take the extra time.

It's good to know there are still some nice people out there, and you can meet them just in your everyday life, sometimes under the strangest or most unexpected circumstances. The guy I used to get hay from all last winter had a young adult son who loaded the hay for me about half the time. I had to explain to the different people who went with me that, yes, he really was like that all the time, like he hated the world and, well, surly basically sums it up. Chronically in a bad mood. I won't miss that. There are still so many things we wanted to get done and didn't. But I guess the most essential of them did get done, and we are still in way better shape this year than we were last year at this time. No hauling water from the neighbors, no sitting inside in snow pants. No climbing over fences either as I can actually open and use all the gates! And it's exciting to think about the days getting longer again here in just a couple weeks. We're a long ways from spring, but even just more light is something to look forward to.

It's still coming down out there and we've probably had around 8-10 inches fall since sometime last night, and already had about 10 inches that had compressed considerably before this. And it already looks like early evening. Maybe some coffee with Irish Cream is in order. Hmmm...
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Christine » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:28 pm

You are so beautiful! Your inner light doth shine!

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Sandy Clark » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:25 am

Oh my heart does go out to you with all the snow........may it stop soon and or may it turn light and be fluffy verus heavy and sticky!!

I won't say anymore than that as we know I live where karma can land with weather not unlike what you are having Dear Spiritwind. hahahha...................... Happy to hear about the upgrades and the greater ease they have facilitated this winter season as enjoying that little pot belly stove is what it is all about on days like you are expereincing.

I said to a friend a while back that I thought I had bit off more than I could chew with all my upgrades and follow up decor plans and lo and behold the Universe accomodated and sent me an abscessed tooth to deal with. Well after 3 days of self doctoring and the pain getting excruciating and leaving no rest I opted for the Dentist and had the sucker pulled.............OUCH!!! due to the infection the freezing was not too effective, however I am on the mend and happy and grateful to have been taken care of in my time of need. Thus I too had rosy cheeks but not quite as healthy as you look tho'............. :lol:

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:30 pm

Sandy, I would rather go through labor rather than go through abscess tooth pain again. Ouch! I went through years of severe periodontal pain before I fixed it for good. My teeth were in great shape, but the enemy was hidden below my gums. I wish I knew then what I know now, but there's no going back. So glad you got that relieved! And I totally understand that feeling of having bit off more than you can chew. Happens to me all the time. But my, how good that feeling of accomplishment when you finally reach your goals and get to look back at what all your hard work has rewarded you with. Wishing you a most fabulous time with your family!

In fact, I want to take this time to wish everyone who bothers to come and read here a most auspicious and wondrous exit from this year to the next, and make a toast to all the great things we can and will envision for the coming year. Yes, there are many bent on destruction it seems, but there are always new things being birthed at the same time and it's up to each one of us to aim high. May we all continue to shine our inner lights!

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Sandy Clark » Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:45 am

Hugs and mucho gracias for all your empathy Spiritwind and a Toast right back in kind!

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:00 pm

Sandy Clark wrote:Hugs and mucho gracias for all your empathy Spiritwind and a Toast right back in kind!


Toast all around I say!

Wintertime is a great time to write more, because there are times when you can't do much else. That's probably why I am writing now. Because I am currently adjusting to our water being froze up, drains froze up, and a cold you just can't work outside in too long. It was -3 (F) this morning. My husband had got heat tape to put on the well head so this wouldn't happen, but had not had the chance to install it. It's really a cord, not tape, but anyway. The drains are a problem separate from that and can usually be kept open if you have enough water to run through them. Unfortunately we don't right now.

But yeah, so right now I have to focus on making sure the animals have drinking water, keep the fire going, and letting the dishes go for now. That goes for a shower too. Oh well, the goats don't care. In fact, the boys smell far worse than I ever could right now, and I'm pretty sure the reason that I see Raven shivering from time to time is because he won't stop peeing on himself to impress the girls. What a deal. Glad us humans don't engage in that behavior, at least none that I know anyway. I know I wouldn't be too impressed.

The girls, though, that is another matter. The two oldest does cry for two to three days straight when they are in heat, and it's every 18-21 days. It's kind of annoying, and if they get out they make a bee line for the boys pen and I generally have to get a leash and/or entice them with grain. That biological imperative is strong with goats. Even the horse gets a little ornery when she is in heat, so I guess that is kind of a universal characteristic. And then there's the dog who goes into heat regularly but doesn't get pregnant. And this last time it was the heat that wouldn't end. That will be fixed very soon as the appointment has been made.

I thought about it. If I was to breed all ten of the does I have in one season, and if they had 2-3 average per kidding, that could triple my herd. Not that I want to do that. They can have even four or five kids, so I could easily end up with 30 kids. I know people who do this, but that's way out of my league. I think that many goats to feed, clean up after, give supplements to, trim hooves etc. would definitely take the fun out of it for me. That's when it turns into a full time job. I don't want to work that hard anymore. As I've mentioned before, getting a milk machine is on my wish list. If I want to milk more than a couple goats I have to get one. My hands just won't do it anymore.

I have to admit, the girls have it a lot better this winter and even as cold as it's been I haven't seen any of them shivering. That makes me happy. And I can't help little Mr. Raven peeing on himself. At least he's gotten big enough to hold his own with Bob Dean pretty good. And, I almost forgot. I got an Amazon gift card from my niece, and my husband got a Christmas bonus from work so we bought Freckles a new winter blanket. It arrived in 2 days! Just before this latest cold snap. It's still a little big on her but so much more lightweight, and does fit way better than the other one. It's keeping her warm, but not too warm, and totally dry. All the cheaper one's that were water repellent or water proof were made out of nylon and too many reviews said the material didn't breath and made their horse sweat. Not good because that's an invitation for pneumonia when it's this cold. And she doesn't seem to be as stoved up as she was, even though it's been colder, so maybe she even slipped on some ice. I am very happy to see her not so stiffed up.

I know we still have to wait several more weeks before it becomes apparent that the days are getting longer, but just the thought of it makes me want to do the happy dance. I still didn't get to make the make shift green house I was hoping to have up before winter, but I can still fake it and come up with some thing. In fact, now is a good time to think about seeds, and planting in the new year. Maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but hey, what else is there to do while I'm looking out the window watching it try to snow. And, my husband just came in and said he got the water thawed out. Yippie! Now we just have to thaw out the drains. And the damn fire is trying to go out (not unexpected when you are trying to burn semi-wet pine), so I will bid you all adieu. Maybe I will get that shower after all. Sometimes it is the little things that matter.
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:04 pm

Got up early to clean the fresh snow off the car in anticipation of taking Misha to the vet. It did not go as planned. For some reason, maybe the early morning hour, my husband didn't seem to think it was going to be that hard. And she is not as dumb as she likes to act sometimes. We are finally out at the car with the back hatch open and figured we would coax her over with a treat and just pick her up and throw her in. At 107 pounds we didn't want to carry her very far. So she comes up, already with a somewhat wary look in her eye, while Ranger is oblivious and, in a very jovial mood, is just hopping all over the place. She gets almost right up there, and Ranger jumps over her back, and before we can grab her she starts to move away. I manage to grab onto her collar, but she is a wily one and wriggled out of my grasp and quickly scooted over to the fifth wheel and under it she went.

We even managed to coax her out with pieces of turkey, but when I grabbed her collar this time I quickly attached a leash, only to have her pull her head out of her collar entirely. They have so much fur around their neck it's like it wasn't even hard for her at all, even though I thought I had it on pretty tight. Damn! So, the plan is now to reschedule and see if we can get our neighbor to come over and help pick her up and get her in the vehicle next time. He is not a morning person so this is asking a tall favor. But she evidently DOES remember her last trip, and isn't planning to make another. She's not getting any more snacks from me for awhile!
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:48 pm

Two days in a row now I've gotten up to find Freckles out of her corral, with her head buried in the pile of hay I had to throw out due to being full of tumble weeds and some other hay that seemed to have made her have not firm poop. It snowed another 8 inches yesterday and we already had over a foot still on the ground, then we had an ice rain. That makes the electric fence not work that well, and besides she had her blanket on which pretty much made her feel quite invincible regardless. (At least we're not back east!)

So we spent a good deal of time getting the snow off her shelter and repairing the fence. I took her blanket off for the day. We also stacked some logs up behind the area where she has been getting out. It looks pretty hokey and it would not surprise me if she manages to find a way, if not there some other weak spot. It seems there is always something going on with these animals. I did have to laugh, though, cause when I went out to get a picture she bolted at just the sight of the iPad. I don't know what was so frightening about it, but I eventually got her to come up and sniff it to see it wasn't going to bite her or anything. What a goober. Want to lay any odds on how quickly she will get out again? (Plus I drew the Horse Medicine Card before I looked out there this morning and one of it's meaning is freedom, LOL)

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I wish I had a passport. I can think of at least one person I'd want to visit where it's probably sunny and warm enough for shorts and sandals. The sun did come out for about 15 minutes today. It was glorious while it lasted. And, I get to suit up some time today to go and try to remove all the snow that has piled up in the back of the pickup. Hopefully before it freezes solid again. Already time to go get more hay. Whoopie!
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Sandy Clark » Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:23 am

Joy, joy, joy....at least that what I keep telling myself with all the winter follies this past week!!! I so can relate Spiritwind to if it isn't one thing it is another. Freckles please stop being so frisky.......

We don't have the snow fall but we have very cold temps as it has been -36 for the last 2 days and -33 for the 3 days before that and as a result everything was working double time and the motor went on the furnace, hotwater heater burner next and then this AM no water period...Water lines froze up!! (double time for Saturdays) AND I thought having an abscessed tooth was a pain....................

I am now going to get cuddled in bed and pull the covers over my head for the nxt few hours anyway. :-)

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:54 pm

Sandy Clark wrote:Joy, joy, joy....at least that what I keep telling myself with all the winter follies this past week!!! I so can relate Spiritwind to if it isn't one thing it is another. Freckles please stop being so frisky.......

We don't have the snow fall but we have very cold temps as it has been -36 for the last 2 days and -33 for the 3 days before that and as a result everything was working double time and the motor went on the furnace, hotwater heater burner next and then this AM no water period...Water lines froze up!! (double time for Saturdays) AND I thought having an abscessed tooth was a pain....................

I am now going to get cuddled in bed and pull the covers over my head for the nxt few hours anyway. :-)



Brrr Sandy, that is some cold temperatures! And everything wants to break or quit working in that kind of cold. When it gets down into the single digits and below zero we've picked up buckets full of ice only to have them shatter into many pieces. And frozen water pipes can turn into a real disaster too (a propane burner works wonders though). It's interesting how ice can creep, in our case all the way back to the water tank in the 5th wheel. It looks like there are a number of things more painful to experience that an abscess tooth.

And I have said many times I'd like to be a bear and hibernate all winter. Curling up in bed with the covers pulled up over the head is close enough though. Hope it all worked out okay : )
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