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Farm Life

''Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.''
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Spiritwind
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:48 pm

I had a rough time milking this morning. A very rare event these days. First, Firefly put her foot in the bucket because the flies are suddenly terrible. I tried putting the hobbles on her, but I’ve never used them on her before, and she SAT DOWN! Then, after I went in and washed out the bucket and put Ballerina up there, I milked her. But, in my upset forgot to close the latch to keep her head in on the stanchion and she jumped out with the hobbles still on (I always use them on her since she had a problem with sticking her foot in the bucket). That was interesting. She managed to get the fly strip I had hanging up stuck on her at the same time. It was a wild time. By the time I got the hobbles off, and the fly strip off her, I had to throw the milk out I did get, because of all the flies on the rim. What a deal.

This is a very short update for the moment. I went on to have a very rough night last night, with some kind of weird sickness that came on real sudden like. I’ve been struggling a bit as it is lately, and plus my hands are both hurting. I have a wrist brace on my left hand to help keep me from using it so much. Hard to do on a farm. We made CBD oil yesterday, though, so I can start using it again. Don’t know how it’s going to measure up against the HempWorx brand, but a whole heck of a lot cheaper to make your own. It really did help with my hands before. Also we’ve got about 40-50 ears of corn so far. That was pretty exciting. My husband cut all the corn off most of them and we put individual servings in ziplock bags and froze them for later. Yummy stuff.

Big plans later this month. Just hope I can get my health back on track. More later. Life on the funny farm...
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:41 pm

Autumn seems to have arrived, and now it’s the scramble to get ready for winter. I knew changes were coming, but, as seems to be always the case we are still somewhat caught off guard.

I’ve been writing about how excited I am to finally be getting the water lines in. It’s supposed to happen at the end of this month, or beginning of next month. Even though we have everything we need, parts wise, we may have hit a snag after all. It’s less than a hundred feet from the well house to the barn, but it’s still too much for us to hand dig it out. My husband thinks he wants it 4 feet deep, but I tend to think he will end up settling for perhaps a little more than two. I understand his logic, as obviously he wants to make sure he is down below the frost line.

But, there are big problems for him on the work front. The hotel he has worked at for the last 5 years, as the maintenance supervisor, seems to be on a downhill slide, and a little sooner than we thought. I can’t even wrap my mind around the way the new owners are running their business. Everyone who works there had to wait 4-5 days to cash their paychecks last time, with one employee waiting over a week. They’ve had an eviction notice served on the premises to vacate within 15 days for non payment of lease. Their assurances that everything is fine are not really making anyone feel reassured at all. I could go on and on and on. The list is rather overwhelming. It’s like they are purposefully trying to run it into the ground. Makes no sense at all, unless perhaps they’re scammers and this is just what they do (there is evidence that seems to point that way). My husband has suggested to the general manager to just fire him or lay him off, but she won’t do it. At least that way he can get unemployment benefits for awhile. So he doesn’t even know if he will receive his next paycheck, or that there will be any funds to cover it. Or he may even arrive for work one day and find the building locked up. He has filed a complaint with Labor and Industries. Unfortunately, like most of these government agencies, they promise a lot but deliver little.

I guess it’s one of those “life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans” (John Lennon). That we may not have the money to rent the entrenching machine is a rather big glitch. But we’ll see what happens. The good news in I have hay in for the winter. And I bought ahead on dog food and grain for the goats. I have to get expensive dog food for Mischa, the female Great Pyrenees, or she has serious digestive issues. I have always been forward thinking when it comes to food, so we’re covered there. We won’t starve, and neither will the animals. That’s a rather huge relief. But, it’s very weird to be here again, where our survival instincts are on high alert. I console myself thinking maybe I’m in training for something, as yet unknown.

Even the little good gas mileage car we got back from my daughter has had problems. My husband has a spare door to put on, but can’t get the drivers side door to open and he has tried every thing he can think of. I suggested he cut if off, LOL. Climbing in through the passenger side, especially with bad knees, is not fun. Then the newer battery that was in it turns out to have a short in it. A new battery wasn’t in the budget, but you gotta do what you gotta do. And we just got the front end fixed on our other car (more $). It just never ends, it seems.

The two little boys I sold were picked up a week ago, so for the moment we’re down to 13, the magic number. And I have no idea when Cry Baby and Danae will be kidding. Another big unknown, and every time I have made my best guess this year, I have been wrong.

As I mentioned, we did make our own full spectrum CBD oil again. I learned a lot this time. The good news is that it does work! My hands have made a miraculous recovery, and I have been able to get outside and get started on things that need to be done before winter without extreme discomfort, which is huge for me. Here is what I learned. First off, this time I used just enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the plant material in a double boiler. We simmered it just below the boiling point for an hour and a half. Then we strained the oil and used fresh plant material with the same oil, so that it would be a higher strength, and did the same thing all over again. Then we strained it and put it in a jar. I take a dropper full twice a day, and also rub some directly into my hands where it’s most painful and inflamed. The taste is very tolerable, and doesn’t taste like you’re taking straight olive oil like it did last time, and the strength is as effective as the stuff I was buying.

Thing is, I have been a fan of cannabis for my entire adult life, so my system is used to it. Being full spectrum, means it does have THC content as well as CBD. It’s very expensive to buy even one seed of the high CBD strains with very low THC content. So I’m relying on the generosity of a friend who has some left from last year, and it is a common hybrid strain that has plenty of both. As anyone reading here knows, my husband is ex-military, and while he likes his beer, he has never tried cannabis in his life. He is usually very careful about trying new things like this. In fact, he did try the CBD oil I was buying and it seemed to have a positive effect. But it had close to zero THC in it. He saw that the oil we made was helping me, and applied his physicians assistant logic when he decided to dose himself. He has never done this before. A dropper full is only about a quarter to a third of a teaspoon. For some unknown reason he decided the correct dose he should try was a full tablespoon. A very big mistake!

I seriously thought he was having a stroke or something when he woke up in the middle of the night, almost unable to speak, hands shaking, feeling sick as heck. Then he even vomited, which is an extremely rare thing. I didn’t think it was the oil, but upon later research found that it can indeed do that to someone whose system is not used to it. I tell this story so that anyone trying this at home does not do what he did, as you will indeed regret it. Your system will adapt, but very small doses is the right approach, and slowly increase over time.

I gotta get out and get busy on cleaning pens here shortly. I did completely muck out the barn this week, with thankfully some help from the neighbor. I’m also working my way through to getting everyone’s hooves trimmed up. I try to have everything cleaned up before the snow flies, because once there is several feet of snow on the ground the pens will stay that way until spring. I am coming to terms with the fact that we may have to wait, again, to get the water done. I’m not the most patient person, but I’ve definitely come a long ways. If my husband ends up being home for the winter I will actually be happy, even if broke, LOL. At least we enjoy each other’s company, and maybe he will have the time to enjoy playing music again, as he hasn’t had the time or energy for three years now.

One piece of good news, though. My husband just came in and informed me he finally got the drivers side door open on our little car. Yippie! Sometimes it is just the little things. I think I’ll dig up the potatoes today too, and see how well they did. Still eating from the garden, and thinking about getting a pressure cooker for canning next year. Fall raspberries are ripening up. Cooked one of the approximately dozen acorn squash we ended up with this last week and it was yummy! And life goes on....
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:18 pm

Here we go again...

I’m having trouble ramping myself up to write another installment of Farm Life here. Part of it is psychological. Two days ago, on September 28th, we had a snow storm, some of which is still on the ground. If you go just 3 miles down the road, it’s all gone, but not here! I’ve got my long underwear on, and my snow pants out already, and I’m ready for the hibernation cave!

It’s a seriously big groan here, something city dwellers wouldn’t quite understand. We did get all the hay we need in, but thought we had another one to two months to get everything else done. We do not have wood in for the winter yet, except just a tiny bit. And I have the two biggest goat shelters all cleaned up, but that’s not even close to what I need to have done. Now that it’s all soaked up a lot of moisture, the pens are going to be super physically demanding to clean up. Maybe I need to eat more spinach. Or maybe the tractor fairy will show up. Or maybe I’m just going to get a really big workout that will take me the rest of winter to recover from. Yes, I’m trying to be funny. If I don’t find a way to smile about all this it’s going to be even more unpleasant.

Truly, I don’t mind winter, and actually want to have four seasons where I live. But not two seasons! The goats haven’t even got their winter coats yet, and the little ones do not look happy about it at all. It is kinda funny how some of them don’t seem to mind walking in it, and others will go way out of their way not to walk in the snow. At least all the hay is well covered, of that I made sure.

I had done some work cleaning up garden areas, and moving old composted piles from the goats pens up to the garden areas for next spring. Poor raspberries are kinda freaking out, as they were busy putting on fall fruit. Tomatoes are a done deal. We did dig up the potatoes already, and the area where I used the tires stacked on top of each other did way better than the other area. I will move that one next year, as it’s by a tree that sucks all the water and dries out too fast. And 27 acorn squash, like what the heck! Since we did not finish the well house either (another fall project that was almost done!) I had to bring them all in and they are in two big bags right by my bed, as there is no place else to put them. We are going to get our first deep freeze tonight, getting down into the mid to low 20’s (F).

We scrambled yesterday rolling up hoses. I did already go around and add straw to shelters for more bedding, but need to get more. A lot more! I still don’t know when Cry Baby and Danae are due, but at least for the moment I’m down to 13 goats, a big difference from 18 last year at this time. I’ve got the three bigger mini-Lamancha’s (2 of which I’m still milking), and their 4 kids all together in the pen where we have an A frame, and a 8x8 barn, along with three good sized dog houses. Plenty of room, but guess where they’ve all been sleeping? In the little A frame, all crammed in there together. The four kids all go in the big barn at night, but I’ll have to change that as the two pregnant Nigerians get close to giving birth.

The 4 Nigerians are in the bigger pen, but it’s the one I haven’t cleaned out all summer. I’m not looking forward to it at all. Uma, one of Danae’s two daughters, is still getting out every day because it’s so built up around one of their feeders she can just jump up and over. She has been helping herself to the corn and sunflower patch, what’s left of it, even refusing to go in a couple nights. She has gotten every collar off I’ve put on, at least 4, so she’s a bit smarter than the average. And, when I’ve let the whole herd out (minus the 2 bucks), Miss Ballerina has remembered that the fencing was a bit feeble up around the the well house area. They love raspberries! Anyway, definitely going to fix that area up better. I had to spray her with the hose repeatedly (back when it was still fall last week, LOL) to get her to back off!

Usually there is still forage to scrounge up through October. And most of the leaves haven’t even fallen off the trees yet. But I’ll try to get the girls all out for some more exercise and a chance to interact as a herd at least a few more times before the snow starts piling up. I tend to keep the larger ones separated from the smaller ones so everyone is sure to have shelter, and gets to eat, but it’s still good for them to all get out and head butt and be able to run full bore up and down the dirt access road. It’s good for me too!

Should I really go on and on about life like I do? I always hope that those who read this, who are maybe scratching their heads about why life can be so damn challenging a good part of the time maybe take heart and feel better after reading some of the ridiculous repetitive stuff we encounter here. For instance, we just sunk a bunch of money into two vehicles, and now have a different problem with each of them, at the same time. We ended up driving the old pickup we use to get hay to go with my oldest grandson (to celebrate his 12th birthday) to a movie this last weekend. The economy car we just got back from our daughter apparently has a motor mount that has come loose or off. And with the snow storm this last weekend the heater/air conditioner fan not working became a problem in the other car and the windows iced up so you couldn’t see out of them. Seriously?!

We just carry on though. We found out that L & I are really not much help after all, in resolving any problems with my husband’s employer not paying on time. Apparently, since they did finally pay most everyone (a few had to wait over a week, and it’s become a regular thing) - there isn’t a case unless he wants to hire an attorney. And the hotel recently received a notice from L & I about not paying their share for their employees to be covered by L & I, as is required by law. So the saga goes on and on there.

On a more happy note, we all enjoyed the movie. I managed to buy some decent snacks ahead of time because I find the after effects of eating out of character detrimental in numerous ways these days. And my tastes have changed. I don’t even miss fast food anymore. We saw the movie Abominable, and it was quite good I thought. It portrayed the Yeti as magical creatures, and somehow I’d bet, even if not in the way they portrayed, that they are indeed magical creatures.

I guess as I read what I wrote I realize that I’m actually settling into kind of a rhythm out here, an ebb and flow, that is so very very different from when I lived a “normal” life in the city. We actually made good money back then, and our focus was much different. But it was very structured and, in its way, limited. It makes me think of the many people, through out history, that have had to leave everything behind, to try and make a better life. I don’t know the full truth of what is happening with all these current situations with hordes of people coming over the borders into other countries. I could write at length about how the problem is not a simple one, and that quick assumptions will almost certainly not be correct if all was known.

But I think about this country I live in that was fully inhabited before some of the current people I descended from arrived here about 400 years ago, and what their real story might have been. If you know where to look there are still many voices of those people left, enough to at least realize what we’ve been taught in our history books is not at all a correct rendition of how it really was, or what our true human story is all about. I know some of the people I descended from were escaping what they viewed as oppressive and intolerable, enough to take such a risk to come to this strange new (old) land. They, of course, had some seriously skewed notions and beliefs, but like many things, weren’t entirely wrong. Narrow mindedness was, and still is, quite prevalent. But still, they were a tough hard working adventuress bunch.

I actually draw on that ancestral strength, in times of challenge. I realize that at least at first, their lives were more free (even if way more perilous), for awhile. At least the challenges we most often meet out here are not insurmountable, even if they are somewhat perplexing in their relentlessness. There is also a strong sense of personal satisfaction in overcoming everything that comes our way. It’s become a whole way of life for us out here. When we get a health issue our response is totally different than the mainstream, but yet I feel so much more confident in my own personal knowing the longer I walk this path. I found out, I can trust myself, even if it is kind of scary because other than a few like minded friends it’s almost sacrilegious to talk about. What, you don’t “believe” in doctors anymore!!!???

It’s not that I don’t believe in them, it’s that I realize that they are now a product of their training and education which has changed substantially over time. Changes are continuous, but it especially took a nose dive when: “Nixon signed into law, the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973, in which medical insurance agencies, hospitals, clinics and even doctors, could begin functioning as for-profit business entities instead of the service organizations they were intended to be.”

I intend to not be profitable to them is all. Anyway, I have veered off the path again. But in a way...I grow a wide variety of herbs because I do know how to use them and most are virtually weeds and hard to get rid off, therefore free and natural. I do believe the earth has everything we need, and that many simply want to live an honorable life, in harmony with the natural forces we can so easily see at work if we but just spend a little bit of time in nature.

And now, even though I finally went for it, and now can think of many things to write about, I think I’ll get out there and get something accomplished. It’s funny how even writing can turn into procrastination after awhile. It’s cold, wet, and quite gloomy looking out there, with a lot of moisture in the air. But, if we want to be cozy warm in here the next few days we gotta cut some firewood to keep the little stove going. Every time I look at that thing, I am grateful. Good way to end this. May blessings abound....
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:24 pm

Today seems like a good day to try and write something up here. I’m sitting here eating a piece of home made apple pie, looking out at the brilliant sunshine on a cold crisp morning, thinking about my day ahead.

The fire went out and I’m not starting another one yet because it burns up too dang fast and as soon as I get done here I’m heading outdoors to get something accomplished anyway. We put up a 6 foot by 12 foot chain link kennel last weekend. I want to use it for breeding in about 2-3 months and getting it ready now is a smart move. Kinda hard to do when there is several feet of snow on the ground, and I keep trying to make things go smoother and reduce the possibility of unplanned goat pregnancies. Then I put up some sheet metal roofing to cover the top of it too. Unfortunately, when I did that I stepped back off the ladder and fell backwards into a big hole that was dug when they perk tested the property. Jumped right up, and as usual, thought everything was just fine, only to realize a couple days later what I actually did to myself.

The whole health maintenance thing takes quite a lot of work, planning, and self discipline these days. I off and on didn’t take good care of myself when I was younger, especially during relationship breakups and when I first left home as a teen. I also saw my health deteriorate in the years before I had my upper teeth pulled due to severe gum disease. My teeth themselves were in really good shape and I just didn’t get it when they kept talking about deep pockets.

But besides all of that, many of us are suffering from vaccine damage (and don’t know it - all those heavy metals and other stuff didn’t exactly help us out in the long run). I had to get a lot of them to leave the country with my family to go to Honduras when I was 10. And now, today, many farmers spray their GMO grain crops with glyphosate to basically kill the plant to make for a better harvest (or at least so they’ve been sold). For all these reasons I now have trouble with my digestive system which started about 5 years ago. Never had a problem before then, but my research has revealed that it’s accumulative in nature. We kill off all the beneficial microbes in so many ways, from dryer sheets and that stupid hand sanitizer you see everywhere now (neither of which I would ever use), to deodorant, hair shampoos and conditioners, soaps, as well as household cleaners. GMO’s and glyphosate do a good job too, as our gut struggles to maintain a balance without the good bacteria needed to do the job. Chemtrails have been shown to have high amounts of aluminum. We are increasingly living in a chemical soup.

When I went to the local Holistic fair last weekend I met an amazing woman who has developed a line of skin products to help restore our natural gut bacteria. Even though her products are not ingested, our skin is one of the primary ways in which our body throws off toxins. And if all the natural microbes are gone (which many of us unwittingly help destroy through soaps, cleaners, lotions, and especially sunscreen) you may find your poor body just isn’t up to the job. I met another woman who was promoting a line of probiotic products designed for internal use too. I am sure her products probably work, but being the financially cautious person I’ve had to learn to be I will probably explore more on how to produce more of these types of things on my own. I plan to learn a lot more about fermentation. I like kimchi and used to make it, plus sauerkraut is good too. I used to do kombucha but after a few years of no one else in my group of nearby family and friends willing to even try it and having a ridiculous excess I ended up letting it go. Everyone thought I was doing some kind of weird science experiment, LOL. But maybe I’ll even try and get that going again too.

All of this takes more self discipline than I actually have, but I continue to push myself to overcome my own resistance to doing things differently and getting used to different habits. I’m writing about all of this because I know these type of health issues are becoming epidemic. For me, having intense fatigue, wanting to just go to sleep and say fuck it all, and moaning and groaning all the time because my body hurts just isn’t acceptable. Especially if there is something I can do about it. Brain fog isn’t enjoyable either. Throw in ten years of hot flashes and not feeling rested even after a nights sleep, and I realize I will find the strength, motivation, and inspiration I need. I have to much to do, and too much to take care of to just go with it.

Somehow, besides all that, I manage to get things done lately. The CBD oil really helps even if it can’t fix everything. And so I’ve been able to get some of the worst parts of the goats pens cleaned up. Thankfully (again!), my neighbor came and helped with the big pile that had accumulated in front of the feeder in the bigger pen where the Nigerians Dwarfs are, and little Miss Uma can’t jump out anymore! Woohoo! Probably three more days of not overworking myself and it will be done (except for the two bucks area - that might have to wait a bit).

I had to listen to three days of Firefly crying non stop because she was in heat. She is the only one who does that (except Cry Baby who is pregnant) when she comes in heat, and it’s annoying as hell. I can’t even let her out to milk her without holding on because she wants to run over to the bucks pen (quite some long ways away) and get them all excited. She will do this probably all winter about every three weeks, and I wasn’t planning on breeding her this year. I know I need to start winding down on the milking, but much like the goats I get into a routine and it’s hard to change sometimes. But, since it’s looking like it’s going to be a possibly harsh and long winter I do need to think about simplifying. We are already having to use the wood stove everyday, and I’m having to clear ice off all the water buckets too.

Since we may not get the water lines in before the ground freezes we plan on at least trying to get a 200 gallon propane tank in. That will make life a bit easier. And we did manage to get a good snow blower for this winter too, so that should help. A couple more batteries for the solar system are on the list. And, well, damn, the motor mount for the little car too. I’m hoping the transportation challenges will abate here anytime, anytime at all. I don’t mind being home, but this is getting ridiculous.

I do see some of the funniest things when I’m out there though, just little things. Like, we bought Ranger, our 4 year old Great Pyrenees, a stuffed squeaky toy the other day. He is big, and ferocious, and actually also like a little kid. He strutted around like he was something special (which he is!) and then went off to find a place to bury it. All quite endearing. Then just yesterday he went and dug it up and came running up with it in his mouth. And then Misha is just an overgrown fur ball. Besides changing her dog food, I also add a bit of diatomaceous earth to her food every once in a while and it always makes her more alert and active. She has had some health issues since early on, and I have no doubt she wouldn’t even be with us if I wasn’t doing what I am doing for her. Plus, they both love the cooler weather.

And I opened up the fence where the corn and sunflowers were and the goats have been loving that. They have completely mowed it down for me! I have already hauled up quite a bit of their composted poop piles from early this year to the garden areas. I find that when I do some of this in the fall I am much further ahead next spring. The whole key to gardening success out here is building up the soil. And it really shows when I see how well things grow in certain places. I’ll definitely continue to improve fencing around garden areas too. Ballerina is keeping me on my toes, big time!

We’ve already had to start worrying about water pipes and drains freezing up with the unseasonably cold temperatures, but we’re gaining on that too. Every year we realize what worked, what didn’t, and what we can do to make improvements. And that seems to be both on the farm, and for ourselves on a personal level at the same time. My mom used to say “youth is wasted on the young”. I don’t know if that is true, but I sure do wish I had figured a few things out a long time ago and not so late in the game.

And, with that, I guess I’ll get my snow pants on and get out there (LOL - can’t BELIEVE I’m already wearing them!).

Oh, yeah, and here is a link to her website (the woman I met at the Holistic fair): https://clearwatercultures.com/
I got her Healing Cream and it is positively divine!
I’m not myself today, maybe I’m you
lsthompson711@yahoo.com


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