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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 » Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:35 pm

I guess it’s time to get back in the saddle and write some more. As usual, my mind is pulled all over the place, and writing strangely helps me focus. So, what’s going on with farm life. Well, the little mini Lamancha doe that has been visiting Raven just went home this last weekend. We’re pretty sure she’s knocked up, but you never know for sure. She looked very sad to be leaving, and Raven didn’t look happy either. In fact, within less than an hour after they left he managed to fly out (it’s almost that!). We just left him out overnight, because I knew we couldn’t keep him in there without fixing his escape route. We had put a barrier behind the shelter so he couldn’t get up there and then jump over the fence, but he had managed to knock part of it off and we hadn’t repaired it. We fixed that the next day and thankfully no more escapes. The day after that we went and got Crispy, one of the other two bucks we have, and brought him home so Raven won’t be alone. And while out Raven did get in the one pen I still have a couple of does I wasn’t planning to breed this year in. I hope he didn’t knock anymore up. I’m trying to reduce numbers, not add!

Speaking of which, the woman that took Jinjer and Miracle is having second thoughts about keeping Jinjer. I guess she’s not warming up to her and acts like she hates it there. It can take a while to win a goat over, and I’ve learned there’s a lot more going on upstairs in that little head of theirs than you might think. We know she was really upset that her one kid, the buckling, was left behind. The lady has agreed to give it a little more time, and I basically said that I would take her back. I told her I can’t give her half the money she gave me for both girls (and one kid each) back, but I could give her something. It’s bad enough I took goats I really couldn’t afford to feed back for free last fall, but it’s another thing entirely to buy my own goats back at full price! I gave her a really good deal to begin with. We’ll see what happens.

Then I got the guys that wanted Bambi and her kid, Lucky, due to come back weekend after next. It’s hard for me to let go, so I’m kinda hoping the time goes by fast. If I was younger and wanted to expand my operation here I would keep her as she’s cute as a button, very feisty yet little, friendly, and likely wouldn’t have a kidding problem next time around. But, I need to stick to the plan. As it is I’m thinking about selling Crispy so he can continue making babies for someone else, and getting a mini Lamancha buckling. As far as milk production and ease of milking, the mini Lamancha wins over Nigerian Dwarf’s, hands down. They are considerably smaller than their full blood counterparts, but still produce very creamy good tasting milk, which is great for cheese making. I still want to learn how to make different kinds of cheese and quit buying it completely. I know processed cheese is as bad or worse than store bought pasteurized cows milk is to consume, but I love cheese and don’t want to give it up. And I did price some goats milk cheese at a natural foods market a while back. It was enough to make my eyeballs bug out, like, ouch!


It’s the next day now and I am curled up in a blanket determined to write some more. I don’t want to keep the fire going because I’m just tired of feeding it constantly and don’t want to go chop more wood. I also don’t want to have the propane heater running constantly and want to keep the generator off for awhile to save money on gas. So it’s hunker down time. The truth is I’m kinda bored out of my mind. I know I sound ungrateful, but that’s not quite true. I’m just feeling some resistance welling up in my self over a lot of things, and I am giving myself time to process it. Life IS good out here, but the way our world, our society, or so called culture, is designed just plain irritates me sometimes. And the truth is the truth. It’s better to look inside dead on, rather than continue to deflect those emotions, thoughts, and feelings, and that especially goes for those that cause discomfort.

You see, for me, sometimes it is still a struggle to find that balance, that place of equilibrium, between what I would like to see “out there”, and what I “do” see out there. I know we are each adding to the overall collective unfolding, but being somewhat empathically inclined, I also “feel” the arrogance and demeaning perspective our would be controllers have for the bulk of humanity. Quite frankly, it sickens me. And, because I do care about all life here, it’s hard to turn off the screams my inside wants to make about all the suffering, harm, and injustice being done sometimes.

It’s not even so much what I see out there, in the world outside my little boring haven, my little paradise I am blessed to occupy. But then, I see potential, I see how all the piles of poop and waste hay I have can actually change the entire nature of my surroundings over time. Nothing will be wasted here. And all of it will be done as a labor of love.

But the world out there is another story. The one good thing I see is there are many many circles of beauty, love, and respect for nature being formed, and beginning to overlap one another. An appreciation for the simple life (yet, not really simple at all!). What really is getting to me, though, is the lack of honor, the lack of compassion, the lack of truth the outer reality displays in such stark abundance. Yes, there are many who are doing the opposite, but for those whose self righteousness overshadows even a glimmer of the bigger picture, and who happen to be most abundantly in charge of steering earth ship humanity, it starts to look like an unclimbable mountain.

But I know that, too, is a lie. The trick for me always is to acknowledge the emotions that well up in me from time to time, yet not run with them. Instead, the trick is to alchemize them into fuel for even greater resolve, self responsibility, and action. No time to cry over how things should be, could be. And no time to complain how unfair it all is. In order to make a difference two things have become evident to me. One, is to not ask what’s in it for me, but be willing to go full bore and give 150%, knowing this is what it will take. And I know many who do just that. We’ve planted our feet in the ground, drawn the line is the sand, however you want to say it. Because so many are terrified to buck the system, stand out or apart, say no because your conscience tells you to even if it means going against the flow (like salmon going upstream to spawn), we must lead by example. That is number two. You can’t change people by beating them with a stick (building a big wall, taking away guns from honest people while the criminals still have theirs, force everyone, even against their will to inject what they view as poison into their bodies in the name of protecting them, and so on).

Some how our would be controllers have seriously overstepped their bounds, and have actually been doing so for some long time. It’s just that lately it’s been coming home to roost, it’s happening to us, and not someone else. It’s happening here, not somewhere else. We’ve actually all been on the reservation for some time. And I guess part of the reason I struggle with this is I’ve seen it coming, slowly, drip by drip, for a very long time. And I struggle sometimes with the enormity of it all, and how well the masses have been hypnotized into compliance. And I wonder, why am I different? Why do I notice what the majority chooses not to see? It really would be simpler in many ways if I could just go back to sleep. Unfortunately, I have been awake to some things not commonly seen my entire life. I know no other way. It’s how I’m wired.

I had someone recently say something about me and another friend of mine, how we appear so confident in “our knowing”, and I have to say that it is because of a small group of like minded people that I have been sharing insights, and empathic readings of the field, and comparing notes with for some long time now, that I have gained a sense of confidence that just a few short years ago I did not have. That’s the other thing. We can build on that inner confidence by reaching out, by making those connections, by making the effort to overcome that programmed tendency to not be real, to find all kinds of reasons not to take action that helps bring people together, to stay connected. (And it is hard for me sometimes because of where I live!)

I can remember many years ago my grandparents and others would ask how you’re doing, and say things like “let us know if you need anything”. It was all just fake. They didn’t really want to know how we were doing, and they would not be there for you if you needed help of any kind. This is often how it is. We get programmed not to reach out, not to say how we are really doing, etc. because most people really don’t want to know. I have truly been blessed to get to know a few truly authentic people, and we have each made the effort to stay connected, even when sometimes it would be easier not to. And I plan to do more reaching out, making the effort to connect with like minded people.

And it’s more important than ever now, especially since they began to realize what was happening with social media and all, and now are clamping down and making many of these platforms revert to crap. I see we will have to evolve beyond this. So, at the end of the story is me, realizing more than ever, I don’t have time to sit on the fence, feel sorry for myself (or even bored, LOL). I must continue to take the discomfort, sometimes the outright rage I feel, and transmute it, transform it, make it work for me rather than against. One good thing to remember, is we are not powerless. No matter how much it may look that way sometimes, each one of us is a powerhouse. It just takes finding the key to unlock it within yourself. We CAN move mountains!

Here’s a fun farm link:

https://www.yesmagazine.org/comic-why-y ... m-20170726?
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Spiritwind
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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:38 pm

I’m trying to move out of a strange funk I am in. After a long winter of snow removal, wood chopping, and water hauling, it’s now going to be a whole other set of chores that, while different, are not any easier. Once I get going it will be fine, it’s just that initial kick in the butt I need to give myself. Now we can see everything that needs to be cleaned up. The mud is finally drying up. I didn’t write much about it because, really, mud is mud. Not much to say about it I haven’t already said before. It makes me groan, and it’s one of my least favorite times of the year. I’m going to get rocks to put on the driveway and bad spots on the access road, even if I have to haul them in a wagon full at a time. I really don’t want to do this again.

So, the neighbors have a blue healer they got last fall as a puppy that is now grown up. I think it’s a female (haven’t got close enough to tell for sure) and she is really pretty. They don’t have a fence up and now that she’s older they pretty much just seem to let her run. She’s bored and curious, so she comes over to check all the animals out during the day when our dogs are in their fenced area. She generally just watches them, sometimes getting excited and running home barking like crazy. And sometimes she just barks because that’s just what she does. It’s a very high pitched hysterical sounding bark. You can tell she wants a job to do.

Usually, Ranger is not kind to stray dogs as he sees them as a threat. I’ve noticed him and Misha don’t seem to be overly concerned about her, but on the rare occasion when he’s been out during the day he has chased her back to her own property, with her barking like she’s already been hurt (but hasn’t been). I haven’t noticed her over here since the last time he did that. It’s spring time, so lately Ranger has been reluctant to come into the fenced area in the morning, but we have to get back in the routine. Just two days ago I saw a stray brown male pit bull from I have no idea where in our driveway. He wasn’t doing anything, and didn’t seem to be interested in chasing the goats. More like just checking us out. But, I really don’t want to see what would happen had Ranger been out. Probably would not be a good scene.

Coco has still not had her kids yet, and since I’m not sure when she got pregnant I’ll just have to keep a good eye on her to look for signs of impending birth. Bambi and her little boy, Lucky, should be going to their new home this weekend, and I can switch everyone around then. It’s funny how they get so routine oriented and don’t like change. But, it’s time to start separating the kids overnight, and then I can start milking Firefly too. It’s been a challenge milking Ballerina. She is so smart and independent that I am going to put hobbles on her this morning to see if that helps keep her from putting her foot in the milk bucket. I’ve not been impressed. When she cooperates she’s a dream to milk, but otherwise it’s not been fun at all, and at the slightest provocation she starts jumping around like a tap dancer with someone shooting at their feet. We’ll see how that goes (the hobbles).

The ground has finally thawed out and we were able to bury our cat, Nicky, this last weekend. I’m pretty sure I mentioned she passed a couple months ago. The diabetes finally did her in. She has a spot right next to Simba. I felt her pretty strongly for a few weeks after she passed, but not so much any more. Death is always such a weird thing, as I really don’t believe in it. In other words, I see it more as a transition. And I think that those we have loved (and sometimes even those we have hated - beware of the ties that bind) are just a thought away. They never really leave us. There are times when I wish some of the many who have moved on could just come for a short visit in the physical, maybe share a cup of coffee and a laugh or two. It can be hard on those of us left behind. Being physical we miss being able to touch, hug, and even just be able to look into the eyes of our loved ones. I guess today I’m feeling many who are missed.

We got the three boys banded this last weekend too. My friend came over and did it for me, which was nice. Even though I feel bad for them as I know it’s very uncomfortable, especially that first day, it does in the long run give them a better chance at a good life. Males, especially unbanded bucks that aren’t friendly, generally end up at auctions to be sold for meat. Fortunately all three boys this year are very friendly and the two that aren’t sold yet should move pretty fast when they are ready.

I’ve mentioned Raven’s escape antics several times before, and, I’m going to mention it again. Because, he managed to fly over the fence, AGAIN!!! He amazes me, in a good, yet not good, way. We’ve watched him as he sizes the situation up, and figures out where and how he’s going to do it. I had to take another piece of fencing to put up where the shelter is sort of close to the fence, so it’s now about 9 feet high. Even with the wood we put up behind the shelter to block his escape route wasn’t enough! I’m actually a little worried about the kids he’s going to father. Like, I hope they all don’t inherit his ability to jump. I’ve never had a goat like him before, and really, one is enough!

His and Ballerina’s daughter, even though she almost froze to death, is very sharp, I can tell already. I’ve seen her pushing around the little bottle baby boys. Her ears did freeze pretty good, and one side has actually broken off at the end. The other side is going to do the same. She is one goat I will never forget. Much like Simba did all those years ago, she was a big reminder on the preciousness and, really, miracle of life. We could have just assumed she was a goner, and if we hadn’t given it our all, she would have been. It’s like she remembers, too, as she is super friendly and feisty, yet sweet. Little Miss Vida.

I’ve managed to keep to the subject at hand this time, farm life. I’m going to veer off just a bit though, and share a bit about where my husband works. It’s kind of an interesting story, and actually down the road may have an impact on our daily life here. He works as a maintenance supervisor at a local hotel, and has for over four years now. It just recently sold. The new owner came in, who my husband still hasn’t met as he doesn’t live here locally, and talked about doing a lot of remodeling. Then they figured out that the general manager that had been there for the last three years was stealing pretty much anything and everything she thought she could get away with. So they fired her. And she has been on the get even bandwagon ever since. It’s really quite terrible, the lengths she has went to. Besides taking everything she could cart out when they let her go, she has continued to cause trouble going on two months now, to the point where if they don’t do something about it, my husband may be out of a job. They didn’t want to spend the money on an attorney. And, we’re not sure, but apparently a lot of bills weren’t paid, and still aren’t being paid, when they took over.

She has called all the big sports groups that generally filled the hotel this time of year, and now they have all went somewhere else. She also kept messing with the system they use to basically run the hotel so they had to get all the passwords changed. My husband can’t get someone in to fix the boiler for hot water in the hotel because they all know they may not get paid in a timely fashion, or at all. And now they don’t have internet except at the front desk due to non payment of bills. Needless to say, that is not helping the situation with the already sparse number of guests that are there. There is a whole lot more to the story, but I’ll leave it at that.

From my point of view, at least if he ends up out of a job he will be able to draw unemployment for awhile, which wouldn’t actually hurt my feelings at all. I would love to have him home more. We work really well together, and I think we could, if he had the time, actually begin to derive an income right here. His knees are giving him more and more trouble, and with the hotel being three stories with no elevator, I don’t see the situation improving. And every time I talk about getting a job outside the home he shoots it down. But if I have to work alone out here to do all the things I would like so as to start making an income here, it will take a very long time. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Even getting the sailboat ready to sell is going to require quite a bit of time (and some money), and is not something I can do myself.

And now it’s time for me to get busy. I’m hoping I can motivate myself to get out there and start gathering up the branches and other forest debris for a burn pile. And then start working on cleaning pens. And then start getting the garden areas ready. It all seems so big, right now. I know most of it’s in my head, and once I get started it isn’t nearly as bad as it seems. Right now, it feels about like climbing Mt. Everest, LOL. At least I know where the problems really lies. Kind of hard to kick your own butt, but I gotta do it! Wish me luck.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Re: Farm Life

Postby Spiritwind » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:58 pm

So, here I am again trying to figure out a way to make shoveling shit sound interesting! I actually only did a little of the shoveling myself over the last few days. My neighbor, bless his heart, came over and did the mountain in one pen yesterday. He’s tall and makes it look easy as he slings it over the fence. And more rain is coming, so what’s left will even be more heavy than before. It’s weird, the uneaten hay that accumulates acts like a big sponge. The goats hate walking in it, and I don’t blame them. If I even tried to do it all without help I’d be crippled for some time, and don’t want to do that to myself.

Fortunately since I’ve managed to downsize it will be much more manageable. I moved Coco into the barn as she is getting pretty round and heavy looking as she walks. Should be soon now. And she is much happier being in the barn with Ballerina. They really do hate being alone. I tried putting her in a larger clean pen I sectioned off, but she looked miserable and didn’t even want to eat her hay.

I’m trying to get ready for the little buckling I will be bringing home in about 3 weeks. I did get a little mini Lamancha that I can breed to the bigger girls, but won’t bring him home until he’s old enough to wean. Instead of keeping the two wethers I have, I’m thinking I will borrow one from a friend to keep with him so he’s not alone. That way I can sell the two little boys I have together hopefully, and just give the one I borrow back when my little guy is older and big enough to keep with the big boys. I should be getting Bob back in a few weeks too, then I can put Crispy up for sale. Kind of hate to do it since he’s such a nice boy, and did father some good looking kids, but I’ve got to stay practical and let him make some kids for someone else. Three bucks is enough!

As I keep adjusting everyone here in the next few weeks, I will also start separating the kids so I can milk moms in the morning before reuniting their kids with them. The hardest part about any of it is the change in their routine and the first few days until they get used to it. I did put Firefly over with the rest of the other girls, along with her three kids, and she is hogging the food and pushing everyone around. I might have to divide that pen again, so that the rest don’t have to stand around watching her go back and forth between the two feeders eating all the good stuff, then leaving mostly stems for the others to eat. Goats will be goats.

I do actually enjoy being outside a lot lately. I’ve got to spend some time just hanging out with them, which is one of my favorite things to do. They are so funny to watch, and it’s good to give them some freedom to run around, come as they please for their neck scratches and lovin, and get to rummage around for something to eat. I just wish they didn’t eat the bark off the trees. I’m going to put some protection around probably my favorite tree that’s also huge and would cause some serious damage if it ever did come down. She feels like a grandmother tree, and I admit I’m kind of partial to her. Our cell phone reception kind of sucks out here, in part due to all the trees. It’s frustrating on the one hand, when I need to make calls, but I’m actually grateful on the other hand that they do block some of the harmful effects. I have no plans on cutting down all our trees, that’s for sure!

It does seem that certain things are somewhat recurring events in our life. It’s been almost exactly a year since our smaller generator got stolen when we took it in to be replaced under warranty. That single thing made last summer a very broke summer, with many things on our list not getting done due to the extremely high cost to run the other generator. And now, the one we finally bought early last fall has a piece that has broken on it. It’s totally fixable and it is still covered under the manufacturers warranty, but we are still waiting for that piece to arrive. Now the bigger generator has started making a funny noise too!

We had finally gained on things enough to plan on purchasing an inverter this next pay period, but now who knows what’s going to happen. In addition to all this our second car is still sitting with the tire off since last fall. We have just had to replace all four tires and brakes on our main vehicle, along with a front end alignment (needed probably because of all the massive pot holes appearing from spring thaw). And now my husband has noticed a funny bounce in the back end again! He is not a happy camper. I’m sure he feels like with every step forward we take two steps back. I just chalk it up to life happening. Frustrating, yes, but I guess I tend to immediately move into gratitude, and taking stalk of all that is good, right, and smooth. I harbor no expectations anymore for everything always going as we would hope. It’s a bumpy ride here, this life on earth in the physical. And I realize I really do have so much to be grateful for, in the ways that really do matter most.

Speaking of things to be grateful for, I got to work on my front garden area yesterday, and it was very gratifying to see all the perennial herbs coming back to life. Even with as cold as it got, everything seems eager to grow again. I’m seriously taking stalk of what worked and what didn’t last year. I only want to grow what I really want to eat, and can appropriately store this year. I had no idea that the squash I grew was going to do so well, and ending up with a couple dozen 15-20 pound buttercup squash that I had no where to store was not very helpful. They were so big that one would have fed us for over a week eating it every night. Once you cut it open it doesn’t keep very well either. With no freezer, except the small one above the refrigerator, it was kind of a waste, although the deer kind of enjoyed it.

One of our big goals this year is to finish the well house (which unfortunately didn’t happen last year) and add onto the side a small area to store produce. If properly insulated and kept just above freezing, I should have a lot better success at actually getting to eat food from the garden through the winter. Got a lot of work ahead of me. I’m feeling motivated though, and I’ve learned a lot about what foods to store and how much. With all the flooding going on back in some of our nations agricultural heartland, I’m figuring food prices are going to keep going up. Plus I’d much rather eat what I grow anyway. And I learned not to store food for an emergency anymore, unless it’s food I already eat all the time. If it’s food you would only eat in an emergency, then when that emergency doesn’t actually happen, it just doesn’t ever get eaten and eventually has to be thrown out. Overall I’ve transitioned to mostly bulk unprocessed foods as my primary diet, and as much produce as possible. I’m also buying more and more organic, although I’m finding out now that even that label can’t always be trusted. Even more reason to grow more food.

I’ve probably left a few things out. But, with all this talk of food I’m getting hungry. It supposed to rain all day later, so I also need to get out and feed everyone, so will probably sign off for now. It’s a simple life out here in many ways, with much that is repetitive. But it brings much peace as I can just turn off the technology that keeps me informed of what’s going on “out there”, and just appreciate what nature has to offer. You know, she just never lets me down.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )


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