Saturday, August 31, 2013
Yesterday was a very BUSY day here at Heavens Door Acres. Morning chores...feeding, watering, throwing hay...making sure everyone was as comfortable as possible with the heat and humidity that threatened! WOW has it been HOT! After morning chores I went to the garden and picked green beans. Yes, I pick green beans every other day. Since there are only 2 rows about 30 feet long, I can get away with every other day. They are really coming on strong right now...about 7 pints every other day. Won't be long until that part of the pantry is full! YAY! So yesterday was picking and canning day. I had a pot of tomato's I had peeled and prepped for spaghetti sauce...so I put them on the stove to cook down all day. Oh, and speaking of tomato's....I read about some people that save the skins, dehydrate them, then blend them into a powder to use for flavoring stews and soups. So, this was another project I started. Save the skins....
Friday, August 30, 2013
So, Today as I was in the garden picking green beans....a small kitten playing at my feet, jumping in the bushel basket, trying to get a free ride....I remembered a day that was similar to this, a few years ago. Lets go back to that day, for a minute. It was a warm morning, and I was trying to pick the green beans while battling sweat bees, bumble bees, and stink bugs...still trying to get over the loss of our oldest son to a tragic drowning accident just 3 months earlier...when a van drove by my homestead, and a man leans out the window and said...." Girl, You got it made" This took me by surprise. I stopped, standing there wondering...DO I?? So this morning, this memory flooded me as I was there in the garden. I could clearly hear that mans voice..." Girl, you got it made" So I thought about it....IF I "have it made" It is because " I MADE IT!" We raised 4 children while my husband was in the military...gone almost as much , if not more, than he was home. I essentially was a " single parent" Or at least I felt that way a lot of the time. While he was off in other countries, standing for our freedom, I was on the home front, trying my best to make ends meet. Keeping our 3 teen age boys out of trouble, and our daughter as level headed as possible, without their dad's influence. Yeah, I "had it made" Hmmmm. I get up before the sun, and get ready to start my day...hot or cold, sick or not..on every holiday.The animals do not have holidays...they need fed and watered, and cared for no matter what day it is, no matter how we feel. We live in a small town, where everyone pretty much knows one another. A big part of which are farmers. This particular person, that thinks I have it made...is one of the many in our town who chose a very different way in life. He lives in free housing..wakes from his drunken stupor about the time I am finally getting a bite to eat around noon. He works only when his money is running low, and needs his "fix" whether it is drugs or alcohol. I want so badly to ask him...Do you have the same feeling as you swipe your government given food stamp card, to get your groceries as I do when I go to my pantry and pick out a jar of food?? Food that I have labored over..grown and canned.?? Have you ever stood there with a dead baby chick, crying over it? Or fell to your knees in defeat, asking God "WHY?" when you have worked so hard to till, plant, and weed a garden that you are depending on to feed your family through winter..only to have a hail storm come and take away all of your hard work? Then standing tall, and being determined to NOT let it get the best of you, you start over and replant everything, praying you have enough time for it to produce what you will need. Have you stood in a hot kitchen, so tired you "cat nap" while standing there, waiting for that pressure to release from the canner so you can pull out the jars, and put in yet another batch? Well, I have. I also have cried happy tears at the sight of a new born lamb, or a baby goat, struggling to get to their feet for the first time. And I have sighed with relief when I see those beautiful babies finally find momma's teet for the first time. I have felt a small bit of guilt, as I send those pigs to slaughter....the same pigs I have fed, watered, and cared for for the last 5 or 6 months of their lives....then thank them as I know they give their life to save mine. I have felt pride when I smell that loaf of bread fresh from the oven, and know it will nourish us because I CAN make it. 8 years ago, when we began this journey I would never have believed that we would " have it made" But as I look around...I see we DO have it made...because WE MADE IT with our own hands...with sweat, blood and tears. Tears of sorrow and joy. So the next time I am out there, grumbling about the heat, or the cold...cussing the chain saw because it will not start...rubbing my aching back from a long day of hard work...I will remind myself.......WE MADE IT. So yes...I guess .. WE GOT IT MADE. And with that said....I need to go hang out a load of wash...then check the canner to see if it is finished releasing pressure, and stir the tomato's that I have cooking down to make spaghetti sauce...and only when these tasks are finished, will I take my break and get a bite to eat....then get back outside and do whatever it takes to MAKE IT. I am a mother, wife, christian, and farmer...I am proud of what we have because I know it was not given to us..we worked hard to get here.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Yes, it is still summer, you can tell by the sweltering temps! Another day in the 90's. I try to get the morning chores done, and at least ONE big job finished before 11 am. Today was no different. After morning chores I grabbed my handy dandy little hand swing blade and headed to the hills. Well, the hills of dirt in the front yard. The weeds there are easily 8 ft tall...and being wasted just sitting there. So, I decided it was time to start taking them down, for the pigs and goats. After about 2 hours of swinging, stacking and sweating...I was able to get ONE row of it taken down.
Yep, it's true. Before we know it Autumn will be upon us...the wonderful scents of fall. The changing leaves...the garden giving its last of the harvest...pumpkins...and the trees putting on their colorful coats. Yes, Fall is near. I was walking from the barn the other day, when I came across this little jewel already!
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Good Sunday morning to you all. The morning weather is beautiful here. Sunny, 80 degrees, low humidity and a light breeze. After my morning chores..I decided it was time to start moving fence panels. Yesterday we took the 2 pigs off to "freezer camp" Yep, in 2 weeks we will be "swimming in pork" Eating "high on the hog" One of them weighed about 340, the other 250. Hams...bacon....chops...sausage...pork shoulder roast..Ohhhh, Drool!! So....moving fence panels.My plan is to clean up the area where the pigs were, and plant winter wheat in there. But, I needed to move the fence first! The one I really needed to move FIRST, was along the fence line between our little pygmy buck and the doe's. Oh, don't EVER let size fool ya!! Our little Fred can pack a wallup! I had to secure him to a fence post so I could get in there and get my work done. He was NOT happy! Took me about an hour to get the fence panel moved, and secured.Oh, Fred was in the shade, right next to his water trough, so he was not suffering....just upset that he could not get to me! Whew! Only 3 more to go. I decided to move on to something a little "easier" So I headed off to the garden. It is so peaceful in the garden...I was picking green beans...pulling weeds..listening to the bee's hum along flying from flower to flower...and listening to the gentle breeze..whisper through the corn, and the cicada's singing their warning that fall is coming soon, from the trees near by. Yes, I was loving life...the green beans are coming in great right now, and I am feeling blessed. I picked them 2 days ago, and got these today!
Monday, August 19, 2013
Since I worked the last 2 weeks, 12 hour shifts, things around here were sorta let go. All I had the time and energy to do was the bare minimum, to keep everyone alive and sorta happy. Today was another catch up day. Ran water hoses to the Guinea Hogs, filled their pool....then ran water to the barn and filled all the troughs out there. Then I got on the lawn tractor and spent the better part of the rest of the day, mowing. I still have about 2 more days worth of mowing to do...and potato's to dig....then green beans to pick and get canned. busy busy....summer is trying to slip away from me..and I am not ready!
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Where has this summer gone!? It really seems like just last week we were putting in the garden. It has been slow growing...however it is FINALLY coming in. Actually I am glad it took it's time....I have been so busy working out at MUTC again. Roll playing as a displaced citizen....after a nuclear explosion. It is a lot of fun for the most part....but it was hot..and we walked a LOT this year. Up at 04:30..out to the barn by 5 am...feeding, watering, opening doors, then in the house by 05:30 and on the road by 06:00. Work until 7 pm, home by 7:30 most days...chores at 8 pm, and not getting to bed until 12 or 1 am...after chores, shower, dinner, packing my bag for the next day...whew! The company we worked for supplied us with snacks, mid morning and late afternoon. Apples, Bananas, and peaches. Well....the last day we were told to take what we want. SWEeeeeeeet! I walked away with about 100 pounds of Green Granny Smith Apples.