Tuesday, February 24, 2015
So I was talking to someone this evening, about Homesteading and such, and that got me to thinking. We were sharing ideas, how to's, and a few what if's. Our talk was positive...both of us telling the other how we got to where we are, and where we want to be in the coming years. Then I stopped...and realized...it all sounded like a fairy tale. How many people do each of us share our adventures with with laughter, and upbeat stories? We boast with pride over our accomplishments....we share pictures and stories of things we were able to do....but in reality...how many times have we sat in the corner of the barn, with one of our critters laying in our lap, waiting for it to take its last breath, praying it doesn't, hoping it would end the suffering soon? Or how many times have we thrown our hands up in frustration at a failed garden crop or a load of something we worked so hard to can, and it didn't seal? I know I have several times after getting only a few hours sleep, getting up before the sun in the summer so I can get the work done outside before the heat of the day, then working inside trying to catch up the neglected housework then heading back out after the heat of the day starts to let up...and by dark...falling into my chair...threatening to sell everything and move to the city. I babble about living in an apartment where we don't have to mow, or weed, or fix anything. We rarely talk about these moments. Most of us have friends or family members that think we are crazy for living this way....working hard...no vacations...loves and losses...so we do not let them see our frustrations... we don't mention to them how some days we just want to give it all up....we don't let them see us cry when we are so tired and exhausted from the way of life we really DO love. But WHY? Surely they all know that homesteading or farming is no cake walk. They MUST know that what we do is hard yet very rewarding. As I get older I tend to think, maybe it is time to tone it back a bit....then I think...and do what with the extra time? Lay around by the pool? Can't do that because I usually forget to clean it or shock it after a rain, so it is green water for a few days. Maybe take a vacation? To where? Somewhere where there is an illness ravaging the area, where I might be unfortunate enough to contract? Pass. This really is the only life for me. Working hard...then being able to sit back as the sun goes down, looking around at our accomplishments...and thanking God for all we have...and for the strength to do it. It is hard work....there are up's and down's.. But...it is so very rewarding. Is this way of life for everyone? No. I don't believe it is. Some people are made to work in an office, live in high rises or suburbs...and some are made to live in the country and work outside in the weather and get dirty. Whatever you are made of...no matter your choice in life.....just remember....every lifestyle has good and bad days..weeks...months..and even years, and no matter what you hear....farming/homesteading is not a fairy tale way of life. There are bound to be losses, whether they are animal or plant or even financial. Most of us just don't like to talk about it.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
It is colder than a well diggers bottom. Thats what my grandpa used to say. This morning when I got up at 5 am, I immediately looked at the weather. It said.. -4 Fair. Really?? What is "fair" about it being negative 4 degrees??? I so wanted to crawl back under the covers and just lay there and grumble. Then I heard the furnace kick in, Oh no. not on MY watch. I had to get up and get that wood stove going. It was 68 degrees in here, and my Macaw Nikki was NOT liking it at all. So I threw a few logs on the fire, and in no time I had it a nice balmy 73 degrees. MUCH better. OFF with you furnace OFF I say! I grabbed my coffee and settled in for a bit, before heading outside for morning chores. Watched a bit of the news...so depressing. I don't usually watch too much news. So much ugliness going on in this world. The BIGGEST ugly is what the weatherman is spewing. " The coldest temperatures we have seen in over 10 years" Did I see a smile on his face?? Why I aughtta .... takes a sip of coffee to keep from saying mean things. So 2 cups of coffee in me.... 2 layers of clothes on...I check the weather again, SURELY it has warmed up, right?? No.....no....it actually is getting COLDER! By 8 am it is NEGATIVE 7 ! JEESH! " It's not fair" ( I whined ) " Stupid winter" ( I grumbled under my breath) Filled up the water buckets with really warm water, I head out to the barn where I find the sheep and goats acting like it is summertime! The goats are outside headbutting and playing....the sheep running and playing. Brain freeze, that MUST be it! Their brains are frozen and they are delirious. Walking back to the house, I stopped to just take in the sight. Everything is frosty....frozen in time....waiting on Spring...just like me. A Christmas ornament, forgotten...frosted by the cold....
Monday, February 16, 2015
Yes, we now have about 4 inches of snow. I for one am happy to see the snow, since it is the "Poor man's fertilizer" and well...we don't have large amounts of money laying around so we "qualify" as poor. Of course, I don't know any homesteader/farmer that does. Most of us are just barely keeping our heads above water. "How does snow fertilize the earth?" Well...I am glad you asked! Any moisture falling from the sky, contains Nitrogen, and...well...plants need nitrogen. But, when it snows... the snow melts off slower acting like a "slow release" fertilizer. This allows more of the Nitrogen to seep into the soil. Now don't go getting all worried... "Nitrogen will burn the plants" yeah, we know that, however, the average rain/snow will only deposit a few pounds per acre and it is recommended for commercial agriculture to apply hundreds of pounds per acre. So, although it might not be "enough" , it IS free, and who doesn't like free? Like I said...we are not rich in money.. "Then why do you do what you do?" Well....a few reasons... #1 We like to eat and we like to eat GOOD clean food. So we have gardens and raise animals. #2 It keeps me busy, and keeps me moving. OK, I will admit it, I am not a "spring chicken" so by keeping moving, it keeps me healthier. #3 Well, I can show you......
Friday, February 13, 2015
New faces here at Heavens Door Acres. These two ewes belonged to a young girl over in Ohio. She had them for a few years in 4 H. They are sweet ewes, and large! They have been here a few days and are super friendly, almost TOO friendly. When I go out to feed them, they run circles around me.....making it hard to get them fed. Did I tell you they are HUGE!? LOL Welcome to Molly and Charlotte.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
What is going to happen you ask? SPRING. Oh, I know, they are using words in the weather report like FRIGID and ARCTIC. Don't you pay any attention to them, SPRING is near. How do I know? Well, you are reading the words of an " Old farmer" who has been " watching the ways of the animals" and maybe "reading the earth" Yep, That's me. So you can take my "sage" words as gold..... SPRING is coming. You remember Spring... right???
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Oh boy....for the last week, our weather people have been whining and warning about this "potentially big snow storm" that we were supposed to get today...during Super Bowl. So, I ran around like a crazy farmer....cleaning bedding and fluffing beds....adding more straw and pine shavings....ready to lock everyone in for a day. Gave the poultry extra water dishes just in case I couldn't get to them for a day, made sure their feeders were full. Checked our own food supplies....made sure we were good to go. ( we are) Got all of the laundry caught up...brought in firewood, split more wood. By this morning...I was feeling pretty darned good about myself...I was ready for whatever....and....we got all rain. *sigh* Oh, I am not complaining about NOT getting snow. Well, OK maybe just a little. I ran in circles for a few days checking and double checking everything.... and we get rain. Oh well....at least all the animals are happy. So, one of our female rabbits had a litter of 9 kits a while back. 9 weeks ago actually.