Friday, July 31, 2015
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Wow! This weather is miserable! Low 90's and dew points in the mid to upper 70's Oh, and lets NOT forget the occasional rain shower...just enough to make puddles. *sigh* This morning I went out to do the morning chores...thee is no air moving...it is so still....I can feel a fly's breath! As I walked up to the pig's pen, I noticed part of the electric fence was down. GRRrrrrrrr. This means I had to turn it off...slop around in the muck, and fix it. While I was in there trying to fix the electric wire, sweat dripping in my eyes, I became breakfast for the million's of mosquito's that were hiding in the weeds. Stripping wire, wiping sweat....taping wires, wiping sweat, smacking mosquito's, scratching mosquito bites, swatting at the air...trying not to inhale the thick cloud of mosquito's..one of them makes it's way into my nostril..UGH!!!!! I finally was able to get it fixed and RAN to the plug to get it turned back on, ran to the shop to put up the tools, and RAN to the house, scratching and wiping...swatting and scratching! In the 15 minutes it took me to fix the fence I ended up with 7 bites on my back.....and 6 on my legs. So, yeah, between the lack of air movement, the heat, the humidity and the smoke like swarm of mosquito's.....I think I am going to become a HERMIT! Other than running out to do a welfare check on the animals....refresh their waters....I am staying INSIDE. WHY can't we have 80 degrees with a light breeze, and ONE day a week of a light rain with night tie temps in the mid 60's? Wouldn't that be grand?? I am going to go hit the shower...then see what I can get into INSIDE!
Monday, July 27, 2015
Seems there is always something going on around here....and I am usually the one to get in it. This weekend the hubby and I decided we would "divide and conquer", and we did...sorta. You see, the problem we both have is...our minds are still in the " 20 something mode" and our bodies are in the "grandparent mode" Saturday morning we laid out our battle plans....He was to get on the mower and mow all day, into the night if needed..( not really) and I was going to get in the garden and decimate the weeds. 8 am....I headed out to start with opening coops, filling feeders and waters...and unleashing the poultry hoards on the creepy crawlies. Now that the waters have receded from the month long deluge of rains, we WILL reclaim this land! Onward little feathered soldiers..."Carpe Diem" seize the day. On to the pigs....as I walk up to "mud city"...a stinking hole in the ground where future bacon and hams lay lazily....the handles of the heavy buckets of feed dig into my hands....they awaken with the sound of my footsteps. Large black ears twitch, tiny little eyes peer at me through the fence as they stand there, waiting for their breakfast. The month long rains have made this area a place I do NOT want to be for very long periods of time. It will take several pounds of powdered lime to control the stench. This is NOT a job I look forward to. How can something that smells SO BAD.....end up tasting SO GOOD!? Soft grunts and slurping, chomping sounds....means my job here is done. Whew! On to the barn. The animals know my routine...and the sounds involved. The sheep and goats are quiet while I tend to the animals on the north end...however, as soon as I slide the door shut on the shop, where I store the pig food, they start calling to me. The goats are the loudest protesters. What are they protesting you might ask? Apparently the fact that I walk too slow to make them happy. It starts with a few calls from the younger crowd, Baaaah, Baah..then the adults chime in...BAAAH!! This arouses the sheep..with a low, bass type call....muffled...MMMMmmmmm. The sheep emerge from the barn...meeting me at the gate. I get a full escort to the barn. They must feel the need to scatter the barn cats from my path, you know, so they don't slow me down. The sheep have a "dance" that they perform every morning as I scoop out their breakfast. The 2 bigger girls get fed in a stall since they feel that every dish of feed must be consumed with record speed so they might be able to steal everyone else's breakfast. The girls prance in and out of the stall, softly calling, or mildly protesting my lack of speed. Now, feeding these 2 gals is tricky. They are...how do I put this without sounding mean? Oh, I know.....they are not fat they are fluffy! HA! Nope, they are fat AND fluffy and demanding! Every day, as I enter the stall, they start....running in circles around the feed pan...shoving each other like it is a game of "musical dish" As they circle around I wait for an opening..and throw the feed into the pan. This stops them in their tracks. Whew, I did it and didn't get thrown into the stall walls. This is a good day! I lock the stall door and turn around to see two little beady eyes watching this fiasco. Tulip the pot belly pig waited patiently while I "danced with the sheep" She lets out a few little grunts as I fill her pan....and poor little Laura, the last of the Shetland sheep, patiently waits by the barn door...where she is ready to flee if needed. She is a silly sheep. She has been a resident here for 5 years, and most of the time I can scratch her cheeks and shoulders...but one wrong move, POOF! She is gone! Time for the live weed whackers to get their breakfast. They have been standing at the gate to their side of the barn...bawling the entire time I tended the others. They act as if they haven't been fed in days...or weeks....screaming at me...trying to climb the gate to get to the feed cans. *sigh* I push my way through the herd to get to the dishes and finally get the last of the critters fed and watered. I stand back, looking around as they all enjoy their breakfast, and I smile. Happy animals..bales of hay stacked floor to ceiling..full feed bins...yes, my job here is done. As they finish up, I turn the 2 big girls out of the stall and head out to get to work on the garden. By this time the hubby is on the mower...getting his day started. I pause....staring at what should be a garden, but looks like a jungle of weeds. Somewhere in there....there are Lima beans and Brussels sprouts....tomato plants and green beans. I pull on my gloves, and get started. Weeds are flying....hand full after hand full the garden cart is filling up. I pull the bottom layers of leaves from the Brussels sprouts and prop them back up with the sticks that hubby provided while cleaning the fallen branches from the trees before he mows. Slowly but surely it is looking like a vegetable garden again. 4 hours later, I stare at my accomplishments. If the weather co-operates...we just might have a good harvest yet. Well, at least a few of them are doing better than I thought. The beets...well..I will replant them next weekend. The day comes to an end...with 2 very tired humans....and several animals that await their dinner. Time to give them their dinner and put them to bed. These were the happenings of last Saturday. Sunday morning we awaken sore and stiff. We decided to take it "easy" today...except for feeding the animals...we will not "work" outside. I woke up with my right index finger hot and swollen at the tip. I can't see a wound, no point of entry, but I grabbed the drawing salve and slather it on and wrap a band aid around it. It was tender all day Sunday. Today, Monday morning I was awakened by the pain. Dagnab it! I cleaned the area, and again slathered drawing salve on it...and wrapped it up. If by Tuesday it is not better, I guess I will call my Dr. Today I will work inside. Highs in the low 90's with humidity to match. YUK! The light rain we got last night is going to make today a miserable day to be outside. Hello laundry....we meet again!
Saturday, July 25, 2015
What a hard summer we have had....weather wise. So much rain...and heat....the humidity has been tough on everyone and everything. Keeping the garden alive has been a challenge. Have I ever told you how much I love a challenge? I do...but this one has been tough. The weeds are the only thing that seems to love this weather. Since I have started a new job, my time in the garden has been limited. The rain has made the rows retain water...and impossible to walk in. Well....the water has receded, the ground is getting more solid, and I am able to walk in the garden without sinking past my ankles. So.....this weekend I am taking on the challenge of saving the garden. Once I get in there and get the weeds out, I am going to lay in the barn cleanings.....at least that is the plan. I have been able to get a few tomato's and cucumbers so far...so we have been enjoying those...my main concern is our green beans, Lima beans and Brussels Sprouts. Those are a few of our main vegetables that we are depending on to get us through the winter. Hubby will be tackling the grassy areas this weekend. It will take most of 2 days for him to get the grass mowed. So...as I sit here enjoying my morning coffee....I am making plans as to my course of action. Divide and conquer....that is the plan for this weekend. Wish us luck!
Friday, July 17, 2015
So I have been training the last few days, on my new job. Well, sorta. I have been working with another gal that works for the same company that I do but at a different location. Her job duties are a bit more involved, since she has to deal directly with the trainee's, where they are housed. I do not. It's OK tho....I am always willing to learn as much as I can, in every component of the job...just in case I am needed there. Monday I will be at my location....I am a little nervous...but I am sure it will be fine. The garden is still holding water. Everywhere you go outside, you smell this pond type moldy smell. Oh, and the mosquito's!! They are thick as smoke. You have to be careful when you breath in...that you don't take in a lung full of those nasty little buggers. I am going to call the county board of health and see if I can't get them out here to spray for them. I don't normally do that, but it is really bad out here. That is really all that has been going on...starting a new job...slopping in mud...fighting the mosquito's. Looking forward to the weekend, going to my little sisters house in KY for a big family BBQ. It will be good to just relax....
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Yesterday I had 2 young people come out to volunteer helping me. My goal was to get the pigs fence moved to the east, and into the woods. I needed to give the pigs some "dry land" Well, after 4 hours....working in the mud...thorn bushes and poison ivy....working in the heat and humidity...we were successful. They didn't gain much, maybe 10-15 feet.but..it is a start. Today however....I am feeling it. Oh boy! My aching hands and my tight back reminds me that I am not as young as I want to be. When my alarm went off, as I reached over to turn it off, my muscled moaned and groaned. Come on Folgers, do your magic! This morning, after chores and getting cleaned up, I am headed to day one of training for my new job. I am nervous and excited. It is not a full time, 5 day a week type job. It is more like a 40 to 90 hour a MONTH job. I will be working in the chow hall at our local Military training center....no, I will not be handling food...just checking ID cards and having people sign a sheet of paper next to their name.....2 hours for breakfast, then home, 2 hours for lunch, then home, and 2 hours for dinner, then home. Sounds like a lot of travel time, but it is about 5 minutes from my home. I will still have plenty time to work in the garden and get my canning done, plus this will give us a little extra money for the things we need for winter stocking up. Every little bit helps. The last few days here we have had so much rain! I don't think I have ever seen such a wet July. The garden is NOT happy at all. I just hope the next few days of sunshine will save what is out there....make it spring back to life. I was able to get my order in for our winter Hay. I will have 100 bales delivered and stacked in the top of the barn. Once that is in the barn, I will feel better. I know that since we have had so much rain, the farmers that cut hay, are having problems getting it cut. I hope I have my order in soon enough that I will be able to get it all. I am now on the lookout for a large chest type freezer, one that doesn't work, so I can start stocking it with the grains I will need for winter. I am hoping to be able to stock up at least 3 months of feed for all of the animals. The freezer will help keep the vermin and bugs out of it, and keep it fresh. What a crazy summer we are having here....hoping we can still get the pantry filled...and be ready for what I think is going to be a snowy, cold winter.
Sunday, July 12, 2015
So, guess what we got today?? Uh hu...I know what you are saying, and your right.....MORE RAIN! About 04:30 this morning we had a doozy of a storm come through. So much lightening....loud thunder....and the rain...wow. We ended up with 3 inches of rain in about an hour. I was awakened by Caesar landing on top of me....all 100 pounds of him! What a rude awakening. Then Aladdin jumps up and lays in my face...both of them scared to death of the storm and shaking so bad I thought we were having an earthquake! So, there went my time in bed.did my morning rituals....potty, coffee, meds....but this morning I did it with 2 dogs almost glued to my feet. After the rain was over, the temps quickly climbed to the low 90's. It was miserable outside. I stayed in as much as I could, and finished the laundry. Tomorrow we are supposed to get more rain and more high temps. I can handle the heat, just not this humidity. CRAZY weather. I am worried about the gardens this year...with all the rain, nothing is wanting to ripen...praying for some sunshine.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Yesterday's weather was cool...high in the upper 60's...rainy...just like a fall day...but it is JULY! Today, so far the humidity is in the +90% the temp is only 73, but supposed to climb to the upper 70's. After I finished morning feedings...I decided I MUST start shearing the sheep. We only have 3....however, I do NOT have electric shears....so I am clipping them by hand. *sigh* I put the halter on one of the big girls, tied her in the stall....and started. Let me tell you....she was NOT happy about it at all. She out weighs me by probably 50 pounds...and is a LOT stronger than I am. It took a lot of name calling...a lot of fidgeting...and even some cussing, but I was able to get her 95% sheared. There was no way I was going to be able to get her legs and belly...*sigh* At one point she jumped up and I nipped her skin... ( that is where the cussing came in) Took me just over an hour but I at least have ONE finished.......for the most part. She HAS to feel better.... Here is a before picture.....
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
It IS July....in Indiana....so it IS summer....then why am I sitting here with a blanket on my lap? Today's high was only 68 degrees....rained off and on all day...gloomy...yuk! Today was one of those days where I had to force myself to get up and get going. We need sunshine...a LOT of sunshine! I tried to get into the garden yesterday...not a good idea. I sank in the mud almost past my ankles! Once I got out, and wiped the mud off...I walked around the outside of the garden...over by the green beans...staring at the vines, wishing I could get in there and tame them down a bit. I stared at all of those green tomato's...wishing we had sunshine to turn them red...hoping we get it before they start to rot. Then I walked out to the thicket....where the Elderberries grow. There are so many little clusters of green berries....just starting to turn dark red/purple. I have been watching them closely, so I can hopefully beat the birds to them. Last year, I didn't get ANY! For now... all I can do is make sure I have all of my canning supplies ready to go...check on my lid stash...check jar rims...start wiping down the empty space in the pantry and get it organized....ready for the fresh canned produce. Getting geared up....I am ready to get canning!
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Wow, so much rain! When it is not raining...it has been hot and humid. Humidity levels between 75% and 95% without rain. Now the temps are in the low to mid 70's...and wet, wet, wet. PERFECT weather for the animals....and humans to get sick. I have been working hard trying to keep everyone dry...at least as dry as I can. This weather is why we have raised beds...or raised rows.