Wednesday, October 22, 2014

First Frost Already?

Brrr, it was unpleasant this morning!  Not quite a frost but 44F is down right unpleasant compared to what it was just a week ago.  Yep, it's that time of year already, it's going to be cold all the time very soon.  Am I ready?  Well heck no I'm not.  I never am.  I'm a big fat cry baby in cold weather.  I plug through it, miserable just because I would rather not be cold.  Busting ice out of buckets, frozen feet, chapped hands from the hot water in cold air for milking time, eh, just whaaa, LOL.

Eh, anyway, the cows are fat, the goats are sassy, chickens are finally laying steady now that Brandy dog is gone, rabbits should kindle in the next day or 2 and the pantry is full of canned goodies from the garden.

Now is the season of reading and writing, crochet and soap making.

So, here's the first blanket raffle of the season....
A reader asked I put this one up first so here it is.  The Grape Fizz, 38x50 lap throw.  One entry for $10 or 3 for $20.  We'll keep the entries open until Halloween.  You can enter via the paypal button, make sure you put grape fizz in the comment section or you may email me for snail mail(mmpaints@yahoo.com). 

I've got an incubator full of eggs but I'm not too sure they're going to hatch out.  The darn fuse blew over night and the poor unborn chicks got cold, too cold. So, a candling is in order tonight to see if they're all dead.  I hope they aren't dead but just in case, I did put 18 new eggs in there a few days ago.

As I said above, I've got 2 does that should kindle tonight or tomorrow, both good Mommas so 12 to 16 new bunnies should be arriving soon.  I love the bunnies, they are so darn cute and cuddly.  Something to play with while I'm waiting for the new round of goat kids to arrive.  The first ones should get here the 2nd week of January.  Seems like a long way off yet but they'll be here soon enough and it will seem like it was just yesterday when we started waiting for them.  Calves in February or March and we'll be full swing into a busy, busy year around here!  Milk, cheese, the new bake shop, the gardens, the quilting shop I'm working on, the new chicken runs and rabbit house, busy, busy, busy around here!  Plus the quail I want to add and the turkey runs, I've got some exciting plans for the new and revamped farm! Been a tough road and an even rougher summer but I can see daylight now.  A few small fixes on the 2 farm trucks (spider injection on the chevy and a few sensors for the ford) and we'll be in good shape for the new year.  I did manage to get all the parts for the hay equipment paid for, now I just need to find time to put it all together so it's ready for the next haying season.  This winter will be tight for hay but I think we'll make it through it.  Might have to buy a bale or 2 but it will be okay.  All we need to do is to get the taxes paid and we're good for the rest of the year.  How awesome is that?

Until next post........

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Almost Fall

So, here we are, another summer done gone by and what have I managed to accomplish? Well hmmm, tangible growth, something that can be seen or felt physically, not too much. The fences are still tore up, the pos trailer I live in is patched somewhat but still a dump, the garden is a mess and the chicken/rabbit hut still isn't finished.

So what is it I have managed to do this whole year? I'm still here. I finally broke even in August. I've managed to feed myself, even if it hasn't been optimal, I havent starved. The small herd of goats I have left are healthy, both the cows are bred and I managed to keep half the chickens alive. Rabbits did well for me this summer and I didn't lose any. So, now I can keep moving forward into the winter and dream of what I might be able to get done next year.

People ask me all the time why I keep going, why I do what I do even when it's difficult or what they consider impossible. This is what I tell them- As you get older, you find that life begins to wear you down. Everything that happens around you and to you- it all rolls up to be against you to steal away your energy, erode your dreams, to make you question things you wouldn't have given a second thought to when you were young and full of hope and dreams. Then, you have a choice. You can either give in and quit or you can fight it and keep going. You do it no matter what because if you quit, you're defeated and life doesn't have any real purpose left to it. There is no success in just existing with no purpose. Some kind of answer, eh?  Most of the time I get the deer in the headlight look in response.  I just laugh.  Seriously, what else did they expect me to say?

So, I've got a few crochet throws finished and ready to go.  In a few weeks, I will put one up for auction on the blog.

  a youth size and an infant size Macaw throw- a 24x28($20) and a 30x42($30) with shipping.
 a grape fizz throw, 38x50 ($42) with shipping
 pink camo throw, 40x56 ($48) with shipping
 a Monet throw, 63x63 ($75) with shipping
 I'm also working on a couple hoodie scarves and some infant, youth and adult hats.

The ragweed is in full bloom around the place and the seasonal allergies are hard to handle.  The weed pulling and fall clean up is in full swing around here as is the garden work for the fall crops.

In between, there's some electrical work to be done in the pos trailer.  I've lost 3 outlets so far.  It just keeps piling up on me (sigh).  Hate pouring good money in a dump that should be burned down and hauled off.  Oh well........

Saturday, August 30, 2014

sweltering heat, heavy heart and reflections

Its taken me a couple days to get it right in my head. The news hit my heart hard. Almost surprising in how much it hurt. It's been such a long time since I actually had the time to reflect on how much I actually love my friends. Admiration, devotion, trust, comrades in arms so to speak. All traveling the same homesteading path I am, each in their own way, sharing their knowledge, experience, triumphs and failures with me on a personal level. More than just a few lines in blog comments, actual connections either in person or via telephone or the hours in Wolfes chatroom, spanning the long distances between us all. Late night calls lasting hours into the wee morning, laughter, tears, joy and pain, we share it all. Each of us joined together by our overlapping ideals, goals and motivations. No truer friends could ever be found. When the whole world falls apart around you, these friends were always there, day or night, to pick you up, urge you to hold on and keep fighting. Plenty of times in the past few years, I could have just chucked it all in and quit if it were not for these same friends.

Now, in the midst of life finally starting to go decently for me, I get news of the loss of someone I considered a dear friend. A lady that consoled me during some of the roughest times of a terrible marriage, thru the betrayal of my confidence by people I thought were friends, thru my divorce and all the following struggles, Scifichick was there. Even while she was fighting her own battles, trying to achieve her lifes dreams, she still had time to cheer me up and pester me about those dang rabbits. Never was there more giggles and outright joyful laughter than when Sci and me would get going on the phone. I would often have to go hunt the phone charger cord down before the phone would die so we could keep talking. Every spring the betting would start on how long it would take me to actually break down and start seed. Of course, I never make it to the actually seed starting date, I always jump the gun. Sci would just laugh and say I knew you wouldnt make it! Now, I feel like I have a hole next to my heart. I will never forget you Scifi, you were one of a kind.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

where oh where has my little dog gone.....

oh where oh where can he be????   LOL  Yep, I'm still alive!  I know, shame on me for being gone for so long.  So, where have I been?  Right here on the farm, trying to keep it all together with the miserable paycheck and constant equipment breakdowns.  Part of it I guess.  Doesn't make it any more comfortable tho. Small blessings counted, like for instance, the extremely mild summer we've had.  It's only been unbearable hot in the dump I call home a half dozen times so far this summer.  The no air conditioning thing was hardly noticed so far.  Still not comfortable enough to get a net connection on the farm again.  Just too expensive for the budget.  Maybe next year.

The daily struggle goes on, as usual.  A set of twin girls were born to Delta goat last week and they are keeping me entertained with their silly goat kid antics.  These 2 are tiny little carbon copies of their Momma, hints of color under their snow white coats.  I'm sure they will change color as they grow, like the last batch of kids did. 

Looks like I might finally have pregnant cows!  The holstein that was slated for the dinner plate got a pass and is now a nice little bull that did the job. I think anyway, LOL  The girls look preggers, fat in all the right places so keeping those fingers crossed!

All the hay equipment is broken, as usual.

The commercial kitchen finally passed inspection for baked goods.  Now all I need is to build up a clientele since all my old regular customers moved on to other outlets while I was building.  No worries, word of mouth is good around here and when I'm ready to fly, they'll come back.  Come next seasons markets, I'll be in full swing.  Still more work to be done on the cheese caves and smokers.

Lack of rain around here has the grass not growing and the garden dying.  The irrigation system needs major improvements and a couple new catch basins need installed to increase the amount of water I can catch.  Lack of rain allows me to run out long before relief comes from fresh rains.  Something to be addressed over the winter months.

Lost a bit of weight due to the rough living this year.  Had to hit the thrift store a couple of times for hand me down clothes.  Hard to get much work done when ya have to keep pulling yer britches up!  LOL


Other than that, it's still business as usual around the farm.  Finally got the past due mortgage payments caught up.  It was touch and go there for a while and the bank threatening foreclosure was unpleasant.  Hope I don't have to revisit that feeling again anytime soon.  Other than that, it's just the poor life here, holding on and plugging along, the best one can while just rolling with whatever gets thrown up on me.......