Monthly Archives: July 2012

but there is always light at the end of the tunnel

And maybe it is a cooler light.

Really, I am excited that after today our 10 day forecast does not hit 100 again. Of course if there is one thing you can’t depend on it is the weather. So I am not counting on nine cooler days, but it is nice to dream. We drove out to Kirksville yesterday, yes this is an event, and it was sad to see the surrounding countryside. It is so brown and dead. Oh we have some patches that are starting to look sad. We have some brown and some places that are definitely losing their green, but not like this. I am hopeful for some rain. We have it in the forecast, but again, not holding my breath.

Jack’s parents came to visit for a few short days. They have been looking for land here. There was a potential property so they came and checked it out. It was nice to see them again. Actually, it is really nice that we live close enough that they can come and check things out like that. The girls are totally loving seeing grandma and grandpa more often. It is great. I am hoping that they find something that they love soon. While they were out Jack and Phil put together a rafter. It looks HUGE! Of course it has been too hot to put together anymore rafters. Sigh. Building has been really hard to do in this weather. Another reason to be very happy over some cooler days. Hopefully we can get some more done. It is scary with August just a week away. August. How the hell does this happen? We have been back on the land for four months, it feels like longer in some ways and in others I am still wondering where June went.

The girls continue to amaze me. I guess I don’t talk about them much. They are so responsible and have so much common sense. They can be out doing chores see something that is not right and just fix it. They are not coming to me for every little thing anymore. They just do it. It may not seem like a huge thing, but maybe those with kids will see that this is huge. It really is. They are thinking and solving problems right that second. Maybe this would have happened anyway if they weren’t working on a farm, but I am seeing their development in this explode. This is not to say that sometimes they don’t do silly things. Jack told them, after about a week of him moving the bucket, that they didn’t have to haul water all the way across the field, they could move it closer to the water source. For some reason, maybe they thought the sheep didn’t want to go to a new place?, they kept moving the bucket farther away. Anyway, like I said, their ability to see a problem and a solution is growing. They are also looking so big to me. Last night we were all in the pond and thinking back a year ago to all three of my children JUST learning how to swim to now where they were all wrestling with Jack. They were getting thrown off tubes, dunked and swimming just fine. In deep water. We were in the middle of the pond. All of them swim well. How does this happen in a year? They are amazing me every day. Of course they are also annoying me every day. They are children and they aren’t always wonderful and amazing. I am just focusing on the amazing parts right now. 🙂

The animals are continuing to survive the heat. With a lot of work from us. Our two pregnant does are still pregnant. We are hoping that one day soon they kid. We have moved them to a separate enclosure. They have the puppies in with them also. It is interesting how they are though. They never felt that Huck was a threat. The goats watched him and never got defensive around him. The puppies took them a little while. They now are not at all worried about them anymore. We are watching a friend’s dog right now. They are totally pissed at this dog. Totally. Luckily the dog has sensed that they would beat the crap out of her even if there is an electric fence between them and gives them much room. Still, we are anxiously awaiting our first births on our farm. I think after today would be a good time seeing that it will be cooler… C’mon and send some birth vibes, goat birthing vibes our way.

The cattle waterer did get fixed. Oh I wish I could have gotten pictures of Layla. She, very bravely, went down into the cattle waterer to scoop out muck. It was very mucky by the way and also kind of stunk. She went down there though and bucketful by bucketful cleaned it out. She looked like a savage covered artfully in muck. It was something to see. Again, we have amazing kids.

One more note before I sign off this week. Soon, soon, I will be opening an etsy shop. I am actually coming out with this in hopes that people will start bugging me about it. I have it half set up, and have most of my beginning stock made up. I will be selling handspun yarn. I have gotten all my wool locally and in the future hope to get all my wool from our farm. You have to start somewhere though. All the profit from my sales will go to things that Jack doesn’t find completely necessary but I find needed for quality of life. He thinks it is alright to paint our house with misdyed paint for example. I think we need pretty colors. It will also go towards our animals, feed, housing and the like. I am looking forward to it. I love spinning. I love wool animals. So it is exciting to me to be doing something that I really enjoy and also will be helping to support my family. So if you don’t see me announcing my etsy store soon start poking at me. Please. I am really nervous about this and it has been hard for me to make those final steps.

I think that has been our week so far. Notice I have stopped writing about my weeks on Mondays. Monday suck, they always do. I have yet to have a good Monday. By Wednesday my Monday is mostly forgotten, yet it isn’t too far away from the weekend where I forget what we have gotten done. So you can pretty much expect an entry on Wednesday from now on. So send us birthing vibes and some rain vibes, we need the rain and cute little kids. They are much needed here 🙂

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and on and on…

It is still hot. I am remembering last summer and well, it is interesting to see two summers, our first two summers that have, on average, highs 10-15 degrees above normal. Again, it could be worse. I am sure it could be. Right now, the wind is slightly blowing, today shouldn’t be as hot as yesterday. It is as good as today gets. The animals are handling things alright. We are pretty on top of things and checking them often. I do not ever want to lose another animal to the heat. Or cold, or anything I can prevent really. Well, except for us eating them. That is acceptable to me.

We hosted our annual board meeting yesterday. Our high yesterday was 103. Yes, that is not taking heat index into account. I was so worried about how it was going to be. It was hot, it was in our tent. There were about 10 people here most of the day. We were all supposed to be talking and figuring things out also. It went well though. These are the kinds of things that make me really happy for living in community. It is really great. Really great. Words cannot describe. Anyway, we got a lot of work done yesterday along with jumping in the pond often and drinking lots of cold water.

Not much else has been going on. It is hot and that kind of stalls things a bit. Jack’s finger is for the most part better. He still can’t bend it quite like he should be able to. All of the sheathing is up around the cabin, which makes it a lot more sturdy when you climb up to the loft. Not that I do that often. Damn, never realized how uneasy I am about heights. We had a few people come over a few days ago and they helped us carry all of the rafter thingies up there. Now, we need to cut them and get rafters in place. I am looking forward to a roof. I am hoping that a roof will make me able to go up to the loft and stand instead of crawl around. I can’t help it, my legs go all wobbly and I start to feel sick. It is much safer for me to crawl, really it is. The hard part is that I feel the same way watching anyone walk up there. I don’t want to pass on my fears to the girls, but damn do they have to walk so quickly and so near the edges? damn.

The puppies have been staying with the livestock lately. Poor Conner, he gets kind of bullied. They do love to snuggle with the sheep and they are starting to get along better with the pigs. In other words, for the most part, the pigs have stopped trying to eat the puppies. That is a good thing. The goats are either indifferent or not as nice as they could be to the puppies. But again, at least they have friends in the sheep. Who wouldn’t want to cuddle with some wooly sheep? Okay, it is a little hot out for that, but no one seems to mind. In fact, I would say that they sheep are friends to all. Everyone loves to cuddle them, even the pigs.

The cattle waterer isn’t fixed yet. Hopefully soon. We have been busy, though now that I think of it I am not quite sure with what… Hmmmm…. Anyway, we did get 12 more chickens, they are interesting. Very interesting. We lost a few trying to get them in. I am pretty sure we have all of them again, it took about a week to get them all back in. That was not fun. They are pretty small flighty birds. Interesting. We also got six muscovies. Yea!!! I kind of love ducks, but only muscovies. They are youngins though, it will be awhile until they are up and roaming. I am just hoping that we didn’t pick out all drakes. That would suck. We should find out in a few months.

I feel like not much has happened. I also feel though that if I skip a week because not much has happened this blog will start to stop. So, you get to read about a whole bunch of nothing. Expect most posts to follow this, it is hot, the cabin got this much done on it, the animals are great, it is hot.

Because you know what? It is hot and it is probably going to be hot until it is cold. Isn’t that funny? That is why I TRY to enjoy what we got, because whatever you change it to is probably going to suck as much if not more. There is some parting wisdom 🙂

And the heat goes on

and on and on….

But we are making it. It has been hot. It is so weird to feel our wood stove hotter than it feels like with a fire in it. Okay, maybe not quite, but it seems like it. Everything is hot to the touch. We have been working really hard on drinking enough, not just water but things to help make sure we are getting electrolytes and minerals that we might be flushing out of our bodies. We have been eating cold fruit. Our freezer has not been working, it is about the temp of a frig right now. We haven’t had any frozen water, so it is packed full of just about everything. None of us has been very hungry but we are trying to eat. We have been getting in the pond often, spraying ourselves down with water. Well, basically our days are spent making sure that we are handling the heat and the animals are handling the heat.

I had an insight a few days ago when it was insanely hot. I didn’t feel like moving. I didn’t feel like getting up and drinking water. I just wanted to sit and not do a damn thing. I saw why chickens will sit a few steps from a waterer and not drink. It is too much work. If I didn’t have the thought process of, hey if I don’t get up, it is bad. Which means, you don’t have to have air conditioning when you have a heat advisory(ours started on Tuesday and will end on Saturday), you just have to really step back and think, have I peed? Have I drank enough? Am I making sure I am not overheating? Still, it is dangerous. It really is. That said, I handle the heat the best out of everyone in this family. So it falls to me to stand by the oven to cook, to heat up water to wash dishes in.

That being said, oh my goodness we are all short of temper. Really. You can try all you want, the fact is, even if you have a/c in this type of weather, you are not comfortable. Now, try not being comfortable for over a week. Not sleeping well because it is so hot. It is interesting. Not really fun either. Oh well though, we are living and doing the best we can.

The animals seem to be doing alright. We have been splashing down the chickens. The sheep/goats/pigs seem to be handling it much better. I am looking forward to a few days from now. It should go back down to the low 90s. I can handle low 90s much better than 100. I know it is only ten degrees but it makes a difference. A big difference.

Oh and Jack had an ER trip on Sunday. He was cleaning up the cabin, after working for a few hours. It had rained that morning. The clay soil all around the cabin was wet and slippery. He stepped out and onto the clay and bam! We don’t know what he hit exactly but most of the skin around his pinkie knuckle was no longer attached to well, his knuckle. You would think that in a small town the ER wait would not be long. There was only one person ahead of him, he was already being seen even. We still waited two hours. We had not eaten dinner, the kids and I were tired and hungry. It was a horrible experience. Horrible. And now the cabin hasn’t been worked on in over a week. He is mostly healed, in fact he is healing really well. You don’t realize how much you need all your fingers though until one is out of service. With the heat though who knows if he would have been able to work on it anyway.

Basically, it has been a really rough couple of weeks. Emotions are high, needs are high and no one is really getting what they need(or maybe just want, who knows). It is yet another disaster Monday as I finish writing this post that I have been working on for a few days now. Our water situation is not good. Jack tried to install a frost free hydrant by the cattle waterer. It was not going well, but it was going until he cut the pipe to the waterer and found that the pipe was a lot bigger than he thought it was. In other words, the connector that he had gotten was not going to fit. He managed to get something together, but now we have no water in our cattle waterer. We can use hoses to get water to everyone. However, those hoses we were using to get water to the pigs. So we had to go back to buckets and pond and hauling for the pigs. Which is the much harder haul. Uggg, it is just a sucky negative day. So I am going to try for some positiveness or I may go insane.

Astrid, one of our goats who we got a few months ago. Quick background, she was pregnant in January and lost her kid. The lady tried milking her but just stopped. She came to us with mastitis. We cleared her up though and she was good. However, we noticed her bagging up again. The lady thought she might be pregnant, but wasn’t sure. So with the girls helping me, I milked her out again this morning. I got a quart out of her, no clumps, we were worried that somehow she just filled back up and had mastitis again. At first we did think that maybe she was pregnant but then it went weeks and no babies. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to just make sure. Her milk was on the yellow side. So maybe she is pregnant and going to birth soon. So we got a quart of milk today and made french toast.

Sunday, yesterday, was so much cooler!!! So much so that except for some moments in the sun, I have been on the cold side. It is nice, but again, I kind of like the heat. Not saying it isn’t hot, we are still in the upper 80s. We are not sweating our butts off anymore though. YEA!!!

Okay, I am sure there is something else that is positive. We are healthy. There is one. Anyway, at least this is ending on a slightly more positive note. Here’s to this week being much better than the last!