Well today has certainly started off better than the last few days. Let’s pray it continues that way!
Yesterday we were both quite frustrated and not in the best of moods but at some point instead of wanting to cry, I just started laughing. Things could always be worse. May as well find some humor during the rough times, because odds are that there will be more, there will be worse and personal outlook changes a lot!( I say this now, check back during the next calamity 😂 ).
It rained and stormed last night. More rain is headed our way. It’s hard to get stuff done. We are able to work in the rain of course, but the mud hinders being able to accomplish what is needed! I know there are others hurting far worse than we can even imagine. For us, this is our hobby, not our livelihood and we pray for those greatly effected by all this continuing rain. Though at this point, our fence is a priority. However as I have mentioned, setting posts in slop just does not work. We are kind of stuck right now.
I got the critters taken care of, laundry and some cleaning done. Then, the migraine hit me! Game over!
I was awakened by babe, ” #!@& I GOTTA GO! GOT A COW IN THE ROAD”!!! The words you never want to hear! There they are to greet you first thing in the morning! I’M AWAKE AND HE’S ALREADY OFF & HEADING DOWN THE ROAD!
When I say road, I mean a 2 lane, paved and lined 55 MPH road that runs in front of our farm, where people find the need to go more like 70 MPH! All I can say is, what has happened to the good old country folks that used to be? You saw a problem, you stopped to help, you at the very least slowed down if nothing else! Nope, not anyone who passed this morning! No stranger knocking on the door prior pointing out that, hey I think your cows are out! I am left speechless each day by self absorbed, in too big of a hurry to get nowhere people! But anyways….
It was not one cow, it was three! Luckily they will follow anywhere as long as grain is involved! Babe walked them all right back through the gate at the barn! It happens, right? This is exactly why we have farm liability insurance. Though I assure you It does not make it any less of an anxiety ridden calamity! Not to me anyways! ( we are not a farm business, it is strictly hobby and for personal use. However, we previously named our farm just that, Calamity Creek Farm! I just knew it would be fitting)
Once the cows were back in, it immediately started to absolutely downpour, thunder & lightening included! Remember I had previously mentioned the *potential for up to 6″ of rain over the next few days? Well there was the beginning taste of the rain to come! But now it’s time to find the security breech in the fence!
Up until early last Winter, we had only one cow. Coal. Her momma didn’t produce milk, she had a very rough start at life and was always alone, not accepted by the herd. She was given to us, the farmer didn’t expect her to make it! With lots of love and 3 years later, she’s still with us and doing great. Though her size is only half that of an average angus. So, we have an oversized pet of a cow. Anyways, first of last Winter, we brought a few more home and two of those had calves over the Winter.
We had expanded our fence that had worked for one cow, to include about 20 acres total. All fencing near the road has electric. Stout electric. However some of our initial fence up the holler, you know we definitely improved on those fence skills the 2nd go round, but that initial fence has been mended on the fly several times! We planned to get it completely redone, fresh, new and also with electric! The breech just occurred before we got there. Today just speeds up our plans a bit! But this rainy weather we have been having all season does not make anything easy! Haven’t even been able to put hay up yet! So setting new posts in sloppy mud that goes way down is just not happening. We need a break weatherwise and it’s not happening this week unfortunately! We will manage and MacGyver stuff to make it work. We are both pretty darned proficient at that game!
So moving on. The cows have eaten things down far more quickly than we’d have ever imagined. We have supplemented with hay and grain but now we were out of last years hay! So the mad dash for a big round bale of golden goodness ensues! A 45 minute trip one way and we have the goods! Now back to the farm we go! Problem!!! Our big 70 HP John Deere is at the other farm in waiting for the call that hay day has finally arrived! I have talked about the mud, even posted some pictures but until you are here in it, trying to work in it, or you yourself live this life, no justice can be done. So our Farm Truck was the only option! She’s a beater of a truck! Lucked into her and gave $350 for her and drove her home! A decal on her back glass has dubbed her, ” Bargain Betty “! But anyways! Once you get the momentum finally going, you don’t let off in the mud! Well babe made it, we are only missing a mirror that got taken off by the pass of the livestock chute! I call it a small price to pay and a win!
I could go on and on about the events of today but honestly, we are once again exhausted. So I will end with this and find it so true….
When asked about farming, ” living a nightmare, chasing a dream “, unknown.
Today started off with a trip to the landfill. A truckload of junk gone. It may leave here but it’s never truly gone. I feel remorse after a landfill trip. We do our best to reuse and recycle items but some stuff is beyond doing anything with. We do our best, we will try to do better though.
We picked up a load of stuff from my Mom and added it to the vehicle along with stuff I had boxed up (more minimizing). We will be delivering it all to my aunt tomorrow, she will add it to her yard sales or give to someone in need. No guilt there! Win, win for everyone.
We worked in the garden. Tilling, tying up tomato plants, pruning and so on! It’s doing pretty well considering everything was put out late due to rain, rain and more rain.
Speaking of rain!!!! Over the next few days, our area has the *potential to see up to 6″ of rain! 😱 Like we haven’t had enough already. It is mid June and in front our barns is awful and not from cows as they don’t access the part I’m speaking of! Babe used the blade today to scrape away some slop and hopefully get things to drain better but other places there’s no helping until it just does get dried up!
We have a creek behind our house and a bigger one in front. 6″ of rain is a scary thought, to me anyways!
Shortly after 5 a.m. I get this, “wake up THE tree fell”!!!! Me, in a half asleep voice, ” THE sycamore “?! Babe, ” YES “! I am up now!!! THE sycamore is one by our driveway, actually 1 of 2 that sat at the end of the driveway, on either side. The one had rotted all around the base and several feet up many years ago! There was nothing safe to cut into! This tree was hollow and had nothing but a bark wall almost around the entire base! Year after year we have wondered how she remained standing! Severe storms and even a derecho, it remained! This year though, we had gotten cable which would be put through the top forks and pulling the tree down in the most controlled way possible. There is a road within a few feet, our home, our power pole and transformer plus all the newest fence line we’d added!!!! A lot could go wrong. Very wrong! Well mother nature, rain, has kept the pulling of the tree from occurring. Far too wet for traction. However in the end, mother nature, high winds last night, took care of it anyways!
The guide wire for the pole is in that mess and our fence! It didn’t hit any fence posts or break the fence but it definitely required some mending which we done this evening along with tree clean up. My brother in law got wood for his outdoor burner, my sister brought dinner over, our neighbor & two sons showed up and a friend from the down the road stopped by. We are blessed, truly! ❤️
This is all that’s left! Will finish clean up soon. It has been a long day all around and otherwise. We are both exhausted and ready for bed!
I opened the hatch of the coop that would allow the young chickens access to walk the plank down to their very first taste of freedom and grass under their coop! What happened during this exciting time?! Not a darned thing! They were curious about the hole but not one was curious enough….yet! Will try again tomorrow!
Last night my ear hurt, never happens. Then my throat got sore and I had a big, hard, painful knot pop up in my armpit! Ugh! Today I have just felt super tired. So honestly other than the typical daily routine and the less than stellar events with the chickens today, I don’t have much. I’m just tired.
Tomorrow is a new day! I will try very hard to redeem myself!
Ok, right off you may be thinking, minimalism and worms, what?! I will get to what one has to do with the other, I promise!
We started on a new journey a while back, trying to live more minimalist! To us, this includes but is not limited to, letting go of STUFF!!! I don’t mean truly useful items but the stuff we accumulate as consumers that we truly do not need! Excess clutter, that not only takes up space in the home, but also clutters the mind! More minimalistic in the way we spend money is the top priority (we are a work in progress I assure you lol)!!! Is there a better way to get what we want and need without falling headfirst into consumerism?! Is there a cheaper way? The answer is yes, especially when it came to mealworms!!!
Chickens love mealworms! Well at the local farm stores you can purchase a 5 lb bag of dried up, dead mealworms for $33….no thank you! So before we even got our chicks, I ordered everything we’d need online, that I didn’t already have on hand, and we became MEALWORM FARMERS!!! The best part???? For less than $20!!!!!! Guess what? Now we have an endless supply of mealworms for our flock! You do the math. So by doing the dirty work, we save a ton of money! What chicken wouldn’t rather chase a live, squirming mealworm versus a nasty, dried up one?! 🐔🐓
I will say this, we find it challenging to be more minimalistic on a farm! You know, where everything is kept for those “just in case” moments! Even if it’s broken and there’s the thought that just maybe, with enough bailing twine, duct tape or zip ties and a prayer that “it” may be useable yet again! 😂 (We have greatly improved in this area, still funny though)!
However, we have made substantial progress. Purging knick knacks, excess clothing, useless kitchen gadgets, you know, the typical household clutter! The house feels better! More inviting! Looks cleaner! For us, it’s been a good thing. (I will say, sentimental items DO NOT leave, I refuse!)
We have purged some items from the workshop but most will stay. Tools, fencing and excess farm supplies…well you just don’t downsize and go minimal there! That is simply counterproductive!
So if you have been considering going more minimalist, I will tell you, I am very happy! It makes me feel good, almost lighter! I donate everything! I do not simply throw stuff away! Someone may need it, that someone just is no longer me!
When I used to walk into a store, it was overwhelming! Stuff everywhere that I’ve been programmed by our culture to think that I need to be happy! Sadly we are often measured by what we have and not what we are! We don’t care! Today, I walk into stores and I still browse but I have realized that I already have everything I truly need! Yes, I am human, there will be an occasional purchase but you can almost bet the item is on clearance and something useful! I believe it is part of my job as a “housewife”, a “farmwife” to try to make things easier, to stretch our money out, to make sacrifices. We have not had satellite TV in years. We survive on DVD’s and 4 channels from an antenna when we do watch TV. We do not have internet service. I have a $35 per month, no contract phone and use it as a computer as well. Not convenient but cost effective!
Minimalistic, frugal, whatever you wish to call it, I am striving to do better, to be better, to want less and simply be happy….and I am! We are! ❤
I painted above the kitchen sink and shelf! Went from blah white to gravity gray! I like it. 🎨 (the large vodka bottle is for homemade things, like disinfectant spray to be clear lol)! 😂
Today was an absolutely beautiful day! Clear blue skies, a cool morning and warm day, with no rain! It was supposed to be the first day in the hay fields, but the weather is iffy starting tomorrow evening so holding off.
SOOOO BABE LOWERED THE MOWER DECK AND MOWED THE YARD THIS EVENING INSTEAD! 😂 If you read yesterday’s blog post, you’ll understand why that is capitalized and bold with a laughing face! 😂😏
Gathered some fresh homegrown produce for babes breakfast and lunch tomorrow! Except the lavender. I will be drying it to make lavender oil.
Bentley is still pulling the not coming back in the house stunt with me! 😏 So this evening instead of his ball (which he is absolutely obsessed with), he was forced to play with bark I’d tossed into the creek, that he immediately retrieved! 😂 He hopped, jumped and ran around all proud of himself! It was cute!
This evening we have decided that tomorrow evening we will allow the chicks to access the area under their coop! They are growing so quickly, we think they are big enough to safely be under the coop and not be able to escape! So tomorrow is the day! Their first taste of some freedom! 🐔🐓
This morning I opened the chicken coop door to be greeted, well bombarded by a dozen now feathered, flapping, hopping chicks that are apparently ready to see the world beyond their four walls!
I am just not sure the world is quite ready for them! Soon, very soon my little feathered future egg layers! Once they can no longer fit through the fencing under the coop, they will then be able to access it. Once grown and strong, they will be free ranging! But until then, no escapees are permitted or the cats will have a nice chicken dinner!!!
The coop made from all scrap materials! Love projects like this!
Bentley is still outside! He refused to come back in this morning! He only pulls this stunt with me! I am so grateful…..complete sarcasm! 😏 Yeti is right beside of me, helping me out with this blogging endeavor!
Rain is in the forcast for today, so I am going outside to join my uncooperative, antagonistic dog and get some mowing done! He is in fact a very loyal dog and will follow along with each pass of the tractor or anything else you are doing outside, even if you do not want him to! So, annoying, yet very loyal lol! There are times I have to remind myself that someday I will dearly miss him, but overall, he is a pretty good dog! Especially since he wasn’t even supposed to be ours! Yet 5 years later, here we are and here he is! Annoying but a keeper! 😉
….and mowing did not go as planned! I thought it looked bad where I had mowed, Bentley, would not get out of my way, yet would still not come back in the house (until the thunder rolled in!) so I gave up! I have now learned that my sweetheart raised the deck when mowing the fields around our home and forgot to lower it back!!! Ahhh haaa! That explains it looking so bad! Which is good because all I was thinking was how much money we are paying for this sub compact garden tractor we just got and longing for my push mower that at least made our yard look nice! And trust me, mowing all we do with a push mower and the way it rains, the fact that I missed it at all, says a lot!!! Now it’s storming so mowing will have to wait for another dry day and the lowering of the deck! 😏
She is a major upgrade to the push mower….now that I know the problem and am yet again happy with “her”. 😂
Ran to TSC this evening. The chickens have outgrown the chick feeder and graduated to a much bigger one! They were standoffish attempting to figure out if this foreign object was friendly or a galvanized monster to fear! 😂
Went and helped a friend out, babe got some stuff ready for the hay field tomorrow and now our day is coming to an end.
You know, you wake up in a rush to unexpected events! You quickly clean up and dress yourself and realize at a later time, YOUR UNDERWEAR ARE ON INSIDE OUT! 😂 Yes, this is me today!
It is headed for noon and I’d like to say that things have calmed into a relaxing Sunday but instead, I literally just got the text, “mowing hay Tuesday”! Which means we are now moving stuff that requires the big John Deere 🚜 here at the house before taking it down to the hay fields later today. The trip one way is about 45 minutes!!! We have the pleasure of mowing hay with 1 of my nephews on the farm that was once my Great Aunt & Uncle’s large, beautiful dairy farm, long ago. I spent a lot of time there as a child and love the opportunity going back though it is no longer in the family. Wonderful memories! ❤
We also ran today to pick up the beautiful painting I won in a raffle yesterday at the Almost Heaven BBQ Bash at Stonewall! I was so thrilled to get the call that I’d won! It is absolutely beautiful work and couldn’t be more perfect! I love it! I am so grateful! 🐮
I am also filling up a big inflatable pool as I am typing this ! It will be nice after a long hot day! Well, once the water heats up that is! Well water is super cold, so we’ll wait to enjoy it once the sun works its magic! 🌞 (we tried a large 22 foot above ground pool last year! It didn’t stay the entire season lol! This is just perfect and quite manageable!)
We got the John Deere to its destination! An hour and 10 minutes! Top speed of 15 MPH, average of 13 MPH! He drove the tractor and I hung back in our vehicle with the flashers going. People are so impatient! That’s all I’ll say about that subject!
Grabbed some Taco Bell on the way home and relaxing for a bit now! I think as of today, we have decided that Sunday will be used as it is intended! A day of rest! Unless some emergency comes up! A big home cooked meal, instead of on the fly fast food and a day to visit family. ❤ Which we do a lot of both, but to have Sunday set aside will be something to look forward to.
Babe got some of the garden tilled. I watered plants and blogged a bit here and there. I kept a few heirloom tomato plants for my raised garden by the house and they are doing fantastic! I love my little bed! Going to expand it! 🌻🌱
This morning we headed to Roanoke, WV to the Stonewall Jackson Resort for the Almost Heaven BBQ Bash!!! Words just are not enough, sooooo………😱
Deep fried Oreo’s, shark bites, fried shrimp and pulled pork fries! The smokey smell that filled the air from all of that meat was simply amazing! The park itself was beautiful and combining that beauty with that smokey, sweet smell, why yes, “Almost Heaven” ❤ If you didn’t have an appetite before you arrived, I assure you that quickly changed!
It has been a beautiful day! ❤
Now that we are back to the farm, there’s a few things needing done. Here we were trying to get the chute in to place! Behind the chute is also another tractor trying to assist in conquering this mud pit! June and we still have this much mud in front of our barns which also happens to lead to our roads to get upon the hill! We have some drastic changes we are planning to make things much easier and efficient! Hopefully by Fall!!!
Bentley made a flying leap & ended up taking a very unanticipated “swim” in the mud/poo! Thank God he loves to play in the creek!