Saturday, December 26, 2009

another rut.

My little sister caitlyn is sick again. A trip to the ER. more later.

Friday, December 18, 2009

To be continued...

in the morning.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Christmas List

1. This dreary oregon weather will miraculously clear and my cows will birth with no complications. Then I will wake up on Christmas morn and there will be a blanket of snow. I can hope right.

2. A red peacoat. What could be better?!

3. MadGab. "Eye mull of mush sheen" This would be so amazing to play with some camp friends!

4. New scarves, you can never have too many and I don't have enough.

5. Dozens upon dozens of tamales will make themselves! And I won't have to.

Mostly I just want a peacoat. I could think of some pretty handy things I could use this year like walky talkies for on the farm, but they aren't must haves. And I really want the feasting process to go just as smoothly as Thanksgiving did.

I don't think I did mention Thanksgiving, so now I will. It started about 2 days early for my family. There was lots of food to be cooked and one very small 1960's stepford housewife kitchen. We had no choice but to start early. Glutenous pies were baked the night before, that I slaved over past midnight. Stuffing was mixed minus the eggs and ready to go. Every vegetable was cut and put into a container for each part of the meal. The whole meal was planned and simple to put together day of. Never in my life do I recall a Thanksgiving meal going so smoothly. Although, I'm sure it had something to do with four adult women working together in the kitchen. It was the best ever.

Which reminds me, I need to figure out the meal plan for the holidays!

Monday, December 14, 2009

To wrap it all up

The last ten days have been hell-FREEZING OVER. I'm utterly and completely serious, 40 degrees has never felt so amazing.

The ground got hard and cold, and the air was so frigid. Our hoses started freezing, since we didn't do any sort of freeze protection which meant we had to haul water to the back and front pasture. We had to haul water for 8 head of cattle, 4 goats, 2 turkeys, 5 rabbits, 2 geese, 21 laying hens, and 7 ducks. It was...interesting.

As the ground froze it got easier to navigate the previously mudded pastures, but the air became so hard to breathe. This past Wednesday I started feeling run down, my throat sore, congested, etc. This morning I woke up and it's hard to swallow food and water. LAME! I have been downing tea with lemon, ginger, and honey like you wouldn't believe.

We tried thawing out the hoses with space heaters, and letting water run so they wouldn't freeze. Well letting the water run should have worked, but then our well froze. I am not kidding. We had the well pump replaced about a month ago, but the company who did cut off all the insulation that had been there. We didn't realize that, so one of the many nights it got down to the teens our water froze. We called the company and they came out to thaw it. After that we re-insulated the pipes. Basically the water problem has just been one big fiasco.

At one point we were pulling water from the spicket inside the garage that the washer and dryer is hooked up to since it was the only spicket that didn't freeze.

So much for writing everyday huh? I'll try to get diligent about it.

On the upside:

We got lights on the tree inside, we got some icicile lights up in the windows, and will be making potato latkes this weeks. They are the best thing about our Christmas/Hannukah festivities. Actually food in general is. I love the holidays and cooking. When I retire someday, I might actually consider some avenue in which cooking is heavily involved.

To Do List:
  • put ornaments on the inside tree
  • make popocorn garland strand for the birds for outside. This is something we do every year. We string together fresh cranberries and plain popcorn on fishing line and then put up ornaments of pine cones/peanut butter/bird seed. I'm so excited since we have plenty of blue jays in the neighborhood.
  • put lights up on the outside of the house
  • begin the 2 day process of making tamales
  • the intense cooking that goes on. This year will include tamales, homemade davinity, tons of cookies, homemade eggnogg, crown roast(lamb), and so much more.
  • straighten up the house for a smallish family xmas party for this coming weekend=lights and the trees gotta be done by THURSDAY
  • put together a scrapbook page for a gift
  • loom knit at least 2 more scarves and a hat
  • get unsick!
Oh and along the way I have made plans to spend New Year's eve in San Jose with some family. My dad is picking up my sister from her mom(in Ukiah, California) this Thursday but he's a pansy and doesn't want to drive her back down because of the weather. So me and my honey will take her back, I get to see my aunt and we'll spend new years with his coolest cousins.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Joy Continued...

Wednesday Morn:
I have class in an hour, its 8 am, and I absolutely can't be late. You see, my WR 214 prof. put this lovely little addition to the grading of our final presentations. If we are late, she will dock points from our individual grade for the presentation. LAME!

I quickly changed out of my pajamas and dress(see previous post for an idea of this outfit). I chuck some hay into the wheelbarrow and grab a 5olb sack of grain and head towards the pasture. Once inside I must trudge-not walk-through mud about 6 inches high after freezing almost entirely towards the trough/hay rack. It's a way to burn calories in the freezing cold, let me tell ya. While in the pasture I do my normal round of checking for mucous on rear ends, enlarged/elongated nipples, softening of the vulva(the area on the outside), and bagging of milk. Anne checked out ok, nothing out of the norm. Penny and Pansy; same thing.

Ebony however; entirely different story. Her nipples are swollen, she's walking incredibly slow, and holding her tail as if she is trying to prevent the calf from coming out. I HAVE CLASS IN LESS THAN AN HOUR NOW! The world is not always so nice to us. I deliver the news and delegate to amazing sisters. I hightail it to WR 214, half an hour late to a 50 min. lecture so I can turn in the papter I worked so hard on. Was it worth it? Iuno.

From what I was told the calf was born around noon on December 2 in the mud that was icy. After my sisters getting stuck in the mud three different times carrying, what they didn't know was an 8o lb bull, calf out of pasture. They are amazing I must say.

When I got home all I had to do was deliver some colostrum to the calf, and halter mom. She's a pasture cow and hasn't had a halter on in about a year. We managed to get here tied up to the side of the barn and calm, with feed, hay, water, and her healthy baby bull.

Despite the physical exhaustion, frustration, and cram studying for next week's finals all is well on the farm. It's days like the past two that put joy back into the hardwork of tilling a garden, driving t-posts into the grown, getting shocked my hotwire, and landing ass backwards in mud. I don't mind how crazy it all seems, because I am a little crazy and I'm really enjoying this. Till next time!

Btw: His name is Buddy Holly, after a rock legend!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Joy On a Frosty Day

(Preface:I tried to post this last night but about halfway through typing my comp started acting crazy so this is it, well part of it. Hope you enjoy!)

For this post I am just going to recall the past 60 hours of my life.

Tuesday Night:
Its approximately 8 pm when my sister come in from smoking her cancer stick saying, "I need your help, the animals are freaking out!" Naturally, after 8 years of farm life I jump up and dress for the weather. Keep in mind that I put on a thermal, hoodie(that was so tastefully tucked into my sweatpants), one huge wool jacket that makes anyone look like a lumberjack, two pairs of sucks, and nasty cold muck boots that were left on the porch all in about 2 minutes. I banter out the door, grab the flashlight off the picnic table and head straight for the pasture gate.

After flashing the light, two bales of hay, and a few good loud whistles the cattle come bounding up from the back pasture. Cows, especially pregnant ones, when presented with food are generally happy unless in distress. Well they ate, A LOT! We thought that maybe there was a cow going into labor, not so much.

Just for good measure walked the pasture, in the dark(the beautiful full moon was covered by giant evergreens), with the smell of skunk in the air, our flashlight dying, up to 12 inches of mud in places, and potentially some wild animal terrorizing my livestock. Oh goody! There was no newly birthed calf laying on the ground and nothing we could see so we headed back inside after putting the goats in the barn.

I woke up late. Had to type a 1.5 page paper for my 9am class, got done doing so around 8. After peering out my window it dawned on me that my sister had not fed the cows. (this about where my comp started acting up.)

To be continued...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wow time flies.

It makes me a bit sad that I have not updated in 2 months and 2 days. I will try and start posting something everyday from here on out. I cant wait! Except that I have to since I am dying to have some fantastic chai tea. And no Elisa, it does not smell bad.

And I absolutely need to write more, my grammar is getting notorious.