We were warned by the weather man that a big snowstorm was moving in yesterday. When the flakes started falling, I left work and headed for home. The wind was fierce. I made it home with no problems other than slipping and sliding up our driveway. By the time Tim got home there was a white-out happening. He fed the cows and went to check on the chickens and found there were only 8 of them in the hen house. So we grabbed flashlights and I bundled up, and out we went to hunt for 5 missing hens. We found them huddled out of reach underneath the coop. Tim got a long pole and tried to scoot them out. They just went deeper. We sent Higgins under the coop to "herd" them out, but they were not budging. It was bitterly cold and the snow was blowing hard sideways. We knew if we didn't get them out of there and into the coop they would die. It took us about 30 minutes or so and we finally pulled the last one out and put her in the coop. This morning they were all still alive - praise God! We left them locked in the coop today just in case they go crazy again. Stupid chickens!
And speaking of stupid... I was so intent on helping Tim that I never even covered my head with my hood. So I was covered with snow and my hood was filled with it! Burrrr!!!!
I wrote this a while back but never posted it. So here goes!
Well, it's been 6 weeks while since Tim's Alaska trip and my back problem. We learned that Tim had a bad MCL sprain and narrowly avoided surgery. The Orthopedic surgeon has released him with the option to begin physical therapy if things are not greatly improved in 6 weeks. And his knee is doing much better now. He did get an awful infection in it - not relate to the MCL injury - and spent the Thanksgiving holiday in the hospital. My back is much better too. I am still seeing my chiropractor every two weeks or so to keep me in line. It really does make a difference in how I feel.
We finally made it to Costco and restocked the pantry with coffee and other "essentials", and because of our "joint mishaps" I now have a housekeeper! Praising God LOUDLY - (can you hear me?)! A young woman from our church comes over once a week and cleans the bathrooms and does all the floors -vac and mop as needed. I cannot tell you how much this means to me. We have talked about it for years but never thought we could afford it, or worried about a stranger with the dogs, etc. Stephanie was instantly loved by all. Us AND the dogs. What a huge blessing. Praise God for all things.
My art is ramping up and I would like to write about it occasionally but I haven't figured out how to post it under the DB Art tab. I think it can be done but don't know really.
The yard and garden are a mess since the injuries occurred at the time when we needed to pull, cut, and till. The tomato plants were still standing a few weeks ago and we gave the chickens free access several days in a row. We've had enough rain that the pasture is lush and green again and Tim is rotating the girls on a regular basis. Soon it will be too cold and the grass will stop growing. But for now it helps keep the girls happy.
Never a dull moment at the farm, but we are dang blessed!
Tim went to Alaska on a much anticipated fishing trip with his boss, Mike, and the rest of the crew. Also, Mike's friend, Dan went along. Tim spent a small fortune on waders, boots, and fishing gear.
Everyone was flying up at different times so all of the crew wouldn't be gone when the business was open. Tim's trip started off badly. They cancelled his flight, put him on a later flight thus causing him to miss his connecting flight. He ended up having to stay the night in Seattle and fly out in the morning. Since he had a firearm in his checked luggage, he had to declare that and have TSA inspect his bag. This was in Portland, OR. The agent either just plain hated people, or she didn't know what she was doing. She was VERY rude to Tim, took his huge suitcase and DUMPED the whole thing out. ( This never happened to any of the other guys, by the way. Nor did it happen to any of them last year when they went to Alaska.)
Anyway, things really did not improve after that. When he finally got to Alaska on Saturday he tried to put the bad stuff behind him and do some fishing. He caught his first steelhead salmon and was looking forward to a great time. On Sunday he was injured. Dan called to him asking him to grab the net and help him land a fish. Tim grabbed the net and took off to where Dan was standing. He was climbing down the bank when the bank gave way under him and he slid down with his right leg twisted and pinned underneath his body. He spent the rest of his trip in the cabin in much pain. Mike took him to the emergency room and they told him he tore the cartilage in his knee and to see his doctor as soon as he got home. He flew home on several difficult flights, on Tuesday night.
I took him to his regular doctor on Wednesday and he referred him to an Orthopedic surgeon. (He will see him tomorrow at 9:30am.)
Thursday morning before work, my back went out. I was standing at my dresser putting on my earrings when I reached for something and BAM - shooting pain in my lower back. I couldn't get into the chiropractor until Friday. Work was miserable. I still had to work, feed cows, chickens, and dogs. Tim cannot get his socks on or off and now I cannot help him. The first time I bent down to help him, my newly adjusted back went out again. **sigh**
Today is Sunday. Exactly a week since the accident, and he is in pain and limited in what he can do. We had a real challenge trying to take the kitchen garbage out. But we have found the humor in our situation. We have quickly learned how to be creative in all things! I plan to work somehow tomorrow and go to the chiro at 4:10. I'm sure God will show me how to do what He wants me to do.
This has been an interesting lesson in preparedness. We have canned food stored in our basement "Pantry", but we are on our last 2 pounds of coffee. We have a freezer full of beef, almonds, and blueberries, but we're out of fresh food. During my lunch hour on Friday I was able to buy bread and milk. But what will happen if these issues linger long? The chickens feeder will need to be refilled soon and the only way I can do it is to use a scoop/can and refill it one scoop at a time. So far I'm doing ok with the cows because the hay is close to the manger and I can use the bales that are above floor level. However, I have not checked their water trough. It fills automatically so it's probably (hopefully) ok for now.
Of course there will be no barn mucking in the foreseeable future. And winter is coming. Praise God we have enough hay to get us by for a while. The chicken coop will be easier to deal with than the barn, but at this point it too is an impossibility.
So, another lesson in farming has hit us head on. Let us hope we learn something from it.
Last night Tim went fishing with a friend right after work. I actually had plans of my own, unbeknownst to him, so it all worked out fine! So I wrote this little poem for him and gave it to him tonight. He loved it. :)
Last week we called in the mobile slaughter company and had two of our heifers sent to the butcher. They came very early in the morning as I was getting ready for work Tim was outside waiting for them and I kept the dogs inside with me.
I was quite worried that I might freak out about the whole thing, but I just reminded myself that this is the reason we started this little farm in the first place. Home grown grass fed beef. This is the reason for all of our hard work and expense. And then I did fine. I did not go outside, so I never heard or saw anything which is the way it needed to be. So now we wait for the butcher to call in a couple of weeks and then we go into town and pick up our meat.
The real test will be if I can eat it! I don't think it will be a problem because somehow I seem to have separated the cows from the whole process. Mind games :)
We were also blessed to have buyers for more meat than we had. We ended up selling part of what we were going to keep so our friend Laura could get some beef. Tim's boss bought a whole beef for his family.
When we decided to sell grass fed beef we were concerned that people might not like it or might not understand how different it is from grain fed. We decided to supply each of our first time buyers with a cookbook called "Free Range Farm Girl" for grass fed. Hopefully it will help them cook great steaks!
We kept Mama and Norma, and we will probably have Mama bred so we will have another baby in the spring. I didn't want to over-winter cows again because the mud was so horrible last year. But Tim really wants to do it, so here we go again!
Going through this whole process has made me think about all the farmers past that didn't have the luxury of a mobile slaughter man to do the dirty work. Farmers past (and probably many today) have to kill and butcher the animals they raised.