Category Archives: Holidays

Colder weather

As the temps dropped this morning, I realized that I could give you all some good advise and suggestions.

Do you have a farmer or other person who works outside in your life? Do you struggle to find good gifts for them?

I’m a firm believer in giving gifts of use. For the farmer who is an active researcher and reader, a new book available for beef, poultry, or other meat animal production might be a great option. Same goes for anything soils, crops or amendments.

Then there are the things that farmers can never have enough of. We usually destroy our wearable goods before most others would. Zippers break and pockets rip. Insulated bibs, jackets and long johns are always useful in winter months, as are boots.

One item that never lasts long is gloves! I can’t seem to find any that last longer than a month. Same thing for heavy insulated socks.

Heavy hooded sweatshirts are always handy to have too. They work great for layering. Good turtlenecks save wearing scarves that can catch on all kinds of crap.

Insulated coffee mugs and thermos items are a must for us too. If it keeps liquids hot….we LOVE them!

For the farmer or farm wife that loves to cook…those crock pot and thirty minute recipe books are always good to have too. Try to find ones that a person working 12-18 hours a day could use.

Other good things are boot jacks and boot scrubs.

Hope these help you with your shopping issues this holiday season, including our own families. We really aren’t that hard to buy for as long as you keep our daily basic needs in mind.

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A Growing Christmas Tree

I have to say…it isn’t gifts or spending time around my crazy family this holiday season that has me all excited like a kid on Christmas morning!

IT’S MY GROWING FRESH CUT CHRISTMAS TREE!

I have looked all over online to see if this is something normal…with ZERO results.

We cut our tree down on December 1st. It’s one of the trees that Mr. Farmer and his two children planted about twenty years ago…or maybe the offspring from one of them anyway. On the first, we had a couple of visitors from the NYC area come up to pick out a couple of trees to take back. While we were assisting them, we figured…hey, might as well cut our own. Makes sense right?

Mr. Farmer did the hard work (sarcastic) and cut the tree down. We loaded in the back of the pickup and drove down of the hill. I trimmed it up within an hour or so and got it standing in our living room. It was a little too tall (aren’t they always?) so I trimmed the top spire down to fit my angel, strung the lights and gave it some cold water.

I have to admit…it sat here for almost two weeks with nothing but a couple strings of lights and some additional pine cones wired on. I check the water daily and when it calls for a drink, I have been adding a little warm water. I finally rolled around to getting some ornaments on it last Friday. Not many of them but just enough to make it look like a Christmas tree.

Everything has been going just fine, typical and normal until last night. I came out of the bedroom door (the tree is straight ahead and maybe six foot away) I noticed these white looking “bumps”. After turning on the lights, I thought I was seeing things. At first, I thought we had some type of bug growing all over on the branches. After getting the flashlight and my glasses….to my astonished surprise here’s what I see.

Not a bug afterall
Not a bug afterall

Can you believe that? The tree is LOADED with them. Nearly every branch looks like this:

Look at all those!
Look at all those!

In all my years, not on my tree or others I have seen, have grown pine cones once cut! If anyone has any idea on how I did this…PLEASE comment and let me know. I have done several internet searches to try to debunk this fluke of nature…with no results.

One awesome thing….I think I have the coolest Christmas tree EVER!

Restless Minds

There are just too many things to worry about tonight. It’s now 1:37 am on Christmas Eve.

I have done ZERO shopping, just had one of the worst days of my life and lost one of my girls. Not even Xanax has a cure for what ails me tonight.

I keep thinking and seriously second guessing myself every step of the way. My Scarlett girl has made me triple guess myself. I am slowly dying on the inside, swirling around inside my over stuffed brain, trying to figure out what to do.

As a small farmer, I took a huge hit today. Not just in a vet bill or emotionally either. I have been hit in planning. These three young heifers were suppose to be the next additions to my milking herd. And now I am down one of them….one that was going to be an important part of that plan.

Farming is always a huge risk. I try to reduce as many risks as possible. I keep barns clean, feed good food, make sure there is always lots of fresh water….but most people don’t realize what kinds of investments we small farmers put into time and energy to ensure our stock stays healthy and happy.

Some people say that livestock are not pets, that we shouldn’t befriend them…well critics be damned! I know all of the cows, calves, bulls and steers names. I know their personalities. I know what foods they like and don’t. I can almost map their days out on timeline sheets better than I can my own. I know when they are tense, scared, nervous or not feeling well. I know my cows better than I know myself!

After yesterdays incident, I keep asking over and over, and over some more…how could I have gone so wrong? I need this answer. I need to know this for future reference…Her death will not be in vain!

Farming is about always learning. Learning the hows, the ways and the whens. Everyday presents itself with new challenges (which sometimes do not turn out for the better, no matter how hard we work and pray for a good outcome), new ideas and sometimes even new practices. To me, all of these questions and concerns have GOT to have the cows interest, welfare and happiness as the main priority.

The Holidays don’t change the day to day operations, the wandering minds or the worry. Yes, we may sit down to a large meal with more family than usual and escape some of our harsh realities, but for the most part…it is just another day around the farm.

I really need some sleep…still need to do my shopping for Mr. Farmer and I still have no idea what to get. Later is a trip to the local feed store, time to move a couple more bales and somewhere in there..fit in time to go to “town” to pick him up something.  Life never seems to slow down!