Tag Archives: morning chores

It’s Cold Out There

Even though the temperatures are above freezing already this morning, at a whole 32 degrees…It sure hasn’t been that way for the past two or three days.

On Friday, we got hit with extremely high winds with some gusts over 40 mph and snow. I don’t mind the snow. I actually think it’s good to get some snow. Especially when the ground is already so saturated from all of this strange weather we have had this year. Buffalo, which is about a three hour drive from here, is 40 inches below their average snow fall accumulations for this season. We have had more rain than I can ever recall and there have been days in January that have days in the 40-50 degree marks.

January 13th, 2012

But on Saturday, the thermometer decided to plunge. It was 9 degrees out there when Mr. Farmer went out to do morning chores.

He had a few problems getting out little milking pump started but, everything else went alright. No frozen water lines, no cold animals and no sludge for oil like I had yesterday morning when I went out.

Sunday morning brought a headache, sore muscle and stress. One of our calves got cold stress. Cold stress in a calf is very dangerous. It is actually a form of hypothermia. The poor girl was our there shaking like a leaf in the breeze. She wouldn’t eat or drink. Having to bottle/force feed a five month old animal isn’t the easiest thing in the world. I didn’t want her to get dehydrated and I also know that giving her warm liquids is a good way to warm her up from the inside out.

After discovering that my girl was so cold. I decided to take a peek at the thermometer again. It turned out to be a big mistake when I pulled it up on my truck when I was headed to go pick up our weekly feed.

Just a little chilly out there

After the half hour feed trip, I had to work on getting the water lines unthawed. During all that, I had to keep checking on the heifer calf, making trips to the house to warm up blankets for her. Then the milker pump needed fixing. Mr. Farmer put on a different motor, cleaned it all up and warmed the oil (which turned out to be the only issue).

Then we cut firewood due to the fact that we were burning through lots of extra. All of those winds seemed to find yet more cracks in the walls of the house. At one point, the whole house was at 51 degrees. Thankfully, we didn’t have any frozen lines. We built a fire in the fireplace for added warmth but only ended up with temps around 60.

The chickens stayed nice and toasty inside of the chicken barn with their heat lamps. Believe it or not…they actually ALL laid an egg yesterday too. That was a whole boat load of eggs and more than my poor little bag could handle. I had eggs in my coat pockets, the front pouch on my hoodie and a couple in my hat along with the one’s in the bag as I raced hatless to the house! 45 eggs in total.

Old barn

My fingers and toes still hurt from frost bite but things are looking better for the time being. I guess that eventually, we will all pull through this and be alright. At least, I sure hope so. And here I was hoping for a better, even start to 2012. So far, everything has been full of severe swings of ups and downs…one positive thing, it has to get better from here!

Hope you are all staying warm and dry. God bless.

Christmas Eve 2011

It’s nearly 9 AM now. Morning chores seemed to drag. Might have something to do with my restless, three hours of sleep night I had last night…but the jury is still out on that one.

The battery is dead in my truck. The water was froze in the barn and in all of the animals dishes this morning….that slowed things down a bit!

Mr. Farmer is in taking a nap at the moment, buried under a pile of big warm blankets (that I made actually but can never seem to stay under long enough). Today is the first day of his winter break vacation. He doesn’t have to go back until after the 1st of the year. Too bad he doesn’t know it yet…but, freezing temperatures or not, we have lots of work to do around the farm. His vacation isn’t going to be much of a vacation.

I keep trying to think of something that would be the perfect gift for him this year. To date, I am drawing a complete blank. It’s almost amusing that I have just hours left and still nothing for him. I am usually so prepared and I have drawn him something. It is usually already wrapped and under the tree weeks ago! Ugg…Nothing seems to have gone right this holiday season!

Even my Christmas cards still sit here in a pile…all signed, sealed and ready for stamps. I just never made it to the post office! Something always happened and I could never seem to make it there.

I am sooooooo disappointed in myself this year. Half of the decorating I normally do didn’t get done. Nearly all of the baking has been put on the back burner…I did somehow manage to get a small batch of chocolate chip cookies made. No gingerbread, no fudge, no rum balls…good heavens I feel like such a slacker! I do have cheese though…and LOTS of it.

I still haven’t finished the gifts for my granddaughters either. Thank goodness we won’t see them until New Year’s Eve. But, that means that I am going to have to get my hands moving to get them done. Mr. Farmer keeps telling me if I wasn’t spending time on Twitter, Facebook and here, I would have more time. Too bad he doesn’t seem to understand that this is really my only connection with the outside world, discounting the guy at the feed store!

I live, eat and breathe this farm and our biomass business. I don’t have time to socialize evenings like other people do. Usually by 9 pm, I am so tired I can’t stand myself anymore. That is one of the biggest downfalls from having a farm and working from home. Everything is work, work, work and there is zero escape from it all. Everyday develops into a routine of coffee, chores, coffee and breakfast, work, lunch, more work, more chores, dinner, dishes, laundry and bed. It sounds rather uneventful and boring but that couldn’t be farther from the truth!

Everyday is full to the brim. If it isn’t, my mind starts whirling and I start getting into trouble…starting projects and not finishing, getting lazy and sitting around starring at the walls, watching the dust build on the furniture….there is no rest for the wicked. There is always something that needs to get done. My daily to do lists never get completely finished. There is always something that is left undone that will have to wait until tomorrow.

We, meaning farmers, do our best to set routines. To keep everything on a steady even timeline throughout the day, the week, the month and the year. Sometimes weather messes that up. Sometimes it just nonsense things that break and need repairing. But, all in all, there are times that specific jobs must be done. Cows must be milked on a regular schedule, which in turns means that they need feeding on a regular schedule. The chickens and turkeys are no different.

Maybe I just have severe OCD’s when it comes to the animals. Especially since my house looks like a bomb went off, especially the kitchen, and the barns are so clean. Yeah, you can’t tell where I spent most of my time, can ya? I am not domesticated. Mr. Farmer seems to think that I was raised in a barn. Maybe he’s right. I sure did spent a lot of time there when I was a kid. Maybe I am just more at home in the barn than I am inside the house. Cows don’t talk back.

Well, yeah they kind of do, but nothing that hurts your feelings like humans have a tendency to do. They don’t tell you when things go wrong that it is all your fault. They don’t belittle you for being who you are. They are kind of like dogs and usually happy to see you coming. They like their lovies too! I admit, I am a completely different person in that barn! Completely different! I am calm.

Calm is typically not in my vocabulary. I am a space case. I bounce around like a little mexican jumping bean. I am always on the go, always on the move…but you get me around those cows and life just changes for me. To me, being around them is compared to what others feel like sitting along a beach somewhere watching a sunset. It’s peaceful, inspiring and feels like God has reached down personally to touch my little spot in the world.

Speaking of God, this Christmas season has really made me evaluate what is really important to me. It all started over asking for a cowbell charm for my gift. I don’t think I am going to get it…but, it was definitely worth a try! It made me start thinking about what I want (again). I get my gifts of life everyday. I am blessed enough to be surrounded by so many things I love. My animals (not things but you get the point), the land that provides so much for us, beautiful views and wonderful talents (some of which I am still discovering). I am truly blessed with life in general. I am extremely far removed from where I thought I would be but that’s okay. Yes, there are things I miss and that I regret, people that I really wish I could see and some I would give anything to just be able to say “I love you” too.

This Christmas Eve, I am giving you all a present. It’s a bit of advise. It may sound ironic but truly it is important.

Live your life with the least amount of regret as possible. Forgive those that hurt you, sometimes those we love end up hurting us the most. Don’t be bitter or try to get even, just live to do what makes you happy. Find peace in the little things that surround you, even that small spring flower bud peaking through winter snow can lift a spirit, if only you allow it too. Stop being negative and search for the positive in everything.

And, last but definitely not the least, make sure you tell those who make an impact on your life, how you feel about them. Tell those you love, that you do love them. Hold nothing back and give it all, asking nothing in return. That is rare to find these days and you will definitely set yourself apart from the crowd.

That’s enough rambling thoughts from me for now…….Safe travels. Stay warm (or cool in warmer regions). Share your love with your family and friends. Have a blessed and Merry Christmas to all!