Big Storm Warning All Week- Didn’t even get a Snow Fart

For over a week I have heard this big build up of snow coming. Three storms each worse than the first. The first one gave us five inches, second one flurries and the third- not even so much as a snow fart!

It is bad enough to have a sinus cold, but to have to hurry around because a “foot of snow is coming!”is worse. I could write a book based on one week of this farm living. Because the sky was falling yesterday I came home to the hubby putting up hay early. I just poured myself a cup of coffee and swallowed a decongestant tablet when he came in and told me to get dressed, we had cows out. Great, cows. Put that right up there with the weather forecaster. It was one cow, not plural, and she was happily chewing on the neighbor’s bank far from the main road.

Stepping out of our tiny ranch house, I saw my daughter coming down the road.  I snagged her and a bucket of grain. We hurried to put the cows back in while the hubby disappeared.

Panda, is the name of the cow creating havoc we faced off. She and Number 2 are professional escape artist. If there is a weak spot in a fence line all I need is to put a cam-helm on her head and she will locate every spot! One look at that tasty bucket rattling around and Panda forgot all about the sparse grass. She was back in before the hubby showed up with a round bale. Coming to get me when I’m sick and then disappearing to leave me figure out how to get the animal back in made for a cranky conversation.

Driving along the fence line on the Goodwin Hill roadside, it did not take me long discover Houdini’s escape route. With this big snowstorm coming of course she had to tear out nearly the entire bottom line. I told my  daughter I was going to round up the tools and wire. As soon as she and my little brother could get the feeding done she was to join us. I called Mom, hoping my other brother was there. I snagged two unwilling volunteers.

There was no time for nursing misery. Once Panda found a spot she would take the whole herd through. I chose the hubby’s car with Mom in mind. I did not need a frozen Momsicle, but, the more hands the merrier.

clouds30

With pretty views like this floating in the background and the temperature above freezing we started mending. I had put cotton in my ears so I’m sure everyone was talking louder than I thought. There was a lot of multi-flora rose and honeysuckle to be cut out of the way to run the new line. T-posts were pounded in to tighten the old rusted lines. My daughter and the hubby showed up and we spent hours trying to get the line fixed. The company was pleasant once the hubby quit whining.

Finally I had to go to work. If you have no idea what it is like to be locked up in a fifty-foot sardine can with a group of half-civilized loud children I suggest you try it sometime. Mine are fairly well-behaved as they know I’ll stop smack in the middle of the road and won’t budge until the mischief stops. In the worst case scenario I have many of the parent’s phone numbers- gotta love kryptonite!

After all this I ran up to the bank so I could go to the neighbor’s and pick up these little guys. Our first piggies!

PIGS

Mo in the back, Larry is laughing and Curly is in front.

Man, do they squeal when you pick them up! The hubby put his back out and was sulking in his office when he heard our new additions go squealing past. There was no sneaking these little guys in, even with the neighbor’s help. Squeeeeeee Squuueeeee Squuu-squeeee the three little pigs snitched on me!Somehow I forgot to tell the better half I was bringing something new home. Oh, well. It’s been a week since I seen that hairy-eyed half-pissed look anyway. lol

So after I got them settled in, got pictures and took care of an issue with a renter I plunked myself in the chair at seven-thirty. The phone rang and it was Mom and my daughter needing a ride to the store because Mom’s front wheel axle finally bit the big one on their way down the hill. Mom parked under the carport and needed assistance.  Yah, the day is never going to end.

Sinus and Colds just in time for Spring Gardening

If there is one thing I hate- being is sick it. Driving school bus it is inevitable. With hubby out of work we have no insurance so off to the internet to find herbal back-up. On my website I know I put some stuff and on pinterest I cached a pile of knowledge. You can check it out with me at CynthiaQueen.com One of my favorite things to use is local grown honey. From what I have read the local bees collect pollen from local flowers and it helps give people a bit of an immune boost to plants that might otherwise give them grief.

I like to take the honey, add lemon, fresh ginger and hot water . It makes a nice tea to drink. Instead of throwing away the peels I boil them up with more ginger, orange peels and lemon grass. The hard part for me is spending ten minutes of trying to sit patiently while my sinuses enjoy a soothing steam bath. I do not sit idle very long so ten minutes is about all I can endure. I’m worse when I’m sick. Vitamin C is suppose to aid the process so I doubled my daily vitamins. I have gotten hooked on those gummy vitamins. I’m sure somebody will tell me they are full of chemicals someday, but, my nails have been stronger lately and they do not upset my stomach as much. Each to his own on the vitamin theory.

Truly, the main thing I have found about being sick is to not stop doing your daily activities, even if all you can do is sit up and watch TV because you are in a fevered delirium. I have kept myself away from the family because if they get sick it would not be good. With this winter weather I put cotton in my ears, dashed in and out and bundle up like an Eskimo. Getting chilled is a bad thing, but, the animals do not stop eating.

A doctor once told me in order to keep coughing to a minimum keep a candy or cough drop in my mouth as soon as I feel irritated. Babies with whooping cough were dropper fed liquid with the idea that people can not swallow and cough at the same time. It works for me.

I do not like putting chemical medicines into my body, but, when the natural way fails after ten days I’ll bite the bullet and go for the doctor because bronchitis and pneumonia are not worth being stubborn. The truly last thing I want to do is be in the hospital around such wonderful germs as staff infection and serious flu viruses. I want to put myself in a “marshmallow” hazmat suit whenever I visit these places then spray heavily with Lysol before taking off the suit.

Moya, Maya, Junezia, and April already to go for a walk.
Moya, Maya, Junezia, and April already to go for a walk.

Even when I’m sick, how could I possibly say “No walkie today,” to these adorable faces. The Irish wolfhound, Moya, is socializing with our girls today. My niece often brings her to visit.

If you are reading this and have a cold- may you feel better soon. Hang in there and find what works for you.

Trying to Get Focused

One of the predominate themes of building a blog is to have a skill you can share with others. Picking a focus is something I think I may find difficult as I have many interests. My top priority is the sale and promotion of my books, for example, while my secondary is the sharing of knowledge hands on with homesteading. Hopefully, God willing, this will also be a place to share products with the public once we get started in this endeavor.

A second recommendation is to post… post… post. Sigh. Apparently blogging is more for people who are stuck in apartments with no cows to haze out of the neighbor’s yard, furnaces to fix on rentals or buildings to build.

A third idea I came up with is to categorize my posts by interests. Frankly, I love to share my little short stories just for fun under Farm Tales.  When I finally get up enough nerve to do book signings I can post locations under My Writing.

A fourth recommendation was to be linked into your own website, pinterest, facebook, twitter, and others. The idea is to criss-cross as many connections as possible. Something called “web-crawlers” are out there weaving and knitting the internet together for fast connections.

A fifth idea was to put your website links, blog links, etc… in your emails and facebook posts. Personally, I’m not spamming anyone, but, if friends will share the info cynthiaqueen.com will start getting out there.

I am pretty sure everyone has read this stuff before, but if not, glad to help. I’m still trying to remember to go to the Snippet Editor, add Focus keywords, make the blog 300-500 words long, categorize the post,  and keep tinkering with the tools and settings.  Sounds like a whole lot of nagging just to tell people, “Hey, you want to read something really funny, buy this book. You’ll laugh your socks off.”

I still think a billboard on Route 79 would be more effective and less hassle. The hubby says we can’t afford it and, personally, I would feel a bit self-conscious being twenty-foot tall wearing a ball cap, a purple plaid shirt and my pink bib-coveralls. You really don’t think I’m getting in a dress for a billboard advertisement do you? I got work too much work to do for all that fluff-n-stuff. Happy Trails.

 

March Madness

Okay, yesterday, I was walking around in a T-shirt and examining the three clusters of frog eggs in the old bathtub catching the runoff of a spring. We are preparing to fix the pond before it blows out. We were all without our coats. This morning I awake to five inches of snow! Snowstorm Reggie they are calling it; with two more snowstorms behind? For someone farming this is definitely maddening weather. The daffodils were starting to bloom. Wonder if this will kill off the flowers?

Unusually high temperatures for March has everything growing.
Frog eggs in the old bathtub might be too early.
beehive
A wasp nest gets a snow cap.
Clouds
Beautiful cloud formations are one of my favorite things about country living.

 

The day before I spent three hours on the tractor fixing the drainage pipe from flood damage. I scraped accumulated piles of old hay and manure into mounds for the upcoming garden. To make gardening easier for Mom we are planning a u-shaped raised bed with some chicken wire around it so the cats and woodchucks stay out of her hard work. This should be a fun family project. I’ll make a note here to add band-aids and medical gauze and be sure the car is fueled up. When I hear one of my brothers say “oopsie” it will be time to grab the car keys and get some stitches into whatever appendage they tried to cut off.

After some difficulty, the bull is finally in the pen with the main herd. Now we need to bring the whole group together, then push the smallest and weakest of the herd into a different pasture. About ten on one side and fourteen on the other should keep balance. This will keep them from fighting so much at the hay bales. Fruit-loops has a huge set of horns and she is pretty good at keeping others at bay while she eats.

Once fall gets here only the heifers and the bull will be kept. About nine animals, total, plus my four babies I bottle fed from last year. One of these is Angel, who is remaining a small cow. I am wondering if she might be mini-jersey mixed with Holstein. Either way, we will want to keep the two future milk cows close by so we can keep them tamed down. Handling the calves feet and rubbing your hands under their bellies will limit the number of times you get kicked while trying to milk them later on.

We are getting excited for three new foals due to arrive anytime. With a possible foot of snow on the way, I am going to lay a bet when they arrive. Suppose to be here come this Tuesday by the way the weather man talks. Not sure if I can believe him or not. I wish I could be wrong as many times as the weather man and still get paid.

My mother and brothers are  settling into their new home fairly well. There is always minor adjustments. We have not lived this close since I was sixteen. We appreciate not being under the same roof. Love my family, but, I definitely need my space.

The Hubby has yet to find work. He is going for his CDL, ironically.  I have mine. The hubby swore he would never drive all over the place. If the cattle prices do not go up by this fall we will not even break even on this endeavor either. It is sad, in reality, farming is truly more for psychotherapy then being able to support yourself. I am a builder. While enclosed in the walls of an apartment I felt like a trapped rat. With the freedom to build my garden, put up a rock wall, fix a drainpipe, chase a cow, ride a horse or just look up at a star filled night I find peace and contentment. The idea of ever having my walls attached to a stranger’s walls would now send me into a claustrophobic fit.

Speaking of fits, I am getting ready for the flea-market sales idea and pitching my books there. This idea is not something I look forward to. I am definitely a recluse and being in public, dickering prices, is very much out of my comfort zone. It will be necessary, though, to take the farm to the next step, which is to find a business the family can do at home to generate income. This, the building of the in-ground green house, the root cellar and fixing the ponds will be enough to keep us all busy with future homesteading projects. Will post as we go.