Sunday, January 30, 2011

End of the week...and the month

Let's see...what's been happening around the homestead here lately?
Lots of nothing, and lots of stuff. Usual stuff, really.

Dewey headed over to Atlanta And will be there thru the end of February it seems. After that, it looks like Indianapolis until at least Thanksgiving.  We are looking all over for something closer to home. We need him home, not having to go everywhere but home for work. He's missing too much being gone.  I don't imagine things will get better, so we just do what we have to do.

We used the tractor to handle a hay bale into the cow yard. I want a hay fork. No...I *need* a hay fork. Want isn't even part of it.  Man-handling hay bales is not very practical when just about every where they need to be is uphill :( 
Not that a hay fork will help much right now...I, um, ran the tractor out of gas. No big deal I figured, but apparently you just aren't to run a diesel out. So, sitting in the middle of the backyard, next to a hay bale, is a dead-on-the-ground 1969 Ford tractor :(  Vapor locked or some such is what I'm told. Sheesh Louise single momma farming is a hassle.

We had a great snow here. Lasted a full week with 8 inches on the ground. It was great.  The children played outsider from day break to sun set every day, coming in just long enough to dry out before heading straight back out.  The bad part was the melting that follows. The road up here was miserable. There's very little stone on our road as it is, and with the neighbor pulling his semi up every week, the garbage truck rutting up the lane's been a mess to say the least.  I'll have to make some calls and twist some road crew tails I guess. I'd like a road back here.

Jennifer has started "working" with the Vet. She's just a volunteer, tending the animals, cleaning and sterilizing the cages and tools, filling out records, and of course, cleaning the kennels :)  It will be a great experience for her. He wants her to get involved with everything up there. Said his best learning came from shadowing another Vet and just asking a lot of questions and watching. Book learning is a good thing, and obviously necessary for learning, but plain old common sense is a huge bonus. Even if she does nothing with this line of work, it's good practical work experience and you know, it's hard to go wrong working for the local sheriff :)

Hmmm....what else? No more goat babies yet. So far just Jeremiah and Eve. They are playing with the rest of the herd and growing like weeds. They are almost a month old now.  We have plenty of things to do for spring around the goat pen...clean up, clearing the barn and freshening the bedding, building a lean-to in the back pasture for shade and such this summer, working more fencing and so forth. Always something.

I'm hoping to get a friend in here with his backhoe and equipment and get some things cleared away. I'd like to get an area cleared and worked for a garden, but it's getting terribly late for this year. Right now the ground is so soft and mud is everywhere, there's definitely no way it will be done too soon :( 

We are planning a new chicken coop, with a fenced run out both sides, so we can set up layers and run a couple batches of meat birds.  We've also been talking about another barn. Ours is old -ancient probably fits better- and it's in a low area so water and mud is a constant problem. The back side of the main pasture section is higher ground. If we could get Dewey here long enough to put up the 'skeleton' and a roof, Jennifer Matt and I could get the rest put up. A roof section would gives us shade and some protection over summer, buying us time to finish through before winter again. We'll see. There's always a plan tumbling around.

Another plan working here is this year's big pantry stock up. Last February we spent around $1500, between a 6 month menu plan and stocking a good year in staples. This year no one expects it to be that 'cheap' but I'm hoping to get a decent price. Food costs have already gone up a great deal on basics and staples, with rice and wheat, sugar and sweeteners, coffee...these have all gone up almost half of last years prices. I'm hoping to set in double the basic pantry stock and non-food supplies for around $2000 this year, but we'll see. I have a plan A list and a plan B list....the current availability and prices will determine which gets used.

Get your plans for 2011 laid out and start on stocking up. Start easy if you must, and lay up at least 3 months of your typical needs for food; livestock and/or pets. After that is set up, hit your debt hard this year. The only truly acceptable payments you have should be utilities. You stand to lose everything else you owe money on if your income is hurt.  There are changes coming for everyone, and if you follow even the government propaganda news machines you are hearing that. Stocking your pantry doesn't hurt you but losing an income or being priced out of food due to shortages will. It's just old fashioned common sense.


small farm girl said...

I'm farming by myself too. At least, for a few more weeks. It's not easy doing everything yourself. I feel for you. I also completely agree with you on stocking up. I need to get my storage place set up too.

Blessed Mom said...

Hey Lady!!

Sounds like you guys are rolling along as well! I totally agree on the stocking up! Praying that Dewey gets to come home soon!


Arla said...

I was wondering what you spent each month then with the year stock? I am interested in doing this for us, especially if I can save on our monthly grocery bill. I still have the list you posted on your menus and stock up from last year. Thank you for sharing with us.



Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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