FARM JOURNAL Week of Dec 25, 2008 - Jan 1, 2009

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

During the time period of this week we will change years. How time flies when you are having fun. LOL

Anna, you will fit right in here. The people are wonderful. I was on it until we got totally out of even actively renting. When Jack went to be with JESUS I just kind of lost contact as I have nothing farmish left to contribute but a few banty chickens, a peacock, and some pigeons.

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Merry Christmas everyone!

EvaMae, you do fit right in here, you are one of the original farm forum people, and chickens are farm animals. How many appartment dwellers have chickens? Ha ha. Besides, you do know a bit about farming. Thanks for starting a new thread for us.

Anna, when Dave first started the DG site, there were only a handfull of forums. General discussion was the big one, and some of us who had migrated from another website wanted a farm forum, so we asked and he started it. We posted every day for a long time, then when there got to be so many other forums, our farm folks just drifted away. And now, here we are again. So, we might look newer (younger?) than we actually are.

Our Christmas dinner with our DS and DIL has been postponed due to illness, so maybe we will have it next week.

We have had some snow and stormy weather. Hubby had to replace the tractor battery after having to charge it two days in a row so he could plow the driveway and around the buildings were we need to walk to get firewood, feed animals, etc. Last night the wind blew the driveway full of snow between the snowbanks, so we can't get out until it is plowed, but I delivered all the plates of goodies to the neighbors yesterday, and we don't have to go anywhere. Today we have bright sunshine, the wind has diminished enough to not be moving any snow, and the temperature is almost up to freezing. Feeding the horses gave me a bit of a workout, but that's ok, I have eaten too many holiday goodies and needed a workout. I should get out my snowshoes and really take a walk.

Here is the picture we used on our Christmas letter this year. Hubby, Breezy and me.

Thumbnail by MaryE
Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Merry Christmas!
Presents are opened, food is consumed, nap is finished. Lazy day.

Daughter, SIL & kids are here. Step Son & MIL also. Small but loving family.

Warming trend here today, so we have a nice strong south wind. It is kicking up the snow & doing some drifting. South wind is always coldest in our house. 21ļ, but very cold with the wind.

I ordered my greenhouse tomato seeds from Johnny's. Tried to order pepper & tomato seeds from Totally Tomatoes but they have a flaw in their web site. I'll call them tomorrow morning. I use some many & fussy about varieties, I like to order early so they are not sold out. Already have a big box of flower seeds. Some from a co-op a while back & then Johnny's had some on closeout. I got a cauliflower from Johnny's on closeout that we weren't able to find last year. I bought 2000 seeds so I will have it for a few years. It's Phoenix & is the only good cauliflower we've had for a long time.

Bye for now,
Bernie

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I remember Breezy!! Do you still do endurance rides, Mary? Do you still have the other horses? I thought I remembered one getting up in years & another younger one coming into the picture. The younger one had a lot to learn if I remember correctly.

Is Nebraska Jewel still around? I sometimes see Kathleen on other threads.

Cranberry bread is in the countertop oven. I'm going to cook the sausage today even tho I think Kyle will want to smell it in the morning when he & his family come up for our traditional breakfast. I love it that he does that with me. He will have to rush tho so he can go do rounds quickly and be back for the family gathering later in the morning & our table(s) full of snack foods.

GOD bless and keep each of you.

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Yes, I still do the endurance rides. Breezy is 18 or 19 now and I retired him after he carried me over 6,000 miles of endurance trails. His replacement is Patch who has completed over 1,200 over 4 seasons. Finally, last year he seems to have settled down and is much more enjoyable to ride. I suppose that when we start again next spring he will have a relapse for a ride or two, hopefully not the whole season. He was never dangerous, just very excited and wanting to go a lot faster than I wanted him to go.

I have 2 other older pasture ornaments who do nothing but eat for a living. They have earned their retirement.

I haven't seen Nebraska_Jewel for at least a couple of years.

Ummmm, cranberry bread sounds so good.

Bernie, our house has a cold side too, the older side of the house. The new (15 years) side has better insulation.

Hubby is busy in the shop, assembling his new gas fired barbeque grill. Wow, what a lot of parts, nothing about it was pre assembled. Some assembly required, yeah, right. I hope to have more grilled meat this next summer than with the old briquette fired one which took more time to get ready and had to be used when it was ready and not necessarily in sinc with the rest of the meal.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

Thanks for the new thread, EvaMae. And yep, we're closing out one year and entering another on this one. Yay!

Mary, what a GREAT picture! That one is suitable for framing! 3 good souls full of spunk and spirit! Love it!

Bernie, I'm ordering seeds, too, a favorite (and easy!) part of farming, eh? Love it!

An easy-going day here, just the 3 of us but with several great phone call conversations with others. Seems to be "snack all day" here so not much cooking to be done! So warm here (67*)!. A nice walk in the woods did me justice!

Hope all ya'll had a great day!

Super best!
Shoe

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I got one of those Ron Popeil ShowTime rotisseries from the thrift store where I work. As an employee I get things for 1/2 of what they price it at the store. This was a terrific buy because it had never been used. Tomorrow I will use it for the first time. I have a chicken sitting a dry rub on it & will put some smoked Polish sausage in it to. I wonder if the sausage flavor will be absorbed by the chicken. I kind of hope so.

The birds are all locked up for the night so I don't have to go outside again.

GOD bless & keep each of you.

Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

A very Merry Christmas Everyone!

Leaflady, thanks for starting the new thread!

Hubby and I both worked yesterday and will again tomorrow.. So have been doing my cooking to take to family festivities in the evenings.. Baked potatoes Tuesday evening , Came home last night, I fed the cattle, broke ice on the pond, etc.. while Hubby carried in wood, got the wood stove fired up and started peeling potatoes.

This morning I mashed and restuffed twice baked potatoes and put a dab of cheese on top.. also made a fruit salad in there somewhere, then off to St. Louis to our Middle Daughter's for Christmas. She has a beautiful spacious home to entertain.. Our three daughters , Grandchildren and Son in Laws were all there.. It's been a while since I had gotten all of us in one picture..

Came home tonight put a chicken in the crock pot , so it will be done tomorrow night when we get home.. Will roll out noodles to dry. So I will have homemade chicken and noodle to take to a late Christmas celebration at my Sister's on Saturday.

I too miss NJ... I have tried to D mail her..

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I found an envelpoe yesterday with her address on it. I'll try snail mailing her. If they haven't moved maybe she will respond. I remember she & her siblings were going thru difficult times with her parents. I think they were having to sell the farm & got them moved either to town or an assisted living center.

I work up, not really hurting so thought I'd just get up and get started on the day. Of course this means I'll be really tired & need a nap as soon as all the children leave in the afternoon.

GOD bless & keep each of you.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Well, I cannot wait to go out this morning...........freezing rain adhered to all my south house windows. That trek to the calf barn with my 5 gallon pail full of hot water (because the hydrant in the calf barn is frozen; I have 10 calves down there. I am NOT a happy camper) and milk replacer mixed up for 5.............looks like I'll have to make a trip with the lime pail first. Of course, everything here is all downhill from the barn. That is, assuming I MAKE it to the barn. Oh, yes, of course I have to.............who else would milk those wretched beasts. I was hoping my Christmas gift would be an empty barn when I went out yesterday morning, but it was not to be.

I have started a pot of chili for our noon meal, when I get that going it's up to The Torture Chamber for me. We have a complete workout room upstairs; I call it the Torture Chamber. And since I missed my workout yesterday, I suppose I'd best go work off some of that junk I have been ingesting the last few days.

I'll let you know if I break a leg on the way to the calf barn. Hmmm.......no milking if I did that..............

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Good morning. The snow has a crust on it now from the sunny and just above freezing days we have had, and then down into the low teens overnight. Looking out across the pasture above the house, toward the east, I can see the swirls the wind made. One little peak in the yard looks like a whipped cream curly cue.

Our neighbor called last evening to see if we wanted him to plow our driveway, oh yes, please! Good neighbors are such a blessing. He has one of those v shaped plows on an old flatbed truck that he uses for feeding his sheep and cattle. Most winters he is able to keep our driveway open, but sometimes we need to call another neighbor who has an 8 ft wide snowblower mounted on a tractor. Last winter we even gave up on that solution for a while, parked the car and a 4wd pickup between the top of our driveway and the county road where shoveling would get them out, and let the driveway stay full for about 10 days. When the snow started to melt, we had it blown out again and that was the last time it needed it. Hope this winter is a bit kinder to us.

I need to get Patch's shoes pulled off, and have the other horses feet trimmed, something that I should have had done before it snowed. My farrier said it didn't make any difference to him if he worked on them in the snow, but I need to call him this morning and get him here while I can still open gates, and on a day when the driveway is clear.

EveMae, I hope you can get in touch with Jewel. I'm glad you kept the envelope and have her real name, hang on to that, because even if you can't reach her by snail mail, I remember that she worked in some government AG office, and you might be able to find her that way. Wasn't it her daughter who was very active in FFA and became a teacher? Lots of ways to find people.....

The sun just came up from behind the mountain. I love to watch the way the light changes the landscape as the sun rises and sets, and the pretty painting on the clouds.

Camilla, GA(Zone 8a)

Hi Everybody..

We grow produce consisting of Collards, turnips, & mustard (year round)..Also seasonal...corn, peanuts, soybean, peas, okra, tomatoes, peppers and more..My husband and brother-in-law are still in this together.. My FIL and other BIL are gone for a few years now.. Family farm of 50 plus years..We farm about 500 acres or so, counting our farm and one that we rent..

I was very active until a few years ago in the acutal hands on farming, and I still love it.. Back trouble and arthritis have really slowed me down. Chronic pain is a bummer, lol..

I still garden on 5 acres, and have ducks, geese, chickens and guineas.. A few goats(just pets), 4 dogs, 11 cats, birds fish and others..

As I type I have a huge pot of collards cooking, surprised my hubby hasn't woke up and complained about the smell.. I love greens, he hates them, lol..

We have a family community out here on our farm..Me and hubby, my in-laws house, now inhabited by hubbies sister, another of his sister's and her DH, BIL and wife, a niece, nephew and family..Also, my sister and her DH, and my Mama's house..My sister and Mama are on either side of me.. Nice..Mama is bedridden and 81 years old.. My sister and I look after her with the help of Hospice and hired morning help a few days a week.. Very busy here..

Will try to post once in awhile.. Been lurking a lot..I love reading about ya'll and your lives.

I am a die hard John Deere lover...From the tractor mowers to the massive tractors..

Larkie

This message was edited Dec 26, 2008 11:18 PM

This message was edited Dec 26, 2008 11:18 PM

southeast, NE

Belated Merry Christmas!

It has been awhile since I checked in here. Iíve been having e-mail and home internet issues. I used to check in at work and even though we are supposed to be allowed to use internet during break and lunch times, it seems to be frowned on.

I apologize to all of you for not getting back to you sooner with your birthday wishes, etc.

It is strange that I was drawn to check this site and find Iím being missed. What a wonderful group of long-time friends I have here.

Lots of stuff has happened since Iíve checked in last. My mother passed away in June of 2007. We moved my dad to assisted living. That didnít work so we had to move him to a nursing home. The nursing home is still a nursing home; however, the staff are very friendly and treat dad very well. My brother and his wife purchased my parents home which really pleased my dad. They just had their 2nd baby and we spent yesterday at their house. (More about my adorable nieces later.)

Unfortunately, my daughter no longer teaches. She had a terrible turn in her life in July, 2007. It is a very long terrible story. Long story made short Ė a former student broke into her apartment and sexually assaulted her. As a result she took a years leave of a absence from teaching and moved back home. The emotional process took a toll on her; however, she is doing very well now. Her 16 year old assailant with a record and a crazy mother was charged as an adult and accepted a plea bargain. He was sentenced to 10-20 years. DD substitute taught at some local schools and coached some FFA members for contests. However, she discovered that the assault created an anxiety in her when it came to disciplining students.

In January of this year she accepted a position as an event planner with the Nebraska Games and Parks commission. She absolutely loves it and still gets to work with children. She organized several events across the state and has really gained and appreciation of wildlife, the state park system and conservation. She also got married on October 18. And best of all she lives next door to us. She moved into my husbandís original family house. We had been renting it out for the last 20 years. The last renter had been living there 16 years and coincidentally, decided to move out last October. We did a total remodel to include installing a geothermal heating/air conditions system. The house was finished just in time for them to move in right after the wedding. Her husband moved to our area from central Nebraska. He works for a local welding supply place and loves to help with the farm work, cattle, haying, etc. This weekend they are cleaning the barns and setting up lambing pens and calving pens.

My husband retired from the National Guard in June of 2007. He was hired by the public school system as a new school construction project manager. He loves it and the people he works with.

We still have sheep; although, we have greatly reduced our flock. Several years ago we were up to 100 ewes but now we are down to 25. We are up to 45 cows to calve in the spring and additional 8 heifers born last year. Unfortunately, we lost 40 acres of pasture ground this fall that we were renting (long story of renting from a selfish woman and even more selfish son) and may have to get rid of some of the cows if we donít find more pasture ground to buy or lease. The price of pasture ground, like the price of all farm ground has really gone up. And, unfortunately, since we live close to an urban area, we also deal with development prices.

I continue to work for the federal government. For the most part, I enjoy my job and the people. We are extremely busy. Our agency has had a reduced FTE due to budget cutting. However I am extremely fortunate and blessed to have a job. We recently received word that two of our good friends recently lost jobs due to downsizing.

I donít work outside as much as I used to. I am the chief cook and bottle washer, keep the books for our operations, etc. I also handle my dadís finances, and am the point of contact with the nursing home, doctors, etc. Always seems to be something to handle!

Again, thanks to everyone for their concern and well wishes and again I apologize for not getting back to everyone sooner.



Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Jewel, it is wonderful to see you again! What a lot of changes and challenges you have had in your life since we heard from you last. Sorry to learn that your DM is no longer with you. One of the last posts I could find from you (Caregivers forum) was that she possibly had leukemia.
Sorry to hear that your DD had such a terrible thing happen to her. Things do have a way of working out for good, and I'm glad she has found a nice fellow who shares her interest in farming, and also has found a job that suits her. And wonderful that they were able to move into the house next door and be close by to help around your place.
I remember that you were concerned that your DH might be deployed to Iraq, diabetes and all. Things worked out well for him too. And you still have a job, that is great!

Welcome to you, Larkie. I hope you will become a regular part of this continuing thread. You folks are putting a lot of food on a lot of people's tables! Thank God for family farms!

Our nice couple of sunny days (2 of them in a row) are over, we are back into the snow and wind mode. The driveway is full of snowdrifts again after being cleared yesterday by our neighbor. He got his plow truck off the driveway and into the barrow pit next to the pasture fence, and I had to haul him out with the tractor. Why me? because hubby's cold is worse than mine and I forbade him to go out into the cold air. He has a long history with pneumonia.

I may go out in mid afternoon and see if I can plow a lane so I can get the car out. Our tractor has a bucket on the front, not the best for pushing snow, but it does work until the snow gets too deep, or too wet and heavy. We will have 2 days worth of soggy mail sitting in our mailbox which always gets snow blown into it when we have storms. It is a mile each direction to get the mail, would be a nice walk on a nice day, but not today! If I can get the car out, I will leave it parked in the wide spot at the top of the driveway near the county road, something I should have done yesterday, but I wasn't thinking ahead.

Yesterday afternoon I went into the greenhouse to start cleaning up the frozen plant mess. I did some trimming, and discovered firm amaryllis bulbs, plus one live leaf down in a cluster. Discovered it when it was in my hand with the frozen ones I had cut off, but that gives me hope for them at least. I decided not to pitch out everything right away, and gave a few doubtful plants a bit of water to see if, in a few weeks, they might show some sign of life. The 25 year old jade was one of those. The orchid might have live roots, nothing to loose by giving it some tlc and time. Today I had planned to take a couple of 5 gallon buckets in there and start pitching the definitely frozen plants, but with a foot of snow piled up against the door, I'll wait. Plowing is more important.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Jewel, it is so good to hear from you. You have had so much negative happen to you the past year and a half. I know you were leaning heavily on GOD to see you thru it all. But you also had some very positive events to give you hope and joy. My prayers will continue to be with you and your loved ones.

Talk on the local radio station about tornado watches/warnings in Sedalia & surrounding areas made me decide to stay home from work. When there is talk of tornados Sedalia is not a good place to be. Nothing happened tho, thank GOD.

I spent most of the morning talking to oldest DD on the phone while I dug thri some stuff in the attic. I have a pile to take to the store next week, a pile of stuff to burn - too much rain this morning for that - and a pile of keeper items. I need to go back up with bags while there is still light and get the items for the store. Ill put them directly into the van so I'll be sure to get them taken in.

GOD bless & keep each of you.

This message was edited Dec 27, 2008 6:17 PM

Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

NJ!!!! Hey, We were all missing you and here you are! And I had looked up your e-mail and e-mailed you! Please ignore that... So many changes in your life since we last talked.. Things seemed to have settled down for you..

Hubby and I also live in a family farm "community".

When my Dad died, my 3 siblings and I split the land.. Brother lives in the old house we grew up in .. He has done amazing things with that old house.. he now has an outdoor furnace and is cutting down thorn trees from my place to heat it..

Hubby and I added the farm next door to my part of my Dad's place... One sister sold her piece to my brother and the other sister has built herself a neat weekend cottage on hers. I really think she will move back full time when she and her husband fully retire.

We really don't see each other so often.. But are there if anyone needs anything.. We are all still so busy with our children and jobs.

Bernie, I too order early anymore when it comes to tomato seeds.. I order from Morgan County Seeds as soon as I get the catalog.. and they were still out of one variety.. and I am not in the business of raising and selling plants.. I just like to germinate them and give the plants away..

We have had some strange weather in this area.. after a couple of weeks of really cold weather and breaking 6 inches of ice on the ponds for the cattle to drink we were back to the 60's yesterday and tornado warning this morning.

Mary, So sorry to hear that you lost so many of your plants in the greenhouse.. I have done that a couple of times.. I try to make sure I have some of my favorite plants "farmed" out if you will , or in plant repositories.. I got a restart of a begonia a couple of weeks ago that my children must have given me in a hanging basket for Mother's Day probably 20 years ago.

Everyone stay warm..

kj

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Our son and his wife came out on Saturday afternoon and we had Christmas and hubby's birthday all rolled into one. I made Cioppiono (fisherman's stew) for dinner, and we ate a lot of crackers, cheese, sausage and cookies, opened gifts, visited and had a nice day. Son plowed the driveway and brought in firewood while the snow swirled around, and he moved our car to the wide spot at the top of our driveway, where we could get on to the county road with just a bit of shoveling if we had another storm.

The storm didn't continue more than a few more hours, then we got a blast of warm air and a little rain causing the snow to become very wet and start to melt. Great stuff for making snowballs or snowmen but heavy on the roofs. Normally our snow is too dry to do anything like that. During the night I woke up to the sound of snow and ice sliding off our metal roof and landing right outside the bedroom window.

Yesterday morning I was just putting breakfast on the table when I glanced out the window and saw a horse's foot in the air, moving but not moving a lot. A look out another window showed me the horse who had been rolling in soft wet snow and was halfway on his back, halfway on his side, feet moving a bit, slowly, and his head moving trying to get some leverage. Oh great! I had no idea if he had been that way for minutes or hours.

I quickly suited up in my Carharts and boots, grabbed a halter and leadrope, and a shovel and went down the hill through snow over my knees to see how I could get him out. He was not too comfortable with me putting a halter on him while he was helpless. A hard tug on the leadrope caused him to struggle a bit and settle a little more on his side, but he was still laying in a hole with his head downhill. I started to dig the snow out from under his feet to make a ditch for him to slide into, and he got very scared and started to struggle hard. I dropped the shovel and grabbed the leadrope, pulled back on it and leaned on it with all my weight. Up he came! Thank the Lord!

In my haste to rescue him I had forgotten that he was abused before I got him and is afraid of shovels, pitchforks, or anything that looks like a big stick. He has never let me get near him with any kind of stick. His fear of it saved me a lot of work yesterday. This morning as soon as it was light I went out to make sure all the horses had their feet on the ground.

The snow melted more today and the temperature was up to about 40 with wind from the south until late afternoon when the wind started coming from the north and the temp went down about 10 degrees. It's just below freezing now so will be slick for walking in the morning. I'm glad we don't have to go anywhere.

Waddy, KY

Had a nice Christmas from KY too. We're very fortunate that everyone in the family that has one, still has their off farm jobs though my SIL already knows that her job is drying up at the end of this coming March. Christmas at my parents always consists of seafood instead of the traditional turkey. Since oysters have gotten so high we have resorted mostly to bass and crappie that my parents have caught over the summer and shrimp. No complaints from this front.

The day after my nephew and I went to buy paint for the house that we've been remodeling forever. They've gotten it pretty much painted over three days and are now ready to put the ceramic tile down in the kitchen. Then we can finally measure for the cabinets. I guess since Bernie's so far away we'll probably settle for getting some Amish built cabinets out of southern Indiana. What we've looked at appears to be much better built that anything the chain stores offer.

Today DH and the kids are heading to the hill farm to check fence, get the holes fixed and get the cows turned into the back 100 acres. This is the longest we've kept cows out there in the winter but there's still grass up there and none at the home farm and we're low on hay so you do what you have to. Second oldest daughter took feed out to them Sunday and got the truck stuck. I don't know what made her madder, the fact that she got stuck or the fact that her daddy got up there, moved a post and drove the truck out. It used to make me so mad when he'd do that to me. That and after I'd pull my guts out trying to start the chainsaw he'd start it on the first pull....

My tomato seeds came a couple days ago. I pretty much stick with Park's Whoppers and Beefy Boys. I guess we all have favorites. Most of the rest of my market seed I'll just purchase here locally. Something tells me that I'd better get all that I need when it first comes out this year because I suspect there'll be a lot of it purchased this year....

All you folks up North with all that snow try to stay warm. It looks purdy but y'all just keep it right on up there! Reckon I'll deal with the mud!

Janet

southeast, NE

Good morning! Thanks to everyone for the "welcome backs".

Weather has been absolutely gorgeous for this time of the year. On Friday, it hit 60, Saturday it was back down to 30's, and Sunday through today it is in the 40's. It was hard to come back to work yesterday after being off for 4 days.

DD, DH and SIL spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday cleaning out barns and hauling manure. This is an annual event in preparation for lambing and calving season.

We still have our border collie, Abby. She just turned 14. We had quite a scare with her in October when she had an ugly kidney infection. We didn't think she would survive. The veterinarian gave her iv nourishment and medicated her and sent her home. She was so weak and sick, she wouldn't get off her old seat cushion (that she used for her bed). However, she is doing quite well now. I have switched her to a meat and rice diet concoction that I cook for her.

I'd better get to work.

You all take care!

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

DD and her family are headed back to Kentucky today. They'll stop over in Cincy and visit some museums before heading home tomorrow. We had a wonderful time. Too tired to write now - it has been a busy weekend! More later.

NJ - it is good to see you! 11 bc pups out in the barn, maybe another litter on the way.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Another mini vacation to Ky wouldn't be out of the question! Besides it's kind of cold up here.
Traveled to Albert Lea today to pick up lumber. Nice roads all the way. A little bit of snow the last 20 miles, but nothing serious. Needed Hard White Maple, Soft Maple & Knotty Alder for upcoming projects.
Also stopped along the way & talked with a man that wants an entertainment center built.

Bernie

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Mary, what a scare that must have been for both you & the horse. I'm so glad you were able to get him out safely. You could have been seriously injured by a paniced horse struggling to get up in the snow. GOD's hand was on you protecting you. It sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas tho. Fish soup sounds good to me. I fixed a meatloaf Christmas Day & did a chicken & smoked polish sausages in my new rotissorie.

Jewel, if I was close enough I'd hug you to let you know how glad we all are to hear from you again. It sounds like life on your farm is still going on as usual. I love baby lambs.

Kathleen, 11 puppies & more on the way!! Do you have orders for any of them yet? I hope you get the rest need and that your DD & her family get home safely. I hope they get to see some good museums. I'm thinking snow might block the way to some of them.

Janet, I've heard others say seeds may be in short supply this year so I pray you get yours ok. Market gardening sounds like so much work. I use to raise good size gardens but nothing like market size. I understand the frustration of failing after so much effort only to have someone succeed on the first try. It happens to me all the time.

Bernie, maybe you could take some cabinets to Janet? I'm sure she would welcome your company. I'm sure it is warmer in KY right now.lol

I worked another long day today. I have a lot of hours to get made up & this week will hopefully be the week to do most of it. I think a pay period wiil be a day short due to the New Year. We will be closed Thursday so I will have a day of rest in the middle of the week. I'll spend Thursday with my church family for lunch. The pastor & his wife host a personal lunch meal every year. They furnish ham & beverages & the congregation brings the rest of the meal. I'm taking cole slaw & baked beans.

I hope I haven't left out anyone. GOD bless & keep each of you.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Happy New Year, every one!

It feels like years since I've been here, and it's good to see all the familiar faces! It is good to see the cycles of life on the farm continuing on. My roots are definately "city girl" - but whenever I visit here, I feel like I should have been born and raised on a farm.

I don't know if you all remember, but I finally got 5 acres of sand in the Nevada High Desert, and last summer we got baby chicks. They started laying on Thanks Giving, and now we are getting a dozen to 18 eggs a day (from 21 hens). They don't seem to mind the sub-freezing weather, and I'm glad I only have to haul two 2 gallon bottles of warm water to them in the morning and afternoon. Did my share of hauling 5 gallon buckets of water to trees and dogs before we put water on that side of the property. Last winter was extra cold, so all the remote water froze (and the water to the house for a bit), but I'm prepared this year. Live and learn. Luckily, nothing really bad happened.

So, chickens - check. Garden - check. Micro orchard - check. I'm thinking the next thing is a feeder pig or two. Been 20 plus years since I did THAT, too. The joints complain on a cold winter morning, but I am so blessed to be able to be living this rural life. ... maybe I can swap half a pig for part of a steer with the family up the street who are probably going to raise one or two steer again this year...

Anyway, it's been good to read up and catch up with everyone again. Many Blessings for the New Year!

Karla

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Happy New Year, Karla
Sounds to me you are a farmer!
We've had chickens for a couple years now. Going to have a few, but are around 175 now.
They eat lots of feed! Most are babies to start laying in the spring.

Isn't the best part being out in the open with no neighbors within 2 feet like in city.

Not much going on here today. Yesterday Minn Gophers played basketball & then their football bowl game. So no local teams to route for today.

I have been designing a big entertainment center today. I will e-mail drawings to the people to see if they like it. It has an electric fireplace in it & will hold a 50" TV. The whole thing will be 12Ĺ ft wide & ceiling high. I like these challenges.

Have a Great Year!
Bernie

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Bernie, that must be a huge house........I don't even have a room BIG enough for something like that.

How long will it take you to construct it? I'm assuming you have to finish it too.........by that I mean varnish, or whatever.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Probably a month or so. It is just the end wall of a family room.
The guy raises corn & soybeans. His wife is a RN. He works on off the farm job, too.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Anna,
My step-son is taking a job on a dairy farm that milks 600 cows. That would keep you busy!

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Bernie, that would keep ANYONE busy! The kid that graduated from high school with our SIL is up to over 1000. Crazy people.

Karla, it is so good to see you again!

I am rested up and ready for the next thing. Haven't got anything like a 12 foot wall to fill, but I do have some stuff.

We had a wonderful Christmas with both daughters and husbands and all the grandkids here. It seems awfully quiet this week by comparison. The Clymer grandkids will no doubt be by, but they are busy helping their mom take down Christmas trees, etc. today. I have been doing some catching up on things that were abandoned so we could do fun stuff like going sledding, although most of our snow had melted before DD and family got here. It was in the 50s and 40s over the weekend and plummeted the moment they headed home. We did have enough snow down in a protected gap between the two evergreen jungles that's protected by the trees to have a very good time. The Kentucky kids don't get too much snow, so it was fun for them especially.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Bernie, it is beyond my comprehension why anyone would want 600 cows. Or 100 cows.........60 are more than enough trouble here.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Only 60, you're slacking off! LOL!
Lots of farms are 100 to 400 around here.
About the same as the crop farmers doing 1000's of acres.
Where he worked before they milked 180. Same size milking parlor both places.
He also was relief milking on a farm with 120.

I'm getting good at guessing. I told the man yesterday his project would be around $2500.
I finished up designing & pricing a few minutes ago. It came to $2524.
I have programs that I made to figure price of each piece of material, then put in figures for labor & finishing. I had to break it down into 7 separate units to figure the price. It will be built in units too. Then we put it all together in their house.

Going to watch Rose Bowl game.
Bernie

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Yes, Karla, I do remember you buying the piece of sand in NV. It's good to hear you have made so much progress in this length of time. Swapping pork for beef sounds like a goof idea.

The are hugh dairies!! I don't think Daddy ever had more than15 - 20 cows. He was what was called Grade C which I don't think exists anymore. I remember us milking 10 - 15 cows by hand for many years when I was a child. I mean ages 6 to 10 or 12. Then we got milking machines but they were the kind that hung under the cows on wide sling straps & had to be put on & removed by hand as well as emptied into 10 gallon cans by hand. The cans were kept in a large insulated cooler & had to be removed when the milk truck came for them. When I was about 15 he was able to update to a pipeline & tank system. He sold the farm about 6 years later.

Today was the pastor & his wife's church family dinner. Not a church related event but the whole church family was invited. They furnished a ham & ice tea & we did the rest. I hope that the big dinners, too many goodies at the store, etc. are over for some time. For a small congregation we had a good meal.

Weather here is uncertain. One day or two of winter weather then a few of warmer temps. MO had a potential record rainfall of 57" in 2008. Today was cool by lovely. I just wore a 3/4 length polyester top with a not too heavy sweater to the dinner & was plenty warm enough.

GOD bless & keep each of you.

southeast, NE

Happy New Year!

It was a nice day here. We watched the Gator Bowl this afternoon. Go Huskers! DH, DD &SIL move big round bales of hay and cut off strings. Tomorrow, a friend of ours will come over and grind the hay. We also baled corn stocks this year and will mix that in with the hay and silage. So far the cows are on the neighbors corn stalks. We will probably bring them home next week and will start feeding the silage concoction.

There was an interesting article in the paper several years ago about a dairy operation relocating from California to Nebraska. They milked the cows in the morning, loaded them on a plane and hauled them to the new dairy and milked in the evening.

Karla - it's good to see you again!

Better get the dishes done. I have to work tomorrow. It will be nice and quiet though - just a skeletal crew. I love working on those days.

When DD taught in northeast Nebr, we drove past a huge dairy. I never heard how many cows there were but there must have been a lot since there was a sign for a east entrance and a west entrance. They pumped the liquid manure out on their hay fields.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I started a new thread.
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/939044/

Please join us there.
Bernie

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