Farm Journal - January 2009

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Let's try a month at a time as there isn't a great amount of traffic.

Nice sunny day here, but cold. Only 11.

Just working on cabinets here. Going to get some tomato seeds started as soon as they come.

Anyone need a job ? Our sheriff's department is losing deputies fast. One went for padding his hours. Now one got caught with stolen property. Can't trust anybody anymore!

Have a Great Day!

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Warm (for winter) and windy here. I woke up and heard the wind, and of course thought we were getting another snowstorm. Wrong, instead a little rain, 33 degrees and more bare ground showing than yesterday! Icey too, and between that and the wind gusting to about 40, it is hard to stand up. Oh, and it is sunny too.

Hubby has some errands to do in town, so I will go along and spend some time in the library. It's been a month since my last visit, and gives me a chance to read farmy types of magazines that I don't buy. I think it has been about 8 years since my last sub expired.

Bernie, thanks for starting the new thread.

Eunice, MO(Zone 5b)

Warmer than normal here today also. I would not complain but it seems every time we have a glorious day we pay for it. That is after all where the nice averages come from. If it is 20 degrees above normal for a few days it will be 20 degrees below normal for a few days.

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

This morning it was in the 70's - now it is down in the 50's and dropping. Strong wind out of the north. Tomorrow we have a big chance of rain. We need it, and I need to stay inside and do paperwork.

Gary is on his way home from his duck hunting - the house is quiet - the dogs are content - and JohnDewey is tucked snugly in his crate with his bone (he took it away from one of the dogs!!)

Thumbnail by MelissahL
Eunice, MO(Zone 5b)

Yesterday it was 70 and today it is 28. Jackets on then jackets off. Crazy weather. It is a wonder plants ever survive it. I carried several plants outdoors yesterday to give them a bit of sun. I do that frequently thru winter when weather permits. They deserve to enjoy the beautiful days as much as anyone else.

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

We had 0 this morning, now it's up to 19 with wind from the south. We have bright sun, blue sky, 2 ranges of snowcovered mountains visable, all in all a beautiful day with snow still covering almost everything. There's some bare ground where we have plowed lanes around the buildings, and where the wind swept the snow away last week. Sun shining on it this week caused some melting. Another storm is due to arrive this afternoon or tonight. And tomorrow my farrier is scheduled to trim all the horses feet. He might have to snowshoe in if our driveway is blocked, but he is prepared and says he will be here.

I opened the window on the greenhouse door for a while yesterday afternoon. The vents are insulated and blocked for the winter. Fresh air from time to time is a good thing. I keep a couple of small fans running to circulate the air, and there is a fan on the furnace when it runs. Yesterday I noticed a very small limb with live leaves on my big jade plant that froze, so I have hope that the old limbs might sprout some leaves in a few weeks.

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

As the day has progressed it has become colder, and yet I refuse to put on proper clothing. I need the cold to survive!

My cows are all huddled up against the hay with their backs to the north; they are hunkered down for the cold. Old Pal, my flea bit grey is in his loafing shed with plenty of hay to keep the old body warm; Milly the foundeling mom and pups are nestled in my DH's polartec blanket, and JohnDewey will not leave his cave.

My DH is "resting his eyes" after 4 days of duck hunting.

Time to feed, so maybe I will put on a jacket as I have to go up the road a piece to feed the cows.


Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Melissa, cold is relative. We need numbers! We might laugh at you now, but when the heat hits you next summer and we are saying it is hot where we are, then you can laugh at us.

Eunice, MO(Zone 5b)

Mary, good to hear there is hope for the jade. The cold can be so hard to take when it can cost so much. As much as I hate the cold, though, I would not give up my four seasons. Life without apple trees and rhubarb is not inviting.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Yeah, who wants to hoe garden in winter! This is time to study seed catalogs & dream.
I started my seed records last night. If it warms up enough, I can go inventory seeds stored out in the shed.
Tomato seeds came Saturday. I will plant the ones for the greenhouse soon.
I have about 500 for the greenhouse production. I kept running out last year!


Goldthwaite, TX(Zone 8a)

Here in Goldthwaite it is 41 F with 15 to 20 mph NW wind. Prediction of freezing rain from 3 AM tonight till 12 noon tomorrow, but supposed to be very little accumulation of ice on the roads. Low tonight about 32, but things are warm after several days in the 70s. Glad I went out earlier today and put out plenty of hay for cows for a couple of days. Would be a bit chilly on the tractor in the 30s with rain or ice falling. Horses also fed earlier, and have shelter from the rain.

Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

Stayed pretty close to the house today.. Hubby isn't feeling well..

I carried in wood I had brought to the house.. It is fairly chilly here.. for me anyway.. Low will be about 18. wind is blowing a bit.. not bad..

Gave the coleus in the GH a bath of soapy water.. Hope that gets the mealy bugs.. It's fun to have them in January.

My high energy Rat Terrier is pacing the floor.. He needs a good run outside, but he hates cold weather..

Prophetstown, IL(Zone 5a)

Seed catalogs are arriving and thoughts of winter sowing are swirling in my head. The hens, goats and cats all have *barn fever* since the weather here has either been bitterly cold and windy (today) or wet ice and snow; not conducive for free ranging in the barn pasture. Egg production is dismally low but I am not supplementing light this year - trying to align myself with the natural cycle of the seasons.

Am looking for inexpensive fencing options for my west pasture (is that an oxymoron? inexpensive fencing?) - and would like to cobble together some kind of shade shelter for the goats. Tried having them out there last spring but Betty (the Queen) in all of her 150# glory jumped the old barbed wire fence - scared me to death...she was not staying in the field - no way no how. The boys, Fred and Barney, cried for a while but then settled in ....I suspect that one way to solve the problem is if I stay out there all day with them....

Have some very nice picket fencing that I salvaged from a neighbor's garden last summer - plan to use it around the kitchen thinking that this year it might be better to plant squashes in an area all their own.

Next month I need to do some pruning in the orchard but I'll have to arrange it around a vacation! This year DH and I are taking off for sunnier climes during the cruelest Midwestern month.

Hope everyone has Good Health and Much Happiness in the New Year


Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I out together a salad for my supper & found a nice red homegrown tomato to cut up. They sure taste good this time of the year!

Our hens are laying pretty well considering how cold it's been. They have light from 7 AM until 9 PM. That is the important part not the temperature.


Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

almost 9:30 am here and we've started down from the high of 28. There was some rain in the night when it was warmer, but it's all broken clouds and intermittent sun right now. This week's forecast is a mess of cold with one bounce in the middle of the week and possible freezing rain and then down into the teens for the rest of the week. there are a few green spots out there, but I suspect they will be covered soon enough.

Stan's term as Elder ended Dec 31, but we set up communion one last time yesterday as they haven't set the new committees yet. I was the first lay person to be named to the Sacrament committee - they like my bread! I'm not sure that was exactly in the spirit or the intent of the committee, but I enjoyed the baking and setting up the elements. It was something that I am good at and could contribute. Having said that, I won't miss it! We spent the rest of the day watching football and taking naps. I watched part of a movie while Stan was napping and then switched it back when he got up. Glad to see Miami out of the playoffs - isn't that terrible? I wasn't rooting for a team, but against a team.

Stan is off to do his chores at his brother's, who has a doc appt. today. Everyone is rather anxious about it. I'm waiting for the guys with the cattle truck to come and take away 183. She and I have battled it out since she was a heifer and I am not sorry to see her go. She likes to butt and to smash hands, something I really don't need. She also likes to smash whoever is milking her into the next cow, not a nice bovine. We've kept her because she was a good producer, but she didn't breed back this year, so out the door she goes.

We had a salad with a store-bought tomato last night - not nearly as good as yours was, Bernie. I had brought in some green tomatoes to ripen last fall and we ate the last of them in November. I am going to plant some lettuce seed today and put it under the lights in the plant room. I did this last year and it was lovely to have in February and March. I've already pulled all of the carrots that I had left in the raised bed, so there will only be the supermarket variety until the new ones grow in the spring.

Stay warm,

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

MaryE - it is 39 degrees here with a wind out of the north. I am not sure of the wind speed, however. LOL

I am a bit shy about saying how cold it is here even tho' I know it is relative.

My last two dog boarders are going home today. I had five stay with us over the holidays, and then finding Milagro and her 8 pups. . .well, it has been an experience. The washer and dryer are getting a workout for sure.

One of the things I am enjoying about this thread is the food part. I am such not a gardner, and neither do I like the produce from the grocery stores. I love hearing what you guys are growing and how good it tastes. I am able to buy some locally grown veggies, IMO, they are imports. And even at our Market Day each month, there are very few folks selling fresh produce - eggs yes and watermelons in the summer. That's it.

Well, it is time for me to "bundle up", check on my cows, 3 will be calving soon, and then head to town.

In Peace,

Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

I was a long day at work today. Not a hard day , just a long day.. Would rather have been at home, cooked a nice home cooked meal...( and something besides the using up of all the Christmas leftovers.. which Hubby is waaay tired of..and we are finally out of) had the stove fired up and would have loved to have had the cows checked before it got dark..

oh well. It was a crisp cool night.. quiet and the cows never mind me walking among them in the dark.. Walked to the pond to break ice, but really didn't need to.. A short peaceful time with cool crisp air in my face.. My lone white cat followed me ... She is such a nosey thing.. and the older she gets the more she likes staying on the porch in bad weather..

Hope everyone is staying warm.

Eunice, MO(Zone 5b)

I remember the days of walking to the pond at night to chop ice. Did misstep a few times and came back with a cold wet foot. That is a kind of pain I do not care to repeat. Be careful out there.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I just finished loading all kinds of pictures to my web site.
I hope it all worked the way it was supposed to. It takes a while for it come up online so maybe by morning it will be updated.
Anyone want to check it out;

Eyes are tired so off to watch news & hit the hay!

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Wow, Bernie, those are beautiful. You and your son are master craftsmen. It's really handy to have inside work to keep you busy and keep $ coming in between the gardening seasons.

My farrier called this morning, he was snowed in so we will wait for a better day to trim the horses feet. He said his wife got a call that school was cancelled, that almost never happens here. Then he called friends who live down in the valley below him and they said blizzard conditions. The freeway was closed for part of the day at least. We had about 8 inches of new snow overnight and plenty of wind to blow it into big deep drifts. I sure got a workout carrying hay to feed the horses, and was glad I filled the water tank yesterday.

Late this afternoon our neighbor came and plowed once down the driveway and once going up. he would have done more but he was having trouble with the hyraulics on his plow. Hubby will get out on the tractor tomorrow and plow around the buildings and parking area. The worst of the storm seems to have passed although this appears to be a 3 day event.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

5*F in the chicken coop at 5 a.m. the other day (when I didn't have to go to work and was lazy and slept in). Nice and toasty at 23*F at 3 a.m. this morning. Water in the coop was still mostly liquid, even. In some ways, I like the water frozen solid because then it will just pop out of the bowl right onto the top of the compost pile. When it's slushy, I have to worry about not spilling it in the coop or on me on the way to the compost pile. Oh, well, either way, the chickie-pies always like me when I'm bringing warm water or goodies.

Pullets started coming into production Thanks Giving week (yes, with decreasing light). I have a 25 watt red bulb in a 16 x 16 coop all night, so I don't think that is enough light to stimulate production. They tend to roost in the dark corners. The light is over the indoor food and water areas - mostly so the humans can see. I think my girls just are winter layers. All told, the 3 breeds are laying at about 60% each day. One Easter Egger lays every single day. The Silver Laced Wyandottes are the most productive. And the Cuckoo Marans somewhere in between. A typical daily haul from 21 chickens has 3 EEs, 7 SLW and 4 Maran eggs. There are about the same number of each breeed. The whole record keeping, statistics thing appeals to the accountant and geek in me. And, I have been giving eggs away left and right - kind of like zucchini in the summer - if you sit still for 20 seconds, I'm going to push eggs off on ya. I suppose I could sell them, but it is so much more fun to be able to give them away, especially to my city-folk coworkers (ha, ha, like I'm not just a breath removed from being city-folk myself!!!). I'm so blessed to be able to live like this!

Got me a warm, hooded "work jacket" from Cabellas for Christmas - so now I don't have to wear my "girl" coat to go do chores. Got nice, thick socks to go in my rubber mucky boots, too. I think I'm ready for winter, now... well, at least in small doses. It amazes me the the 10 and 20 degree weather doesn't seem to bother the chickies at all as long as they have warm water. One of the roosters got a little frost bit when it warmed up and snowed, so I think he's going to loose the tips off his comb, but other than that, no one seems to have even noticed the cold. Watching them chase and eat snow flakes has almost been worth standing in the (light) snow with them.

Thinking "feeder pigs" for the early fall - that should put them at butchering weight about the same time as late spring chicks are ready to dispatch to the freezer. Not sure I'm ready to make the hog commitment yet, though. It means, well, even more fencing. Glad DH and DS are getting real good at it. We seem to need a never ending supply of it, even on barely 5 acres! I can't imagine how much fencing one would need on larger lots!

It's always so good to see everyone - I'm going to try and not be such a stranger in 2009. Counting my blessings!

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

We have a 2 room coop. One has the roosts in it. The other has the nest boxes & feeders, waterers. The roost room has a small red light on continuously. The other has a 23 Watt fluorescent.bulb on a timer. It comes on at 7 AM & goes off at 9 PM. This seems to be working really good.
We have been selling our eggs for $2.50 per dozen. Need to pay for the feed! Hard to find buyers in the winter.
People quit eating farm produce after Labor Day! It's a proven fact. Ask any market grower.
Better go feed the hens.

Hempstead, TX(Zone 8a)

43 and raining here. Supposed to be an all day affair. I can hear the dogs out in the kennels - they need to be aired out and fed. None of them seem to be bothered by the rain.

After the rain stops, we go back up into the low 70's. Go figure. The sun will come out late this afternoon, and off come the coats and fuzzy hats.

KathyJo- I too cooked a home cooked meal of meatloaf and collard greens. I thought Gary would faint when he got home from work. Usually he cooks.

Well, need to bundle up (sort of) and get after the days work.

A quick afterthought - I am reading a book by Jon Katz called DOG DAYS. I read another of his. He is a writer by trade and a dog trainer (border collies) and has a 110 acre farm in upstate NY. He is a wonderful read, especially if you farm, have a variety of companion and commercial animals, love dogs, and live in an area where cold and snow and ice are a big part of the year. Both the first book and this one are giving me a wonderful perspective on being a farmer.

In Peace,

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

sunny and cold - upper teens- right now. We are expecting a messy storm starting later today and through tomorrow. I probably should go to town today, but haven't decided yet. Stan is supposed to go to a Coop Ext. Pasture Committee meeting tomorrow afternoon, but will wait to decide until tomorrow afternoon. We have had over 9 feet of snow so far this year, but you couldn't tell it by looking outside at the moment, lots of open ground. Stan is hoping it stays cold until we get a snow cover, the ground being frozen hard enough to drive the tractor and spreader on now.

Not much going on right now. I'm making a small effort to get the back room cleaned up so I can use it for plants, painting fabric and printing wide format photos until the ink is gone on the Epson. I have a new Canon printer up here, didn't work with the iMac downstairs because the computer is too old. Not that the mess has really stopped me from doing any of those things but it is nice to have a place to stand!

stay warm (or cool!)

Waddy, KY

Bernie's right. It's like after Labor Day folks forget that they got good tomatoes and other stuff to eat at the Farmer's Markets. Only the really die hard supporters frequent markets after Labor Day. And the weekend before Thanksgiving??? Now those are the real hard core customers. The real backbone of our market!

Fortunately we missed the freezing rain that was forecast. It supposedly stayed above the Ohio River. It was around 35 degrees this morning. We should have cows coming in heat to breed this morning. They gave the last of the syncronizing shots the other day. We'll breed everything once AI and then turn the bulls in for around 45 days. After that if the old gals turn up open they're on the truck out. The other herd that freshens in the spring should be coming in from the hill farm in the next couple of weeks. The plan is to switch out the fall herd for the spring herd and get them home where we can keep a better eye on them. With the coyotes so bad around here we don't like them dropping a calf too far from the house.

Mary, Kathleen and Bernie, I'm so glad that I don't have to deal with the snow. I guess I'd get used to it and I do get tired of the constant mud that January-March brings but I sure do like those occasional 60 degree days that we get down here thrown in just to keep us interested.

Got my website updated this past week too. At least the pricelist part. The fellow that does my website is supposed to get the front page done here in a day or too. I need to get more pictures taken this year to put in the gallery section. It seems like we're always so busy during that time of year that we don't think about it until it gets cold. Maybe I'll do better this year.

Kathleen, there's always one in the barn that you don't cry over when she gets on the truck. Dad had a few that were hard milkers but were top producers that he kept on from time to time and was almost relieved when they didn't breed back or had something other than just being cantankerous for a reason to ship them. With the beef cows here if they don't come to the barn when you get them up, jump fences or try to run you out of the field they're on the truck. One animal isn't worth somebody getting hurt.

Everybody have a good one!


southeast, NE

Good morning everyone! Taking my 15 minute break at work.

It's supposed to be in the 30-40's today. We had sleet on Saturday. Fortunately, in our neck of the woods, it didn't stick. Omaha had terrible icing though. We are below average this winter for snow. (Not that I'm complaining. However, we do need some moisture - just not in the form for blizzards, blowing snow, etc.)

I spent Sunday (after church) making deer jerkey in our smoker. We have four deer worth of meat to use up in various ways. I tried two marinades - one with a hickory sauce and one with beer. We gave ourselves a cookshack smoker for Christmas in 2007. DH loves smoked meats; however, I'm not that great a fan. One thing I found the smoker is great for is slow baking in the summer to keep the heat out of the house.

DH & SIL took our mean ram to the sale barn last night. He was supposed to go "down the road" several weeks ago but the weather turned nasty. This ram started out to be a pet but turned mean this past year. We definitely won't miss him.

DH spent all day Sunday loading up extra old farm equipment that he's been meaning to get rid of for several years. This weekend is a big consignment sale. The commission go to to the FFA alumni chapter and seem to draw good attendance.

DH found a ewe that had aborted last night. Ewes are due to start lambing in about a week but none are still bagging. DH thinks this lamb came about two weeks early and wasn't mature enough to survive. In the past two weeks we have heard of 3 people that were long time sheep producers that have gotten out of the business for various reasons. I am beginning to wonder too if it's all worth it (especially the sheep side of farming)?

Well I'd better get back to work as my time is up.

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Rain, rain, some more rain, and um, did I mention RAIN? I feel a little like an imposter posting in Farm Life since, while I now live on a farm, I am not a farmer yet, but I have dreams :)

It has rained mostly non-stop since our move to the new place over the weekend. I am thankful for the rain and the fairly warm temps (high 50's and a little over 60 one day) - but the weather says a li'l snow is coming our way if it can overtake the rain (did I mention it was raining?)

Pyr Pups are loving their newfound freedom - sure beats their past living conditions in the 'city' country where we were. With about 5 acres to guard and 130+ to roam, they are tired at night finally :)

I learn a lot from you all, so I hope it's okay that I post here (embryonic farmer person) :D


Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

You live in the country & have 135 acres, you gotta be a farmer. Welcome to our group!

Sunny & warm (32) this afternoon. Didn't do much for our ice. If anything it was slippery.
Soon we can start a countdown to spring. Still going deeper into winter first. Around here coldest week of the year is 3rd week of Jan.

I am heading over to see who is on chat tonight.

Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

Welcome, welcome..
Any farming plans yet? We love to talk about plans.

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Hello Sunny, glad to have you join us. I hope you get settled in quickly and permanently this time. Tell us more about the new place. Are you caretakers or actively involved in raising livestock?

We got about 16 inches of snow over a 48 hour period, a lot for us, we usually only get 2-4 inches at a time. Hubby spent most of the afternoon plowing, plowing, plowing. Thank God for the tractor, it is not huge but not one of those little ones either. The bucket on it can either shove snow or pick it up and dump it. We now have a clear driveway, parking area, lanes around buildings, and some pretty big snow mountains! Snow has been sliding off the metal roof since mid afternoon and rain is in the forecast. This last big storm will do a lot for our irrigation water supply next spring and summer.

I just chased 2 deer away from the back gate, 15 ft from the house. I had just gone out to bring in the cat food dish since the outside cats have gone to the haystack where they have tunnels between the bales. The deer will be back, but maybe not tonight. Earlier I saw them way down in the pasture, and now with the plowed lanes they found a place where they can walk more easily than through 2 ft of snow. I hope they don't decide to help themselves to the haystack, it is in a 3 sided shed. I like them better at a distance, or in the freezer.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Oh, such a wonderful day in the barn here. This morning a brain-dead heifer decided to stick her head through the front of the tie stall in the wrong place, and of course couldn't put forth the effort to hoist her butt up. It was much more fun to fling her head around and bust the water cup. Broke the pipe off where it is screwed into the main waterline. Spousal Unit said "oh, darn............." and we'll leave it at that. I swear, if we put all the crainial contents of all the cows in this barn (60) you couldn't even begin to see it. They are in tie stall big enough for a gestating elephant to turn around in and they still flop around in them. Nice, comfy rubber mats, shavings for some bedding. Sheesh.........

I will be so glad when warm weather is here again. At least we don't have to worry about the barn cleaner freezing up anymore: we put spray on expandable foam insulation out in the little "house" on the end of the barn where the barn cleaner is. WE have a manure pump and pit, so this is really the "pump house". LOL Told SU that we should have done that 5 years ago when we put that stuff in part of the greenhouse. Had a good stiff west wind (pump house is on west side of barn) and it was below zero; not even a hint of frost out there. Nice to know it's gonna go when I hit the switch every morning.

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Ahhh Bernie, we are just renting a house on an acre that is part of the 130+ acres, it isn't ours. Perhaps some day though, we will have some small acreage to call our own!

KathyJo, we're just studying the lay of the land and eyeing potential spaces for chickens and the gardens. After all of this rain, I think I can grow cranberries down by the stream as it looks a tad boggy! We spoke to the landlords about eventually getting a milk cow, which they are open to and agreed to let us use pasture and a place in the barn for milking, plus allow us to breed her to one of their Angus cattle when the time comes. But these are plans are probably a year off at least. They raise a small herd of Angus beef cattle. Wonderful people, I'm very thankful.

MaryE - we'll be here for at least a few years, I hope! We are not caretaking this time, we're renting. That's lots of snow you have there, wow :)

Anna, cows sound a bit like teenagers - don't even know when they have it good!

Thanks for the warm welcome everyone - about 45 here this morning, no rain and SUNSHINE! Have a great day all.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Still have ice, but no catastrophe in the barn "yet" today. I am making calf ID tags, way, way overdue with this on a few of them. Vet coming for dairy herd check at 2 pm, and I still have my cursed paperwork to do. Yuck. Somewhere in here we gotta have lunch too.

On a little better note, my back is feeling better today, just have to watch my step and not slip on the ice. Now, that is hard not to do with all the ice that is around here.

How did I mess my back up? Hmmmm.........we were in the timber cutting wood, and I picked up a nice sized chunk; turned and tossed it into the tractor bucket at the same time. NOT a good move. Felt a little "twang"...........could hardly move on Sat. and Sunday. Guess I will live, tho. :>)

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Boo to the wood!
Last time I cut firewood I was about 10 years old. Folks went to fuel oil then & I haven't looked back.
I put electric heat in this winter. Less than $300.00 to install, (of course I did it myself). About 1/3 the cost of fuel oil so far.

Going to see a lady about a new kitchen today.


Waddy, KY

We burn wood too. At the other house we're going to have an outdoor furnace and I'm soooo looking forward to not having wood ash over everything in the winter. We have a pull out tray on our stove but there still always seems to be a fine layer of ash around. This year I've managed to dodge a lot of wood splitting. I cut the first load of wood early this season and DH and the kids have been pulling big logs up at the hill farm while the water tanks were filling for the cows. They saw them into chunks and roll them onto the truck, bring them home and split them. At least they were putting the time waiting for the water tanks to fill to good use.

Anna, once you pull the muscles in that back the first time it somehow never seems to be the same. A few years ago I first pulled my back lugging around feed sacks that had 2 five gallons buckets full of feed in each one. Never got unable to move but stayed tender for about a month. Then a couple summers ago I picked up a bale of straw to throw on the wagon and almost went to my knees. I thought I'd done things right that time. We walked around real ginger for about three days. This last time I didn't do anything more than reach for something in the grocery store and I felt the muscles spasm. I fixed supper that night bent over the kitchen cabinet because I couldn't stand straight. Took about a week and I was back ok again. Makes me more aware of picking things up correctly and using proper back mechanics.

Do you all tattoo calves too or just ear tag them?


Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Janet, we have one of those outdoor furnaces. Love 'em.

No, I don't tattoo calves; they just get the vaccination one from the vet and that ear tag too. Plus mine.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

I just checked the local ski resort snow report and they say 14 inches. We are generally in the same snow band as they, so there you go. That's in 24 hours, with an equal amount forecast over night. That puts us up over 10 feet. It is turning out to be a rather jolly good winter. I've decided against going to town this week.

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Egads Kathleen ~ sending warm cocoa and good book thoughts your way :)

Anna & Ky - eeep, please don't tell me the twist and pain I had this summer from improperly carrying a 40lb bag of greensand will be with me forever, when I least expect it! I healed up, but man, I think before I lift now.

southeast, NE

Wow Kathleen - that's a lot of snow!!!!

It reached 60's in western Nebraska. We got to the 30's. DH took another steer to butcher today. Our electrician is taking the meat in exchange for work he has done for us on the farm and dd's house.

There is so much deer in our area that Game & Parks opened another season. SIL has been hunting again after he gets off of work.

I twisted my back lifting boxes of meat on Christmas Eve. It finally quit hurting.

We also burn wood - we have a wood burning furnace inside the house. I wish we had the outside kind.

Take care everyone!

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Nebraska Jewel..........we had an inside wood furnace too, but 2 chimney fires about took care of the chimney. To fix it right would have cost us more than what the outside furnace did. Our house chimney goes up the middle of the house.

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