November Journal, prelude to winter

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

We've come from October here:
to a new month, wandering into the winter holidays.The birds have changed with the month, more blue jays and some tufted titmice, no more rose breasted grossbeaks or little wrens. The goldfinches have assumed their olive drab winter dress. I have some roses still blooming, and the pansies and violas are bright, but the annuals have gone down for the last time. The Christmas rose (Helleborus niger) is putting up some buds now and my chrysanthemums are bright, along with a couple of late daisies.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

The corn is molding on the stalk, still too wet to do anything with re: drying. Had one sample last night that was still almost 40%. Another that is 28%, which we could bag, but not much of that and we'd have to get into the high 30% range of corn. Can't get the roller mill till about next Wed. If you see fluffy stuff flying your way, it is the hair that I have torn out. Sheesh.............this has been a HORRID year all around in the midwest.

I won't even get into what the cows have done to themselves in the short time they have been in the barn overnight and most of the day. Unlike Kathleen, we do let ours out every day for 2 or 3 hours. Story for another day.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Wet here, too. Still have potatoes to dig. No field work done at all.
We are done with market, now busy with the house addition.
If you would like to follow along it's at;

Got a new batch of chicks last Thursday. All the old hens are gone except 10 for our own use. Can't be buying eggs!

Farmers here are getting corn out fast now. But like Anna said it is very wet. Still some soybeans in the fields.

Otherwise nothing new here.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

All the beans are still pretty much in the field in these here parts. :>)

Waddy, KY

There's farmers that are getting the corn out of the fields here at 40% and drying it before taking it to the mill where my daughter works. She says she has absolutely no idea how they're making any money drying it but they're in such an itch to get it out of the field they're picking while making super ruts in the fields. I know sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do but daggone.

October was a rough month. DH was in the hospital the second and fourth week and came out with an ileostomy that hopefully will be reversed in 2-3 months. He's been coming to terms with not being able to do anything and it's about to eat him up. The girls are getting everything fed and bred and we've only missed one market. He's feeling a little left out because he's taught everyone very well how to carry their own weight around here. Second daughter and I got a load of wood cut for the house the other day before it rained and as soon as the pastures firm up from the last rain we're going to bring some logs to the barn so we can cut and split when it's nasty outside and have no business on the pastures.

About half of the fall herd has freshened. No more maggot disasters thank God. We're about to start breeding the earlier cows. They'll start feeding MGA and then lutelyze them. I suspect I'll end up doing the AI depending on who's available at the house. I've got more vacation time than the girls do so there ya go.


Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Janet, sounds like here........I've always said that hubby thinks there is no job too big or too filthy for me to do.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Anna and Janet, we had a fall like that last year. Hope everyone recovers quickly and the ground dries up. We used to chop corn silage with two tractors, one of which had half-tracks. That was before we got the four wheel drives and did all the tiling. I still have nightmares. Janet, if we lived closer, Stan would probably put some wood in for you. Some friends had a woodbee for us last year when he broke his ankle and he's still feeling guilty about it. He's got even more wood in the basement this year than they did last year. I suspect he'll start stuffing it under the bed soon. That's not even mentioning the load he's leaving on the trailer just in case someone else needs it.

Waddy, KY

Reckon you can rarely have too much wood stored up. At least you'll know you're warm.

Second daughter came in last night complaining about the time change. They had to feed in the dark last night and she's terrified that she's going to run over her sister or a calf with the skid loader because she can't see them. I guess I'll try to get to work earlier from now on so that youngest daughter and I can get a jump on feeding while it's still daylight. Just add one more job to the list...

DH goes back to the surgeon today. Hopefully they'll take the staples out and tell him he can drive. That would help.

Anna, our problem is that we let them know that we can do things and then they just expect us to do it from there. That's the main reason I refuse to learn how to drive the semi, backhoe and bulldozer. I don't want to get stuck building ponds!


southeast, NE

Good morning all!

Janet - your post reminds me of advice from an older ranch wife to a younger ranch wife. They were talking about things that they would do on the ranch, etc. The older ranch wife told the younger ranch wife something to the effect of not learning everything or "they" would expect more and more; however, "they" didn't help with the "women" chores.

Weather is absolutely beautiful - 60's and 70's - sun shining and no rain or snow! The farmer who shares with us finally got our beans out on Monday night. I went outside about 9:00 p.m. and I could see a lot of lights in the field and hear lots of "harvesting" noises (combines, trucks, tractors, grain driers, etc.) The news has been stating that harvest is about 4 weeks behind. There are other repercusions from this too in that we have to pull our cows from the pasture this weekend and bring them home to feed. We usually put in corn stalks until January. The corn being in the field is also going to make it hard for hunting deer. And we badly need a deer herd thining.

Nebraska farmers are in a bit of an uproar. Nebraska always tends to be a year or two behind when it comes to economic issues. The state is now short of tax income to meet its obligations. The Governor has suggested using agricultural based checkoffs to make up some of the difference. Many farmers were already miffed at having to give a required checkoff from their products but many felt it was good because it was used for research and product development. My opinion - it sucks - why should farmers be taxed twice?

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Because they think we are filthy rich. Just go to the gov. office "filthy" and tell 'em this is where it's at, if they think they can do more you'd be glad to trade places with them.

Tabor, SD(Zone 4b)

Yes, Janet, you are so right. That's why I wouldn't learn to change oil in anything when they wanted to teach me. Then I would be expected to do it when everyone else was busy. Like you said, they don't help with the women chores. We end up doing theirs and ours. I told him once he learns to cook and clean, I would learn to change oil. Never happened. LOL
DH's uncle once said that if something happened to DH, I could handle the farming. I don't think I would want to. I don't mind driving equipment, but I don't think I'm strong enough to handle everything.
We have been having beautiful weather lately. The combines are going full speed until around 11:00 or midnight. Some of the farm boys have called in 'sick' to school so they can help their dad's harvest.
Still have to dig potatoes. It's been too wet for the last month, but hopefully it will be done this weekend. I need to do some tilling in the gardens, but I have to rake the leaves into the garden first. My dad always tilled the leaves into the garden before winter so they would decompose and be ready to plant in. He'd chop them up with the mower first. He called it 'feeding the worms'.
We have to make wood before winter sets in too. We have trees cut, but have to use the wood splitter to make smaller pieces. We will probably end up doing that in the dead of winter too. FIL used to say making wood warmed you twice. Once cutting it and twice burning it. Not enough hours in the day. I hate the time change too. Wish they would just leave it Daylight Savings Time and be done. The deer are thick on the roads going to work now as I have to drive at dawn. Almost had two hood ornaments in one day a couple of days ago. Some people drive by and don't even see them.
Keep safe

Waddy, KY

Another market under the belt. Since DH is still on the mend we couldn't do the usual two on Saturdays. We have two weekends left on our major market and can sell year round at the other. I don't know if we will or not at this time.

Still making green tomato relish and chutney. The tomatoes had caught the blight which also rots the tomatoes so I've lost probably half of what I picked but as it is I've still done around 30 jars of chutney and close to 100 of relish. There's still a bunch of tomatoes to do so I'll keep at it until they either go bad or I get them done.

Still have a bunch of cows to freshen. Those are apparently pasture bred because they've already gone past the AI due date. They'd better hurry up because the breeding run is about to start again and they'll miss out. That earns them a quick trip to town.


southeast, NE

Hey all!

It's a gloomy chilly day out. Temps are in the 40's. We got our corn out on Thursday. Yields were good at 150 bushels per acre and moisture content was 15%. We were very happy with that considering how weird the weather has been this fall. Yesterday, DH & SIL put up electric fence around the corn stalks. They hauled about 1/2 the cows home from one pasture and turned the cow onto the stalks today. We're hoping to sell the steer feeder calves this week. We need the $ to pay bills. Deer firearm season opened yesterday. DD shot a buck this a.m. SIL & DH also have permits that they will hopefully fill this week.

DH was really sick. Doctor thinks it was a head cold that turned into a sinus infection. He missed over a week of work. Hope he didn't overdo it this weekend.

You all take care!

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Well, I'm over the 'flu, now I'm getting over a sinus infection and bronchitis. Maybe I'm just being sick for both Stan and me. Hope so, he really doesn't need to get sick. I am the queen of handwashing and disinfecting.

the weather, of course, has been gorgeous. Warm and sunny all last week and into the weekend. Now, it's gone cloudy and chilly, but they are calling for a return to sun for much of the week. Maybe I'll get out and get some stuff put away, or at least looked at one more time.

This morning, there was a knock at the door at 6:30 and a girl asked if we had 'baby cows'. She said there was one in the road and she had pulled into our other drive and tried to call it, thinking it was a dog. She did get it out of the road, but couldn't catch it. I went out and found it running around the drive with it's tail in the air like a little flag. I couldn't catch it either, but got it around back of the barn and got Stan to go get it. He took a milk pail - nothing to it! I still don't know how it got out of the barn. that was my major exercise for the day, apart from the trip to the doc's and the pharmacy.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Finished the corn shelling at the rented land 4 miles from home. This is the piece that we usually leave for last, but SU decided that we'd do it first this fall in case the weather takes a dump on us. So, off we went on Sunday afternoon, making umpteen trips up there. 9 gravity wagons (3 at a time), 2 tractors, 1 auger, and the combine. SU picked everything full on Sunday night before he came home, got all the wagons over in the field where the auger was set so we were ready to go yesterday morning when the semi came. He loaded the semis, and I finished combining so we are done there. It's only 18 acres, but still takes arranging to get it done and loaded out. 3 1/2 semi loads, 3500 wet bushels. It was 21% but the test weight is crap; guess this was around 50#/bu.

So, today begins the fiendish running around here at home. He got the big auger set up to the bin last night from the holding bin. He said we'd go down on the bottom and get that out. Always like to get that 25 acres done because getting loads out is all uphill, and a nasty "uphill" just to get out of the field. We have to drive about a mile on the road, and then a fair piece through the neighbor's field to get to it. Pretty land-locked from our own property. LOL Got about 75 acres or so left, I imagine the weather will break and it will be a fight. Beans are all out; neighbor and son got those done. We don't have a bean head.

Fayette, MO(Zone 6a)

I thought I would check in.. My life has been busier than usual.. I think I might have mentioned that my husband took he retirement from his "payin" job.. I encouraged him, because he got in a difficult situation.. Now, I come home to my supper cooked, cows fed.. Which is very different for me.. His retirement check is smaller than his other check, but he is so much happier..

We lease out our crop land,.. but that doesn't mean I don't pay great attention to when they are harvesting.. All the bins in the area were full, so they even had to wait a few days before they had anywhere to unload..

I came home from Thanksgiving early this evening because someone called that we had a calf out.. came home and repaired a bit of fence in the dark.. I think a deer must of gotten a hoof caught and pulled it down.. some of our old woven wire is in need of replacement..

My youngest daughter had her first Thanksgiving in her new home.. She wasn't going to dig her dahlias, so I dug them and threw them in the back of my little truck.. Will get them tucked away for the winter tomorrow.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

We had a wonderful week last week. Our Kentucky branch got here on Wednesday night and stayed until Saturday afternoon. We had feasts, snow, snow men, snowball fights, put up a Christmas tree, some went shopping, some went hunting, there were visits to the cows in the barn, the heifers in the pasture, the haymow, I cooked way too much food and we had a generally great time.

Now, I'm going into Christmas monster mode. I have a bunch of things to make, some of which I'm flying blind (an elephant marionette) and some of which I need to wait for things to arrive so I can complete the process. I think I need to make a list and just tell everyone if I leave it out, not to look! lol, I'm feeling just a bit overwhelmed because I haven't yet sat down and taken stock of what is done.

Stan has been working on tractor lights and getting the snow blower ready. There's the possibility of "significant lake snows" in the forecast, and he thought he'd get a jump on it. We'll see.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

We finally got all the corn out as of last Friday. Whew!! Glad that is done.

Waddy, KY

There's always a feeling of relief when the last of the corn and beans are out of the field isn't there? I remember one year when DH was still raising ear corn we were out in the field Jan. 1 picking in the mud with one of those cold wet winds blowing. There's nothing like hooking a tractor and log chain to something like that trying very hard not to get both of them stuck.

DH goes back to the surgeon tomorrow. Hopefully he'll tell him that the bowel has healed and they can reverse the ileostomy. So far he's had it come apart twice while he was trying to work. It's apparently not made to wrestle with crazy first calf heifers that refuse to take their calves.... It'll be interesting to see which of us get to the hospital first. Me and my gall bladder or him and his bowel.

Got some wood cut this past week and on the porch. Sure makes me feel better. It was such nice weather for the end of Nov. Lots nicer to cut wood in 50 degree weather than 20.


Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

New journal thread for December here:

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