December Journal

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Waiting for the snow at the end of the week here. We've had bits, probably up to around 12 inches since the first bit in October. There is a chance of significant snow Friday, depending on where the lake bands set up. It's a crap shoot - a foot here, sunny and clear there. You just have to wait for the wind to decide.

I'm just in from a romp with a little black calf. It's the same calf that I had an early morning romp with a couple of weeks ago. It seems to have found the way to the great outdoors, whether by its self or with help from some slightly bored cow dogs, I do not know. Stan snuck up behind it while it was watching me and grabbed its string and took it back in - after we'd been up and down the little orchard a couple of times. We may have to buy that one a collar and chain.

Stan has the snowblower on the cab tractor, the lights mostly working on the spreading tractor, the new car is spending the winter in the shed and we're back to my old faithful Trailblazer. The machinery is put up, there's a new engine on the bedding chopper and the heifers that fit in the barn, are in the barn. There will be 5 girls spending the winter in the cold, crisp air. Keeps them healthy.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

I quit tying calves with twines years ago. Ours would chew them up as fast as i put new ones on them. So, it's leather collars and chains. Funny to watch them gnaw on chains. LOL

So glad corn is done for us. SU wants to cut some wood today to (in his words....) "fill up that corner of the wood house where I've taken some out". Oh, this gonna be replace what I have used so I don't empty the building???? Sheesh.........and I have cooking to do so I"d better get at it or we will be in the fasting mode.

Waddy, KY

Well DH didn't get the best of news today. It looks like he's going to keep his ileostomy until about April or May. He told the surgeon that he'd better be finding a bag that was a little tougher than the one's we have right now because being out messing with cows is not the time to have one of those #(*#[email protected] things leak. Not to mention that I can't be coming home from work every time it happens to help him change it.

Guess that just leave me and the gall bladder to duke it out before the end of the year.....

southeast, NE

Hello all! Anyone notice the beautiful full moon tonight? On Saturday and Sunday the weather was absolutely beautiful (60's-70's) Today a cold front went through and temps dropped down to 20's. We started up the wood furnace tonight.

Kydaylilylady - I am sorry about your husband.

We have 5 deer hanging in the walk in cooler DH acquired from a grocery store several years ago. DD shot two, SIL shot two and the "super-shot former military marksman" shot one. (He has been reminded of that on several occasions.) Last night I defrosted the old chest freezer and cleaned it out. That is a killer job on the legs and back of a short person.

DH went to a land auction the other day. It was pasture ground right across from a high end development. Surprisingly it only brought $3200 an acre. That's high for pasture but for potential development ground it is low. Real estate friend said the development potential farm ground has really dropped because of the economy. Don't get me wrong I'm not pleased at all about the economy but it doesn't hurt my feelings one bit to see the development into our neck of the woods slow down.

Better get the dishes done and get bills paid.

You all take care!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Forgive me for meddling but I enjoy reading through these farm journal threads. Nebraska_Jewel ~ I look for easier ways to get thru life and just defrosted a chest freezer last week. I emptied it, ran a garden hose in to to melt any ice. Used a wet/dry vacuum to empty the water, wiped it down and replaced the frozen goods. Quicker and easier than I have ever done before. Otherwise I felt like I'd be standing on my head in it... hate to make DH mad around defrosting time or he might walk by and be tempted to push me in and close the lid! LOL

Stay warm.... pod

southeast, NE

Thanks Podster - great idea! Why didn't I think of that before? (slap me on the side of the head!)

They were making fun of me at work today as I was moaning and groaning. They thought it was quite humorous thinking of me falling into the freezer.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Another trick I am trying was to sort things and bag them in the cloth shopping bags. Like all the chicken, beef, dairy products, vegies separately. Then I shouldn't have to rummage to the bottom for what I want but can remove that bag and search for the item. It was suggested to use different colored bags for the different things but I'm cheap and used what I had. I think it will work well and even make the next defrosting session easier.

southeast, NE

I do use plastic storage boxes for different items i.e. one box for beef, one box for vegetables, etc.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Update from the frozen north.
Winter showed up this past week. Any tillage left to do came to a screeching stop. The first cold night went down to 4.
Snow followed, so ground is now white.
We put our strawberries to bed. Set the trays on the ground & covered them with straw. This is all an experiment, so don't know whats going to work.
Went to a former cabinet customer. They farm organically, so always interesting there. I was going to get some straw bales from him. He was telling about his soybean crop. No chemicals, so he hired people to walk the beans. Said it cost $115 per acre for the weeding, (not a lot more than spraying would have been). I asked what he got for the beans. He said $22.50 per bushel on a contract, so no up & down market like conventional beans. Conventional price here is around $9 per bushel right now.
He only farms about 320 acres & raises Holstein beef. He always buying & selling cattle.
He has four little girls & seems to be doing well. Small farmers can make it, if they don't try to be like a big farmer.
We did well on our 5 acres of crops this year. Bought a bigger jointer for the wood shop. My son is bragging about how much easier it is to make straight lumber with it. Now we are adding on to our house. Nearly done. Need hardwood floor in the new office, carpet in the living room & bedroom. Bath vanity & linen closet are being built & should be done by mid week. We put in a walk-in shower in the bathroom in place of the old tub.
My wife is partially handicapped & had trouble getting in & out of the tub.
We paid cash for everything from our garden crops.
Cabinet business is better than ever. Lots of work! And more coming in everyday.

Here's part of our new living room.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

This is one side, tree is to the left.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Nice work on the living room. I am glad you had a successful year. Handicap accessible 'everything' is good as we age and will enhance the value of the property.

I wanted to comment on the $115. an acre. Us kiddos with hoes and machetes worked a whole lot cheaper. We could have bankrupted our farming Dad in the soybean fields! LOL

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Nice room, Bernie. Love all that open space.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

We have a lake effect snow band that has set up across all of Chautauqua County, what fun.
The county is shut down for the day. All the schools are closed and county workers are to report only if they feel it's safe for them to do so. I have to say, I've seen it much worse, but I didn't even go out to get milk, so there you go!

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

I've been watching the weather and wondering what you were getting...

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Enjoy it, probably came from me in Wisconsin. We had probably a foot or better of the white crap. Yuck.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Oh, gee, thanks for sharing.

We ate breakfast at 9:30, Stan had to take two links out of the manure spreader chain. The temp was around 10 F with 20 mph winds, and no shed with a spot big enough to pull into. He said it actually felt much warmer than it had when he went out at 5 (7 F with 30 mph winds), but it sounds to me like the difference was basically minuscule!

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

We are having a 'Currier and Ives' snow, fluffy snow flakes dancing around on a very light breeze.

I'm up to my ears in making bears (and playing on the computer), but I need to do some baking. There are rumblings about the dearth of Christmas cookies.

back to work

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

I was wanting to make some cookies too for our 3 get-togethers but it seems like SU just CANNOT leave me alone for anything. If I am not going like a maniac in the barn he is expecting me to chauffer him somewhere. Grrrrr........ok, 'nuff on that.

I was hoping to get 2 different cookies made that my aunt and gramma used to make for our family Christmases. One is butterscotch refrigerator cookies and the other is her gingerbread boy cookie. We shall see what transpires...........

Snow here last week, bad enough but could have been much, much worse. Roads are clear, but yammering about getting nailed again Wed. and Thurs. *sigh*.............I have had waaaay enough of winter. And it's just only arrived about right now in this time zone. The guy on the radio this am while I was doing my workout said at 11 something this morning the winter equinox would be taking place. Fall, winter, they both look the same to me right now. :>)

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Consuming cookies here! Way too many.
A couple pans of fudge were on the counter when we got home today. Chocolate & peanut butter.Should be called "disappearing fudge".No matter where it is stored, soon it is gone. Even at KY RU it disappeared fast!
New batch of chocolate chip cookies yesterday as that container was near dry.

Nuisance snow today. Made the roads a little slick. Supposed to get a bunch in the next couple days. Let it snow. We have plenty of food on hand & lumber to keep us busy. We don't have to go anywhere!


Tabor, SD(Zone 4b)

Hello everyone.
Hope you all had a great Christmas.

We have around 18-20 inches of snow. It started misting/sleeting on Tuesday evening and went downhill from there. The snow started that night and it's been snowing and blowing ever since. They closed the interstates over the whole state a couple of days ago and advised no travel for anyone. The electricity went off south of here for a few hours yesterday, but it's back on. There are 10ft+ drifts everywhere. DH wasn't even going to try to dig us out until the wind let up, but he just went out to brave the elements. The snow finally stopped a few hours ago, but they are saying that we are going to get another blast before it's over. I think there are 40+ mph winds every once in a while.
The dog doesn't even want to go out, the snow on the yard is deeper than she is tall. DH took some food into the machine shed for the cats since he doesn't think they will make it across the yard. He put three bales of hay out for the cows yesterday because he figured that he would have a hard time getting to them today. They aren't even coming out of the shed to eat. Neither are the ducks and geese.
DS and a friend of his are going to try to get here for supper. The friend just moved into a house in town and ran out of food, so DS is going to see if he can get him here so we can give him a 'care package'. The kid has never lived on his own, so he was not prepared for three days of not being able to get anywhere. Hope they dress good in case they have to walk!! lol It's not that far, but the wind chill factor will make it miserable.
Hope everyone is staying safe and warm. Have a great new year and hope that 2010 doesn't fly by as fast as 2009.

southeast, NE

Hey all!

Pretty much ditto what Ruth has posted. Except we didn't get quite as much snow. Weather people are saying we got a foot of snow. It's hard to tell the way it drifted. Interstate and highways were all closed yesterday. DD's friend is on the fire department/EMS for nearby town. They had a medical emergency and had to have the state plows come in so they could get the patient to the hospital.

I'm surprised we didn't lose power. It blinked a few times and I held my breath. They're moving snow, etc. today. DD is hyperventilating because she can't do the "day after Christmas" shopping.

We had a family friend call and ask if dh could come and plow his driveway out . He whispered that his inlaws have been at his house for four days and it was getting a little "edgy". Once dh gets the driveway cleared, I don't think he will get much further if the highway isn't cleared.

This is the 2nd major snow dumper we've had in December! It could be a long winter.

I can't forget to pass on my exciting news. I'm going to be a Grandma. DD & SIL are expecting in July!!!

You all take care!

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

We got lots of snow, some rain, but were spared the wind.
All snow came at night. Plow would come by in the morning, so we could get out everyday.
Piles are getting high & I'm afraid it's here to stay the winter. Temperatures don't get very high with all the snow cover. It's like living in a cooler of ice!

I've been working on veggie seed orders. We are out of most everything, so lots to order. Cutting back on the number of companies except for some odd varieties I can only get from certain places. Most seeds are coming from Johnny's. Their varieties always do good here. Also only place to get greenhouse tomato seed at a decent price.

Now I am going to figure out how much seed I need for the greenhouses. Three of them to fill now instead of one. No more bedding plant business, all veggies.


Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

We had rain and blustery winds over night, a little snow this morning, but it is nearly gone. You can see the grass again. Snow predicted for tonight and most of the week as the temps go only down.

It was a nice, but quiet Christmas here. Stan's mom and our eldest and her family were here for breakfast and lunch. Everyone seemed to be tired, even the Kentucky bunch when we called down there. I think part of it was the weather - windy and rainy just isn't right for Christmas Day. Today we went to Stan's family celebration and tomorrow, we go to my folks. I may be forced to take a nap on Monday!

Ruth, I hope you all get dug out. The first day or so, being snowed in can be an adventure, but it gets old fast. Especially when you have to get out and take care of animals.

NJ - what a wonderful Christmas present! You will love being a grandma.

Bernie, I know you have to get things ordered early, but I am not ready to think about seeds yet!

Goldthwaite, TX(Zone 8a)

Folks, I don't want to sound grumpy, but we here in central Texas like our winter moisture to fall as a gentle rain, not as white flakes. I spent two winters at the U of Mn in grad school, so I have seen plenty of snow and below freezing temperatures. Christmas Eve it snowed three inches and dropped to 29*. Greenhouse heater kept it from freezing inside, so really no damage done there-- but Mother-in law (82) slipped and fell on tile floor in her kitchen and broke her hip just below the ball at the top. Surgery last night went well, and dr told her she could walk as soon as she could stand the pain.
So-- I am home alone babysitting 5 cats (ours) and one beagle dog (Grannys). DW and SIL are at hospital 100 miles away with their mother.
The beagle minds me better than she does anyone else, and if the food dish is full, the cats are quiet and peaceful, so other than eating my own cooking, i really don't have any problems.

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Robert, sorry to hear about your MIL, glad the surgery went well and hope there's a quick recovery.

I can't help you with the weather, but I'd rather you had the rain. Too apt to turn to ice here and I'd much rather deal with snow than ice. We had a clear night last night and a heavy frost on the open ground. Now if it would just stay cold, with the ground frozen Stan could more easily spread manure through the winter, especially if we get some snow on top of it to keep it frozen.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

WE had everything covered with hoarfrost this morning. when the sun came out it was like a fairyland.

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