With warmer weather just around the corner, I feel like a racehorse standing in the starting gate. I feel that at any moment things at the farm are going to exploded in activity. Which after this long winter, I'm actually looking forward too.
We will be buying chicks pretty soon. Woooo Hooooo!!! New life on the farm will be such a good thing. It makes us feel like new beginnings and hope. The chicken coop isn't fully done yet, but it's getting there. And with the weather finally getting better, we will be working on it more. It's just about done as it is. I can't wait to show you pictures of it. Hubby has done such a good job!!! I told him that I'm wanting it to be a pretty coop. That way I can put "sexy" chickens in it. LOL!!!!! (Don't ask me what a sexy chicken is. I just made that up. lol)
Another thing that we are looking into is material for a barn. We are checking the cheapest way that we can build one. We might have a line on some cheap lumber. Let's hope. Believe it or not, one of the hardest thing about building isn't finding the material, it's finding people to help build. No one wants to help on farms anymore. When I was younger, I would have given my arm to be able to work on a farm with animals. In fact, I use to work with race horses just for the cost of gas to get there. Oh, and a cheeseburger for lunch. Working with the race horses are some of my best memories. But these days, finding someone to work on the farm is like finding hen's teeth. They just aren't there. We have offered good money to kids (13 and up) to come out and work. They don't have the time or it's too much work for the money (which is way above min). And if you find someone to work, they either don't know what they are doing and you have to teach them every. little. thing, or they are so lazy that you have to stay on them like ticks on a hound dog. I don't know about you, but those kind of people are hard to work with, let alone pay them to work for you. Right now though, I'm thinking more about the costs and materials than the help. Maybe if we have a big "barn raising" like the Amish do with a ton of food and stuff, it will make people want to come and help build a barn. We shall see. We have plenty of time right now.
Hubby and I went to Tractor Supply to get us some chicks this morning.(By the way, they were out.) Of course while we were out and about, we went and had something to eat. We ate at a nice restaurant. The food was good but the service, not so much. Sure it was busy, but not any more busy than a normal Sunday afternoon. Our waitress kept giving us excuses. Dumb excuses. I hate excuses. Needless to say, she didn't get a very good tip.
Then I got to thinking about how people, in general, make excuses. They think that once they give them, then everything is fine. My dad always told me,"Excuses only satisfy those who make them." And, he is right. Take me as example. I was making excuses about not having money to build a barn, yet Hubby and I were eating out. We eat out a lot. So what I've decided, was to see how much money we can save by not eating out. Every time we want to eat out, I'm going to put the money, that we would have spent, in a "barn fund."
I don't think we will miss eating out. We like my cooking and service better. One of the main reasons we do eat out is because I get bored with making the same things over and over. I need some new recipes. I thought about going through a cook book or two (I have a million of them. I think.)and just pointing at a recipe and making in. Maybe I won't be that bored in making dinner then. I'm going to get a barn one way or the other!!!!!!
So I'm also asking for your help. Do you have a recipe that you love? Please share!!!! And then if I find one I like, I'll share here too!
I sold all of my goats. I have mixed feelings about it. When the man who bought them left, I actually cried, and I'm not a crier. I can't hardly describe my feelings. It's like I broke up a long relationship with a boyfriend who I know wasn't good for me. It makes it worse because this is like a "first love" relationship. The goats were my "first love" when it come to farm animals. (My horses don't count.) It feels weird when I think about them. When I go outside I don't hear them yell at me for food. I missed it badly the first few times I went outside. I assume I will get use to the quiet. I have to move forward though. I have to make sure I am ready for whatever is in my future.
So, Hubby and I, and hopefully a few others, are going to build a barn.(Somehow) It's what was needed before I actually bought my animals. The barn that you see in my header is full of hay and farm equipment and it doesn't have room for animals. Plus, it is pretty far from the house if I had to go and check up on animals in the middle of the night. I think Hubby felt sorry for me when I cried. It probably shocked him too. Like I said, I don't cry. He has been really pushing the whole "barn" thing since the goats left. I told him that if I had a place for them, I wouldn't have sold them. But, I know that a barn is so expensive to build and we don't have the money to build one. But like I said, Hubby is really pushing for us to build one.
When I had my goats, I felt like I was letting them down. I didn't have the means of taking care of them the way that I felt like they should be taken care of. I had goat huts that they could get in out of the rain. But when it comes to milking, Hanna and I would be outside. Sometimes even in the pouring rain. It was something that just had to be done. Hopefully if there is someway we can get a barn, I will be able to go forward in my journey of homesteading. I don't know, maybe sheep? Maybe alpacas? Maybe more goats? I'm not sure. I do know that with a barn I will be able to take care of whatever we decide, a lot better. Maybe, just maybe, I won't have this horrible feeling anymore.
I want people to see that just because you have land, it doesn't mean that you have a place for animals. There is so much more.
Ok, I'm done with this "down" post. I promise there will be a happier one coming soon.
It's that time of year. It's Fire Season. Since Hubby and I live on top of a hill, we can see smoke from many miles away, so we go and investigate. This is the second fire that we "chased" so far this season.
You can't see it in these pictures, but the whole valley was on fire. The ground is wet from the latest snow and rain, but the winds dried up the leaves that lay on top of the ground. One small spark can ignite them and cause all kinds of trouble.
Luckily the fire department and the Forestry Department was there to put it out.
While Hubby and I were out and it was such a nice night, we drove around for a bit. I wanted to get a few pictures of the bridge that goes over into Ohio. The city is pretty at night. (from a distance.)
And since I'm putting pictures on here, here is a nice picture of my sister who had a baby on March 5. This is my little niece. I'm not gonna put her real name on here so I've got to come up with alias. LOL
I did something yesterday that I hadn't done in a VERY LONG TIME. I sat outside! I know that might not sound that exciting, but it WAS! To me, sitting outside is one of my great joys. It calms and motivates me at the same time. Just being able to breath the fresh air helps me to focus more. Sure I was outside all winter when I was feeding the animals, but that's not the same thing. When the wind is whipping and the snow is blowing, ya just can't enjoy the outdoors. So yesterday, I sat outside. It was a little cool, a little windy, but hey, I wasn't freezing. Today is suppose to be even better. 70 degrees!!!! Can I get a Woooo Hooooo!!!???
I think I'll go on out there again today. Although, with the weather being warmer(for today), I should be cleaning the yard, shoveling rabbit poop, shoveling goat poop, shoveling chicken poop......... Na, I think I'll just go sit in the lounge chair again. I mean, I have all summer to shovel. :-)
So until next time,
Small Farm Girl, enjoying the warm weather, (for now.)
This is Annabell, a Jersey milk cow. I bought her. She is soooo sweet and she is perfect. Except..........
I have no place for her. Sure we have beef cattle, but as I found out, beef cattle and milk cows are really different. Plus, I want them to be separated. Our beef cattle are wild and sweet Annabell would probably get hurt being with them. Plus she is going to have a calf in May and I would liked to get her use to us before she had it.
This is the Internet picture we were given of her.
When we bought her, is was a "spur of the moment" buy. I have been talking about getting a milk cow for some time. We go through butter and cheese like crazy!!! But talking, was all I was doing. We didn't have a place to put her, no place to milk her,and no place to get her in out of the weather. Plus, once she DID have the calf, we worried about the bull getting to her because we didn't have a separate place for her to be out on pasture. I should have thought about it a little more. But, like I have said a million times, I like to jump into things. That's one of the reasons I was going to take this year off and figure out what I wanted to do. ( That really worked, huh?)
She was perfect though. We didn't even have to tie her to milk her. She stood still and endured our fumbling around. While milking her, I found out that 10 years of doing nails had really damaged my hands and arms. They hurt SOOO bad after milking her. That would be something else I would have to get, a milking machine.
Whatcha doin back there?
I was told that since Annabell was going to have a calf in May, it would probably be best if we dried her up. Do you realize how many people have different ideas on how to dry up a milk cow? I was getting different advice from at least 4 different people. And of course since I didn't really know anything about milk cows, I was so confused. I couldn't sleep. Was I gonna end up hurting this sweet little girl? I couldn't keep it up..... So, although I hated to, I decided to sell her after one week. I was just so over-whelmed. It's my fault for jumping into this. I put her on the Internet and within one hour, I had someone call about her.
She will be going to a nice family who has owned milk cows before. She will be their only milk cow and she will be babied like crazy. I think this will be for the best. The man that bought her, taught me a lot about Jerseys in the little time that we talked. I'm going to be more prepared when I get another cow.
And, we will be getting another milk cow, just not right now. I'm going to make sure everything is ready for one. I'm going to do more research on breeds and milking machines. I'm going to fix a place just for the cow where we won't worry about the bull getting to it. Things will be better, and I'll be able to sleep at night because I won't be worrying about the cow. I think I learned my lesson.