Monday, December 31, 2012

Lessons from 2012

We survived our year from hell! Here are a few more lessons learned during 2012: 
  • Don't whine - just get the flu shot 
  • When you live in the country, be prepared to go without water and/or electricity for a while. 
  • We love the NRCS!
  • Farm porches are good for parties
  • It's going to be wet, dry, and windy and there's not a darn thing we can do about it
  • No matter how strong the fence, our cattle will get out
  • Progress is messy
  • Projects ALWAYS take longer than originally planned and are directly related to Murphy's law
  • Our beef is tasty
  • "Everything will be alright in the end, so if it is not alright, then it is not yet the end." 
  • Finally, most importantly, we have a lot of great friends and family who are willing to offer up their homes, throw a few hay bales, build bathrooms, cut loads of wood, and go running after tractor parts. Thank you!

We are really excited about some big plans for 2013, there will be many more lessons to come. Thanks to everyone for reading the blog and your support through the past year. 

Happy New Year! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2012 Christmas Card Outtakes

These photos did not make the cut for our annual Christmas Card, you'll see why.

In April the barn door fell off, and it's still laying there.

 Badger only eats grass-fed Scottish Highland beef. He's also very spoiled.

Moving chickens! (They're fine, they like to be upside-down.)

Farmer John's new ride!

Awkward cattle

Coco had to ride with a generator from Illinois to West Virginia. She was not too happy about that situation.

Finally, this is what we look like while riding in a convertible at the beach- no overalls or muck boots to be found!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Guinea rescue

Farmer John dropped me off at the farm after school today before he headed back to town for some errands. It was raining - because it's always raining. I heard a bit of guinea squawking as I went in the house, but that's normal. This was the scene I observed from the kitchen window:

There was a guinea inside the chicken yard. Not a big deal, except that it was panicking. It was running back and forth in front of the fence, to the point where it had made a long muddy rut. It was also making panicked-guinea noises (use your imagination here). There's no telling how long it had been trapped inside the fence, but the rut was pretty deep and the guinea was soaking wet and muddy. During it's entrapment it had forgotten to!

I decided to try and rescue the pitiful thing before it got dark. Once inside the fence with  the panicked guinea I learned that guineas may be dumb, but boy are they FAST! We did quite a few laps of the chicken coop, in the rain and mud, before I took a break. 

After taking care of the chickens I decided I needed the right tool to finish this job. Farmer John's fishing net is generally the tool of choice for catching poultry around here. However, I couldn't find Farmer John's fishing net, so I grabbed a rake. The guinea and I did a few more laps of the chicken yard, this time in the POURING rain and with the rest of the guineas watching from outside the fence. (Imagine even more squawking) 

Finally I was able to use the rake to catch the guinea against the fence and grab it. Then I set it outside the fence and it ran off to join the rest of its flock. My favorite part was that cow just stood and watched the chaos while chewing her cud. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The weather (and cat names!)

It's been raining here. And it seems like it's been raining for a very long time. I would like this rain to turn to snow, and Farmer John would just like to see the sun again. I realized just how damp everything is when I went to the woodshed a couple days ago. 

There's mold and mushrooms growing all over the wood! I remember last year when it was so damp that we had some funky purple mold on some of the logs. But, I've never seen mushrooms growing like this before! We have our fingers crossed for drier weather soon. 

Also, thanks to everyone for the name ideas. We decided to stick with the beer theme and the "B" theme. The boy (top) is Barley and the girl (bottom) is Belikin. Of course we've already started to use some nicknames - Swarley and Belly. Thanks for all the comments and fun ideas! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

An update

Yes, we're ok. Don't worry. I've just fallen behind with the blog recently. Here's the update:

I went to Belize for a week! Some friends and I went to visit our friend Anna. Caves, a citrus farm, river swimming, Mayan ruins, snorkeling with sharks and stingrays, and lots and lots of laughter! 

Farmer John took care of the farm. Which included supervising rail installation on the bridge, major clearing and repair of fences after the summer derecho, moving cattle onto new pasture, moving chickens onto their winter spot, and cleaning out the barn in preparation for winter feeding. 

He also acquired two new cats. They are keeping Beast Lite company and I think they'll fit in just fine around here. We don't have names for them yet, any ideas? 

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