Friday, February 14, 2014

Chill out.

Meh.  Right, this post will probably seem a little emo, but I just need to  type. 

I am ready for winter to be over.  I'm physically and mentally exhausted form it.  Yeah, yeah, I know I was complaining about summer last year, now I'm complaining about winter. It been very three very long three months, basically starting right after Thanksgiving.  

Where to start? Well, let me describe a typical day here in this winter. 
Everyday you get up and get dressed. Getting dressed for a typical day involves putting on long underwear, work clothes, then an armless shell, then a sweater, then overalls.
 This is just what I wear when I'm working in the shop (if it's REALLY cold that day, I will throw a vest and hat and gloves on over that) .  When I have to go outside I add on a huge overcoat, scarf, thick hat, mouth cover, and thick gloves.  After gulping down breakfast,  it time to get ready to take care of the animals.  First we fill buckets with hot water to haul out, and then go out and take care of the cow,  Inky milks while mom dad and me move hay, clean stales, change water, feed the three other cows that are in the one field closet to the house. Two of them were pregnant and the other is a bull we are nursing back to health.  after we are done that we get food, and go to feed the other three cows , a bull, a young meat bull, and and older cow and goats. While we are doing this Chris (my brother) is taking care of the pigs and hulling hot water and feed to them. Then we feed the goats, Tamworth pigs, and cows, chop the ice off the water, refill the water, restuff the hay rack, check the health of the animals, and then Chris takes care of the chickens and potbellies while we head back and thaw out for a sec, before Inky and I head out and take care of the rabbits.  We fill there waterers with hot water, then stuff any cages that need hay, and feed them. Then it back in to thaw out.  This takes about an  hour and 45 min every day. In the cold.  After grabbing some tea or coffee, we work in the shop. Which, due to the fact we didn't get a stove hook up in time this winter in the new extension, has been mostly below 42 F. I have been drinking hot drinks and eat like a hourse and not gained any weight due to the fact it's burning off in that temp.  So, that goes like that all day till about three, then we go out and do all if it again.  After that it various chores in the house, then at five we milk the cows for the night (get dressed in layers, hule water again if they need. I bring in the rabbit bottles, and lock up for the night. Then we are done for the day.  
Every day, for the last three month almost. There have been a few break in there now and then, nice warm weather, but not much.  There have been frantic excursion for firewood because we didn't have a enough stocked up. 
Granted, if we were READY for this winter it would not be this hard. We'd have enough firewood, we'd have heated water over AT the barns, we have better shelters for the animals.

The last time we had a winter like this was.. year ago.  All we had were some chickens we had to worry about. that was easy. 
Throw on the fact this winter has been really fecking cloudy to boot, and nerves have really fried. 

On top of that,  financially we haven't been exactly great.  The cows are eating more then calculated, and we lost our first three calf (first one was a deformed bulldog calf we had to have pulled, seconded died form septic arthritis, and the the was aborted 3 months early)   All of those involved trips to the vet and bills. 
Add on to that the fact we had to get another bull. Our current bull is a chondro positive Dexter, and so are two of the cows we have. The other is a long leg dexter, and the last is a guernsey/jersey cross milk cow.   He can only breed the long leg dexster with out a chance of a bull dog, and he is too short to breed the cross. so, he is good for only ONE cow.  We are currently trying to sell him, but the market is limited, since he can't breed most bigger breeds, and he is an older bull.  We may have to beef him out if we can't sell him. 

  We found a long leg bull someone was getting rid of that had a awesome bloodline for cheap. But there was a reason it was cheap, he is VERY sorry shape. It gonna take a lot of feed to get him to shape. So basically right now we've LOST money on the cows.  On the bright side, we just had to heifer calves born with out problems that if we can keep alive and healthy will be worth good money. But that a ways off.   So meh

Work in the shop has slowed way down.  We are currently finishing out last order of furniture and then that's it, nothing slated to be built. No orders lined up. We have some ideas for some new pieces, expansions, but we really need to get our marketing back on par.  Which is even harder to focus on when you are running as hard as we are right now on the farm.

On top of that, my rabbits have been giving me fits.  I have not gotten most of my rabbits to breed, and the few that took all lost their litters in this horrid cold.  I've been trying to breed them since December, and NOTHING.  I have tried every trick I know, combed the internet.. Nothing. The only consolation I have is my other rabbit friend in oklahoma isn't having much luck either, so we are both hoping it is the weather, that it has been too cold to breed.   I have 8 months worth of feed money saved up form past rabbit sales. If I don't get SOMETHING by then, I can't afford to keep the rabbits.  That has always been the criteria for me. They pay for themselves. 

And last.... there  has been some stress on health. Mom and dad desperately need help with knees going bad, rheumatoid arthritis, and surgery for crippled feet.  They have been putting doing anything off becuse we couldn't affored it under our meager health plan. But it look like they would be able to get help as soon as the new health plan kicked in. Well, guess what. We may lose our coverage July 1 if it get voted out.  
I am fucking sick to my stomach right now.  My parents have been hard working independent small business owners for 30 years, they don't fucking deserve to be used a bargaining chip for political gain.  Just... Fuck it.  Hell, if I break a leg we'd be in the poor house if we lose our coverage right now (not really, but you get the point).  Yeah, is all up in the air, it could pass, but it's close.
Which leaves me to the final point. I've been told by no less than two friends lately I've been less then sociale. 
They're probably right.  
I'm sorry.  Hell, I don't really have a right to be, but there, the post above is my apology, or explanation.   Please don't take anything personally, cause I sure as hell don't mean anything presnal.


Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Kinda an add on, see,ed lame too do another journal entry

Right.  So.   I like to say think have greatly improved since my last post, but I'd be a bloody liar.  At least it's had it's up and downs.

Last week, we lost all the ducks and guineas to was was probably a mislabeled bag of feed.  Bro opened the coop door that morning and they were all dead, dead, dead. Like they laid down as if going to sleep and never got up.  Of course we had nightmare scenarios going though out head of bird flu and the like, but after going over the fact (the chickens were all healthy, it was only the "exotic" birds, ect.  so, we have no ducks this year.  Right now we are thinking we will hold off getting new ones, and replace them next year.

One of my rabbits had a litter, but then lost it a few days later when I think she peed on them in the cold, and they chilled and died.  Just feck.

And it snow again.  We're lucky there, they promised ice. I got to experience my fist thunder snow too. so that was cool. But, still. Can winter fuck off, please?   The only good thing is since we are stuck inside, we are cleaning the shop like it hasn't been cleaned in YEARS. old jigs, wood, everything is getting sorted and moved. that is nice. really nice.

Oh, and one more to add to the stress!  As of today, we had our last order get lost in transit, and spent several hours calling around trying to find it.  Thankfully it was found, though not one the pallet it had started on :-/ .  The thought of having to rebuild an order because the shipper smashed part of it makes my stomach churn.

On a lighter note, my twin and I turn the big three oh tomorrow.  We're not going to really do anything, we'll just wait till this weekend, seeing as we are so busy.