Showing posts with label Farming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Farming. Show all posts

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Storm Pictures

As I sat on the porch this afternoon, there was a gentle breeze whipping around and a blue, blue sky.   It was the perfect kind of day to be outside, but suddenly, I smelled that damp, breezy smell that signifies rain.  I snatched up the camera and took pictures of the storm closing in over the barn roof.  I thought I would share them here today, since this blog is both my book reviewing and my life-recording blog.

The rain and the wind came oddly fast, so the majority of the pictures ended up kind of blurred, but I was very pleased that I managed to get a few really nice ones.

The weather just can't decide what to do today.  As I write this, I'm sitting on the porch enjoying the sunshine and breezes again!

I'll be back tomorrow with a full length book review.  Until then, I hope you enjoyed these pictures!  I had a lot of fun taking them.

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Data

The poll about how to pronounce the name Flavia from the Flavia de Luce books is over.  The result is that the name is....
Flaevia!  5 out of 6 people agreed that the name was Flaevia, while 1 person told me it was Flahvia.  Since the one person who disagreed is a member of my family who never read the books (*cough* Aden *cough*), I'm going with the other 83% that say Flaevia.  Now I just have to wait to get the last book back (it was accidentally returned to the library) and I'll be all set!
So now you know.  In other news, this is what I'm going to be doing today:

That green stuff is flats of little plants waiting to go in the dirt.

People, look at all the onions!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Knickerbocker Knockabout

Would you like to hear a gripping, enthralling, edge-of-your-seat story written by yours truly?  Well, here goes.
The pasture where our escapee first headed to

Two days ago, we decided to move the pigs.  Remember those cute babies?  Well, they have grown decidedly bigger and louder and it was time for them to move from their little nursery (the horse stall) out to the big world.
The brambles she got caught in.  She still has a scratched up
nose to show for it.

The first drama came when we went to pick up the pigs.  They screamed like I have never heard anything scream before.  Loud, piercing screams.  After hastily dumping them down in the middle of the pasture, we realized that they needed to be shooed chased madly into their house (where the food and water will be) for a couple of days until they learn that that is their home base.
The place where she ducked under the fence.  

Two of the pigs, after being chased around and around, decided to go where they were supposed to go.  We were relieved, but there was that one stubborn pig that was determined to stay right where she was.  We started to shoo her and, just then, she decided to dodge between my legs and charge straight through the electric wire.  I have never seen an animal so determined to get through an electric wire in all my life.  She dodged through the wire and then ducked right under the (we thought) carefully sealed gate.  I really thought I was going to lose my mind.  Here was a pig that, evidently, had no respect for an electric wire and 60 acres (not counting the neighbors') on which to charge madly.  I briefly considered just letting the dumb thing wander through the woods for the rest of her life.
This gate to the pasture where the pigs were supposed to be.

However, we took off again, chasing this pig over hill and dale (actually, it over through knee-deep pasture and brambles).  This pig first of all decided to take off through one of the biggest pastures.  She ran at a breakneck pace that none of us could keep up with and then plunged herself into neck deep brambles.  We were sure that we could catch her because she was caught, but when I reached for her, she managed to tear herself loose and run again through the electric wire and through the barn and through some more pasture before finally turning around and racing through the open gate into the pasture where she was supposed to be.  Exhausted, she threw herself down directly on the electric wire and it began repeatedly shocking her.  I don't know if the little burning sensation calmed her, but she didn't budge.  We turned the electric wire off and gently walked her back to her sisters in the barn.  She went without a peep.
The three piggies.  The one of the left is the escape artist.

Yesterday, my grandmother reminded me of a poem from the children's book, Father Fox's Penny-Rhymes.

"Knickerbocker Knockabout
Sausages and Sauerkraut
Run, run, run, the hogs are out!
Knickerbocker Knockabout"
All's well that ends well...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Pigs

We have pretty much every animal on my farm: beef cattle, chickens, a few loud guinea hens, 3 ornery geese, sheep, goats, two dogs, and a bunch of barn kitties that roam at will.  Well, three days ago a kind neighbor called and asked if we wanted 3 little piglets.  After a few minutes of thinking, we said yes.  So now, there are three little piglets that are living in a horse stall until they are old enough to go out on pasture.  These pigs were born in an extremely conventional (for the United States) pig operation, called CAFO units.  Now these 3-week-old piglets are living in a wildly different setting at our farm.  They have will have lots of sunshine and grass and I think they're going to be very happy.

Piggy naptime.  They're babies, so they spend quite a lot of time
sleeping and chewing on things.
Contemplative pig.
I promise, this is the last time you will ever see a pig butt on my blog.
But look!  It's a perfect heart and no, that wasn't tattooed on.

Since we've gotten pigs, I am remembering all of these books and stories about pigs.   Of course, there's the classic Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf, but there are many others.  In Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, there is a story about somebody taking a pig for a ride on a bobsled.  All I remember about that story is it was funny.  Then there's the Beatrix Potter book, Pigling Bland.  There's the famous Charlotte's Web, the pigs in the Richard Scarry books, the stories about Olivia the pig, and dear old Babe: The Gallant Pig.
The waterer.  It's just a pvc pipe with a little tappy-nipple thing like
rabbits use.  These smarties figured it out without any coaching on our part!
The shoelaces on boots make excellent chew toys.
Apparently chewing on the feeder and an old rag is very fun.

This is just a smidgen of the stories about pigs.  I've wondered why there were so many pig stories, but I'm starting to understand it since I got pigs.  You see, pigs are one of the most sensitive and smart farm animals.  They actually remind me a lot of dogs.  They can get very bored if they don't have something engaging to do, they get lonely if they don't have company, and they all have very distinct personalities.  The most rewarding thing about taking care of the pigs is that when you go out to the barn, the pigs have a special happy grunt when they hear people.  All this to say, I think I'm going to like keeping pigs and I can understand why people have liked them for a long time.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

I hope that all of you have a very Happy Easter, wherever you are and whatever you're doing.

The easter sunrise this morning.  This captures just how vivid it was.

The sunrise to the west.  See the pinky-purple streaking over the barn?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Farm

I've been gathering my thoughts for about a week now to write about this book called The Farm.  The first page had me hooked.

"Johnny's earliest memory of the Farm was filled with snow and the sound of sleigh bells.  Riding through the soft-falling drift of white, he could see the fat rumps of the horses which drew the sleigh and the steam which rose from their wet coats as they plunged forward to drag it up the steep rise in the lane beyond the bridge over the brook...Then the sleigh came to a halt beside a white picket gate beneath the drooping black branches of the Norway spruce...Out of the house came a tiny old lady and three or four enormous people, and Johnny was swept in through a hubbub of greetings and noisy kissing into a room which was warm and had a delicious smell compounded of coffee and sausages, roast turkey, and mince pie." 

This lovely description had me all ready for a pleasant, cozy read about a boy growing up on a farm.  Instead, it was the history of an old farm and the author's family history as it tied into this midwestern America farm.  In the second chapter, I yawned and thought about stopping reading, but I kept going because that first page had been so good.  I'm glad that I kept reading.  It is a good author that can make their personal family history interesting to the general public.  Stories of all the family from the stern Colonel, the family patriarch, the vivacious grandmother, Maria, and the author's mother kept me interested until the very end.  

So, overall, this is a good book with well-developed characters and interesting, everyday adventures.  Although the writing style is pretty slow and I kept it for reading when I was fully awake, I am really glad that I stuck with this book.  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


The lambies have started to arrive!  And, boy, are we excited!  I think that it's probably my favorite sign of spring.  The reason I'm bringing this exciting announcement into the blogging world, is because of the lambs' names.

You see, every year, we have a theme for all of the names (makes figuring out who's in what generation easier).  Last year, it was Greek gods and goddesses, this year it is...

So far, we have triplets named J.R.R.Tolkien (author of The Hobbit, etc.), William Shakespeare, and Jane Austen.  Except that they are so sweet and small at this age that we're calling them Tolkie (we hope Tolkien wouldn't be offended), Willie, and Jane.  Little does their proud mama know what famous people they have been named for!

Here are pictures from the day we let them out of the horse stall they were born in into the big world.
Sorry, this is the only picture I have of all three of them.

Meet Shakespeare...
Tolkien...he's the runt of the litter.  The little guy is so small and he
also has a problem with spacing out and then, whoops! Where
did Mama go?
And here is Jane.  I think she might be my favorite