Tag Archives: rain

Bucket of Milk in My Face, Big Disgrace, Kickin My Cans All Over the Place

Have you ever had one of “those” mornings?  The ones that seem to start out ok, but early on there is an event where you think to yourself, “self, this might be a hard day”?  Today was one of those days for me.  Nothing like the beautiful title picture that makes me long for that morning last week.

Today started out great.  Got a good night’s sleep.  Felt rested when I got up to milk.  Everyone but my wife was still asleep when I left the house heading for milking chores.  Things were looking good.

My first four steps… still going in the right direction.  Now let me interject here and let you all know that we have been getting rain the last couple days, lots of rain.  And not the rain that brings May flowers.  The kind of rain that brings frozen roads, driveways, and front steps.  The front steps are where I started to have an inkling in might be one of those days.  I very nearly bit it on that top step, I caught myself, but just barely.  I honestly thought to myself, “ok, you caught yourself, you now know it’s icy, you’re good.”

So I shuffled to the barn and got my milking supplies.  On the way from the barn to the cow, even the yard was icy.  I shuffled my way down to the gate and opened the gate.  Prudence, who normally meets me AT the gate, peeked her head out the tarp wall as if to say, “I’m not coming out there.”  Nice.

Our water drains through the pasture down into a swale.  As we have been having melting, thawing, and freezing rain, the part between the gate and the animal shelter/milking parlor is more or less an ice skating rink.  I didn’t bring my skates.

After nearly biting it two or three more times, I made it to the relative safety of the milking parlor.  “Not too shabby,” I thought to myself, “balance like a cat.”

During milking Prudence was a little more fidgety than normal.  On a regular day Bullseye will vacate the milking parlor knowing that he doesn’t get any grain and I prefer he leave so as not to bother Prudence.  He wasn’t interested in going out in the rain so he stayed.

Throughout milking the rain seemed to continue to come down harder and harder.  When I was just about done, Prudence decided she was done as well, and decided to relieve herself.  Bombs away!  Right into the water which was now flowing at a steady pace through the shelter, and splashed poopy rainwater everywhere.

I was hoping that by the time I finished there would be a slight break.  Unfortunately, as I finished, the rain began to beat on the steel roof.  I hung out with the cows for a few minutes longer, and then finally, the break I was looking for.  Just as I was heading out the door, lightning and thunder, which unnerved the cows further.  After skating back to the gate with my catlike reflexes(wink wink) I thought I was home free.

It was on the way to give the pigs the milk that I was greeted with the reality that I neither have catlike reflexes nor was I home free.  I stepped on the slight slope that is between the gate and the pigs, and my foot lost grip.  As I plummeted to the ground the bucket of milk hit the earth first, right next to my head, and an explosion of milk erupted all over my face and upper torso.  It was sweet if you are wondering.

After picking myself up, injury free but knowing I need to work on those reflexes, I headed to the hydrant to rinse out the bucket.  Wet, milky, and defeated, I shuffled to the house.

While aiding my pregnant wife to her car we managed to only almost fall twice.  Fortunately she made it safely to work, the milky clothes made it to the washer, and I am now clean and conversing with you.  All before 7:30.

Now that I have had time to write down the morning’s events, I can see how they might be humorous to others.  So if you have a story like this, that you can now laugh about, share it in the comments below.  I’d love to laugh along with you.

If you are still reading this, if you haven’t already, please consider checking out my YouTube page by clicking on the previous link.  It’s a lot of the same types of things you read and see here, but you get to put a voice and face to the words.  Maybe that’s not such a good thing… well check it out anyways.  I’d really appreciate if you like what you see, if you’d consider subscribing or liking a video.

Have a wonderful rest of your day, I’m going to.  Until next time.

Drying Out

Sunday was wet, to the tune of over an inch of rain, wet.  So we are drying out today.  I am thankful that it was rain and not snow, but it does make a mess.  The pasture is soaked, and the entrance to the coop is a mess as well.  A couple dry days should help.  I am hoping that when the sheep and cow decide to lamb/calf it is dry, but there is no point in fretting over something that I can’t control.

Yesterday, between breaks in hard rain, I went out to check the animals and then walked around to check the garden area, orchard, and vineyard.  The garden looks good, if a bit waterlogged.  I will probably till it lightly this year before planting, and then hope not to have to till anymore.  We will see how that goes.  The orchard looks good as well, with only a little bit of rabbit/mouse damage.  Not anything like last year.  I’m hoping for a few apples and pears this year.  The vineyard also fared well over the winter.  I think if I transplant a few evergreen trees I can make room for another 5-8 vines.  That is if I can find time for moving everything.

Until next time.

After the Rain…. Turkeys

I wrote this post last week, but in the process of waiting to get pictures uploaded and the busy-ness of life I forgot to actually post it.  So here it is, late.

We got blasted yesterday afternoon and night with strong thunderstorms.  The weather monitor showed that 3.2″ of rain dumped on us in less than 12 hours.  The storms at night came complete with frequent, and close, lightning.  It raised on the to-do list the need for a storm shelter here on the homestead.

With that much rain that quickly, the older chicks that are already outside got dumped on.  They really aren’t the smartest of creatures.  The pen they are in now has a roof panel on one end and has three sides on that end.  It should be plenty weather proof and secure, but they always choose to sleep in the farthest corner away from the shelter.  I even added a tarp over the corner they had been sleeping in, and they changed it up and slept in the other corner.  It is frustrating, especially when it leads to losing birds, which happened last night.

Someone had asked if I use fertilizer, and I do.  I have been using an organic fertilizer that I found at Costco.  I started with a couple bags, and when it went on sale I bought about ten more bags.

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The other day I got a call from the feed store we bought our chicks from.  The call went something like this…

Me: Hello.

Feed Store:  Yes, we are just calling to let you know that your turkeys are in.

Me: Oh.

Feed Store:  You can pick them up anytime this afternoon.

Me: Oh, okay.

I ordered the turkeys when I picked up our chicks, so it wasn’t like I didn’t know I ordered them, but it also hadn’t been in the forefront of my mind with everything going on around here so I was a bit surprised by the call.  Luckily the tupperware brooder was empty so we ran over to pick them up and quickly set up the brooder when we got home.  They seem to be doing fine.  The poults are doing fine and are more curious than most chicks I have had.  One has been named Pecky by the kids because it likes to peck at things, including my phone.

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Meet Pecky

 

The pumpkins have started coming up.  We were late in getting them in, but hopefully they will be fine.

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I also gave the cows another panels worth of grass.  They had been getting pretty muddy with all the rain.  Soon enough they will go to my brother in law’s and eat down one of his overgrown pastures while I get some more fence up here.

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Getting ready for more grass

Rain, Blessings from Heaven

As I was sprinting ahead of the rain drops into the house this morning after feeding the calves, I was understandably thinking about rain.

There has been a lot of rain this spring/summer.  So much so that I have really only had to water the garden after I have planted something, just to get it watered in.  And I haven’t even had to do that all of the time.  For instance, last night it started raining right after I planted the blueberries and grape vines, so that was one less thing to worry about.

Not having to drag hoses all over the Homestead is definitely a blessing, although I wouldn’t be complaining about that if it needed to be done.  Not with the droughts being experienced out west.  I have very little to complain about.

So I will continue to count my blessings, as they fall from the heavens, but I’ll be ready to start dragging hoses around when the need inevitably comes.

Photo Update and Rain

Today it rained pretty much all day. That’s good news for everything that was planted over the weekend. Almost all the plants are showing great signs of life.

I also stopped at Tractor Supply and picked up three bigger blueberry bushes, a black raspberry, and two gold raspberries.

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Three blueberries on the left, and barely visible raspberries potted temporarily on the right
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Grape vine
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Strawberries doing well
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Red raspberries planted and looking good
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One of the fruit trees, they are all leafing out

 

The weather is supposed to warm up again the next few days, so I am hoping that everything really takes off.  I plan to try and get as many seeds in the ground as possible over the next couple weeks.  In the end of May all of the started plants can go in, man is this fun.

Seeding the Lawn, Washout

This morning I decided that I should try and get some of the areas around the house raked and seeded since we were supposed to get rain today.  I got out the tractor and the york rake and proceeded to rake the area to the best of my ability and time.  This is what I ended up with.

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The area between the house and barn and probably the highest traffic area with kids and dog going from the house towards the swingset
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Looking south between the house and barn
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The area south of the house seeded and watered in
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I used the landscape rake after the york rake. I was able to use the small spreader and seed smaller areas at a time
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Ready for seed
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Seeded and watered
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Ditto

This afternoon the rain came, in monsoon fashion, for an extended period of time.  It started out like this…

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And then it kept raining and it looked like this…

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And it just wouldn’t stop…

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Until the sun showed it’s face and we finally got a reprieve.  Sort of.

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Please excuse the dirty window

Then God reminded me it won’t last for forty days and forty nights.

 

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So I could be frustrated that a couple hours worth of work and several pounds of seed went to waste, or I can look for the good.  This rain event, the likes of which we shall certainly not see again for a long time will allow me to tweak the grading so that water can move more quickly out of the area.  I will most certainly need to reseed and rake everything, but that will have to wait until it isn’t a muddy mess.  We will have a yard, eventually.

Trucking Along, Rain, and a Prayer Request

It just won’t stop raining here.  It is making moving things difficult and the driveway a total mess.  Thankfully it isn’t impassable, yet.  If it keeps up, and it’s supposed to, it may become a real problem.  This is what greeted us earlier in the week.

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Anyway, today I took out some boxes of kitchen items, along with our oldest son’s dresser and drawers.  Most of what is left at our current house are items that I can’t manage easily by myself.  I am still debating whether to get some friends together and move the stuff or to hire it done.  At this point I am leaning towards friends and DIY, so if you are reading this and are interested in helping, please email me.

When we are there I try to get all the boxes unloaded and put away and take the empty boxes back home with us so I can reuse them.  After unloading the boxes today I fixed one of the new locks I had installed.  The key hole was upside down and I couldn’t readily figure out how to fix it.  Last night thanks to the magic of YouTube I learned how and was able to put that to use today.  I also worked on closet shelves.  I have one side of our oldest son’s closet and those will be done.  I could have finished if I had the parts, but I need to make a run to the Depot.

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Master – I added the upper shelves
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Kitchen – One Side
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Kitchen – Other Side
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Younger Son’s Closet – Again upper shelves were added
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Older Son’s Closet – I am adding two shelves on this side and the one on the other, which still needs to be done

All of these closets are in the middle of the house so had higher ceilings.  We can use all the storage space we can get so I figured why not add more shelves.  Most of them will be used for things that aren’t used regularly as they are pretty high.

I also got the crib put together and the changing table set up.  We are currently at a state of DEFCON 2 with regards to the baby coming.  For those of you too lazy to google “defcon levels” that means we are almost at high alert.  I need to get us moved, and now.  Please pray for my wife and our unborn child and their health.  Also, please pray for my sanity as I try to get everything done that needs to get done.

Thanks!

Great Lakes Levels Higher?

This is an article I was expecting.  Except the part where they omit mentioning that Chicago draws water from Lake Michigan and dumps it down the Chicago river, which drains to the Mississippi.  At .7″ per year, that adds up.  Think about it, that’s 7″ in a decade of water that is lost.  Here is where I found that number.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GREAT_LAKES_WATER_LEVELS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-03-05-23-07-43

Where will all this snow go?

I read an article here the other day about the possibility of flooding when all this snow melts.  I have to admit I was already starting to think about this.  With the Great Lakes frozen over more than normal and the abundance of snow we have had this winter I have been focusing on the positive, or trying to, every time we get more snow.  This should really help the water levels in the lakes, and the water table in general.  This happens not only by the snow melting, but the frozen lakes also prevent water from evaporating.  This is truly a good thing, lake levels here have been dropping over the last several years so I hope that this winter gives them a boost.  But it does mean that this spring will probably be pretty messy.  If as the article suggests, we get rain along with the snow melt, it could be more than messy.  I went for a quick walk around the homestead yesterday and snow was over my knee in many places.  The forecast for Thursday, mid 40’s and rain.  Anyone have supplies to start building an ark?

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It looks pretty now, but when it melts we are going to have a mess on our hands

Just in Time

It looks like we got the cement poured just in time.

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By the next morning there was enough snow to cover the grass

I shudder to think about what would have happened if our awesome inspector had not made a special trip out to inspect our holes.  God was definitely watching out for us.  With this weather, who knows, we may have had to pump water out of the holes before an inspection and pouring.  Now we just need that concrete to cure so that we are ready for the home delivery in less than two weeks.