Working The Farm When You’re Not As Young As You Use To Be!

Never before have we felt our age more than we have this winter. Never before has the phrase “it’s all in what you’re use to” been more fitting.

We have seen temperatures in the single digits quite a few times – no in Virginia we are not use to this. There have been several minor snows but even with the insignificant amount of snow, working outside has been a bear. Hauling water…most people don’t have a clue how heavy a 5 gallon bucket of water really is…its 40 pounds, that is carried 300+ feet, 5 to 6 times back to back, some days 3 or more times in a day. The livestock needs water and it needs to be thawed – the animals are not fond of ice chips. You find yourself getting really excited when the temps are predicted to be in the 30’s only to be disappointed because it’s going to rain for several days. A cold miserable rain!

Once you have a single spare moment it’s time to hit the woodpile for log splitting because Lord knows that fire breathing woodstove must be fed.

It’s at the end of these kinds of days that you become way to aware that 60 is just around the corner for both of us. The farmer seems to always have a personal heat source wrapped around his back during his breaks. The farmHer hasn’t been able to sit or stand without fear that this is going to be the time those knees just stop working. If we aren’t reminding ourselves we’re not 20 anymore our friends are quick to point it out.

As I sit here writing this we have one eye peeled to the up coming weather forecast. Some say 8-12″ of snow with sleet. Others are saying 20+ inches of snow. I don’t think we’re going to get missed this time. That’s okay, spring will come soon and the aging muscles will finally get a break before it’s time to break the earth to plant the garden, cleaning out the chicken house, doing hoof trims, sheep shearing…okay,  that’s enough!

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How Weather Affects Us

Wow, so far 2010 has been a royal pain in the #@** with regards to weather in Virginia and many other places. So many of our Blog entries are filled with photos of the latest snowstorms, flooding and mud. From the inside looking out it’s just one big Holiday card waiting to be printed..to the farmer, as we pull on our Carhart’s and boots, it’s another day of adverse conditions to try and do what has to be done or not getting things done at all.

In all fairness, right now I think everyone is having a hard time with the weather though. I know around here, we are simply not use to all of this snow and neither is our livestock. Poor things..they don’t know what to do with themselves. The sheep and goats hoove at the ground, expecting to find grass and there isn’t any..there’s just more snow. My guys have taken to just lying on top of the snow and snoozing. When the grain bucket surfaces they are like mad animals running in all directions, then they look at us like “oh no, not this stuff again”. It’s kind of sad, at least we can go to the market or our local co-op and get fresh lettuces and other veggies.  They can’t nor can we afford to do that for them.

So we do things like talk about spring and plod through our seed catalogs, looking forward to those warmer days. For those of us who are responsible for livestock..weather like this always keeps us at a little higher stress level whether we realize it or not. Be sure to take care of you during this time of year. Eat right and work on that attitude. In the long run you will be better off for it and so will your farm.

It’s Sno-pretty!

Well who knew that the snowstorm the weather people down played this morning would turn out to look like this?

It is still coming down and doesn’t really show signs of stopping. I just walked into the kitchen to see what I might eat next and the kitchen window was full of birds (had the storm window up). The poor things don’t know what to do with themselves.

This photo is what I see when I look out that same kitchen window. The girls were looking for hubs to come feed them.One thing for sure, if you have a camera and you’ve had a snowy winter, you definitely got your shots for next years Christmas card. According to the forecast, we’re going to have more snow Tuesday! Can’t wait.

Be safe and stay warm.

Batten Down The Hatches!!

Here we go for another round of winter weather. This one looks like it could be bad because of all the sleet they are calling for. All of the critters are settled in their digs, fed and watered. Now I am getting ready to make a pot of beef veggie soup, do some light cleaning and wait for the storm. Hubby is headed out to work but has his doubts he will be gone for long.

We went to the grocery last night, the first time I had been able to get out since last weekends storm. I should have taken the camera so I could take pictures of the shelves. I’m lucky that no one out here in the country likes to buy organic..that way I could get milk and bread, otherwise, we would have had to do without. The poor shelves had been stripped. Thought while I was out I would get fixins for the Super Bowl..need to do that Sunday morning if we’re dug out by then.

Took a look at the Almanac yesterday. According to it, we will have a major winter event every weekend in February in our part of the country. Oh goodie!

Well I’ve taken up enough time yammering about the weather. Have a great day and stay warm and safe.

Cheers!