Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 11 of 365 day in the life of a small farm family

Today was a day that I had to be roused from the bed by the little bears and hot coffee, I had no desire to get up and start what I knew would be a very long day.  I have been watching the approaching storm system with great dread, having been in Arkansas during the last great ice storms.  Last time we were without power for over a month.  So I knew that aside from going to class and such that I would have to go to Wal-Mart and cash a check and then go and get grain.  I did find time to play with the horses before I left , they came right up to the pasture behind the house and the baby was very snuggly today, maybe he is feeling a bit better, I kissed him, the kids the other horse and the hubbie before leaving on my great quest.
So here is how it all played out, I barely got to school on time after passing the bears and Rachael and Michael on the road coming back from taking out the trash, and felt compelled to find out what happens if I with draw from a class, because I have become so distraught over losing Elaine that I found it hard to finish my on line English class, epic fail on my behalf and I will do my best to fix it.  My advisor explained the basic rules of it all and I hope not to need to do it, it was like the readers condensed version, of don’t fail and if you do , well than wait till the last minute to do so.  At three minutes before class I left her office and after pausing for a soda from the vending machine hurried myself off to my math class.  I hurried for no reason I guess as when I got there the last class had just let out, oh well.  Anyway the teacher Prof. Jim Bob and I had a lovely history /political conversation before class and it seemed to spill over to the math class as well, making it much easier to deal with as a whole.  I felt much better about the whole thing once we had a mutual respect for one another, I am not in his class because I am dum, I am there to bone up on the new terms, which to my great surprise as well as his have changed.  Knowing what a natural number is was of great use for me to day as the book did not define it, but because of my past work I knew the answer.  The class went well and after class I decided to go to the gym and work out, however I got into the van and backed out of the space, only to hear, thump, thump, thump, I parked it again and got out and saw it was a completely flat tire.  I moved the van into a different space in case I need the tow guy, one never knows.  Then got out and assed the problem, it was the same tire I had just gotten fixed, ewwwwwww.  Ok I said I have a pump, no worries.  I pulled out the pump just as Prof. Jim Bob came by to check and see what the problem was.  I said I have a flat and he came over and looked at what I was doing, I placed the little part on the tire stem and plugged the pump into the cigarette lighter behind my seat which is like a ton closer than the console(thanks Chrysler for thinking a head), and nothing happened…lol  I picked up the little box and looked it over for a switch and than as I pressed the on button, the most terrible sound came out and it attempted to fill the tire which as luck would have it , was flat to the rim.  Mind you I have changed my fair shar of tires but have no idea how to put air in one that is on the ground like this,I found out latter from my husband Michael that you need to have air in a tire to beable to put air in with one of these puimps, well thank goodness the Prof.  Must have know this as well, for after several minutes I gave up with the pump and went to start tearing down to change the tire.  I was so pleased, here is my new jack, and here I have gotten the cover off of the spare and what, wait where is the four way, OH…….ewwwww  No four way, well this is fun.  The Prof. excuses himself for a moment and comes back with a can of fix a flat and asks me if I care if the mechanic  gets angry, I said I don’t care, I just want him to fix the tire( sexist of me hu? I figure it will be a  anyway I kind of watch him with a raised eyebrow thinking this is not going well, when I start to see the tire rise and he then puts back o the pump, which now starts to fill the tire, shortly after tha he leaves me with the can of fix a flat and a tire above the ground.  After about I guess ten minutes more I realize that the tire does not seem to be getting anymore air in it.  So I take off the part from the valve stem and turn the pump off and I hear the hiss of a leaking tire.  I go over to the Jeep that Isaiah is driving thinking, well I guess I will have to change a tire after all, but it is not there, of course, and no four way now I am back to having a leaking tire and I am debating on what I should do, when I see one of my friends leaving the building heading to her car and I ask her which way she is going she says to the court house, which as luck would have it is in the other direction, she asks me why and I tell her about the can and the tire and that I am afraid to drive there without someone following me and that my dear son, who’s birthday is today is nowhere to be found.  So she says, no worries, that she will follow me, so I drive there with her behind me the whole way and I get there get out of the van give her a hug and thank her for making sure I made it there safe.  I then went into Wal-Mart and let them know about the tire, he asks me which one and I tell him the one you just fixed and that I did not know if it was the same problem or a new one, but that I needed it fixed if at all possible.  I proceeded to go into the store proper and walked around for a while, dang I still forgot the index cards, oh well.  I went to the front and saw my friend K working and another one of my friends standing in her line.  One my other friend was done we moved our conversation over to in front of the bank; we were talking about horse, my horses which is very hard for me.  I had gotten my daughter favorite horse Ice, the father to the baby horse I know have and that I had a female paint horse dreamer that was looking for a new home as our horses did not like her at all, that is just the way some horse are.  She is currently thinking about it.  As I am standing there talking my phone rings twice it is Isaiah asking me if I want him to hang with me, I told him sure, sounds great and told him where to find me, no sooner had I hung up than K had gotten her lunch break, which we shared at Mc Donald’s, home of the world’s greatest French fires.   Very short on cash at the moment so I did dollar menu, you know how it is.  It was nice to sit and talk with her; we have been talking about doing lunch for like ever.  We once worked together at a call center and became good friends.  She is a wonderful person and a great friend, but really busy. 
After this I went to grab a soda, some bread and some butter to take home, as I figure I will be stuck on the mountain for a few days.  I got to the tire repair part of the store and they said it was a nail, ugh…oh well it is fixed and off Isaiah and I went to the gym, I did not stay long as I am still a bit under the weather and I know the clock is counting down the hours to the feed store being closed.  So off the feed store I headed forgetting that Isaiah always stops for gas before coming home.  So I hear the cell phone ring and low and behold, he is getting gas, so I tell him I am going on ahead and get there a few minutes before him and get to talk to Ken the owner.  We often talk and I like to buy my feed from him, even when it cost more, because his feed mill is run by him, not some large group of people and the money stays in the community.  Plus he is very wise and knows tons of stuff about farming that I am still learning.  So we spoke about Elaine and I explained that it was not just the alfalfa that killed her it was the type.  I had always bought compressed dried bales in the past and decided on the compressed cubes never once thinking about it being an issue.  Well it was, compressed feed uncompressed in the horse and that is most likely why she bloated so badly.  Plus that she was an old horse.  He asked me why they would even sell a feed like that knowing it could do that to an animal.  I told him the vet said not to give it to goats, sheep, cows or horses, he (Ken) asked me what it was good for then, I told him, and well I guess I could soak it like beet pulp and feed it, but it seemed like a lot of work.  He explained that after hearing all this he really was non to keen on selling it anymore and I sort of felt bad as he mainly started carrying it because of us.  He saw there was more than one kind and well it does look like a great product and a good deal, sadly it is not.  Ken is a great guy; I just wish more people would take the time to shop at Salem feed.  A lot of people from around here shop for their feed up in Thayer, but when you figure in the cost of gas to go up there, you save a bunch just buying local.  Plus like I said he is a great guy. 
Next I went to the grocery store to get the bread that I meant to get at Wal-Mart and grab some hot dogs for the bears, I know, but they begged and I gave in.  After all that I came home, Isaiah had the grain, and I have the straw.  It is Isaiah’s birthday so we made a cake, Rachael did most of the work, while I finished up Geography home work, which for once was in way ahead of the dead line and then I frosted the cake and made sure dinner got done.  We had pasta with our beef and red sauce (I had plain pasta with butter, garlic, red wine pomegranate vinegar and a little salt) .  After dinner we sang happy birthday to Isaiah and had him cut the chocolate cake and everyone but me had a slice, I took a bit, do not really need the calories and I am still a bit under the weather.  Rachael, Michael, I and the bears watched a wonderful movie we got in the mail today from Netflix (just love these guys, they are easy, with a big E), Nanny McFee returns, it was just as good and wholesome as the first movie, I sure hope they make more moves in this series.  They are lovely story’s with no bad language and a wonderful sweet story line that in the end makes you want to watch it again and again.  Don’t know of many movies I could say that about.  So that is about all, other than writing and sharing this with all of you.  This dishes are done, thank you Dah’veed, the babies are a sleep, thank you Rachael and Daddy bear, and the house is quite, save for me hitting the leys on the laptop and I’m glad for the day I have had and that we have been able to share it with you.

No on the hubbies part of the blog…

News From the Doghouse and how to thwart remote viewing with Chinese fortune cookies...

Last night my feet fell asleep watching TV, a show called Hogs Gone Wild, like it was some alternate universe of the girls from Welcome Back Kotter...had it nice and toasty in here last night at 79F, SO...did not have to get up and put wood on the fire in the middle of the night as usual...but little Elisha climbed into bed saying his cheeks were cold...hmmm, maybe the curtain wasn't closed properly at the window by his bed, oh well he's a warm potato anyway heh-heh-heh

Finally got up and made coffee in the percolator <-- sp? and the usual way of water boiling in the tea kettle, not that I needed extra coffee today, just will take awhile with the coffee pot purking or into The Shteltblaster (Green Hornet's got The Black Beauty, so hey) and got the Sanitation Engineering Department going, and had the full crew of supervisors with me today...nothing eventful to report, except coming back home on Wild Turkey Road we met a turkey driving a van, guess she never saw a donkey driving either heh-heh-heh <-- that's LOL or LMAO in cybergeekese...

Had a little variation in the usual pattern of controlled chaos in chores, got back from the trash run and went to the basement to start a fire, clean the woodburner of soot ect...cause it got cold and damp it was like 40F but wind chill was 33F, and the air had moisture in it that it was like misty rain, then went to the incubator to water the eggs, sounds strange but just filling up the containers to hold the moisture level steady for hatching, old news for some, insight for those with no experience, anyway had a peeper hatching with his beak all the way out and nothing else, but it looks like it needed some help, so I am checking the peeper out periodically all day. Since I am doing laundry, it’s no real problem at all. The egg successfully hatching is the core of the issue.

Then it was off to the porch and quail peepers, some duckies, and chick peeps, starting to get some eggs again from the quail. Then grabbed Dah’veed from his electronic chess board programming, to help roll some hay to the horses, before it gets too wet or rainy or cold, it’s a nice big bale, had it up on a pallet and covered with a tarp. If you have to improvise, then you improvise. After that I rolled wheelbarrow loads of wood to the basement, need it dry not saturated and/or frozen. That was 7 or 8 loads, lost count, and did 2 loads last night when it was nearly dark...after my feet watched Hogs Gone Wild, I may have to rethink going out after dark now, bad enough when it was just the Bogey Pig....

Went out to the barn, and did the usual stuff there, and the cayugas rewarded us with a nice black egg...came in to have a break for java mud, and watch the Bears, one was asleep and the other clunked out from the Weather channel being on, we are at 72520 if anyone wants to program their cities viewing on the weather channel locals box.

About the only thing left is to wait for the Boss to come home, and she's running late because of trying to stock up some supplies for the animals...and the livestock lol We got plenty of goodies, its just nice to have some extra treats around, and extra feed for the birds, just in case the weather takes a turn for the worse than whats expected. Maybe I will get out and cut some more wood as well. Helped the peeper out of its eggshell, thick membrane and shell, oy, this is a job for the more experienced. They do not pop out of the egg like they do on TV it’s a slow process, and they are wet, not dry and fluffy. After a couple of hours it will either struggle to stand or not make it at all. We shall see. 

Elisha’s part of the blog, (mom is typing for me).  I am three years old.  Today I played on my computer, took out the trash with daddy, I stayed in the car, that’s ok, cause he is just a bear dad, that’s ok, it was cold. I watched my show blue’s clues, I learned about birds house.  I got all three clues, that’s all.  Good night….(he is waving, that is so  he thinks you can see him…)

Elijah’s part of the blog:
Hi it’s Elijah here, today I am gonna post the blog.  Today is Isaiah’s birthday.  He is twenty and I got to eat cake. I took my nap today, like a good boy and tomorrow there is gonna be a new fetch with ruffman show. I dumbed trash today and saw mommy on the road.  I did some school work and fed heart my ferret and watered her with help.  That’s all.

Good night, I will tickle dads feet at 6 o clock….

As the baby said good Night and may your dream be wonderful …
Gonna buy this...never gonna be with out on again...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 10 of 365 days of our lives on a small family farm

Here we are on day10, wow10 days you have been following our lives and we hope you have learned a little about us and lives. 

Today we started the day after breakfast of course by starting to make pies.  The first batch of crust was scraped due to the vegetable shortening tuning rancid and must now be rendered at so point for soap. Then we made a little mistake with the flour, we found an unlabeled jar of flour and dumped it into another jar we had, it was not wheat flour, it was corn…dhooooo….so as I made the crust I sort of figured it out and figured we had gone that far…lol  We topped with a streusel topping, same flour mix, which is now used up, so it all went well and the pies came out fine.  I love making pies, it is by far the easiest desert food next to Jell-O(we do not eat jell-o, unless we make it from our own cow feet).

We made 4 jars of pear/peach jam and 4 jars of pear/peach pie filling, that went well and we still have enough to make a pie tomorrow. 

We had last night’s dinner for lunch and some of us had hot dogs for dinner and some had chicken, we are cleaning out the freezers on meal at a time…  Every six months we need to almost empty the freezers, because they frost up.  A few years ago we thought about buying some of those fancy frost free ones, but realized it is not practical because of where we live.  Here on the mountain the power seems to go out at least once a month for a few hours or so and with modern freezers the food would thaw very quickly and then refreeze, not the greatest to eat once that happens. Our will keep food frozen if unopened for two weeks; we know this due the ice storms we had a few years back.  Another big plus is that they cost less to run than the new energy saver ones.  Our electric bill on average is about $225.00 per month if you do a yearly average.  That is with three refrigerators running, two freezers, five loads+ of laundry per day as well as the incubator and the many lights that are always on, plus the electric, dish washer, water heater and stove.  We have gone back to regular light bulbs as well, the new ones over all do not seem to save power and they are a bio hazard having large levels of mercury in them and since there is no hazardous waste station nearby, what is one to do with dead bulbs that you cannot legally throw away.  So the green bulbs are not green.  It is sad where you get the point of seeing that much of what you think is green is just propaganda.  Any way back to the point it is almost time to take the hair dryer and rag towels out and defrost the buggers.

I have a ton of school work today, still trying to get it all done.

Let see what else did we do today, played with the little bears, hugged horses, checked on all creatures on the farm great and small.  Returned emails to many people.  Oh we had wood delivered, in case of the storm does hit.  I am so tired of snow.  It will make tomorrow a very long day for me.  I will get up early to get the kids dressed and feed, than it will be off to school and math class for me, after I will go to gym and then to Wal-Mart and then the feed store and home, to more school work and grading papers of the children as well as baking a cake for Isaiah who will be 20 tomorrow, can you believe it, 20 years old.  Where does the time go. 

Well my dears I must go for now, I hope you all join us again tomorrow…Be Blessed and sleep well

So on to the hubbies post:
News From The Doghouse and life in the food chain...

Slept gloriously late today, until some Meany tickled my feet to wake me up at 8:30. I was up at 5:30 and started a fire in the wood burner, then went back to bed and slept solidly...Slowly got out the door at 10 and got chores going, it’s a day to get everything fresh new water, whether they need it or not.

Cleaned the Cayuga ducks pen, thought it would be 2 wheelbarrow loads and it was 3 heavy sopping wet ones. If you got a weak stomach, don't do it on a full stomach, or the ducks will love you forever. As for me, I couldn't wait to get done so I could go eat and have a coffee break. Had to get this job done, cause we lose money on dirty eggs, and today we had a nice black egg as well. Maybe I can get a picture posted of it, it’s cool if you never seen any of them. We at first thought they were bad eggs somehow...long story there for another day.

Have to get some more wood cut cause we got a storm coming on us in a few days, and I don't want to be out in the freezing rain trying to scrounge around for firewood. Got some cut, and we were able to get some solid core stuff delivered as well, so we are going to stay toasty warm through the worst of it, supposed to get down to 12F.

Seen a flock of geese flying overhead headed north...seen 2 flocks yesterday with the Bears, also headed north northwest...guess it is not going to be too bad then.

The Boss has some canning stuff cooking, berries from the freezer from our summer harvest, apples from our tree, and I don't know what else offhand.

Got to listen to my radio show on the computer, listening to Rabbi Dovid and happiness. May your week be a happy, joyous one as well.

On to Dah’veed’s post
The life and times of a rapper/farmer

Ah, it usually takes a near death experience from a live power line at a friend’s farm, to make you truly appreciate the things that are commonly taken for granted. Good times. Today we made peach/pear preserves...on accident. Well we made it on purpose but we didn’t purposely mix them. It happened, and all was well.
Thanks to the Anglo Saxons for creating common English…stupid English lit.
We had rice, peas, Israel cow meat, and cream-of-mushroom soup for din-din last night, and it was good…stupid din-din.
Oh btw, YouTube doesn’t like and material that they think is copyrighted, so keep your eyes peeled, or at least slightly open :/
Mom made pie…
That is all

 P.S. Here is a great link to old cool stuff, like our fridges and freezers.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hello and welcome to day 9 of 365 days of our lives on our small family farm

Today went got up early, kids had cereal for breakfast and we had pb+j for lunch.  We left here at 10 to go to a friend’s farm in Brockwell, Arkansas.  She has a lovely farm, with a lovely steel barn and four very sweet horses.  She also had a really cool hen house that was a little shed type building, with a concrete floor, heated water and three next boxes up high on the wall.  The play area for the birds was a dog pen connected to the little building and there was an opening in the side of the building for the chickens to come and go as they please.  Around all this she had a goat style fence.  It was truly amazing and I want to build something like it for some of our over flow. 
 After that we drove back to Salem and picked up a few things at the store and came home and tended animals, did email and we surprised a few minutes after we came by our friends Glenda and Richard. I went down to the basement and looked to see if I had enough glass to make some pendants and too see what colors so I could tell someone who was interested and then we walked around her and I doing the afternoon head check on the animals.  The baby calf we have left is so fat…lol  He looks like he I pregnant.
  I checked out all the pregnant mamas in the barn, no babies yet….I decided to move one group of goats to a different pen out there and that we needed to re-straw the bird areas.  Michael penned some turkens, I was surprised… 
We made rice with beef and peas with cream of mushroom soup.  So it cost us about 7 bucks to make dinner for 9 people and there is left over’s for lunch tomorrow.   So we spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening with them. I started on my anthropology homework and Elisha fell asleep after dinner.  Elijah is currently happy playing Mario…ughh, hold on got to put a little bear to bed, told him not to do that, last I knew he was on playhouse Disney.  Oh well it is late and he needs to go to bed anyway.   So it was a long day…and I am happy to watch House and then Elvira’s movie macabre and then off to bed for us.  The movie on there is “Don’t go to the basement”, sounds cool.
So below is the hubbies post, I love you all and wish you happy dreams of healthy food…

News From The Doghouse and the music is"Escape from the Island" from the movie "The Elder"...

Had my feet tickled by my Elijah alarm clock this morning, got things rolling and we had to head into Brockwell, Arkansas to work on 4 horses, got back home and finished the chicken chores, and water the livestock...then the rest of the day it was play with the Bears outside, they climbed on some fallen trees trunk, very good at balancing, then we walked around the SE corner to check some more fence, where the trees were down at, then they played on the swing set pretty rough on the slide, but it wears them out for a good night’s sleep. Then we were cracking nuts and munching out on our hickory nuts, pecans, and walnuts. Elisha really prefers the walnuts. Some company came over shortly after we had come home, so it was nice to have friends over. Still have not done any wood yet, and it is suppose to get cold again soon, like snow on Tuesday...kind of hard to know what is going on locally because our local programming on TV is supposedly bought and paid for and controlled by Springfield, Missouri interests, yet we pay for cable/satellite, I cannot think of a comparable example to this arrogance espewed by DirectTV...there is a local affiliate of one of the 3 major networks in Jonesboro, Arkansas but all of our news here is about S.,Mo....I never know what is going on or happening in Arkansas, and one of the stations from S.,Mo we are outside their viewing area on their weather reporting, so I have to rely on the Weather Channel local forecast...IF it was not for the PBS for the kids, maybe some of the shows we watch on FOX, I would cancel that "local" satellite TV Salem which is 6 miles away, they get Arkansas TV. Well. Sorry to rant, but it can be frustrating dealing with corporation automatons and minions a.k.a. morons. Hopefully, things will get better...hope everyone’s day goes well...

 Ok so Elijah has decided that he wants to add to the post today:
Hi my names is Elijah and I am five years old.  I love the wiggles!  I love to read my Wiggle book and my new Jewish book that I get in the mail.  I have a brother that is named Elisha and he is three.  I worked on horses to day with my mom and dad and brother and sister, it was fun.  I like to play the Wii, but my mom would not let me today, because I kept bugging her.  I hope to play on the Wii tomorrow. 
Shalom now

Be blessed all our dear friends and family…
What do you think of a chicken house like this...I also found this book I am thinking of getting.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Welcome to day 8 of 365 days of our life on the farm

To like all our days starts with feeding the animals and then getting all the human children fed and dressed for the day.  Today we had to take kids in for their checkups, there all fine and healthy.  I have one kid left to take and I think I will be caught up on most of the doctor stuff aside from taking the baby back to the dentist and Rachael back as well.  Ever so much closer to done.  Michael and I are getting glasses sometime next month, which will be a must needed blessing.
So we had roast beef for dinner, it was ok, but not great.  We canned the last of our black berry jam today, so I am thrilled about that.  I got very little done in the house today; hope to get more done tomorrow. 
I did find time to go out  and play with the baby horse today, and check the many bird nests that are about ht farm and so far laying is a bit slow, it was a nice warm day  today some I hope to have eggs in the morning.
 Be Blessed all...

Now to the hubbies post:
News From The Doghouse and the light at the end of the tunnel may be another train headed your way...

Did the usual bird chores with another long round with fresh waterers for everyone, while doing the first section in the barn had El Shaddai help me, meaning I had to close the gate going in and out the coop doors. For example, I had to shut the turkey door coop after feeding them, picking up their waterer with 2 cans in my hands and a food egg, try to shut the coop door without any escapes and at that moment a Curly rooster 4th generation decides its his day to attack me as well...I get out of their and shut the big coop door to keep El Shaddai out, while I still got Curly Jr. attacking my heels, get to the partion with the sliding board to keep the horses in their barn side, to get out to get more feed and water, the goats in the stall pop their heads out to get at me as well...its a lot of fun, sometimes, if its all unexpected, well....the Curly rooster is an occasional thing, this particular rooster a first time, usually the goats go after the cans, trying for a free divy at all worked out well, today.

Was all done with everything before noon today, but instead of wood cutting, we had to go to Mammoth Spring for the Bears' doctors checkup blah-blah-blah...then we went grocery store shopping, splurged on a Korean pear, large as a grapefruit, and then feed store, gas station and home, to chop some wood and gather some kindling to get a fire going to keep us warm tonight...yada yada yada...

Hope everyone has a happy shabbat, this week is Mishpatim, Exodus reading 21:1-24:18 and Jeremiah 34:8-22, 33:25-26

P.S. below is one of the books we own that is worth owning...I have a link so anyone else can look it up.  The photos are great and the knowledge is price less....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 7 of 365 days of our life on our small famliy farm...

Welcome to another day on our small family farm, we are glad you could join us.
Today for us started for early for us and it just seems to drag on so.  I got up feed the little ones egg and cheese biscuits with turkey sausage, they eat every bite, then they brushed their teeth and I brushed and braided Elijah’s hair helped them to change clothes and it was time for me to head off to school.  I did find the time to see if anything had come up in the garden and saw sweet little Alaskan snow peas poking their little heads up threw a small pile of snow.  The Egyptian walking onions are also looking good, ours are from three different strains of the same type, I try to plant these types of plants like this, you really get the very best of the different ones and healthy more resultant plants as well.  I noticed our wild garlic making its way up from the ground too.  I lost the Brussels spouts and will not plant them in the spot that they are again, nor will I plant cabbage there.  Killed both, it is very frustrating to have them die after all that work.  I know now they need to be near water, so I will plant them somewhere moist this year.  I start the seeds about now, for the cabbage and a few of the other plants including tomatoes.  I plan to plant carrots with the tomatoes this year to kind of share space and hopeful end up with stronger tomato plants.  Carrots like tomatoes….I do not know why, just know it’s true.  I have got my fingers crossed the strawberries will make it and produce this year, they just look awful, but time with tell.  We got about ten pounds worth of fruit from a area that was shared by other plants and only 6 foot by 3, so I feel they worked out ok there, but I would like more plants, in a different location.  It is sort of like the old saying “never keep all your eggs in one basket”…lol 
As I think I mentioned before I order raspberries from a local grower who seems to get the vest of the best.  Growing food is what he knows so sending him shopping for these will give me the best plants to start with.  I only ordered 6, three red and three golden, but I figure they will spread out and I should have plenty in a short time, maybe less than two years.  I am looking forward to replanting my blue berries as well.  I am not sure if the 6 grape plants made it yet, it will be a little while before we know.  I took advantage of nature on this one, removing old grape wild vines, and replacing with healthy newer /old varieties.  It looks like the apple tree lived through the winter so far and the pear tree is budding, that is a great sign.  I saw some bamboo from the road in some ones yard on the way home and plan to stop and ask to buy some roots very soon.  This is the best time to plant things like this.  Any way bamboo is one of the world’s greatest plants, you can eat the young sprouts, the roots (cook as potatoes) and it is a great water purifier and lovely if you have a bit of a boggy area that you want dried up a bit.  It can also be used as animal fodder if you had too.  One of its greatest attributes is that is supper fat growing and very hard to kill, that said plant with caution if you are not interested in tons of the stuff, because it seems to love our rocky soul. 
Back to the work, I went to school and went to Wal-mart, had to pick up food for the grandma kitty, who now only eats food with gravy (shaking my head), just too tired to go to the gym, just wanted to get home to the kids and the baby horse (he is a bit depressed since his mom died, me too).  Looked over Elijah’s school work, made sure the other kids did theirs.  Got my w2s in the mail today, so I did my taxes.  We pay about 15 % of what we make right now, but that will change if I cannot find a paper job off the farm soon.  Farms pay about 60% of what they make in taxes, if the owner is not working somewhere else, it is not based on how much you make, just that you do.   That is one of the reasons so many small family farms fail.  Rising feed costs and factory produced food and non natural food laws are a few of the others.
Ok now to the part of the blog where I answer peoples questions:

Currently we have 6.32 acres of land, but are in a deal to get 220 more. 
Daily time a day I spent doing farm business 8 hours, 4 hours of regular school, plus my varied studies.  The children each have between an hour and two hours of chores a day.  Michael has the bulk of the work right now with about 10 solid hours and laundry duty (by choice on the laundry).  Every day on the farm is a little different, in kidding season it is not odd for us to put in 16 to 18 hour days, plus care of any little loves that their moms for what every reason cannot take care off. 
We are Jewish, we do not make it a secret, we are not your run of the mill Jews I grant you, but Jewish none the less.  We never spell G-d’s full name out, out of respect, it is a long held Jewish practice that Jesus would have also followed.
We take caring for our very serious, they are more than just food, they are family and share holders on this farm, they are in our charge and we care for them and make sure they get the best of everything.   Raising an animal in less than love is cruel. 
Yes we are happy to help you with any farming questions, if we do not know the answer, we will find out together…
Farming can be a great way of life, to do it one must be goal orientated and self motivated, because the chores are never really done and some thing is always, hungry or dirty and needs fixed right a t that moment.  But there are lovely times as well, watching your ducks play in the pond they built, the birth of a baby horse, goat , sheep or hatching egg, renewing life and bringing the joy of babies to love.  Picking and canning your own fruit jam and the flavor of fresh that no store bought jams can compare to.  Harvesting your own food from the earth, full of water and sunlight and healthy minerals, free of yucky containments and safe for the table.   Having that first cup of coffee and watching the sun rise and thinking that at the end of the day, you and your family have made it all happen, just like our grandparents and great grandparents before them.

Now to the hubbies’ part of the blog…
News from The Doghouse and the obnoxious music playing is "Who Let The Dawgs Out?" vs. the more suitable "Veteran of a Thousand Psychic Wars"...

Didn't sleep so well, did the birds chores, got laundry done, really worked hard on the burial detail and finished...tore a blister on my hand that is on top of a callus, oy vey... While waiting for manpower to flip the poor horse in, went into the south 40 times five and a half and gather some firewood and was enjoying the view south southeast, then it occurred to me that somebody might be out there hunting, so I stayed close to home, though found a nice fallen log that I needed a horse to pull, just can't win for losing... So, walked around the property, looking at fallen tree debris to clean up and checked the fences was the main objective, and got some work there to do...

Seen some garlic or chives coming up and swamp cabbage or something, figure it out later, too tired...Rachael, Dah’veed, and I got the horse flipped into the spot, and got her planted...they are burying her. Dah’veed offered to help dig, when he got home from working at the neighbor's farm, but was already done...guess they needed to do the burying part for closure and contribution.

On the brighter side, it was fairly nice outside, was just in the t-shirt mode, though the wind had a bite to it. Yesterday was t-shirt mode as well. With no wind. There was a nice herd of deer down by the water, and they were looking into the "Twilight Zone" as the locals call this particular "hollar" some hunting was going on out back there somewhere...

Hope everyone reading this is doing well.
The kids, I and Michael wish you a wonderful night and hope to see you all here again in morrow…

Be Blessed
All of us here on Mahanaim Farm

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Day six of 365 days of the life on our farm

Welcome again to our blog, it is day six of 365 days of our
life on the farm and we are very glad you could join us today. 

For me it was another day of getting up earlier and going to
school and dealing with the daily problems that seem to plague my life.  I went in earlier to get the last book for
class, that was a piece of cake, thank goodness as it took me two weeks to get
it and it has traveled more than I have in the last two week, lol.   I also
tried to get my credits issue figured out and it basically cam e down to a
slate mate and I will be prorated to a lower scholarship level, because of a
computer glitch that no one seems to know what happened, but all involved have
told me that “it has never happened before”, Yes I know rolling my eyes…Oh well
lost this round, was one credit short of getting my full scholarships, so I am
a bit down about that as one might guess. This equates to a $500 loss.  Live
goes on (shaking my head).  I went to my
class which today is algebra and it was just a waste of time for me, but we are
graded on attendance as well as work, so what are you going to do.  The teacher spent over 25 minutes trying to
teach fractions, one person could just not get the whole idea of adding 1/3 to ¼.  Than he had to give a lengthy explanation on
Absolute numbers, I got in trouble for talking…so he thought he would shame me
into submission…lol  No way!  He said, pronouncing my name wrong , what is
an absolute number, I laughed and said , really, he exclaimed yes…so I told him…and
then went back to talking …lol  It is hard
to care when you are board to death.  I
went to the Tudor to find out how to do the class work he had assigned us,
where my Tudor and friend Rebecca explained to me it was ok to think they were
all nuts…lol  She is a good friend and a
good tutor, in less than 10 minutes she had explained what he could not in an
hour.  The teacher is a fine History
teacher, but a lousy math teacher.  I
need to pass so I will do what I have to. School is one of the most important things I can do right now as it
offers us the greatest hope for a future as the laws continue to change and
make farming for money harder and harder every day.  As an example of how bad things are for us, I
have gone through our papers form the farm and we have 90% less business this
year at this time, then we did last year at this same time.  It is very sad that things have gone this way
as it has always been our goal to be able to earn an income from this venture
and to be able to provide good quality healthy foods and fibers from this
farm.  In the end I guess we will end up
raising food only for ourselves. 

I cashed in some cans today and some iron bands off the wood
and shopped at the salvage yard (I love shopping there, he, he, he), asked if
he got any old copper screens in, none today. He did have a really nice brass lamp, but I did not need one, so I left
it.  I hope to get an axle for the little
trailer soon, from there, just need a day off.

I bought more feed today, the prices are still rising about
15 cents or more each time I walk through the door.  Nothing I can do about it.  Most of the corm in American that is not sent
to China is used in the making of bio-fuel. For those of you who do not know what bio-fuel is, it is a corn based ethanol
that is blended into gas to “help the planet”. In reality what it does it take away feed corn from American Farmers and
raise the price on most food across the board, it would frighten you to know
how much processed food contains some type of corn.   A good reason to do what we often do, and
make your own food whenever possible.  Anyway
back to what I was saying let me tell you a bit more about ethanol and its many
faces.  E10 fuel, which is the fuel hat
most stations carry, is not meant to be run in vehicles that take
gasoline.  It is made to be run in flex vehicles.
 It kills normal cars and trucks, burns
them up. It also produces less gas millage, than real gas.  Ethanol is a subsided product, we are not
saving the world using it, as the fields from the corn used to make it are fertilized
with petroleum products and plowed by tractors using diesel.  It is expensive to process and requires vast
amounts of clean water, which must be re-cleaned before it can used again.  Here are a few sites to check out and see for
yourself.  1000 gallons of water to
produce 1 gallon of ethanol.

I learned so much about ethanol because I had three classic
cars succumb to its destructive forces. I run only real gas now, it cost us more to do so, but I get good fuel mileage
and it is less harmful to the planet as a whole.

Now back to other parts of farm life, we had homemade pizza
tonight, with turkey pepperoni and as always it was great.  Making it I think is half the fun, the kids
like to fight about who makes the best pizza. It is a cheap meal as well costing under 10 bucks to feed us all.

The kids are off doing school work and playing on the net,
the hubbie and I are sitting watching Babylon 5 on Netflix and the babies are
sound asleep.  So I will get off her and
do my school work, chat with a few friends, and get some sleep.

The answer to the question of everything is 72…  if you don’t get it email me and I will let
you in on it…lol

Ok on to Dah’veed post for the day…

The life and times of a

Today started slowly, with mom going
to school early, and a second call to shady records. I just need them to give
me permission to send them a demo, and then my life will be complete…or closer

Apparently if you send them an
unsolicited demo, they will literally throw it in the trash…

I’ve written a verse and the hook to
“All my own”.
And fixed my desk chair =].

The Lockerz
general redemption is perpetually coming soon, with my hopes set on a pair of Beats by Dre. Headphones that my brother
is getting me, and a Mac-book pro
that I am getting myself.


Thus I shall wear them less until I
can get more…problem solved XD. Oh by the way, I found out that if you stick
two flash/thumb drives in the same computer at once, they tend to switch Drive
letters, causing some of the programs and shortcuts to the programs to stop
working. This happened when I went to use my Camtasia studio, and it brought up
an install wizard window, so I assumed it was repairing or something. Bad
idea…never assume. I had my Mp3 player plugged in to charge, I unplugged it so
I could go outside with it. Then suddenly the install stopped, turns out, my
flash/thumb drive switched letters with my Mp3 player, so when I clicked the
shortcut it thought the program was lost, since it couldn’t find it on my Mp3
player, so it was going to help me out by reinstalling it…FAIL!

Oh and since mom made it such an
issue, today in chemistry I learned how translate F(arenheight) to C(elsius)
and C(elsius) to K(elvin)

Well that’s all for now…cya l8r

Now on to my husband’s post…

News From The Doghouse and how the patience of a fence
post will defeat any Zen master.

Got up before 7AM today,
before my usual alarm clock tickles my feet and wakes me up. Had some java and
relaxed before the day went downhill, then got out early, and bagged up the
smashed cans and steel bands for recycling. They were already bagged, just
double bagging them so they would not get the beautiful van dirty. It’s a good
looking vehicle, and I hope to keep it that way.

Did the usual bird
chores, and today is the long day because I give everybody fresh water, whether
they need it or not. Did the horses trough and forgot the water was on for
awhile, was busy grave digging, no need to mention I was distracted with
progress. I got a good 1/3 done and it’s going faster because I got elbow room
now, and got a tree root out of the way. Big rocks are nice when they come out,
loosens up things, not so nice when you hit them. I think I spent 6 hours
shoveling and swinging that pickax, only took 1 coffee break.

All I could think about
was the time could have been spent working on the houses, vehicles, cutting
wood, ect. But it is a job that must and needs to be done. On the brighter
side, thank G-D it is not summer time.

While I was out there, I
seen a flock of our ducks down at the big pond. You could see the white bands
on the roen ducks. I think there was some khaki in that particular "wild
bunch" and who can forget the mutt cross cayugas. We have some flocks that
are more like wood ducks(They are not wood ducks we swear), (The mom) in
habitat preference, and some have a cosmopolitan crowd with Muscovy’s, khakis,
white farm types, and Cayuga hybrids.

Hybrids sure are

Well I have to go, have to watch "Fetch with Ruff" or
something like that, with the Bears. It’s a new one to me, so...what can I say,
even with our recording technology, a daddy's day is NEVER done. Maybe I can
paint eyeballs on my eyelids....heh-heh-heh

blessed and be sure to write, we love you all…

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day five of 365 on a small American farm

Got up on the early side to day…Rachael milked the cow and dealt with some of the feeding, Dah’veed’s helped her out and then watered all the big animals.  I sat with the babies and watched the morning shows with them.  Elijah and Elisha love to watch the “The Cat and the hat knows a lot about that”, “Super why”.  I made blueberry pancakes for breakfast that took a lot longer than I wanted it too, but it’s done.  After getting them cleaned back up and changed into clean clothes and such, than I made some more of that fake meat.  I am trying to get it to come out a bit better so we are messing with the recipe.  I used Wyler’s beef broth and forgot about the salt in the soy sauce and it and made it supper salty, which was a real bummer since it came out really well otherwise.  It even makes its own gravy.  So that is cool and I will try again tomorrow. 
We are having tuna casserole for dinner.  I got a great deal on tuna the other day, the big cans for $1.75 for albacore chicken of the sea in water.  So I will use a two pound box of elbow noodles ($1.39), a large can of cream of mushroom soup ($.99 on sale at Wal-Mart),2 bags of birds eye peas ($1.00 each on sale at Wal-Mart)  and season with a little garlic.  So to fee us all dinner it will cost us $6.13 to feed all seven of us, not too bad I guess.
I read that read today that Taco Bell has 35% beef in them now, I am really disappointed because they used to be tvp, so I will cross them off my future snacking list, bummer.  I am still working on endless piles of school work and found out today that the scholarships I got are messed up due to a computer error with my classes.  They input the same class twice, so my credit hours were above what I needed for the scholarships, when they fixed the error, I am now one credit short of getting my full money, this error has now cost me $500., I am distraught over this and I hear that Trio who are my advisors at the college, I guess at the worst I have learned to look at all the paper work more closely. 
On a silly note I am spamming back the hundreds of spammer who have been spamming me, I am sending all of them a link to this blog, a least they will have something good to read and maybe they will quit spamming me.
I am preparing to list a bunch of stuff on eBay, hopefully hatching eggs.    I want to share one of the reasons that most farms no longer sell food eggs or if they do charge a lot of money for them (at least it seems like a lot).  A 50 pound bag of Natural egg layer feed cost $12.50 this week.  It takes 4lbs or more feed for a chicken to lay a dozen eggs, so that works out to around $1.50 give or take for each birds dozen eggs.  That does not take into account the feed you feed the bird for at least the first 15 weeks of its life before it laid its first egg or any not perfect eggs the bird may lay.  We also feed ours kelp as do many other people, and give them grit and diatinatious(I know I spelled it wrong) earth to prevent parasites.  The cost of the hay and other expenses that go into raising them as well, can run you bit of cash as well.  So raising chickens can be expensive, but worthwhile as you know what they are eating and how they are raised.
Ok so here are some facts about chickens,
Most lay about 300 eggs are year.
Commercial breeders self them off after their first 12 months of laying as soup birds, think about that the next time you are eating chicken soup.
They eat mice lizards and anything else they can catch, along with bugs and grain and grass if left to free range.  We free range ours, but still feed them.
Guinness said the oldest living chicken is 16 years old.
Our chickens are some of the luckiest chickens on the earth and we are lucky to have them as well.

Anyway, this is where I end my part of the blog today, I know I left of bunch of you hanging, sorry about that, but I have to get some school work done and get kids ready for bed.

This next part is from my daughter Rachael; please enjoy reading about her day:
Morning is here and it’s time to start the daily chores. First I wake up Dah’veed then I get dressed to go milk the cow and do my daily check of the animals. When I head outside it is 7:30am. Dah’veed and I set up the milk machine and prepare her feed. Then we head out to moos pen and before we put her halter on or even open the gate.
Now, I do a head count of all of the goats, sheep, calve(s), and the horses. After I know that there are no animals down I will put Moos halter on she also wears a cow bell so that we can find her if she escapes again, rolling my eyes, lol. Moo is the name of our milk cow, and a lot of people think that is a strange name but I could not imagine calling her anything else. I lead Moo into the barn then we allow her to eat as we turn on the milking machine and set up the hoses. After she is dry of milk we turn off the milking machine. While she is eating I check all of her vitals. She is in the last three weeks of pregnancy we think .I am not sure a how different a cows pregnancy is from other animals. Anyway, after she is done eating I take her back to her pen with Dah’veeds help to close and open the gate for me. After Moo is put back in her pen I head back to the barn to take care of the goats. There are three pregnant goats in the barn in there last weeks of pregnancy also, and filling with colostrums. When any new animals are born on the farm I am always excited and ready to help out. I gather the towels, gloves, jars for colostrums, bottles, the lantern when it’s dark, scissors, the camera and anything else we need to help the mama out if she needs it, Mom and I attend to almost every birth. There are two younger does in the barn also that get pushed away from the heard so they stay close to their mothers. I check all to pens for baby goats just in case, and check to see if anyone is in labor. Then I feed and water them. I also make sure they have salt and minerals. After the goats are cared for I check for chicken eggs that may have been laid over night in the troughs, cabinets or any comfortable hidden place for the hens. Once all of the chores are done out at the darn I come inside and help out with basically whatever needs done at the moment every day varies. Today I helped mom make breakfast. We made blueberry buttermilk pancakes using up any older milk from Moo that was not used earlier in the week. I helped my little brothers eat there breakfast and then ate myself. School work comes next. I am planning on going to Ozarka College in the fall to get my Associates Degree and then following the two years at Ozarka College I am planning on going to Meredith Manor Equestrian Centre in West Virginia to become a horse trainer. At the end of the day I head back out to milk the cow and check on the animals once more before dinner. After dinner it’s time to help put my little brother Elijah to bed, mom deals with Elisha. Elijah is five and will not go to sleep without some one hovering over him.  Once they are asleep I will either spent some time with my mom, write for a while, or make little miniature animals out of Sculpy clay. Then it is off to bed to get some rest for the next morning.
Ok so here is my add in for the day.  It is about the issues I have been having with my camera.
I received my first Samsung camera during the holidays in 2009. I was so excited. I had been exploring photography for five years now and have loved every minute of it. Having a new camera with more memory and better picture quality but after a few months I started having problems with the camera. Sometimes the camera would not turn on, or would not zoom in the show the object closer. I had a warranty on the camera so I called and sent the camera in to be repaired. I received the camera back about a week later and they had repaired the whole front on the camera. I started taking pictures and once again I was having problems the zoom was working perfectly but the camera would lag on taking pictures only when it wanted to it seemed. So yet again I called and scheduled to send the camera back in to get repaired. The camera returned again but this time there was no repair done on it just a note that stated that I just used the wrong camera card and jammed the camera. So I called them back with my mom on the line also and told them that I was using the camera card that came with the camera and that we have tried other cards and had the same response from the camera. I told them that it was not the camera card that was the problem it was the camera so again I sent the camera back. They called and told us that they have repaired it so many times that sending me a new camera that was identical would be a lot faster and would get to me before Christmas so they said they would send me a new camera of that same model. So I waited and waited first Christmas passed then they New Years passed and still now camera. I called back and they said that the model of camera that I recently owned was no longer being made so they picked out a new camera with us and assured us that the new camera would have everything that the last one had and would take the same battery and camera card. I received that new camera yesterday and as I thought it had a different size battery and a minuscule card spot. So we called back and they did nothing for us. I have a new camera without a memory card how useless so now my mom has to go out of the way to go buy me a new camera card that was supposed to be included in the return.  So they had my camera for like two months and now my Mom still has to get me a Mico sd card.  Just wished they would have fixed it right the first time.
Thanks for listening

This next part is from my son Dah’veed:
Dah’veed POV
I sit in front of the computer screen listening to 50 Cent, and working. I woke up prolly about 7:00 am this morning, always the late one :P. After starting the milking machine on the cow, I let the birds out; put the dog (that guards the barn at night) in his cage. I brought the milk in, strained it, and saw that mom was making blueberry pancakes. I also noticed that I think the strangest things as I work, such as “Wow I wonder who was bright enough to assume milk was drinkable in the first place?” I cleaned the cow’s milk stall, and watered the bigger animals (i.e. goats, sheep, cow, and horses). After eating I did up the dishes. I made two new hip-hop instrumentals so I can write some new songs; I really hope to have my demo ready to send by February. If you want to hear them I uploaded them here;
My personal blogs (mostly about my music and hip-hop culture in general) will be posted here
Well I have to go do my chemistry homework…cya l8r

And now to the hubbies part of the post
The dog house:

News from the Doghouse and how to stay in sane mode while strolling through the park of the Galactic Insane Asylum, politically correctly known as just another day in the country...

The usual chores feeding the peeps and quacks, not sure how to describe a quail squawk...freezing my fingers dealing with cold cans of feed and mostly just handling the so many, then to the basement, and in front of the wood burner to thaw out my hands, it was in the 20s F, -0s C

Started on the burial detail for Elaine, got the outline started I guess and a few inches into the rock and dirt, the usual roots and’s a chore for sure...

I think I will post a picture of Elaine, with Elijah on her when he was a real little guy. I think it is my favorite picture of her. I tried unsuccessfully for awhile to find it, hope it’s not lost.(The misses found it)

This is our dear Elaine and our son Elijah a few years ago.

He loved he and she was the most gentle creature one could ever have known. 
Don't worry Daddy Bear (Michael) was on the other side just be safe, it all about safty.

Much thanks, very much to my diligent wife, a Proverbial 31 character for sure...

Reminds me of the armidillo <--spelling? heh-heh-heh

well back to the Doghouse before the gong sound , and as I adjust the rabbit ears on the Doghouse, so my feet can watch their favorite TV Red Skelton use to say..."G-D bless"

Elisha our littlest love...