Time for Update...

It has been a while since I have had leisurely time, and time enough to get online to post what we have been doing. Time and energy is something I need more of these days. I wish I could post more frequently. Our off farm job has become intense. After the end of the day, there is very little energies left. We tend to the necessary items at home and around our farm, and leave any extra projects for later. We have been extremely blessed that there is work (an off farm job) for us, with the uncertainty of this current economy. We are very sad for those innocent people who have lost so much. Heartbreaking and maddening at the same time! I have been amazed at how much information we can get without having to be connected to the mainstream media--TV. Our source of information is radio, then of course, a few neighbors or customers at work.

Shearing continues to wait for a few consecutive days of dry weather. We had one ewe make us think she may have to be put down, as she came up very lame one day. She was first limping, which then turned into walking a few steps and then would go down on her knees. She would rest a while on her knees, then take a few more steps, and go down again. My first thought was hoof rot. I checked for hoof rot, but it was not the case. The hoof looked good, not in need of a trim, there was no smell or any discharge (the ground they stand on is wet, but not a mud pit). I did clean the hoof with a light solution of bleach water, once (1- teaspoon bleach to 7- Tablespoons warm water). There was no swelling in the leg or joints, but the hoof was somewhat warmer than the other hooves. So, my thoughts were, just in case there was some sort of infection trying to start, I administered herbal supplements to assist her body to fight any infection for a week. She came out of it, and is now fine. There is a good possibility that she could have twisted her leg and sprained it, especially if she spooked.

Winter walk captures a snow covered creek '09

We expect the cold weather to continue through into April. Snow was forecast this week, but the weather pattern turned to the south of us, and we did not receive it. The winter has gone so quickly, I had hoped to have a quilt finished before spring came. I am actually sad to see the cold weather leave. (Shhh, don't tell anyone I said that, most people want spring to arrive). We are looking forward to some fresh lettuce, though.

Split rail fence-- Late February Snow '09

Speaking of vegetables, I have not started any seeds yet. We received our seed order back in January, and there could have been lettuce on our table by now. I was frustrated at the thought of this, but then began to see we still have plenty of foods in storage from last year, which should be used up first.

This new year has started out busier than we experienced in the past. I believe it is because we continue become more and more independent from relying on society for our needs. Having enough time to do things at home or around our farm, has become our biggest challenge right now. Because we still work away from home, 8 1/2 hours a day during the week, it leaves little time. The great thing is, we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Soon, we will be able to leave the daily grind of working an off farm job, and be able to focus on a more slower paced way of life. Patience, Kris, Patience

In regards to how our food storage levels are sustaining us, we have been truly blessed. We still have plenty of potatoes, apples, pumpkin, and various herbs. The cabbage that we harvested in December is gone (see here). It was purely a trial. The trial showed us another 'staple' vegetable that we could harvest thought the winter, right here on our land. In the fall, we hope to have 25 heads in the ground, to carry us through the winter. Yes, 25 is a lot, but we have come to rely on cabbage for a fresh vegetable through the winter.

Since we do not have enough land for harvesting our own hay or straw yet, we will still be reliant upon the feed store for these items. As long as we do not add anymore 'hay' eating livestock, we will need three tons of grass hay, one ton of alfalfa hay, and one ton of straw, to carry us through the non-grazing months.

Fall Harvest '08 Apple Storage

Ike, the buff colored young male cat, has received the results back from the laboratory as being negative for ring worm. Immerson, the black and white young male cat, has thrived, but has come down with some bumps under his chin. My thoughts lean towards something called 'cat acne'. We have an appointment to take him to the vet this weekend, just to make sure it isn't anything that could be contagious. I am not a veterinarian, and would like another opinion. We can't risk infecting the other fury animals, nor any livestock (if it were possible). When we are at the vet, I will ask the vet to look at one of his eyes, as it weeps clear eye fluid often. I'm not sure if his eye duct is working properly.

Arena Fence Line- '09

There is so much more the Heavenly Father is teaching us, than just this self-sufficient way of life. I admit, I am learning the virtue of patience (this is tough at times). I am also learning to just let go, and let the Heavenly Father, do His thing. His creation is marvelous if we stop long enough to view it. There is so much that is interconnected (more on this later). Amazing! We continue to be excited about the direction in which we are going. 'In awe' is as close to a descriptive word, as I can use, and we are so grateful.

Enjoy your day! Kris

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