Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Farm Projects - Farm News

I talked before Thanksgiving about working on a Farm Project.  We have had a bit of a delay.  We had weeks of rain so the ground has been soggy, then snow..lots of it...(soggy ground again!)...then, with the wind chill factor, many days of sub-zero temperatures...bbbrrrrrrrrr....cold!  Mix that in with the busyness of the holiday season and we put the project on the back burner.  I'm grateful that our Father has provided us the wonderful changes of seasons here in Tennessee.  The snow has been lovely even if it has delayed some of our plans.  We remember that His plans are always better than ours!

I thought I'd tell you what we are planning and share the pictures after we're done. When we bought the farm over 10 years ago, there were quite a few building repairs that needed to be done. Here we are, 10 years later, and they still need to be done! The boys and I, with help from different men in our church, have been tackling some of these this last year. We've learned a lot and are pleased with the changes that have been made.  But, there is still a lot to do!

At the end of our equipment shed there is a room.  The floor in this room has a bad "dip" in it.  A gentleman from church told us that this was an easy fix.  The boys will be jacking up the area and pulling up the floor boards to assess the problem.  We are pretty sure it is a rotten post.  We will be replacing the post, re-laying the floor boards and hopefully have a level floor once again.  We are so thankful for the men in our church who not only give us wonderful advice and guidance but will also come and work with my boys.  Lots of fellowship, teaching and relationship building goes on which is often more important and more needed than the building repairs! It is always a very healing time for them.  I am watching my Father repair buildings and boys' emotions at the same time!

The first step has been to clean out the room and the boys have been working on that this week during the afternoons after school. We are excited to get this done...we have big plans for this storage area!

The boys have almost finished a project in our barn that they have been working on all fall.  I'll share pictures of that soon!

I've been working on a project too. My Perpetual Garden Calendar! I am diligently trying to get this finished up so that you can have it by spring. Time is the hardest thing for me to come by these days (prayers always appreciated in this area!) - sometimes a 30 hour day sounds good!

I've also been working on a way to share my menu planning strategy. It has worked for me for decades and I've recently had some" test runs" teaching it to young mothers who feel overwhelmed with the thought of preparing a meal in the evening. I'm polishing it up and trying to add a lot of my "tried and true" recipes to share!  I hope to have that available shortly after my calendar.

We sent our steer to the butcher recently and hope to have him back this week...in neat little packages!  We have been trying to take him to the butcher since October but the ground has been so wet that we couldn't get the truck and trailer down to the coral. Well, we could probably have gotten it down there but we never would have made it back up the hill!  We are looking forward to a freezer full of meat again. We have been rationing the last of our beef since fall.  Last night we had a package of steaks, some stew meat, 3 small roasts and a few packages of rib-eyes left!  It has been several years since we sent a steer off and we are so grateful to have the ability to raise our own meat!

Not all news is good news.  We had a little cow who looked just a bit thin at Thanksgiving.  We brought it up to the barn to make sure it was eating.  It was the smallest cow in the field and my thought was that it was being pushed away from the hay.  This little cow just continued to get thinner and didn't really seem to have much of an appetite.  We called the vet and he found some internal tumors.  He felt sure it was cancer.  Cancer!  I've never had to deal with a chronically ill animal before!  The vet suggested some things to do over the next several weeks and then told us to put it down if there was no improvement.  There was no improvement.  I made the decision that we needed to shoot it.  No sense in paying $65.00 for a vet to come out and then pay for  a shot - who knows what that would cost.  I mentioned this at our home-group meeting and after the meeting the leader of our group came to us and offered to do that for us.  He didn't want me to have to do it or the boys.  I thanked him for such a kind offer.  I'm so thankful for the men in our church!  But our Father saved us that chore.  This little cow died that night in its sleep.  How gracious of our Father to spare us that unpleasant task!

I've been busy teaching my classes for our local Community College.  I'll be doing that until the middle of February and then I can start teaching them again on our farm.  So much easier than hauling everything to another location although I enjoy teaching the kids at college.  I'll be meeting with some of the college staff to talk about some other opportunities to work with them.  Sounds mysterious and I'm looking forward to seeing what their ideas are!

Here on the farm, we've been on a soup binge lately!  Soups are not only delicious but such a budget stretcher!  I'll be sharing some recipes soon!

I think that catches you up on our news...almost!  I've been doing something for almost a year now..anybody want to venture a guess?

Blessings,

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