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Showing posts from January, 2014


This past weekend was a doozy, as far as winter weather is concerned. Again, we USED to have winters like this, but haven't for ever so long.

While he was out and about, The Farmer took some pictures with his phone to show the snow. Mostly this was at the request of the daughter who is away at college. She wanted to come home this weekend, but we advised her not to.

You'll notice my mad photo editing skills, above. The red arrow directs your eyes to a four foot tall page wire fence, mostly covered. The yellow arrow directs your eyes to a four foot tall page wire fence, completely covered, except for the tops of the fence posts.

The storage barn service door was essentially inaccessible.

And two photos of the same drive. Above is before snow-blowing.

And the same drive, after one pass with the snow blower.

And this path leads from the barns up to the back of our house. The Farmer hand shoveled the last bit, closest to the house. And then he leaned his shovel against the bank to…

Sunday Post

You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
     abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, Lord;
     listen to my cry for mercy.
When I am in distress, I call to you,
     because you answer me.

--Psalm 86:5-7

Winter Pros and Cons

This is a winter like I remember from my childhood. Almost. SNOW! We haven't seen the grass since November. Fortunately the snow does melt a bit, or we'd be wading chest deep through the snow pack. 
I love parts of winter. We slow down, a bit. The house feels less like Grand Central Station than in the frenzy of spring through fall. It's absolutely beautiful outdoors when the sun shines.
I do not love other parts of winter. Things break more often when it's cold. In our part of the world, winter is a sunless time, a seemingly endless parade of grey days. I hate driving on icy roads. And it takes more work to care for the animals. 
I am amused by all the hype surrounding (gasp) winter weather. The meteorologists are now calling normal winter weather "Winter Weather Advisories." And the storms are now named, probably so that we can feel like we're keeping up with the hurricane people. 
What are your winter pros and cons? How are you faring this winter?

A Rare Find

The Farmer and I don't have a lot of unallocated time. But last fall we grabbed an opportunity to stop at an antique shop on our way back from a road trip to the wool mill.

I can walk past endless displays of glassware, china, postcards, and lighters and not feel the urge to acquire. But wood calls to me, and fairly leaps in my arms. And old machinery. It's a sickness, I know.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), The Farmer does not have the same weaknesses. Sure, he loves wood, and old machinery. But he fixes broken things all the time as part of his job, and so he is not quick to sign up for more old stuff to take care of.

However, I could see him weakening when we saw what this was.

It's a bean sorter--used to give dry beans the last once-over in preparation for planting or sale. We took it home with us and he checked it all over.

The first thing it needed was a new belt.

His sewing skills come in handy again.

Almost back together again. Really, the belt was the only thing i…

Water Leak

A few weeks ago we started hearing the well pump run more than usual. We kept our eyes open, but started to suspect an underground leak. The trouble with underground leaks is that they have to get bad enough before you can find them.

Given what we've recently heard about the aquifer that provides us with water, we felt badly that our underground lines were wasting water. Apparently people in our area will soon be out of fresh well water, despite the fact that we are surrounded by fresh water: the Great Lakes! Something about the aquifer not recharging at a fast enough rate. Supply is less than demand. And there are two types of culprit in this situation: the farmer who irrigates his crops endlessly (sorry, but it's true), and the homeowners that decide to build new homes out in the country.

But I digress. Eventually we found a tell-tale sign. And, on a lovely cold winter afternoon, The Farmer and his crew started digging.

Just finding mud isn't enough. Sometimes you have t…

Animal Care in the Cold

We have been struggling with near zero temperatures the past few days. High winds and lake effect snow have added to the misery, making it feel much colder than zero. It's natural to be concerned about the animals at this time. After all, that is our job. In the winter, they are especially dependent on us for regular feedings, fresh water, and shelter. 
This picture was not actually taken during this particular weather event. For much of the past couple of days, the horses stayed in the barn. But this photo from a couple of weeks ago shows something interesting. The snow on Duke's back indicates to me that he is well-insulated. It LOOKS bad to have an animal with snow on its back. But it's like a house--a bare roof in the winter means the house is losing heat. A snow-covered roof means the insulation is working, and the heat is staying inside. 

This picture shows our Belted Galloway cattle yesterday in some of the worst weather. They are pretty eager to get to the feed th…