It’s that time of year again when thoughts of big family dinners, shopping and Christmas music is blaring at every turn. Of course we are sheltered from the commercializations of the holidays and our thoughts turn to things like butchering turkeys. That is what has been on the agenda for a week now yet the weather has given them a bit of a reprieve. Tomorrow-well today actually as it is after midnight, we will butcher the remaining birds and they will be on the menu for Thanksgiving dinner. Sadly we lost many this year to both predators and the flooding we experienced but with a bigger flock next year and proven broody mommas (both or birds hatched chicks this year) we expect that we will see a better year in 2016. For those of you wanting to know how the processing is done I will post after and hopefully dear hubby or one of the kids can get pics. Don’t worry if your squeamish I will warn in the title so you don’t have to see if you don’t want to.
It’s 1:30 a.m. And I find myself wide awake after my nightly jaunt around the place checking critters. It’s become a difficult task with half frozen ground and I find myself either skating on the ice or sinking in the mud but as I slip, slither and slosh through the elements I am being rewarded with stars in the sky, a bit of the Aurora showing a hazy green and the wind whispering a mournful tune through the trees.
The time is getting closer for some of the goats to begin kidding and I am sure now that Charlotte the pig absorbed her second litter of piglets so no guess as to when she will finally farrow. This off weather has been difficult for both the animals and us humans. Trying to keep the water away and from warm to cold to warm again has messed with their bodies natural coping abilities. This cycle will pass but it leaves devastation behind that isn’t as obvious to those who aren’t living it. Just a challenge though that time will overcome.
It seems we now have two goats that think indoors is better than out. Our little wether Klondike (who is destined for freezer camp)fell in a water hole yesterday and luckily the kids were close enough to save him. By the time Caleb carried him to the cabin he was very chilled, weak (the goat) and showing signs of hypothermia. Getting him inside, dried off and warm again he soon was back to being an obnoxious little goat who now is standing at my door bellering. He doesn’t miss his momma he misses being spoiled. Of course the country kitchen cure all has wetted his appetite for sweet treats. For those of you who don’t know what that is, the country kitchen cure all was a milk replacer concocted of carnation canned milk, corn syrup if you had it or any other sweetener like honey or maple syrup. A bit of salt and some water to dilute it and you could nourish both 2 legged and 4 legged critters back to health. To this day I still use it.im sure there are those who would dispute it’s use but there are many an old timer that was raised on that mixture.
I’m praying the weatherman is correct in his forecast. Only time will tell of course but it looks like we may see a solid freeze in the coming week. Would sure help with getting around out here-and getting in. With all the breakdowns we are waiting on parts so we can have a wheeler that is in working order. Our good friends Dan and Robin saved the day by loaning us a wheeler as papa Freds is now in need of new cv joints (this place is brutal on them)and our wheelers are waiting for parts to arrive. One of them still in the swamp until it is solid enough to drag it home and see what is wrong. We aren’t quite at total self sufficiency but we get closer each year and praying 2016 will be the year we accomplish it. If we truly had to we could survive without many things but our desire is not to just survive but to thrive in our little world.
Who else is already garden fantasizing? I know I cannot be the only one! With a full growing season under my belt I now have the confidence to get out and grow! Yes it was a lot of trial and error but it proved what worked and what didn’t! Yes I can grow tomatoes and tomatillos here! While we didn’t grow enough to get us through until next season we did have enough to can and enjoy our bounty-next year will be better yet.
Back to the holidays. I’ve quite a delimma. Last year the girls and I overcame our limited space by creating a construction paper Christmas tree and hanging it on the wall-this year the wall is covered with shelves. I will need to be really creative to figure out where we will put a tree this year. To those who think a tree is trivial I must explain that because our income is so limited, gifts for the kids are not something we have the luxury of buying so I do what I can and start new traditions so they have fond memories of when we celebrate the birth of our savior. Priorities. It’s all about what truly matters.
Well the wind is really whipping and the cabin is beginning to feel the chill so I must go stoke the fire and think of a nap as I have a big day ahead. I pray your all warm and dry, safe from the storms that life can toss at us and Thankful for the blessings that you have. Until next time…..