On several occasions I have been asked what a normal day is like on the farm. My reply is “what is considered normal”. All joking aside I decided to really give it some thought and map out what a “normal” day is like. Of course with each passing season things change but this is what it looks like when nothing comes up, no emergencies and no blunders.
4 a.m. is wake up time-build a fire in the cookstove and get coffee going. By 4:30 I am out the door doing a critter check (remember we live in bear and wolf territory).I go pen to pen checking the animals running back to check the fire in between and also find the goats and account for all of them. This is sometimes daunting as they now have split into 2 herds each with their own leader. Its now around 5:30 a.m.if I am lucky and didn’t have to walk out too far to locate the goats.
5:30-7:00 I check emails (this blog generates a lot and I enjoy answering each and every one of them! I also answer any messages on facebook.
7-8 a.m. I am making breakfast and planning the school day for my 3 children.
8-10 a.m. We all go out to feed animals, water them and let them out after they have eaten to roam around free ranging.
10-10:30 I line out the kids with their school work.
10:30-11:30 I do up dishes and get our afternoon meal going assisting kids with school at the same time.
11:30-1:00 I check pens to see which ones will need cleaning, water diverted and or fresh bedding added of course I have been called back at least a half dozen times to assist with schoolwork or other MOM questions.
1:-1:30 we eat dinner and I answer any further questions about school.
1;30-2:30 kids and I rewater all the critters and feed the babies again.
2:30-4:00 Kids return to schoolwork I go out and doctor on any sick or injured animals, trim hooves or nails and any other thing that needs done for the critters well being.
4:00-4:30 p.m. Its time to get supper started.
4;30-5:30 pen and cage cleaning adding fresh bedding etc.
5:30-6:00 get supper on the table.
6:00-7:00 We eat and spend time together
7:00-8:30 chore time again-this many critters and they like to eat!
8:30-9:00 do supper dishes
9:00-10:30 check emails, update blog and facebook
10:30-11:00 check critters and go to bed.
4:00a.m. wake up call-rouse the bear sleeping next to me.
4-4:30 split wood for the cabin stove (we don’t use our winter supply in the woodshed unless its snowing or raining heavily)
4:30-5:30 split wood for pig food and get fire going under bathtub/cooker. Fill tub with water and barley
5:30-9;30 split more wood for pig food fire and keep it burning for 4 hours cut ditches to drain water from animal pens while pig food is cooking
9:30-1:00 hike into the forest and cut up trees to haul in for firewood. The solid wood is used for heating and cooking inside Punky wood used for cooking pig feed.
1:30-3:00 Haul water from spring for critters
2:30-5:30 assist in hoof trimming, fix walkways to critter pens, Haul logs to sawmill from forest Cut lumber for pen repairs.
5:30-6:00 4 wheeler maintenance
6-7:00 family time and supper
7-8:30 help with feeding time, hauling water to pens and bedding down animals
8:30-10:00 phone calls, email and facebook messages answered.
As you can see our days are quite busy. If we need to go to town it is an hour to 90 minutes to get to the truck and another hour to get to town. If one of us is gone to town its an all day event and 2 days to get the supplies into the cabin.
I hope this gives you an idea of what its like to live our life out here. Now lets talk about my day! We had cranberries that we had accumulated while out checking goats so I cooked them up early this morning and while getting kids going on schoolwork ran them through the food mill and made cranberry sauce and not one to waste used all the skins and made cranberry jam. Oh it tasted so good and I got the bright idea to run out and pick more while doing my critter checks. Now if you have ever picked berries with an entourage of goats, pigs and turkeys then you just have not lived! It goes something like this-Spot a clump of berries and bend over to pick just about grab them when a turkey sees the bright color dives in to grab them and the pig (Miss Charlotte) thinking I am being attacked by a turkey jumps at the turkey and her bulk hits me.I am now on the ground checking to see if my bucket is upright and trying to find footing to get up. Oh did I mention it is extremely wet out and there are holes 2 foot deep with water in them covered by grass so you don’t know the are there until you step in one? Of course the goats who are casually taking this in see the bucket is not my main concern and take the opportunity to sample the sour berries-not liking them they can’t take their fellow goats word for it one by one they all have to have a go! Meanwhile I am still on the ground being guarded by a 400 pound pig who decides since I am down there I might as well give her a belly scratch-seriously Charlotte? Well I finally get upright and realize the time has gotten away from me so I hurry back to the cabin but Frankie being Frankie fell asleep in the woods and didn’t come in with the rest of us so to shut up his constant mmmaaaaaaaing which is like calling to a bear and saying “hey dude, lunch is over here” I go back out to where we were and retrieve him. Of course not knowing if where I am going and what I am doing may or may not involve treats, my entourage follows. I eventually made it home and called the kids out to assist me with catching up with the things we needed to get done and went in to my sweet Cati making us a late dinner of grilled cheese and soup.
The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to remember what I had competed and what I hadn’t and then in to get supper going.
It is now 10:30 p.m. The rains have returned and I just got back in and am trying to finish this post as my teeth chatter. I am soaking wet and am contemplating whether we have time to build an ark. If this continues we will have to go out and drain the pens as the water will be getting deep again. I love our life but have to say I am so ready for cold and snow. Its getting tiresome dealing with all this water all the time. The weather forecast is not looking promising at all-rain forecasted for the next 2 weeks.
I’m excited that we are building a wind generator soon and it will be our kids’ science project for the year, my sissy Cathy’s husband had 2 new CAT batteries in his shop he said we can have and even arranged for transportation to get them to us next week-Thank you Paul you are so awesome! Just in time too as I fear one of our RV batteries may be dying. We don’t get much tie on the battery now before it loses its charge.
I will leave you again with my usual random pics of life on the farm. Until next time may God Bless and provide for your every need.