Life without WATER

In the past couple of months we have had some awesome storms that have dropped 1″-3″ of rain within an hour which is very unusual for the summer months in this part of Virginia.  I think everyone is thankful for the rain except for the farmers which includes us.  By this time we are normally finished with our first cutting of hay all over the farm but we’re only half finished.  Looks like the rest of this week will be the same scenario.

Spent the morning moving hay off of the field across the road.  We only have 487 bales to move (seven at a time)!!

Spent the morning moving hay off of the field across the road. We only have 487 bales to move (seven at a time)!!

The biggest problem we’ve had this year with the rain is not the hay season though!!  About two weeks ago we had one of those major storms that dropped about 3″ of rain in about thirty minutes.  Shortly after that storm we noticed our drinking water was cloudy but thought it would clear up.

Cloudy glass of water

Cloudy glass of water

The next morning it wasn’t cloudy, it was muddy brown/yellow.

Yellow/brown water in the white bathroom sink.

Yellow/brown water in the white bathroom sink.

This has continued and after talking with the gentleman that dug the well almost twelve years ago, he told us that the rainfall we have had in the last two months has opened up a seam in the well and it’s a common occurrence.  He told us to run the water day and night until it clears up.  He said as long as the well is full of water and pumping the well pump will be fine.

Ice cold water running out on the ground.

Ice cold water running out on the ground.

We've run the water off and on now for over a week and heading into our second week.

We’ve run the water off and on now for over a week and heading into our second week.

So, that’s what we are doing and our daughter is helping us carry container’s of water for drinking and cooking from her house.  Since finding out about ours, we’ve heard that a couple other people in our area are going through the same thing.

This kind of hinders all the inside cleaning I wanted to do.  It’s halted laundry!  We can take a shower and feel clean but if I start turning muddy looking I sure hope someone will tell me!  ;)

Had enough. . . time to retire

I’ve been working at Virginia Tech since April 2011 and last July moved to a different department on campus. I loved the job, especially loved the students and worked hard for my department.
I will be 62 in December and my workload and the stress have been getting worse over the last couple months. By the end of most days I would have a headache that seemed to build until I started home.  And no matter what anyone says, you can’t leave at the office.  I would dream about my job and work issues.

I used to love my job but on Tuesday of last week I decided I just can’t take this anymore!  It’s just not worth it!!  I worked all day and when I prepared to leave for the day, I decided then it would be my last day.  I packed up my personal belongings, locked up the files and left my office and file keys in the desk with no intention of coming back.
I came home and talked to Eddie about my decision and he’s behind 100% and was surprised I stayed as long as I did. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders!!
I drafted a resignation letter that night and attached it to an email to my supervisor and department head of the center where I worked. I copied my children and best friends on the note!!
I slept better that night than I had for several months and consider myself one of the luckiest women in the world.
I will have to find some odd jobs to help pay for the “dreaded” health insurance because ours will run out on the 31st of July and we can’t be without health insurance living on a farm.
The odd jobs I’m looking for will be light housekeeping (including washing windows, I love doing that) and home/office organization jobs. Organization seems to be my forte and I did housecleaning when my kids were growing up for extra cash.

WISH ME LUCK!!!!

Raspberry season

First fruit of the year for us this year is raspberries and Eddie and I are picking about a pint of wild raspberries every other day. He picks them for me because I love them fresh, in preserves/jams, berry pies and in muffins. He just likes the fresh off the vine but can’t eat too many of them since his gall bladder was removed about five years ago.

Fresh raspberries

Fresh raspberries

A cup here and a cup there!

A cup here and a cup there!

Todays cup will add a total of two gallon to the freezer.

First gallon

First gallon

As soon as we pick them I they get washed, dried, and spread on a cookie sheet and I put them in the freezer.  The next day I shake them loose and put them in a gallon freezer bag.  When I freeze them loose like this, I don’t have to thaw the entire bag when I want to make muffins or pancakes,  I pour out what I need and zip the bag  and put them back in the freezer.  If I want to make a batch of jam or a cobbler, I can use the whole bag or  whatever my recipe calls for.

A layer of fresh berries on a cookie sheet and pop in the freezer overnight.

A layer of fresh berries on a cookie sheet and pop in the freezer overnight.

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The season is just about over and the birds are eating them faster than we can pick them but what we have will not go to waste.

Some of my favorite cleaners

I’ve recently found two cleaners that I swear by!  I don’t normally promote products because everyone has a different opinion and some don’t buy unless its environmentally friendly.  I personally haven’t found any “environmentally friendly” product that really does the job of cleaning that I expect.

The first product I want to share with you is “OUT White Brite”.  If you’ve followed my blog for very long you will remember that I hate my new washing machine which does not have an agitator, it’s environmentally friendly and does not clean the way my old machine did.  I also tend to walk around inside and out with my white socks on all day when I’m home and I can’t get my socks snow-white anymore.  I was looking on the internet a few weeks ago for a product I used with my children’s cloth diapers when they were babies and it was called “Miracle White”.  I can’t find it anywhere and when I was at Wal-Mart about three weeks ago I looked again and couldn’t find it but I did find this product:

OUT White Brite-you will absolutely love it!!

OUT White Brite-you will absolutely love it!!

All it took was 1/4 cup of the powder.  You fill your washer up with hot water before you add any clothes.   Then you add the OUT and swish around in the water until it dissolves.  Add your clothes and push them around until they’re soaked good.  Let them set for 15-30 minutes, then set your washer to wash as normal.  My socks came out white as snow!  I was amazed!  I need to stock up on the product because not all Wal-Mart’s carry it and I’m afraid it’ll disappear like the Miracle White did.

The next product I want to brag on is this wonderful wood floor cleaner:

Holloway House Quick Shine floor finish.

Holloway House Quick Shine floor finish.

This is another product that I found at Wal-Mart and decided to just see how it would do.  My wood floors are beautiful in the living room but were losing their shine.  I had tried a couple new products but nothing seemed to bring out the luster until I tried this.  I mopped my floor, let them dry and then mopped on a light finish because I didn’t want it to look foggy.  I waited and waited for the floors to dry and thought after 30 minutes this is taking too long because they looked as wet as they did when I mopped it on.  I got down on my knees and the floor was dry as a bone and this is what they look like now after two weeks.

After using Quick Shine!

After using Quick Shine!

They look wet!!

They look wet!!

Aren’t they beautiful?!?!?!?  Remember cheaper is NOT ALWAYS cheap quality.

Here’s a few more products I keep in my laundry room for cleaning and try to never be without.

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Swiffer dusters with two different wands that make all corners and spaces accessible.

IMG_0008 IMG_0007Swiffer mop and wet wipes make my laminate floors and new tile look brand new.

This is just my opinion and I’m not promoting these products for profit.  I just darn well love them and always feel pride when my cleaning is finished and it looks so good!!

 

New heifers

We’ve sold several really old cows the past three years and lost a few to the bad winters and their age.  We’re down to about 50 cows and needed to restock to keep enough money for taxes, winter feed and other farm supplies.  Eddie and Heather went to a sale and bought six cows that were due to calve within one month and as long as four months.

New cows are adjusting well to their new surroundings and already follow Eddie around when he has a bucket.

New cows are adjusting well to their new surroundings and already follow Eddie around when he has a bucket.

We kept eight of the heifers from the 2014 fall calves.

We kept eight of the mountain heifers from the 2014 fall calves.

The heifers are weaned and living in the herd of new cows for the next couple months.

The heifers are weaned and living in the herd of new cows for the next couple months.

Fourteen replacements are a good start and we may have a few more heifers we keep from the big herd.

Working the calves

Just a peek at what’s entailed in keeping our cattle and calves in good health.  I don’t know what we would do without our daughter’s help.  Farming is in her blood!

Now what??

Now what??

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Eartags to match mom and calf in the event of health problems or heifers kept on the farm.

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Baby shots to keep them from pinkeye, blackleg, lockjaw, and other diseases.IMG_2249 - Copy

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Castration to prevent inbreeding while on the farm.  Cattle start early!!IMG_2247 - Copy

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Mother’s waiting outside the gate for the babies.IMG_2245 - Copy

Our new squeeze chute is much gentler on the little ones and on the farmer working on them.IMG_2244 - Copy

Hard part is coaxing them through the metal chute when they can’t see their mama.IMG_2243 - Copy

Somebody got too close to the back-end of another.IMG_2242 - Copy

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IMG_2153First baby of our new cows and she’s a red angus.  Small but very frisky.

 

 

Prissy & George Update


DSCN6987 DSCN6986 DSCN6987 - Copy DSCN6984 - CopyThey’ve grown so much after such a rough entry into the world!

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We questioned whether Prissy would make it at all and then at three week she really came out of her self and then George got sick.  We noticed he was as playful and was having trouble getting up and walking.  We were told by the vet that lots of times when they are born and don’t get their mother’s colostrum in their system they will develop an infection that gets in their joints and can kill them.  Our vet, Dr. Wall, gave him a mega dose of an antibiotic and left us pills to dissolve in his milk for two weeks.  Here we are two months later and he is doing so much better.  Prissy outgrew him fast and is now about 75 pounds heavier and bossier than George but he’s coming on strong.  They’ve both tripled their birth weight, eating grain and grazing just like the other calves on the farm.  They still get a bottle every day instead of three bottles but that will come to an end when the bag of milk we have  is gone.  They love sweet feed and have started following our new cows and heifers around which is a great way to wean them.  I’m not looking forward to sending them to market in the fall but know it’s coming.  I’ll just make sure I’m not around when it happens.