Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Interesting Week

As you all know, it's been kind of rough around here for quite a while. It all came to a head for me yesterday as I got to spend several hours not doing so well. Apparently, the stress and the extreme heat combined to give me a hypertensive episode and it caused my heart to beat abnormally for a while. Today, I feel like I have been run over by a train.

The fight to keep the garden going is over. The fight to keep the hay equipment going is over. The fight to keep the lawn mower going is over.

Maybe next year will be better.......

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Is It Hot Enough For Ya?

It is too hot for me! This is the worst part of the year, I despise being wet and sticky all day. Here in southern Illinois, it's the joys of the "air that you wear". The thermometer said 128F in the barn yesterday. That's almost hot enough to cook the eggs in the nests!

Thank you to the wonderful blog reader that gave us another day of fuel to get back and forth to work. God Bless you sir.

Since the job won't let the hubs stay in his crappy camper(they know he's still ill), I'm subjected to driving him back and forth to work. It's taking up 5 hours of my day, the 5 best hours(coolest times of the daylight) so I'm not making much progress in the garden or around the farm. This weather is supposed to hang on until Saturday. yay rah! The garden will be a jungle of grass and pig weed by then. At least the plants are shaded some and not burning up!

Oh, I read something yesterday that got me thinking and at the same time, made me mad. Modern Poverty includes AC and xbox. Geez, you know, I never considered us to be impoverished before, now I'm kind of insulted. Video games, air conditioning, big screen tvs, cable television and fancy, expensive cell phones. Hmmm, we don't have any of those things. Does that mean we're poor? We can't afford any of those things. Maybe I should quit trying so hard to take care of myself and sign up for welfare so I can have air conditioning! I'd like that right now, LOL.

I've been discussing a small equipment problem with "net pals" over at the APN chatroom. A couple weeks ago, I picked up a chunk of wood in the square baler and it broke one of the cutting knives. It turns out, it also bent the bale chamber inward essentially making the baler junk. Well, to us, that is unacceptable since we need it and have no way of replacing it. Now comes the rabbit out of the hat. Hubs, the boy and I spent a couple hours working over the problem, trying a few different things to fix it. Hubs brilliant mind, a cutting torch and some extreme adjustments on the bale plunger and it works. He basically counter sank the stationary knife into the chamber wall and adjusted the plunger to run right down the chamber rail. It will never break a knife again. But, if I ever pick up another chunk of tree, it will probably, destroy the baler. Now all we need to do is come up with some imaginative way to fix that $800 pick up rake track on the haybine.... we're working it out.

Skeeter goat is enjoying the freedom that the hot weather has given the goat herd. Since it's soooo hot out and it would be animal cruelty to keep them in such a hot barn, the goats have free range around the farm. No, the weeds aren't that high here, she's laying down and munching, LOL. I wanted to get a picture of Spud laying in the tractor rim but he was gone by the time I got back with the camera. Maybe next time he does it.....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Farm Update Photos

There's little Spud...

Part of the herd getting a lick on the salt block....

The corn meal corn. There really is 5 rows of beans in all that pig weed and grass. Can you see the tobacco to the right of the corn?

Mid July Farm Update

We got a little rain to cool us off. 112F with 85% humidity was horrible. Thankfully, it was just a couple days and we lived thru it with no air conditioning. The creek swimming hole is a life saver ;)

Thank you to the 2 blog readers that have helped us with fuel money this week. God Bless you both!

The garden is full of pig weed and bermuda grass. I pulled some out last night but it will take me the rest of the week to get it all cleared out. The corn meal corn looks really awesome and I'll take a pic or 2 to post. The tobacco this year is being attacked by some tiny bug I've not seen on it before and I intend to spray them with the hot pepper spray this evening. I'm hoping it works since I refuse to use chemicals here. Even with the bugs, the plants still look good and are flowering like crazy. A good harvest of seed for my next crop! I've lost 3 rows of kidney beans from all the rain, the plants just wilted and died. What's left is covered in bean pods tho. I had a few horn worms munching on the tomatoes but I pulled the grass from around them and the chickens picked the worms for me. Good chickens! Today I will be finding my garlic and onions amongst the pig weed and grass, hopefully they are okay from all the rain. Oh, the peanut plants have the prettiest orange flowers on them! The replanted sweet corn is growing okay, it looks nitrogen deficient tho. It's from all the rain.

We finally got the deposit slip for the long term disability. 2 weeks at $170. Wow, now we can retire, LOL. Hubster insisted on a return to work slip so we don't lose our farm with that 30 day default clause. I don't know how he's going to tolerate it in so much pain and discomfort. We will make the July payment on the last day before default and just deal with it. Not like we don't have plenty of experience with trying to catch back up to even ;) So, all we need to do is make it the next 15 days. Pray for good results from all the tests this week and an easy fix to his illness.

Tuesday, before the rain came in, I tried to make myself a little fuel money by custom baling a small piece for a fellow up the road. I didn't get 10' and picked up a piece of tree, snapped the sheer pin. It was horribly hot so I folded up and headed home to fix it in the shade. Not 100 yards down the road, I blew a tire! A baler tire, not a tractor tire. What a mess just the same. The blow out bent the rim on me. So, some pounding on the rim and some grinding on it to get the road tar ooze (it was so hot, the road was all sticky and oozy) and gravel off of it, a $3 inner tube and now all I have to do is empty the chamber, get the piece of wood out, pull the knives off, file the knicks off them, put them back and I'll hopefully be good to go.

Little Spud is doing good. I turned all the goats loose so they could graze and find a shady spot during the heat of the day. Keeping them in the barn when it's this hot is animal cruelty. Just too hot for them in there. Pictures of Spud soon too...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Quiet Sunday

Little Spud is growing like a weed and is following the herd out of the barn now. The last couple of mornings have given me a giggle or 2 with his tiny goat antics. By the time chores are done, he's wiped out and ready for a nap.

Flopping a gate across the front of the barn has kept his safe from curious horses and has been pretty good protecting my straw bales from those same nosey horses. Can't sell any this fall if they're all broken and stomped on.

Garden update- the tobacco is covered with japanese beetles and budding out, about ready to start flowering. The corn meal corn is 8' tall and most stalks have 2 ears on them. I saw a couple that had 3 ears pushing silks in there too. The beans are covered in pods and the tomatoes are covered with little green fruits. The cucumbers are rotting before growing to a decent size, too much rain. The hot peppers are still working on setting fruit and the sweet peppers have not yet recovered from Lucky goats buffet. The sweet corn Lucky munched on is up and looking decent. A side dress of rabbit poo for the nitrogen might be in order if it even quits raining long enough for me to walk around in there...

We're starting week 7 of the hubsters mystery illness. We'll be going the next 3 weeks without a paycheck. A whole week full of tests scheduled as well. Soon we will be done tho, we will run out of fuel in the truck by Wednesday and the co-pay for the doc visits will wipe out the rest of what we have. Not too sure what we'll do or even what we can do at this point. The stress is killing my guts now :( Even if we refuse his treatment and force a release for work, we will still go 3 weeks without a paycheck and he will still be ill. Not sure at this point how we'd even get him to work. I spend quite a bit of time wondering what we've done to be punished so. It gives me a headache.

Here's the broken baler knife. A replacement is only $75 but it might as well be a million dollars. Geez, this is just too much...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Food Freedom??

This has got to be the most stupid thing I have ever seen. The city of Oak Park, MI is prosecuting this woman because she planted raised beds in her front yard full of vegetables. Someone in her neighborhood turned her in to the city. How sad is that? You don't think every aspect of our society and our country has gone seriously off track? This is government in action folks.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chick Babysitter

Silly Lucky goat, he's got to make sure those chicks are eating properly!

Being Bad Sick

I've been known to go off on a pretty good rant over the phrase "practicing medicine" and I am most certainly due for another one. If you all have been following this blog for the last 5 weeks, you probably already know about my hubsters illness. Last week was his intestinal scope, the cure all, fix all diagnostic test. Yah right. Let's review, shall we? Memorial weekend it was called appendicitis . A week later it was changed to ulcerative colitis. He got antibiotics, steroids and an anti spasm medication. No change. 3 weeks later comes the scope and it becomes diverticulitis (no new meds tho). Another week goes by, the follow up appointment to the scope and all the sudden it's now gall bladder problems! That's kind of funny, he doesn't have any of the symptoms of gall bladder problems at all. 5 weeks now with this same problem, it has not gotten any better at all. It doesn't matter if he eats or not, still the same. Even with the colon clean, he was still having spasms. We're on our 2nd week of short term disability checks and they are 1/3 of his normal paycheck. So, now add stress on top of his illness. The doctors are no closer to knowing what's wrong with him now than they were 5 weeks ago and he's not improved even a tiny bit. (this is the spot where I stomp around the front room and curse like a sailor) So, now he's back at the doctors today, getting stuck with needles for more blood tests to check for something he doesn't have.

If he ever gets over this, I'll bet he's gonna want to eat more of what my son and I eat and quit eating all that processed food crap and soda he insists on consuming....

Add the hubster to your prayer list, we need him to get better!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Organic Gardening and Freedom

Yesterday, I wrote a post expressing my opinion on a couple different things. One was the gullibility and stupidity of people combined with our continued loss of freedoms and another was what I consider to be a restriction of freedom via Arizonas ideas for "controlling" farmers markets.

Via the comments section, I learned of a nasty practice in another state of the county tax assessors office sending someone out to photograph the INSIDE of your home along with the inside of your garage, outbuildings etc. All in the name of "fair tax". Of course, you can refuse to allow them into your home but you will be punished with being taxed at the highest rate for the county. So, allow them to invade your privacy or be unreasonably taxed.

Anonymous commented with what appeared to me as suggesting that we, as a country, have no reason to be upset since we're all living in a fantasy of "English oppression". Now, most of us intelligent people know that history is always slanted to the opinion of the writer and 235 years ago, the people living on this continent considered the "English rule" to be oppressive. Like it or not, there would be no United States of America without the Revolutionary War (yes, one side was the English!) The US Constitution isn't an outdated piece of paper, it's what our country was founded upon! Deal with it! There's also this really cool thing called the Bill of Rights. Some of us are pretty fond of it. Again, deal with it. When elected members of our government trample on those rights, that's called OPPRESSION. Define oppression-noun- the exercise of authority in a burdensome, cruel or unjust manner. Now, I won't bother to go thru a list of just the latest dirty deeds because unless you are one of those people that thinks we need MORE government control (of course in the name of safety, those terrorists are dangerous!) you already know exactly what I'm talking about.

Whew, I need a cup of home grown coffee now. Next is the control of our food from the dirt to the grocery store. My blog pal PP, whom I have high regard for, has spoken up on the subject of Arizonas farmers market paperwork. PP, I can see your point with rude people and they should most certainly have more manners and if they choose to continue to be ignorant, the sponsor of the farmers market should do something about it. As for the produce being trucked in from elsewhere, do you really think government(USDA) control is the answer to that?

I've been growing my own food for years. I do it because I don't like what the government considers to be acceptable and safe. I don't use chemicals or grow GMO crops. I don't have to provide a "crop plan" or allow a government official from the USDA to map and photograph my farm to prove I don't or to tell me I am growing my food correctly. Define organic-adj-of, relating to, derived from, or characteristic of living plants and animals; of or relating to animal or plant constituents or products having a carbon basis. So, I consider the USDA controlling the word "organic" in the same light as Monsanto cornering the market on commercial seed and polluting the world with it(GMO SEED). The USDA says that I can't call my organically grown foods "organic" because they haven't approved it? Ah, but it's all in the name of safer food, isn't it? We all know how much smarter the government is that we are. What would we do without the government telling us what is safe to eat? How ever did our species manage to get this far??? Thank goodness the USDA is here to save me from all that dangerous food out there. I wouldn't want to be healthy and happy from eating a tomato that was grown in my neighbors yard instead of the one treated with chemicals and trucked 500 miles to Walmart.

Now, I know full well that we as a society have been pretty successfully conditioned to believe that the government is the cure all for every problem we have. That help comes with a price, nothing is free. Someone has to pay for it all. So, it all comes down to a single choice, do you want to be controlled or do you want to be free?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What is Wrong Here?

On the 235th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence from oppression and tyranny at the hands of England, I am truly saddened by where our beloved America is headed. The amount of idiots running around that have no tangible grasp on why we have a big nation wide party on July 4th of every year astounds me. These same people willingly accept things such as this- Elite are not even trying to hide how much they hate the US Constitution anymore and Media attacks America on Independence Day.

I am reminded every day that I am not free. I think free, I feel free but I am not free. My land is not paid for and I am still connected to the grid. Even when my land does get paid for, I will still be required to pay an annual duty to the government in the form of property taxes. Meanwhile, the government continues it's attack on all of us with it's control freak agenda.

Did you know that the USDA owns the word "organic"? In the state of Arizona, in order to sell your garden produce at the farmers market, you must submit an application with directions to your garden/home, a crop plan and submit to an inspection of your land. Political control freaks take over farmers market. Check out the 5 minute video for yourself. ( fixed this link, my bad)

So, have we reached the level of oppression that caused our forefathers to declare war yet? Have we been slapped down enough, unreasonably taxed enough, enslaved enough?

My rebellion is in my fight for self sufficiency. My refusal to suck on the government tit. My refusal to sign up for government handouts. My refusal to eat and drink the poison our government supports, protects above individual citizens and uses our tax dollars to control us with. Our own choices have brought our country to it's knees. We voted those thieving, greedy bastards into office and we keep re-electing them! We keep on buying products made by companies such as Monsanto. WE keep them in business! We continue to export billions of American dollars to china in exchange for cheap crap we don't need. If we are incapable of changing ourselves, we deserve what we get.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Long Day on the Farm

Is that just not the cutest thing? This was my morning surprise. Lucky goats Momma, being the escape artist she is, apparently got herself rebred pretty quick after she abandoned Lucky goat. Being half pygmy, she gave me this cute little tri colored billy this morning. No bigger than a nerf football, he's nursing and she is tending him like she should. No summer bottle baby for me!

Well, we hauled the haybine home today after trying to get it to work without the pick up reel on it. The darn thing just laid the hay down and cut half of it so back to the drawing board. I was hoping it would work like a sickle mower but that was just wishful thinking. Looks like we're just smoked for now, the part I need is out of our reach.

Daisy calf is eating more hay every day and I got a whole gallon of milk today! Boy, what a change from the no milk at all last week thing. The horses and goats all got turned out to graze today, the yard firmed up enough for them. Goober cow is just stuck in her pen until I can finish the side fence. I just don;'t have time to chase her all over the country side. The garden is still a little bit soggy but I did pull some weeds today. Looks like all but 2 of the stomped tobacco plants will recover. Pictures when I get it cleaned up a little more.