Sunday, December 21, 2014

Another Year Done and Gone

I've been at an impasse all year. Nothing much to write about, The daily struggle just to survive here has kept my mind flooded with everything but writing. With all my time consumed with the tiny paycheck that doesn't cover the bills here let alone feed me, not much left for upbeat or positive writing. So, I've just kept quiet. Who wants to go read a blog that's always depressing, eh? LOL

It's not all depressing tho. I'm still here. Other than the electric bill, which is always behind, at least I'm floating about even from month to month. The pitiful job has kept just enough fuel in the tank to keep getting to work and cover the mortgage. Now if I could just get the darn coffee plants to stay alive! Over sensitive, pain in the ass plants those are! Why they are so difficult now, I'll never figure it out. I've grown them before, had a beautiful stand of producing coffee plants, got coffee harvested and now, I can't keep a plant alive for longer than 6 months. Well that won't do me any good! Takes 3 years to get coffee beans! ARG. It's got to be this horrible leaky window pile of junk I reside in. Just something I must deal with since there's nothing I can do about it at this point.

Actually, all things considered, I'm kind of a little proud of myself. $1035 in bills a month just to live here with $981 income, I'm still here. Not one farmers market and no advertising, I still managed to keep up more or less. I am of course, $380 behind now on the electric, LOL. I so wish I could have solar, at least some solar. I could use a couple pairs of britches that don't have holes in them too, LOL. At least I still have decent shoes. Even tho my garden wasn't near as diverse as I like, I still managed to grow and harvest/can up a decent amount of food to eat. Not near as nutritionally balanced as I'd like but still a good result for the effort.

So, here I am, once again, living proof that a person can produce enough food for themselves to survive. Heck, I don't have much choice since there obviously isn't any money for groceries, LOL Adapt and overcome. No whining, just dealing with it. Yes, I miss some things. Yes, I wish I had a few things I don't have. Can I do anything about it? Not right now so I just move on.

So 2014 is wrapping up. I consider it a success for the simple fact that I'm still here. Still have the farm and still plugging away. Big thanks in part to my own wonderful family. Without whom I would be homeless and walking! Not anywhere near what I'd like to have accomplished but still, I haven't gone backwards. Well, maybe a little backwards in the chicken department, stupid dog. Chick hatching didn't go as well as I wanted but there's plenty of time to keep trying. Count rabbits as dismal success too but they are always hit and miss here. Feeding me is one thing but I'd like them to at least do well enough to pay for the darn feed every month instead of the hit and miss. The kitchen did okay for me when I had time to actually work in it. I catered 2 anniversary parties this year and created some specialties for a few Thanksgiving parties. I have one order of pastries to finish for a Christmas party and the kitchen will be quiet until around Easter. Kind of wish I could afford to do more in there, maybe next year. Did not advertise at all because of time constraints, hard to dedicate myself to what I love when I have to go to a job I dislike to cover the bills. Never pass on the bird in the hand for a dream of success. I know it can do well but the time it would take to get it up to where it pays all the bills would just be too long of a stretch and with no cushion of savings, I can't risk it. So, the decision to keep it as a specialty thing just has to stand for now. It was worth the effort, it's not going anywhere and it has contributed positively.

Of course, the goats are always a highlight for the farm. Joyous creatures they are, full of personality and my own personal entertainment. Hard to be sad or depressed with goats running around. They are sensitive to mood and do everything they can to cheer you up at any given moment. Affectionate, loving creatures. Sometimes I wonder why it took me so long to find my way to goats. Truly diverse creatures, capable of getting themselves stuck in all kinds of situations and just as gifted at getting themselves out of the craziest places. I'm still trying to figure out how they got on the barn roof. Of course I could do without the tapdance on my truck hood! Nothing like getting in your truck to head to work and having to wiper goat poop off the windshield, LOL I am really looking forward to the herd of kids that are coming soon after the New Years. Delta always gifts me with a pair within the first couple of days of the new year, if not right on New Years day! Then, Fluffy should kid. Her hardships last year may come around to bite us but I am ready. The playpen is ready to go and the colostrum is waiting. Then, there's 2 first timers I will probably have to raise kids for and then, bringing up the rear of the kid pack will be Lil Sister. She is big as a house right now. I'd like to be sitting at 8 nannys with at least 3 being good and easy milkers. That's a few years off still.

The cows. Hmmm. A flopping subject in my mind. The cows are great, love the cows but I need a ton of fencing to keep going with the cows. I may get 2 calves, I'm not really sure. Goober is no doubt pregnant. Daisy is hard to tell. That cow is spoiled and obnoxious. Maybe after a calf or 2 she'll settle down. If she makes it that long here. Daisy is my fence ripper. Impossible to keep penned, she destroys fence on purpose. Terrible pain in my ass. She's smart and incredibly hard headed. I'd like to fry her butt with a mean electric fence charger but it's just not in the budget. She does tie out well so summer time isn't so bad. But, ya just can't leave her tied out during the nasty winter weather. Too much ice, too much mud and no shelter. I have contemplated selling her and have tried a couple of times but gave up when every prospective buyer tries to bicker me down to giving her away. Nope, not that stupid nor that desperate. So, when the mood strikes me, I'll try again. That is, when I feel like being bothered and insulted, LOL The bull, again a big Hmmmmm. I guess his stay depends on how hard the calving is and what the calf or calves look like. A bull is a waste of time and feed here actually. A necessity if I want milk and calves tho since there isn't very many options to breed outside the farm. The milk is more important to me than the calf is when I look at the big picture. Yes, a calf could be a meat source but is time prohibitive. Takes a long time to grow a cow! I can't afford to buy a bull calf and wait 2 years for it to mature enough to breed or be big enough to butcher. Eh, now you see why it's a flopping subject, LOL

So, the plans for the future are being mulled along with all the other things I'm already doing every day. It's a never ending process for me. As this year winds down and a new year getting ready to start for the farm, lots to think about. Tons of little plans and ideas for improvement all depend on what I can afford and what I can possibly come up with. Lord help me if I ever figure out how to make money with my thoughts! LOL I'd be an unstoppable steam roller!

So, until then, Merry Christmas! Enjoy your holiday time with family and friends and don't forget the reason for the season!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Winter Raffle Winners

Well, here I am at workso I let my co-worker draw the names.  LOL, so, however it goes, you can either thank or blame Vic!

Leslie B is the Rainbow blanket winner!  Congrats Leslie!

The Camo blanket goes to Elizabeth S!  Congrats Elizabeth!

Ladies, your tracking numbers will be mailed to you tomorrow early afternoon, congrats on your win!

Friday, December 5, 2014

December Rains

Ick, it's raining again.  Mudhole on the farm!  Lost another batch of rabbits kits last night.  The weather behaving like a yo-yo is hard on the does and newborn kits.  So, I have managed to not get any live bunny kits at all.  None that lived more than a week anyway.  "Sigh"  depressing.

So far, since August, I've manged to get a couple blankets finished.  I am currently working on an order for 4 youth blankets.  I have 2 done and the third half done with one more to be finished before the 15th.  I'm sweating bullets a bit, it's going to be a close finish!  Each one takes 53 hours from start to finish.
So now, there is 5 days left in the blanket raffle.  So far, there's 5 people in the Camo blanket raffle and just 2 in the rainbow blanket raffle.  Still good odds so get your entry in quick!

Not much going on around the farm lately.  I am currently working on a new soap recipe.  One with coconut oil in it.  The hope is to make the soap more bubbly, the way most people expect soap to be.  I know, I'm veering from the old fashioned style to cater to the whims of the commercial products mindset but hey, who knows, it might make a good soap!  It's been in the mold for 2 days now, was too soft to remove yesterday.  I'm going to try to get it out tonite after work.  I've got my fingers crossed!