All is well here on the farm. Everything is growing and I can see the grass starting to green as every day goes by. March seems to always be when you know you’ve made it through the winter. That’s good because I am down to only 4 rolls and about 40 square bales of hay. I wouldn’t want any of the animals to get hungry. I have increased the amount of grain I’m feeding and cut back on the hay. It’s almost time to start spreading fertilizer on the hay fields. I like to spread as early as the weather allows to take advantage of all the spring rains. Usually around Valentines Day, but it was just too cold for me this year. Now if it will dry up I can spread. Hopefully the old saying “If March comes in like a lion it will go out like a lamb” holds true.
We had lots of rain and high winds all day and night. I like the rain, it makes good reading weather. Mom got me a great book – Into The Wild. I highly recommend it. It will really make you think about life. I spent most of my off time inside going over all the literature I picked up at the NFMS. The kids got me a subscription to Farm & Ranch Living. I’m usually not much on things if they aren’t informative. However I like this magazine because of its diaries from folks like me and all the great pictures. Not to mention I love the historical stuff in it. How could you not enjoy something you’ve seen your kids save their nickels and dimes for though.
The children seem to be getting bigger before my very eyes. This shift I work has me away from them more than I anticipated. I’ve worked late a lot on Mondays and Tuesdays and only see them for a few minutes on Wednesday and Thursday mornings. That’s 4 days a week and I feel so bad on Saturday from being up all night that I know I’m hard to get along with. Garett seems to miss me more than the others. He made me promise I would watch Open Season with him tonight. We’re making plans to go to Finley’s Fun Center at least one Sunday a month too. They like to play all the games and get Dad out on roller skates. Last Sunday I was so tired all I wanted to do was sleep. I did let them drag me out to get them a hamburger and go to the book store. While we were out they wanted to drive around and look at how low the lake was. When it warms up we’re gonna go walk in the lake bed. It’s real interesting, things are uncovered that haven’t been seen in a very long time. I read in the newspaper that the river in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area here in the county is at levels not seen since impounding the lake.
Won’t be too much longer until the pigs will be ready to eat. Someone asked me a few days ago did I not feel bad about killing these animals. I tried to explain that I do the very best I can by them for the time they have here. I see to it that they aren’t hungry, thirsty, or unhappy and that they have a warm dry place to sleep. I think that’s a whole lot more than you can say for the animals that have been raised commercially. So I bet my hamburger had a happier life than their hamburger. Also there are some animals on the farm that don’t have to worry about life ending anytime soon if I have my way about it.
I got a call at work the other night from BJ. Her grandparents needed hay moved again and she used the 6000 to move it for them. I asked her why she didn’t just go ahead and not worry about calling. Her reply was she was calling out of respect, it wasn’t right just to do it without talking to me first. I kidded her that she sounded crazy and that scared me because she never respected me when we were married. She says that’s not true, but I think it is. I think Papaw Staley might have changed his mind about not ever needing 4wd. When I told him I was buying a 4wd tractor, he told me he’d never buy a 4wd because if it was that bad he’d hire a bulldozer to clean it up for him. With all the freeze and thaw this year I think he sees how handy 4wd is.
We’ve made the decision on the poultry houses. Drumroll please……We have applied for the loan to try it. A cool million in all. I don’t know if we’ll get the money, but we’re going to try it. We talked and talked about it and it finally came down to try it, but leave ourselves an out. By that I mean, leave ourselves a way to sell out without selling the whole place. We’ve found a distant ridge that is almost perfect for them. When we sold the timber the loggers flattened it and used it for a skid yard. It’s at the end of a county road so it won’t intefere with this part of the farm at all. I’m not overly enthusiastic about it, but my dad wants to partner up and do something when he retires for good. I want to be home on the farm with the kids evenings. Both my mom and BJ have pledged to help. I had made the decision not to do it if it was going to be in my back yard or front yard. The site played a huge role in the decision for me. I’ve talked to lots of people who both recommend it and don’t and from everything I can gather it’s good for me. I’m young, hence not taking too big a risk with health insurance, retirement, and just plain dying broke. I’m a hard worker and most of all I want to be here on the farm 7 days a week 24 hours a day. I think that’s the biggest asset of this whole venture. I have a burning desire to farm and make this place profitable so my children don’t have to work in a charcoal factory. Add that to the support I’m receiving from my folks and I honestly believe we can make this thing work.
The log house is absolutely amazing with the new windows. Replacement windows are worth every penny. We’re almost done with all the improvements to it. All that’s left is a little hemlock siding on it and the barn, and some finish work inside. We’ve spent just over $20,000, but I bet the place will appraise $60,000 higher. The best part is my mom is so happy with the house. I haven’t seen her happy since we lost my youngest brother. He’s buried here at Bethel Baptist Church and I know she is grateful to finally be close to him. It really bothered her being in Owen County and him being here.
Kenny (the contractor) is starting the front deck on the double-wide as I write. I’m sure the kids will be happy. Every morning when the bus comes they’ve been hopping out the front about 3 feet to the ground like paratroopers. Madison has the most trouble with it. For her it’s like jumping from above her head.
Well lots to do……Be sure to check out the pics I’ve added here……Hope to hear from you…..Check back soon!