Life of a Farm Blog

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Long Weekend

Well, I think mother nature decided to skip spring and go straight for summer. I spent the whole weekend outside with the kids and we got a little too much sun. We all have bright red cheeks and necks. It was a lot of fun though. We spent a day in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and went horseback riding here around the farm.

It was a short week for me at work. I had scheduled off Friday and Saturday night and then before I left for work on Thursday, school called to say Garett had a low temperature and was complaining of a stomach ache. That meant I had to skip work and pick him up. He ran a fever all night Thursday, so BJ took him to the doctor on Friday. I figured our weekend would be spent at home since he was sick. Turns out he has strep throat, but after he spent most of Friday napping he snapped right out of it and wanted to do what we had planned. He must be over it now because he has not had a fever or acted sick at all since.

The Spring Planting Days in the Big South Fork NRRA was great for the kids. It was great to see all the aspects of early farm life. They got to see draft animals working, flint knapping, quilting, pottery, blacksmithing, wool spinning, and live dulcimer music. I can’t say enough about how nice all the exhibitors were. They all welcomed the kids in to participate in the activities. The Park Rangers were all very nice too. The shuttle driver made a real buddy out of Garett. When Garett told him we were going to go eat our picnic lunch he asked Garett if he had brought an extra sandwich for him, and Garett told him “no, but I brought an extra apple” and he took it to the driver when we went back to the farm.

We managed to get 3 of the horses shoed and 2 shoes on one other this week. Madison has talked about horses all weekend. She loves to ride. I’ve got to find her some boots. She has cowboy boots but has a hard time standing up with the slick bottoms. Today after we got back from our ride she told me it was time she start riding by herself. She assured me she knew what to do so I let her ride a little in the field by herself while I stayed close. I think she’s going to be a real cowgirl. BJ has adopted the colt. She got him out of his stall and gave him a bath and led him around a little.

Earlier in the week I did a little mowing. The roll pin in the handle that actuates the PTO on the 6000 broke on me. I’ve got to take the old one out and put in a new one. I’d alot rather be putting in a roll pin than trying to figure out why an electronic part isn’t working. I still need to finish the service too.

We spent a few hours with a builder from Arkansas Friday evening discussing the poultry houses. They can offer the total package minus excavation and fencing. I can do the fencing myself and save money. I cannot believe the time that I have spent just getting bids on this project.

Check back soon and be sure to check out the pics I’ve added to the site.

10 Responses to “Long Weekend”

  1. Niki Says:

    GREAT! picture of the mules. Ya gotta know that always makes me happy! Looks like a fun time was had by for the kids. Turn BJ onto Dr. Robert Miller…great information on foal imprinting. The more they’re handled by humans the better. He has a book about it.
    Keep up the good work! Interesting to check in to find out what you all have been up to.

  2. Sandy Says:

    We have about 120 acres in Northern California. I raised 8 kids on a dairy ranch. Life on a farm is a lot of hard work. I married for the thrid time when my youngest was 6. I still had 4 kids at home. We milked 220 head of cows. My husband was a timeber faller and worked away from home. I love makeing hay. It, too, is a lot of work but my kids all grew up with a good work ethic and no drug or drinking problems. When all of my slave labor left home we threw a registered Angus bull in with our milk cows and now we are at a herd of 55 mother cows that are 7/8th angus. We also raise Boer Goats and sheep and Landrace x yorkshire hogs. I will be 59 this year and husband, Jerry, will be 68. We do custom haying too. and till gardens. Am really enjoying your story. Brings back a lot of memories.


  3. Kevin Says:

    Joel, Family & Friends,
    The photos of the man on the planter with the mules looks familiar. We have some Amish farmers in the area, so other than some work that either takes too long to get done with draft animals or they do not have the equipment to do it with, they do all of thier work with a team of horses or mules.
    My cousin and her husband raise and train Percheron draft horses. For several years they showed them and rose up to the point of being Superintendents for a number of shows. They are getting out of the Superintendent positions and are scaling back. (Thinking of retirement; but you know how it goes. Farmers never retire, they just cut back!)
    Keep on doing what you can, in time it will all come together.

  4. K.C. Says:

    Joel, food for thought on getting sunburned. I’ve always worked outside const. & have used sunblock since it has been on the market, zinc oxide for the thinner skin areas of the face including ears and neck, and have worn long sleeve light colored shirts for close to 25yr. Going by memory of some 15yrs ago doctors had a basic formula for children before 18yrs of age. It goes something like this if they get sunburned 5-10 times prior to 18 it increases their chance of getting skin cancer some 15-20% in adult hood. Skin cancer cases were up to a million new cases a year as of about 10 years ago. As much as my 13yo has complained thru the years I apply it and he takes it with him.

    The best thing for sunburn is Noxzema Cream in a jar (has to be in a jar no tube). A cpl I new when living in CA told me of this in 1974. It took doctors some 15 years later to recognize this. Apply it 2-3 times until it will not soak in anymore & I guarantee you’ll be tan in 6 hours if not 3 depends on the severity of the burn. It helps when taking a shower and those sleepless nights also. Now you skin is still damaged so just bcz the red is gone does not mean your skin has repaired itself. I’ve tried Aloe Vera and it does about 10% compared to Noxzema Cream. And you still hear doctors promoting Aloe Vera, why, because it smells better? But hey, who am I to say/know I’ve only seen the proof for 33 years & read articles and reports. And I apologize for dropping names like Noxzema just going by public information & personal experience. You can also buy zinc oxide(only white 99% blockage)at the RX for a 1/3 of the price rather than the name brand sun care products. If you can find the name brands and diff. colors kids kinda dig it because it’s like getting their faces painted, good luck convincing them tho,ha.

    Good luck to you & yours in your endeavors, hope I could help someone & keep thos kids covered up everyone. KC

  5. joelw Says:

    Glad you enjoyed the mules. I know I sure did. I have a lot of respect for folks who have the patience to carry on this lifestyle.

    I cannot imagine the work involved in a dairy that size. I have a soft spot for dairy farmers. I think that’s what I really want to be when I grow up. I’m certainly hoping if I can set a good example for the children and keep them busy they’ll turn out okay. I gotta admit I have doubts sometimes about whether the farm is helping in this.

    I sure respect the Amish for their hard work ethic. They certainly know how to get stuff done with their teams. I think we could all learn from their lifestyle. They take care of one another.
    You’re right about farmers they only slow down. If a farmer wins the lottery he’ll just keep farming til it’s all gone.

    Thanks for the tips on sunburns. I know it can’t be good to get burned. I’ve been burned atleast 10 times a year my whole life. We generally insist that the kids wear some sort of protection, but I never imagined we’d get burned. It was cloudy almost all day. I’ll have to pick up some Noxema for next time.

  6. Kevin Says:

    I thought of a trick you can try for BJ’s boots. If the main problem is they are too slick for her to wear in the house or on slick finished concrete buy some of the safety tape that they put on stairs or warehouse/plant floors around stationary equipment. (You know the stuff that comes in rolls and is sticky on one side and has a gritty surface on the other.) You can cut it to the shape of the sole/heel of her boots/shoes and it should stop the slipping problem.

  7. Kevin Says:

    Sorry BJ, I meant Maddie. Getting old and getting the “girls” mixed up. (I know, Mom and youngest daughter. Sorry!)

  8. joelw Says:

    Thanks for the tip. I’ll keep it in mind!

  9. cassi Says:

    i like this story it sounds likea lot of hard work but it definetley sounds like fun

  10. joelw Says:

    Glad you like the story. It is a bit of work, but lots of fun. Thanks for the comment and check back soon!

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