Life of a Farm Blog

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Archive for July, 2007


Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Much of our spare time this week was spent staining the hemlock that we had added to the log house and the barn. We found a new use for the 6000, it makes a pretty good scaffold. I would lift B.J. up to where she needed to stain and then I would climb up into the bucket with her. The stain made the house and barn look tons better and I know it will help preserve it. I don’t really know how I talked B.J. into helping out but she was a big help.

Madison learned how to ride her bicycle without her training wheels this week. She also had her first big bike wreck with a little help from me – I was chasing her and she got spooked. She ended up with a scratched and bruised belly. I felt terrible that I was the cause of her first bike wreck.

The kids head back to school on August 8th so we had to go to Garett & Madison’s open house to find out who their teachers would be for the upcoming school year. Garett got the teacher that he wanted, Gwen Bryant, a family friend. Madison on the other hand did not get my aunt, Susan Parsons, as her first grade teacher. She has said that she will not be going to first grade this year and she will just stay home and go to second grade next year. So I will have to take the day off work to make sure that she does go to school.

Monday all of the kids had to go to the dentist, so we spent the day in Somerset. Kaylee and Madison did not have any cavities. Garett had a couple of beginners. Madison also got fitted for a mouth guard that will break her from sucking her thumb. We had breakfast at Hardee’s and then headed to Lowe’s to get things needed for the home improvement projects. As we left, Kaylee & Madison found a slug in the parking lot and would not have it any other way than to take it somewhere that it wouldn’t get hurt. It makes me proud that I have raised good stewards of the environment.

I finally finished putting in the water spickets to the barn, corall, and pasture. I also got the electric wire and conduit to the log house barn. It pleased my mother immensely to get the ditches covered back over. We noticed that we had little water pressure at the log house, it was due to a main line water leak. On the positive side it did fill up our little pond across the road.

Precious, Kaylee’s mare is still taking the antibiotics and now I am applying a gel daily to her leg. It’s getting better but it will be a little time before she is back to normal. I have spent a small fortune in vet wrap and gauze. The chickens, calves, rabbits, & other horses are doing well.

We are down to decision time of what we are going to do with the chicken houses. A decision has to be made this week. The children are now voicing their objections to “all those chickens”.

Well tons of things to do and little time to get them done in so I better go for now. Check out the new pics and check back soon!


Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Not a lot going on here on the farm this week. With the holiday (July 4th) we all spent a little time away from the farm. The children volunteered at the McCreary County Museum selling lemonade, hot dogs, pies, and sodas to the folks attending the Independence Day Celebration. We had a good time checking out the old (and new) cars and watching the fireworks display. We also picked up a few things at the silent auction held by the museum. Now we’ll have to find the time to visit Barthell, the replica mining town in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. We’ll have to find time to get over to the Stearns Restaurant for dinner too since we have certificates for free daily specials. It was pretty neat to hang out in historic Stearns. They have been having an Independence Day celebration there since 1903. This year was the 100th anniversary of the Stearns Coal and Lumber Company office building that now houses the McCreary County Museum.

The excavation continues here on the farm. We are rapidly approaching a time when we will have to make a definite decision about the poultry houses. I’m still on the fence about this venture. My hunch is it would be profitable. It is a huge risk though. I finally got a copy of the contract we would be signing and I can tell you it’s certainly not a great contract. Cobb is paying for a lot of things that other companies aren’t, but it’s still a huge risk. The pay can be adjusted at any time and they can cancel your contract for a number of reasons. I guess the biggest reason I am having trouble making a definitive decision has to do with what is right for the land. I have such a bond with the land here. It’s beautiful land that could be used for so many other things it just seems a waste to put a commercial chicken house on it.

I believe I finally have the rental trailer we purchased in pretty fair shape. We haven’t found any more water leaks. I had to pick up an electric range and a new refrigerator. The old appliances were gas and I wanted to get away from gas since I know nothing about it. At least with electric I can do any maintenence myself. Shouldn’t be anything like that for a while though. We got the range and fridge for $725 new at a local appliance dealer. Right now it seems like the trailer was a bad idea with all the work and money I’ve had to put in it. I’ve changed all the plumbing to CPVC, wired in the electric range, and cleaned up the yard. I’d have spent a small fortune if I had hired someone to do it. I used the 6000 to take out some fence along the road that the previous owner had concreted about 3 ft in the ground. I believe the guy spent way more on concrete than on fence because these things were 4x4s in 10 inch holes poured full of concrete 3 ft in the ground. I couldn’t pull them with the loader because the chain kept sliding up, so I had to take the corner of the bucket and curl them up out of the ground at the concrete.

We had the vet out to the farm this week. Precious, Kaylee’s mare, had a rope burn on her leg that got infected and spread up her leg. Everyday I have to run the hose on it for about 10 minutes and then flush it good with iodine and wrap it good to keep the flies out. While Dr. Burress was here we got the dogs all their vaccines and had her check out a couple goats that have fly larvae on them. We’ve always called the fly larvae wolves or wolf worms. They are pretty easy to deal with, but have been a pain this year because of the dry weather. We finally are getting some rain though. It’s been over a month since we got anything but a brief shower, but it rained most of the night last night and is still drizzling a little at 11 this morning. It does not look as though there will be much, if any, of a second cutting of hay. I would have enough hay to feed through the winter even without the second cutting, but I am already having to feed a roll a week.

With the drought it seems farmers are finally getting some coverage in the local papers. Their were a couple good articles in the Lexington Herald Leader Monday (7-9) about “Farming into the retirement years” and “Beekeepers, other farmers need government help”. Also good to see unions getting a little positive publicity too. See the links below:

Well it’s almost time to make the charcoal so I better go. Be sure to check out the pics I’ve added. Thanks for reading and check back soon!


Sunday, July 1st, 2007

Well another week has come and gone here on the farm. Spent most of my spare time plumbing this week. The trailer we aquired was in desperate need of plumbing. Every time I got one leak fixed I’d find another. The pipes had frozen and burst in a lot of places. One leak would rear it’s ugly head, but the others wouldn’t until you fixed a leak in front of it. Must be a pressure thing. I think I finally got it though. Now it’s looking like I’ll have to put in at least one heating element in the hot water heater. I’ve spent a couple hundred bucks on parts, but it should start paying me back in a couple months.

Garett turned 8 yesterday. We had him a pirate party. I think he had a pretty good time. He sure raked in the presents. After cake and ice cream and a cookout we let off a few fireworks. The carnival is in town this week so I’m sure I’ll be going at least one night.

Madison noticed today one of the horses is limping and has a swollen leg. You can see a small cut that has healed. It looks like she has gotten something around her leg. I guess this means a trip to the vet. We actually have been riding the horses a bit this week. Madison loves to ride and she made me get up early in the mornings to take her for a ride.

I picked up another small field to cut for hay. I helped papaw Staley set out hay and get his cattle off a pasture where the fence was down so he gave me the field to cut for hay. His cattle are smart. The neighbors called 3 or 4 times last week to tell us his cattle were out. We would go up there and they would all be back across the fence and in the barn. We didn’t think they were actually his until I got out and walked through the woods and found the trail they had been using. They had a straight shot through the woods to the barn and could be back there before we could get there to count to see if they were all there.

The excavation continues. I had no idea there was as much flat land as there is. The place looks totally different without trees. I can’t wait to get some grass growing this fall. I’m planning to do a bunch of reseeding as soon as the weather allows. I will have to take the time to visit my dealer this week. I’ve got to find a good disc and hopefully a set of plows. I also need to pick up a set of blades for the disc mower.

Well tons to do so I better get busy…….Be sure to check back soon….Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

Happy Father’s Day

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

Well it’s been a pretty good Father’s Day. The kids and I hung out all day playing wiffle ball and working on BJ and Mattie’s flower planters. We got an old wheelbarrow from a neighbor who was going to throw it away. We now have a grand total of about 3 bucks in a pretty nifty planter. I’ve seen similar ones with the Deere logo for much more than that. Ours is now our favorite color, RED. Filled with potting soil and a few flowers and I find it quite attractive. Mattie replanted her potty garden. I must have spent 50 dollars on flowers this week. We also got a pretty neat little outside play area set up for the kids at the double-wide. Now they have a trampoline and a swing set.

The kids have been slow to rise this week. I can see it being a problem by the time it’s school time again. Speaking of school the kids attended bible school last week at Bethel Baptist Church. They came home with something every night. Madison did a solo of “Jesus Loves Me”. I’m awfully proud of them. They seem to be good kids, so we must collectively be doing a fair job raising them.

The excavation continues. They are really making some progress. We set one of the brush piles on fire and it burned almost all up. That’s unusual for most clearing jobs. Dave is doing a really good job keeping the dirt out of the brush. Won’t be long until we will have to make a definite decision about what to do with the farm. The calves are eating hay and grain good so we’ve decided it’s time to wean them. That means no more early mornings and late evenings feeding bottles. At least until I run across some more.

The 6000 turned the dreaded 666 hours this week. I noticed it today and was glad to see it was about to turn to 667. The dust is so bad from the drought I had to wipe off the instrument cluster to see the gauges. We got just a little rain one night, but it’s till very dry. I heard on the radio they have banned folks from watering their gardens and washing cars. I think it’s very unfair that commercial car washes aren’t affected. Just doesn’t seem right that I can go pay to wash my car, but I can’t do it at home. The garden is very dry. We pulled some potatoe vines today to see what they would be like and found very few and very small “tatoes” as Mattie says.

Got my transfer tank / toolbox combo mounted with the help of my friend James. Now it’s time to spend a hundred bucks on fuel to fill it up. It will pay for itself after 58 transfer tank fulls. I can save a little over 40 cents a gallon on off road fuel.

On a sad note I saw a release on the Clorox intranet site that they are closing yet another plant. This time it’s the Edmonton Alberta Canada bleach plant they acquired from Procter and Gamble. I have been reading a blog on the website and noticed lots of folks responding to say Clorox is losing touch with its workers and becoming a cut throat organization. I can only hope that folks will wise up and organize. The only thing that can help them is a union.

Madison and Garett found several chicken feathers near our chicken coop. We’re concerned a gray fox we saw a few nights ago has started dining on our chickens. Mattie had to rescue one chicken from Thumper’s water tub. It had fallen in trying to get a drink. Poor thing was totally exhausted and floating with help from it’s wings.

Used the 6000 4wd for a little demolition this week. We have acquired some more land and it had 2 trailers on it. One was in such disrepair that it could not be saved. So I used the 6000 to knock the walls in on it so we could salvage the metal and then drug it off the foundation so we could burn the rest. Hopefully we’ll be able to salvage the other one and rent it. I tease the kids that I bet nobody has used their tractor to do as many things as we have. From demolition and farm work to picking berries and moving swing sets.

Well lots to do, so I better go ……..Be sure to check out the pics I’ve added and check back soon!

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