A Plague Upon Our House

For about a week and half now our family has been passing the junk around again.  I thought I was going to escape this round, but I woke up Friday with a terribly sore throat followed by chills.  Of course it was our state basketball tournament weekend so I had to suffer through.  I really thought if I got enough sleep Friday night I’d be ok Saturday morning.  Not so much.

I literally went back to the hotel after our game on Friday, hit the pillow at 4:30 pm, and didn’t get out of bed until about 9 the next morning.  Still, no bueno.  In fact, as I write this on Monday morning, I still have a nasty sore throat.

Getting healthy would be less urgent if we weren’t at Defcon 1 in preparation for the newest addition to our family arriving.  I still have to get the crib in the house and put together and generally just lysol the heck out of everything to try and keep the house decontaminated.  Pray for health for our family if you could.

In the meantime, with spring around the corner, I am hoping to have a lot more to write about on the blog.  I do try to post a video daily on the YouTube channel so if you haven’t already, please consider subscribing there.  www.youtube.com/c/homesteaddad

Until next time.

Patience is a Virtue

I just got off the phone with the NRCS agent, the man who is going to come out and do a site survey for me to hopefully get a grant for a high tunnel.  With the weather being as cold as it is, and snow covering the ground, we rescheduled for a couple weeks from now.

I am not the most patient person.  When I see something I want to do, I normally jump in with both feet and get to it, even when waiting a bit may be the better course of action.  I suppose that can be both a good and bad thing, strike while the iron is hot type of thing, but that means that when something like this happens I have to temper my enthusiasm with some patience.

In the long run, this probably won’t affect when/if I get a grant for a high tunnel.  The first funding period is already over, so hopefully there will be a second one.  Even if I don’t get a grant this year,  before the fall or even next year would be nice too.

So for the time being, I will sit here, being mostly patient.

Cow Blood?

While I was milking the other evening my brother in law happened to be over.  He noticed a bit of blood on the ground while I was milking Prudence.  He quickly took a picture and texted it to his cousin who works with animals.  She said it looked like she was just finishing her cycle.  Which means that the insemination didn’t work.  We will have to do this again in 18-21 days.  It’s a bummer, but it happens.  I will have to keep a close eye on her to try and make sure I get the timing right for the next insemination.

Until next time.

Livestream While Milking?!?

That’s right.  I am considering trying to set up a YouTube livestream while I am out with Prudence milking.  I have been trying to test the livestream capabilities of my phone and while it is a bit glitchy I am willing to give it a try if there is enough interest.  So, if that is something that might interest you, please leave a comment below letting me know.  Also, consider sharing this with other people who might be interested and go to my YouTube channel and comment and subscribe there.

I’d love to try and do some creative things like this if there is enough interest so let me know what you think.  Thanks.

Bucket of Milk in My Face, Big Disgrace, Kickin My Cans All Over the Place

Have you ever had one of “those” mornings?  The ones that seem to start out ok, but early on there is an event where you think to yourself, “self, this might be a hard day”?  Today was one of those days for me.  Nothing like the beautiful title picture that makes me long for that morning last week.

Today started out great.  Got a good night’s sleep.  Felt rested when I got up to milk.  Everyone but my wife was still asleep when I left the house heading for milking chores.  Things were looking good.

My first four steps… still going in the right direction.  Now let me interject here and let you all know that we have been getting rain the last couple days, lots of rain.  And not the rain that brings May flowers.  The kind of rain that brings frozen roads, driveways, and front steps.  The front steps are where I started to have an inkling in might be one of those days.  I very nearly bit it on that top step, I caught myself, but just barely.  I honestly thought to myself, “ok, you caught yourself, you now know it’s icy, you’re good.”

So I shuffled to the barn and got my milking supplies.  On the way from the barn to the cow, even the yard was icy.  I shuffled my way down to the gate and opened the gate.  Prudence, who normally meets me AT the gate, peeked her head out the tarp wall as if to say, “I’m not coming out there.”  Nice.

Our water drains through the pasture down into a swale.  As we have been having melting, thawing, and freezing rain, the part between the gate and the animal shelter/milking parlor is more or less an ice skating rink.  I didn’t bring my skates.

After nearly biting it two or three more times, I made it to the relative safety of the milking parlor.  “Not too shabby,” I thought to myself, “balance like a cat.”

During milking Prudence was a little more fidgety than normal.  On a regular day Bullseye will vacate the milking parlor knowing that he doesn’t get any grain and I prefer he leave so as not to bother Prudence.  He wasn’t interested in going out in the rain so he stayed.

Throughout milking the rain seemed to continue to come down harder and harder.  When I was just about done, Prudence decided she was done as well, and decided to relieve herself.  Bombs away!  Right into the water which was now flowing at a steady pace through the shelter, and splashed poopy rainwater everywhere.

I was hoping that by the time I finished there would be a slight break.  Unfortunately, as I finished, the rain began to beat on the steel roof.  I hung out with the cows for a few minutes longer, and then finally, the break I was looking for.  Just as I was heading out the door, lightning and thunder, which unnerved the cows further.  After skating back to the gate with my catlike reflexes(wink wink) I thought I was home free.

It was on the way to give the pigs the milk that I was greeted with the reality that I neither have catlike reflexes nor was I home free.  I stepped on the slight slope that is between the gate and the pigs, and my foot lost grip.  As I plummeted to the ground the bucket of milk hit the earth first, right next to my head, and an explosion of milk erupted all over my face and upper torso.  It was sweet if you are wondering.

After picking myself up, injury free but knowing I need to work on those reflexes, I headed to the hydrant to rinse out the bucket.  Wet, milky, and defeated, I shuffled to the house.

While aiding my pregnant wife to her car we managed to only almost fall twice.  Fortunately she made it safely to work, the milky clothes made it to the washer, and I am now clean and conversing with you.  All before 7:30.

Now that I have had time to write down the morning’s events, I can see how they might be humorous to others.  So if you have a story like this, that you can now laugh about, share it in the comments below.  I’d love to laugh along with you.

If you are still reading this, if you haven’t already, please consider checking out my YouTube page by clicking on the previous link.  It’s a lot of the same types of things you read and see here, but you get to put a voice and face to the words.  Maybe that’s not such a good thing… well check it out anyways.  I’d really appreciate if you like what you see, if you’d consider subscribing or liking a video.

Have a wonderful rest of your day, I’m going to.  Until next time.

Social Media, Crossing Platforms Causes Headaches

As many of you know, I had the blog first, and then added Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.  The latter three I didn’t do much with for at least a year.  That is still the case for Twitter and Instagram, although my blog posts get sent out on Twitter and I occasionally post photos to Instagram.  I have, however, started paying a lot more attention to my YouTube channel.

I am still what I would classify as a newbie to social media.  Trying to tie together all the platforms and verifying them to each other can be confusing to say the least.

None of this is to complain.  I enjoy doing it.  I enjoy the interaction on the blog, and on YouTube, with commenters and posters.  It does however sometimes create hiccups.  Like earlier today when I was trying to verify my blog to YouTube.  I tried to do it in a post, and when it failed I deleted it.  Many of you probably received an email notification that a new post had been made but if you clicked on the link it probably gave you an error message.  For that, I am truly sorry.

I’m doing my best to put the best content I can on both the blog and YouTube, but sometimes I make a mistake.  Please forgive those as I will try to learn from them, and not make the same ones again.

Until next time.

Busy, Busy, Busy

That is what it has been around the Homestead lately.  We had a great Christmas season with family around the Homestead and then had a wonderful trip to Wisconsin to visit my extended family after Christmas.

The kids pretty much got what they wanted for Christmas, so they must have been reasonably good.  My wife got what she wanted, a remote starter for her car.  Her previous remote starter would sometimes be in bed when she needed it to work.  I got what I wanted, a new drone that takes 1080p video.  There are new YouTube videos here and here using it’s footage.

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The milking is going well.  My friend who milked while we were gone is amazing and I am so grateful for him.  I have actually put our a Facebook post asking for others who might be interested in milking and to my surprise I got some takers.  I am going to be working with three people this week who are interested.  Hopefully that pans out so I have some backup for our current all star.

I also got the 4th half wall up on the animal shelter/milking parlor.  I used a tarp for the wall instead of traditional stick frame building.  It was quick and pretty inexpensive so we will see how it works.  If you are so inclined I did a YouTube video on that here.

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We had to get rid of an animal from the Homestead recently.  The ram had been going after our new milk cow, Prudence, and I couldn’t have that.  I tried to sell him, but it isn’t an ideal time for selling livestock.  Fortunately my neighbor likes lamb so Christmas morning he came over and we took care of it.  He said it was some of the best tasting lamb he had ever had.  Two birds with one stone.  This allowed me to keep the rest of the sheep in with the cows thus allowing just one water trough for all.  Simpler for me.  The video describing that is here.

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Other than that, life is good, and busy.  We’ve had a little lull in the kids sports, but that is about to ramp back up again.  I’m living the dream.  Every.  Single.  Day.

Living the good life