Saturday, January 13, 2007


Winter has decided to make an appearance this weekend! We went from highs in the 40's and 50's - to highs in the 20's and lows in the single digits! Right now it is 12 above with wind chill at 1 below zero. This weekend we are supposed to get some ice, followed by 2" to 8" of snow. So far, there hasn't been any ice (thankful for that) and the snow has amounted to a heavy dusting (so far) . We are thankful that the main brunt of the storm has, once again, passed our area. The ice and nasty stuff is off to our south and east so far. We will wait until Monday to get the final results!

The goats are content to spend most of their day in the barn - only venturing out to drink or get a new supply of hay to chaw. I haven't let the chickens out of the coop today or yesterday and probably won't for a couple more days at least. They can stay a lot warmer huddled together inside the chicken house. It is also cloudy, so there isn't any radiant heat they can stand in, either. If the wind chills were not below zero, I would let them out.

Last night we looked out and saw the big Tomcat sitting on the front porch, huddled against the wind (blowing at about 25 mph). I guess he was hoping that I would open the door and let him in! He was gone awhile later, and met me at the door this morning, ready to follow me to the barn to get fed. When you go into the barn, you will see little "tunnels" between the hay bales. These are where the cats burrow down in the hay for warmth. If you have ever burrowed into loose hay or straw, you know that it can be nice and comfy warm, even when it is cold outside! They all were happy to see me (and the food) this morning. I feed them on a shelf I built in the barn below my food bin. It works great until an unsuspecting cat tail gets nibbled on by a goat because it was sticking through the fence.....might have to build a "tail shield".......

I was reading a thread on a farming forum today and it got me to thinking. My Grandfather was a wizard at turning used up things into something useful. My Dad was always tinkering on something. Deb's dad has a whole farm full of things that started out as something else. It was a way of life to people - keep everything until it's usefulness was gone, then make it into something els useful. My Mom always told us that Bohemians used "every part of the pig, but the squeal". That doesn't only apply to pigs, but just about everything! A few months ago I was talking to someone, and Deb's dad's farm came up in the conversation. He asked "WHY do you want to live like THEM"? Now, considering the person, and the fact he had never even been there to SEE how they lived, it was useless to try and convince a corroded mind as to the virtuous nature of conservation, refurbishing, and reusing - or the idea of living within our means in a manner that would make our forefathers proud. We need to quit keeping up with the Jones's, re-use what we have, and start using the "squeal". Now, let's go get some of that old iron and "junk" out of fence rows and see what we can do with it!

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