Tuesday, March 11, 2008

we're alive

I think I will just give up completely on ever posting photos and just simply post meaningless drivel about our day to day existence. Ben could never figure out how to post his pictures last fall and then we kind of let this die. . . good thing not logging in every 3 months doesn't shut down your website.
We have had nothing but cold, snow, cold, cold, snow and a bit more cold. I realized that pipes freeze easily when there are holes in the bladder under your house, sewer pipes freeze in trailer houses when you let the water drip so the pipes don't freeze, and sewer pipes once frozen are not that easy to thaw until about March . . . Whoever plumbed this place had a bit too much pipe and not enough to do besides run pipelines everywhere. I spent a lot of my winter under the house and Elise and Emily quickly learned that I was either doing chores or going under the house . In January we took our 5 pigs to the butcher and I learned why the phrase "pigheaded" is so appropriately named so. Due to the run around the property 2 days before butchering, the meat may not be quite as tender as it could have been, especially where one pig was concerned. He took the in-laws on a run around the pasture when he showed them I was not lying when I regaled them with stories of his running over panels (with me under the panel), taking off down the driveway, and doing his best to go through anything that had a crack in it. I don't know how we could have done it without their help as three pigs loaded great, but the last two were rascals. Thankfully they are gone and I did not miss hauling extra feed and water from the house to the pigs when the water lines froze outside. Unfortunately 3 days before their butcher appointment, they realized that their electric fence was not electrified and so we had wandering pigs that I couldn't catch and I learned a great deal about how NOT to herd pigs.
Recently the weather went from thirty below to 30 above and I am enjoying the gloriously warm weather without toque or coat. Our Berkshires are due to farrow March 21,22, 23 and as it has been unseasonably cold I have been stressing about how they will do and how their piglets will be crushed, frozen or trampled. I'm sure it will be allright, but I will blame myself for everything that goes wrong as I'm not used to animals that typically just have a 2-10% death loss. I still have a bit of work to do on their farrowing pens (they have stalls that are 6x8 with creep area and then a run outside. I also need to get Terrence's new area fenced as he is truly a "boar" in every sense of the word. He loves to shove the girls around, pig out on the food, fight when he wants all of the water, bounce around when the pregnant girls just want him to go away and so on and so forth. He drives me bonkers and I'm sure the girls think so too, but I have felt sorry for him being alone when I separate him from his group so I put it off. But with the warmer weather he is just too playful and it's time for him to work off his energy alone.
I can only imagine what this post will look like as I can't remember how to do paragraphs either. . .
Ben has been ridiculously busy at work and on call and I've seen enough c-sections to do one myself now. Emily is grossed out by it all and prefers to sit with Rattatoile (clinic cat), but Elise likes to watch as long as I am willing to carry her around. Elise is walking by herself now - started on her 1st birthday - and as adorable as a screaming teething child can be (which is not too adorable!).
We are in North Dakota - for those who didn't know what state we were living in - and have not yet acclimated to the 8 months of winter they get *G*. I need to put a bubble over our property next year so that I can pretend I don't get 2 months of -30. Although I do believe automatic waterers and pipes that don't freeze would actually brighten my outlook on winter wonderlands.
I don't have time to type much to anybody these days (It is bad when your own mother asks if you are mad at her because you haven't written in ages!), so I'll sign off. Heather, Ben, Emily, Elise, Tia, Becky, Isabelle, Franklet, Mochaccino, Terrence, Wilma, Mattie, Gwen, Dan, and 53 unnamed chickens.

No comments: