Friday, January 22, 2010

Oh my! I bet nobody even checks this anymore

Wow, I was just reading my old blog and realizing the last time I wrote, Terrence was 8 months old. . . Terrence has been in the freezer for 6 months now and weighed over 700lbs. Unfortunately that was not human edible meat, but I'm sure the dogs will enjoy it when I get around to cutting him up to free my freezer that is absolutely full of boar meat. So much has happened including 5 moves, Ben quitting his job and starting a veterinary clinic of his own, us living in the vet clinic for just over a year (commuting and hauling water 14 miles every day to do chores), spending innumerable hours looking for land, putting bids in on land that were accepted and then 2-3 months later the sellers backed out (talk about frustrating), and then finally finding 15 acres only 4 miles away from the vet clinic. Our poor house was moved from it's original town to the property 7 miles from Ben's job, then sat empty for a year (which did NOT do it any good), we then moved again this November onto our 15 acres. I am loving having our own place as we have been renting or living in other people's places since we moved back to North Dakota and I don't think there is such a thing as a good landlord around here. I told Ben the most wonderful thing about owning is that nobody can tell me I have to mow the lawn before it gets longer than 2 inches, I can put a cow in the front yard to mow it if I feel like it, I can eliminate a lawn and put a garden and chicken tractors in if I want and nobody can say nay. Nobody can do spontaneous checks and look in the garage to comment on it's tidiness (or lack thereof), nobody has a key to my house and will walk in on my while I'm coming out of the shower and then tell my husband 3 days after we moved in that his wife is a horrid housekeeper and has boxes everywhere (how many people have tidy houses 3 days after moving??). . . I don't think the list of benefits to owning will ever stop. LOL Even though we owned the trailer in Iowa, we had to pay lot rent and had to agree to mow so often, never have a garden, never let our animals out etc. Enough of my rant on why I do not like renting and I will run and get to work as we have another winter storm coming which means I need to get hopping. We moved our house in November which meant we were scrambling to get the skirting insulated, sewer in only a couple days after the sewer and well were in!), fences up and we built our animal housing in the snow because we simply ran out of time to do everything even with my family coming down to, help. I didn't get the skirting all up before the heavy snowfall and with the warm weather last week I am finding odds and ends of wood and things that got buried the first snowfall and now I am running around cleaning them all up. We only have one of the original 3 Berkshire sows left as one was braindead (okay maybe she was just too smart which equalled irritating and her babies were all the same way), and another had major problems farrowing and we had to get rid of her. And our last one is headed to the butcher February 2nd because she is simply too big for our setup and is becoming horribly destructive. She has wrecked 2 buildings eating and smashing them (she weighs over 600lbs), killed one of her 6 month old gilts by smashing her into a feeder when she was protective about her food and just been a general nuisance compared to a 200lb gilt. We will have 6 of her babies to butcher in a month or two and then I'm hoping for a year free of pigs as they are so much work compared to chickens and cows - their inputs are all purchased off the farm and it becomes costly and a lot of work. We have a belted galloway cow and her Jersey x galloway calf, 2 Dexter heifers (one due to calve this year and another hopefully bred this last week), one little dexter bull and a dexter steer. They are not actually that much work as it is just water and hay and I love looking out and seeing cows out there. My old horse is still eating 365 days a year, and the chickens are drastically reduced in numbers as where we had them, the neighbors dog enjoyed chicken for dinner. They don't seem to have started back into laying this year so I think it is time for some new blood before I'm eaten out of house and home with nothing in return. I am going to have a small garden this year as there is already an acre dug up that was a wildlife feeding area. If nothing else I can grow scads of tomatoes for salsa and sauces. I would like some strawberries, but I'll have to figure out if the price is worth it. I was tickled to find Menards had Burpee seeds for some of the heirloom tomatoes I wanted to purchase for half the cost of buying them from Johnny's seeds. I have a list of 5 tomatoes I wanted, and I think I have 2 left and will hope for a trade online somewhere. My day is disappearing and I had thought to share some tidbits of a book Ben was reading outloud to me last night while I fussed, but I think that will wait. I got him a book called "Life Together" by Bonhoeffer and it is so full of wonderful treasures and truths on the exploration of Christian Community that I will have to read it myself. I am enjoying re-reading Discipline the GLad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot, and have a little booklet of Helen 9 steiner Rice poems a friend gave me for Christmas that I flip over and contemplate every day. We have been reading a chapter of Genesis, Matthew and Psalms to the girls every day and it makes me realize how complicated it can be to explain some things to little girls LOL. Especially little girls who snatch the most obscure things out of what you are reading - "There's Mary, Joseph and JEsus who is lying in a manger" Says Ben "AND some sheep" says 2 year old Elise every single night they read from their Advent book. OHHHH by the way, I don't remember how many children we had back then, but we have 3 little girls now, oldest 4 and youngest 8 months. All adorable treasures! My signature is missing one as all the dogs are not with us - just before we moved last November my 9+ year old Great Dane died. She was a big stupid Scooby Doo who I miss a lot, but life is drastically easier also without a 100lb dog who has IBD and stress colitus any time anything happens. Heather for Ben, Emily, Elise, Eliana, Becky dog (who is now a big fuzzy indoor shedding annoying beast), Izzy (who still lives with the inlaws), Frank and Mocha (who have endured a lot this last year, including Frank trying to die and me tube feeding him 3-6x a day for 6 weeks!), and a gazillion animals hither and yon outside.