Monday, March 24, 2008

We had rather an exciting Easter, although I could have lived without it. Matt noticed at the five p.m. feeding that Buddy was not wanting his grain...he had been laying down in the barn. Matt bounded up the fire escape stairs to knock on my bedroom window and tell me.
I flew off of the bed and headed down the stairs taking them in no particular order..yelled at Erin and Jon to handle dinner, and was out the kitchen door like a whirlwind.
I hate colic in horses. It is an evil thing that comes on suddenly, sometimes for no apparent reason and can kill them. Buddy is prone to colicky episodes when he has been under stress...Like from a flood.
So we brought him out into the yard and I hosed him down good with cold water. Took him out front and we took turns walking him until nearly midnight (my, it was cold) and laying hands on him and praying.
He perked up, and began nibbling grass after a couple of hours of it...and finally started passing gas which helped to relieve his gut pain. I wanted to wait for him to poop so I knew he was totally past the episode but by midnight we were too cold, and tired to continue.
He is fine this morning. We made him skip grain for now, and fed the mares int he next pasture. We will observe him today, and if all is well, he will get his grain this evening.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Things have been sunny since the flood. Really, other than the drowned snakes, lizards, and other creatures, and some mud here and there, you would never really know it happened.
Which is sort of the sad thing, because it DID happen. And it will continue to happen. But one of us that live along the creek will think about it while the weather is won't be until the sky darkens and the wind picks up that we think...uhOH! Floods!

Marc and I are working on an escape plan. We are praying about it, of course, but we are ready to liquidate and move. At one point we wanted to move to North Central Maine, but now, we are just wanting to move, somewhere that we can afford land, and that has a creek/stockpond...somewhere that has a house that will work for us...and where it rains regualry but does not flood. and somewhere away from here..with the over building, incessant permits, and increasing violence. Surely someone will want this house, it is beautiful, and would make a great Bed and Breakfast, just a lousy farm.

So we are in the process of brainstorming..where? How?

Our tenant in one of our investment houses is not paying rent. It is amazing to me how people can just say, hey, I am not paying rent, and then proceed to not pay it. Does she not realize how difficult a time we are having just putting food on the table right now? I wonder why she believes we should pay for her way as well?

The garden was not harmed by the flood, everything is coming along well. I think I may have enough tomatoes to sell some, but we will see.

I began utilizing the eggs, since I can't find a venue to sell them. We have eaten masses of deviled eggs, and egg pasta. The egg pasta is the best I have eaten, consisting merely of 4 cups of flour and enough eggs to make a crumbly looking dough that sticks together when you squeeze it. I found that one day t took 4 eggs and one day it took 5. No matter...still the dough was fantastic, and the pasta was filling.
The coolest thing happened yesterday. I thought I was at the end of what I could take. I think I have been there quite alot but yesterday i felt as if my entire world was exploding and I was struggling just to believe. So many blessings in my life, so many times that the Lord has stepped in, and yet still I struggle at times ..It just does not seem right.
But there I was, crying out...and the Lord provided not only what I needed at the moment, but some handfuls on purpose which included chocolate.
He knows that I am but a worm, and not a man...and chocolate made all the difference. He took care of a need AND a pleasure. Over and above. Exactly what I needed to see.
Isn't God good?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Life is odd. I read over Monday's post....I couldn't post yesterday I was too busy.
First we went to the VA in the morning. Marc had a pain clinic intake appointment. Nothing new there, they have no idea why he is in pain and can't give him any more meds than he is on. Check. They are referring him to neurology for nerve studies. sigh.

We head out to Starbucks...You can read THAT fiasco here...Kettle and Cup
We finally get home, exhausted and soaked because it has started to pour while we are out...I am reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and I went up to read in the bedroom by the fireplace..I was freezing! Marc came up and laid down and we both passed out for awhile.
We woke up to Shiloh yelling that we were flooding..
Marc said, "Yeah, right.." and got up to look.
Meanwhile I flew to Shiloh's room where I saw this:

Oh, you don;t know what they are looking at? Here, look closer....

Yeah the creek was out of its banks...Now usually it is about two inches deep and down in a twenty five foot ravine.

Have I mentioned to you that we fought the city on the new development they allowed north of us? I have? Have I mentioned that they said the run-off would be minimized by new techniques for water run-off containment systems that the developers were using? I have? Have I mentioned that we did not believe them? Good...Carry on....

By 2:30 Marc had taken the truck to go check creeks and bridges. He ended up getting closed away from the house when they closed a road while he was out. Apparently He did not care..he got home anyway. Meanwhile..I told the boys and Jon to move the chickens, and Flashe, our buck, to the goat barn. I asked them to let the horses out in the front yard..Maybe you can see why...

And then we watched with a sick feeling....we have been through this before but not ever with so little rain...only five inches of rain caused this...oh, and did I mention the development north of us?

Those were the last pictures I got because I saw the horses running around the back and the trying to get them.
I got downstairs and outside. Marc had Candy and was taking her over to a neighbors that has higher property, the kids were trying to get Buddy out but Hope was going bonkers. She remembered the other flood and was pulling away from them. She was rearing and Matt was trying to hang on to her while Ethan put on the halter she had slipped off...She was throwing Matt around but he was hanging on her neck...Erin got some great pictures and tape of the whole thing....She is going to put it up on youtube and I will post it later.
Praying the whole time, we got Buddy out and Marc had come back by then..Marc took him over...while we continued to try to calm Hope...Finally got leads on her and headed down the street..sort of.
That's when things got nuts. She went ballistic, the police, thank God they came by, had to stop traffic in both directions because we could not control her, or do much more than hang on. They sent animal control over, two very nice women...who had no clue about horses. I was trying to calm her. Poor baby, she was so freaked she was biting her tongue and bleeding from the mouth. She knocked me in the head with her head pretty good...Think I have a slight concussion.
When she did that she pulled away from me and Jon and Matt got her. Marc came up about then and was trying to calm her...She started backing up and almost when backwards over the bridge.
By this time I was sitting on the bridge crying...Almost ready to "Curse God and die". I was just so frustrated with the situation. We put all our money into this place to have a small sustainable farm, a couple of horses, some dream had always been this...and it was crumbling, or washing away if you prefer, before my eyes.
When we moved here we knew we were in a 100 year flood plain. Not a problem. It had flooded once in ten years. The year after we moved here they began building upstream. In 2004 our entire property went under in armpit high (on me) water. But we had had an unusual 15 inches of rain in 24 hours.
Since we moved here the creek has been out of it's banks numerous times and flooded our property 4 or 5 to one extent or another. Our pasture is bare mud from all the sludge that was laid down...and we are losing massive amounts of property to erosion.

So Marc was able to get her down to the neighbors but not before she reared and came down on his foot and kicked his knee. Yeah....Good thing he is in a wheelchair most of the time.

We thawed out, at soup, and then I took him Back to the VA for X-rays...Not broken...Just very very bruised.

The rain had stopped and the creek was receding, but not as quickly as usual. I heard the rain start up again at 3 a.m. and couldn't sleep, so I came downstairs, prayed, and then blogged, checking the back every so often to make sure we weren't flooding and I did not need to bring the goats onto the porch.

So....that is my last 24 hours.

If you happen to see a farm for sale, with a big farmhouse in pretty good condition, a decent barn, a stock tank, creek and orchard would seal it for me...I don;t care if it is in Alaska....let me know if it is under 250,000.
I don;t think I can do this anymore.
Oh, and if you can't understand why I haven't just sold the horses? There has been a drought ...horses are selling for 300-400 dollars here...and being sold for meat.
No way.

Monday, March 17, 2008

All kinds of fun things this weekend. I got more of the garden in.

So far I have kale, spinach, lettuce, peas, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, broccoli,onions...uh..I think that is all. I still need to do beans..Maybe later today.

I also planted rosemary and lavender in the garden by the front porch. I want to use both ornamentals and food plants in that one.
I think Marc and I are about to make a big decision, but I will write more about that after tomorrow...we have an appointment at the pain clinic tomorrow to see if THEY can do anything about his pain..All these specialists. Yikes! It seems the medical system has turned into the blind men and the elephant story.

I have 13 dozen eggs in my fridge and I can't sell them because I can't advertise them. I guess I could sell them as FERTILE eggs for people to use to hatch...

Marc made a 'hawk target yesterday..No, not a HAWK target...a 'hawk target.

The boys, and Marc, spent hours yesterday throwing tomahawks at the target. Excuse me, I also tried it, and the Princess Kyrie did too. I do not know WHAT the people driving by thought but I bet none of them stop in.... :) It is funny, Matt, with his long hair in a pony tail, and Marc with his beard, look like mountain men..I used to call Matt Huck but maybe I should call him Johnny Tremain.

They were all very good at it, but I think Sean may have done the best. He is 9.

Nick got tired out and sat down to watch....

And Kyrie gave herself bunny ears when she saw me taking this picture...LOL!

Sunday, March 16, 2008 I have 30 some odd tomato plants in the ground, 20 some odd pepper plants, eggplant, spinach, buttercrunch lettuce, and lavender, and rosemary.

I still have seeds to plant but I feel like I accomplished something today.

I also disbudded the two bucklings, blogged and wrote an article on Antique Gun Collectors for Love to Know...AND I wrote and article on disbudding goat kids, complete with pictures.
I am wiped out and going to bed!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Marc is finishing up the tilling today. I had to bite the bullet yesterday and get non heirloom plants. It just took too long to get the money together to get the plants and seeds, and I got them from Home Depot. If I wait much longer it won't will be too hot.
SO I got 4 roma tomato plants, 3 other tomato plants, and 6 peppers..then several packets of seed. I will be on the lookout for other tomatoes but for now any plants that live will be good.
We are supposed to have good weather so I plan on having the boys shovel out the lean-to with all that nice, rotted manure, and begin planting tomorrow. I would like to say that I am doing raised beds and containers but honestly, money being what it is right now I am glad to get in a garden that hopefully will make some sort of difference!
I hope to add to the tomato collection in the next week or so..and I will order seeds, HEIRLOOM seeds, because here in Texas I can do a fall garden easily.
It is 72 today, although the house has remained cold. It will remain cold as long as we have cold, or even cool nights, right into June. After that we will be dealing with sleeping in 100 degrees but we seemed to manage for the past couple of years so I think it will be o.k.!
The chickens are laying like gangbusters...I have about 6 dozen eggs int he fridge and i have given a ton away. I would love to sell them but advertising is hard. I had an ad on Craigslist but it got pulled...
Tell me, why can you advertise sex on Craigslist but not eggs for sale? sigh.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Well we have runt he gamut from spring leaves to snow.. NOw it is 60 degrees again, but I still can't plant anything because everything is gooey and muddy. We had some major thunderstorms last night, with more supposed to move through over the next few days.
This happens ot me every year I think
Anyway. I did handle a credit card problem, and I don;t think things are as bad as I thought they were for this month. YAY!

I want things to be different, I just don't know how to make them different. SOmetimes I am so overwhelmed,and I wonder what the point of continuing to try to push ahead is. SOmetimes it feels like i am pushing ahead, and just dragging everyone else with me, and i am tired of that. I still think, sometimes, as much as I love this house, that selling it and buying something new and mcmansion-y is the way to go. And then I see the eggs, free, organic, fantastic eggs, or maybe the creamy milk..or the horses whinney to me, or something..and I know this is where I want to be.
Hard as it is it is better than the alternative. I keep repeating to myself that this is a season, only a season.
I wonder what I am learning. Here, the mud, the flooding problems, the lack of space, the infringement of the city on me, taking a bit more each day...
Surely there is something just around the corner.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Do you remember last month when I posted the buds on the trees?

Well that was February 19 as I recall......and this is March 7th...

So, the kids have a snow day, and the adults are huddled by the fire drinking coffee and chai

Grin still hasn't kidded but honestly with this cold front moving through I am glad about that. I am in a very contemplative mood today..Not sure what direction the day is going ot take but i have a huge sense of my life being about to change. We'll see.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

This is what love looks like to me. Marc is really in pain from his knees, but he knew how badly we needed, and I wanted, a garden. The thing is that he is on crutches on in a wheel chair most of the time, so I feel awful about him doing this... but I appreciate that he did, you know?
I know he is going to be hurting tomorrow. I think he is hurting now.
Anyway...I think it is supposed to rain tomorrow so I won't be getting it in then but hopefully by the weekend I will.
Too late to start the tomatoes from seed but I think I will get a few packages and start a couple of plants and see what happens.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I cannot believe that I have not had a chance to get here since Thursday! Life has been amazingly busy.

Spring has apparently sprung here at Pecan Knoll Farm. Amazing about that too, because Texas being Texas..we had the first snow flurries of the entire season last night. That after 81 degrees last week...
Remember my post about the leaves?
Well today Hadassah, one of our Nigerian Dwarf does, gave birth to twins....Bucks. Sigh. They are very cute but I don;t think Dassah has had does in her entire career as a dairy goat. This is her third freshening and her 4th and 5th males.
Still, they are cute, will sell easily..They have blue eyes and.....well...Check this out...

One of the things you have to appreciate about homesteads and having animals is that your kids get alot of hands on education. Life becomes very matter of fact with breeding, gestation, birth, lactation and death. We do not, at this point, slaughter any of the animals we raise, the chickens are merely for eggs although we are not vegetarian and that could change. However they understand about the cycles of life and the fact that the hamburger they crave means that an animal was slaughtered. They are learning that meat does not grow in plastic covered trays on a tree behind the grocers.
I think that the reason we get so much cruelty int he processing of animal flesh is that Americans have distanced themselves from the reality of the slaughterhouse. While killing your own animal might be hard to do, at least you know that the animal was raised ethically and killed painlessly.
Wow..I didn't mean to go there. Sorry.
Friends brought their tiller over for us to use, ours is not working..seems to be a bad fuel line. Marc is hoping to till the garden area tomorrow, if he can. His knees have been worse than usual the past couple of days.