Monday, February 21, 2011

Trying to Catch Up

Why is it that when you fall behind on something, it takes longer to regain the ground than it took you to lose it in the first place?  I was off today for President's Day and managed to finish our taxes, catch up the laundry and the housework, and take care of some routine maintenance on the car.  If I had been half as productive Saturday and Sunday, my list of what still needs doing would be a whole lot shorter.  But the sun is going down and taking my last bit of motivation with it.  Tomorrow it's back to the grindstone at the paying job.

Thanks to the nasty flu bug, Yeoldfurt and I have done next to nothing around here for the past two weeks except eat and sleep and occasionally (only recently) go to work.  Other than feeding the menagerie and a bare minimum of housework, pretty much nothing got accomplished.  We are finally starting to feel better but to look around at what needs to be done just to catch up makes me want to crawl back under the covers.

The garden is a mess but we're reconfiguring the raised beds this year, so it will be a late start anyway.  The buckets we used last year need to be loosened and composted.  Seeds need to be started.  The fruit trees are budding and one is even flowering, so they need to be mulched and watered.  The chicken coop needs to be raked out and the bedding composted for mulching the fruit trees.  There's the never-ending fence projects and still plenty of downed trees to be cut up and hauled either to the burn pile or stacked for firewood.  The iron hay ring we bought when we moved here in 2006 is rusting and falling apart.  So next Saturday we're taking a road trip to our old home place to buy a new one.  The one we're buying is galvanized and will probably last longer than we do.  It's worth the trip and the price.

When we moved up here, we were raising Paint horses but the market for pleasure horses has tanked in the past couple of years.  We will be venturing into the cattle business this coming year in order to maintain our Ag Exemption on the property.  We'll buy three or four weanling calves this spring, raise them for up to six months, then put one in the freezer and sell the rest at the auction.   It should pay for itself plus a little to spare but it's not as much about making a profit as it is about putting quality meat on the table and maintaining the tax exemption on the land.  But that means we need to invest in a freezer this year too.  It's something we've wanted to do for a while, and will be useful when the garden starts producing.  I will be able to blanch and freeze vegetables as we harvest and wait until I have enough to make a whole day of canning worthwhile. 

It's going to be a busy year and, I'm hoping, a bountiful one.


  1. I feel the same way about going on vacation! It's usually just not worth it. Sorry to hear about being ill...I've been pretty lucky this Winter (knock on wood)...if I get the slightest tinkle I swig down a few ounces of homemade elderberry syrup and I guess it's working! Don't over-do and take care.

  2. I'm sorry...Freudian slip...not tinkle...tickle! Oops!

  3. Haha ...that's the kind of slip I'd make, Lynda! Isn't it annoying we can't EDIT (i.e., correct!) our own comments?

  4. Being sick sure puts you behind in a hurry.

    Spring on the farm is always a busy time and it sounds like you have lots to get done.

    We looked at the galvanized feeders but haven't bought one yet. It is the one we will get though.

    Cattle prices are very good now; let's hope they stay that way.

  5. I'll be watching this closely - I'd love to try a cow or three...but I have no experience to go on. Looking forward to learning from you!

  6. @gld...
    Yeah, it's amazing how quickly we fall behind. But we'll catch up. Galvanized is the only way to go in a humid climate. I bought my round pen horse panels from this same outfit in 1998. They've moved to three different states with us over the years and they're still going strong. It will be worth the trip to pick up the galvanized hay ring. It's also our old stomping ground, so we're meeting up with some family and a couple of friends for lunch while we're done there.

    Cattle prices are down around here too, but that's good since we're buying. As long as we break even on them when we sell, we'll be happy. The intangible 'profit' will be maintaining the Ag exemption on our property (about $2000/year savings) and way better quality meat on our table.

  7. @TTF
    I'm looking forward to the calves. Three of our horses have never seen cattle except across the pasture fence. The other three are well aware of how FUN it can be to push cattle around. Horses are very into one-upmanship, you know's all about pecking order and the lowliest horse in the herd outranks a bovine. LOL

    It will be a lot of peace of mind knowing our Ag exemption will be intact, really good wholesome meat on the table and possibly some fun horseplay in the meantime. I'll keep you updated!

    : )