01 May 2013

farm chores

Who knew that establishing a once-per-month-travel rule would keep us so busy?  I certainly was not expecting that.

Maybe it's the wonderful weather we've been experiencing here, maybe it's the sunshine (even on the chillier days) and maybe it's good old fashioned Spring Cleaning and finally kicking the winter blues and cabin fever, but we've been on the go.  I guess "go" shouldn't be taken literally, since we haven't gone anywhere (and it's been so glorious) but have been keeping busy around the house.

Last week, we babysat a farm.  Wow.  That was an experience.  First, I learned a ton.  Second, I'm grateful that we stared just with chickens and didn't go all out with everything all at once, especially with two little girls.  Third, we were so glad when our friends came home to reclaim their farm.
Personally, I enjoyed the work, and I think Jesse did, too.  There is something incredibly satisfying (for me at least) to work hard with my own hands and muscles.  What made the whole week a bit stressful wasn't the animals...too much.  It wasn't taking care of over 100 chickens/turkeys/guineas, 5 pigs, 17 cows (two of which were new calves), rabbits (3 of which gave birth to bunnies) and a greenhouse to manage.  It wasn't the guinea I found dead one morning (oops) or the 3 times in one day that three of the cows decided to make a break for freedom and the newly green pastures, the rascals.  No.  The stressful part was doing it with a 10.5 month old and a 2.5 year old in tow.  Emma spent most of the chore hours either in the hiking backpack on my back while Lily and I fed, watered and collected eggs; in the stroller in the cow barn with Jesse as he took care of those guys; or confined to the pack and play when she just got too heavy and she got too wiggly.  Lily, on the other hand, started the week terrified of the cows and stayed like glue to me and became my little egg gatherer.  She loved it and would get so excited to help me gather the eggs.  She also loved helping me change the bedding of the baby chicks and turkeys that were inside out of the weather.  Some of you have seen the video, but before too long, she was the one making sure the babies didn't fly out of the box, and would carefully pick them up and return them home if they did manage to escape with an excited "come 'ere, guy!"
Only one morning did I have to do the whole show by myself, as Jesse's allergies were incapacitating (did I use that correctly?) and I sent him to the doctor instead of letting him go do chores.  The girls were troopers for the entire 2 hours it took us/me to feed, water, scoop poop, gather eggs, and check the bedding for everybody.

The cow story before pictures and moving on.  Those rascals had behaved all week until the morning our friends were coming home and we drove down together and I said "oh look, the cows got out...yay."  We had made it all week and they decided TODAY to get out?!  Our friends were headed home!  Anyway, with E on my back and L standing on the bed of a pick up truck from a safe distance away, Jesse and I tried to catch the 3 cows that had been enjoying the field.  I learned that a) those guys are heavy, and they weren't even fully grown cows!, b) rain boots do NOT protect against being stepped on and c) even though I am taller than said cows, they had no problem knocking me off balance when I tried to show it who was boss.  On the next two escapes of the day, Jesse had a stroke of brilliance and just went and got a bucket of food and they happily followed him back into their stalls, so that was pretty anti-climatic.

Lily and I had killer style that week.  She was kind of jealous of my "jump pants" that I got to wear to protect my regular clothes, and kept asking if we could look for some in her size at the store.
Oreo, one of the escape artists
you can just tell he's feisty

those pigs
Things around here have been pretty good.  Keeping busy with little projects here and there, getting ready for vacation and upcoming trips and visitors.  We are finally getting the basement reorganized and back together after the construction in November, so that is good.  I'm able to hang my laundry up on the clothesline so our clothes smell so good and there is just nothing better than climbing into bed with freshly washed sheets straight off the clothes line.

Now some pictures that the girls let me take this morning and I'm off to clean and get some more stuff done!
inspecting a dandelion

not so sure about this jacket thing
That's it for today, I guess!  More stories coming soon.