Sunday, April 13, 2014

Week 15

Wow.  15th week of the year. Already!

Mark got some fishing in at Shelter Cove this week. 

The boat Eric got with his inheritance from my parents is a real gem.  Mark really enjoyed going out with them, even if he did get seasick.   I stayed home.

Captain Johanna

3 foot Salmon

Eric filleting the fish

I  got to enjoy a bit of my inheritance this week too as they began putting in the new windows for our home.  Our view, it's back.
No more water condensation between the window panes.  We also purchased more of the picture windows with sliders, so in the summer evenings we can get a good breeze.  I am overjoyed.  The windows are beautiful and it is kind of nice hiring to get them installed too.  Made life a lot easier for Mark  as the whole south side of our house is high off the ground.  We usually do repairs ourselves, but this time we splurged.

We are now down to 3 pigs.  The big one went to the meat processing facility on Friday.  Being as this was our first time finishing a hog and that it had been a long time ago when Mark was involved in swine, we were having a hard time guessing his weight.  This particular pig did not gentle, so we couldn't take the appropriate girth and length measurements to calculate weight.  Ideally we wanted him between 220 and 250 pounds.  Mark guessed he was 235, I guessed 205.  Mark guessed the exact weight!  I guess he still has a good eye, or he just got lucky, but either way it turned out just right.  We are excited to get some meat back, so we can see if there is really a significant difference in taste with heritage hogs.  We will keep you posted.

Lots of wild flowers blooming now and these are just ones at or house's elevation or higher.  I didn't make it down the hill this week.  I bet I would find a lot more down slope. 


California Poppy

Blue Eyed Grass

Huckleberry blooms

English Daisies

Shooting Star

Filaree and Wild Iris

Blooming horses too!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Week 14

This little piggie went to market.
This little piggie stayed  home.
This little piggie had roast beef.
This little piggie had none.
And this little piggie cried wee, wee, wee all the way home.

My mom loved to chant this rhyme while tweaking little babies toes and now I find myself doing the same.  I also thought of it when I perused this week's 102 photos.  Quite a few of the shots are of our piggies.

They are doing well and eating a lot.  So much in fact that we bought a ton of organic pig grower this week. 

We discovered our skid steer couldn't lift high enough to hang the bag the way it was designed to be used, so we improvised and cut a hole in the pallet so that the finely milled grains could flow. 

We are still amazed at how fast these pigs are growing.  Two of them have gentled real well and luckily one is Rosie, the gilt we are keeping.

They love wandering around the place, but Shadow isn't too sure they should be. "Are you sure this is okay, mom?" her eyes seem to ask.

Actually, she is getting along really well with them now and they seem to not mind her sudden bursts of energy, as they have the same bursts.  At least the 3 smaller ones do.  While the big one lays around more, the little ones are still my 'piggly wigglys'.  It's pretty silly, but that's what I call them and they follow.  Of course, sometimes they follow the donkeys or the cows or even Shadow.  They seem to lack a leader. 

But they seem to not mind and are doing quite well, thank you very much. As are the cows.  Laying down to chew their cuds early in the day.  The grass is getting better. 

I had a few days this week where I was the little piggie when some business conversations  went a little sideways.  Where I was the customer and treated very, very poorly.  But then all I had to do is look outside and see this and the world was made right again.

 I am so thankful for the beauty in creation and the Creator who made it.
And I'm always excited about what's around the next bend in the road. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Week 13

This week we received 6.5 inches of rain at the main house and the cabin got a bit over 9 inches.  The cabin is further back in the drainage and it rains more back there.  Always.
It was a peaceful week.  Mark spent time in the shop cleaning and organizing.  I spent time reading.  I realize my computer and I have a lot in common.  Somedays we are very quick and active and other days slower than molasses.  This week was slower than molasses.
Except for our daily 3 mile training hikes for our upcoming hike in the desert.  Today we did a 9 mile loop and we are both surprised at how tired and sore we are.  We've got to really pick up our training as some days in the desert we will need to hike 20 miles in one day due to the lack of water.
Water here is bubbling up right in the middle of the road,
or out of the hillside.
Seasonal ponds are full,
and itty bitty cricks are flowing well.

Water is life.
Music from what we call our Redwood Creek.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Week 12

Here I sit using index finger to type out this week's post.  My old computer is just about done.  Today it is so slow that it took 30 minutes to load the photos I took this past week.  When I tried to go online it was a five minute wait.  I just don't have the patience for that today, so I ran outside in the fading light and snapped one photo with my phone.  

I realize this week the computer isn't the only thing that has failed.  

Body Failures:

Mark broke a tooth.  Then ran into trouble when It broke again while the dentist was extracting it.  Three hours later he left with three stitches and a very sore jaw and now five days later pain is intensifying.

I woke up yesterday with a sore throat and 4 pounds heavier.   Don't even tell me it's just PMS.  Period! I've had monthly water retention before, but this is plain weird and I look weird too.   

Yesterday we had our first grand parent scare.  Little Graham had a febrile seizure.  Our daughter had them too, so we knew it probably wasn't anything, but we still waited on pins and needles till the "alls clear" text came in.

Animal Systems Failures:

Our recently built chicken run was found faulty when a few hens learned to spread their wings and fly. We nipped that in the bud by snipping off their flight feathers.

Our new pigs aren't gentling as fast as I thought they would and consequently are still penned up.  Then they got itchy.  A quick look online and I decided they needed a mud wallow, so we increased their pen to include outside space and made them content.  Apparently they use mud to suffocate any small critters that might decide to set up house on them. 

Things that worked out well: 

We are pleased though at how fast these pigs are growing, especially Rosy.   A neighbor gave us this humongous round pig feeder with a dozen little doors for the pigs to eat out of.  Having a constant supply of food and no competition seems to have increased their growth rate. 

Speaking of great neighbors.  Another neighbor and friend hired Mark to help part-time with his earth moving construction business.  Mark is having a ball.  Great camaraderie and he gets to drive equipment without having to pay the fuel bill.  He says he feels like he did when he was a kid on the farm working for his dad; lots of fun and not the worry of your own business.  

Hopefully, I'll have time to get a new computer this week.  But, just in case, I'll carry my phone to get some pics  of the place. Besides the few minor problems of the week, things  are looking good.