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Just catchin’ up.. Cause I’ve been slackin’ on the bloggin’

May 7, 2013

Hey y’all, hope you’re staying dry. On the upside.. everything is really green. On the downside, it would appear to be monsoon season.  I think instead of building a barn, we should be building an ark!

Things have been really busy here, we are going from daylight ’til dark thirty and then some. Still haven’t gotten the gardens in, but I did work some cleaning out beds and such today. Amazingly enough… I still have a strawberry bed !  They are blooming and looking good. The herbs are coming back really well, and we have harvested a little asparagus twice now. This is the first harvest year for it, and I’m loving it. Although, getting all the way to the house with it is a bit of a trick.. I sure do love raw asparagus!

The old shed is now almost completely converted to a hog barn.  I have arranged to buy a new boar from Collette Nester over at Crosscreek Farm and we are retiring Bubba to freezer pasture. The new guy’s name  is Big Boy and he is a Tamworth Hereford cross. He should make a wonderful addition to Foxfire Holler.  I am holding off to breed anything back til he gets here around the first of June. I wish I could have sold Bubba to someone for a boar, but I’ve just not had any takers. Boars at the sale are worth about a quarter a pound, and are just way too easy to come by. But, by golly, he’s about 700 pounds of sausage, so I reckon that’s just what we’ll have to do.

All the sows have farrowed now, and we wound up with about 40 piglets. Tater is Matthew’s sow, and he chose to sell all of his at weaning, and has all of them contracted now. I thought he should have kept a gilt or two, but the temptation of that thousand dollars was just too much for a boy who is “in lerve” and fixing to get a drivers license.  Most all of the babies are outside now, just Blossom’s nine are still up, at just a week old.  They are almost as much fun to watch playing as the lambs are !  And the mama pigs don’t care who belongs to who, they just lay down and here will come 30 piglets to nurse … I get so good tickled watching them!

The barn is so close to being done, I can just about taste it. Chicken coop is complete, 4 of the doors are up, the feed room is nearly done, the milking stall is finished.  And we will NOT discuss how that particular room came to be called the napping stall…

We still have about 20 or so Buff Orpington pullets for sale, and plenty of Buff roosters too. Holler if you need some.  We finally got a batch of meat birds started, it feels so late!  But honestly, the ones that get started late like this grow better and more efficiently with fewer losses. They were a week old Sunday, hard to believe in another week we will begin moving them out to the chicken tractors. Reckon my project this week needs to be getting the old ones all fixed up and ready and a few new ones built!

Got Ada, my tractor  fixed. Yay!  It was a simple thing, it’s just that I have so little mechanical ability, that I can’t figure out stupid simple stuff. I named her after one of my heroes, Ada Miller, Ader we always called her.  All my life I have said I wanted to be like her when I grew up. She had a huge farm out on the river across from my grandparents farm on Hartzog Ford, she was widowed at about my age, I reckon… and she survived and farmed… She did farm work for a lot of other farmers in the community too,  when I was a teenager and picking beans for my Uncle Edward, Ader was too. She would holler ‘hammmmmmmppppppppperrrrrrrrrr”  when she needed a new basket, I swear they could have heard her in West Jefferson. One day she kept on all day bemoaning “them ol’ rollovers” don’t know what we’re going to do about them ol’ rollovers. Finally, at dinnertime, sitting around on the back of that old green truck of Grandpa’s, Uncle Edward asked her, “Ader, What in the world do you mean about rollovers ?”  She said, ” you know, when the bank takes your money and rolls it over to a different account”  Uncle Edward bent double, the woman was picking beans, working in the tobacco, whatever she could do… and worrying about rollovers.  One day, we went out to play in the river, Mama and the kids and I.  Stopped at Ader’s to let her know we were there, so she wouldn’t think someone was messing in her cattle or garden. I walked up to the house on the hill, she was always tickled to see us. “Where’s your mama?” I said she’s in the car, didn’t think her knees would make it up the hill. Well Ader probably had 20 years on Mama, but she grabbed her walking stick, which was an old broomstick, and we walked down to the car. She say’s “Law I know what you mean, I just about can’t go myself, I got to get the milking and the gardening done before the sun get’s up much or I just about can’t stand the heat”  She went on til she put us all to shame, she did more by 7 am than most of us do all day. I don’t think we ever did make it to the river that day, but it sure was a good visit with Ader.   She was something else. I figure my tractor is almost as hard working as Ader Miller, or at least it has a name to live up to !

Lori just bought 2 new milk goats, Rose and Mary. They were Hub Lewis’s goats, and his widow didn’t feel like she could keep up with them. They are registered Saanens, bred to a Nubian buck.  So, Lori buys goats and I get the benefits of pretty weedeaters. Skyler is looking forward to having her own milking to do too.  The girls are really sweet, they follow us everywhere, and when you holler ‘RoseMary, come on girls’  they holler back and come running. I’m just in love with them!  I’m thankful that Mrs Lewis entrusted them to us, and we are looking forward to lots of good cheese and smiling children as a result.

Reckon it’s way past my bedtime, have to try and get chores done early, so I can take Lori’s car in for an alignment at 9 tomorrow for her. I did want to catch up a bit though, and let y’all know I haven’t forgotten the blog. It’s just springtime, and I can’t stand being indoors much!

Mama’s oldest brother is home from Florida for the summer, and is coming down to visit tomorrow. I adore my Uncle Gordon… One day in the building of this house, he was tired and a bit grumpy… he says I don’t know what you’re doing and I don’t think you do either… I just about cracked up, said well of COURSE we don’t, Uncle Gordon. Did you think we did ?   I try to tell people he built this house, and he says “Now don’t you blame that on ME ”   It will be awful good to see him, and I know Mama is really looking forward to it.  Mama’s pain is down some, and we are thankful. She starts a new chemo on Thursday, prayers welcome please !   I dread the trips to Wilkesboro for her. With all the fractures, it’s hard for her to sit on her hiney, as she says, and car riding is just awful for her. We’re praying it will help some and kick the cancer back a notch or two.

Much love from the holler, Nancy and the Critters

PS. I added a contact form to the blog. We’ll see how that works out!

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