Farmerjan's journal - Weather

farmerjan

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Gee Whiz, it is raining here for a change:hit:hit:th:hide:hide :idunno. Ya think we have had enough yet?

"Local" station about 50 miles north; the next closest is about 50 miles south, both in the Shen Valley so pretty accurate for us here in the middle; anyway, they say our year to date normal is about 32-33 inches. Total YTD normal in any year is around 36" total, which is about 3" a month give or take, more in the spring, less in the summer....
We have had about 53 inches so far this year. Raining now, quite steady/hard with 1-2" expected. At this rate we will be closing in on nearly twice the normal rainfall for the year. Have never had this much in the 37 years I have lived here. That is not taking into account horrific disasters like Hurricane Camille, before I moved here, that dumped like 24 inches in 24 hours and caused devastating flooding and loss of life and whole towns etc where they just washed away.

We did get all the hay up that was on the ground since Sunday, took longer to get dry with several passes tedding and all, due to cloudy overcast days that were supposed to be all sun all week; nearly 300 square bales and the rest rolled and my son rolled over 30 rolls for a neighbor whose tractor alternator went out and couldn't get another til next Tues. There was hay down everywhere this past week due to the "supposedly nice sunny weather we were gonna have. I got the clothes off the line at 9:30 last night after getting home from testing cows and the 14 or so square bales on the truck covered last night too. It is raining quite hard, and 37*. Just miserable weather.:he:he:he:hit:hit
 

farmerjan

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Hey everyone..... just a short update. Had check up in NC for ankle. Got 26 stitches out and can get the ankle wet in about 2 days as soon as the pinholes from the stitches seal over..... YAY SHOWER....!!!!!!!
X-rays show replacement joint looks perfect, Still in walking boot for another 4 weeks. I can put 100 lbs weight on it for a week ( I was @ 25 then 50 then 75) then full weight.... both with crutches. Then full weight without crutches if I feel okay or use one crutch, but can graduate as I feel like I can manage it, with the boot on. Want to make sure the plate they put alongside the tibia(?) next to the ankle joint is well healed and joined, but the x-rays for the actual ankle joint look A-1..... I can move it around normal movement, not to make it bend or anything but whatever it will do on it's own when the boot is off. Still need to keep it up when I am sitting and stuff to keep the swelling down and not make it ache. But although the incisions look ugly, they are very pleased with it.

So being a "good girl" and doing exactly what they said I could and not pushing it has paid off so far. Just to get a real shower .... I am allowed to put weight on it like in the shower.... CAREFULLY...... as I feel it can take it but not walk around on it until it gets a little stronger. Go back in 4 weeks......
 

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Well, it is a cool wet evening. About 55 degrees from a high of only 60. We got some rain/showers today. Not as much as they said, ours was more misty sprinkles kind but it was starting to actually lightly rain when I left to go up and catch up the meat birds.
I had stopped earlier and put feed in feeders in the 5x10 pen, as they were about empty, (I had planned that) and they all went in for the feed so I shut the gate. I have been leaving them out loose. Put a waterer in there and some shavings so they wouldn't be dirty. Went up about 3:45, carried them 2 at a time to the crates on the back of the truck. :th Got good and wet but got them all loaded by about 4:45. My son came by with his 2 birds, offered to help but I had just loaded the last 4 . Took the 2 big cooler chests too, and they will put them in the coolers, in their big walk in cooler after they are done. I said to put the 14 smallest in vacuum bags and the rest 16 or so, just in the cooler and I will part them out at home.So they are gone.:yesss::celebrate:celebrate:celebrate:yesss:

Of course, the farmer texted with the broiler houses, and said the "birds" go out in the morning, at 3:30 a.m..... So I texted him back and said to let me know approx. how many there are left behind. If there aren't very many I may just not bother. I can go get them within 24 hours. But then I get to thinking that they would be good added feed for the cats.... Well we will see. If there aren't too many I won't make a special trip.

The farmer where I took the chickens said they got nearly 2 inches of rain, :eek: but we haven't had that much. Maybe a couple tenths???:idunno. Now it looks like it is passing out of the area and we won't get much, if any more; temps look to be in the 70's days and all sun again. :hit We really need an all day/night slow rain of 2 inches or so..

Not much else... I just made a bowl of soup because I was cold and damp. I did take an extra shirt and sweatshirt with me so that I could change out of the wet stuff. But you know how that dampness gets so I wanted a bowl of soup. Am going to get a good HOT shower and go burrow under a blanket and maybe read a book for awhile...:hide
 

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Well, it's been a busy couple of days. Each night has gotten a little colder, 41, 40, 39, 36.... last night. Some places got down to 30 and even heard one at 27.:ep Frost around but we haven't had any here. It is going to be warmer tonight, we are due to get the remnants of that trop storm Nestor, coming in tonight after midnight ans lasting through mid day Sunday. @Mini Horses will probably be getting alot more due to the proximity to the coast and the storm heading east. We will be on the fringes more, but there is some forecasts saying up to 2 inches. Another inch or so would be welcome.:fl

Hauled the heifers in for the neighbor yesterday. 7 heifers and one cow he was culling. My son had taken 11 steers in early. I didn't get to the sale so don't know what prices were like, want to stop by there on Monday and see in general how things were looking. Don't foresee any great improvement in prices. The weights were a little lighter than his normally are too, 3 weighed only 350 ea and 4 weighed right at 510 ea. The steers were more like 450 and 550/600. I hope they did decent but I don't think they were all that great. Prices the last 2 weeks I have been told were in the $.90 to $1.15 range for heifers, and the $1.15 to $1.40 for steers. At 500 lbs @ 1.15 , a heifer will bring $575, which is about what it costs to feed the cow for the year.... that means break even with nothing in your pocket. A 500 lb steer @ 1.40 is only $700 which is $125-150 over the cost to keep the cow for the year.... it definitely is not a very good fall for paying any bills. :(:(:hit:hitAnd don't forget, he pays us to work the calves in the spring, and there are 4 of us that get them in, give shots, band, etc., for about 2 hours, and then pays us to haul them to the sale.... Plus we make his hay for him and we get paid for that. He's probably in his late 60's early 70's and just is not able to do it. :idunno Plus it would never pay him to have all the equipment needed to make the hay when he only makes one cutting then grazes the place. Alot of his cattle check will go to us this year, for our time, labor, equipment and fuel for haying costs... They are not "cheapskates" or anything, and never quibble over the costs because we do our best to accommodate them when they want to do stuff; and our costs have certainly not gotten any cheaper.... it is just facts of life. This is the sort of thing that makes older farmers decide to give it up because they can't do for themselves and have to pay others to do it. As for our own, we just never "pay ourselves" a wage....our labor is free :th:th:he:he.

Moved a group home from pasture this morning, they need to be pregnancy checked. The grass was gone there, it is a pasture we can't do any rotating due to lack of fences. This is the lady that is 96 years old. God bless her. :bow. If I live that long I hope I am half as sharp mentally as she is. Arthritis in her knees is killing her and she can't get out in her garden anymore, but she is still "keeping on, keeping on". Told me to NEVER give up.... Everyone else is still okay, and we rotated some in a couple of other places and with this little bits of rain, it ought to put some life back into the grass so it isn't so "crispy".

Then I went to work to test a 70 cow herd this afternoon. Got home about 8:30 and made sure the tarp was on the tractor for the rain we are supposed to get.
I'm ready to hit the shower and bed. May get a little extra "time off" in the morning if it is raining. I need to go check one of the cows we just brought home though, she is making an udder and was supposede to be open when she went out there with the bull. One of the other ones wound up having a calf about a month ago, so was very short bred when we checked them. I am wondering if this one was also short bred, of if she was bred, lost the calf; not a good scenario. I will palpate her tomorrow before we move these guys to a temp field, because if she has a big (close to calving size) calf in her, she will go up to where the nurse cows are. She is guernsey/holstein, and will get a second calf at least. So I need to determine her status.

I think a cup of hot cocoa with a little amaretto ;) is in the next half hour plans and then sleep like a baby.... it takes the edge off the knee and ankle aches, and I can fall asleep with no problem.... I'm not a wine drinker, so that is my indulgence. :yesss:
 

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Funny, it is probably just in my mind, but it feels better already this morning. Maybe because there is not "bandage" around it. It is more flexible, and I am not trying to make it move, but it just seems to be more moveable. I will not take off the little sterile pads they put on the incisions where they took out the stitches until tomorrow, that way I am not pushing the taking the shower tonight. But I can sit here and see and feel it move like you normally would just move the ankle. It is still quite swollen as the tissues start to "calm down" and all. But moving it is also good for that too she said. There are alot of scabs that will come off and they said it might take them a month for the ones in the "crease" of the ankle where the foot attaches,
Going to call the PCP, update the results of the visit yesterday, and see if they want me to come in for anything. They did say yesterday that after the next post op appt all according to how it is doing, that I may need little or no PT. Guess it depends on how much movement I have..... WOW......

I will say this has not been near the "difficult experience" that I was expecting when I was anticipating the surgery. Yes I wanted the surgery so I could maybe get back to a normal walking ability, and the "being tied down" with not being able to get up and do for myself, and those first few days in the Rehab......was trying....... but as far as pain and all it just hasn't been any big deal. The numb/tingley is weird..... not "painful". The cast was aggravating, but I knew it was going to "go away" so liveable.... But the "girl" that was taking out the stitches, and yes, a couple felt like a little sting for a second, that made me go "OUCH" , and suck in my breath for a second, then was over; did say that people react to "pain" differently, and that much of what I was feeling, many would call pain. I said I just kept expecting to feel some real sharp pains, really expecting some intensity, and she said that obviously I have a different ability for my body to determine pain and to "categorize" it as simply an "inconvenience type" pain as opposed to "PAIN"..... She apologized for the stings as she took out those couple of stitches, and I said it wasn't that big of a deal, just caught me for a second. She said I did great, and I am thinking okay, that wasn't any real big deal. Hurt less than a bee sting and didn't last more than a second. Maybe people do really consider that "pain"......
 

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It was 54 this morning, looks like we had a few little showers last night but not much. Partly sunny this morning and the wind is getting up again. That wind is really drying it out. Maybe supposed to get some more "rain" this evening.....we could use it.

Oh one other thing, I talked to her about the driving and all, she said that I could try using the clutch on the truck, without the boot, if it didn't hurt to push it down. My little truck has a pretty easy clutch, not stiff like some of the bigger trucks. I can't walk without the boot yet, but to drive that I could try it. Shouldn't be anything like 100 lbs weight on the foot/ankle, since I can use it carefully in the shower, for weight and balance standing, and with the weight adjustments going up for walking with the boot, So it will be a pain to have to take off the boot then put it back on before I get out to walk, but I can safely drive the truck if I can use the clutch normally. I was supposed to have the car back long before now, but the whole "engine saga" got in the way. I still want it back, the heads are at the shop now getting redone, but I can drive myself in the truck now like to go to the store....
 

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Hello to all "QUARANTINED" ....... UGH ..... It just gets crazier. I was unable to stream the latest live broadcast of our esrtwhile govenor. But now we are strongly encouraged to follow the national suggestions of no more than 10 people in a gathering. Thank goodness we sold a couple more yesterday. But not near what we needed to ship. It stands to be seen what things will do to our livestock markets the rest of the week, but it is nearly assured that the sale next week will not take place. My son and I will have to talk today now about what we are going to do. Silage will be fed out within 2 weeks. We can up the amount of grain a little bit to mitigate the effect on the weight loss and change over to more hay, but we will also be running out of hay before we hit good grazing.
I don't know..........
The sun is coming out temps up to 55 and supposed to go higher. By Friday we are supposed to be up to the low 70's.....

My peach tree's blossoms are starting to open. I am really worried because the weather is supposed to drop over the weekend with some possible snow flurries. Temps on Saturday night are supposed to get down into the upper 20's. If it does it will kill the blossoms and freeze the fruit buds. But again, you can't do much about it. I mean, it is only the middle of March, we should not even be having this weather in Mid April as our last frost date here is usually MAY 10th... so we are nearly 2 months ahead of where we would normally be. I may try covering the trees with a few tarps I have here if it does seem to get that low. It is not life and death to save the peach crop but I hate to lose it since last year it was just starting to get productive.

Want to talk to my son about where we are at and what we are going to need, and then going to call the feed store where we get all our feed and see what they are saying as far as feed deliveries. We get most of it in bulk, but I haven't filled the chicken feed bin after the last of the meat birds left last year. Wanted my son to get up on top and take a chain and beat around on the inside and clean off any clumps and stuff. Had a water leak and there was some that got moldy and stuck to the sides. So wanted to get it cleaned out good then get another delivery this spring. I am only feeding a few here at the house and still have enough for a couple of weeks although I will get another couple of bags if I go into town. They will also drop off a couple of bags with any bulk feed delivery if I ask, then I only have to go up to the farm to get it. I am keeping it here in a couple of 5 gal buckets with lids, close to the chickens, so I don't have to carry it. But I will hopefully be off the crutches in another week so at least making easier to carry water to them.
 
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farmerjan

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@Baymule , quite the picture of the culverts being washed out from under the pavement.

Well, we are sitting here "waiting" for whatever weather we are going to get.
Y'all will think we are crazy, especially @greybeard because he is very familiar with hay making.
We cut 8 acres on last Sunday afternoon. It was orchard grass that has pretty much cured on the stem so to speak. With all the cold, and a couple of frosts, it had stopped growing. We were waiting, and hoping for a sunny spell. Took a chance, cut a little better than half the field. Tedded it out on Wednesday to shake the dusting of snow and droplets as it melted. Very breezy which was good. Tedded it on Thursday afternoon but it was a mix of sun and clouds. Sun came out Friday morning, tedded it out as soon as the sun dried the chill off. My son then raked a few rounds that late afternoon because it was dry. I noticed by noon it felt dry, almost crunchy. We worked 18 baby calves this morning, shots, banding and eartags, then I went and finished raking. He started square baling at about 1 and made well over 350 square bales. 225 loaded on the flat bed trailer for delivery in the morning before we get weather ( they say it won't start til after 9 or 10 a.m..) and another wagon stacked and loaded to the top. I picked up about 8 or 10 bales...2 were a little heavy, and the rest had just fallen off the wagons and a couple had some johnson grass in them. He had a friend that had been wanting some hay come get about 15 or 20 that didn't fit on the wagon. The cows were pulling it off my truck as I was trying to get it into the barn.... and they have 2 big rolls out and a partial bale I had put out from a broken square bale earlier that day. They were in no way hungry, but they sure were liking this "freeze dry cured hay".
In the meantime, he finished cutting the other 6 acres and about 5 acres across the creek on Friday, and it is about half "freeze dried" so if we get the sun and 40-50's next Mon Tues and Wed...I will tedd twice, and then rake and it ought to be ready to bale on Thursday.
No we do not normally make hay this late. But these fields were quite tall and we just did not have the time to get them made when we were pushing to get all that other hay made the week before Thanksgiving. We need the square bales for customers, and it really did make up pretty nice. It's not as "green" as it would have been before frost, but it is not as hard to dry once it stops growing and all like now. And the color doesn't tell the whole story as it is sweeter when it stem cures like this as the moisture goes down but the sugars don't. Since first cutting was a late first cutting, it is a decent 2nd cutting, with good growth.
So I would really like if we don't get much out of this storm tomorrow, and then it can rain/snow next weekend. Would actually rather see snow so that the ground can soak it in a little slower than rain this time of year.
One good thing, those couple of heavy bales won't get much molding with the cold temps. We have been down in the 20's the last couple of nights and days barely hit 40 for a few hours. I will get them fed out to the calves in a couple of days, so am not worrying about them heating or getting moldy.
 
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farmerjan

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So far I'm seeing working with them is just like with the sheep - just a bigger version of critter.
Basically, yes. They are bigger, have a few different idiosyncrasies, but they will respond to routine and such, just as your sheep. They like sameness, they like to eat, but will want to feel "not threatened". We could go the route of "rounding up" our cattle with 4 wheelers and such, and have had to take it out to get the stubborn one or two to get in the pen, or through a gate, but as a whole, I have taught my son that you don't want to "go get them" you want them to "get themselves" TO you. Back nearly 40 years ago, when I first moved to Va., I was considered to be that "crazy Yankee woman" with all these weird ideas: you didn't need to feed "therapeutic" doses of antibiotics to keep the animals healthy...(which was routinely added to feed as per nutritional experts at land grant college studies etc.) you fed good feed and only treated them when they got sick. You didn't "chase" your animals, you made them come to you. You didn't need to "hog tie" them to work with them, you gained their trust. Yes, you have to be firm, and occasionally you have to get a little "rough" to teach an animal it's place.... but quiet and calm is a whole lot easier on everyone.

I used to have hogs, kept about 10-15 brood sows and had pigs all the time.....tried to have 3-4 farrow at the same time so had pigs to sell on a regular basis about every 2 months. I had an old '53 dodge 2 ton truck, flat bed with sides, that I backed up to the loading chute. About a week before it was time to take the feeders to the monthly sale, I would sprinkle feed along the ramp, up the chute into the truck. Within 2-3 days, had the whole kit and kaboodle running up the chute onto the truck wanting to get fed. Pigs could get under the "fence boards" but sows couldn't. When I would go to the sale, usually had 10-30 pigs at a time, the "guys" there would ask what time I started catching pigs to get them all loaded. I'd just say, "oh a little while ago".... because the first time I told them about an hour before I got there, one said I must've had alot of help because a little ole girl like me couldn't catch all those pigs by myself. It made me mad as I tried to tell him how I did it and he said I was having pipe dreams.... so I just gave up and left it. Some time later, one of them had come by on pig sale day, on the "excuse" that he was just coming from so & so's and thought he'd give me a little help if I needed it.... and as he drove in and parked, I was just in the process of getting them to walk ( they would run up it by then) the ramp up into the truck....I laughed at the expression on his face as I calmly closed the back gate, came around and said hi, what's up. He told me straight the reason he had stopped and if he hadn't seen it he never would have believed it. I hadn't one single smelly piece of pig manure on me but my boots, was ready to change shoes and drive to town. Then they called me the magic pig lady....
I miss my pigs..... to be able to go back and relive those years when my joints weren't hurting and I enjoyed farming more.....maybe in the next place, i might have a couple again.
Moral of the story, get them to do what you want, by teaching them you are not the bad guy, that when they do what you want they get a reward.... food is the magic ticket..... and yes, I felt a little sad that they were "tricked" into it, but it was a business, and they got a good life while they were at my place. Besides, pigs definitely don't do alot of thinking except with their stomach in mind... some have great personalities, but they are after all, there for a purpose. And their life at my place out in the air and sunshine, the mud hole, and all that, is a far sight happier than in a confinement operation.
 

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I like this not working stuff, :celebrate ,but need to get back to doing something for some income for awhile.
YEP -- that's for sure. It's what also keeps us working. :D

Calm & routine, best for all animals. Last big old Boer buck I sold was like your pigs. He was born at the farm & always handled by me. When man came to look, was impressed & bought. This was a huge, fullblood buck. We agreed on pickup time. He came with a big livestock truck. I told him to drive to field, he did. As I opened the gate he said, are there more people here to help? I said don't you have a ramp? Well, yes, I do. So, let it down. Then, I called the buck by name -- he quickly came. I took his collar and we walked up the ramp. Told the guy to shut his gaping mouth and the raise the ramp. :D Said he couldn't even dream of doing that with any of his bucks. Told him that was his problem, now ONE could be handled.

It's ROUTINE, discipline & trust that is built. Maybe women are more inclined to work this way, after raising children :lol:
 

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