Money Up, Money Down

This past year I have been trying to educate myself concerning economics and money. I would like to have more money for sure, but I also know the economy determines prices of things we purchase and sell. I want to understand how this economy works.

It would be easier to gain understanding by attending a few college classes, but I do not have the money to spend on college classes. So, I have been ready articles, the news and a few books to try to gain an understanding. With an understanding, I am hoping to be able to make more profit from what I do sell.

Today I was reading an article on inflation to learn what the inflation rate for the United States is for the month of September – 8.3%. Meaning that the prices for items in five categories has an average percentage gain of 8.3% higher than in August. While the prices stayed close to the same for groceries, the other categories rose. The continued rise in costs for what Americans purchase is inflation. How does inflation get stopped, the federal government raises the interest rates on loans made to banks and others. People supposedly slow down in their purchases, allowing the demand to drop, and eventually the price of items drop as there becomes a surplus.

But what happens if inflation continues to rise, and the interest rates continue to rise, people stop purchasing or greatly reduce what they purchase. If stores are not selling items, the store begin to lay people off. If companies have a surplus of product, they slow production and lay people off. Now the scenario is perfect for a recession.

In my occupation of being a sheep farmer, I believe the farmers feel a recession before anyone else. Most people consider livestock a luxury and convenience, something that they own until it is a hardship then they sell the livestock. I raise sheep for market, producing lamb meat for those who eat lamb, as an occupation. Raising sheep is my job, what I do to make money to provide income for my husband and myself.

I understand the cost to purchase a pound of meat is very high. I have seen and paid the higher prices the past few months. My grocery expense has doubled, and the amount of food purchased declined. In years past, I learned how to take a pound of meat and use it for three meals to feed my four children, spouse and myself. I know there are others who also have this ability, we learn through hardship. People making meals with less meat affects the amount of market animals needed to supply the people with meat.

I took some registered sheep for breeding stock to a special auction today. The prices on all the sheep and goats for breeding were very low. No one was really buying. A lot of the sheep and goats went to a slaughter buyer, not to someone wanting to raise market animals. I PO or purchased out two of my three animals, meaning I did not sell them. The prices were so low, it was better that I keep them and continue to raise lambs from them, as there would be more profit.

The drought causing lack of grazing, along with the cost of hay for winter feeding, many sheep farmers and hobby sheep farmers are selling all their animals. The current flooding of the market with animals has caused the price for the animals to sharply drop. This will have an effect on the price of meat and perhaps the availability of meat next year.

There will be fewer lambs this next spring, as there are fewer breeding animals to produce the lambs. The price for a market lamb will go back up. Depending on the recession, how bad it becomes and how long it lasts will affect the price of breeding stock. It may be two or three years before I can get a good price for the breeding stock I purchase.

I did not get the price I wanted for the ram I had at the sale. I was on the fence about selling him, as I can use him in the breeding of ewes for lambs. Last February, I paid $1,000 USD for a young ram. Today I could not get $750 USD for the same quality of ram.

Life goes up and down, the skill is staying afloat. I live in a rural area. I am skilled at growing some of my food. I have the ability to preserve the food and to “make it stretch” as grandma used to say. I eat some of the most expensive type of meat a person can purchase, lamb, as I butcher my own. We will stay afloat.

But how do people manage who live in cities and large towns? I know they are able to “make it stretch”, but how do they supplement their food pantry? With my limited understanding of economics, I see clearer how those living in high populations suffer more than those of us living in rural areas during times of recessions.

Regardless of where you live, I hope that all can find the answers to help them stay afloat during these expensive times.

amtolle

When unexpected things happen.

There are days, then there are DAYS. Today I think was one of those DAYS. I have been helping my daughter with her new babies. They are soooo cute. And they are growing fast. I spent last night helping with the feeding, so one parent could sleep. And during the day I help the other parent with feeding, so the other parent can catch a solid four or five hours of sleep.

Today, I had to come home. I have some sheep in a special replacement auction that I need to attend. I will be home for two nights and a day, then return to continue to help my daughter.

Upon arriving home, I carried my bags into the house and started my laundry. Then I started vacuuming as I had tracked dirt into the house. I was going by the laundry room and noticed a large puddle of water at the base of the washing machine. I stopped vacuuming and investigated.

I have an older front load washer. The water was “leaking” from the drawer where you put the detergent and softener. It has not done that before. I washed clothes last weekend without any water on the floor. I opened the drawer for detergent and what to my eyes should appear, dog food. How did dog food get in that place. The bucket is on a high shelf away from the washer. Who could have put it there was the main thought for my husband and myself. There have been no grandchildren present to assist with the cause of this problem. Who or what has put dog food in the place for laundry detergent?

I removed the dispenser drawer, there was even more dog food packed in the small area and down the tube leading to the washer tub. We would have to remove the top of the washer to clean the dog food out of the washer. In order to remove the top of the washer, we had to remove the dryer stacked on top. To remove the dryer, we would have to clear everything out of the laundry room to make space for the dryer on the floor.

Working for several hours to make room, move the dryer, and remove the top off the washer, vacuuming out the washer detergent dispenser and hose leading to the tub, we were finally ready for a test run to see if we had solved the problem of water on the floor. Test run, water running into the washing machine, no water on the floor. Hurray !!

Now to solve how the dog food was placed there to form the blockage….. conclusion…. mice. Yes, the little critter had found away into that part of the washing machine by way of a vent. The vent had a grid cover over it, but the spacing was large enough for a mouse to get through. We blocked the area with some copper wire mesh, or a “chore boy” for those who use copper wire mesh to clean cast iron cooking pans and skillets.

We replaced all the parts in the correct places, put the appliances back in their proper places in the laundry room. And I started my load of laundry once more.

After getting the washer working, I finished vacuuming the house.

My husband always teases me about how I get distracted from doing what I have started, taking hours to finish a simple task. Today, he was able to go on the unplanned journey that started with vacuuming the floor, to having to mop the water up in the laundry room and eventually mopping the laundry room to get all the water up, to repairing the washer and finally finish vacuuming the floor to clean up a mess I had made when I arrived home.

I think about my days and the things I need to get done. I have a plan. I start the plan, the out of nowhere something happens and I end up with a totally different job than what was planned. I no longer get upset or frustrated with how my days happen to go. I keep planning and starting, believing that I will get accomplished what I had planned for the day. Very seldom does my day go as planned.

Today, my husband going through this simple journey, he showed some frustration, as he was wanting to eat the dinner that had finished cooking. I was wanting to get the washer fixed so I would have clean clothes to wear tomorrow and next week.

Regardless of how the day starts and goes, I can only go one step at a time, get one thing done at a time. And hopefully get the jobs done that need to be done in the day. It is not the end of the world if things change. I adapt, handle the crisis and continue to move forward.

I have added mouse bait to the grocery list, and I will deal with the mouse problem before I leave Sunday morning.

amtolle

Oops, I missed National Daughter Day

This past Monday, I got on facebook. I was catching up with family and friends and to post some sheep I am selling. I seen a lot of posts of mothers with their daughters acknowledging National Daughter Day.

I love my daughters. We talk a couple of times a week. I also talk with my daughter-in-laws once a week. Although we live hundreds of miles apart we stay in touch. I hear about how they are doing and how the grandchildren are doing.

Each time I talk to family and friends, I make sure I let them know I appreciate them, I am proud of them, they are important in my life, and mostly to let them know I love them.

I had a really good friend when I was a teenager, she was an adult I went to church with and was friends with her daughter. Mrs. AW said that when she died she did not want any flowers at her funeral. I asked why?

“I want to enjoy the flowers. I want to see the beautiful colors and arrangements. I want to smell the sweet fragrance. If you are going to send flowers to my funeral, give them to me now so I can enjoy them.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Those words always stuck in my mind. Everytime I see a funeral procession or hear of the death of a friend or family member, and when I attend a funeral, I remember her words, “give them to me now so I can enjoy them”.

Likewise, we do not know when our last day is. I have had some really close calls with death. I do not know if I will talk to those I love the next day, or be gone in a car crash or some other event. Time is precious.

In my opinion, there is no tomorrow to tell someone that you love them. Today, is the time to say “I love you” ,”I am proud of you”, or let them know they are important in your life.

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow a mystery.

Today is a gift.

That’s why we call it “The Present.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

amtolle

Helping Hands

This weekend while home for a few days to perform some tasks at home that had to be done by me, I was thinking about “helping hands”. There are times in our lives we need a “helping hand”. Help moving a heavy object or a large object. I am helping my daughter’s family by driving my granddaughter to and from school, cleaning the house, caring for the dogs and watering the lawn. These tasks my daughter and son-in-law could do, but with the recent arrival of triplet boys, it is nice to have a person able to do those tasks for them so they can concentrate on the babies, more importantly for them to be able to get some sleep. I will be there to provide helping hands as long as needed.

My daughter and son-in-law are a very independent couple. When their first baby was born, they did not want any help at all. They needed to learn how to perform the daily tasks and take care of their daughter. They were excited about being parents, they leaned on each other to learn and adjust to having a child in their family. They did very well in adjusting and learning.

With the addition of triplets, my daughter and son-in-law realized, these new babies would require a lot more time and care. They are glad to receive some help.

Help comes in many forms. One of the greatest gifts they have received is money to assist with the cost of having triplets. Diapers and formula are expensive.

In their town, baby formula is still limited in how many a person can purchase. Months back, there was a shortage of baby formula, and family members came to the rescue. Family members requested the information on what type of formula they would use and purchased formula when found in their area stores, then shipped it to them. I my trip home for the weekend, we visited the store and purchased baby formula that I will take down with me.

While I am helping my daughter’s family, my husband is alone at the farm. He feeds the sheep and dogs, then goes to his job. One evening he was mowing with a push mower our driveway. Since I have not been there to mow once a week, the grass grew to be very tall. A neighbor saw my husband mowing, then returned with a riding mower to finish the job. A simple task, completed with much appreciated helping hand.

The helping hands really shows up in our marriage. I had not given much thought to how much we assist and take care of each other until recently. I take care of the farm, yard, house and meals. When I am gone, those tasks fall to my husband. It is a blessing to have a life partner who is willing and able to give a helping hand so I can help my daughter.

I have always viewed marriage like a team of horses working together in harness. In today’s technology age, seeing a team of horses work or even driving a team of horses is very rare. There is a special dynamic with a good team of horses. A person does not just put any two horses together to work and pull a wagon. Those two horses have to get along and not fight. But they also have to be willing to work together, pulling the same amount at all times in order for the task to be completed. They have to be patient when one accidently bumps or steps on the other. When they are working, being bumped by each other happens a lot. There are times the horses will lean and push against each other to gain leverage to get a heavy load moving or to stop the heavy load.

Currently, I am able to lean on my husband, trust that he is going to take care of my sheep. It is not an easy time for us with the sheep farm. The cost of hay has made things a challenge, but he has been there to feed, find hay to purchase, and help with the decisions on selling sheep. I have come home for the weekend to identify the lambs to be sold and the ones we are keeping.

It is good to be able to do things independently. When the time arrives, it is also good to put our pride aside, and take the helping hand we are being blessed with to get us through those challenging times.

I am thankful for those helping hands that have assisted my family and myself during this time.

amtolle

My Longest Day

Days move quickly into weeks, months and years. Time is marked off with precision. Although daylight hours may shift depending on the month of the year, each day has 24 hours. Then there are days when time seems to crawl slowly. September 14 happened to be a day time crawled miserably slow.

Since September 4 I have been living at my daughter’s home. She was pregnant with triplets and was admitted to the hospital with contractions on September 4. The triplets were not due to arrive until September 14. This Granny would be taking care of her granddaughter, age 5, until mommy and daddy could come home with three little brothers.

At the hospital, the medical staff was able to get the contractions to stop, the goal was for my daughter to stay pregnant until September 14. The days were long for all of us. My daughter waiting in the hospital. Her husband still working so he would be able to spend the six weeks of family time with his wife and the three boys after they were born. He would spend some nights at the hospital and some at home, wanting to support his wife but also wanting to let their daughter know that her parents did not leave or abandon her. Granny stayed at the house busy taking care of her granddaughter. Taking her to school and picking her up, working at keeping her schedule the same as always, to keep as much stability in her life as possible.

The plan for delivery day, September 14, my daughter would not answer any phone calls or make phone calls, her husband would let me know how the delivery went, how my daughter and the babies were doing after delivery. I would let immediate family know, and they would tell extended family and friends. The delivery by C-section was scheduled for 10 AM. We figured three hours for delivery and settling, then I would receive the phone call with information and start the information chain.

From the beginning of this pregnancy, family, friends and myself have been praying for healthy babies. There are many possible complications with multiple pregnancies. Babies are born premature, they may have problems with breathing and other life functions. Most premature infants stay in NICU units, special intensive care units for infants to receive the medical treatments for their various problems. The triplets would be born at 35 weeks gestation, and hopefully weigh four pounds at birth.

On September 14, family, friends and I started praying early. My granddaughter was home from school due to not feeling well. I cleaned the house, mopping floors, washing cupboard doors, dusting and other small tasks that my daughter had not been able to do the previous months at home. My granddaughter thought I was going crazy cleaning the house. Keeping busy helps the time to move along faster, and this day was moving very slow.

10 AM arrived, schedule time for the beginning of the delivery. 11 then noon, no word, but still praying and cleaning. 1 PM arrived, my impatience won, I sent a message to my son-in-law, ” How are Tami and the boys?”. Message back, “An emergency delivery came in, the delivery was moved to 2 PM”. Immediate family started texting, their impatience won out as well, I relayed that the delivery time was moved to 2 PM. More waiting for the delivery of the babies.

I waited and prayed while my granddaughter watched a movie, and I tried not to watch the clock. At 4 PM I received news that all went well. Mom is doing good. The boys were over 4 pounds, and all were in the room with mom and dad. Then two pictures arrived of the triplets, there were no tubes, no oxygen, no IVs. Their color was good. I instantly showed the pictures to the big sister. Then was busy sending the pictures to family members. A little later, my daughter called and said everything went really well, no problems with her or the boys. The boys had passed all the screenings and were staying in the room with her. She then spoke to her daughter, telling her about her brothers and answering questions.

The nurses and medical staff for the NICU unit would come by to look at the triplets. They specialize in delivery and care of multiple pregnancies and the birth of these triplets was the first time that no babies were admitted to the NICU unit. They were little miracles.

Five days after delivery, the little brothers and parents came home. They continue to do well. Their feeding are continuing to increase. At one week of age, they had gained the weight lost the first days after birth plus 2 to 3 ounces and grew 1/4 to 1/2 inch each. This Granny is a little nervous holding such fragile babies. Care has to be given in what touches their skin as it is very thin and sensitive.

We know that prayer was the key to how strong and well these little miracles are. We are thankful. We appreciate all those who prayed for this mom and her babies during her pregnancy and delivery.

Now we continue to pray as they continue to develop and grow.

amtolle

Happy Grandparents’ Day

For those who are grandparents, Happy Grandparents’ Day. I love being a grandparent.

In some cultures, grandparents are the family members responsible for passing forward the family history. They are the family storytellers and historians. Since I am adopted, there are no generations of family history to pass forward, but I can tell a funny story concerning their parents.

One task my children have asked of me is to keep the farm, allowing my grandchildren to experience a fraction of the life they had with raising and caring for animals. My children grew up around animals, farm animals. Responsible for the care and feeding of them as well as managing their finances to support them. They want this experience to carry forward. None of my children have property in order to raise animals, a task left to Granny.

The grandchildren love learning of some of the adventures their parents experienced as children. Learning about what their parents did as children, helps them to learn their parents. My grandchildren do enjoy a good story and I am the storyteller.

Grandparents also possess the wisdom of decades of living. We have made mistakes and had successes. We can share the wisdom of the years lived. Grandparents have knowledge to pass forward.

When Covid-19 started, people realized that stores run out of things. They also tried to find ways of providing for themselves. The most popular youtube videos were of making bread, specifically sourdough bread. Garden videos came in second. Why? Because people wanted to learn how to provide some things for themselves, since they could not depend on a store to always have what they needed.

My brother-in-law asked me to teach him how to home can vegetables and cut up a carcass of meat. He had dismissed that I knew how to do these things with every Christmas present. But two years ago, those Christmas presents might possible be a key to survival. Knowledge from years past, being used today, and grandparents hold the information.

Parents we are busy working, providing for our children and raising them to be productive adults. There are sports practices and school activities parents work into their busy schedule for their children. The schools have the children more hours a day, than parents do. With work and learning to be a parent, they do not always have the ability or experience to have fun with their children. Vacations are where family generally catch up with each other. Grandparents sometimes are the “assistance” for the family, buy picking up a child or making sure a child arrives to an appointment on time. Grandparents provide someone to stay home with a sick child, allowing parents to continue to work.

Recently, I have been assisting my daughter with getting my granddaughter to school and home, having dinner ready and listening to her day. I am not always going to be doing these activities with her, I am assistance for the short time. Sharing the responsibilities of the care of my granddaughter allows us to make memories and share life.

I am a happy grandmother. I have nine grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and three grandchildren arriving on September 14.

amtolle

Anticipation

Remember Christmas Eve, as a child, the anticipation of Santa Claus arriving with the gifts requested in a letter mailed weeks before. Or perhaps those requested were whispered in his ear during a shopping visit to a mall or large store. Anticipating his arrival, sleep will not come due to the excitement racing through your veins. The giggles and wiggles of anticipation keep us from sleeping, and sleep must come in order for Santa Claus to arrive.

We anticipate happy events. This past week I have been at my daughter’s helping as she is hospitalized with the soon arrival of triplets. She and the babies are doing well. But due to being in the hospital, she has not been able to finish getting the nursery ready with their arrival. They have everything they will need when they come home, but it is not organized.

I have spent the week folding baby clothes and organizing the dresser and other areas of the nursery. Folding the baby clothes, my mind drifts back to the days when I was anticipating the arrival of my children. The memories of wanting everything just right and how important it was to have the perfect “nest” for the babies to arrive home to. My daughter, due to being pregnant with triplets has been unable to do much of the nesting associated with pregnancy and the hormone changes. With the hospitalization, she is not even there to give directions. Our communication this past week has been instructions and pictures to show what was done and to see if it was what she wants. The pictures help her with the nesting aspect of being pregnant. When I left for the weekend, the nursery clothes, blankets, diapers and other items for the daily care of the babies was all in order. There are a few furniture items that will be added this weekend or the beginning of next week. My daughter is more comfortable with her “nest” for the babies arrival.

I keep my children updated on how things are, and the word travels faster than a wildfire in California. Everyone is waiting for any news on how mom and babies are doing until the babies are born.

Every family member, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents and great aunts and uncles are anticipating the arrival of the babies, just as we did Santa Claus when we were children. There are the giggles and wiggles, hopeful wishing they could be here for their arrival home. Visits are planned, most are weeks and months after their arrival date, but the excitement is in the air and all conversation. Keeping positive thoughts and praying for good health and thanks for the pregnancy going as good as it has are daily activities each family member participates in.

The doctors and medical staff specialize in multiple or complicated pregnancies. They anticipate all the scenarios of how the pregnancy and delivery may proceed, taking necessary steps to insure to the best of their ability the best outcome occurs. It is their responsibility to inform their patients that their are risks to babies and mothers in being pregnant with multiples.

Anticipation can work in the opposite of excitement of expectant joy. There can be worry and stress associated with anticipation of a bad event or outcome. Our family has experienced the complication of twin to twin transfusion with a set of identical twins two years ago, one of my grandsons died due to this complication. It is easy to give into the anticipation of the possible bad events that could happen, taking the joy of the blessing.

When the negative or bad thoughts of what MIGHT happen enter our minds, it is up to us to change those thoughts. We can control what our minds think about. Focusing on the negative will create negative results in our lives but shaping our actions. We want to give up, or we get depressed and worried. We must take control of those negative thoughts and replace them with happy thoughts. Like Tootles, in Peter Pan who lost his marbles which were his happy thoughts that enabled him to fly. We need to keep track of our happy thoughts, so we can fly above the problems and see the blessings in our lives.

Photo by Vlad Alexandru Popa on Pexels.com

The date has been set for delivery, September 14. We are all counting down to the days, hours and eventually minutes when these babies will be born.

amtolle

Best Made Plans

We make plans for holidays, celebrations and just being together with family and friends. The past months I have been doing things to get ready to be a grandmother to triplets. I have these plans of getting certain jobs done, before I am needed to assist my daughter.

Labor Day weekend I planned on getting all the maintenance tasks done on my sheep. I was going to deworm all the sheep and trim their hooves, a job that takes two days with the number of sheep I currently own. There are two young rams I need to dehorn as well.

Friday arrived, and I had my equipment ready to start the task of deworming and hoof trimming one set of sheep, when a phone call came. My daughter was on her way to the hospital and could I come and get my granddaughter and keep her for the weekend. NO PROBLEM, this grandma is always willing to drop everything to have a grandchild for the weekend.

My best made plans for Labor Day weekend took a mighty shift. There are times we make the plans, but God has a different plan. I do not think my plans were bad or out of time, it was just time for something different.

My granddaughter and I enjoyed the weekend together. We fed the sheep and horses in the morning. Painted and made things in the afternoon. I mowed the front yard so she could play on the trees and swing, without the worry of snakes. Mowing the yard was not in my plans for the weekend, but with her arrival, I mowed the yard. She helped PawPaw with the evening chores of feeding the dogs. On Sunday, my granddaughter and I went to her house.

I did not get the sheep dewormed as I did not want my young granddaughter around the deworming medication for the sheep. I do not take risks with my grandchildren. The sheep hooves did not get trimmed. I will reschedule those tasks for another weekend. Are the sheep going to be hurt by the delay, no they will be fine.

Currently, I am on a “holding pattern” as I call it. I am waiting for the next step or plan to start. My daughter is still in the hospital and will stay until the triplets are born. The date they will be born, sometime between today and September 14. I am taking care of my granddaughter at her house. My granddaughter has school to attend. She will have her meals and daily schedule unchanged, at least until the triplets come home. Then everyone’s schedules and plans are going to change.

Making plans are good, as they give us direction and goals. When those plans have to change, does not mean we made a mistake in our planning. Maybe there was more to the plan, than we included. The extra time to be with my granddaughter taking care of her daily needs at this time allows us to make memories together. None of us can see into the future or down the road a few years. Spending time with her, might be a very important time period in her life.

amtolle

Fall is Upon Us

September is here and fall is not far behind. Fall the time of year this change preparing for winter. The trees change their color to golds and reds, as their leaves begin to die and fall, getting ready for winter. The birds fly south, some leave and others move in for the winter. Fall is a time of reflection as celebrations of All Souls Eve when we remember those who are gone, Thanksgiving with those who are around us recalling the blessings received. Fall is the time for preparing for winter if you are a sheep farmer, making sure there is enough hay and feed the animals will need.

This summer has flown through with exciting adventures with family and blessings to share and remember. It seems as I gain in years, the years get shorter. I have been preparing for a special event in September, the delivery of my youngest daughter’s triplets. I will leave my husband the responsibility of the sheep and animals, as well as himself when I go to my daughter’s on September 11. It is hard to leave my husband alone with the house and sheep. I like to make sure his laundry is done, food on the table at a set time, and food for his lunches ready for him to take in the morning. I know he is a grown man and able to take care of himself, but there is a part of me that will miss doing it for him. I do those things for him because I love him, not out of society prescribed duty or it is expected of me. I want to make sure he has his comforts and the things he needs because of love and care.

My staying at my daughter’s to care for my granddaughter is a gift of love and care. My daughter and her husband will be busy when the triplets are born. I will be there as a servant to assist in whatever needs to be done. While my daughter and the babies are in the hospital, I will be responsible for my granddaughter getting to school, checking on homework, and other household duties. I am looking forward to spending the one on one time with my granddaughter, a time to make special memories together. It will also be the first time she has been away from her parents. Although she knows this is going to happen, being able to maintain her regular schedule and routines will help her deal with the stress of her parents not being there.

Fall marks the time to get all the Christmas gifts completed for my grandchildren. This year I will be completing several of them while I am at my daughters. I will not have the duties of being a sheep farmer to keep me busy during the day, when my granddaughter is at school. I will have the gifts there to keep my hands and mind busy. I know my daughter loves me, but if I were to spring clean her house without her present would not put a smile on her face. I know my weakness, I have prepared things for my stay to keep my hands and mind occupied.

It is easy to do things for those we love. Helping others and bringing a smile, is my reward for the work I am doing. I know my daughter and her family appreciate this help being provided. I know my husband appreciates what I do for him. All things I do, I do because I love.

This fall marks the arrival of a long awaited blessing for the whole family, aunts, grandparents, cousins, nephews, nieces and others. We have been watching, praying for my daughter and three babies. Fall the babies will arrive.

amtolle

Photo by ZEG Photo on Pexels.com

Most Days

All my days start the same way, get up, cup of coffee and then dressed and out the door to do morning chores. Chores are feeding the animals, mostly sheep, two goats and five horses. While I am feeding those animals who will stay in pens all day hay, I am also filling water troughs with fresh water. In total the daily chores take about two hours. In the heat of summer, I will go out in the middle of the day to refill water troughs. Animals drink more water during the heat of summer than they do in winter.

July 2022 lambs

After morning chores are done I will start my other work. Other work is divided into two categories for me – house work and outside jobs. I am the cleaning person, the cook, bookkeeper and anything else that needs to be done. Outside jobs are usually associated with the animals, checking fences, repairing buildings or building fences and sheds, deworming, marking and weighing lambs. Outside jobs vary a lot, whatever needs done I need to work and get it done.

This year, I have decided to sell two horses. The horses need to be worked and ridden, as it has been years since they were ridden. This week I started the groundwork to be able to get in the saddle and ride. The groundwork is to remind them they were once trained to ride, and that is what we are going to do again. I wait until the horses have eaten there breakfast before starting to work with them.

One task is laundry I will start a load of laundry to wash in the morning, and dry the laundry in the evening hours. I wash in the morning when the temperature outside is not too hot, in order to save on electric energy. I dry in the evenings as the temperatures are dropping outside. In the winter, this helps to put heat in the house before we go to bed. Drying in the evenings, also helps to save on electricity.

There are many things during the day I do at certain times, in order to save on electricity. During the summer, we mostly cook outside on the grill, keeping the heat of cooking out of the house. In the winter, I will bake our bread instead of buying it, along with our meals. I have mastered using the BBQ grill for cooking casseroles, but not quit for baking bread. I am still working on that.

Most of my days are the same routine, morning chores, some cleaning of the house, working outside and when I take a break from outside to cool off, I work on an inside project.

My husband leaves for work at 5 am, and he returns about 4 pm. When he gets home we feed the dogs and do the evening chores of putting out hay and filling water troughs. It is in the evening I water my garden and different outside plants. Then I fix dinner, we eat, chill out watching a television show, and off to bed he goes at 8 pm. I stay up later, wash the dishes and work on the blogs and my novel. I will also work on projects provided I have enough light for what I am doing. Then off to bed I go.

Last year I removed a huge wooden deck, saving the lumber. We had a cement pad poured in the place of the deck. This year I have been working on constructing steps, so we can use the back door.

Most of my days are the same routine. There are times I have to doctor a sheep. And lambing times are always busy with little lambs being born. Most of the time I watch, not having to do anything to assist, just enjoying the process of a new life coming into the world. Am I in a rut? Perhaps, I am always busy working on something, and the projects are changing and different.

Some might consider my life boring as I am usually alone majority of the time working at home. I do not have weekend parties or visits from family often. There are not big goings on at the farm or in my life. Yet, I am happy in my place in life and what I do.

amtolle