Friday, April 17, 2015

Merlin doesn't like limitations...

Remember that newly electrified paddock I put Merlin into last night? Well, this morning I was out in the rain repairing the part he burst through so he could just stand under his favorite apple tree. Seems like a good balance to yesterday's love letter, no? As wet and frustrating as it was I had to appreciate the poetry. And it's mornings like this that make days like the one's I caught this week so creamy and good. How about you guys? Ever have a "perfect" homesteading moment and then something go textbook WRONG the next day?! I bet you guys have some stories to tell. Share them! I'll even mail a signed copy of one of my books (your choice) to the best story out there!

29 Comments:

Blogger Jamie J said...

The one I remember the most that is horse related was the time I was hosting my daughter's Girl Scout Troop for an evening campfire and somehow my mom's horse got out of the pasture and took off. The scouts learned a few bad words. The capture included a Jeep Wrangler, me nearly breaking my ankle stepping in a ground hog hole, my sister crawling on all fours trying to act "horse like" to get close to catch him and my brother woefully saying "Just get a gun and shoot hime we're never catching him". We did catch him (he was a former racehorse but he wasn't much good after about 1/8th of a mile) and while he was out he toured the downstairs of a house being built. I'm sure those people wondered my their were muddy hoofprints in their living room.

April 17, 2015 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger R'Eisen Shine Farm said...

Yesterday, I milked our does for the first time, after a successful kidding season with very little fanfare and a nice full jar of milk for our coffee. My wife had made it very clear that the milking is my responsibility, and I was *near* gloating at my success yesterday after preparing them on the milking stand for weeks. This morning, one doe crashed open the milk parlor door, breaking the locking mechanism the other kicked over the entire bucket of milk after I milked her. Then, off the stand, she broke the milk parlor door a second time to steal the grain from the other doe, causing the doe on the stand to attempt to leap off while in the head lock, kicking over the washing bucket. Needless to say, coffee is without much cream this morning and I'm humbled. Tomorrow is another day.

April 17, 2015 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger Coureton said...

Mine isn't so much a one day and the next thing, but it's definitely a perfect/wrong thing. I'd followed the schedule recommendations I'd seen for spring breeding for rabbits to breed for end of March. It was warm, and the weekend before the litters were due I got seeds and seedlings in the ground. The day the kits were born it snowed, warmed up to 50, and dropped to 10 in 24 hours. One of the hutch roofs burst a seam over a nest soaking a litter of kits. We saved 6 of 10 initially, then another pair died, then another two, then the last one.

The next day the radish and kale seeds sprouted.

April 17, 2015 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger Tanya T said...

I think I've mentioned, we board 2 horses. In the winter we put them in the barn at night which means mucking out the stables everyday. One weekend we sent the kids off to my mom's and got to work on the stalls, cleaned the chicken coop, swept out the barn - it was a good day. That evening we went out to give the horses their grain (we are trying to convince the owner they don't need this and how it affects their demeanor). We decided it was warm enough to leave them out for the night. We filled their buckets and I went out ahead of my husband with the buckets. What ensued was mass confusion. Danny is a huge horse and I have to try to keep him away from me when carrying to buckets of grain. I thought I was clear and he swung his head around and smashed me square in the face with his muzzle. He almost knocked me off my feet and he bruised my cheek. My husband was right there and pushed him back while I stood there in shock. I am pretty sure it was intentional - lessons learned all around.

April 17, 2015 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger dirtpatcheaven said...

I think mine is kinda sad but here goes:
Our second year on our homestead we had figured out our flood irrigation well enough to finally get water to our windbreak trees...only to flood over the top of our septic system until it rose up into the basement of our house. When that happened I had to start irrigating with hoses off of our well almost day and night. I dried up the well...twice because once is never enough and I was desperate. Now I was hauling water with buckets from the canal that is 200 feet from the nearest of our 500 trees. It was a great lesson about having the right infrastructure before planting a forest in the desert!

April 17, 2015 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger sewfuntosew11 said...

I have to say this is a true story, only the facts mam. Each year I prepare my three raised bed garden spots. Each are 5"X6" in size. I mix and turn and spread the dirt. I plant seeds and plants and wait and wait for the plants to grow, only to have four to six deer gobble it up! The okra blooms and begins to bear, they gobble it up! It grows again, blooms and produces, they know, they gobble it up! My tomatoes, ripe, red, juicy tomatoes, no luck, ate by a raccoon! I have proof, I set up a camera! This year, I mixed and turned and spread the dirt. Here they came, four, no six deer, one with twin fawn by her side. I think I will be home by 2:00pm from the farmers market.

April 17, 2015 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Erik said...

I don't have many farm-style stories as I haven't quite got there yet...the nearest I think I can come is when I finally got some nice-looking plants to grow in our 23-hours-of-shade yard in CT, only to come home the next day and see: *CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP!* Wish I had had some deer hunting skills...

April 17, 2015 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Candie W said...

We had been looking for property for years. Finally I drove up this gravel driveway where you couldn't even see the abandoned house from the street, squeezing between pine trees, and arrived at an opening where I saw the old barn, pond and little buildings that were in bad shape, but I knew had potential. I was in love. We put in a bid and there were 3 other interested parties. We lost to the first bidder. My daughter told me she was upset because it felt like home to her. My husband told me to start looking again. I said no its my home. Give me 3 months. He looked at me like I was nuts. Two weeks later we were told the first bidder backed out. We then lost to the second bidder. My husband said start looking. I said no its my home. He said but they've put a deposit down. I said I don't care. Few weeks later we were told the buyer backed out and lost the deposit. That left us and one other buyer. We put in our bid again. We were finally told we got it and we weren't sure how, but were told the other people kept offering more money and were mad as heck. I just looked at my husband and the realtor and said I told you it was my home. I was not being smart or light about this. I knew this is where I was suppose to be and soon we will be there. Don't ever stop dreaming. I'm no spring chicken, but I am as stubborn as a mule.

April 17, 2015 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger Carlos Rodriguez said...

the best was to finally put up the fencing to an acre garden to see the hens killing my herbs the next morning, having found the weak spot! and to have successfully bred the bunnies and separated them come to find out 2 males dont make babies!

April 17, 2015 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger 1122kiwi said...

This year I decided I wanted to get an incubator and hatch eggs myself and so I did. I placed 8 eggs in the incubator and in a few days I seen I had two with embryos and so we did the calendar thing and figured out the day of hatching...so we proceed to take a two day trip just days before the hatching due date and had a great time and so when we returned back home the first thing I did was check the incubator and seen an egg cracked and I thought immediately, Oh No a dead chicken, for the life of me I don't know why I would think that a dead chicken would have cracked and egg, duh, lol. Anyway I look around and seen a wad of something lying there and then I screamed to my husband THERES A CHICKEN!!! GET WATER!! I wanted water because I did not know how long it had been hatched and I was afraid of it dying of dehydration, good news is the little gal is fine and growing well and we named her Yoder she survived the holes in the incubator, poor thing..lol. The other fertile egg had a health issue and did not hatch on it's own and so I opened the egg to find that part of the organs was outside of the body cavity and the chick was not alive. I will say I learned a lot in a short time but loved it and will for sure hatch more eggs in my future.

April 17, 2015 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger Maria Crispell said...

Last year when my husband still had pigs, he had to go on a trip. He was all worried about whether I had enough firewood while he was gone, etc. I told him I can handle anything, as long as your stupid pigs don't get loose. Of course they did. Twice. This year when he went away, no big deal since no pigs, just my animals plus his heifer and turkeys. One day while he was gone, my Alpine buck got loose. No problem, I put him back in his pen and did a little pen reconfiguration. Didn't think much of it until my husband got home and realized that while the buck was loose he stripped Every Single Wire off the tractor....

April 17, 2015 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Nikoletje said...

My daughter has always loved horses & had ridden since she was 4. I had sat on one a couple of times as a kid along with 2 other girls & dawdled to a waterhole & back and been on a few trail rides. After a nasty fall my daughter lost confidence so in my late 30s I decided it was time to learn (in the hope it renewed her interest). I took lessons for 6 months then decided that wasn't enough & I wanted my own trusty steed. Within a week I found a paddock where I could agist within walking distance of my suburban home and then a week later I found my horse, a black standardbred called Witch. And so Witch moved in, we started to get to know each other & it was time for our first lesson together down at the local riding club. Witch is an ex-pacer so her gaits are 'unusual' to say the least. I was a beginner & so found it all a bit of a challenge. But the sun was shining, I was riding my horse I was like a cow girl & I had a smile from ear to ear. We were just about to call it a day when I noticed the round yard wall straight ahead, so I asked Witch to turn right. But she had other ideas & decided left was much better. And so we parted company. As I hit the sand I heard two cracks. Turns out I broke both bones in my right arm & one was sticking out. As they carted me off in the ambulance for surgery & a 4-day hospital 'holiday' I called to my instructor 'I'm getting back on that horse!'. 12 weeks later I was allowed to ride again. But just as we started to get our groove back she sliced her leg badly & it was another 12 weeks before we could ride. We have now moved to our own property & have had many more adventures since (including many Merlin-Huodini style escapes). My daughter is well & truly back on the horse also, which is why I started down this path in the first place. And so while this horse business can be fraught, expensive & down right dangerous, it also enriching & very character building. I wouldn't change our journey for the world 😊

April 17, 2015 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Kendra said...

We moved out to the mountains a few years ago and ended up renting a nice big lot in the country. Our landlord knew we were suburban folk and when we told him we were going to put in a garden he had tons of advice for us.....none of which we heeded. He kept saying that nothing was gonna grow for us the way we were doing it and laughed every time he stopped in to check on the garden. Well, the garden did grow thanks to all the straw mulch we used (we were in a semi arid climate at the time and weren't set up to use irrigation) and by the end of the summer our landlord was begging us for cherry tomatoes and any other garden produce that we were willing to share. Now he takes gardening advice from us and not the other way around.

April 18, 2015 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Lela Buck said...

My most memorable experience on the farm happened when I was younger on our family farm. My brother broke his leg playing football in school and couldn't milk the cow, Merry because of his cast. So my father had to milk her. He was not a milker, he ran the equipment and managed the fields. My brother told him that Merry wouldn't let him milk her if he didn't have the radio on. Well he found out the hard way. The first day milkings were a disaster. My dad was old school, kind of grumpy, not saying much kind of guy. The next morning he went to milk and said he would have milk when he came back and he wasn't going to play the radio. We all waited until he got almost to the barn and we followed him. Our milking stanchion was in the basement section of the barn, so we circled around to the hill side where the windows were that looked down into the basement section. We watched and waited. All of a sudden my father started humming this beautiful tune and then began to sing. He had such a wonderful voice. None of us including my mother knew he could sing and had never even heard him humming while he worked. It was the most beautiful song. I don't know what the song was to this day, but he was born and raised in Canada and he was singing it in French. We all listened to the song and then went back to the house before he finished. My mother made us all promise not to let him know we heard him. But none of us five kids did. We begged him to sing to us. It took a while but he finally started humming tunes, usually when he was cutting wood, and after that, occasionally on a cold winter night we would set around the cozy fire and he would get out his harmonica and play for us. After he passed, the only thing that was important to me was that harmonica, and I still have it today.

April 18, 2015 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger The Weekend Homesteader said...

I recently decided to move my rabbit does to a more colony setting versus the cages I've always kept them in. Things were going great and I was very happy with the change. At that time, I had three litters, a 4 week old litter of 9, a two week old litter for 9 and a 3 day old litter of 8. I went to check on everyone one day last week and found a black rat snake coiled around the nest of 3 day old kits. It ate four of them. I moved everyone back to cages for the moment until I can figure out how to make the housing snake-proof. You can read about it here: http://theweekendhomesteader.blogspot.com/

April 18, 2015 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

We had recently moved to a rural area and were setting up our new, big garden. My dad, having a green thumb was in charge and did 99.99% of the work being out in the garden long hours. On one morning, my mom and I were pitching in and my mother-in-law peeked out to check our progress. She saw my mom and me kneeled on the ground next to what she thought was my dad lying still in the garden. She contemplated calling 911 and came running out yelling. My mom and I looked up, confused. We were stuffing a life size scarecrow with hay. My frugal dad, as his piece de resistance, had constructed a scrap wood frame and clothed it with his old work shirt, jeans, gloves and even sneakers! It did look exactly like him except the face lol.

April 18, 2015 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Growing up most of our food came from the garden. It was a lot of work...a huge garden that as the oldest kid I had somehow been put in charge of most of the production. In the middle of the summer when the beans were almost ready for picking we all were out in the garden anticipating all the good things we would soon be eating and counting all the pumpkins and squash that would be filling the cellar all winter long. It all looked so wonderfully perfect. That evening a huge prairie storm came through with hail and high winds and a tornado that missed the house by barely a 1/4 of a mile. The garden was decimated, half the barn was blown down killing one of our young pigs...not cool. We replanted some things, but there wasn't much one could do with the remaining short growing season.

April 19, 2015 at 8:45 AM  
Blogger Laurie in Maine said...

We had worked all morning cutting and hauling wood for winter. About lunch time a freak thunder storm knocked out power...no cooking! Phone still worked so how about pizza? Half a mile from home I spot our run away chocolate lab. She must have broken the collar and escaped from where she had been hooked because she had run away earlier. Pizza will have to wait. I stopped and opened the jeep door; yell at her to get in right now!! She does. It's pouring again so now there's a soogy dog trying to get in the front seat. Our dog hated riding lately because of too many trips to the vet - where ouchy things happen. Geez. Maybe this isn't Jaz? Don't be silly! Looks just like her! But I'll take her home first. Closer we get to home I'm a little more uncertain. Wait here...scoot into the house where a cozy dog is curled up on the couch.
(I took it back!!)
My email became dognapper2@ ... for quite a few years afterwards.

April 19, 2015 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I was mowing the grass with a riding lawn mower. This is a chore I usually enjoy, as it is so nice to be outside in the sun, riding past the chickens and gardens. Riding past my newest chickens, I was thinking about how nice it has been to have so many eggs lately, when I hit a fallen branch that was hidden in tall grass and lost control. The mower swerved and hit a large doghouse, driving up the side of the doghouse and flipping over upside down....with me under it. I managed to get out from under it, with no serious injures, but it was definitely a low point for me!

April 19, 2015 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

The whole family was standing out in the back pasture watching Grandpa use the backhoe to excavate a grave site for our dearly departed dog. One of the young barn cats had followed the somber procession out the gate and had contented himself with winding around everyone’s legs, purring. Bored of our lack of attention he proceeded to stalk the fence line for vermin.
After several minutes one red faced, puffy eyed child started pointing furiously. “Loki has a mouse! Loki has a mouse!”
Then all the kids were shrieking and pointing. “Don’t let him kill it! Save it! Save it!”
Rolling my eyes I walked over and scooped the black kitten into my arms. The disgruntled cat wriggled and squirmed as he watched his prize bound through the grass and into the shade of the old elm tree.
Everyone was intent on the pathetic little mouse’s progress, so nobody saw the sleek kestrel swooping in until it was too late.
Not a banner day at the farm.

April 20, 2015 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Jen B-K said...

Well, now...I have lots of perfect homesteading days and generally when I get too smug about it I'll have one of those "what not to do" days. This past kidding season, I was congratulating myself on getting everyone through the last horrible cold snap. I was feeling like the queen of the farmers....seven healthy kids, five girls!! Three healthy does, the pastures were looking good and the sun was shining. I was getting my garden in and the chickens had picked up production with the longer days. After the time change, I shifted my schedule going out to do some chores before dinner. It was on one of these forays to the barn that the trouble started.

We have a first freshener named Ms. Scarlett. A large Nubian who weighs just about what I do. For the days after she kidded I would take her to the milk stand to eat dinner, just for practice. But for a couple of days she had balked and refused to even approach the stand. That sunny, smug afternoon I went out to find that she had broken off the top of one horn and blood was coursing down her face. We've dealt with busted horns before and I was confident I could clean it, inspect it, and stop the blood. Too confident, perhaps.

Normally, I would lead an injured goat to the stand, doing the work alone I find the stand a great help, but I knew Ms. Scarlett was going to balk and our weights being equal, I also knew she wasn't getting up there.

Despite my knowledge to the contrary, I was still confident I could take care of this horn in the stall. I had done this before, no problem. Staunch the blood, no problem. Clean the wound with betadine, no problem. Spray it with antiseptic....almost done.....and one toss of the head and she catches me in the mouth with the unbroken horn, shattering my front tooth...on a Friday when no dentist is at work!

Late in the night as I mulled over the whole thing, I realized that (of course) this wouldn't have happened if I had put her on the stand. I woke a few hours later to realized it was a ladder. A blue ladder leaning up where it shouldn't be. A blue ladder just in front of the milk stand....and perhaps, just perhaps my smug-I-can-handle-this attitude that turned me into a temporary hillbilly!

April 20, 2015 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger crashdown said...

Who won this?

April 21, 2015 at 1:08 AM  
Blogger Serenity said...

It rained a lot when my Easter egger rooster Big Daddy was a young - im walking across the muddy yard with bale of hay trying to stay up right - well he was right behind me when he decided to crow for the first time. Startled me so bad I slid all over the place trying to stay up right - by the time I came to a stop I was so tickled I thought I was going to wet my pants -But the hay never hit the ground.

April 21, 2015 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Contest is still going!

April 21, 2015 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Justin Baker said...

I think I figured out the problem! Anywho... My story is more of a bit of "Murphy's Law" in action. It seems, much to my chagrin, I have been nicknamed the 'mower monster'. Even though it is only April, I have, through no fault of my own, gone through two riding lawnmowers, one push mower, and two string trimmers! And it is still only April!!! One riding lawnmower engine seized up and the other was destroyed when my uncle used it to "bale hay"... of course the deck didn't drop to the ground until three minutes after I started using it! The push mower for some reason cannot start. One string trimmer I bought new last year had loose gears and ended up sheering a cog, and the quick replacement I bought on Ebay to cover for the other while it was away at craftsman (yea warranties!) had gunk in the fuel lines and it's engine went caput! Did I mention it was still only April!

April 22, 2015 at 1:52 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Not a great story...but I have the worst time with my riding lawn mower. Every year it goes in the shop with a flat tire! last fall I was in a hurry to do a final mow, and ran over chickenwire that I had left out. So, 2 hours later I am finally done cutting it out from the blades:( ANd the whole time I was holding my tongue as my then 5 year old was with me! AARGH!

April 23, 2015 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Jenna Barnfield said...

My most memorable birthday present! ...... It only lasted a week....

When I was about tens years old my brother Heath surprised me with my favourite kind of present, animals! These animals were two llamas that my brother had picked up for cheap. Heath pulls into the yard with the stock trailer, "happy birthday Brat" he says. Excited, I pull open the door to see two llamas starring at me. "Thanks Heath!" At this point I'm smiling from ear to ear. My farther was politely cursing in the background.

I ran and grabbed two leads and two mini foal halters to put on the llamas so I could get a good walk around outside. I willingly climbed into the trailer as my brother stood at the door. I got a halter and lead on one llama with such ease. Then I went to put the halter on the second llama..... I placed my arm around his neck and he steped slightly forward making my arm put a touch more pressure against the front of his neck. It was at this point I heard a wired rumble sound and shortly after that I felt a lump going up his throat.
"Uhhhh, Heath..... I think this llama is going to sp...." (Trailer door closes locking me in with the llamas)
"Just get the halter on Brat." Says my brother

I moved the halter close to his face and that's when he let loose his saved ball of compact grass and stomache acid. That 'spit' slammed against the stock trailer window, it echoed like a gun shot. After that my brother realized I wasn't joking, quickly he hoped into the trailer and held the llamas ears so he could aim the fallowing spits as I proceeded putting on the halter.
"I told you he was going to spit" I said to my brother.

Halters on, check! Now it was time to let these two llamas out of the trailer. Well, once the door opened them two hit the end of their lead ripping them from my hand, cleared the fence and booked it down the road. Gone!

Though my brother, father, mother and I were all stunded at how tough a llama actually was all of us jumped into action. Dad ran for the truck mom and I ran for the lairiets my brother ran for the quad.

Now picture this, two llamas trucking down the gravel road at 40km (24mile) a pick up following at their side and a quad trying to cut them off, while a non roaper pathetically tries to roap a moving target, all the while these llama run like cartoon characters with their long necks and tiny head swaying one direction then their body quickly darting the other.

After two miles of chase these creatures were captured and penned! And we people were drinking a much needed ice tea and listening to my brother tell us that them two llama wore out four working cattle horses while the previous owners tried to catch them from their heard of cattle.

Needless to say this was not the only adventure with these two llamas. Throughout the week, they ended up traveling 2miles west of my parent then 4miles east of my parents, cleared a 10 foot coral and put our herd of cattle through the fence three times. Thier fait is for another time.

But that was my most memorable birthday present!

April 23, 2015 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Jenna Barnfield said...

My most memorable birthday present! ...... It only lasted a week....

When I was about tens years old my brother Heath surprised me with my favourite kind of present, animals! These animals were two llamas that my brother had picked up for cheap. Heath pulls into the yard with the stock trailer, "happy birthday Brat" he says. Excited, I pull open the door to see two llamas starring at me. "Thanks Heath!" At this point I'm smiling from ear to ear. My farther was politely cursing in the background.

I ran and grabbed two leads and two mini foal halters to put on the llamas so I could get a good walk around outside. I willingly climbed into the trailer as my brother stood at the door. I got a halter and lead on one llama with such ease. Then I went to put the halter on the second llama..... I placed my arm around his neck and he steped slightly forward making my arm put a touch more pressure against the front of his neck. It was at this point I heard a wired rumble sound and shortly after that I felt a lump going up his throat.
"Uhhhh, Heath..... I think this llama is going to sp...." (Trailer door closes locking me in with the llamas)
"Just get the halter on Brat." Says my brother

I moved the halter close to his face and that's when he let loose his saved ball of compact grass and stomache acid. That 'spit' slammed against the stock trailer window, it echoed like a gun shot. After that my brother realized I wasn't joking, quickly he hoped into the trailer and held the llamas ears so he could aim the fallowing spits as I proceeded putting on the halter.
"I told you he was going to spit" I said to my brother.

Halters on, check! Now it was time to let these two llamas out of the trailer. Well, once the door opened them two hit the end of their lead ripping them from my hand, cleared the fence and booked it down the road. Gone!

Though my brother, father, mother and I were all stunded at how tough a llama actually was all of us jumped into action. Dad ran for the truck mom and I ran for the lairiets my brother ran for the quad.

Now picture this, two llamas trucking down the gravel road at 40km (24mile) a pick up following at their side and a quad trying to cut them off, while a non roaper pathetically tries to roap a moving target, all the while these llama run like cartoon characters with their long necks and tiny head swaying one direction then their body quickly darting the other.

After two miles of chase these creatures were captured and penned! And we people were drinking a much needed ice tea and listening to my brother tell us that them two llama wore out four working cattle horses while the previous owners tried to catch them from their heard of cattle.

Needless to say this was not the only adventure with these two llamas. Throughout the week, they ended up traveling 2miles west of my parent then 4miles east of my parents, cleared a 10 foot coral and put our herd of cattle through the fence three times. Thier fait is for another time.

But that was my most memorable birthday present!

April 23, 2015 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Meg Turley said...

I am still living in the suburbs waiting for my homestead, but while I wait I have started building a beautiful garden to grow my own veggies. We started with 2 beds, and this year we have gone up to 6! My city won't let us keep chickens (yet) so until then it will be just us, the kids and the dogs. One day I will get my homestead and until then I can just dream and grow! :)

April 23, 2015 at 1:28 PM  

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