Sweet Caroline’s Spring Run

“Sweet Care-wa-wine!” and Little Miss

I’ve got the baby in the high chair feeding him his second lunch when the phone rings.

“Hey, uh, can you come out here for a minute?”

It was Mike and it seems a fair amount of stories start this way on the farm. So I moved Boy 2 to his play seat so he won’t get into anything while I’m out, throw my boots on, grab some gloves and run out the door.

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Goat Poop is Not Raisins

I turned around just in time to see the Little Boy slide out of the wheel barrow, barefoot on the gravel driveway. The wheel barrow was clean according the wheel barrow standards; it hadn’t carried manure in a few months and had been used elsewhere in the meantime. His jeans would need to be removed before he goes into the house, mud dried between his fingers and dirt from ear to ear. “Thank God we are able to raise our children out here.” I thought as I turned back to the Little Miss who was sitting on the tractor. She’s all about cows, tractors and baby dolls right now. There she was clothes speckled with dried mud from the duck pen, sand in her ponytail that was already falling apart (again) and a face that was looks like she was eating dirt not too long ago.

I know it’s crazy to be thankful for dirt behind the ears but we are. Did you know that most people forget to wash behind their ears? Not at our house! Our kids are very involved with our outdoor work. It starts with the baby carrier in the stroller and once they can walk they are on our heels… or somewhere close by. They are always encouraged to help even when their helping is not so helpful. I’m already talking up how much fun it is to stack square bales on the hay wagon in July. They are so excited to be big enough to help with that! Yes!! They really do enjoy helping with any task at hand. Especially tasks that require a hose and/or water, the ones that can get really messy. The trick is to keep them busy allowing them to explore but not too much (if that’s possible).

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Tales of the Pregnant Farmer: The Gloves Are On Top

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Baby

All the due dates had past and I was thoroughly annoyed that baby was late as well as being incredibly uncomfortable. By chance the midwives were in town and said they would stop up and check on baby and I. Molly offered some herbs that were known to get labor going quickly. It didn’t take me long to decide that “yes, I would love to give them a try.” Black and blue cohash thinned down with some others. With the herbs came a strict warning that I was to let them know if anything happened because they are super potent and work quickly and I work quickly anyways as we found out with the Little Miss.  

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Tales of the Pregnant Farmer: Nesting Theory

When asked when I’m due my usual response is “sometime between now and the county fair.” This is sometimes taken as sarcasm, unfortunately I’m serious. This time around I was given four due dates depending on who I talked to. An average “safe delivery” time can be two weeks before or after the due date, which means I have/had about eight weeks of “any day now”. So the no “real” due date answer seems to shock and/or annoy the person asking when. Hmm. How about Mama? Think about how annoying it is to politely answer that for eight weeks or longer?! Not to mention the weeks of comments of “how big you’re getting!” (that’s not a compliment no matter how you try.) The only acceptable thing to say about a pregnant ladies size is “you look great!” FYI.

All that complaining aside, life doesn’t stop because of it. I still mow the lawn each week and do what I can to help with yard work, gardening and so on. It takes a lot longer to get anything done, but it does get done. In an attempt to get this baby out I thought I’d give “nesting” a try. Pretty sure I didn’t do much for nesting with the other two. I didn’t really have time, nor did I slow down as much as I have this time. I washed the baby clothes the last time I had everything dug out of the kid’s closet to put away the out grown and get the next box of hand-me-downs. The house is picked up… I wouldn’t say clean, but picked up. Wash the floors during nap and by the next snack time they’re sticky.

Nesting it is. It was worth a try anyways.

The ducks really only need enough water to dunk their heads but they make such a mess splashing and end up wasting all their drinking water doing so. I had put a rubber feed dish in the run to give them something a little more to splash in. It worked… kinda. They emptied that and the drinking water. The days are warming up considerably and if I want this year’s chicks (who live with the ducks right now) to have water the ducks needed something more again. I think.

When they were in the house we had them in a small kiddie pool. The kids loved it. It was fun but it didn’t take long for them to outgrow the space and make the house smell like a chicken coop. It was time for them to move out. After the flock was in the coop the pool went outside to be stored until the next batch of chicks would grace the kitchen.

Well, my “nesting mother duck” came out and those ducks needed a pond of sorts. I dug out the pool, hauled it to the outside run and scrubbed it out quite nicely… I’m not sure why. It stayed clean about as long as a freshly washed kitchen floor. A short piece of fence post scrap was set by the edge in case someone needed a step in and I began filling the “pond”. While I was watching my handy work fill, Mike brought over the four-wheeler and wagon so I could get the coop cleaned too. I’m not sure what he thought when he saw my project but he didn’t object at least.

Happy Ducks
Happy Ducks

“I’m going to go up to Erica Lane and meet Uncle Greg in a bit. I’ll be back in after while.” Mike headed out of the run. By that time I had just about finished cleaning the mud out of the waterer. As I went to leave the pen and shut off the water I had a little bit of an issue… He locked me in.

Yep.

Stuck.

The hook and eye lock on the outside was too low for me to reach over and unhook. I’d like to think I could still fit through the turkey door in the other pen but once again that wouldn’t do much good because their door was closed with a hook and eye inside the feed room. The idea of trying to climb over the fence…well even I knew that wasn’t going to happen today. The landing might have knocked the baby loose which would’ve been helpful I guess. Luck was on my side this time. I remembered I had my phone with me because I didn’t want to miss my Uncle’s call.

“Hello?”

“Hi. I promise I won’t leave the yard if you let me out of the duck pen!”

“What?”

“Please? You locked me in when you left.”

(Short silence. Then laughter.) “I’ll be right over.”

Only on our farm would mama get locked in the duck pen on the 4th of July.

Once allowed out, I got the whole coop cleaned quite nicely. The ducks were swimming in the new pond. The Ladies were happy with their fresh bedding and watermelon rinds. The nesting boxes are all cleaned and ready for fresh eggs. Baby’s still not here… So much for the “nesting” theory.

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Tales of the Pregnant Farmer is Back!

I’m happy to announce that Tales of the Pregnant Farmer will be starting again. The morning I got two positive tests, yes two, I didn’t believe the first, I was out catching chickens. Starting this pregnancy off right, again!

Here’s weeks leading up to now…

Chores were done in the usual, high class fashion, at 5 am that morning. My best bedhead, bath robe, barn coat and boots. Classy! There was nothing out of the ordinary with that morning’s routine other than I had to catch 3-4 chickens to bring to town to be sold before work. I must say my chicken catching skills have greatly improved since last fall. It didn’t take too long to have the ladies in the crate and ready for town.

A few days later…

I’m not going to claim pregnancy brain as of yet, even though most days I think I’ve lost my memory and mind when our oldest came along, I’m holding out hope anyway. I was having a usual day at work, nothing exciting to speak of, when my husband called.

“Did you use the back door this morning?”

“Probably? I assume so. I don’t remember I guess.” (I did remember later, yes I went out on the porch to get a trellis for a plant that was drooping.)

“The door was wide open. Did you leave the dogs out?”

“Yes, the two big ones.”

Apparently they were all outside and the cat who lives in the barn had ventured into the house. He wasn’t in there when Mike arrived, but the evidence was stuck to his foot. The little fella must have really been snooping, because when he was found outside he was attached to a sticky mouse trap. Better than a snap trap I guess.

So after we got all that figured out and gave a second thought to the furnace that was most likely running all morning. I hung up and continued working. Not too long after the phone rang again.

“You must have been sleep walking this morning; the gate was open in the barn too.”

“Oh for heaven’s sake!”

The cows were out in the corral and if any of them would have wandered that direction it would have been the boys and they would have just hung out and ate hay off the stack. Thank goodness.

The little boy was a breeze. The little Miss was a physical challenge between chores and dress (the Christmas party incident). Number three could be quite a doozey at this rate!

 

 

 

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