The late Andy Rooney said that a writer’s job is to tell the truth. Tell the truth he did; I loved his commentaries. That’s what I try to do when I write: tell the truth. I don’t sugar-coat what I say, nor do I try to make everything that I write seem like pink-clouded success stories. Sure, we have our successes, but much of our lives are a struggle.
I read other on-line blogs, many of them farm related, sometimes I still read the blogs of people who trial Border Collies, and it’s all the same old thing. Pictures of vegetables, canned vegetables, food, pastures, Border Collies working, etc. with all sorts of success stories and useful information, but is it all really that good? How is it that people can afford to still do the things that they do? I guess if you think about the unemployment numbers, close to 10 percent here in North Carolina, that means only 10 percent of the population is unemployed, but how many more are under employed? Maybe those people are not saying too much; it’s only those people who are still at decent income levels.
It really sucks being poor. Sunday morning, I wrote the woman I have been riding with on Sundays and told her that I wasn’t going to be able to go to South Mountain (or anywhere else) until Wally and I are able to build our savings account back up to a point where I feel like we have enough money in there to pay for truck repairs. This was completely my decision, Wally told me to go. He doesn’t worry about paying for truck repairs like I do. I got particularly depressed when I saw our immediate neighbors heading out for a ride pulling their new horse trailer with their almost new Toyota truck following behind another lady that lives nearby with her expensive trailer and truck. The girl I have been riding with went to South Mountain on her own and wrote to tell me how good a ride she had. Geez, thanks. She’s pulling a trailer worth close to $20,000 and if her vehicle breaks, her husband, who is a mechanic, fixes it.
It seems like you really need to be well off to have horses, or at least to have horses and be able to afford to do anything with them. Of course, I can ride around here and I should do so, but Sudi gives me a bad time riding around here. I can ride Ace though and that’s what I should do today, but damn, riding around here is boring and risky due to it being hunting season. People are not supposed to be hunting around here, but red necks will be red necks and many of them can’t read no trespassing signs.
So I stayed home and helped Wally make nest boxes. We used wood that he got for free from his work place. The wood is just pressed board so the nest boxes are not great, but they’ll do for now. I did cook a fantastic supper of rabbit with Sicilian flavors. I served it with some creamy polenta. It was so, so, so good. We had a couple of people interested in buying rabbit from us, but I’ve decided to not sell any more for now. Hopefully our rabbits will start breeding like rabbits! I’ll bet none of the people I mentioned above who went riding had such a wonderful supper. At least we eat good.
Gwen is due to come back into heat again today or tomorrow. It would be awfully nice if she did not come back into heat, but I expect she will. If she does come into heat, I’ll bring CB up from the pasture and leave him with her. He hasn’t really grown much so if he was too small to breed her last month, he’ll be too small this month. He’s growing wide, not tall. He looks more like a beef-breed bull than a Jersey bull.
On Saturday I drove to a feed mill in Statesville to pick up rabbit food. Their price on rabbit food is much lower than around here and I planned to buy ten bags. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, they only had three bags left. It wasn’t a totally wasted trip because I got ten pounds of flax seed to add to the horses’ food. I was almost afraid to drive Yoda, but he seems to be completely fixed. Wally stopped and got another round bale of hay on his way home from work and we put it in the hay house. I’ll flake off hay and bring it out to the cows and horses using the wagon and ATV. While I would like to be able to have hay available to them 24/7, we can’t afford the waste. I did some research on building round bale feeders, but as soft as that hay is, no matter what kind of feeder we build, they are going to waste it. Soon there will only be one cow and two horses in the pasture so they won’t eat as much as they are now. Once Gwen gets bred, we’ll probably sell CB. That will be a good chunk of change to build the savings account back up. I’d sell him now, but he’ll let us know when Gwen is in standing heat, something we’ll need to know if we are going to AI her. I’m still hoping he’ll be able to get the deed done, if he hasn’t done so already. We’ll likely need to make sure we have another young bull around for her next breeding. Raising calves has become quite lucrative for us. Raised on real milk, the calves grow off really, really nice and right now, cow prices are high.
I decided not to process roosters today. The roosters that I have are not worth the amount of work and mess involved in processing them; given that they are mixed laying breed birds, there’s just no meat on them. I am quite sure we will raise off some true meat chickens early next year and they’ll be worth processing. Skinny, tough roosters are not. Not sure what I’m going to do with them at this point. I really wish the dogs and cats would eat them, but they won’t.
Here it is 6:30 and it’s light enough outside to do my chores. I don’t like the time change, but it is nice having it lighter earlier.
Until later …