I will live! Those are profound words for 2017. Theoretically, I do realize that pneumonia is bad but never having had it I had no personal reference. It is horrible. Once I got to the point I could breathe I figured it would be almost over. I was wrong, this crap is going to take a while to get over. I am getting sick of taking it easy.
On Friday I attempted to burn weeds. It was too wet. I got nowhere. I did spread out the last of the large 1.5 inch gravel. The mistress did all the work, I just had to direct her. I even did all the chores on Friday. I was feeling pretty good so on Saturday I decided to ramp it up and do more.
Actually, I was scheduled to work but they called me and put me on call so I jumped on the mistress and we drove around to the back hillside. When the weather hovers at freezing it limits what I can do outside but it was 38 F so the ground was thawed out and workable. When there is nothing else to do and the weather is perfect I like to work on the rock wall. If the weather is too nice then I can fence or burn weeds or do something else. The rock wall requires the weather to be just good enough to not do anything else. So “perfect” for the rock wall means not good enough for anything else.
The last time I took the mistress, my John Deere tractor, to do rock wall work we almost went off the wall and into the dry creek bed. It was sloppy muddy just like yesterday. I decided to flatten out a space on the hillside of the gate so I could maneuver easier. I had forgotten that I would actually have to place big rocks in the bucket and work on building the wall higher. So every 10-15 minutes I would have go get off the tractor and move rocks and keep stacking them onto the wall. My real goal was to get some dirt behind the rock wall so it didn’t fall down. I also managed to flatten out the approach so the mistress didn’t feel the need to drop us off the wall. I didn’t slip toward a certain ER visit once. Which is good because I don’t have my Lifeflight membership decals attached to the mistress yet. She needs a good hosing down and paint touch up first. I spent three hours outside and finally quit as the temperature dropped into the freezing zone.
I need quite a bit more dirt to level off the ground. My goal is to put in 40 hours of work on the wall every year. I will get there eventually.
I was exhausted! I could not believe how tired I was after three hours of intermittent labor. I went inside took my second shower of the day and promptly laid down on the couch. I have a few more weeks of recovery it appears. I slept for 13 hours last night and have just laid around all day today.
One of our cows just had a calf on Monday. I have still not seen the baby yet but several other people have. I am not sure what gender it is. Annmarie said it’s all brown but it is not a keeper. It’s from one of our bull’s daughters so we will be selling it for food. I would like another one so we could sell them this summer as a pair for someone else to raise up. It just makes it easier to not have to keep the bull away.
Annmarie has been gone all week in Berkeley going to school so I have been alone. Some men would like us to think that being a bachelor is a wondrous thing, but there is a reason that married men statistically live longer.
I usually get up at 0430 and head to work or a couple of days a week the gym. I did still get up at 0430 but by the time I finished all the chores I only made it to work before 0700 twice. Also, I cook too much food. I had planned four dinners. I cooked one and there are still leftovers in the fridge. I did eat more fruit than normal and had a vegetable with each meal.
Annmarie had a stupid lamb get its head stuck under a feeder a couple weeks ago. I went out one evening and there is a black and white lamb with its head stuck under the feeder. It looked if he would turn his head sideways he could just pull it out. No go. I tried turning his body 90 degrees in the hopes his head would follow. No go. I raised up the feeder and backed away he finally figured it out on his own.
Once I got back from work there is another hour of outside chores. Normally this is not such a big deal but we had single digit temperatures and my fingers kept going numb. Did I mention it just kept snowing?
On the third day I tried to take a shower and there was no hot water. This is odd as we have a brand new tankless propane water heater. I looked at our free standing stove and it was off. I got dressed and went out and took a picture of the tank gauge, zero! No propane. When I left there were four small electric heaters blowing on water pipes and it was 60F inside. I had placed a call at 0600 to the emergency fill message phone. At 1000, I talked to a nice lady on the phone and said I was out of propane and it was 5F outside. She assured me they would be on it. I came home that evening and there was no propane. It was 58F inside but I wasn’t feeling good so I tossed a couple more blankets on the bed and was asleep by 2030.
I woke up to a noticeable chill in the air while feeling worse than I had when I went to bed. It was 43F inside!! I dressed quickly and left the house quicker. I did move one heater from the downstairs hallway to the breeze porch. I didn’t want my tropical plants to freeze. I called again at 0830. I was nice but more insistent about propane. We have a 500 gallon tank that gets filled 80% (all tanks have to have expansion room). That is still 400 gallons at $1.55 gallon my cost. I came home and dropped off bird food at my mother in laws and she tells me she had to stop the propane guy from leaving. He had not filled our tank! He had never been here before and did not know we built them a gate in the fence and a bridge so it was a straight pull of the hose down a hill to get to our tank. He thought we needed to move our cars and his hose was too short. Thankfully he did fill it. I had to reset all the furnaces so they would start back up.
It was a normal temperature in the house the next morning. I felt worse.
I was supposed to go pickup Annmarie in tricities at 1840 on Saturday . I felt so bad I let Sarah drive her mom’s car to tricities. I slept on the couch last night. I get a serious “man cold mentality” when I get ill. It makes Annmarie crazy. I told her last night her voice felt like spikes being driven into my head. Not one of my finer spousal moments. I went to the walk in clinic today. I have pneumonia. It’s Sunday and my pharmacy was closed so I get to have drugs tomorrow. Yeah. I am going to be doing a lot of sleeping and coughing.
The dial is on zero.
These are the financials for the first nine months of 2016. They should all be going up as the weather was beautiful and the chickens can free range this entire summer period. On average I had 24.6 laying hens (0.3 decrease, I am down to 23 hens) giving me 8.2 eggs/day(decrease 0.2 eggs/day) for a productivity rate of 33% (1% increase). I am going to blame some of this lousy productivity rate on piss poor egg collection. I would go days without collecting eggs and the chickens would step on them and break them. I also had 2 or 3 hens laying out in the barn and I missed collecting most of those eggs just because I could not find them! I am feeding on average 155.6# chicken feed/month(decrease 2.7 #/month) for a grand total of 1400# this year already (450# increase). My monthly feed bill is $36.86/month (decrease $0.78/month). My feed costs are $1.94/doz (decrease of $0.03/doz)with my total cost of production at $2.16/doz (decrease of $0.14/doz). My chickens are consuming 0.63 lbs food/egg produced (decrease 0.01lbs/egg), spring is here and gone with chickens free ranging for all they are worth and their owner doing a lousy job of egg collecting. Did I mention that the child used to have to go get eggs most of the time also? It is costing me $0.15/egg (no change) in feed. I have collected 1491 eggs to date (increase in 744 eggs). My total feed costs are $331.73 (increase of $105.92) and my extra expenses are $0. I currently am profiting $142.97 (increase of $106.08) for the year! After much discussion it was deemed that I should endeavor to collect eggs on a daily basis. I will work on this.
These are the financials for the first six months of 2016. On average I had 24.9 laying hens (0.5 decrease) giving me 8.4 eggs/day(increase 1.6 eggs/day) for a productivity rate of 32% (7% increase). I am feeding on average 158.3# chicken feed/month(decrease 24.7 #/month) for a grand total of 950# this year already (400# increase). My monthly feed bill is $37.64/month (decrease $6.32/month). My feed costs are $1.97/doz (decrease of $0.71/doz)with my total cost of production at $2.30/doz (decrease of $0.38/doz), this was from having to buy bedding for the chicken coop. My chickens are consuming 0.64 lbs food/egg produced (decrease 0.26lbs/egg), spring is here and gone with chickens free ranging for all they are worth. It is costing me $0.15/egg ($0.07/egg decrease) in feed. I have collected 1491 eggs to date (increase in 896 eggs). My total feed costs are $225.81 (increase of $93.92) and my extra expenses are $41.30 for bedding. I currently am profiting $36.89 for the year! I am in the black finally.
I am a little behind on the chicken financials. Now that the child is gone from the house I have lost my data entry person. So now I have to do it. This has led to some serious procrastination. In my defense, our company was down and out of the picture for almost two months before we got a new one, and I am still learning how to use a Mac computer. It is different and not quite like making my ipad work. I am now entering data for the entire year of 2016 but will stop every quarter so we can get a cumulative look at the chicken financials. Everyone loves the chicken report!!
These are the financials for the first three months of 2016. On average I had 25.4 laying hens giving me 6.6 eggs/day for a productivity rate of 25%. I am feeding on average 183# chicken feed/month for a grand total of 550# this year already. My monthly feed bill is $43.96/month. My feed costs are $2.68/doz with my total cost of production at $2.68/doz. My chickens are consuming 0.92 lbs food/egg produced and it is costing me $0.22/egg in feed. I have collected 595 eggs to date. My total feed costs are $131.89 and my extra expenses are $0. I currently am losing $43.89.
Losing money is never a good thing but it is winter and I usually don’t break even in the winter. It will get better when the chickens can free range and increase their productivity.