Score of decade!

This week has been a doozy. I ended up in the ER last week on Thursday night thinking I might have a pulmonary embolus from Covid. I was day 18 out from symptoms and had not seen a doctor or taken any meds other than OTC and one amino acid infusion. The chest pain was getting so bad, it felt like someone had a hose clamp around my chest and occasionally they would just tighten it a little more. Luckily, my chest X-ray was clear, no secondary pneumonia and my lab work was all good and no extra blood clotting was occurring. My EKG was its normal abnormal that I have had for 30 years. This caused me to reevaluate my need for a NSAID once a day. I am now taking anti-inflammatory medication three times a day. I went home and slept, rested, napped and laid around for three days and then went back to work on Monday, worked half day at work and home the next day and on Wednesday (day 24) by 1400 I was starting to get dizzy. Almost passed out a few times when I bent over. I called my daughter for a ride home at the end of the day. You have to be careful to not fall over when you work in the ER, they were all giving me a side look waiting for me to go down to pounce on me. Annmarie and work has been telling me to take it easy. I have cut back dramatically and keep moving more work from home. It just cuts down the amount of walking I do and that makes a huge difference. I am still getting headaches with any amount of overexertion and I still get short of breath very easily. This is not just going to go away. I have not gotten dizzy since Wednesday. I have been careful to not bend over a lot but it was probably just a new side effect. My blood oxygen levels are staying up where they need to be but exertion just makes me short of breath. All of this means that Annmarie and now Sarah are doing the outside chores. I have resigned myself to staying inside for now and doing what I can. I have been doing the dishes and I even cleaned the bathroom and mopped the floors and keep vacuuming up the grease bugs that keep invading the house every time the outside temperature gets to 50 degrees F. I am definitely using a lot of bug spray on the outside of the house in the spring and summer to see if I cannot cut down on the bug invasion.

While I was lounging around last weekend I was looking at the online classifieds and spotted a manure spreader. Now I have wanted a manure spreader for a while as we have lots of manure and I have huge piles in the barn lot. The problem is they are very expensive. So I have been on the lookout for a used one that works, I found one this summer/fall and have been working on it. It has a frozen bearing in the upper portion. I have managed to remove the pin after bending several tools and now need to pull the gear off of the shaft. This has dropped in priority but on Sunday I spotted the find of a lifetime, the exact same manure spreader for sale!! I messaged them and went on Monday after work and picked up the spreader!! Now I can use the parts from one to fix the other and I should be able to go another 10 years with parts on hand, a total win for me.

We have decided to feed the outside birds out our back kitchen window. This means every morning we are greeted by the birds flitting around and eating. I have gotten used to the magpies coming in every morning and finishing off the back porch cat food. There are about four of them that do it every morning. I spotted three pigeons out our front window sitting on top of the grain bins. Their numbers are dwindling slowly but the invasive ringneck doves are really starting to take over. There are about 10 that are now living on the property and they are starting to push the mourning doves away from the feeders. I am going to have to work on that problem soon if they keep multiplying. Our Quail are doing amazing this year! It is the one bird we don’t allow anyone to shoot on the property. There are at least 44 still alive from this summer’s hatches. It will be amazing if we get a decent spring and all of them can have 3-5 babies that survive. I even spotted the covey of Hungarian partridges. There were only 6 of them and they would not hold still for a picture. I spot them once to twice a year. They are pretty elusive.

  • Lamb update
  • 24 lambs born
  • 15 ewes delivered
  • 19 pregnant ewes(maybe)
  • 6 single lambs
  • 9 twin lambs
  • 1 bummer lamb
  • 23 lambs on the farm
  • 160% birthing rate
  • 153% production rate (goal >150%)
  • 100% survival rate at birth
  • 100% survival rate at 2 weeks (18/18)

We had twin lambs born on Christmas morning. The are super healthy and the ewe is very attentive. She is such a good mother that we are going to flag the female lamb as a keeper to breed in the future.

Sometimes it is all about the little things

I keep wanting to be more timely with the blog.  I am learning that after working all day on the farm I am tired and don’t have the gumption to sit down and write.  Also, Annmarie tells me when I do write something at that time it is very dry and factual because I am too tired to be animated.  I actually agree with this statement so I have taken to making notes so I can remember what was accomplished and can sit down and write it all out when I am not exhausted.  I had to work at the paying job on last Friday so the only thing I managed to accomplish was ordering the extra battery cable and a charging control switch so I can mount a large marine battery under the driver’s seat of the side by side and run two batteries.  I already have the trickle charger on it and we just purchased another new battery as the other new one was destroyed and would not hold a charge any longer.

Saturday morning Annmarie wanted to go up and check on the cows.  She swore that the green tag cow was bursting at the seams pregnant.  We went up first thing in the side by side.  The side by side needs a tuneup bad!  The new battery is nice and the second battery will be nicer.  The far upper gate was off its hinge and open.  The cows were all still in the correct field but Annmarie was convinced the cow had a calf.  We drove back and forth over the entire upper field to make sure there was no calf.  I do not believe she was pregnant but sometimes its just better to listen and do what the wife wants.  This is not a common theme in our marriage so it is something I am working on.

There was no calf.  I went to town after that and picked up tools, yard hoses and an electric mower.  We are also now watering our yard so I fired those up before I left for Pendleton.  While I was in Pendleton I priced a new calf table for a paltry $1650!

I came back and cleaned out the baby area in the chicken coop.  I had  friend want to give me straight run 3 week old chickens but they needed a home.  So I dug it out and refilled it with pellets, wood chips, food and water.  I called my buddy and told him he could drop them off in the coop at any time now that it was setup.

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I took the tractor and drove the few miles down back roads to pickup the manure spreader!  I know it needs some work but the price was great and all but the top piece spun around.  After I got it home I started in on the bolts and grease zirks with an all wire brush and some W-D-40 attempting to get the 40 years worth of buildup off.  It’s going to take a few days and a couple of cans of W-D-40 to get the fenders off and hopefully all the parts moving!  I may have to weld in one piece of angle iron at the base of the machine on each side to accommodate the chain.  It needs more cleanup and some more W-D-40 to get a couple more bearings free.  All of this is to be expected for the fixer upper price I paid for it.  It will probably cost me about $500 to get it up and running.  I have been looking for a manure spreader for years.  Everyone that has been getting composted manure from the barn lot pile is going to be disappointed.  I will only be letting the manure sit for one winter then spreading it out the next year.  I am hoping this can prevent me from having to purchase fertilizer.