Friday, January 30, 2015

Warms you Twice

These are actually some of the smaller pieces

When we logged off some woods last year at tax time our logger friend left us with some huge boles of maple and some other hard woods that were not what was needed for log wood.

Those we are burning in the wood boiler. Sometimes that takes some serious preparation as they are far too big to lift or to fit through the door.




These pics were taken a couple of weeks ago. As you can see we have had our boy home for a bit, but now he is headed back to our nation's capitol, just in time to miss the Super Bowl, as he has to drive then.

Oh, well, I don't think anyone in the family has any dogs in that fight anyhow. Becky and he conspired to buy their dad a nice TV. The one he had I bought for him way back when we lived in town...since we moved up here in 2001 it was an oldie and not so goody. There is something wrong with the sound on it and whenever the boss went to sleep in front of it, it would creep up from a setting of maybe five to twelve...or twenty.....or nine million and six. It was awful!!!

Since any farmer's wife knows that as soon as a farm guy comes indoors and sits down where it's warm he goes right to sleep, that happened all too often. The new one has a nice picture and the sound is clear and stays where you set it. Ahh....the quiet.....

All well and good, but I still don't watch TV. Maybe the next time the boy comes home we can watch some movies....I still have only seen the first Hobbit movie....then again maybe not. There are still an awful lot of books in the world that I haven't read yet.

*First bird today Northern Cardinal


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tax Time

What tax time feels like

Or at least---catching up on the book work you should have been doing all year so that you are ready for the accountant---- time.

Last year was depressing. Selling the cows was like losing a family member. Having to do days upon days of new and unfamiliar record keeping and creating of accounts and stuff to tell the tale so that the government can get their share was too painful to contemplate.

So I didn't.

Silly me. It didn't go away just because I avoided the office like a root canal.

So now I am in a full time crappy mood, running back and forth from the office to the kitchen...where I can visit the online banking site to try to figure out what the heck I was doing during those ugly times. 

Note to self...no matter how downed out you are, keep putting those notes in the checkbook. You know, the ones that explain exactly why you transferred five bucks from the boss's account to the farm account. Why you gave one of the kids $17 off the farm account. Where that extra $200 in that deposit came from.

Much as I have hated keeping the books, ever since the boss's mom handed me the bills, the check book, and the meager milk check, and signed off on the job in 2001, I have kept careful, faithful, books. Our beloved bookkeeper, who comes and fixes my mistakes and balances stuff for the accountant has always had kind things to say.

Last year I just didn't. I moped and grouched and hid my head in the sand. It was a lousy year and I was a lousy bookkeeper.

Talking to you all here helped and thanks....blogging is a lifeline for me sometimes, taking the place of keeping a journal, which helped me stay sane (or perhaps sane-ish at least) for many years before this.

However, going back through the months leading up to and right after selling the girls is awful. The story of every inch of disaster is laid right out in black and white....and red....lots of red. Who knew that a checkbook could have a plot and a story line?

It makes me sad to see that a reasonably prosperous 2014 for most who remained in the dairy industry looks like being followed by another bad year for dairy folks, one which may be as horrible as 2009...that awful year of disastrous prices that plowed many farmers under and pulled the rug out from under us in a big way.

Okay, there, thanks for giving me a minute to whine. I know that in real life I am downright stupid with good fortune, great family, good place to live, lots of land both wild and tame to enjoy, dogs, cats, a couple cows left in the barn, poultry, ponies, and plant projects for spring...heck I can talk to all my kids every day, ditto my mom and dad, lots of aunts and uncles too. Beautiful brothers with magnificent wives. Lovely granddaughters all over the place......I have nothing to complain about, and as soon as I get the checkbooks caught up I will do my best to rejoice and not whine.

Meanwhile, stay warm and have a great day!


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mama's Art



Paintings my mother did of our girls some years ago.



Snow Day

It does NOT look anything like this outside our door

The fridge is full of milk, two families worth. Essential paper products stockpiled  in another room...check.

And bread, we have bread.

The boss met his hay customer extra early so she has feed for her animals.

Our stock is all fed, extra well.

Three loads of wood brought in and covered.

Just in case.

We are ready for this!

And now, not a flake....except for the ones on TV

I ain't complaining cuz I ain't a fan, but after a while it is like the boy who  cried "wolf".

Only instead, it's the forecasters and public officials who haven't got a clue.

The best forecast I heard was from the nice man who brings me bird seed now and then. He said, "I don't think you will get much if any. Probably nothing."

And he was right. However, to the east and south of us folks are getting nailed. Power is out and winds and snow totals are high. I will hold good thoughts for them. 

***all ire directed at hyped up TV broadcasts, not the hard-working people who try to figure out what our weather will be. And at politicians who go so far over the top that they become irresistible targets. You know who I mean.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Whence Commeth these Cats

Miss Cattie fach, one of the three remaining official cats

When the cows left we had maybe eight barn cats. We never have too many as the varmints and the road keep the population low.

We decided to let attrition winnow the ranks and it did. Fighting amongst themselves, the road, mysterious disappearances, they are mostly gone. We now have three cats plus Elvis, who is a story unto himself. 

And then this morning I went over to the barn to tell the boss that his hay customer was waiting for him at the bottom of the hill, and there it was, another cat.

A fairly pretty one, long, black fur, bright green eyes, sitting on the stable cleaner chute and yowling and howling at me for all it's worth.

But just where did he come from?