Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Trying to Get Back to Business

The boys and I are back after spending 8 days on the road and visiting with friends and family in northern Minnesota. My family lives over there, and it was such a blessing to see everyone after almost a year. That is way too much time in between visits.

Our travel time was so much different from a year ago ... Instead of being bored with the scenery of endless plowed fields, the boys were noticing how dark and rich the soil was in the Red River Valley of North Dakota, and even my 6-year-old commented, "Wow, they must have put three inches of sheep manure on that field!" I guess we are slowly growing in our knowledge of farming! They even spent a lot of time checking out all the tractors and other farm machinery they saw along the way.

Jim was very busy while we were gone, managing the animals and garden areas. We now have 1/3 acre of raspberry plants, along with a large area of potatoes. I gasped when Jim told me on the phone that he had picked up 50 pounds of seed potatoes! Needless to say, we have quite a few yet to plant! We still have transplanted strawberry plants and other things to go into the ground. Tonight may hold snow for us, so we have all the plants in the house to keep them safe.

On Sunday some friends delivered a billy goat, along with a milking goat and a pregnant goat. In about an hour our number of goats increased to 5, as the pregnant one gave birth to twins! Jim did a great job of milking, and the boys have started to take over that chore. I must admit it's a bit overwhelming to be mobbed by 3 goats and 3 sheep whenever someone enters the pen! Jim tells some very interesting stories of how he had to milk the goat when we were gone and the billy goat wouldn't leave the other one alone. Glad it was him and not me!

Every time I head to my folks' home I feel sad, because I have to drive by land that was once farmed by my Grandfather; it is now scarred by a very large, hideous gambling casino run by the local Native Americans. It's amazing to me how many of the locals have spent their retirement money in that place. I also felt sad when we took Hwy 5 across ND to get home Monday night and saw many abandoned farmsteads. What a common sight these days.

Well, I better close for now and try to catch up on a few of other people's blog entries; I have missed hearing about what everyone has been up to!


Anonymous said...

Welcom back Lynn.

Glad to hear (or assume) it was a trouble free and much more enjoyable trip that when the kids were younger.

Maybe you can do it more often.

The real challange will be to drive way east some day. May be when one of the kids get their own air plane.

Guess I can't call them kids now that there are 2 kinds of kids in the family. On the other hand I have never heard of a goat flying an airplane.

I would have liked to have been a fly on the fence when Jim was milking. Do they make video cams for flys???

Can't wait for the other blogs to hear the details of the trip as well as the Ricky Scags concert coments.

Have a good day

Gp B

Emily said...

Hi Lynn, and welcome home! I've missed reading your posts. It sounds like Jim was kept pretty busy while you were visiting your folks. It's a good thing you have a big family to keep on top of all the planting and livestock tending. We'd like to get a pair of dairy goats next year. Hopefully by then you'll be an old hand and I can come to you for advice! We're getting our first chicks next Thursday. Just a dozen for layers and so we can have a self-sustaining flock. What better way to learn, right? And next month we'll be getting guineas! I'm so nervous and excited I can't even sleep sometimes! :) Steven has been so nice giving me advice on the chicks....he even wrote a blog entry about them! I am so blessed to have found such a loving community of people like you all. I wish ND were closer to NH! P.S. Did the bees come?

Lynn said...

Hi Emily,
Thanks for writing. I better get busy and learn how to milk the goat myself if I am to give any future advice! My only experience in milking was one time when Jim and the boys had van trouble and couldn't make it home; I called my friend Paulette to rescue the poor goat! She milked and I held the goat's hind legs down as she wasn't happy with the way things were going and let us know about it! I would love to try guineas but they are way too expensive to experiment with up here. I think they would be rather attractive to our dogs and the local coyotes that we hear serenading us every night. Our bees haven't arrived; I guess Jim received notice that they were delayed for at least a week. Good thing, as it's been cold these past 2 nights. Jonathan did a wonderful job with the chickens last year, and the next batch will arrive the end of this month. I think he ordered 50 meat chickens this time, and also 12 laying hens and 1 rooster. They will arrive, and then Jim and Jonathan will be heading out for about 5 days, so the rest of us better figure out what we are doing before then!