Farm Woes

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Well, guys, my lazy days of summer are rapidly coming to a screeching halt. A new school year begins for me in just ten short days so I will be inundated in learning new procedures, meeting new students, grading papers, and planning lessons. Although I am sincerely elated about my new job in our local school district, I am sad to not be able to interact with all of our barnyard animals and pets nearly as much as I have this summer.

On the other hand, there are some things about summer that I will NOT miss when school begins.

The heat. It is about to kick my booty. I have never sweat so much in my entire life….including back in the days when I actually exercised! 😉 I have been taking two showers every day because you can’t step a foot outside without melting. Believe me, I have thought of every way possible to keep from having to go outside to feed and water everything, but you have to actually go out there!!! The Outdoorsman did, however, rig automatic waterers for our cows, donkeys, and chickens. That has helped a ton.

The bugs. I am pretty sure that Lee County has the highest bug population on the planet Earth. When we mow our pastures, there are more crickets per square foot than I thought possible. In addition to crickets, there are tons of beetle-type bugs that are interesting and somewhat scary. Just the other night, I was abruptly awoken by a beetle trying to bore into my scalp! I wish I were kidding! Somehow, it had made its way into our house and decided I would be his permanent home. Don’t worry, visitors, this is not a common occurrence, but a shocking one nonetheless!! In addition to the strange beetles, we have billions of spiders.  Thankfully, I have never feared many insects, so I don’t let the spiders bother me too much. There is currently a gigantic banana spider hanging on our front porch.  Due the large number of insects flying around, it is growing daily.  I am a little concerned about seeing one of our kittens hanging in it’s elaborate web if it continues to grow at such an alarming rate.

Poison ivy.  Poison Oak.  They are NOT my friends.  Who knew I was highly allergic to these two rascals until I bought thirty acres of it? Somehow, I seem to find it no matter how much I try to avoid it.  It has been constantly present on my right arm since spring and looks like I have some sort of scary disease at first glance.  I have had to constantly reassure people that I am not contagious and that it is, indeed, poison ivy or oak and that you can only get it upon contact with the plant or oil itself.  Just recently, I realized that I am most likely contracting it from one of my cows.  My extremely interactive and friendly heifer, Sophia, loves for me to pet her on the nose and when she rubbed her nose on my arm, it hit exactly where the patch of poison oak keeps popping back up on my forearm.  She is part Longhorn and they are known for eating vines and rougher vegetation so I am pretty sure that is the source of my problem.  So, after months of suffering from this, it appears it can be avoided after all!!

The poop.  Animals poop.  A lot.  When you have a lot of animals, you have a lot of poop.  Imagine the amount we deal with concerning our two horses, ten cows, two donkeys, forty chickens, three pigs, four dogs, and five cats.  Even though they are all outdoors, it is still a lot of yucky stuff to deal with on a daily basis.  We are currently working on fencing ideas and solutions that will contain our animals and keep them further away from the house.  Since many of our animals are social, they tend to want to hang out right by the house so we are going to have to put some fencing up to keep our yard a little more pristine. Enough of the potty talk.

The animals.  Bless their hearts.  They are the most adorable things on the planet, but I am pretty sure that most of them view me as their mother and treat me as such.  It is like a scene from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective when I walk outside.  Or Snow White.  Whichever you prefer.  I am both.  They run up to me at sometimes alarming speeds and want to jump on me, rub on me, nip at me, and just overall be with me while I am near them.  As you all know, I have loved animals since the day I was born, but being the mother to almost 60 pets can get a little draining and demanding at times.  Yes, we made the choice to purchase each and every animal we own.  Yes, both The Outdoorsman and I have been present at every purchase.  Yes, we are aware that we have gathered an excessive number of animals during our first 8 months of farm life.  Yes, we are aware that some people think we have lost our minds and are currently talking smack about us.  No, we do not regret purchasing any of the animals.  We are enjoying them all immensely.  I am just keeping it real with you, Folks.  Animals can be a lot of work, but they bring a lot of joy in return.  We are thankful for the ability to house and care for them pretty effortlessly due to our land, ponds, and barn.  We are blessed.

Hopefully, I will still be able to write about our animals and farm once school begins. Thank you for joining us on our Green Acres Adventure.

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