I have two choices, quit blogging or simplify dramatically. I’m not just talking about my house and livestock but my blog if I am to continue. It has become imperative that one of our granddaughters school from home. Her mother is unable to do so and so our oldest daughter is doing the technology class a few hours a week and I am doing the 24 1/2 other hours. Our granddaughter can not yet work independently mainly because many of the classes are a A.D.D. nightmare of hopping from site to site and back again in a mind twisting confusion for a those of us with significant short term memory problems and minds that won’t hold still.
As the teacher you have to reduce the workload by eliminating half or more of the suggested workload or you’d be schooling all night too. In many ways it was easier when I chose my own curriculum but when we are done at the end of the day, I am not still grading and laying out the next day’s work. My neck and back are constantly pulled out due to stress but hopefully that will ease with time. 61 is not the best time to begin this computer nightmare.
With my day now beginnings at 4:00 a.m. just as the body rhythm experts advice but unlike those who are really smart, I am doing housework, book work, and cooking instead of devoting time to enrich myself. I use to do scripture study at this hour and many others do like reading where they enrich themselves. Then physical workouts which I never got to before I became a teacher once more. Now I do exercise with our granddaugther later in the day. The hope is to find strength and energy to shift some housework to later in the day. Now after I finish at 6 a.m., I’m helping another granddaughter to be ready for the school bus we drive 2 miles to. We do livestock chores after we accomplish a few subjects since the temperatures have warmed enough for my cold induced asthma problems, and then lunch and school again. At 4 I pick up the grandchild I put on the bus and do supper and story reading begins or a short educational program. Then lock up the barns and house and we all head to bed at 8:00 p.m.. Kirk has to leave for work by 5:00 a.m. and so he travels in the dark both ways. Breaks are few and days long.
Excitement has included playing with our 6 month old kitten and syringe feeding a baby bunny which just died yesterday. He was nearing a month old having begun his care in my arms at birth and had done really well until yesterday when I don’t know what transpired. A tiny little rabbit running around your house three times a day and then trying to crawl up your leg to cuddle is the cutest thing. We will call it a success since we were able to keep him alive for a really long time. Far past any newborn rabbit we’d tried before. The vet was amazed as I’d called her for some advice the week before.
So here it goes. I’ll give you a little of what we are working on. We ordered a Generac (a generator for the house) and it won’t arrive until June. They must be in high demand as the two we wanted were not available at all. This spring, used propane tanks will be available as a community not too far away will have natural gas lines completed. Then there will be a line to trench and hooking up done by an electrician. Then we need money to buy propane for the tank and later we will save to get a propane kitchen cooking stove with a battery operated oven lighter. This will insure we have power in uncertain times, something nice to cook on and most of all water from the well. The wood stove can heat us though it does so poorly without the fan. Replacement will come later for it.
In thinking about the lack of power, as we contemplate our goat kids coming the end of March and into April, we have been thinking of what we would do if a storm hit? Presently, we use a plastic, upright, barrel with a heat lamp inside to warm the little ones. But that requires electricity. I’ve asked my daughter to ask friends for little sweatshirts to put on the kids. Snow and cold now blows into the barn doors since the wooden doors have shrunk. Sometimes the birthing stall fills half full. I’m going to use wood and rubber stripping used on doors and around the base of commercial buildings for trim to help close off the gaps.
Then I need to come up with non LED lights which there is some evidence is harmful to small animals to use in the rabbit’s low light situation in the barn to trigger cycling. November birth of 9 babies this fall with Sweet Tart was impressive and that was in the naturally lower light of the barn. A later birth was only two in the litter. Clarence was the casualty and his sibling only made it less than an hour. We need to do more about warmth and it is unfortunately experimentation which teaches you how much light, and what kind, and what will work in your particular situation. Now it really has our thinking caps on as the lean too for my rabbits became a wood shed instead.
What if we had no power? One back up is never enough to depend on as history teaches. I remember two times where we use to live that over the border in South Dakota there were occasionally extra severe storsm that left areas without power for three weeks or more, more than once. I’ve wondered what backups for their backups they had. One gentleman told of two Generac generators on the ranch he worked. I’d like one man-made backup and one more natural one. What’s on your mind lately?