Friday, February 20, 2015

Left the farm for 5 days

James was in charge of holding down the fort while I went to PA for 5 days.  I think I mentioned in the previous post my dad had a heart attack and was in the hospital so I went to be with my family this week.  Dad is recovering and hopefully as I type this is settling in to his new room at a rehab center.

Of all weeks to go away I chose the coldest time in the history of our living in VA, along with 8 to 10 inches of snow.  I imagine record lows were set for our area.  That meant lots of ice breaking and a sluggish milking machine.   It also meant I was stressing out, worrying about the animals' health and James falling down and freezing to death or being eaten by the pigs with me not there to save him.  Yes, I'm a worrier and can create terrible scenarios in my mind.  Fortunately he had Adam and Melissa to help him which eased my mind a little.

The first day he was alone and the truck got stuck on a hill against the fence.  That meant lots of walking and carrying buckets for the following days in single digit temps.

32 chicks were due to arrive sometime between Monday and Thursday.  Every day I talked to James I'd ask if they'd come.   He called our post office to let them know we were expecting them.  One day there was no mail delivery because of the snow.  Finally on Thursday I got a call from the Roanoke post office (about 50 minutes away)  telling me the chicks were there but about half of them were dead and he didn't think they'd make it till the next day when they'd be delivered to our post office.  Adam drove to Roanoke and picked up the survivors.  By the time I got home today there were 13 lively chicks out of 32 we ordered.  Only the meat birds survived.  All the layers died.

All the other livestock and guardians fared much better, thanks to James, Adam and Melissa.  The goats looked wider and I'm sure Rex grew 5 inches since I left.  It's hard to tell the difference between him and Keri from a distance. You can tell I missed my dogs because I can't decide which picture is the cutest so I have to post them all.

Here's my hero standing on the snowy boat deck observing the icy James River.

In spite of my worries about my dad, James and the farm, it was actually a good week.  It was great being with my sisters and mom and doing what little I could do to cheer my dad up.  I also had a chance to see my 100+ year old grandfather.  The icing on the cake was coming home to my healthy and happy farmily (that should be a word, shouldn't it?).  I'm feeling very grateful for my family tonight.

More snow tomorrow but I'm ok with that.  Spring is just around the corner, right?

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