Piglet Watch Ended as I Headed to the Self-Reliance Festival

The days before I left for the Self-Reliance festival were very busy and stressful. Anytime I make plans to leave town, it’s stressful as I do everything in my power to make life simple for those who stay behind. I make sure they have food that is easily prepared and that the animal chores are as simple as possible. I clean the house and do all the laundry, putting everything in order. Except this last time. I spent the week with Daisy and her first farrowing. I hadn’t even started packing until the day I left.

While doing Tuesday evening chores, I found Daisy in the pig hut in active labor and had already delivered a stillborn piglet. I’ll make this story as short as possible since it includes a call to my mentor, a visit from a veterinarian, a friend who came and gave me wonderful emotional support, me trying to help Daisy along…and lots of drama…for four days. Out of nine piglets born in a four-day labor, eight were stillborn and one little girl survived birth, only to die two days later.

Each morning I cried a few more tears as I picked up dead piglets Daisy had birthed overnight. At one point, I thought she was going to die too. As heartbreaking as it was to experience this, my heart really hurt for Daisy on so many levels. I will say, despite such a tragic first farrowing, Daisy is now looking healthy and active again. I’m very grateful for that.

The Self-Reliance festival was a much better occasion, although there was a little drama there too. The motel where I had booked my room a month ago did not have a reservation for me so I had to travel twenty more miles down the road for lodging. I had not been there long when a strong thunderstorm blew through. At one point, I thought that I was going to have to go down to the bottom floor but, going down stairs would have dumped me right into the raging storm itself. I opted to stay dry and it worked out for me that time. Electricity and internet were either spotty or non-existent so I could get no work done before and after the sessions each day.

The storm did blow the event tent at the festival down and it started a little late while the crew put it back together. Once the storm damage was cleared up, the festival proved to be every bit as wonderful as I had hoped it would be. I reconnected with friends I had made last year and made a few more friends while learning from the excellent speakers they had lined up.

I even spent a wonderful evening at a Mexican food restaurant getting to know people and learning about their homesteading and life goals.

I was really glad I went, but it’s a long drive and I had not anticipated returning this fall…until I found out some of the people they have lined up for the festival in October! I may be returning after all.

I am behind on posting videos but I did manage to get my pig hut build video published.

I also got two podcasts posted. You can listen to them on the Podcast page of this website, most of the podcast networks, or even watch them on my YouTube channel, this Grandma’s Life Podcast.


Now that I’m home, I have fifty Cornish cross chicks in my brooder shed, that almost blew apart in the wicked winds we’ve had here. Tom and I got the doors back on and reinforced the building in hopes the next wind storm won’t damage it more.

The asparagus is starting to produce and more trees are getting their leaves. I believe Spring is in full force now. This means that I’ll be busier than ever. I guess I’ll just suck it up and get to work! It’s a good thing that I enjoy this work!

See you next week!

Scroll to Top