Self-Reliance Festival Preparation

You know how it is, especially if you are the one who runs the household and need to prepare everything for the family you’re leaving behind for a couple of days. So many preparations, whether for farm animal care, meals for the family, packing, laundry–or whatever, life gets a little busy. Still, I tried to get back to work on my bathroom remodel since winter is coming and I don’t want to be taking showers in the barn in the cold. I didn’t get very far but at least I’m back at it.

I do very little with this particular YouTube channel, Farm Animal Life, but I still enjoy working on it occasionally. Before my brooder shed blew down in a storm a few months ago, I put a camera in with a batch of layer chicks. This is about an hour of chicks playing in the brooder. It can be seen here.

Several months ago, I was just a few stitches away from finishing a crocheted bedspread for my youngest grand baby, Ivy. I discovered that a mouse had gotten into the piece and had chewed several large holes in it. I had to tear it all out and start over. This spread was for a future twin bed and was a pretty large project. Well, I just finished it again and got it delivered. It turned out nicely and my daughter-in-law seemed to really like it. Ivy is nearly two; she doesn’t care. Still, I was glad to get that done. Now, I’m working on knitting a sweater top for myself.

If you follow me on Instagram or TikTok or Facebook, you’ll notice that I post either a quote or a scripture almost daily. I have been collecting quotes for years and have hundreds to use. I also have several 3×5 cards that I use to memorize scriptures. I knew I had a lot more marked in my Bible and I decided to transfer all those scriptures to 3×5 cards. I wrote up over 350 cards! That took me through the whole Bible, so that should give me plenty of scriptures to use for quite a while. I really enjoy doing those short videos. As I age, memorization gets more difficult and preparation for them has been good exercise for my brain.

Have you noticed the geese flying south for the winter? I have.

A couple of days before I left for the Self-Reliance Festival, I noticed that Daisy, one of my Idaho pasture sows was coughing. I warned Tom to keep an eye on her while I was gone and I dreaded what would come of it. I understand that pneumonia can take a pig in a very short time. After my return home, I found Daisy breathing normally and was quite relieved.

I had wanted to do one more farm update as the growing season drew to a close and this gave me an opportunity to check the pear tree down the hill in the orchard. I was really upset to find that there were, not only no pears in the tree, but none on the ground either. I had thought that Tom was keeping an eye on this tree for a possible crop but I was woefully wrong. Because I was in Florida in August, we missed the grape harvest too. Except for tomatoes and jalapenos, we had no harvest for the year. I posted this video:

I tried one more time to hatch some chicks for egg production next year. I had a decent hatch rate with one that took a very long time to hatch and was weak from it. He died while I was in Tennessee and I was not surprised.

Just before I left, Mom called to say that Dad was on his way to the hospital by ambulance because he was having seizures. In a conversation with my brother later, I learned that Dad had blood leaking into his prefrontal cortex, causing him blindness from the pressure on his eye and eventually the seizures. He needed a procedure to stop the bleed. Because of his medical history and age, he was given a 50 percent survival rate of the procedure itself. I packed extra clothes for the Tennessee trip, including funeral attire, fully expecting to have to drive to Florida from Tennessee. While on the road, I got the message that Dad had not only survived the procedure, he was well enough to go home! I was very surprised, but also pleased and relieved. Dad survives yet another near-death experience. Tough old guy.

I arrived at the Self-Reliance Festival and manned my booth as much as possible to sell the Healthy Heifer skin care products for my friend and to spread the word about my YouTube channel, Grandma’s Homestead. It was wonderful to reconnect with friends and to make new ones. I even got to speak briefly with Joel Salatin!

I did take a class on scything and was really glad I did. I discovered that I was doing several things wrong and I looked forward to practicing doing the, correctly when I got home.

I packed up my booth about 4:00 Sunday evening and drove straight home, arriving at 1:00 in the morning. The drive went well and I was glad to be home. It took me a few days to recover from the weekend and get my energy back. I was bummed about that because it indicates that I truly am not getting any younger. Regardless, I have finally recovered and have lots of things I am ready to accomplish.

That catches you up for now. See you next time!

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