Unexpected Detour

I am about to embark on an unexpected detour in life for the next two weeks. I suppose the timing was unexpected but the detour itself is not. Both of my parents are 81 years old, both have had strokes and Dad has suffered several health setbacks over the years. I believe they are beginning to catch up with him and Mom needs my help.

This blog post will be a mixture of the normal happenings of my life here on the farm along with preparations to make life easier for my family while I take a trip to Florida to take care of my aging parents.

On Wednesday the twelfth, the piglets were out as usual but Wattles took out the fence and joined her piglets to wander around and sample the different grasses on the farm. I was able to corral the pigs, over time, and get their fencing set back up. I think Wattles enjoyed her outing and was not ready to go back home yet.

One of the things I did to make life easier for Tom was to remove the chicken eggs I had started incubating a few days earlier. I had wanted to expand my layer flock, and I will, but these chicks would have hatched while I was gone. The turner died a couple of years ago so he would have had to turn the eggs manually. It hurt my heart to remove the eggs but it was the right thing to do.

I posted the podcast, Episode 39: What Do I Really Want to Do? It can be seen here:

The next day, the heat index hit 117 degrees before a thunderstorm rolled through, giving us .3″ of rain and breaking the soaring heat index. The day after that, we got a whopping 1.8″…and the day after that, another 1.8″ of rain. That is more like March rain totals, not July.

Tom has told me that a wild hen turkey has been hanging out near our heritage turkey pen but I had not seen her yet. Now, I see her frequently. I almost wish that I had integrated my turkeys with the rest of my adult birds so she can visit up close. I’d like to get them out of the pen they are in anyway. I just haven’t taken the time to figure out how to do that yet.

The same morning I saw the turkey hen, Tom’s Uncle Joe called him just as we were sitting down to breakfast. It seems that, not only were the piglets our, they were all the way down the driveway and threatening to get into the road. This is when Yoda truly demonstrated how different he is from the other piglets. Tom was able to pretty easily get the other piglets to make their way back up the hill and return to their pen with Wattles. Yoda meandered and explored, even parking under a tree with low hanging branches for a rest in the shade. Tom had to crawl up under the branches and through thorny wild blackberry bushes to coax him out and up the hill. It was clear that he was in no hurry and in this own little world.

I did get a video edited and published that day also. It can be seen here.

I had one more major task to tend to in preparations for my trip to Florida. Tom and I got up early Monday morning and set to work getting Oscar to the processor. To start with, my heart was heavy to have to do this but he had been suffering with back pain for several months. The veterinarian nor the chiropractor were able to ease his pain. His last week was spent entirely in the mud hole. I gave him drinks of water from the garden hose as he was unable to get to the waterer.

And work it was! I have a huge strap that we wrapped around his torso and we tugged and pulled for an hour to get him out of the mud hole and up the ramp onto the trailer. Tom and I are strong, but even a crippled boar can put up a serious fight. All three of us had to take short breaks on occasion to catch our breaths and get drinks of water. We soon discovered that Oscar no longer had any strength in his hind legs and could not stand at all. I had already communicated with the processor so he knew our situation. They were very kind but I struggled not to cry as we delivered my boar. When we drove away, I cried silent tears. I felt that I had done him terribly wrong by not being able to help him heal and have a healthy strong life.

Now, I am doing all the laundry, making all the lists and doing everything I can to be prepared for my flight tomorrow and pray my family can handle the extra work load. I will say that Tom and Kinzie have already stepped up wonderfully and I am very grateful.

Next, I go to see how dire the situation is with my parents.

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