Rainy Day

It was cold and rainy yesterday.  It would have been a good day to spend inside writing and relaxing, enjoying an extra cup of coffee or two.

But as we prepare for another premature Arctic blast this week, I spent much of the day out in the gardens working in the cold rain, trying to salvage a harvest. Because the weather won’t allow us to let it mature, our broccoli was very disappointing this fall and our cauliflower was worse.  But we had excellent spring and summer gardens, so I suppose we were due for a failure.

It was a dreary day in more ways than one.  Our cat Mr. Fabulous didn’t come home yesterday morning and has now been missing for over 24 hours.  That has us concerned of course.

And when I fed the pigs last night, just before leaving to do our Monday deliveries, I noticed that Gracie had a rectal prolapse.  So when we got back I had to don the headlamp and go out the pasture and push her insides back into where they belong.  Not an experience I care to have often.

After a day like that, last night’s glass of wine was particularly welcome.

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27 comments on “Rainy Day

  1. Prepping for winter has been more trying than usual this year for us as well. Theres not much I like less than working outside in the almost-freezing rain. Oddly enough, it has been two days since any of us have laid eyes on Jammie the barn cat, and we’re starting to worry as well. Fortunately, everyone’s rectums are safely where they should be (for now).

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  2. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, the life of a working income producing homestead is not for the faint of heart. Things that never crosses a city person’s mind are very real with country living. Having lived in both worlds, I would prefer the country life with all the unexpected challenges that come with it. I pray that Gracie doesn’t have any more rectal issues. Homesteading especially with animals will challenge every fiber of a person’s character and, in my humble opinion, will form a better person because of those challenges. I admire your choice of leaving a corporate world and returning to the land. I suspect that wasn’t an easy choice or maybe it was. I had that choice once but chose to stay in the career that I was pursuing. I could have taken over the 80 some acres of farm near a city of 100,000 but didn’t. I often wonder how my life would have been different because of it. I’ve never regretted my decision because the career I was in fascinated me since high school. The thought of anything electronic and how it all works drew me in and held my interest for my entire 41 years of corporate career life. I had the job I dreamed of in high school and loved every day of it. Now that career retirement is helping me to be an Urban Farmer to fulfill another life long dream. Two dream jobs in one life time, I imagine, is pretty rare. My only explanation is the blessing of God on my life.

    It’s still relentlessly bitter cold here with wind chills below zero every night. I’ve never seen anything like it for this time of the fall season. We haven’t seen above freezing for about 10 days. That’s highly unusual for November. We normally get a few days of cold then back to warm for a couple weeks. Not this year. Dang global warming? 🙂

    Have a great homesteading rainy day.

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  3. I hope Mr. Fabulous makes it back home soon. and Poor Gracie. Ouch. That sounds like an uncomfortable situation for you both.
    The arctic blast may have claimed a lot of my hard work on growing perennials for the farm. Should have checked the weekly forecast before leaving the farm a week ago but we left so late and we were so tired… Oh well, at least I have more seed and space in my propagation room.

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    • Bill says:

      Still no sign of Mr. Fabulous. And I had to repeat the procedure on Gracie this morning. It was 18 degrees so I didn’t really want to take off my gloves. And certainly not for something like that.

      It’s crazy cold here so I’m sure it’s much worse at your place. Two years ago we harvested broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts in February and I don’t think we had 24 hours below freezing all year. That’s just the way it goes I reckon.

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  4. Ouch. A tough day. Sorry about the cat, pig and crop, Bill. It is a reminder of how tough farming can be. As for me, I might have gone for the bottle instead of the glass. –Curt

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  5. Joanna says:

    Below freezing here this week, but it’s normal for us. Not so good when it is not normal. We obviously have your global warming, no wonder they say climate change now and not global warming. Crazy weather

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    • Bill says:

      If I recall correctly, the polar vortex that we’re experiencing now was somehow triggered by a super typhoon in the Pacific. While it’s impossible to pinpoint direct causation, the increased temperatures in the oceans are believed to be generating more powerful storms. So global warming might cause or contribute to a snap of unusually cold weather. Things like that make climate change or climate disruption better descriptors of what we experience.

      But obviously weather and climate are two different things, and unusual weather doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with climate change.

      Here in the States many folks treat climate change as if it is a political opinion rather than a scientific fact. Just commenting on the weather can start an argument.

      Before last year, which was colder than normal (or at least seemed so to me), when people asked me about global warming I’d just say that I have no idea if the globe is warming but I can attest to the fact that Keeling is. Now? Who knows…

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      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        Am I the only one who wonders if Underwater Nuclear Testing might just raise the oceans’ temperatures,,,?!

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      • Joanna says:

        Amongst scientists there is more mention of climate change than global warming. The temperature is higher at 0.8C over all, but the discrepancies are large and what’s normal anyway? They haven’t been measuring it long enough to say definitively, although they can make estimates. However, I am fairly certain that our society will pay for our wasteful ways, whether that is in unusual weather events or drowning in our own filth once we stop exporting it to other countries. We had an unusual green winter, not always warm, but hardly any snow until March. Then it went really hot and then cold again. It was just weird weather all year.

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  6. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Oh dear, hope your kitty comes home as soon as he’s feeling better. Sending positive thoughts for both him and Gracie.
    As to the weather, well I’ve had a bad feeling about this winter for a while now and really hoping I’m wrong; however, there’s been very light snow several times over the past week with temps hovering right around freezing… It started up again Friday afternoon and, by the time it stopped Monday evening – when the wind picked up and temps dropped – we’d managed to accumulate +4″ of snow.
    Hopefully this isn’t here to stay, as up ’til now, there hadn’t been any frost in the ground; but it’s after noon, still below freezing and, after last night, well who knows? This would be normal if it were December. *sigh*

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    • Bill says:

      Thanks for the kind thoughts Deb.

      It’s early in the year for it to be this cold, but for all I know we’re going to have a very mild winter. But if I had to guess I’d say you’re right in expecting a cold one.

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      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        I’m not even sure that it’s a “cold one” that I’m feeling, or just too much of it… (Had another inch of snow overnight):
        I believe (part of) the definition of Climate Change is extremes of weather, and we are definitely getting that. The mitigation of Spring and Fall seem almost nonexistent as, again this year, we appear to have been plunged into full-on Winter weather…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. EllaDee says:

    It seems too cold too soon, I hope it isn’t a sign of a severe winter, just early that will steady up as it goes along. As for the rest, well, may you have enough harvest, and days that find you inside, writing coffee in hand in the company of Mr Fabulous, with Gracie having all her bits in the right places…

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    • Bill says:

      Thanks Ella Dee. Hopefully this is just a fluke. But unfortunately I don’t expect to have much left in the gardens after this. I’ll just accept it as an invitation to rest. 🙂

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  8. Lynda says:

    Bill, we are experimenting with row covers here. It was in the teens last night but all seems well under the little “covered wagons” we’ve placed over our raised beds. I suppose it would be impossible to justify the costs for your size rows, but for the little bit we need it appears to be working!

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    • Bill says:

      I don’t have any row covers but I made some makeshift ones out of plastic sheets and covered the broccoli the first night. It may have helped. I went ahead and harvested it all yesterday, even though it wasn’t full grown. I didn’t want to risk it. Glad you’re able to protect your veggies.

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  9. avwalters says:

    A day like that could push you to something stronger! I hope Mr. Fabulous is home by now–snug before this early blast of winter hits.

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    • Bill says:

      Unfortunately still no sign of Mr. Fab. And today we had to take Gracie to freezer camp.
      The gardens are now mostly history. I’m wishing now that I’d harvested the brussels sprouts leaves. Oh well. It’s been a good year for produce, notwithstanding the very disappointing fall (usually our best season). I’m already looking forward to spending some time with seed catalogs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        Oh dear, sorry about Gracie (I did wonder when you said it had happened again): Still, hang in there for Mr. Fab. Our girl was gone for a week when she tried to stow away in the nieghbour’s back seat and got caught part-way in the car door ):

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  10. shoreacres says:

    I follow the National Weather Service on Twitter, and a few days ago (the 11th, I think) they posted about the strongest blue norther ever to come roaring out of the arctic — a hundred years ago! I wish I could be around a hundred years hence, just to see how things shake out.

    I’m so sorry about the missing kitty. Fingers and toes are crossed her that it’s back home. As for the other — as long as you don’t get prolapsis and prolepsis, you’ll be fine. 😉

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    • shoreacres says:

      Good grief. You’d think I’m the one drinking wine. Make that:

      I’m so sorry about the missing kitty. Fingers and toes are crossed here that it’s back home. As for the other — as long as you don’t get prolapsis and prolepsis confused, you’ll be fine.

      There. 🙂

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      • Bill says:

        It hasn’t been a good week here for cats. Mr. F hasn’t returned and we just learned tonight that we’re going to have to put our 16 year old Dixie down. 😦

        Gracie had to leave the farm earlier than we had planned.

        It’s good that days like those aren’t common around here.

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