Saturday, March 7, 2015

Farm Update

Once again, the week got away from me. One reason is that I spent most of the week trying to get my new computer up and running. I ended up having to take it to my son who is in the industry and works an hour and a half away from our house. (I did take advantage of the trip by having lunch with him, a special treat, and then going to the natural food store.) 

Turns out a file that was installed as part of my printer installation was preventing Office from functioning. I spent hours downloading it, only to have it crash once I was finished. I would have never found the problem without my son's help. Turns out the file is compatible with the old Windows operating system but not the latest version. Plus I had lots of adware that kept popping up, making viewing certain sites a nightmare. Needless to say, I didn't get a lot of office or internet work done before I had the computer cleaned up.

I still ended up having to call Dell for assistance because, even after having the computer cleaned of known adware, turns out files had sent out tentacles that wrapped around existing, legitimate files. The Dell tech was able to clean it all up and she even went the extra mile and added Adobe Acrobat for me after I asked about opening pdf files. Although after my phone call, all I could think was how Dell (and other computer companies) pay to put those programs on their computers, then they pay technicians to help you clean them off. Once I had a fully functioning computer again, I had about a week's worth of work to catch up on.

We took our last two pigs to the processor on Wednesday. It ended up being quite a challenge. Due to all the rain and snow, the pasture was extremely muddy. We were able to get the truck and trailer into the pasture just fine. But with the added weight we almost didn't get out.
Our neighbor is kind enough to let us borrow his trailer

Our truck did not like the mud, even in 4-wheel drive

See how bad the mud was
We got more rain and ice on Thursday so it was good that we didn't wait. However, we were fortunate that we didn't get the snow that was predicted. Heavy snow affected states both west and north of us, but we only got some rain and ice. The roads were clear the next day which was good because we had an appointment that would have been difficult to reschedule.

We're getting some new chicks this week. Our flock has gotten older and smaller. We've lost some girls to age and a number of them are laying fewer eggs as they get older so it was time to freshen the flock. Many farms only keep their hens for a couple of years and then send the to the stew pot. Although it's probably not a good financial decision, we feel that our girls work hard for us so they should be given the luxury of live out their natural lives even after they stop producing eggs. We're going to use one of our portable chicken houses as a brooder where we'll set up a heat lamp to keep them warm until they develop their feathers.

Later in the month we'll be picking up 7 piglets! We raised 5 this past year, 4 for us and 1 for the ministry that works with impoverished people in the inner city. 

Our calender for the next couple of months is rapidly filling. We have family members visiting next week, a couple of speaking engagements, some training sessions, and an open house, along with the usual projects we're working on. 

The farmers' market opens in May so we'll be busy with that before we know it. I attended a vendors' meeting today and it sounds like the market will be pretty much as it has in the past. The market manager has applied for a grant to get matching funds for SNAP money spent at the market. He's also working with social services and our local transit company to spread the word that the market accepts SNAP money via EBT cards. We're happy to to see them reaching out to help the people who need nutritious food the most. We accept SNAP money, as well as the WIC and Senior coupons that our state provides to low income individuals.

Have a great week!


Dani said...

Oh, I feel your 'puter pain. I, too, have lived through 10 days of setting up a new laptop with new, upgraded software and then tweaking new "old" programmes to give me the info I need and that I'm used to.

RSon came to my rescue insofar as the initial setup was concerned - where would we be without our techno savvy sons... :)

David said...

Cherie, I started my career in technology in the middle 1960s when calculators were just coming into fashion. At that time a four function (add, subtract, multiply, and divide) calculator with a battery life of practically nothing would cost about $25. That was a goodly amount of money in those days. As the technology advanced though the next decades, my mind couldn't keep up. Today the computer technology world has totally left me behind. I barely know how to use half of what the new modern marvels can do. Things that were only dreamed about in the 60s are now obsolete. So for a guy that helped technology in the beginning stages of life to be so far out of touch with current technology is mind blowing. Who knew in 50 years the world would so dependent on technology that chaos would result without it. Kind of scary when I think about it.

Have a great new computer day.

Cherie said...

Dani, I have a love/hate relationship with technology. Love it when it works the way the marketeers tell us it should; hate it when reality sets in, especially after purchasing something new that is supposed to make life better. Yes, thank goodness for children who know about these things. :)

Cherie said...

David, I remember when calculators were expensive, too! I took an accounting class in high school. We used adding machines in the classroom but at home, I had to do it all on scratch paper because we didn't have the luxury of extra money for such a frivolous purchase as a calculator! Years later I worked for a company that gave them away as trinkets to customers. And it really is scary how it's now almost impossible to do without technology. I like that I'm in better touch with some people - but hate that when I opt out of certain things it's like I'm in the stone age. :)

Aimee said...

I'm a Mac gal through and through. 5 minutes to set up, no viruses, bada-bing. I've had only two Macs since 1999 :)

Reading the commments, it's true about the reliance. I would not be in the kind of job I have been in for so many years without the internet - LinkedIn is my best friend and email allows me to get so much more done than if I had to pick up the phone and play phone tag on everything!

And there's the whole thing about my blog which has brought me so much, but numero uno being my husband!!

Cherie said...

Aimee, I'll keep that in mind the next time I need a computer. That's an impressive track record for Macs!