Monday, October 02, 2006

Single Farming and Single Parenting

My husband left for a three week business trip Saturday at 5:30 a.m. I am used to the routines of single farming and parenting because he travels frequently, but so far this has been a humdinger. We have had three baby calves and one of our hives swarmed.

I have done fine with the calving, which though unscheduled is obviously in full swing (2 yesterday). We let the cows calve in the pasture, only moving them to the barn if there is distress. I have been able to keep tabs on springing cows and watch them closely. So far, there has been no trouble and my only job is to monitor and record, which in itself is an adventure.

I have been letting Pink Panther drive me around the pasture. He has only been driving the truck for a few months and he still can be abrupt with the brake and acceleration. I practice patience. Yesterday, after having been launched into the windshield, I physically removed him from under the steering wheel while we were moving, promising that he would not be allowed anywhere close to the driver's seat until he was 16. He laughed and said, "You know that's not true." I did know it. I hate when I threaten with impossibilities.

With the bee swarm, I didn't do so well. Bees swarming at this time of the year is not good. It weakens the wintering colony and the swarmed bees have to be fed all winter long. They swarmed when the temperatures rose after those few weeks of gloriously cool weather. They were tricked into thinking it was Spring. I captured the swarm in a cardboard box, because we didn't have any hive bodies, using a white sheet as a base. I was proud of my resourcefulness. Before I went to bed, I placed a couple of bricks on the corners of the box so Yellow Dog, some other animal, or the wind couldn't move the temporary hive. This morning I checked the hive and the heavy dew had settled the box and apparently closed the entry. There were also ants everywhere. My small Fall swarm is so small now that it is unlikely to survive. I feel terrible - a failure at animal husbandry.

I wonder what will be next.


Becky said...

Times like this I tend to think communes are the way to go...

My 7yo has been driving around here for the past year or so (and not just the truck either -- he gets behind the wheel of the tractor and loader too) and loving it. I wouldn't dream of letting him, but my husband has other ideas lol. Apparently all good farm children start early. I'm glad my husband is such a stickler for safety and a good teacher, and my son is one motivated learner (well, when it comes to driving...).

Hope the three weeks pass SOON!

wisteria said...

My 7 year old can't see over the steering wheel. Are your children extra tall or are mine extra short? I will be glad when they can both drive. It will help a lot especially when we do the small hay, discing, etc.

I started driving as soon as I could see over the steering wheel and touch the pedals at the same time. I didn't understand why my dad would take the risk with the equipment and cars. Now, I do. He needed drivers.

No calves yesterday.