Friday, January 08, 2010

This is What it Looks Like...

Winter is supposed to be the season where farmers slow down a little, catch up on things in the house, and prepare for the coming year. Well ... last winter and this winter seem just as crazy as any other time of year, and it is always more difficult to do chores in the cold and snow (both of which we have had in excess this year). Let me just say it has been a tough winter and blogging unfortunately was the first thing to get cut when things got tough and busy ... let's just leave it at that.

It seems like the snow and cold just keep coming here and as I type this we are preparing for double-digits below zero. Farm life has become a cycle of digging out of a storm or cold temperatures and preparing for the next. But, thanks to friends and neighbors (along with a working saw) we have been able to keep the house warm and feed coming to the animals. Not everything has worked out very easily though and I have often wondered what in the world I was doing.

Through all of it I am trying to learn and keep my head up. I'm keeping track of the things that work (very few it seems like) and the things that don't work (there are quite a few of these). If I'm worth anything as a farmer I will be able to take these difficult lessons and build on them for the next winter and years to come. Some of the problems have stemmed from not being able to complete a project that I wanted to do before winter (because of money or time), and some of the problems have just come out of no where and taught me a lesson or ten!

I will try to spend some time over the next week catching up on what is going on and answering some of the questions that have come up in my "blogging absence". I hope and pray you are surviving and thriving this winter wherever you are ... make sure to throw on an extra warm comfy blanket on these cold nights!!!


Paul said...

Welcome back Ethan! I was hoping you weren't buried in a snow bank somewhere, never to blog again. Good call on shedding the less important stuff (like keeping electronic-land informed, as much as we enjoy hearing from you) in favor of the much more important surviving the School of Hard Knocks.

I can't help but mention that IA isn't the only one struggling with bad weather, we are having a cold snap here in South Texas as well. It actually dipped below freezing, and I had to bundle up today by putting on a long-sleeved shirt. I'm not rubbing it in or anything, just saying!

When you can sort it all out and process everything, I would love to hear about the troubles you encountered. To me, part of the draw to your blog is the realness (is that a word?) of pursuing your farming dream. The triumph and the tragedy, the hope and the dark days, the good, bad AND the ugly. But I know that sharing what sounds like a rough winter with strangers will take some time.

In the mean time, a fellow Christian is praying for you, your family and your situation. As long as your relationship to Christ is solid, "all things are possible" (Mark 9:23, Matt 8:23-27). I wish you well, and look forward to your next update!

Kathryn said...

Keep hanging in there. You and the family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Quinn said...

I too am glad to see you 'coming up for air' and posting here. I have you on my RSS reader and look forward to hearing all about your efforts there.

In my own situation I am 'on the farm', so to speak, simply as a result of having a wife who is interested in animals and all things homemade. She is a wizard at canning, preserving and growing.

Just when I thought we were 'settled' in the city, she began to lobby for a place with a little more land, in order to persue a 'country' lifestyle. That's how, over a year and a half of Realtor's emails, we found our dream place on 27 beautiful acres of Middle Tennessee hill country.

She too started a blog, and I find myself seeing our life played out on the internet at

We too have had a share of winter, but nothing lower that single digits. We use our fireplace to defray the cost of the HVAC system, which runs on propane. Since we've moved here I've learned to process firewood. Even my two boys have become involved in this process and enjoy helping dad.

I'm the only guy I know who's Christmas wish-list last year consisted of a splitting maul!

Ethan, it's entertaining and encouraging to read of your efforts there on the farm. You always have a lot to say and are entertaining to boot.

Much luck and Christian love to you and your family.


Rough Rider said...

Hang in Ethan! God will bless His vision as long as you focus on that. God Bless!!

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