Weekends down on the farm are full of chores, much to the chagrin of my children, but also some relaxation. The weather was relentless last week, delivering us a dreary dose of rain, grey skies, wind and cold temperatures. Frustrating and slightly discouraging, as we continue our desperate search for summer.
Friday night we decided, since it hadn't rained at all that day, that we would attempt a bonfire. Farmer Boy wasn't sure if the wood was dry enough to burn, but as we had a huge pile of brush and leaves from all the storms this spring, he decided to give it a try.
Farmer Boy was pleased. His fire was burning which only added to his excitement over his brand new I-Phone. He brought it home Friday night. Kelli is playing with it in this picture.
The phone he retired had served him for over seven years which is amazing considering the life span of most of the phones today. He decided his flip phone was an antique. My flip phone serves me quite well but I'm going to stop myself before I begin a tirade on my frustration over the accepted and almost expected obsesession with the latest gadgets, and how people bow down in worship of them at the expense of old fashioned person to person communication. I'll leave it for another day.
Saturday arrived and our hopes of two sunny days in a row were dashed. Clouds, wind and temperatures not hitting 70 degrees. Regardless of the weather, chores needed done.
Farmer Boy and Will tackled one of the things on my list.
Lots of rain creates lots of mud. Trips to the barn to feed hungry pigs, sheep and chickens means that mud stays on boots and gets tracked into my house. Mud sometimes isn't purely mud. Mud can sometimes mix with manure which makes my basement slightly unpleasant. The path that we take to get to the barn is simply a mud slide. Grass doesn't grow there, not enough sun. Mud. Mud. Mud.
I've wanted a path there for several years to liberate my house from mud and manure. Set it free. Freedom is essential.
Saturday was liberation day.
My path. My beautiful, liberating path. It took the boys a couple of hours. They dug, they scraped, they arranged, they carried crushed bricks in the wheelbarrow. They did it.
I'm told freedom is never free.
Remember healthy happy pig bum?
Saturday, amidst the digging, scraping, hauling and shoveling, Farmer Boy noticed that Kelli's 4H, lovely bottomed pig, was not looking so well. He was laying around, not eating, not drinking. He also had welts appearing all over his lovely body.
He looked sad, despondent. Kelli was scared for this pig that she purchased with her own money. Truthfully though, money isn't the issue for her. She loves her pigs. She calls them honey. She scratches their backs. She takes them out into the yard and walks with them. She was afraid.
We watched him all day. Farmer Boy, being very aware of pig diseases called it immediately. It's name was erysipelas. A bacteria that probably was in our stall and pig yard from last summer's pigs.
Finally, after dinner on Saturday, Farmer Boy called one of the many swine vets he knows. Ryan and his family are good friends of ours. Ryan came out, looked at Kelli's pig, said it was erysipelas and gave it a shot of penicillin. He told us that this bacteria comes on quickly and if not treated in time, will kill quickly. Kelli watched him wide eyed, still a little scared for her precious pig. Ryan told her he couldn't guarantee anything but to see what would happen.
Sunday morning dawned cloudy and cold. Farmer Boy woke up and headed to the barn. Mr. Pig was still breathing and was drinking. His welts were still visible and he definitely wasn't his personable self but he was still alive.
After we got back from church we all headed out to the barn. Mr. Pig was drinking. His welts were less noticeable. He was going to make it.
Kelli exhaled and scratched Mr. Pig's back as she sang words of, "You're okay honey, you're okay".
Chores, fire, freedom, relaxation and a miracle. Not bad for a weekend.