Two Steps Back

The Rescue Piglets are still not thriving.  In fact it has become more and more evident that at least two of them are carrying hidden injuries as a result of the attack by their mother. Both have back problems to go with the bites.  So I don’t believe that these two will get through. The rest are still on the 50/50 list. Still needing to be woken up to feed and still only drinking a little and still wobbly on their feet.

I wear special shoes for their pen, and gloves when handling them, I suspect that they have some kind of invisible scours as they are always a bit damp in behind so the Vet gave me some medicine for that.

But we are on Day Five now and that is a point in their favour.

I said to John if these little piglets do not survive I quit.  Farming is too hard – there is too much death and fighting to survive.  And if I do not grow my own meat I can be a vegetarian  which sounds perfectly lovely at the moment.

But most of that is the tired talking.

I have the Staggers too.dirty cow

We had rain yesterday afternoon and the cows are knee deep in mud.  You can imagine the clean up for milking.


Interestingly I am always more awake in the morning though – even when my alarm gently prods me awake every two hours  right through the night and I am already walking down the garden path before my eyes are even fully open.  At four in the morning I know I will not manage a day farming and by seven I am all business as usual. DSC_05121

I hope you have a good day. Sorry to be so late but business as usual is a lot of busy-ness at the moment. Good busy though – nothing I can’t handle. In fact I could do it all with ease if I had someone who ran the kitchen, processed the food and managed the house for me.  Then being a farmer would be pretty easy really!

Much love



59 Comments on “Two Steps Back

  1. Hang in there, miss c. I know this is a hard time, but we’re all here, supporting you in spirit. I’ll send some shamanic healing juju to the piggies.

  2. That is pure exhaustion talking. Once the next Woofer arrives and is shown the ropes, things will improve. Mind you I am always amazed at how much work you get through each and every day. Wish I could send you a bundle of energy to see you through.

    • I agree, you are exhausted and more. You have to be. I have wondered from the very beginning how you manage to feed those babies every two hours. Yes, perhaps you can do it, but it does take its toll and now it’s showing. You do need your woofer and the sooner the better. And, as Kate suggests, what you really need is a good wife… lol We’re all here for you. Wish we could be there for you, but hang in, Ms. C. “this too shall pass away.” ~ Mame 🙂

  3. What has been happening recently on the farm is nothing short of brutal. The weather alone has been enough to make a grown woman–or man–cry!! Overwhelming. Laundry basket time! The heat, the humidity, the mud has been unrelenting–and I’m talking about all summer. We have not had any decent weather since perhaps May.
    Coupled with this extreme rain, you have two pigs farrowing at the bloody same time–that’s 25 piglets 11+14 to deal with (dead or alive). Plus you have several cows, I can’t even count them any more, never mind name them. Plus the dogs and chickens, pea hens, and husband and family members coming in and out, plus the woofers to train, adjust to, feed, bed, etc.
    This is all I have to say!!

    • Your summary is nearly exhausting just to read. No wonder the tired talks for Miss C now and then. But I’m betting it helps: having an outlet, a group of word-friends..

      Her doggedness certainly inspires me. (But I should say it to you, Miss C. So I shall. You inspire. Even your honesty about being discouraged does that.)

    • If I could get them to stand up I surely will and soon, they do drink, it is just that they are so weak. I am searching out a small vessel that they will not push about.. c

  4. I really don’t know how you manage to look after a farm and a home. I really hope your piglets survive, if they don’t, you and we all know you tried your best and hardest to help them.

  5. Those piglets are already miracles, considering their start in life. The fact that they’ve come this far is a tribute to the energy and Celi-power you’ve pushed at them. Yes, farming is hard, but you’re bloody good at it. And you know what, someone to look after the house, process the food, run the kitchen? They use to be called farmer’s wives…. and it was a full time job. You do it all. So sit down for a second with a cup of coffee and give yourself several pats on the back. It might help you stay awake!

    • You stole the words right out of my mouth. That was the job description of a farmer’s wife – my sister was one for many years, 1950’ish to 1980’ish. Our family has been blessed with great genes, we tend to live long and look younger than we are. But dear sister June plumb near wore herself out – and she’s gone now to a garden in heaven where I hope she has wwoofers!

      Perhaps Celi needs a farm-wife? I’m sure that’s not very politically correct, not sure how else to word it.

      Get some rest and you’ll change your tune a least a bit.
      Chris S in Canada

  6. Maybe the piglets with damaged backs should be Put to they do that for pigs..? I know you must keep going but please my dear C do not put your own health at risk. If i lived on the same cointry as you i would be on the greyhound bus and come to help I will pray for you..lots of love

  7. Poor little pigs. It’s not farming that hard, it’s nature – in the wild those piglets would fare a lot worse. They are lucky to have you caring for them and trying to make things better 🙂

  8. With all the hard work and loss you endure, I’m always surprised you keep going. But you do. The weather has not been kind to you this year. Once you finally get some real rest, things will look a bit different. Wish you the strength to endure.

  9. Hang in there C. I am always quietly reading in my little corner of the world. I don’t know how you do it, I would have had a giant exhaustion crying squall by now! xo

  10. I feel your pain, dear friend. I felt a burden raising Daisy deer… and raising some wee squirrels that didn’t make it, and some birds that didn’t make it. I said many times I would quit rehab… but then a year or two later an orphan presents itself and I cannot say “no”. Either I take it on or I drive to Wildcare. There is just something in me that cannot give up. Yes, farming is a lot of hardship and loss. But there are many beautiful moments too. Whatever decision you make will be right for you for the time.

  11. There is no you in “quit” … sure perhaps a letter, but not YOU. That would be qyouit. Which, I am told you should avoid as it causes IBS. Don’t forget your Lippie!

  12. I have SOOOO been there (the vegetarian statement). Loss of my livestock is very difficult for me — always 2nd guessing what I could have done differently…recently lost a huge Hereford heifer calf – had to pull her and I just couldn’t get her to keep breathing –hard on her first-time momma who loved her AND me. When things settle down and some time passes (without any major crisis) it all seems worth it and I LOVE my job …. as we both know it’s not 9 to 5 employment but 24-7. I think you’re doing amazingly well!

  13. Celi, even the strongest person needs some rest. You are tired . I remember my dad coming in totally exhausted at night. Hang in there!

  14. Oh C. I feel so bad for you…hang in there and once you get some proper rest and help, you will be back to yourself and carry on like you always do. Yes, farming can break your heart but it is just that, that makes it so worthwhile…If you didn’t love it, it wouldn’t hurt you…does that make sense?
    Sending strength your way…

    • Oh my darling Celi! My heart is throbbing so strongly that it feels like it must surely reach yours. These disheartening comments of yours are indicative of the depth of your exhaustion and the pain in your heart. While I know full well how you feel about hugs and I know that you are not a hugger, I am, so consider the source when I say that I have my arms around you. Much love, Your Gayle

    • And Misky, your question not only echoed mine, but got a huge burst of laughter from me, the practicality of which, following so closely after all those comments of tenderness, hit my funnybone squarely in its middle. Much love, Your Gayle, still snickering.

    • They are my barn towels, from washing the cows udders, drying on the hay rack – I lay them there after being washed, rinsed and sopping wet to dry nice and raspy for the cleaning of the filthy beasts.

      • I hope you had a good night sleep, c.

        My mother used to lay tea towels and tablecloths on the grass to dry in the sun. Bleached them white. 😀

  15. I honestly don’t know how you do it! But I can hear your fatigue and I’m pulling for you…and for those piglets!!

  16. So sorry about the piglets. The up side is that you DO have someone coming to help soon–and you can put them on various chores to lighten your load.

  17. No, even if the piglets do not survive, that is not the end of the farmy . . . that would be the straw that broke the camel ‘s back and you know that is illogical! Any decision re future, one way or the other, will be made when fully slept and of normal energy and mindset: some things work, others do not . . . you have to know the difference and what your choices and passions are . . . lots of love . . .

      • Only you and your family do know and will know what is right for you: I truly feel presumptuous even putting this much down in words . . . I am just sure that in our own faulty ways, what is said in this column is said in caring by each and every one of us . . .

  18. Oh Celi, I am so sad for you, I know the heat and humidity and wet and mud feels like it’s all conspiring against you but just take a minute to concentrate on Molly and her brood, healthy lively pigs and and attentive mother. When it feels like your looking up from the bottom sometimes it helps to concentrate on a success story and realize it isn’t ALL terrible. Of course you have to realize this is coming from a real coward who BUYS her meat because she can’t face sending anyone to freezer camp! Like everyone says, hang in there, a day with sun and low humidity and a cooling breeze will do wonders too and that’s coming from a chronic insomniac who is continually sleep deprived. Your efforts with Tahiti’s babies will not be in vain, whatever the outcome.

  19. I was so worried when a post didn’t come in yesterday. I echo all the comments above, maybe next summer consider a kitchen only wwoofer. Hang in there. Laura

  20. Hugs to you, the piglets and to the farm . . . . it is a life I know I couldn’t do and so am in awe of you everyday. If you do hang in there – amazing, but if you decide to try a different life then that’s fine too. Being vegetarian is great and you will still get to keep some animals if you do take that route. Good luck x

    • I don’t eat any meat I do not grow but if I were not to farm I would not have animals either – to keep them as pets would be so terribly expensive, as it is they only just pay their way. Though of course Tima and Tane and Sheila are pets, just having those three sounds like a holiday!! c

  21. Poor girl. If I could I’d come right over and give you a hug and then send you out of the kitchen and take over. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  22. I have been running for the past two day, hubby holding the farm and I have been getting ready and then hosting a full day of homestead related workshops and get together.. so I am behind in my reading..

    so on the most recent post, I understand why you hit the point that it was the right choice and I think to be honest, that you will find it easier to handle the remaining piglets, and I pleased to hear that some of them are going good on their own now! It will be a calming effect on your mind to see those strong piglets that will remind you why you had so many sleepless nights and the truth is, that those cry’s of the weakest when you can NOT change it.. they pull on the mind, the heart and they put a punch in our guts.

    Sometimes, after we work as hard as we can and when we reach that moment of knowing that its time to let them go.. we grieve when it happens, but the next time we walk in, while we will carry the memory, its the sight and sounds of the healthier or the ones that are improving that will help give us strength to put that foot one after another in front of ourselves.

    Sleep is something that can not be over rated, lack of it in a solid mass can and will wear you down, moment by moment, the good part is that you can do something by route but then you worry that you miss something..

    Farming, equal parts work, awe, reward, and heartbreak.. it will run you though the wringer.. wishing you the best Miss C!

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