Fresh Air.

Tia is the sweetest calf. Both of these calves were hand raised with the kindest of people yet it is only Tia who, when she sees me, will quietly move in closer for a scratch.  Tia and I have a real connection. I am entranced. tia7

I have a good feeling about this wee heifer and spend as much time with her as I can.  She may become a milk cow but like I said that will depend on whether her udder takes after her prize winning Angus father or her Prize winning Holstein mother.


But I will keep her – this one is not for sale.

I have turned the piglets house upside down and given it a thatched roof with plenty of gaps for fresh air. When it was right way up it was getting too hot and fuggy in there. Not enough ventilation.  In the winter fresh air is very important to the lungs of the animals.

Soon they will be too big for this too, piglets are the porcine version of A Fish Out of Water. They grow Fast!

This looks like a weird house but I have always liked the rounded sides, when the little pigs pile into the deep straw with each other there is less chance of one being jammed into a corner.  And the sides keep the straw in place so they can keep nice and warm and breathing the fresh air.

I have never had such little pigs in the winter before but this is generally a tough heritage breed and as long as their bellies are full and they are dry I am assured they will be fine. It is hard to fight the urge to put up a heat lamp but the threat of fire in this old barn full of dry hay and animals is just too terrifying.  And with pigs you cannot get the light low enough to properly warm them anyway – they play with anything.


We had a visitor to the barn yesterday. He comes occasionally but I have not been able to get a photograph of him before. And usually he visits the Rat House, not the main barn.


But here he is sitting on a bale of hay in with Tima and Tane. Large as life.


I bet LuLu was deeply un-impressed when it was time to go to bed with her pigs.


And yes, the well water is still black. The well pipes have been treated, the softener scoured and the parts changed, the pump taken apart, although they found no actual reason for the residue in the water it seemed to be clearing then just as they focused down onto  the hot water cylinder, the well went black again.  I have not washed my hair in over two weeks. I am blonde, I am not washing my hair in black water. But maybe this is good for my hair? Isn’t there a Thing? About no shampoo? No Poo or something.

Now that we are freezing it is impossible to collect rainwater.

There is a terrible possibility that this may not clear and we will have to dig another well. And that is too expensive to even contemplate. So, in the meantime we keep bringing in water to drink. And of course the woofer program is suspended until I can guarantee clean water for my workers. I am not booking anyone until this is cleared up.

Dirty Water is not a problem I expected.

And like we discussed last time we talked about our water – I am learning to really appreciate having good clean water. Especially when I run out of the bottled town water that we haul from John’s mother’s taps.

But I am getting used to the new regime now, John is still not working so he gets the jugs filled on his way back from his workshop, close to where his mother lives. We are developing a rhythm.

Just another part of country living.

It is 27F/-2C right now (6.20am)  and this is our high for today.  We expect to continue down to 9F/-12C by about midnight.

I hope you have a good day.

Love celi



44 Comments on “Fresh Air.

  1. I’m sure this must have been thought of, but just in case. Can you filter the water or is it just too murky or will the nastiness settle out if it’s in a tank? It might be treatable after pumping…

  2. I am so sorry to hear about the well. I know how costly they are and there are no guarantees that they will get good water after the drilling. You have probably invested a lot already in possible repair. I don’t know that I could go that long without washing my hair. Probably is good for it but… Love the round house. So creative in your designs. Have a wonderfilled day with the fresh, too cold air.

      • Me too. I wonder if anyone can see me wearing my stocking hat inside. I keep the heat quite low. It’s better for the lungs. 🙂 Don’t think Sheila or Boo are going to rat you out.

  3. When I was young so long ago that girls were not to bathe or shower or was it get our heads wet? when we had our periods, we used a dry shampoo. If I remember it was something like oatmeal t& then we brushed it out with any oilyness attached. It was a nasty business, but not as nasty as black water. It might still be on the market for illness (or poor water).

    • I remember that too – Mum would not let us wash our hair during that time – she thought we were more likely to catch a cold. I read a book once about an ancient culture that sent their women to a special house when they had their periods – not allowed to cook or clean or do anything just hang out and drink tea and gossip! I have always thought that this was a wonderful idea and probably invented by the women themselves.

      • I like that idea too. I hadn’t heard about it, but I remember reading that Mrs. Marjorie Meriwether Post invited all her friends who were also recovering from plastic surgeries to come over & play cards & gossip & hang out & heal up their bruises at a big slumber party at Mar-a-Lago, her mansion in Palm Beach. (Donald Trump hangs out there now.)

  4. You know that grey cat looks just like Author – Lulu’s brother, back home after 3 years of travelling!! If your well has hit coal keep pumping there might be some diamonds deep down there somewhere 🙂 Laura

    • He really really does. And there is no reason why he might not be Author. He has also been seen at the house of the lady down the road – he is definitely well fed and not young! A lovely idea anyway! c

  5. Gosh Celi, the black water certainly is bad news! Is anyone else in your area experiencing it, or had the problem before? I’m wondering it there is a government organization, like the farm bureau, who help farmers, who might have some information on it, or can maybe test your water to see if they can discover what’s happening? xo

    • Yes, Other people have had this problem before – when their wells were running DRY. I am in the process of sending water away to be tested but I am also hesitant to stir the hornets at the local council.

      • I remember a couple of decades or more ago in Nebraska where a couple of farm families suffered cancer killing out most of both families – the young and old – all within less than five years. The more they questioned the well water quality and contamination (especially from nitrates used in farming) – the more the local farmers rebelled, not wanting the EPA involved. It is certainly a tough position to be in. Still, you have to know about your own water.

  6. I feel just ill about your water problem. It is truly disturbing on so many levels. And yet, so many positives in this post as well. That beautiful sweet natured Tia! That amazingly moon-faced, Cheshire faced Cat (never seen a cat so big and so round)! That lovely CLEAN light pig room…and the happy animals going about their day. As usual, my life feels sort of boring and gray by comparison, though I realize it’s just different. Anyway, I sure do love hanging out at you place. Only thing that’s missing is a real steaming shared pot of tea.

  7. That little round upside down house looks so inviting and cozy. The piglets are sure to be warm.

    I can’t get over how calm you are about washing your hair. If I were unable to wash mine for two weeks, I’d be screaming. And I’d find a friend who’d let me come borrow her shower every few days. Eeek! I hope the well is fixed soon.

  8. As kids growing up on a farm in the far north – one of our after school jobs was to collect snow and fill a large barrel in the house – it would eventually melt – that got used for cooking/baths etc.
    Here – we’ve had parts of our water system run amok over the years – I simply heat a few gallons of snow on the stove overnight, fill a bucket, grab a jug and have become a master of the bucket bath. Hair first of course – I have to go to work 😄

  9. Having water problems is NOT fun. We have a lot of minerals in our well at our place in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania – our toilets would turn orange… Luckily it turned out we had a filter on our well… and it needed changing. Now THAT was any easy fix. And – your cold weather makes me think of the song with the lyrics, ‘Baby, it’s cold outside’. ; o )

  10. I’m wondering if you could get some help from the County Extension officer in your area to get the black water tested. It might not be toxic or a problem with just a settling tank, or it could be good to know if it is really a problem. Just thought it might help you.

  11. I think there are some animals that come to experience relationships with humans. Tia just warms my heart. You share something special with Sheila… not to mention a few others. Those relationships are so special and beautiful. As for the hair, I have found with the wild animals that they prefer me without anything scented, and usually they’re more receptive when I’ve been out working all day – dirty and sweaty! The fawns always licked my arms and face in the summer, enjoying the saltiness of skin. Perhaps that is one reason you are so loved by your animals… you are natural, and speak in soft tones (I would guess most of the time anyway) and you try to think as they do. You try to understand their world… and sometimes there are a few who venture to experience humans in a more intimate way.

  12. Lovely calf, beautiful new kitty, sweet piggies, blasted cold temps (we’re getting them here too)… AND fabulous sunshine! I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve seen it and your photos give me hope. Really wish I had some ideas or even words of wisdom about your water problems but I don’t — only commiseration, and I know that with that and a dollar-fifty you might get a cup of coffee. Sorry. Hope a solution comes soon. Have a great day! ~ Mame 🙂

  13. The well sounds like a real pain. Is there any drilling in your area, or fracking? I wonder if that would have an impact, but I’m likely talking through my hat. Lovely cat, though, his markings remind me of my Mr. Man. And you might look for dry shampoo at the store next time you’re in town to help with your do. Here’s to warmer temperatures.

  14. Dry and sheltered from the wind should work. I love the light in your pictures. Tia sounds like she would be a well behaved milk cow. It will be interesting to see how she develops. I hope your water problems clear up. Its amazing how little water we use when you have to haul it. Hope your day is peaceful.

  15. We had brown water coming out of our well. The well digger ran a camera down the well and discovered cracks in the casing. We had to have a new casing put in and all is good now. That wasn’t cheap either but better than digging a completely new well. I hope you find a solution soon.

    • The last time we had the black water they ran a new line down even deeper – I think that is what they are thinking – however i have to wait for the men to come to the end of their own investigations.

  16. Tia looks very pattable ♡ How wonderful would it be if the visiting kitty was Author. Our share Soosie-Cat is no longer visiting us, rssiding permanently next door as Diesel-Dog isn’t a fan of cats… despite the RSPCA cat testing him. I miss her.
    Yep, it’s No Poo, and not washing your hair is a good thing. Apparently after 6 months you won’t need to 🤓 I’ve never been able to go THAT long but no longer shampoo daily. Bugger -again- about the water.

  17. Trouble with water is the pits if you are totally self-sufficient. I’m wishing for a Christmas water-miracle for you. And if you get sick of the sight of your hair, a can of dry shampoo spray will quickly set things right without a drop of the precious liquid being used.

  18. Glad that Tia is working out so well for you. I had a feeling she would. 😉
    I hope you get good news when the water tests are returned. No matter how conscientious one is when using water, it’s nothing compared to using water from a jug that was filled from a spigot only hours before.

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