Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Still Life With Pigs II


PigIf you want to know you have superhuman strength and can do anything you should try farming.  I was an outdoorsy type person, fished in tournaments, helped cut wood, mowed, gardened, landscaped, hunted mushrooms, before we farmed.   Outdoorsy took on a whole new meaning when we farmed and so did every other aspect of life.  I could peel a pot of potatoes for 6 or 7 people and have it on the stove in 5 minutes, then I could go back outside and help him till I thought they were boiling.....put the pork chops on, we ate alot of pork.......and so on.  I've already told how I could do a pen of pigs which includes castrating them in 5 -10 minutes.  If you are grossed out easily don't look @ the link @ the end and quit reading right now.   I would feed the leftovers from castrating the pigs to the cat and the two dogs.  Calico Cat, Sam a blue heeler puppy, and Jolie an old crazy Australian Shepherd.  The wouldn't fight, they'd all sit in a semi circle around me and wait their turn and I would toss them what I would toss them and they would catch it.  Was quite amusing.  I would also sing to the mama pigs when I was doing this all to quiet them.  If they didn't quiet they got sprayed with antibiotic which they did NOT like but they usually decided I might be boss then.  You haven't lived till you've heard 30 HUNGRY sows throwing a fit, especially if someone slept in till say 7 am?  Then the first time I sang to them it's like huh? and they got weirdly quiet.

There were the sows that would get out of their pens during the night and we would play a few rounds of merry go round the farrowing house, forget jogging chasing a mad sow or being chased lends something to the whole running idea.  Sometimes they would just bop back into their pens, it was actually quite amusing, they would look guilty as they could be.  Sometimes they would forget that pigs are smart animals and try to get in the same pen as another mother breaking several pens down in the meantime and setting the whole tone for the day.  I said we repaired the farm building, we couldn't afford new  everything and it was a total disaster held together with baling wire slightly rickety. 

Of course we had to watch the first few litters being born, I mean I checked on all the mothers like every two hours when it was farrowing time but we STAYED out with the first ones I know as a family.  We ate ham sandwiches and sat on upturned buckets (the barn was sanitized @ that point, didn't last long) and ate ham sandwiches and drank iced tea.

I still have the cap I wore all the time in the winter and it was camo, only think camo I've ever owned.  It also had ear flaps, do you want to talk rubber boots? I remember when my husband I were not so newly married and we would fight over discuss who had the newest rubber boots, it was a very important subject.

Speaking of the proper attire for farming I liked rather loose sweat shirts.  There was a reason other than just warm and comfy.  I had to strip to the waist 4 times a day or get a shirt sleeve wet until we drilled another well.  You ask WHY would you do such a stupid thing dingy woman?  The water leaked, I had to turn it on and off to the big barn where we farrowed for awhile and to the nursery.  Pig nursery, full of teenage pigs.  You ask why did I need to be an exhibitionist to merely turn water on and off?  The turn off valve was like 2 feet underground down a shaft full of water .......because the water leaked. This fun feat often included draining and rolling up hundreds of feet of hose because something was frozen.  Also if the feed augers didn't work I had to carry it over there by hand in a wheelbarrow...... I didn't have a weight problem @ all for years.  And I learned to rebuild electric motors that ran the feed augers!

So we lived a mile from the highway and 1/4 mile from another house which was good for the stripping thing.  Farm naked was my motto.  JUST KIDDING, actually all the kids would be gone and I'd think I was all alone miles from civilization and no one could see the house so I would take a shower and NOT BRING A ROBE or my clothes.  You can guess the outcome?  Invariably we would have company drive up.  It was more special when it was male preachers.  Enclosed porch and front door was directly by only bathroom, "could you all just step outside or maybe just turn your back for just a minute PLEEZE."  Go see the pet pig, the chickens, or the calves that call the lawn their home. 

Lastly if you want to be grossed out go here. I'm not sure if this is a joke or photoshop but I REALLY hope it is one of them.  I may have nightmares.  I warned you.


mistaya's M.O.M. said...

Wow! Life on the farm...to much for me anymore. The days of sitting in a nice warm house and warming my hot chocolate in a microwave have caused me to find indoor activities to pass my days....and desperatly hope the pipes never freeze again!!! :)
Your stories are so very interesting...thank you. Mistaya's M.O.M. Gail

TC said...

Thanks Gail. Farm life is too much for me too but I bet if I had to do it I could.
I'd never written all of this down before. I have a pickup truck essay too, it's been in my head for like 16 years. LOL

Kathryn said...

No thanks...I'm passing on the photo, thankyouverymuch. I'm prone to nightmares.

I don't know how you did it. Waaaay to hard a life for little ole me.

TC said...

Kathryn it was gross, maybe not gross but sort of like the Geico caveman if he was crossed with a pig?
I'm not sure how I did it either. I haven't even gotten to the part about grinding feed with the tractor and grinder and having to back it all up perfectly and then take it and put it in an bin. I'd never touched any of these things before except for a tractor! Trust me I am notmal though, people are capable of more than they think.

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