Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Day in February 2017


I force myself up soon after 8am when I hear the toddler stirring in the next room.  I want so badly to be a morning person but I am not.

Get dressed, start drinking my cup of coffee and check email.  Ready toddler's milk. Ready toddler's family visit diaper bag- making sure it has diapers, wipes, snack, milk with a cold pack, a few toys and a change of clothes.

Retrieve now fully awake toddler from crib and give him a bath since his hair smells like he spit up during the night.  Get splashed by the happy little boy in the tub.

Get toddler dressed and let him play with Miriam (who is now up, too) while I call to make two necessary medical appointments for toddler.

Feed toddler breakfast while I eat my yogurt and granola and drink some more of my (now cool) coffee.

Wake up big kids and give instructions for the morning.  Run upstairs and change into town clothes.

About 9:45 am, run toddler into town for his family visit with birth dad.  Make conversation with birth dad in waiting room until social worker comes out.  Pass toddler to his dad and try not to breakdown as he cries and lunges for me as I walk out of the building.

Drive home and check on progress of kids' school work.  Do school with Miriam.  Reheat same cup of coffee and drink some more.

At 10:45 am, take Miriam and go pick up toddler who is very happy to see us.  Miriam thinks it's neat that a police officer held the door for us while we were leaving the office and later tells her sister he was handsome. Pile back into van- hand sanitizer all around.

Drive directly to toddler's doctor's office for appointment.  Miriam and I chase toddler all around waiting room and exam room trying to keep him out of trash cans and from putting things in his mouth.  Leave doctor's office- hand sanitizer all around.  Phone home and ask Sam to start lunch.

Once home, call social worker to give updates on doctor's appointment and other appointment scheduled.  Give extra cuddles to toddler who is often very clingy the day or two after his visit.

Almost 1:00 pm, eat lunch together. Put toddler down for nap.  Pray he sleeps longer than an hour. He does! Get dishes into the kitchen.  Finish school with Miriam.  Start school with Sadie.  Finish cold coffee. Work on school until mail comes and Sadie's first American Girl doll arrives (which she saved up for herself).  All bets on finishing school with Sadie are off.

Fold the last load of laundry (with toddler "helping") that didn't get folded from the laundry spree the night before.  Eat some cookie dough from the freezer and then throw the rest away to keep from eating more.

Finish washing up dishes (while toddler keeps a handful of my skirt in his little fist). Start to think about dinner and decide I need to document one of these days so one day I can remember what life is like right now.  Start to type this post on the way to the pantry to get tomato sauce.

Assemble supper (baked pasta with meatballs).  Jamey gets home from work.  Say brief hello and give instructions for baking the dinner.

Drop Sam and Sadie off at choir and drive to the grocery store.  Park the van in the parking lot, recline seat and BREATHE for 5 minutes.  Fill up my grocery cart, wince, pay, and head home.

Unpack groceries while cooking peas (baked pasta almost ready).  Eat dinner with Jamey, Miriam and toddler.  Fill Jamey in on our day.  Pack up some supper for Sadie.  Kiss toddler good night.

Take Miriam to her music class and pick up Sadie.  Sit with Sadie while she eats.  Sit in on Sam's choir rehearsal until Miriam is done her class.  Drive the girls home and watch a new episode of The Incredible Dr. Pol together.

Hug girls goodnight, discuss next day's plan (Jamey has off!), watch a TV show, greet Sam when his ride drops him off at home. Send him into the kitchen to find dinner and snacks.

Check email, read a few articles, check out what friends are up to on facebook, watch some PBS Masterpiece and head to bed.

Things I did not include:
- times I let the dog in and out of the house
- times I loaded and tended the wood stove
- diapers changed
- times I scolded myself for not drinking enough water (I had my first kidney stone this summer which was ALMOST LIKE LABOR)
- times I asked the kids to be quiet because the baby is sleeping
- photos because I didn't even think to take any

These days I experience many moments when I'm fully present in the now.  But there are also moments when I'm on the verge of panic over what the future will bring for the little boy who has started calling me "ma".  And, what our life will feel like without him.

Thankfully, the present-moments out number the panic-filled ones.  And thankfully, this particular day is (usually) the busiest of our week. Pin It

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Christmas Letter to You

Dear Friends,

It's been two months since I've written here and that feels like an eternity.  A few of you have even sweetly reached out to check in on us-to see if everything is okay- and I am very thankful to say that it is.  We are fine.

One lone pig resides out in the pig yard.  The honeybees are (mostly) hunkered down in their hives. Our chickens are no more (thanks to culling the elder ones and a predator).  We have plans for starting the flock over in the spring with many fluffy chicks.  The garden is where we left it and our CSA has been over for months.  We're (miraculously) keeping up with school and choir, sign language lessons, and church activities.  We're healthy overall and thankful for a good job, a warm house, full cabinets of food, kind neighbors, loving family...the list goes on and on and on.


I could say that I haven't been writing because we've been busy and that's true.  But ever since starting this blog (8 years ago?), I've always been busy.  So I guess it's more accurate to say that my head and heart are busy as I pour myself into caring for our family- husband, three kids and one (newly-turned-one) sweet-as-can-be foster child.

Our little guy is still with us but over the next couple months, major decisions will be made about his future.  This takes up much of my head space as I strive to stay in the moment and, at the same time, try to prepare our family (and myself) for his departure from us. Prayers are welcome.

In light of all this, the season of remembering that God willingly sent His Son to us and then gave Him up is SO not lost on me.  

The tree, the lights, the gifts, activities, and cookies are all very nice but let's not let them become Christmas idols- distracting us from the reality of the season.  What a sacrifice.  What a love.  It seems to defy all reason, all natural ability and that's because it does.  It's supernatural and cannot be thought of, celebrated, or lived through without acknowledging that it occurred only because GOD was in it and through it.

May we see Him in everything this season and trust that He is always in everything- the good, the bad and the seemingly impossible.

"Everything was created through him;
    nothing—not one thing!—
    came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
    and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
    the darkness couldn’t put it out."

John 1:3-5, The Message

So I want to wish you a very happy and Merry Life-Light-mas.

Love,
Jane
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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Simple Math Help

My days are full of baby care and supervision (he has finally caught up, developmentally, and, at almost ten months, is everywhere) as well as kid care and homeschooling.


It's all day, everyday- back and forth between the two, sometimes attempting both at once.  I know some of you are in the midst of this now, too.  Bless your tired hearts.


Reading (outside especially) can be fun but Math is a bit more challenging for some of us.  I've written about some multiplication and division tools we use here.  But it goes beyond drilling facts.  It seems that around 4th and 5th grade, the new concepts are endless- hitting us like snowball after snowball with no chance to shake off and prepare for the next hit.  In an effort to simplify things and create a tool for review and to be used as a resource when memories fail, I started a Math concept card ring for Sadie, now a 5th grader.


We use Saxon Math and really appreciate their format for each lesson- new concept, new concept practice, then review, review, review.  For each new concept this year, I make a 3 x 5 card that summarizes the skill.  I then punch a hole in the corner and thread it onto a ring (like these). This is not rocket science.  I'm sure others do this.  It is working really well.




Sadie uses the cards for reference as she does the new concept practice problems as well as when completing the review problems that she needs a little help with.  Some days, I have her read through the cards before we start math.  The goal, of course, is for the cards to become obsolete.  In the meantime, they're at her disposal.  I'm also hoping they're prove to be a nice review now and again throughout the summer.

Maybe they will help one of your kids, too.  What do you find is helpful for your math scholars? Pin It

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Simple Ways to Use Your CSA Produce

Our very first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription just ended last week.  We LOVED it.  As most of you know, we usually plant a large garden ourselves and therefore have no use for additional vegetables each week but this spring/summer proved different.  In January, we began caring for a special needs foster newborn and thus our garden meeting a month or so later consisted of us going online and signing up for a CSA instead of placing seed orders.  Our focus needed to be on our kids that the baby- not on our garden.  Thank you to all the CSA farmers out there who make this option possible!


I believe that because we have a lot of experience using garden produce (of our own) we found using up our CSA produce easy and fun.  Here are some tips to getting the most out of your CSA box should you ever choose to subscribe to one:

1) Anticipate the box's arrival and set aside some time to "process" it right away.  Put it on your calendar even. Our box arrived Wednesday afternoon/early evening.  It was always on my radar when it was coming so I mentally carved out some time that evening to go through it.


2) Deal with your produce ASAP.  Don't let the box languish on your counter for days on end- this will lead to spoilage and you'll end up with expensive compost. Set tomatoes on a plate on the counter to finish ripening.  Tear, wash, and spin lettuce and toss it in an open plastic bag in the fridge.  Place any veggies that should go in the fridge...in the fridge (reserving one of your fridge drawers at the bottom works well).  I kept a canning quart jar (without a lid) to toss garlic heads into for easy access. Storage produce like potatoes and winter squash should be transferred to their new home (cool, dark places indoors- the bottom of your pantry/closet works well).  Then, shake out the box and put it in your car or by the back door so it's ready to be returned or picked up the next week.

3) Make Salads.  There were only a few weeks mid-summer when we didn't get lettuces in our box.  With the other produce on hand, it was always easy to make a side salad or add some meat to a larger salad (taco salad, Caesar salad, etc.) to serve for lunch or dinner.  If you're not a salad person, shred it and heap it on to top of burritos and tacos.


4) Make salsa or bruchetta or both. Often. When the tomatoes start rolling in, likely the onions, garlic and peppers will, too.  Chop them all up for fresh salsa (picture below, scroll to bottom of link for recipe) or my friend's amazing bruchetta (although I fancy spreading goat cheese on the toasted bread before topping each piece with the tomato mixture).


4) Roast everything.  I had heard from some friends that they often googled new recipes for CSA produce they weren't used to using in their cooking.  I didn't really have time for that, so we roasted, roasted, roasted almost everything.  You can roast asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, peppers, corn, onions, garlic, beets, radishes, butternut squash...you name it.  And it's delicious.  Roasting brings out the sweetness in vegetables and is a nice change from boiling or steaming them.

I often chopped up a huge bowl of roastable veggies (all mixed together and in similar sized pieces), coated everything with oil and then sprinkled salt and pepper over it all.  Sometimes, I used a dried herb seasoning mix as well.  A drizzle of balsamic vinegar over top makes it divine.  I placed the veggies on greased cookie sheets and roasted them for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees, tossing them and checking them for doneness once or twice.  Leftover roasted veggies can be stirred into soups, sprinkled on salads or added to casseroles.  Our kids like to dip them in ketchup.  So be it.


5) Make soup.  A few of our favorite soups are Peanut Butter-Vegetable SoupVegetable ChowderSweet Potato & Sausage Soup Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili (photo above over cornbread).  All of these call for veggies you'll often find in your CSA box.  Make a large batch of any of these and freeze the leftovers to eat when it's cold outside.


6) Do a little preserving.  Don't have time to use it all up before your next box arrives?  Lettuce isn't as forgiving but veggies like tomatoes, zucchini and peppers can be washed and chopped and frozen in storage bags for use in soups and casseroles during winter when those precious boxes full of veggies are no longer arriving.

What will we do next year?  Good question.  It was certainly strange not growing a big garden for once.  And yet having all those beautiful vegetables washed and arranged so gloriously each week? Well, that was just what we needed. Pin It

Friday, September 16, 2016

Made by Pade Winner

A big thank you to all who visited my friend Patty's Etsy shop and facebook page.  Doesn't she make cute things?!



The randomly chosen winner who wins their choice of crossbody bag is...

I also FB liked

Congratulations, Purl2562!!  Please email me (thyhand123@gmail.com) with your mailing address and which crossbody bag you'd like and I'll get your information to Patty.

Thanks for entering and have a great weekend!

Blessings,
Jane

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Made by Pade Giveaway!

Hello, friends!  It's been quite a while since I've hosted a giveaway.  I am so excited to host this one for a dear friend who I worked with many years ago.  I'll let her introduce herself and tell you a little bit about her craft.  See below for details on how to enter to win one of her awesome crossbody bags!


*******************************

Hi! My name is Patty Reali, and I have an Etsy shop named "Made by Pade." The name comes from a nickname I accrued in college - one of my roommates had a younger sister who was in first grade and wrote her a really cute letter. It read, "Howdy dude Torri (My roommate)! Hows life at the aprtmt (apartment) and how is it with Vike (Vicki - other roommate) and Pade (me!)?" To my college friends, I have been "Pade" ever since. So, when I started my Etsy site, this seemed the perfect name!



I have loved creating things for as long as I can remember. My parents taught me to sew when I was very young, and I spent some time making counted cross-stitch and other hand-stitched items. My crafting went dormant for a while in high school, but in college I took up knitting and also hand-sewed my first quilt! (Still have it - it's a bit of a mess, but has lots of sentimental value.)




In more recent years, I have made clothes for my children, sewn baby carriers (a life-saver! Any of you with young children who have never used a carrier of any kind should look into it), and made purses for myself and as gifts for friends and family. I have also recently taught myself to crochet, which is great fun, since I can do it any time and any place!



On my site, you will find a collection of purses, zipper pouches, hand crocheted shawls and scarves as well as several other hand-crafted items. I hope you enjoy checking them out, and one lucky winner will get to choose his or her favorite crossbody bag! 




How to Enter:

Jane here.  Usually when I host giveaways you are only allowed to enter once.  This time, you can enter twice...

one entry if you you check out her Etsy store here and come back to tell us in the comments which is your favorite item...

and

one entry if you like her facebook page here (and tell us in the comments that you did)

or

you can just choose one of these for one entry:-).

I (Jane) will randomly choose one winner sometime this coming Friday and announce it here.  Make sure to leave your first name or initials so I can identify you as winner.  If you win, you will need to email me so I can pass your contact information and crossbody bag choice to Patty.  Happy entering!

Best of luck to all!
Jane Pin It

Monday, August 29, 2016

And All Was Right with the World

It was 10am on a weekday.  Jamey had the day off and was with Sam at the library checking out books and looking up articles for the upcoming start of Challenge B.  Sadie and Miriam had been begging for harder chores that I'd pay them a little something for since big brother Sam has recently been doing some odd jobs for a neighbor.


Sadie was down below me in the front flower beds- pulling up the remaining roots of bushes that Jamey and Sam had extracted this summer.  Her task was to rid these beds of weeds and roots and level them out so grass could take over.  I am SO not into flower beds these days.


Miriam was inside reorganizing our DVD and game cabinet that had been ravaged over the summer- no small task for a seven-year-old as game pieces and DVDs needed help finding their homes.


Where was I?  The baby and I were snuggled into my new porch hammock/chair*, swinging gently.  The air was still cool, the porch still in the morning shade.  Sunflowers and hydrangeas swayed and bent in the breeze as a flock (no kidding- I've never seen so many) of barn swallows swooped and darted in the yard and field in front of me.  The baby, usually climbing all over me- attempting to eat my face and finger my earrings- was calm and tender as he played with my arm and was mesmerized by the swallows, too.


Out of the blue, a feeling of peace and genuine thankfulness overtook me and brought me to tears.


I haven't been experiencing many of these moments lately and I didn't realize how starved I had become for them.  Fostering this time around has put me in intimate touch with another world- a world of mental health issues, poverty, chaos, and violence.  It's hard to shake off and fully live in my own safe and quiet life.


A month or so ago I was trying to describe this feeling to a new friend (who also fosters infants).  I told her it felt as if I was sitting on the seat of a dunk tank.  Sitting up on top, I live in my world.  It's a quiet life.  I think of myself as a fairly sheltered Mennonite girl- I garden, can, attend church and homeschool my kids.  I have supportive and loving family, friends and neighbors.  My husband is my best friend and we enjoy our (fairly) quiet life.  


But then---Bam!  A ball hits the target (I take the baby to a family visit, get a call from his social worker or check his birth parents' facebook pages- I highly recommend you not do this) and I'm plunged into this other world.  And it's scary there. ( I try to imagine living there- what if my reality was a birth parent’s reality?  Not knowing when and if I’d bring my child home with me.  Not knowing if I’d make rent or have enough gas to get to work or whether my partner will stick around or if I’ll end up in jail again.)


I'm hauled out, dripping wet, and try to re-engage in my life.  But I'm shivering and shaken up and it takes hours and sometimes days to recover before I'm dunked back under.  This.  This is why these moments of peace and bliss aren't bubbling up for me as often.  I'm pulled down and hauled up.  Dunked under one second and then scrambling to dry off the next.  Attempting to engage both worlds for the sake of this baby.  Trying to get my footing in my world and brace myself for the next entry into the other.


I was starting to worry that fostering was callousing me to the point that I wouldn't be able to see God's handiwork as readily before me as in the past, that I wouldn't as often feel His calming touch and caring presence that reassures me that He loves me and is for me.  I've been too busy trying to suppress a panic attack- which creates stellar knots in your neck and shoulders, by to the way.


That instance of peace- when all was right with my world- was all the sweeter because it was isolated.  It was as if God knew I needed it but wanted it to be special...treasured.  I know there will be more and I look forward to each one with longing.  For an instant, it was just me and God and the dunk tank was nowhere to be seen.


******************************


*Side note: I highly recommend considering purchasing one of these hammock chairs (or something similar). Not only do babies love to gently swing but a chair like this has forced me to sit, enjoy the outdoors and SLOW DOWN.  Our front porch has become the new place to be because of it- mom is relaxed and not distracted.  I can be more present for everyone.  Plus, it's sturdy enough that the girls like to take turns sitting with me in it, too.  Who would have thought a silly chair could do all that?

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Season Shift

I've been meaning to write this post for weeks.  Instead, I've be continuously thinking of and reeling from a tragedy that some dear friends are living through.  Their sweet 4-month old baby boy passed away.  Please remember them in your prayers as they and their little girl grieve this enormous loss.  Thank you.

I'm still here (more or less).

The past couple months have flown by in a blur of baby and kid care, cooking from CSA boxes, trying to stay cool, birth family visits, a week of vacation, lesson planning, and day to day summer life.



In one week, we will start school as best as we can.  I recently read an article encouraging homeschool moms to think of their plans as "guesses".  I needed that.  Life is unpredictable and I am forever learning that I can't hold so tightly to my neatly structured plans.  Naps, appointments and feeding schedules are sure to change.  Lord, help me flex with them.


A summer without a huge garden of produce was, to be honest, so very nice.  Tomatoes came pouring in from our garden last week and I managed a large batch of canned, chopped tomatoes and a batch of tomato soup with one more go at soup planned for this week.  Thankfully, I have enough tomato sauce from last year to carry us over.



Since this was our first experience with a CSA (a full share) I wasn't sure what to expect.  Several people told us they found themselves trying new recipes to use up produce they usually don't buy.  I don't think I tried one new recipe.  Instead we roasted or ate fresh almost every single item.  It was a breeze...and so delicious.  If you don't have the space or time to garden, I highly recommend you look into a CSA.



The little boy with us is 8 months old already.  He is happy and healthy- a real joy.  It appears he will be with us for awhile yet.  Where he goes from here is still uncertain.  We welcome prayers for his sweet life and those who will care for him next.


I've missed writing here.  I've started a million blog posts in my mind these past few months- many about foster care.  The feelings and ideas are so hard to put into words- too complex and fragile all at the same time.  Maybe one day I can put these stories down.  For now, we live them out and do the very best we can with God's grace and strength holding us up.

September, ready or not, here we come!  Blessings to each of you as you make the transition, too.

Love,
Jane

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The End of May

I cannot believe it is almost June.  The spring melted quickly away in all the rain.  We were sequestered inside because of it.  While it made me feel a bit batty at the times, what else was I going to do with three kids and an infant anyway?  I am not brave and outgoing when I have a baby.  I hunker down.


This past week Jamey had a day off so he took baby duty so I could give our kids their achievement tests.  While I sat with them during test time I was able to order their books for next year and get my paperwork together to submit to the local school superintendent. Except for a little bit of work I'd like each of the kids to do this summer, we are calling school done for the year.


We've had enough hot, muggy days to make it feel as if summer is here.  The sun shines and the lack of rain is glorious.  The baby is taking real, two- and three-hour naps in the afternoon which is freeing me up to work on weeding the garden and flower beds.  It feels so good to be doing normal things like weeding.  And weeding adds a whole new purpose when you get to feed them to your pigs.


Last year, the girls and I picked blueberries at a local, organic blueberry farm.  We had gone early and were the only ones there for awhile.  I was able to pick side by side with the owner and she graciously answered some of my pressing blueberry-growing questions.  In the past, we have netted our bushes to keep the birds away but at their farm, they had wire strung over the rows with sections of reflective tape tied to the wires which moved in the wind and made a lovely rustling sound.  I decided to order some and try it this year.  I also put some of it on stakes in our strawberry patch.  So far, it seems to be working with the strawberries but the blueberries aren't ripe enough yet to know.  When I went out to snap a picture for you I found this...


Is she turning her head away because she's blinded by the tape or is she calling her friends to tell them that there's no net this year?  In the picture the tape looks white, but it is a very shiny, prism-y, silver.



Our first CSA box comes this week!  While we're not planting much this year for preserving, we are planting a few things to eat fresh.  And then there's all that garden space that you can't just leave bare otherwise the weeds will take over and drop seeds for next year's garden. We are using landscaping plastic to help keep weeds down in the sections we aren't using.  



We're actually amazed our garden looks as good as it does.  It's strange how when you're overwhelmed it seems impossible to imagine having time again for anything.  But it comes.  

Just like the sun.


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Monday, May 23, 2016

Bacon, Part 2

Last year, a friend of ours turned the side meat from Princess into bacon for us.  This year, after finding a good deal on a grill/smoker, we were able to make our own.

First, about the grill/smoker.  We've never actually owned a grill before.  We've always just used our fire pit with a grill grate on top.  Now that we seem to be routinely having pigs butchered, Jamey started looking into purchasing one that could also smoke meat.  The Big Green Egg is a popular brand but they are also quite expensive. We were lucky to find a similar style ceramic grill (by Vision Grills, similar to this one) at a discount store in our area.  It has several small nicks in the ceramic that makes it imperfect but does not effect how it functions. 



Our friend generously shared his bacon rub recipe with us.


The sides were thawed and the dry rub applied to the meat.  It is very important that the rub to meat ratio is correct in order for the bacon to turn out well.



Next, Jamey placed the bacon on wooden slats in a fridge (we have a small, spare fridge we were given by friends that we plug in when needed) for two weeks.


It was then smoked on our grill/smoker at a dome temperature of 250 degrees until the internal temperature of the meat was 150 degrees.  This took about 3-4 hours for our sides. We used hickory as our smoking wood.





Are you drooling yet?

Once cooled, Jamey sliced the bacon and packaged it for the freezer.

We hope to try other pork cuts in our new grill/smoker.  Any recommendations?
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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bacon, Part 1

Possibly their last group picture (this is the most sentimental I'm going to get).


It was February and it was time. Two pigs needed butchering- the large male (Spock) and a female who we were raising for a neighbor.  It had been so easy to lure Princess onto the trailer at butchering time last year.  We were hoping for similar luck this time.

Jamey had asked a friend to come assist.  And, bless his heart, he came.  Sam was in charge of picture-taking and videoing since I was inside with the baby.  At one point, Sam came in and I asked, "They have them loaded already?" to which Sam replied, "Um, no.  Can't you hear them squealing?"  I opened a window and yes, indeed, I could hear squealing and quite a ruckus going on in the barn.

Tactic #1 was to drive the trailer into the pig yard and lure them onto it with kitchen scraps and feed.  This did not work.




Tactic #2 was to get them into the barn and funnel them down this hallway and toward the open door you see below.  The trailer had been backed up flush to the open door, so when the pigs stepped out the door, they'd step onto the trailer.  Seems like it should work, right?


The pigs did not like this tactic either.  Jamey and our friend tried using boards to herd them out the door (by making the space smaller) but they simply pushed pass the boards.  They tried the bucket method.  A pig who has a bucket placed over their head will back up to get their head out.  The idea is that you can back them up in the direction you want them to go.  This eventually worked but it took a long time.  They'd get one on the trailer and as they tried to back the other one into it, the one on the trailer would push past and into the barn once again.  We used up all our kitchen scraps and feed.  They were not having it.  Finally, they decided to transport one at a time.

At one point, 420-pound Spock shot under Jamey's legs heaving him up into the air.  It was sort-of a miracle that neither of them got hurt.  Oh, except for a sore foot.  Spock stepped on Jamey's foot.  "Take that", he thought.

During all of this, Turk was a mess.  He had to be put on a leash. He didn't like that these pigs were wrestling with and squealing at his owner.  Eventually, he had to be brought inside with me but he just cried and barked at the door.  He spent some time in his crate that evening until he could finally calm down and relished cuddling with Jamey on the couch after it was all over.


It wasn't in the initial plans but we ended up buying a grill/smoker so we could learn to process some of the meat ourselves.  Stay tuned for Bacon, Part 2, and be glad you don't have to heard pigs on a trailer today.  Unless you do.  In that case...good luck. Pin It
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