Wanted to update everyone and give one place for pictures. Friday night around 9m we think we had a tornado take out the barn right next to the house. Very scary. No warnings at all, not even severe thunderstorm. It just came out of nowhere.
This is what I saw outside my back door. When we ran downstairs to the basement, I could see large items flying through the air but didn't stop to see what it was. It was parts of the barn!
We are so thankful... we were all upstairs and we easily could have lost a kid or all of us had this thing hit the house. Scary.
Rubble in driveway
Here is the driveway next to the house.... crazy.
Standing and looking in what was the barn....
This beam was thrown across the farm, landing in the roof of the milk barn, and extending 6 feet inside the barn!
Check out my car! That is a beam under my car! Rubble all around the car but nothing in the car! All I have are smashed rear view windows, scratches, and dents!
I was shocked to welcome our fist hero helper at 7:30 am! He was a workhorse! Cleared most of the upper driveway and worked on the huge piece of shed in the swingset in an hour or two! Amazing!
Thanks Rebecca for loaning us your husband!
Rex was here early too!
Always the knight in shining armor that one! :-)
All the kids got into the action!
So many people showed up to help! We really were amazed... all day long it seemed like people showed up and other left.. it was constant stream of help. The phone rang and text messages of support came in all weekend. We really are blessed with wonderful friends and customers!
Before dinner.... yard, driveway, and pasture cleared! How incredible is that! When I looked at the mess in the morning.. I figured it would be weeks of work!
Got a phone call Sunday afternoon from Jim... one of our customers and friends. He took some video footage and said they wanted to air it on the 9:00 news... was that OK? Sure... why not. So we wait and watch Fox 42 9:00 news and about died laughing at the video footage aired - about 30 seconds of Alex running around the barn naked as a jaybird playing with one of his friends. Geez.. I thought he stayed dressed all day Saturday! Oh well... so goes life..
Yesterday, another phone call. Fox 42 wants to send a reporter out. Is this OK? Sure... what's another naked butt on TV gonna hurt? Right? It's gonna happen... best not to fight it. I can have those darned boys dressed and ten seconds later they are streaking. But wait... they are all at Cynthia's house playing! Woo Hoo! We can do an interivew without naked people! What a concept... sure come on over!
Turns out they want to come because apparently the weather service says the winds were only 25 miles an hour. Naturally he waits to tell me this till I am on camera and captures my response. Seriously, the reporter was a super nice guy. :-) I would love to kick the editor though. :-) Why is it that they take 30 minutes of footage and choose the most bizzare comments to air. Like me pointing out our junk... that wasn't even part of the interview.. I didnt realize I was being taped. How funny. I watch the news last night and all I could think was how silly we looked.. and how I need to loose a bunch of weight. We did say some great stuff that actually made sense... but that didn't get aired. LOL Oh.. and of course they re-aired the naked boy footage. GREAT.
Here is a link to the news segment.. if you need a good chuckle.. CLICK HERE
I will leave you with a couple interesting shots Andy took... I think they are pretty cool.
Our love to all... and again THANKS SO MUCH to everyone who came out to help, called, emailed, left gifts, expressed concern and generally showed us LOVE.
WOW! Has September been crazy! I think September 1st was the most insane day I have had in a long long while. By 9am I was so busy I wanted to go back to bed. We spent what seemed like the whole day chasing pigs.. fixing fence.. putting pigs back into fixed fence... chasing pigs.. fixing fence again.. putting pigs back in again... chasing pigs.. so on and so on. There was one pig we just never could get back in the fenced area.
Of course Andy came home and had her back in the fence within minutes! Isn't that always the way?
That evening it rained and rained and rained. It started real heavy during milking time so I was inside with the kids. Debris started flying and Andy called from the milking parlor telling me to get the kids in the basement.. fast. I looked out the window in time to see the tarp blow off the broiler chicks pen that had been placed out in the front pasture. I knew then we would loose them but there was nothing I could do but watch. Andy came in around 10 and confirmed we had lost the chicks. So sad. We both just felt like crying.
Around 11:30 pm Andy looked out the window and saw the water rising. We had just had three new heritage sheep delivered late that afternoon and the pen they were in was looking like it might flood. So out Andy goes and he let the sheep out... being new they did not know Andy or the lay of the land and they ran straight for the rising water. Andy looked over and saw one of our calves that was trapped by the rising water over the east pasture. He went out and literally pulled her through the fence to safety. It was raining so hard and it was so dark... we could see that the cows had moved to high ground and all we could do was go to bed and pray for the best.
We woke up to this. 65 acres of water. The only dry areas we had were to top of the east pasture and the top of the west winter pasture. We set off to count animals and survey the damage. 95% of the farm was under 6 feet of water. We lost the broilers, those three rare sheep, but all the cows were safe. No way to milk that day... water was clear up to the parlor!
It was amazing how fast it all cleared. Within in a week most of the pasture was dryish.. but it was all black. It looked like a feedlot here. Yuck. We seeded the following weekend. We even had some much neded help! The Baker family spent part of the morning helping us spread seed.... all the while being pestered by Tater and a couple of curious cows. Friends Melissa and April also came out to help. I wish I had taken a picture of Melissa.... she walked the pasture for what seemed like hours with baby Gianna in the sling! Super Mama! :-) Chelsea came with April and played with the kids so we were able to get the job done! I don't think we would have gotten it done ourselves without all the help! It allowed Andy to focus on fence repairs and really made a difference for us!
We lost most of our grazeable pasture.. way too early in the year for that. Milk supply has signicantly dropped... so no more cream. Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE cream? The end of the cream season was not due till winter! I miss cream already.
Two weeks later.... we get hit with ANOTHER storm. This one was super scary. Debris flying everywhere... 80 mile an hour winds. And once again.. Andy was out in it! He was on his way home when it hit and there was a wreck about 2miles from the house. The woman seemed disoriented and Andy stayed with her.. he had her wait in his truck until help arrived. I cannot imagine how scary that must have been. The village of Alvo where they were had so many trees down the roads were blocked.. it must have been quite the site to watch that happen. We were luckier than most... we had a few trees down in fence line, he house was fine except for some basement flooding, and we lost power and missed a milking due to no power. We ran the generator to keep the milk in the store cold but couldn't get enough juice to run the milking system. Overall... we did OK with that storm.
Cleanup is on going. Construction has halted for the time being... purchasing hay in September was never in the budget. So, our milk room finish work will just have to wait till spring.
Fun stuff that happened this month: We hosted the API of Lincoln family potluck this month. It was a really great day! So much fun to take a day off, visit with friends and watch the kids play all day.
Yesterday we stopped by a friend's homeschool jamboree and the girls learned how to throw spears. They made an Atlatl and used it to throw the spears.. it was great fun!
Other than that the month was pretty much normal (as she laughs out loud). Normal? Is there such a thing on a farm? Oh well..... that which does not kill us only makes us stronger... right? Seriously... I bet we have the best pasture around next year!
Artisan Cheesemaker. Lover of all foods dairy..