Flooding raised the bar for farm adventures

I don?t know about the rest of you, but it?s been so wet lately that I think I might have mushrooms growing behind my ears. I guess I should have splurged on those Morel spores.

It?s been an interesting month out here at the Funny Farm. When we moved out here, the previous owners told us about flooding (one time they actually kayaked in the back pasture), but they assured us the water never got into the house.

Well, over the drought-ridden years, we either forgot or took it for granted that it wouldn?t happen again. WRONG.

It rained. And rained. And poured. Suddenly, I had real insight as to how Noah might have felt. I worried about the chicken coops that might be (and indeed were) in the flood zone. I worried about the feed in the barn. I worried about the newly baled hay that?s supposed to feed the horses this winter. And I tried not to let the kids see me worry, which was the hardest of all.

When the waters started to rise, we thought it might be a good idea to move the horses to higher ground. Intrepid hubby went out and caught Aces, then we both had a stab at catching Aurora. She?s standoffish at the best of times, but when you?re standing out there getting soaked and she refuses to be haltered, she seems downright antisocial.

I thought it might be a good idea to try the old Indian trick of working a horse in water (theoretically slowing them down). She was apparently on to that one. She promptly waded through water 2 feet deep and retreated to the other end of the pen.

In the meantime, hubby?s idea was to pull the trailer onto dry ground and load the horses into it. That?s rather hard to do when the trailer has two flat tires and your truck gets stuck in the mud. We abandoned the trailer idea, but he managed to want the truck out again (with the help of the tractor). At this point, I was thinking that horses are good swimmers. If Aurora wanted to be in the water, let her stand in the blessed water.

Our sainted neighbors were good enough to help build a temporary pen in a corner of their barn for Aces. At this point, our tempers were frayed to the snapping point, our clothes were dripping, and life was miserable. The water was lapping closer and closer to the house…then the kids told us that there was water IN the house. Oh joy.

Sure enough, the drain in our sunroom (luckily a brick floor) was backing up. Folks, I can?t stress this enough?you can never have too many towels, mops or buckets. I drew the line at using our ?good? bath towels, but now I?m glad I?m such a packrat for keeping all those old raggedy towels.

It took all of us hauling towels and manning mops to get the water sopped up. Some even ran into the basement, but luckily it only ruined cardboard boxes full of mason jars.

The most horrible blow was looking out to the garden and only seeing the top 6 inches of tomato plants. Intrepid hubby has been nurturing them for months (he planted the seeds himself). I had wonderful visions of canned tomatoes, dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, pickled tomatoes…alas, it?s not to be.

Out of almost 30 plants, we lost them all to multiple floods. Luckily, we still have some beans, cucumbers and zucchini that made it, but the tomatoes were what I really wanted.

I almost waded out to a round bale in the back pasture to show how deep the water was, but the water quickly threatened to overflow my wellies. Suffice to say the water was almost halfway up a round bale laying on its side. There?s still a pretty big pond out there, with mosquitoes to match. I think I?m going to invest in whatever company manufactures Off!, since we use so much of it.

On the good side, we have a promising new crop of guineas, which should help with mosquitoes and ticks. Aside from that drain flowing in when it rains hard, we haven?t had water in the main parts of the house.

We have a new kitten (who still needs to learn what a litterbox is, but boy is she cute). The kiddos are off to school and enjoying it. Our vehicles run, the critters are doing well…except for the chickens, who are on strike.

Life could be much worse.

It?s been a weird weather year. I can?t remember the last time I wore a jacket in August. Let?s all remember to be thankful for what we have and have hope for the future.

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