Activities for a Disabled Farmer

So I have been slowly figuring out what I can do here on the farm with my good-for-almost-nothing back.  I could simply use my laptop on the couch, play Farmville, and go quietly crazy.  Or I can figure out what I can still do that involves no sitting or bending forward, and limited standing.  As I mentioned earlier I learned how to spin with my miniSpinner laying on my side (the preferred position for my back).  Above are the skeins I have finished so far.  Below is me finally taking on the task of spinning my dog Mica’s fur.  Mica’s been dead a few years now, but when she was alive I saved her fur that I had to shear off her each year or she turned into a matted mess.  Her fiber is amazingly soft and a gorgeous color so I finally feel competent to spin it.  I initially was spinning it raw but then used my drum carder on some ,and it is easier to spin and a softer prettier yarn.

I helped Tom catch roosters for butchering.  We did it after dark (which occurs at 5:00 now) so I just had to grab them from their roosts.  No bending involved.  Here’s the freshest chicken you can get.

I have also been making wine from fruit I picked before my back had its little temper tantrum.  Here’s the wines just after racking the liquid must from the fruit solids.  There’s blackberry, red plum and golden plum/white grape.

And I have pickled some eggs.  Our new hens have been laying enough eggs I can actually pickle again!  There’s almost nothing better than a pickled egg sandwich and after 10 days of pickling I will have my first in a number of years.  On the left is Dilly Eggs and in the middle and right are the Mustard Pickled Eggs.

And, of course, I can take photos and blog too.

Next I am trying to invent a skirting table that does not involve bending forward.  I am thinking tall and tilted.  Our fall fleeces are almost dry and will need tending to.  (By the way, if anyone is interested in Shetland, Gotland, Cotswold, Mohair or Nygora fleeces let me know before I start advertising them.)


Obviously I am walking better as is Vanessa.  We are both down to anti-inflammatories only (no narcotics).  We both think rehab is boring though, but it is a good excuse to lounge around and watch football together.


Here is the pickled eggs recipe I usually use.

pickled eggs2

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20 Responses to Activities for a Disabled Farmer

  1. Chai Chai says:

    You get more work done while hurt than many completely healthy folks. Don’t get too tempted to sample the wine….

  2. Michelle says:

    I agree with Chai Chai about how much you’re getting done; amazing. So are you doing rehab/PT for now to see if that helps sufficiently, or what? The yarn is gorgeous, and I would love the recipes for pickled eggs, as we should be back to an over-abundance come spring. I’m surprised that the blackberry juice/wine/whatever is so bright red; I would have expected much darker! All three jugs are beautiful colors, though.

    • Thanks Michelle! I sure don’t feel very productive. I can’t start PT or back exercises until the nerves settle down, hopefully soon! The pickled eggs recipes are both in the ‘Encyclopedia of Country Living” book. Do you have it? If not, maybe I can sneak copies to you. I am surprised about the blackberry juice too. I thought it would be much darker, also the red plum. I tried to get a photo of the blackberry wine fermenting. All the little bubbles coming up through the pink with sunshine back lighting is quite pretty.

  3. Nancy says:

    Just LOOK at all of that beautiful yarn you have spun! And Mica’s fiber is just lovely. I’ve always blended dog hair with wool, to make it easier to spin but the color of Mica’s is so gorgeous. Do you have plans for what you’ll make with the yarn?

    I hope your back relaxes and lets you enjoy life a bit more. No pain would be nice! My back has been bothering me for the last week or so. Not much I can do about it since I live alone. This is one case were misery does not love company ~ I hope you get better, quickly!

    • Thanks Nancy! The spun yarn is definitely flawed, but I think I am improving anyway. Mica was such a precious dog to me I want the fiber to be unblended. It depends on how much yarn I get. It could be a hat or maybe even a sweater. I have a lot of fiber but not sure how much is spinnable.
      It sounds like you are sympathetic to back problems. The funny thing with mine is that my back does not hurt at all. It’s that my legs are numb, and my feet hurt. My back has hurt most of my adult life and now when things are serious it doesn’t. Weird huh? I hope yours feel better fast.

  4. Karen Anne says:

    I have never had or made pickled eggs. I found a recipe for a couple of interesting kinds on the web. How long do these keep in the refrigerator? Neither recipe includes normal canning stuff, just heating a liquid and pouring it over the eggs. Thanks.

    • My book has both canned and not canned recipes. This is the first time I have made the not canned type, and the book says they last for months in the fridge this way. Before I canned them in large jars and kept them on the shelf up to one year, and they were great!

  5. Michelle says:

    I don’t have that book, Donna, but perhaps when you have time, you could look on the web and see if there a recipe available that looks the same as yours. I think I’d like to have both the canned and not-canned types.

  6. rabbtux says:

    Once again you amaze me. When my back was like yours, I couldn’t do a thing, and didn’t want to. I admire you for carrying on and doing what you can. the yarn is absolutely gorgeous! and the canning, WOW! Years ago, before I injured my back, I was a veterinary technician at an animal hospital. (I injured my back on the job). I was spinning then. One of our favorite dog patients passed away. I snipped off some of his fur before his owner came to pick up the body. I spun it and the next time the owner came in to pay his bill, I gave it to him. He was really touched and got real choked up. It meant a lot to him.
    Hope you and Vanessa get well real soon.

    • Thanks Jackie! I don’t feel amazing, just trying not to go stir crazy! What a nice thing you did for that dog owner! I have been nervous to spin this because I did not want to screw it up, but so far so good.

  7. rabbtux says:

    I forgot to mention, I too, love the Encyclopedia of Country Living. I have the same edition as you and also got it back in the 90’s. I amazed with all the information in it. Very helpful.

    • Mine says it was published in 1995, and I must have bought it shortly after that. I put the new addition on my Christmas list. There should be some updated information and new stories plus it will support her heirs.

  8. Teresa says:

    You seem to be quite productive for a disabled farmer. Good thing you two have each other for company throughout rehab!

  9. Karen Anne says:

    When I was looking for the pickled eggs recipe, I ran across another version, Pickled Red Beet Eggs, at:

    This one reads a lot like the recipe for Harvard Beets from Fanny Merritt Farmer, which I really like, so I’m going to try this one too.

  10. sheepsclothing says:

    the yarn looks wonderful- and I love the colors of the wines in their carboys! Beautiful! I’ve never pickled eggs before- maybe I’ll give that a try-

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