Lintons Take Ocracoke Island

This week the Lintons are all on island time. We made the trip to Hatteras Islands for a few days. Alec and I came up by ourselves yesterday because the boys had baseball games rescheduled for Sunday. Today we were finally all able to be together and go on adventures.

We boarded a ferry and made the hour long voyage to Ocracoke Island where we visited a lighthouse, hung out with Blackbeard, toured all the beach houses, had a fabulous dinner, and soaked in a gorgeous sky on the beach. All in all, a great day despite chilly temperatures. Wish us luck tomorrow as we climb all the stairs to the top of Cape Hatteras!

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The Ferry

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Ocracoke Lighthouse

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The Beach

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Copyright Rural Ris Photos 2016 | All Rights Reserved | Pictures Available for Sale Upon Request

You Have to be Brave to Raise Livestock

Two weeks ago was a tough week on the farm. We lost 3 animals in the span of 3 days, and that…. that was really hard.

I’ve been raising livestock for 13 years, and have had animals since the day I was born. And, throughout that time, there has been loss. It comes with the territory. Some of those losses have impacted me more than others, but no matter what animal it is, it never gets easier.

The other week we lost two goats- Tres and Nala, and our barn cat- Sassy. Tres was unexpected. She was fine one day, and gone the next.

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Nala, lost her battle to a raging infection, despite 3 visits to the vet, several antibiotics, and meds to control the fever.

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Sassy was 13 years old, and we knew his time was drawing near. He lived his last days as a house cat.

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Nala was the the third one to go, and at that point, I was ready to throw up my hands. It was entirely frustrating and emotional. You work so hard to keep these animals healthy. When they get sick, you do everything you can to make them better, and sometimes it isn’t good enough. When your best isn’t good enough, that can cut deep.

Nala went into premature labor. Not only that, but the baby was not in the proper position. After trying for 40 minutes to realign the baby, we decided that we couldn’t do it. We knew the baby was already dead, so we loaded Nala up to go to the vet. Those vets worked for more than an hour to deliver that fetus. Everyone was tired, especially Nala. She was registering a temperature of 105. The next few days was a series of banamine for the fever, antibiotics for the infection, oxytocin for a retained placenta, and more trips to the vet. We were hoping that it would clear up. We were hoping that we could try again for a baby next year, but it wasn’t meant to be. Nala was my best doe. I was the most excited for her baby. It would be her first and the first off our new buck. I put a lot of hopes and dreams into them, and it went up in smoke.

When you raise livestock, they have a purpose. It may be for breeding stock; it may be for showing; it may just be to go to market. Whatever the purpose, you put hopes into that animal. Sometimes you get your hopes up.

Losing an animal isn’t about the money spent at the vet. It isn’t about the money lost in the investment of the animal. It isn’t about having to dig a hole. It is about heart. I may not shed a tear for every animal that dies, but they all hit me. They all are a life, and that affects my heart. It doesn’t matter how many animals you have, or the scale of your farm.

I recently heard a story of a hog farm that had the PED virus. This virus caused 100% mortality in baby pigs. Although there are thousands of pigs in those barns, the farmers wept. Not because they were losing dollars, but because that life was gone, and that was devastating. The hope and potential of that animal was gone. Their best efforts weren’t always good enough.

After hearing that story and thinking of my week last week, one word came to mind-bravery. Raising animals takes bravery. You have to be brave to put hope and dreams into an animal that does not have a 100% guarantee. Even if it has a totally healthy life, the lifespan of animals is not the same as ours. You are choosing to love and care for a ticking time bomb. When that animal does pass away, it takes bravery to continue. You have to be brave to care for another animal.

When I was on the third day of losing an animal, I wanted to walk away. I didn’t want to put expectations or hopes into yet another animal that might not make it, but then… then I saw the other side of the spectrum. I saw little Pluto, only a week old, braving the cold weather to explore his world, and I smiled.

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Raising livestock is hard. It is frustrating. There are tears. There are also smiles, joy, and heart. Raising livestock takes bravery. In spite of loss, in spite of sadness, I choose bravery and to hope once more in an animal, because that is what it is all about.

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Ice, sword fights, and boys

Typically, I have a love/hate relationship with the weather, but right now it’s mostly hate. It is causing one heck of a mess around here. The grossness isn’t just about inconvenience, it is causing a lot more work too. The ice caused a lot of limbs to fall, and of course loads of mud. While these photos are from the first ice round, I thought it appropriate considering yesterday’s ice and today’s rain.

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During all the cleanup, there was a bit of an accident too.

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How? Well, let’s just say boys will be boys, and let the next picture do the rest of the talking…

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Yes, that is sword fighting. Everything turned out fine, though. Mom cleaned up Isaac’s wound and put some butterfly strips on it. He was good to go, and now has a cool upside down v scar.

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Needless to say, the weather is taking  bit of a toll on us. It’ll be fine, though. We’ll just keep praying for sunshine.

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Into the Woods: Litter Hunting

A walk in the woods typically involves peace, beautiful sights, birds, trees, and maybe a deer. That was not the case for us today. Mom’s 4-H club, WHEP, took a romp in the woods; however, it wasn’t what you might think.

DSC_0116Big Sweep is an initiative in our county where groups collect trash along waterways, and records what is picked up too. For years, WHEP 4-H club has participated in this initiative. We are on our second location (we ran out of trash to pick up in the first area). Last year we started “litter hunting” at a boat ramp along the Neuse River. We thought last year held some interesting finds–a swimming pool– but this year took the cake.

We ended up finding 3 televisions, 1 recliners, a ton of carpet, a nightstand, 12 deer skeletons, like a thousand bottles, a lawn chair, and a host of other things.

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All in all, we collected a grand total of 720 pounds of trash!! Can you believe that?!

Everyone was such good sports too. The kids actually loved hunting for litter and seeing what they could find. Into the woods they would go, and run out, excited about the virtual living room set they just found.

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There was definitely a lot of gross stuff, but in the midst of the trash, there was still God’s beauty. It just needed a little (or rather big) sweep.

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Giant Jenga and a Farm Visit

One of my favorite things to do is share agriculture with others (I’m sure it is in no way obvious), especially kids. This past week, we had a passel of kids come out and visit the farm, and it was a blast!

Mom’s 4-H club came out for their end of the year party. We had a ton of games for them to play like giant Jenga, lawn Twister, Kerplunk, giant tic-tac-toe, corn hole, washer toss, horseshoes, pick-up sticks, and even a fossil dig! We also set up an archery station and hay ride. While it was a lot of work making all of the games, it was also a lot of fun. We went through a ton of spray paint and hot glue. We also may or may not have used chainsaws, battled mosquitoes, and gotten sunburnt while preparing for the big day. It looked great in the end, if I do say so myself.

The games were ready, but we were inviting the group to a farm. It only makes sense to introduce them to a bit of farm life. We penned up a few of the more friendly animals and the babies for the kids (and parents) to interact with. Minus Dodger, all the animals behaved. Dodger was nice to the people, but he has jealousy issues and did not want to share the attention. Since he decided to be a bully to the other animals, I tied him up outside the pen beside me.

The day ended up being a great success. Some of the kids had never been on a farm before, so that was really special to have them experience farm life. I watched some kids walk into the pen, very hesitant and somewhat nervous, but by the end of the day, they were going in there and catching the goats all on their own. They cracked up at the goats nibbling their clothes and even fed the animals treats. Many questions were asked, and it was so fun to answer them. Garrett even brought pigs from his farm to let the kids see and touch. All in all, the kids were able to interact with a donkey, goats, sheep, and pigs.

I think it is so important to share agriculture and farm life with others. When only 2% of the population live on farms, many do not get to experience what it is like. Sure, they didn’t learn what it is like to shovel manure, give shots, or trim hooves, but they did get to have a hands-on experience with livestock and learn a bit too. To me, that is what it is all about. Take a look at some more pictures from the day, and if anyone wants to come back out, especially to learn the dirty side of farming, then come on!

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Family Tree: Branching Out is Hard

Although I mostly talk about pigs, sheep and anything agriculture on Rural Ris, I feel that insight into my personal life and who my family is, can help shape the image of who Rural Ris is…

Marisa's Many Musings

Family~ LIKE BRANCHES ON A TREE WE MAY GROW IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS, YET OUR ROOTS REMAIN AS ONE.

trreDuring a time when my family has two kids in college, and two still in elementary school, the quote above has a lot of meaning. We are all in a hundred places at once, trying to lead separate lives, yet one cohesive life simultaneously. Quite frankly, it gets hard. Inevitably we are not all going to be at every event together. There was a time when this was possible, but now, well, now it simply isn’t.

Despite all living under one roof, there are weeks where it is hard to get everyone’s schedules to coincide so we can all six of us eat dinner together. There are many a time where I have to explain to the little boys that I can’t go to their first basketball game because I have class…

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Football, Testosterone, and Sinful Dip

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Note: the chocolate syrup had nothing to do with what we were eating and everything to do with Gideon wanting chocolate milk 🙂

Sandwiched between all the boys in the house (so much testosterone), I, like many others, watched the Oregon vs. Ohio game last night. It was a great game, and quite honestly, I wouldn’t have minded either team winning; however, I decided at the start of the game, I should pick a side. I became a Buckeye fan for the night. This was a smart move on my part since they won. Hurrah!

Now, I must confess a few things–1) I love a good game of football, but I like the food better. There, I said it. 75% of why I’m in it is for the food. Well, maybe 65%. I do enjoy the company, hype, and the game too.  2) I am forever craving wings. When I was in a dorm at Campbell University, I discovered that the campus convenient store (conveniently located beside my dorm) carried frozen hot wings. I’d take them back and microwave them. During exams, it and sweet tea were my go to stress relief. Because of my craving for wings, I am constantly looking for excuses to get them (do I really need to have an excuse? I should evaluate that…). The football game became a perfect excuse. So, we cooked wings. 3) My last confession is I LOVE Pinterest. Forget Google, I typically go straight to Pinterest. My brother Gideon has learned that if Risa is cooking, it is probably something new from Pinterest. He is normally dubious. Anyways, I wanted dip for last night in addition to the wings. Naturally, I consulted Pinterest. I found a recipe for Sinful Dip. It looked heavenly (is that an oxymoron?). It was easy to make and tasted so good. So good in fact, that I didn’t get a picture until part of it was devoured. Oops!

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You get the picture, though. I made a few changes to the original recipe like using bacon instead of ham (Yay for pork!). Personally, I think that was a no brainer. So, here is the sinful dip. I hope you enjoy!

 

ingredients

 

Sinful Dip

  • 16oz sour cream
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of bacon bits
  • 1/4 tsp of hot sauce
  • 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
  • salt
  • pepper

Mix the ingredients together and place in a small casserole dish. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes. Serve with crackers or chips.