It's not until tomorrow but since Thursday is almost over I can start celebrating Friday. Would Friday be so dear to me if Monday was not so painful? I don't think so. There is a quiet euphoria in school when Friday rolls around just knowing we can stay home the next day. For me it's a chance to be with my animals and play with all my toys. I am challenging myself to go through the mountain of clothes in my bedroom that I saved from the possums in the tractor shed. Yes, I know, that was a long time ago that I went into the giant pole barn to find clothes I hauled up here from New Jersey and discovered possums living in them. I salvaged what I could and brought them into the house. I have a hard time giving up clothing. If I wait long enough it always come back into style. Most of my stuff is classic country and that never goes out of style. I don't have to dress up for my job and farm living does not require a stylish wardrobe. I do like to have something nice to wear to the Fur Ball in February and occasionally to church. It's snowing outside, just a soft little snow, but more will come tonight. The barn water was frozen this morning and I'm in full tote water mode. Twice a day, morning and night, I carry water out of the milk house and pour it into the hanging buckets for the sheep and goats (keeps the ducks out), chickens in the chicken room, bunny bowls (five cages, soon to be more), and two dog bowls. I put out all they can drink, twice a day, and that seems to be enough. This way they are always drinking clean water and nothing has a chance to drown in a tank. It requires about six trips in and out of the milk room. I have one container filling up while I carry two out to empty. I use old large kitty litter containers with handles. I've used the same containers for several years, a testament to how long they would last in the land fill. Like forever. The door on the milk house room doesn't always shut correctly while I'm toting water out and the goats pry it open. I come back for more water to find six or eight goats with noses in the feed sacks and chicken flying everywhere. I have to chase the goats out, then shoo the chickens with a broom or they will roost over my dye stove and poop all over it. Life on the farm. Never a dull moment in the Land of Poo.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Monday, November 17, 2014
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Matt did a great job rebuilding the East End barn door. He scraped the mud/manure off the concrete slab making it a lot easier for the sheep and goats to get in and out of the barn. Instead of a giant sliding door to open and close, he built a smaller door within the door. Very clever. This magnificent old barn needs more work than we could ever do in our life times. It would take an Amish community to restore it to it's former glory. I love this old, classy barn, and still say ahhhhhh when I drive over the hill and see it looming in the distance. I think it's the prettiest barn in Brookfield Township. More importantly, it provides shelter from the storm to many, many lives inside it. We're fairly well buttoned up for winter now. No drafts on the bunnies. The milk house drain hasn't frozen yet. Life is good.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
A day when I can stay home and work on the farm is a true gift. I did leave to get to the Post Office in the village of Brookfield. The hours have been cut by the Feds and I can only see Sharon, the postmaster, married to a former teacher at my school (don't you love country living?) between 8 and 10:30 in the morning. I picked up my mail and sent off two packages, which always gives me enormous satisfaction. Casting my bread upon the waters, only it's soap. Got back to the farm and straight away set about securing the Nubian Goat Area. Matt was very helpful with tying up fence panels and covering windows so the winter wind doesn't chill them. The goat pen was the pig pen, but there are no pigs here now. It runs along the barn so the Nubian goats can see the other goats and sheep but can't mingle with them until Spikey has done his job. We caught Janey, Fancy's daughter from two years ago, and Matilda, big FAT Nubian girl who has never been pregnant. She is gigantic from gorging on forage and Matt says the runty Spikey will not be able to mount her and do the job. I'm hoping Matilda comes into cycle and decides to cooperate by lowering her back side to accomodate Spikey. One can only hope. The angora goats earn their keep by producing mohair. The Nubians are supposed to produce goat milk. So far it's not working out as well as I hoped. Fancy, who is still on the loose, was a BITCH to nurse and required Matt sitting on a chair with his arms around her neck, holding her still. She did whatever she could to kick the bucket over every time I milked her. Good thing she's so beautiful, and that Miss Tammy at the abbatoir behind the Chobani factory does not do goats. I'm going to give it one more try. After working on the goats I started scraping and sweeping the milk house where the cats will winter over. They are being moved from the "work room," a utility room next to the apartment, so Matt can build my cabinets. Yes, it's happening. The wood and tools I purchased was delivered on Thursday and is piled in the room. I don't want to talk too much about it as I might jinx it. The milk house room is where my dye stove and wool washing machine is. It's not a bad place for kitties as they can go in and out via the bulk tank hose trap door. I bleached and washed all the bucket and feed pans I have in the barn. Can't remember when I did it last and it took some time. Gentle snow was falling outside and the sun was showing a bit. It feels weird to work in the barn while suited up in my fleece pants, rubber boots and a hat on my head, but it's that cold now. Came on real fast this year, in the Great North Land.
Friday, November 14, 2014
I rushed off to work thinking OH, how beautiful! The sun shining through the icy branches and the hills covered with a lovely dusting of snow. My joy was short-lived when I had been traveling on route 8 going south toward New Berlin and I noticed the cars coming the other way were creeping along with emergency flashers on. I drove on a little way and had almost reached the Chobani factory when I saw traffic stopped and several rescue vehicles. Two cars had apparently collided and were smashed to half their size. I tapped my brakes to stop and guess what. No stopping. I kept sliding and sliding and was fast approaching the back of the vehicle in front of me when I had no choice but to steer off the road to avoid it. Luckily there was no culvert to dive into at that spot and a lovely mile marker pole stopped me. I put it in reverse and backed out onto the road which was a solid sheet of invisible ice. Not a bit of silt or salt or grit had been spread on it. We were eventually allowed to pass and I had to make a quick decision to either go miles down route 8 and cut over on 23 to Norwich, far out of my way, or risk going over the hills and dales to school the way I usually go. I took a chance only to find a big truck stuck on Columbus Hill, not able to go forward or backward. It took ten minutes for him to inch upward off the hill and pull over to let me and the one car behind me pass by. I found out later that was my co-worker, Fawn, behind me, equally shook up over finding herself on impassable roads. Low and behold when I creeped down the mountain into Sherburne the temps were high enough to melt the ice and route 12 was fine. I pulled into the school parking lot and jumped out to check the front of my new-old Honda van. The metal pole had not done much damage and I recalled the two totaled cars on route 8 with the policeman picking up a back pack out of one of them. I wondered if it was a student and a fatality since I didn't see the ambulance speeding away. Still don't know. I asked Fawn how she made out on those awful roads and she said I was right behind you! We got through our day and now it's Friday night. I'm still chasing Spikey around the barn. Got him in a dog pen now until I can fashion a secure space for him. He's so cute but such a runt. Maybe I can trade him with somebody for a full sized buck my girls might want. The angora does, smaller than my Nubians, think Spikey is adorable, but that's a line I don't want to cross. I'm in from chores at nine and pretty well knackered. There is a mountain of dishes in the sink I should get up and wash before nighty-night. Thing is I want nighty-night even more than a clean sink. Wouldn't it be nice if the Irish faeries would come in the wee hours to surprise me? Not a chance.