Monthly Archives: October 2010

Finally, a day off …

Here it is 7:30 and I am sitting in front of the computer with most of my outdoor chores done.  I didn’t milk Gwen this morning so the chores are minimal.  All I need to do is to move the goats and cows down into the lower pasture.

We have a few chores that we want to get done today; namely cleaning out the goat shelter and getting windows on one more side of the milk parlor.  I am going to take Trophy and go for a good, long ride … somewhere, not sure where we’ll go yet.  Waiting to see if a friend of mine is going to be able to get off work early enough to go with me.  If not, I’ll ride by myself.  The plan is to take Gel with me where ever I go.  He’s still getting used to my working during the day.  He had such a long time with having me home day in and day out.

We put a saddle on Al Bin yesterday evening and lounged him with it on.  He was really good about it!  When I get back from my ride on Trophy, I’m going to leave the trailer in a location where I can start to work on getting Al Bin to load.  The plan is to commit to riding several times during the week when I get out of work.  My schedule is going to stay reasonably set so that I can get home by 3 or 4 which will leave me plenty of time to ride.  I want to start ponying Al Bin off Trophy during these rides.  Once I get him loading reliably, I’ll start taking him on my rides with Trophy.

Trophy is the horse I should be riding; Al Bin is the horse I really want to ride …

The kitten that I found on my ride last Sunday is doing well.  I think she’s already expired at least two of her nine lives.  I had been putting her outside during the day and bringing her in at night.  Friday night, we couldn’t find her.  We looked everywhere for her.  I got up several times over the night to look for her, but she wasn’t to be found.  We thought for sure she was gone for good.  Saturday morning when I was out feeding the cats I heard her meowing.  Looked and looked, but couldn’t find her until I walked past the trash can.  She had fallen in the trash can and likely spent the night in it.  Brought her in and let her drink her fill of warm Jersey milk.  Wally went to get another load of venison scraps Saturday afternoon and she gorged on that.  This is one very lucky kitten.  Needless to stay, she’ll stay confined when we are not around to keep an eye on her.

We made a pig shelter out of straw bales and a piece of painted plywood (for the roof).  It seems like it will work okay for them.  It’s only 40 degrees this morning.  They seem to be doing okay on the scraps I bring home for them from the restaurant.  While these pigs are not being fed as well as the last two; one would think that vegetable scraps, cheese and pizza crusts is as at least as nutritious as regular pig grain (usually ground corn and soy).  Almost everything that is served at Mellow Mushroom is prepared from fresh ingredients.

Until later …

Oh, it’s tempting …

This job came up on Career Builder this morning:

Large Charlotte Corporation is seeking a Contract Corporate Real Estate Paralegal.

Daily tasks and responsibilities include:

  • Resolve CRE issues
  • Very heavy drafting experience
  • Draft and review deeds, leases, amendments, non-disturbance agreements, seller affidavits
  • Organize and maintain files
  • Review title and survey documents
  • Prepare closing documents
  • Preparing, securing, drafting, and processing of legal documents
  • Review documents for validity, content and accuracy.
  • Remain compliant with company policies and procedures.

It’s right up my alley, but it’s in Charlotte (50 miles commute one way); and do I really want to go back to a desk job?  My biggest fear about going back to my real profession is getting laid off again.  Not to mention it’s an employer market.  Because there are so many people out of work, employers can get away with just about anything because they know they can easily find another body to fill a position.  It’s disgusting.

And talk about disgusting.  Not sure how I ended up on this web site last night, but I did and it about made me vomit.  I adopted an Australian Shepherd from this breeder several years ago.  I believed the breeder when she told me that the dog would make a great agility dog.  She was dead wrong.  Now I see she’s breeding “champion” Border Collies and has these “awesome agility dogs” available to pet and/or performance homes.  Damn, what are these “champion” breeders doing to the breed?

Ruining it.  This breeder ought to sick with Australian Shepherds, a breed that has already been all but ruined as a working dog thanks to these “champion” breeders.

Until later …

The days just keep rolling on …

We decided to sell the pigs this week. While I’m getting a huge bag of scraps every day, what I’m getting probably isn’t enough nutrition to keep them going without milk. I can milk Gwen every day, but that’s exhausting, at least right now because I’m so exhausted.  I didn’t milk her this morning, I should have, but I didn’t.  The calves will drain her as soon as I move them down there.   I’d like the option of not milking her if I didn’t need the milk for us or to sell. We only have two milk clients right now (they use the milk to feed their dogs), which is good.  What they pay us per week pays for Gwen’s grain.  Not sure what will happen when the goats freshen.   We’ll definitely get more pigs then.   Another factor is making sure the pigs have adequate shelter for the colder weather.  Something we really don’t have time to work on now.   Wally finished fencing the back of the horse paddock (the former agility field) on his own this weekend out of necessity: the goats were getting out and wandering around during the day.  Fencing is not a job that should be done solo.  I’m now thinking there were jobs that we I should have completed while I was off.  I knew this would happen.

I was supposed to be off on Saturday so that I could attend a competitive trail ride.  I asked for the day off several times, but my request was forgotten and I’m scheduled to work.  I could press the issue and demand the day off, but I don’t want to rock the boat.  There are too many other people that would like my job and I need to hold on to it.  In the grand scheme of things, even if I was off, I may not have gone to the ride because I’m so bloody tired.  Not to mention, I haven’t exactly been getting many miles on Trophy lately.  Some of that has to do with my inability to find a saddle that fits both of us properly.

I did ride for a while on Sunday and it was a very interesting ride.  We were out in Vale and my riding companion got a telephone call.  We stopped so she could talk.  While we were standing there, I thought I heard a cat meow so I rode Trophy down to where I heard the sound come from.  I saw a kitten, but it ran away when it saw the horse.  I went back to where my companion was standing.  I saw the cat (it was a kitten) come out again.  I got off Trophy and walked toward her.  Then she came right to me.  It was a tortoiseshell medium-coated kitten.  I picked her up and her motor immediately started running.  I walked back over to my companion and she said that animals were dropped off in this location a lot.  I put the kitten down and got back on Trophy and the kitten started to follow us out.  I stopped again, got off and picked up the kitten and we started to walk towards the road.  My companion called her husband and he drove down with a carrier to bring the kitten back to her house.

Like we need another cat!  When we got back to the house, my companion’s husband said that he thought there was a condom sticking out of the kitten’s rear end!!!  I took her out and looked and sure enough there was.  That kitten was so hungry she ate a used condom!!!  I was able to pull it out and she seems fine.  She’s a very affectionate little creature with no fear.  Not so sure this is a good thing.  I brought her out with me yesterday morning while I milked Gwen and she almost got stepped on.

It’s a shame what happens to animals in this World.  I feel sure that kitten wouldn’t have lasted too much longer out there if we didn’t come across her.  If my companion had not received a telephone call, we may have never come across the kitten.  Funny how things happen.

Well, I had better go back outside and move the goats and calves down to the pasture, let the chickens and ducks out and feed them and then come back in and get in the shower.  I have to be in work by 8 this morning.  At least I have a regular schedule: Monday through Saturday 8:00 until … ???? usually 3:00.  Not so bad I guess.  It could be worst: I could be working at Wal-Mart or Walgreens … now that’s a bad thought.

Until later …

Can I just go back to bed now?

Don’t know why I’m so tired these days.  My allergies are bad, which is probably why.  Morning chores are particularly exhausting these days.  Wally does most of the evening chores and gets to sleep in while I do the morning shift.  I went to bed a little after seven last night and slept all night.  Guess I needed it.

Mellow Mushroom is already starting to cut hours.  I got sent home early two days in a row.  I expect they’ll have fewer people on shifts next week.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get at least 30 hours a week, but that may be wishful thinking.

Gosh, if the recession is indeed over, then where are the jobs?

Oh well.

Until later …

We knew it was going to happen …

Wally and I were talking last night about how much we had talked about the eventuality of my going back to work full time.  We’ve had it pretty easy the past almost-two-years in that I have been home, for the most part, to take care of things (including him).  He hasn’t had to do a whole lot of contribution as far as the daily chores go.

Things are different now … and it’s been fine, it really has been.

Wally’s knee has been bothering him a lot lately.  I was worried that he was going to give in and head to a conventional doctor for a steroid shot.  I started him on supplements and made him take it easy on the weekends and it looks like the knee is improving.  Good!

Working at Mellow Mushroom is not where I planned on ending up, but it seems to be a pretty good thing.  Yesterday was the easiest day so far.  Hopefully it will continue to get better.  I had hoped to get a day off this week, but I don’t think it’s going to happen, at least not this week.  Ultimately, I’d like to get to where I can work four or five longish days and have two days off.  I don’t think I’ll ever get two days in a row off, at least not unless I request this.

As I write this, Wally is still asleep, but I’ll be heading in to wake him soon.  I get up earlier to have a few minutes to read the web sites I like to read on a daily basis (ha! virtually none of them relate to Border Collies!), check the local Craigslist (you never know what might show up), pay bills, etc.  It’s really cool!  It’s gone from bloody hot to unseasonably cool.  Is there no happy medium?  Hopefully tonight I can get some greens planted.  I’d love to ride one night too.  Maybe now that the job is a bit more relaxing I’ll have the energy to do it.  At least with Trophy, catching and getting him ready to ride isn’t the rodeo it was with Merlin.

Just woke Wally up and told him that if he wanted to see me before he went to work, he’d better get up.  His comment was, “I can’t see much of you wearing a head lamp.”  He’s right, it’s damned dark out there right now.  Dark and cold …

Until later …

Seven days straight

I’ve now worked seven days straight and I’m exhausted.  I’m going to have to ask for a day off this week to rest.  I wasn’t supposed to go in on Sunday, but I told them I’d come in at 8 until they opened at 11.  I didn’t leave until almost 2.  That did in any plans to ride that day. That restaurant is insanely busy.  I guess that’s a good thing.

I got up early and made a huge batch of chili so we’ll have that to eat throughout the week.  All I need to do when I get home tonight is make some cornbread to go with it.  I love chili!

Got two more pigs yesterday.  I have the option of bringing home all the food scraps that I can carry.  Figured we’d put that to use.  We got two Hampshire X castrated male pigs.  One is black and white, the other light brown and white.  They are smaller than the last two.  I expect they’ll grow quickly.

Al Bin and Trophy almost killed me this morning.  I went down to feed them in the dark and something spooked Al Bin.  He started twirling around, ran into the gate and kicked it.  Trophy picked up on the panic and started running.  Luckily I was able to keep my footing and didn’t get injured.  We need to get the gate moved down to the lower part of the paddock where it will be less slippery when wet.

Off to take a shower.

Until later …

Aliens have landed?

There has been a very odd noise coming from the pond at night.  It sounds a bit like a bunch of ducks muttering (the noise male ducks make) at a very high rate of speed.  Very odd.  Not sure what it is.

Must be aliens.

I cooked the first of the pork from our pigs Wednesday night.  It was fabulous!!!  We have a small freezer full of ground pork, both sausage-seasoned and unseasoned.  Looks like we’ll be eating a lot of pork, but given how tasty it is, I don’t think we’ll mind a bit.

I wrote a while back about cutting off several of our milk clients.  It had become way too irritating dealing with them.  I found out last night that they found another source about 15-20 miles away.  They were happily buying two week supplies from this person.  Heck … they were complaining to me about the freshness of milk that was milked the day before and here they are buying milk and keeping it for two weeks.  Maybe there’s something wrong with my refrigerator, but milk doesn’t stay fresh longer than a week here.  Apparently keeping it on ice in the refrigerator makes it last longer.  Hmmmmm.

This all goes to show that if a person wants something and they have the money and means to get it, they’ll find someone willing to supply them.  I prefer to keep my goats on a seasonable schedule.  It is not natural for them to be lactating in late fall/early winter.  I know there are plenty of people that keep their goats going all year round, but I’m not going to be one of them.  I milked three goats this morning and got a gallon and a half.  They won’t be milked tonight so that’s all I’ll get.  One of the goats was one that was giving a gallon a milking.  They are drying off and I’m letting them do it.

At Mellow Mushroom, they are calling me Queen of the Prep Kitchen.  I guess it’s good to be appreciated.  At first I think they had their doubts about my abilities and if they kept me up on the front lines, I’d doubt my abilities, but in the back where I can cut, dice, slice, mix, portion, etc., I’m golden.  They asked me to start to come in an hour earlier so I’ll have an extra hour in the morning to get food ready.  That’s cool.  I doubt I’ll get out earlier, but maybe once the kinks get worked out I can work 8 to 2 or 3.  That wouldn’t be too bad.

Until later …