Oh, that blue building! It was built back when I first moved to this property in 2002. Originally it was used to keep my breeding male cats in. When I stopped breeding cats, it became a storage building and that’s what it’s been up until now. Unfortunately, because it’s difficult to get around in, it had become quite a mess of a storage building. Wally hated the blue building because it’s only five and a half feet tall at its highest point. That’s okay for me because I’m only five feet, four inches, but Wally, who is six feet two, was frequently hitting his head on the roof. I would sometimes hit my head on the roof and moving around in a building where you have to stay stooped is very uncomfortable. Wally couldn’t avoid going into the building because we stored grain, hay and farm tools in there.
On Saturday, we FINALLY finished the ShelterLogic shelter and it’s fabulous!!!! One fine day I’ll get out there with a camera and take some pictures. On Sunday, while I cooked up a storm for Easter dinner, Wally started to clean out the blue building, organized what he took out and then transport it down to the ShelterLogic shelter. Once we got the blue building cleaned out, we pulled my milking stand out of the dog run it has been in since October and put it in the blue building.
Over the years, the blue building has been sinking into the ground on the far side, making it probably less than five and a half feet tall at the highest point. I had the bright idea of lifting the back of the building and putting it up on cinder blocks. We did that and voila! Wally can almost stand upright at the highest point in the building and I can walk all the way to the end without stooping. We put some spare pieces of goat panel around the bottom of the building to keep the chickens and ducks out. Now I have a true milking parlor! I can’t wait to go out there and milk this morning. The goats are going to be so confused. They won’t know where to go to get milked. I’m sure Gel will be as confused.
Once we cleaned out the run where I was milking and the ATV was stored, we put the front panel back on that run and spread some straw on the ground. Now I have three good dog runs with working doors. The original third run didn’t have a working door which was a pain. That run is now storage for spare pieces of wood and plastic buckets.
On Saturday, Wally borrowed a lawn mower from a neighbor and mowed the entire property and it looks fabulous. Everything is so green. Still waiting on Marcus to get out here and level my agility field. Since it’s been raining so much, I’ve decided to wait until we have close to a week of dry weather, whenever that may be, before calling to remind him of his promise.
I worked every day last week except for Tuesday and things got behind both in the house and in my writing. We took Rose to be spayed on Wednesday and she’s recovering well from her surgery. I haven’t taken her down with the sheep since her surgery and given the weather that is forecast for today (rain) I’ll probably leave her up with the goats one more day.
Hopefully I’ll be able to catch up on things this week. This morning, I filed extensions for my income tax. I am simply not going to have my expenses re-entered in time to get them done. Not to mention I cannot afford to purchase Turbo Tax for another week or so. I went out by my car on Sunday and saw that the glass was shattered on the rear side window. We had bad storms on Friday and I think something may have been blown into the window. We were so busy on Saturday, I never even looked at my car! I’m hoping my insurance will pay for it, but until then, I need to make sure I have sufficient funds set aside to pay for it. My book sold well last month and I had earmarked some of that to pay for Turbo Tax, but it may have to be used to pay to replace the window. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.
The dogs: Gel, Fern and Kessie are all doing fine. A while back, an awesome home came about for Cian. He’s living with some friends of ours as a companion to their older Border Collie cross. He has four fenced-in acres to run in, a friendly canine companion and humans who think that just because he sits, comes when he’s called and likes to go for car rides, that he’s the most brilliant dog in the Universe. Finally, Cian has a home where people appreciate him for who he is. No more expectations on him that he cannot live up to. We’ve gone to check on him several times since he’s been there and it’s obvious he’s happy as can be there. It was a very good placement. I placed Sarah on a trial basis with a local cattle farmer who recently lost his Australian Shepherd. She went last Sunday. I checked on her Thursday night and so far, she’s doing okay. She isn’t working all that well yet, but I think she simply needs time to settle in. She’s been moved around quite a bit lately. The farmer doesn’t need her to do a lot at this point and I think he’s enjoying having canine companionship after the loss of his Aussie. I’m hoping he’ll keep her.
Except for going to agility on Tuesday, I did virtually no training last week. All of the dogs got regular work to do, I just didn’t train. Fern had a very good day on Friday. When Wally picked me up from work, he brought Fern and we went to visit his mother. After that, we went to Lowes and I brought her inside with me. It rained most of Friday and by the time we headed home, there were severe thundershowers forecast and it was pouring. Since we had Fern with us, we decided to drive down to the sheep in the truck and use Fern to bring them up. Even though it was pouring with thunder and lightening, the sheep didn’t want to leave the green grass. Fern had to work hard keeping them grouped and moving, but she did a fine job and we got them put up. Gel is proving to be invaluable in managing the goats both during milking and in catching the babies to put them up at night. Those babies are not stupid and they do not want to go up at night. Factor in now a certain black doe (Dawn) who is hell-on-wheels because she’s got a new baby at her side and we have a huge mess whenever I have to deal with the goats. Dawn has always challenged Gel and now she’s rough on him. Of course, Gel thinks fighting with Dawn is a great time. Like I said earlier, it should be interesting to see how things go with milking in a new location.
I had an interview on Thursday with a head hunter in Charlotte. It was culture shock driving into Charlotte. It’s been almost six months since I’ve had to do that. The job is a paralegal position in Statesville which is about 30 miles from me. The interview went well, but I do not have particularly high hopes for the job. It’s an employer’s market right now and I am not inclined to even think about a full time job right now. In these times, employers can completely call the shots because there are so many people looking for work. The pay rates are horrible. Hopefully it will get better soon.
Cheese making continues to go well. I sell a good amount of cheese and eggs these days which helps to pay for grain and hay. Early in the week, I bartered cheese for heirloom tomato seedlings. We’ve only had one meal of lamb burger and it was wonderful. Hopefully we’ll be able to put some steaks or chops on the grill this week. My lettuce is doing well and the peas are starting to come up. Those crops should be pretty happy over the next couple of days given that it’s going to be rainy and cool.
Well, there’s a break in the rain right now so I guess I should go out and get my milking and other outside chores done.
Until later …