Back to the real world …

Wally goes back to work today.  He was off all last week.  It was nice, but now it’s back to the real world.  My routine got disrupted, but in a good way.  It was nice to have help getting the chores done.  I don’t realize how much I do during the day until I get a little of the workload lifted.

Unfortunately, there was a lot I did not get done last week.  I spent a good bit of time relaxing with Wally.  We took advantage of the down time and lots of mornings to sleep in, at least until 6:30, which is sleeping in for me.  Now I have a huge list of things to get done during the week.

It’s cold yet again this morning which makes doing chores that much more difficult.  Hopefully the hoses won’t be frozen so I can water the animals.  Yesterday, Wally and I finished installing a Shelter Logic building to the front of where I milk the cows.  Now they have a structure they can go into when it’s raining which connects to where I milk them.  Hopefully this will mean drier, cleaner cows, but that not always a given with cows, especially Gwen whom I should have named Grunge.  The good thing is that they come in through one door and out through another so it’s a lot easier for both of them. Both cows have been very accommodating with the change in their routine.  I’m surprised at how easily they’ve adapted to the new structure.

This Shelter Logic building was our Black Friday purchase.  I sent Wally for it figuring he’d be less adapt to be run down by crowds.  Given that the Shelter Logic was on sale at Tractor Supply, there wasn’t much stampeding for bargains.  I expect Shelter Logic buildings were not high on the “want” list of most people.

I soaked beans overnight to make chili and ham bone soup.  I’ll freeze a good bit of both for future meals.  After the excess that is Thanksgiving, I’m craving beans.

Tomorrow I have two appointments at Catawba Valley Community College.  I’m still very much on the fence about what I’m going to do about going back to school.  I got one transcript from when I went to college in Massachusetts and there’s at least two course I should be able to transfer.  Still waiting on two more.  Part of my decision hinges on whether I am able to get a Pell Grant to offset some of the expenses of going to school.  We’ll see …

So much on my mind lately.  We did sheep herding demos at the Christmas Tree Farm this weekend.  Friday was a train wreck.  Saturday was better.  Gel ran so much on dry, hard ground that he got a paw pad abrasion.  He was a bit lame on Sunday so I cancelled the demos.  I’ll work the sheep during the week in an attempt to get better control over them before next weekend.  I realized just how rusty both of us are.

Gwen is not doing well.  I hope that we can find a replacement cow soon at which point, I’ll have Gwen processed for meat.  That’s a sad thought, but it’s part of farming.  I decided to not process the T-Rex cow.  We took the calves away and she’s settled down fine.  Lesson learned: Jersey cows can be hell on wheels when they have calves, even if they are not their calves.  We are not equipped to deal with protective cows.  Goats and sheep are bad enough.

One of the things we worked on this weekend was the fence where the goats were getting out.  It is not quite done.  I may try to get down in there today to finish it.  The remaining goats were listed for sale and I got quite a few calls on them, but nothing solid.  I really don’t want to sell these goats so I hope we can get the fencing set so they don’t continue to get out.

The Farmer’s Market this past Saturday was a bust.  I thought it would be, but we went anyway.  It was cold and  not too many people were there.  Hopefully this coming week will be better.  We are low on meat and will be going through a dry period so money will be really tight.  I hated spending the money on the Shelter Logic, but the milk cows really needed a dry place.  Not that we’ve had much rain over the past few months.  It’s very, very, very dry.  I was going to water the garden yesterday, but it was windy plus it took almost the whole afternoon to finish the Shelter Logic and get the gates installed, fence reconfigured, etc.  I’ll do it today.  Right now, the garden is a loosing battle.  Please, please, please let me get better about getting seeds planted on time.

At least the rabbits are starting to produce.  I’ll be re-breeding two does this week and putting up two more to kindle.  One doe has done really well with her kits … another not so good.  I think I am finally getting better at managing their food and knowing what doesn’t agree with them.  It’s easy to feed them too rich a diet and when that happens, they bloat and die.  How one litter can be fed exactly the same food when another gets bloat is beyond me.  I’ll be keeping two does back from the litter that has done well and nothing from the other.  I discovered dead kits from two does that kindled within the past couple weeks. What was up with that, I don’t know.

I’ve rambled enough for today.

Until later …