Saturday, December 21, 2013

Make that... snowy December

Suddenly we have snow, about three inches, and everything is lighter and brighter. I'm OK with that. The roads and driveways are still passable, so I don't yet have to get the riding non-mower ready to plow. No work until Jan. 2. Just lots of time to do what needs to be done (make some presents, sleep, loaf, work on a few house projects...).

The barn has become the hangout spot for the big animals. Below, you can kind of see the goatish brat on the wrong side of the pallet partition. I'm trying to get the openings big enough for heads and horns, but too small for fat goat bellies, without getting anybody stuck or trapped. It's a work in progress. I think the barn is a success, though neighbors shake their heads. Yes, I know the foundation is busted and tilted in about four places – but the frame is solid. I think it'll stand (swaybacked) for many more years. We've spent a total of $140 for used metal roofing and $5 in roofing screws. The rest is free pallets, found lumber, and time. Mostly Richard's time. :) And KC's. Thanks, guys.


Above, Savvy uses a fence post to scratch an itch under her huge winter coat. I like the chunks of snow on her back.

The boys and I rambled around a bit to check out the snow.

That's the boss chicken there at the gate, and a huddle of guineas. At bottom, the early winter greenhouse. We'll enclose it and start plants there next month.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Snowless December

That's Tricks, the dark sheep; Mo the goatling; Azul the alpaca; and Earl, the specked dog off to the left. They like the barn, especially the goats, who enjoy defeating my attempts to keep them out of the hay bales and storage area.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Wood and the aftermath

Yesterday was a big wood day. Em and Richard and Autumn came out, we took two vehicles and one saw, and we spent a few hours gathering and hauling and cutting and loading and unloading. And repeat. It was awesome. There's now a great heap of six-foot-long logs on the north patio, and I'm sitting against a heating pad in my recliner; C. likewise. You should have seen Autumn hoisting whole trees out of slash piles and toting them to the cutting pile. And Richard hauling fat logs up the hill to the truck. C. did some major hauling, too. Em ran the saw most of the time. I loaded smaller logs into the vehicles, stepping carefully and lifting with the legs. Still hurts.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December already

Well, stuff has happened. Time has passed. I guess.

The cold snap is over. It was bitterly cold, down to -2 one night, for the last week, but has warmed up. Nearly 30 today. We just hunkered down and kept the fire stoked all week. Didn't do anything extra. There was pumpkin pie, though, and mashed potatoes and excellent mushroom gravy.

The big animals have access to the barn, finally. Azul is still suspicious but the goatlings enjoy romping in the straw. Not sure what the sheep think about it. They just look at me with those wonky sideways pupils. My friend Terry says that their eyes look like slotted screws that adjust their ear angles. It's true!

C. took some fowl photos today. Here are the two checkered hens in the door of the chicken house - or the chook shack as I'm calling it.

 And here's one of the guineas, mottled wattles akimbo, sitting blandly in the field. They've been going out a little since it warmed up.

The weekend is coming, and we're planning to get wood, wood, wood. The cold spell depleted the woodpile most precipitously.