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Monday, November 3, 2014

Switching Modes.

Before there is any of the "thank goodness for winter now I can sit and do all those fun things I've been dreaming of since the onset of spring" stuff, there is Autumn.  I think that, although it IS my favoritest season of all, Fall is the most stressful of them all.  The day shrinks, the weather stinks (hey!  I'm a poet and don't know it!  But my feet show it - they's longfellows...heehee) things ramp up at the office, and the Universe picks up on my angst and whaps me. 

If I let my guard down even for a teensy, weensy second, I pay for it.  Case in point:  As soon as August nears it's end, I start to winterize my car.  This involves strewing peppermint-infused cloth bits from head to tail light.  Mice look for winter lodgings early, I have found.  I did not do this.  So...one crawled up into somewhere (most likely involving the heating unit) and died.  It has taken weeks to get to the point where I don't have to drive with my windows down while breathing through my mouth.  I did discover a nice, cozy mouse nest in the spare tire well.  I over-pepperminted and now have to crack the windows so my nose doesn't burn. 

The chickens are winterized because they have not laid ONE SINGLE EGG in over 13 days.  I figured a light in the coop might help.  And while I was lighting their residence, I decided to hook up their waterer heater.  And put more shavings inside.  And feed them more.  Ingrates.

Next up are the sheep and llama-by-default.  I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning out the hay storage part of their barn and setting up a higher barrier so that Apria cannot get her three teeth on a hay bale and haul it down so they can all gorge (and get squashed in the process).  My attempts were met by eight hairy eyeballs and only time will tell if it will work.  It was good to get things organized, though, and the set up is much better.  I should be getting a load of hay next Saturday - we are ready!

The cover over my fuel oil tank needs replacing.  The sheep need more space for winter, which entails emptying and moving the double composter, removing the sheathing from that side of the barn, framing out another 10x8 foot space and getting it enclosed.  I need to finish cleaning out the garden.  I need to clean up the peonies, bee balm and hostas.  I need a new snow shovel.  I need to move the sheep feeder through three paddocks, all uphill.  I need another three months and someone else's bank account.

Since this is the season of stocking up and I am not one to be able to walk away from a bargain, no matter how insane it might be, I had stopped a a local farm and was getting some winter squash since I had none (and none of my neighbors had any, either), when I happened to see a sign for 50# of small cull winter potatoes for $12.  With a free pie pumpkin thrown in.  Did I need 50# of potatoes?  Why even ask.  They were in the back of my car before you could say "Bob's my uncle".  I portioned them out amongst friends and then took about 20 pounds to a food pantry just south of me.  It was such an educational visit.  The people sitting in the church kitchen waiting for their bags to be put together were exhausted.  Exhausted from poverty; exhausted from life.  I realized that I live in an area where people are very lucky if they can find employment or, even better, get out of Dodge and find more opportunities for a better life.  I am darn lucky to have the wherewithal to grow my own food or, for that matter, to be able to own a car to drive to somewhere and buy local.  As you know, I am very big on buying/eating local.  I figured it was high time to put my money where my mouth is, so I drove back up to the farm and got another 50# of potatoes.  It's the best I can do because, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I have way more mouth than money....

10 comments:

  1. Awww, Sweezie, you are such a good, good person. Hugs to you, my generous friend.

    I can so relate to your love/hate relationship with autumn. It's my favorite time of year, but also the most stressful. So much to do before Old Man Winter makes his appearance. Getting everything crossed off the Fall To Do List is the thing that either makes or breaks the next several months up here near the tundra . . . or northern New York state in your case.

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    1. Mama Pea - Not to wax too philosophical about it, but I was thinking that being supported by the community during hard times might be a far sight better than being on government dole. A person might be more inclined to try to pull themselves up by their suspenders with neighbors keeping a close eye on them, as opposed to a faceless government money machine. Just thinking....

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  2. So good of you to share those potatoes with those in need. Now is not a good time of year to be a person of don't have. The thought of being homeless and living in a cardboard bounded a freeway is something I would not want to have to do any time of year, but really not in the cold. I took some pillows and blankets in to the donation station last week and have some more to take that I am not using and don't need.

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    1. Dang tablet changes words .. don't know how box got to be bounded, I need to do a better job of proof reading

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  3. my work with the shelter and my newly adopted very poor community is the most rewarding and humbling experience of my life. we all should know the toll it takes to not know where your next meal will come from.

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  4. Susan,

    You have a big heart my friend, and I know your community and church so appreciate it. I volunteer when ever possible when it comes to the local food bank, homeless shelter, and Veteran's homes.

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  5. Mouth or Money...its your heart that counts and ours is ginormous!!!! The sad thing is the media keeps saying the economy is better? Unemployment is down...where are the stats for people who have given up? The bakery where Ralph works sold to a huge company and now it looks like they are going to close the baking part of it and just use the huge coolers for distribution....230 jobs will be lost!! Our local IGA used to have a food drive once a month but now do a big box every week. They say they are horrified at the need!

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  6. I went into the Pay Day Loan place yesterday, not to borrow money thank goodness. The awful thing was there was a steady stream of people in there getting loans. I hate that people are so desperate. On a brighter note, perhaps you would like to come over and winterize me.

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  7. Kindness shouldn't be random. It's sad that in the richest country on Earth there are people who wake up hungry every day. You have a big heart. :o)

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