As I wound my way to the dreaded j.o.b. this morning, I switched on my favorite oldie radio station - being between audiobooks. And got holiday music. Wha??? There is nothing - NOTHING - that will take the starch out of my love of the holidays more than starting the commercialism before Thanksgiving. Bah, hemlock.
I thought I would pop up and give you an update as to my antics and those of my various dependents. I am slowly making headway on my winter prep. Slow being the operative word. Given that there are now two hours of daylight at my disposal during the week to get outside things done, I find myself multi-tasking my way out the door, through my chores, and inside again. It goes something like this: gather ingrate leftovers, a bucket and leaf rake - head out the door. Toss leftovers to said ingrates, clean nesting boxes (I am ever hopeful of discovering an egg or five - still waiting), feed, check water, empty hanging flower pot, rake one-quarter of the chicken yard at a feverish pace on my way back to the deck. Where I quickly open the back door, grab a handful of Norman treats (he doesn't like fruit or anything healthy), then toddle down the other steps (dropping the remains of the potted plant at the foot of the stairs), towards the sheep. Apples to Icelandics and llama, special treats to Norman, then hot-foot it to the barn for hay. Put hay in feeder, check water bucket, fill as needed, back to stairs, up and let two out of three dogs (the Pepperoni refuses a third outie) outside for breakneck running (Lovey) and 'watering' of everything upright (Scrappy), while I dump plant remains in compost pile. A quick jog past the flower beds, filling the bucket, then back in the house and off to work. Wheehaw!
I did, however, get the large chicken coop cleaned out last weekend, and have been spending time getting manure raked into nice hills, so that they can compost down to wonderful black gold by spring time. I've discovered my mustard greens have multiplied all over the place, so I whisk out every once in a while with scissors and basket to cut some. The voles have not discovered the chard yet - bloody vermin - so I am still able to snip at those. The curly kale is thriving and I am enjoying that as much as possible. Our weather has been anything but winter-like. So far, it's lots of rain, but rain beats snow in my book. At least until the real start of holidays - mid-December.
Slimbo is coming along. He still lists to port and his head is cocked at an odd angle, but he is able to get around pretty well. The only sticky bit is that Lovey has now discovered that there is cat food beyond the baby gate to their room. At first, she just battered the gate down. I would come in her wake and brace it up again. Once I out-maneuvered her on that, she discovered she could easily jump over it. Sigh. I was forced to use my brains - ouch - and developed a Lovey-proof system. Unfortunately, it also freaks Slimbo out, so once he is out of the room, he's afraid to go back. Which is a problem, as that is where his commode is located. I had put up a tension rod, about a foot over the baby gate and I hung two little LOUD wind chimes on it. It scares the bejeebers out of Lovey (and Slimbo) but doesn't phase Kramer the Two Dimensional Cat at all. It's still a work in progress.
The chickens continue to disappoint. Linden needs his hooves trimmed (on list), the llama is apple-crazed, the Pepperoni is darn lucky he is so cute, and Scrappy continues to be the Best Dog in the World.
I've got a few dozen things to check off my list by the end of the weekend. It's either that, or I shoehorn them into my tiny bit of available daylight during next week. I have a feeling that the other snowshoe will drop at any moment!