Friday, September 9, 2016

Banes and Boons

For the most part, the furred residents of the LLF are a sweet and happy bunch.  I dearly love my Icelandics, Juno and Linden.  They are dear sheepies.  Then, there is Norman.

Don't let the bland expression
fool you...
He is the bane of my existence.  This has been a bad year for parasites - it's been terribly dry, so my already-limited 'pasture' has not been regenerating quickly.  This means my rotation is slowed down.  This means they are spending more time in one place.  Juno is the matriarch - she is Linden's Auntie and the first lamb born on the homestead.  She has a special place in my heart.  Linden is just sweet.  And has bad feet.  I have been pretty diligent with applying the wormer and it's not a big deal.  Drenching a sheep or two takes, what - less than a minute?  Except when Norman is part of the mix.  There is a whole lotta bad language involved when anything has to be done that includes Norman.  It took me 2 seconds to drench Juno.  It took me a minute to drench Linden.  It took me four days to drench The Pain.  It included restructuring part of the paddock, putting hooks and eyes on a door, rigging up a gate, and - finally - begging my neighbor to help.  He thinks Norman is the bees' knees.  But he's smart enough not to take me up on my offer to take him home.  The only thing between Norman and the highway is his lovely fleece.  (Just to accentuate his pain-in-the-ass-ness, he refused to stand still for a photograph.  This is an old pic.  He is a trial.)

Other chores ticked off the list were:  move sheep feeder and reinforce it again (it's been on its last legs for 8 years, since I dragged it out of the burn pile at Marianne's), raking sheep paddocks and toting manure, cleaning off the deck, final prep of the garlic and putting it in storage, cleaning the inside of my car windshield (usually put off until I cannot see at night), making various appointments for furnace check-up, hay pick-up (still waiting on my farmer....), oil change and tire rotation, start-up on cleaning out the garden beds, and the never-ending weeding.

Next year's garlic and shallots
My sister and I went to a local garlic fest.  I will have to say that these things are so far down my list that they are sub-strata.  I loathe crowds of people.  However, spending time with my sister trumps my dreads and loathings, so off we trotted last Sunday morning.  The only thing that saved us was the abundance of local wineries and distilleries.  There's nothing like a (tiny) shot of Maple Bourbon to put a warm glow on the crowd.  I was able to get my seed garlic - I'm trying two different types this year, a Brown Rose (potent!) and another purple/red garlic.  I also got my seed shallots and we split a chunk of white chocolate, cherry, garlic fudge for breakfast.  It was surprisingly good.  By the time I dropped her off and made it back home, I was shot.

Better late than never.
I also started to clean my birdhouse gourds from last year.  They had been mouldering in the carport all winter and were nice and dry and hollow.  I have no idea what I'm doing, but it seems to be the right thing.  I have big plans for them - all seven of them.  We all know what usually becomes of my Big Plans.  Isn't it the thought that counts?

And...ending this edition on a high note - we've got DUCK EGG!  The very first little greenish egg appeared Tuesday.  I have amassed two.  At this rate, the ducks will pay for themselves in about....never.


Sue said...

LOL! Yea, they might take forever to pay for themselves with EGGS, but I think just the sheer joy of watching ducks is worth the effort and expense.
Oh, and sorry about your problem child Norman. At least THAT KIND of problem child can go to a sale barn. No one offered up any $$ for MY problem child........
(On a bright note, he's a damn fine child now......15 years late!)
I hope I live long enough to be a Norman to him. Teehee!

Michelle said...

I was going to comment on your post, but loved Sue's comment even more! ;-)

Casa Mariposa said...

Garlic fudge?? I'll take your word that it's tasty. :o)

Susan said...

I had a cat I had to inject almost daily-she fought like a well, wildcat. I finally found slipping her down one leg of my old pantyhose and then wrapping her in a towel did the trick-there is an element of pride in getting the job done isn't there.

Fiona said...

did you wear welding gloves too:}?

Fiona said...

Ahh baking with duck eggs....I did try pickling them...oh dear heavens they are not good for that! They become like the balls they use in handball!

Imagine (I suspect you already do) a life without dull would that be? I was trying to husk corn this morning with help from the poultry....the yard has husks everywhere! The young turkeys play tag with them....the ducks worry them until they can eat them....and the Buckeyes jump about a foot off the ground when the husks blow into them. Oh and Little Lady Fluffy pants waits impatiently for worms!

Norman looks so sweet!

Mama Pea said...

I think Norman has your number and knows exactly how to play you. (Scary to think an animal has the upper hand, isn't it?)

That was much like what went on here last night as we tried to get the chickens, ducks and geese (all different assorted ages and bunches of them) into new housing arrangements in new-to-them locations. We humans (had the help of daughter and partner) would have won . . . if the game hadn't been called because of pitch darkness. I think we distinctly heard poultry giggles as we dragged ourselves into the house.

Michelle said...

I wish I had my animals. We moved to Utah and have been living in our 5th wheel for 4 months. I didn't know finding a house with land would be this hard. I am sitting here wishing I had your animal problems. I guess it's which ever side of the fence your sitting on. LOL

jaz@octoberfarm said...

duck egg!!! bake a cake! i am sort of back to normal. sort of. at least we are finally getting a bit of cooler weather at night!