Pages

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October goes out like a dragon.

My life seems to be ruled by Murphy's Law.  I finally got an entire weekend on my own - no obligations whatsoever! - and I lost half of it to Mother Nature.  Ah, well.  I put some hustle in my bustle Saturday morning and fairly burst out the door at sunrise.  Since I had cleaned the coop and duck chalet the previous Sunday, I focused on the sheep.  The unfortunate thing about my sheep (and also the endearing thing) is that they are very, very helpful.  No matter what I am doing, they are there to snoopervise.  Especially Linden, whose soft, lanolin-y head is always in my business.   A large pumpkin was cut into fourths and put at a safe distance from me.  This always works - for about 15 minutes.  You have to work fast!


First on the list was to reinforce the hay racks in the barn for winter feeding.  I had finally Gerry-rigged them onto the pallet fence that (barely) separates them from the hay, using twelve pieces of baling twine.  I cut them down and screwed them to boards, top and bottom, using large washers so they couldn't man/sheep handle the feeders off the screws.  Then I screwed the boards to the fence, using 3" screws.  One poor rack had had bits of it broken off, so that called for some additional ingenuity - I wired the loop-less ends to the boards, then screwed over the wires so that they couldn't rub them off.  Honestly, sheep.


I also walked the perimeter of the fencing and discovered that I will have to replace almost half of it next year.  Early on, in my homesteading adventure, I had a lovely llama who had the very bad habit of leaning heavily on the fence, in order to reach the greenery on the other side.  This was exacerbated by Linden, my sheep-goat, who took advantage of every weakness and wormed his way under various part of the fence.  Luckily, he is too old and fat to do that now, but the damage has been done.  I've patched the worst places, as we have a lot of coyotes and I do not want them getting under the fence, but it really needs to be replaced.  When I delivered the Sunday morning barn baked goods, I talked to the high school kid that helps with the cows and he is interested in doing the heavy lifting.


I then spent the rest of the day battening down the hatches.  There had been high wind and flooding warnings for days before, so I made sure that all small objects were safely closed away.  I took down my wind chimes and my mirror chain.  I brought in the fig tree and stacked buckets in the barn.  I also tied the pergola to the deck rail.  It has a definite list to port.  I believe I will be calling the "architect" back for a look-see in the spring.


Sunday started with misty-type rain and I headed west of the city, early, to do some errands I have been putting off for months.  I made it back just before the heavy rain to hit - let me just say that ALL dachshunds seem to hate rain - and squeezed in a potty break, then we hunkered down to wait it out.  It was quite a storm.  The wind was howling all night, with waves of rain bashing the house, which didn't do much for my insomnia.  There is nothing like hearing a BAM and then BAM-BAM, and running through all the things that could cause it - trees coming down on your car.  Trees coming down on the car port.  I gave up trying to ignore it at 3 and then managed to get a cup off coffee on before the power went off.  It came on an hour later, then went off again.  Then came on.  After the third time, I gave up resetting the clocks and pulled out my inflatable solar lights and started knitting.


Once the wind died down to a low roar, I stuck my head out and checked the car and carport - both okay!  After that, I cleaned the guest bathroom (I had watched an episode of OCD extreme cleaning and got a shot of inspiration!), fed the dogs and took the day off from work.  I suited up and, other than some major tree branches down and a couple of small trees and a truckload of leaves, there was no damage to the buildings.  The fence was another ball of wax.  At least the worst damage was to an area that the sheep are not in.  My dairy farmer neighbor stopped by to discuss my cows and he happened to have his chainsaw in the truck.  Ten minutes later, the tree was off the fence and I had stacked it in a nice, neat pile.  I believe that a chain saw will be going on my list to Santa.

15 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, you got so much done despite the weather. Don't you love it when a TV show inspires you to get up and clean (or organize)? Ha ha!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dang! That is one full weekend. Good for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If only weekends were five days long and work weeks, two!

      Delete
  3. Your weekends exhaust me. What is with the dachshund aversion to moisture? Mandy rolls over and goes boneless. I have to pick her up like a football, put her coat on like you do with a two month old and then toss her ( gently of course) out the door to terrier up like the Jacks. She whines pitifully at the door. I feel like the worst dog mom in the world for about a nanosecond. I like my little Stihl saw, wish it had a pushbutton start but it is small and I have the luxury of Gene having a huge one for big jobs. Even the light ones are heavy and that may be one job worth paying out for. If you get hurt and it is easy to do, you might lose more time and $ than just jobbing that task out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PB's revenge is to sneak, Ninja style, back onto the deck when I'm convinced they've gone out to the yard and leave me a little "present". My goD are they a stubborn breed! That is exactly the chainsaw I am putting on Santa's list - with the easy start. Now all I have to do is be really, really good. Of course, it's probably too late, seeing as it's November...

      Delete
  4. When I heard about the storm (today; haven't watched news lately), I wondered how you fared. Glad you didn't have an extended power outage or major damage!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michelle - so many times, the forecast is wrong. I find myself teetering on the brink of ignoring the warnings and going all-out, getting ready for the worst!

      Delete
  5. Yeah, the best laid plans of mice and . . . homesteaders. I think we got that wind/rain storm about a week before you did. Our trees are now bare, but heck it's the first of November tomorrow so what can we expect? Our weather has been nasty . . . next to no sunshine and on and off spitting snow/rain/sleet/snow. No accumulation left on the ground . . . right now . . . but more forecast for tomorrow afternoon through Thursday morning.

    Glad you could get done what you did this past weekend towards getting things buttoned up for winter. It's hard work but you've got things cleaned and ready!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why is it that winter is such a shock, when we know it's coming? We had another hard frost/freeze yesterday morning. I now have to be sure to start the car before I sashay out for work.

      Delete
  6. My idea of a weekend to my own devices is to start a fire and polish off a good book!

    I just got my extra chains professionally sharpened for my chainsaw so I'm ready for winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boy, does that sound like the life! That's my idea, too, but reality always raises its nasty little head.

      Delete
  7. Hi Susan :)) A chainsaw is on our future wishlist too. We had the same storm, I didn't walk the dogs on Monday because it was still really bad out there and I was afraid of "widow makers" and I was spot on. Tuesday morning on our walk, there were SO many fallen trees and branches, but not just small ones, entire trees uprooted. Crazy.

    Oh, and trust me, every dog but Marlene the husky mix, pretends they don't have bladders and bowels during rain storms, very frustrating as Pavlov will just up and poop in the house. He wasn't well trained by his deadbeat owner that's for sure!

    It's funny what you wrote, because Sunday was the same for me, I gave up resetting the microwave and stove's clocks...the power just kept going off and on all day and night!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG, Rain. Not only have you 'inherited' the deadbeat's dogs, but now you have to train them?! Just what you need... I am always amazed at how many electronic clocks I have. I have added a battery-run clock to The List.

      Delete
  8. Susan,
    My oh my you've been a busy lady this past weekend. I say snatch up that young man and allow him to help with fence repair. If Tank was available I would send him your way, he love to work fence. Those winds were terrible, I'm glad to hear you didn't have major damage, and your neighbor came over with a chain saw to help with the fallen tree branches. A 14 inch chain saw in a comfortable fit for a woman's hand. Definitely add a chain saw to your list to Santa😊

    Sending hugs and love.
    Sandy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's talk busy, girl! I know you're up to your elbows in busy, too. I would take Tank in a heartbeat, but I bet he is busy at home. Love back atcha!

      Delete