Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Part One: What I did on my vacation (with pictures to prove it.)

Back from the abyss of no computer...

Following a shaky start to my eagerly-awaited vacation, I gained momentum and added a steady stream of checks to my to-do lists.  Last Friday, on what should have been the highlight of my week, I straggled home early to clean the house for Girls' Night.  It had been a stressful week.  I got out of my car to the sounds of....Sage.  Yes, she had found the ONE part of the fence that had not been Sage-proofed and had her bony noggin firmly caught.  Chickie was so happy to see me - he had been keeping her company which was very boring.  I went into the house for wire cutters to find...Bernie had dragged a box out of recycling and had virtually shredded it.  All over the living room, dining room and kitchen.  I did what any sane person pushed to the brink of madness would have done.  I put my head back and screamed at the top of my lungs.  It cleared the room and luckily didn't bring any neighbors running.  That done, I got the wire cutters, freed Sage and came in and cleaned the house.  
Innocence personified.
I am not stoopid enough to put my head
through a fence.  Multiple times.
Dinner came off without a hitch, if you don't count turning my back for a nanosecond and the balsamic vinegar/honey glaze dissolving into a molten charred mass in my cast iron pan.

Saturday was equally as peaceful.  The couple with whom I had been communicating for months about buying two of my remaining lambs, changed their plans (for the 200th time) and, instead of coming that Monday morning, told me on Friday they were coming the next morning.  He ("hubby") called me when he left at 7a and we figured it would be 3 hours.  I dragged Kay out of bed to come help me do a mass herd vaccination/worming and hoof trimming.  We got all shots done and hooves trimmed on the two lambs by 10:15.  They showed up at 11:30.  When I remarked that it was a lot longer trip than we thought, they casually said that they had had a nice leisurely drive and stopped for an equally leisurely breakfast.  After they left, I found that they had also leisurely short-changed me.  Had they not been friends of my sister, I would have gotten in my car and tracked them down.

And did I mention that I developed laryngitis by Saturday afternoon?  Oh, never mind.  Since rain was predicted every day except Monday, I arose Monday at 4:30 and hit the gardens as soon as chores were done.  I got everything planted with the exception of the summer squash.  The two raised beds remain unfilled.  I contemplated it Wednesday- the only other day without rain forecast - but I also had to replace my storm door and finish cleaning the chicken coop.  I am now realizing why most of the retired friends I have are so busy.  It never ends.
Garden beds

Pak choy coming up on right

Tire "garden" potatoes and herbs

Tomatoes, cukes, peppers, basil

What should have been a one-day coop cleaning, turned into a three day debacle.  I hadn't realized that a) it became summer overnight and b) I have rats.  Day One was most of the shoveling and sweeping.  Day Two was the heavy shoveling and cleaning out of nesting boxes, along with more sweeping.  I let the area under the roosts dry completely so I could survey the rat-damage.  They had managed to chew a couple of holes in the soft wood.  Sooooooo, Day Three was spent on hands and knees with clippers, pliers, hardware cloth, hammer, nails and staple gun - and haz-mat suit.  All holes were tightly covered with hardware cloth.  Then a nice fresh dusting of shavings and we're done (please, God) until fall.  I also took a half a box of moth balls and tossed them all around the attached shed, or the Rat Haven, as it's now known.  Ick.  Ick.  Ick.  That extra time put the kibosh on goat barn cleaning and building up the fricasees' new digs.  But there are more weekends to come, right?

After getting one day straight of rain, we have had nary a drop.  But, wait!  I am now armed with my handy-dandy retractable 100' garden hose!  And I (puffing up with pride) installed it myself.  I dug out my masonry drill bits and my 'real deal' drill and managed to mount the holder securely (and fairly level) to the foundation.  I L.O.V.E. my retractable hose.  I also had one of those 'duh' moments and realized that, since we had now, somehow, rocketed forward to August, the cold frame was a hotbox to my lettuces.  So I stuck in four step-in posts and rubber banded a piece of row cloth to make a shade cover.  That seems to be working nicely.  We will see how it holds up under the severe storms predicted to come our way this afternoon.  After slogging around Monday afternoon in heat and humidity, trying to convince myself that I should start schlepping wheelbarrow-fuls of dirt to the new raised beds, I said 'to hell with it', and came inside and read a book.  It was marvelous.

The hose, in all its glory.

Makeshift cold frame canopy.


Sue said...

At least you realized curling up with a book was the way to spend some time. But, what took you so long?????

Mama Pea said...

Please do not take any more vacations. You will kill yourself. I am exhausted from reading this blog post. I'll need a good night's sleep and several naps before I'm tough enough to read Part Two.

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

Whew, glad to hear your going back to work soon to get a rest ;)

Carolyn said...

You are MOST welcome to stay at our house for your type of "vacation" as long as you like!!!

Retractable hose, hugh? Hmmm. Might have to put that one on the "want" list.

Welcome back :)

SweetLand Farm said...

Goodness! You sure do keep busy. Farms seem to have a way of doing that.
But I am glad you decided to sit and read a book after a while.
And yes the water hose looks wonderful. I'd gladly send you some of our rain:)

Tombstone Livestock said...

I'm surprised you did not change girls night to local pizza parlor after all that. But hey, us farm girls are tough.

Unknown said...

OMG, you're so funny! But please get some rest! Your garden looks great, I'll be planting mine in the next week...

Erin said...

I can't believe they shortchanged you, grrr... that would have had me so spun up, shame on them! I glad you had other good things to balance that out, now rest!

Unknown said...

Holy cow i am exhausted after reading about your vacation, phew! I imagine it does feel pretty great though to be able to check all these off your "to do" list. Love the photo's of your garden and happy to hear you found a some quiet time for yourself while hanging out with a good book.

Susan said...

Sue - I'm a little slow on the uptake, I would say...

Mama Pea - Me, too, heehee.

Jane - It's a curse - I spend all my time in the office, looking out of the window and wondering what I would be doing if I weren't in the office.

CR - Thanks, CR - Yes, it's true. I cannot sit still. I would highly recommend the hose - in the winter, you just take it off the holder and store it away.

SLF - It's scary to think of what it would be like around here if I didn't work my tail off...

TL - It's only because I can't eat pizza, believe me. However, a couple glasses of wine and some good girl company and it was all forgotten.

Susan said...

Nancy - With this crazy weather, I'm just hoping that everything survives long enough to put down good, solid roots.

Erin - I was soooo tempted to track them down and demand the rest. It's hard when they are friends of a member of the family, though. I decided it was better to just let it go. I'm still trying to.

AVFABD - It was worth every second. I got lots crossed off. Of course, I then added a lot, so on it goes.

LindaCO said...

I like your tire garden! I need to get my act together and do something similar. Never a dull moment at your place, eh?

Candy C. said...

Your garden looks GREAT! :)
I would have been soooo mad at being short changed, espcially after they took their sweet time getting there! Grrrr!
Glad you got in a little relaxation with a book!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Friends of family or not, I would have tracked them down!! (but that's just me!)