Sunday, November 30, 2008
Well, it could get even worse, so I finally agreed to have him bring it on.
We hurried through goat chores and put a big push on to stack the rest of S's wood so that the tarp would be free for the next load. Of course the driver took one look at the phone lines and said he couldn't drop it there. That only left the side drive-which can suck a big truck in up to the axles when the ground is soft. So be it. Of course he couldn't get it back very far and ended up dropping it all in the muck.
Once he left I had a good look at it, and the pieces are enormous. At least half of them won't even fit in the stove, requiring tedious back breaking hand-splitting. Lovely. I told the saplings I was going to make a note on the calendar NOT to use him next year.
Of course it then started to rain-a cold wet drizzle that thoroughly soaked the whole load even with an old lumber tarp over part of it.
So yesterday's priority was getting some of it stacked. The Firebird was a great help, filling one wheelbarrow with smaller pieces while I filled another with pieces I was splitting down. Then I would stack the barrow while he filled the next, and so on.
We had about 1/8 of it stacked and discovered Sir Nicholas had broken into the little goat pen AGAIN. Nic is my cashmere wether that had one testicle, which is long gone from elastration. That apparently rendered him sterile, but the retained testicle also retained his buck characteristics. He became quite possessive of the does as they came into heat, so I moved him out back with the big wethers, Caesar and Julius.
That worked out pretty well, actually, as the three get along. But the does have come back into heat and Nic has been breaking into the pen. So, I had to stop what I was doing and run a hot strand in front of a bit of fence that he was breaking through. Then we got to listen to his pathetic cries for his girl all afternoon.
We aren't breeding any goats this year. In fact, every so often I swear I am going to sell them all. The only trouble is that we all have different favorites and can't agree who should go. Nic is probably top of the list, except with his cashmere he is the only one that makes his keep. Figures.
Anyhow, after fixing the fence and some other chores, we stacked another row into sunset, so I estimate we stacked about 1/4 of it. Amazingly I am not sore and stiff this am. Hopefully we will be able to stack more this afternoon after I make a run to town for supplies.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Note to self: fire up cookstove and cook pies the day before Thanksgiving.
The cleaning of the stove went well enough in the morning. I scraped the sheet rust and then wire-brushed the interior. Then I scrubbed it out with balled up newspaper. That oven has never been cleaner! LOL.
The trouble was getting it going. I remembered why I tore it out of the kitchen in the first place. The stove can be beastly cranky to light, depending on atmospheric pressure and temperature. Today was no exception.
Smoke poured from every crack and crevice for an hour. The oven temp wouldn't budge past 100. I threw the bread in to toast for stuffing and checked a couple minutes later. The pieces by the firebox were black-the rest were perfect. (anyone who has run a woodcookstove will be nodding in sympathy at both those last complaints)
The Pumpkin pie was waiting to be cooked before the turkey. I can't fit both in the oven at the same time, and of course the pie wouldn't fit in the toaster oven.
Willow helped make the crust from scratch-we used butter instead of shortening. The Firebird opened the can of Libby's pumpkin pie mix and cracked the eggs. I opened the can of milk. LOL. So, it was semi-scratch.
An hour and a half later the stove had finally dried out and seemed to be getting hotter. 2ooF. I poured the filling into the waiting pie shell and put the pie in. I checked 10 minutes later and the crust on the firebox side was black. Damn! LOL
I turned the pie and made a shield out of another pie plate and a broiler pan. Set up chairs, a tarp to cover the muddy ground, and brought the radio out with the extension cord. Alice's Restaurant was cranking at noon-I still giggle at some parts of that song. I don't think the saplings got it.
Well, two or three hours later the pie was FINALLY done. I never thought that thing would cook. While we were waiting, Willow diligently cubed the not- burnt toast for the stuffing, and I carmelized the onions, etc and mixed the stuffing and set it to the side of the stovetop awaiting the bird going in, giving an occasional stir.
I put hot stuffing in the bird right before I toss it in. Cold stuffing takes too long to heat throroughly, and I figure hot stuffing just as the bird goes in a hot oven helps the cooking. (not a good idea to hot stuff and bird and let it sit around a couple hours, though)
The bird was just- thawed even after sitting in a brine overnight, so resting in the sink for a little while just allowed the remaining ice crystals to melt.
Than I made a graham cracker crust for the choc pie, and Willow stirred the milk for the filling. That is one thing that is great about a woodcookstove. The whole top is hot to varying degrees. Willow had no trouble standing there stirring the milk.
The weather did cooperate-I found myself wishing on several occasions that the light breeze would stop and it was a bit warmer. The temp hung at 42F all afternoon. I was pretty bundled up. The saplings and Peko stayed outside most of the midafternoon. The Firebird was bored, so I had him walk the fenceline checking for branches.
Finally the pumpkin pie was done, and the turkey went in. That was about 2:30 or 3. I was planning on eating then . No worries except the saplings refused most offers of lunch, but had some fresh squeezed orange juice and two large bowls of chocolate pudding that didn't fit in the pie shell, Preceded by graham crackers and milk..lol.
Word came that we would be having company later. Still the turkey cooked.
The sweet pototoes and carrots were cooked early enough, but the potatoes took forever. Good thing, or I would have pulled the turkey too soon! LOL
Company showed up, and despite one having had two Thanksgiving dinners, and the other having had one , they both loaded up plates and we all feasted til we couldn't move.
The quarter loved the food, and was especially furious when his mother would only give him a taste of pumpkin pie. LOL.
Peko obviously knew what Thanksgiving was. He leapt for joy when he saw the turkey finally going in the oven . Then he lay patiently by his dish on his best behavior while we all feasted. His previous training was obviously showing there. LOL. No begging on a holiday.
I feel asleep on the couch at 10 and woke up at 2 and can't get back to sleep. The roosters won't shut up. Plus the house stove had gone out. If I had gone straight to bed I probably could have fallen back asleep, but loading the stove and brushing my teeth woke me up. Oh well, no worries. :)
Easy day tomorrow-I don't do black Friday.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The storm was over, thank goodness! I decided to take advantage of the wet and work on hooves.
I re-touched all three big wethers:
Caesar:front and back. He needed evening up and looked much better. He was a total ass and I had to yell at him. He kept rocking and pulling and he is a big goat! He is such a nice goat otherwise.
Sir Nicholas: front and back, looked much improved over last time.
Julius: front and back. Had what looked like an old puncture in one front sole and I stabbed my hand with the shears trying to level it off. His soles are like cement!
Cricket: front and back. She had some high heels going on there! She tried to struggle but after wrestling with Caesar, she didn't get very far. Her legs are so delicate like bone china.
Then I worked on ditching out the driveway with the help of the saplings. We got the water flowing pretty well. The water was bubbling right up through the drive in some places. Yup, the ground is saturated. We also picked up misc stuff all over the yard and tidied up a bit. Yesterday I walked up the road and realized with the leaves down, anyone driving by can see the entire front yard which looked a terrible mess! So, I think it looks a little better now.
The pond is nearly over the top of the dam, and all the way up to the logs. I should have taken the camera over-I need to charge the batteries up and take some more pix.
So far just the three of us for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. The turkey is nearly defrosted. We will have turkey and stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, baked potatoes, sweet potato, carrots, and two pies. Pumpkin and chocolate cream. Yum.
I pried the door open on the old woodcookstove out back and left it open to dry out. I just hope I have enough short firewood to cook the turkey! I don't want to be fighting with the chainsaw tomorrow! The firebox is very tiny and it will take a 14" stick at the largest.
Well, that's today's update. Wishing any and all readers a blessed Thanksgiving if you celebrate it. If not, drop on in -we'll have plenty of food! :D
We are in the midst of a psycho storm! 1-4 inches of rain, wind gusts up to 60 mph. We lost the power earlier. It flicked twice hard before that, so I had a couple candles and a box of matches at the ready. Then I just had to plug in the landline instead of the cordless phone to call the electric company to report it.
I learned a long time ago that the sooner you report it, the sooner it comes back. Don't just assume your neighbors reported it!
I was sure that given the strength of the storm we were looking at two days without power. Imagine our delight when the power came back on in an hour!!!
Shortly afterward the phone rang, and it was the power company inquiring if we had power back. I was so glad! I thanked her and thanked her, and said to thank the crews! Even when I have been out five days I have thanked them profusely for getting it back on! Those poor folks out there working at the mercy of the weather. I would not have liked to have been out in this storm fixing downed lines!
Oops it just flickered so I might lose it again!
Well, I know strong storms are not uncommon, but we have had a few real kickers. Scares the crap out of me that it could get worse in months to come if this is one the effects of climate change.
Monday, November 24, 2008
"Tico, Tico," his owner called him out of the way. I thought it was funny his name was so similar to my dog, Peko.
Once I started loading the machines, Tico came in for a closer sniff. I crouched down and offerred him the back of my hand. His bulgy eyes bulged even further, and he suddenly backed up into dancing retreat, barking as fiercely as his diminutive size would allow.
I laughed and said, "Oh, I have frightened him! All my animal smells!"
I use a cautious approach with strange dogs, as my scent carries that of many different types of animals, and tends to be especially overwhelming to toy breeds.
I ignored him and continued loading laundry.
As I worked my way down the row of washers in Tico's direction, I started shedding layers of barn coats, tossing them into the washers as I went. (my regular reader will recall I use a lot of washers on laundry day) I finally reached the table and bench on which Tico was perched. He was at the farthest end of the small bench towards the wall. I started chatting him up.
"Oh, I didn't mean to scare you, you are such a cute boy, what a good dog, he's so adorable, la, la, la" in a high pitched soft voice.
He rolled his eyes and bowed his head, seeming ashamed for his previous behaviour, and scooted towards the end of the bench, where he sat proudly. He was showing no fear and acted as if it was ok to pet him, but I didn't. I continued to chat to him and he jumped down and planted himself at my feet.
Slowly I reached the hand out again and he kept his head down and remained still, so I started to lightly stroke the top of his head, making sure that I was prepared to withdraw if he showed fear. I moved onto his shoulders, keeping up the small talk.
I withdrew my hand to go back to loading the washer, and he jumped up on his back feet and placed his front feet just above my knee (his full reach). Ha! He was so handsome! I petted him some more and then I had to quit lavishing attention on him as the last washer I was waiting on was emptied.
Yeah, I still like pugs. :)
Friday, November 21, 2008
Today I stacked some more wood. S gave me a REALLY good deal! We have been burning off that pile since the Friday before election-nearly three weeks, and I think I still have a cord of wood out there. I wasn't going to stack it initially , and I wondered why S looked sort of crestfallen when I told him I was just going to leave it and tarp it. Well, without stacking it, I could not really see how much was there-a very good deal! I will have to make sure I mention it the next time I see him on a hay run.
It was 18F at 8 am here!!! brrr! The ground is frozen solid and the pond is starting to skim over. S (I bought hay today) said that it was 12F yesterday morning! Tomorrow we are supposed to have more of that beastly 30mph wind so it is going to be bitter cold out there! We might even have a bit of snow, but hopefully we are too far south. I don't want to see snow just yet.
Willow can't wait for snow! I should buy her a snow shovel-heheh-but that wouldn't dampen her spirits a bit. She is a joyful helper, most of the time.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I set a goal today to finish the V-match wall. HA! It was as if every board was cursed. I mis-cut the first two, finally cut it right and then couldn't get it to fit around the beam. I ended up cutting off the piece I had cut out on the end, and then that didn't go in to my satisfaction. It just went on and on from there. Plus, I was working on the last three rows up by the ceiling, and no room for a ladder unless I wanted to move the couch. I was using the back of the couch as a perch and my arms were aching from trying to work over my head!
Then I had to rip boards to fit around the windows....I haven't finished it off yet. I finally gave in for the day once I got the last bit right on the first try-I might have been on a roll, but I decided to quit while I was ahead. Besides, it was time for night chores and a run to the store.
I think I have exactly enough boards to rip for the trim around two windows. The third window is larger and is ringed with small squares of colored textured glass. I have some fancy moulding that I am going to use to frame around the window and use the plain boards for the trim on the other two. Then I need to place a storm window on the outside for that colored glass one, since it is single paned glass and throws a lot of cold air into the room.
Phew! Once that is done I can finish stacking wood and cutting up the pile of goatwood the Firebird dragged out of the woods for me the other day. It is cold cold cold here and didn't break freezing today. The wind didn't help warm things up, either.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I am so hopping mad!!! I just read AP's version of pres-elect Obama's video message to the Los Angeles meeting on climate change today.
He plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
Let me just toss in here that today at the library I grabbed "Censoring Science" by Mark Bowen, released in January 2008. I started plodding through it, and primarily it centers around data that led Jim Hansen, regarded as the preeminent climate scientist of our time to state, in 1988 after testifying to a Senate Committee, "It's time to stop waffling...and say that the greenhouse effect is here and is affecting our climate now."
Folks, that statement was made in 1988. If we continue to allow greenhouse gas emissions to exceed 1990 levels for 12 years-where will the global climate be?
And cap and trade by auctioning carbon credits? I still argue that the rising price of oil crashed the global economy-so how is raising the price of energy via cap and trade going to help the economy?
I leafed through to the end of the book, and found Jim's web site that I was going to check out, when I came across the AP article on Obama'a climate change policies. So I haven't checked the website out yet and have other things going on at the moment, but here is the web page if anyone wants to check it out before me.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I wanted to add that tonight was very clear-probably why it is supposed to get so cold. The stars were quite bright when we arrived home. Later, taking Peko on his before-bed walk-about, the moon was just coming up. It was so bright and low and orange, it looked like a small campfire in the woods.
We headed up the road to where the field lays the view clear. There was the moon, the top half darkened looking like an eclipse-the rest a bright orange. Snow's coming.
Finished Anaken's hooves, and did Derek's. Cricket is up next.
Had beastly high winds out of the south and driving rain night before last. In fact, it rained for three days prior.
Once the weather broke yesterday I was back at it-started winterizing goat housing (replacing stuff they destroyed this summer). Stacked some of the cord of wood which managed to get wet through two tarps. Worked on the V-match wall in the living room.
Focused on trying to finish up the Vmatch today. Managed to get a three bay windowsill installed as dark fell last night-put up the last of the stuff on hand today after some really finicky nit picky stuff above the windows. It would have come out better with the skilsaw for ripping boards-I was lazy and used the jigsaw, which cut the line a little wobbly. Like my car, it kept wanting to pull to the right. I suppose they are working in cahoots to bring me back from the far left. LOL.
I am short exactly 44 linear feet of boards-which is the amount the lumber company shorted me. So, that is another stop on the long road trip of things to do for tomorrow. I am sooo looking forward to putting the living room back together! I should go through the stacks and donate three or five boxes of books to the library and toss a few dozen video tapes-*puts boxes on the list for tomorrow*
We had a brief snow squall pass through this afternoon-tonight it is supposed to be around 20 F-with highs in the thirties all week. Brrrr.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Don't ever move into a house until it is finished!
Granted, I didn't have much choice, but it becomes a nightmare to do any kind of work on a house once you have it filled with crap. And, if you have a little extra money, you tend to blow it instead of putting it into work.
I didn't have any extra money, but I decided enough was enough and I was going to do some work on the downstairs. I worked my butt off this am doing a bunch of outside stuff-mucking animal houses and chainsaw work-and decided to run to the lumber company after lunch to pick up a bit of V-match pine. I figured if I whittle away at the work (no pun intended) it is better than pretending there isn't any work. ;)
I had a nice young college student load the lumber. IN conversation I learned that he is a business major taking calculus. This was while he was using a calculator to figure out how many pieces of 14 foot boards I need to make 300 linear feet. I had the number in my head and out of my mouth in half the time it took him to peck it out on the calculator.
So, I got the lumber home and cleared the area I was going to work on, and hayed the goats, and hauled all the boards into the house as it was starting to rain. Then I discovered that he had loaded 12 footers instead of 14. So, I was short 44 feet, and also the boards wouldn't work where I planned, as they fell short. That would mean painstakingly measuring and cutting each 3 inch row to match the framing-which for reasons known only to me is not exactly 16 or 24 O.C. as standard carpentry dictates.
The lumber company is an hour round trip, so I didn't want to reload and drive it all back. I called them up and they said just bring the slip in next time and they will credit me on my next purchase. Well, it was less than 10 dollars, and half my own mistake for not checking the boards before they were loaded, but it turned into much more aggravation than that.
I decided I did NOT want to measure and cut each row, and I had another place I could use 12 foot boards. Oh Yeah. You would not believe what I had to relocate to start the job. An overstuffed bookcase for starters. And a billion video tapes and a bunch of DVDs and Willow's art supplies-which are many, many art supplies.
I sat with my head in my heads and a pile of lumber in the house, wanting to bawl but not able to work any tears up. Well, no use sitting around moping, I tore everything apart and started on
t he project. I made pretty good headway, with Willow helping me by fitting in the opposite end of the board onto the previous row. She sorely wanted to help me hammer, but V-match or tongue and groove is fussy nailing. I was so tired and faint with hunger I dinged two of the last boards myself.
I fell short on materials, since I hadn't planned on working that section. We managed to pile books and videos off the couches and I managed to stir up some supper before quitting for the night. I don't want to put the bookcase back until the work is done.
Well, hopefully it won't take another 10 years.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
He usually calls when he is on one-a mubbling rambling rampage and barrage of hate. Who needs it?
A few minutes later the phone rang again, and I let it go. Then a short while later it rang again, and I turned the volume up to make sure it wasn't someone else. S again, and I was sucked in and listened to the beginning of the message. I was suprised that he was rambling on about he had made a big mistake-how love was lacking in his life- wanting to resurrect our relationship.
I didn't fall for it. Enough time has finally passed. Many times I took him back. Can't do it anymore. Yes, I loved him. Now I was just worried about him. Still the phone kept ringing and I ignored it. I am not a religious person-nor have I had any formal background, but I found myself throwing myself on my knees and asking God to forgive me for turning my back on S, and praying for God to help him. The phone kept ringing.
I decided to get online and tie up the phoneline, but my heart wasn't in it. Nothing interested me. I remembered that I had been wanting to download "Make you crazy" by Brett Dennen from you tube. So I wandered over to youtube and selected the version of the song from Brett's LA backyard. I started the download and curled up with Peko with the light on.
I fell asleep and had dreams. I was dreaming that I was taking an armload of books to someone. He was working at a desk with piles of papers and very busy and absorbed. Not wanting to disturb him, I sat outside near the door in conversation with others. He heard my voice and stepped out the door and looked over at me. He said my first name, suprised, and I nodded. He went back in to work, and I wondered how I looked, thinking maybe I should have put on make up.
I woke up, and the download was finished. I sat half awake and watched Brett Dennen. It was a homegrown vid, with people talking in the background. I was reminded of my old video days with the band. It was a raw version of the song..and it ended with them just stopping. Hmmm. Maybe I should have watched the official version.
I went back to bed and had some more dreams. I dreamed I was back at the place of the first dream, and the man was still there, but getting ready to leave. He was very busy. Others were there. I asked him if I could help, and he asked me to get the root beer. He gave directions to it...several landmarks in the storage area, specific and abrupt. Right at the envelopes, left at the ?, straight past the ?... I set off through a labyrinth sure that I could find the root beer, but forgetting the landmarks. The place was well stocked, messy but organized. I found myself in a kitchen area, with bread stored on shelves below, and a lived-in look about the place. I found it pleasing that he seemed a bit messy but very well organized.
He appeared and he realized I had not found the root beer, and he gently said he would show me where it was. I awoke again.
I have no idea where the symbolism for root beer came from. LOL.
But hey, blue skies out there this morning-albeit below freezing-and I haven't come across any cat puke yet. Maybe it will be a better day. :)
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I am creating this blog as an offshoot of http://treeocean.blogspot.com . This blog will function as more of a personal diary in day to day life. Weather, animal notes, personal notes. Anything worldly or earth-shattering will go on the other blog.
I have cycled back into goat hooves.
Julius was trimmed front and back Friday.
Obiwan had his front feet done Friday-need to do his back in the next day or two.
Anna,9 months,daughter of Cricket and Derek, had her first trim-she was very passive. Her feet were fine.
Sir Nicholas had his feet done yesterday. He had two problems. One back clew looked like it had a puncture awhile ago-trimmed the sole back flush and washed with H &H. A front clew's outer hoof wall was separated on the outside nearly up to the coronet. I trimmed it off and washed thoroughly with H&H. Hopefully it was torn by a stump and not hoof rot.
Cricket is in heat and Derek has claimed her. No more babies for those two-he's a wether now.
Started my period on Friday without any premenstrual symptoms. Yesterday I wandered around wondering how I could combine chocolate and chicken for dinner. I gave up and had a handful of chocolate chips as an appetizer. This morning I woke up feeling emotional and had tears in my eyes before coffee. Damn hormones.
It rained hard during the night. The ground is saturated. This morning I watched a black squall come tearing down out of the west-which just gave us a brief shower. The lower clouds were tearing by the upper clouds, which appeared to be at a standstill.
Tonight the clouds had bright spots that kept reappearing in the same location despite the cloud movement. Weird. Caught one on a pic I will be posting over at the home blog. (see above link).
Went to town for a few staples to last through the week. The temp was 50 there at noon.
The above pic is Obiwan. He is probably about 1 1/2 years old. I bought him at auction last summer as a weanling. He is most likely a dairy goat angora cross. His fiber does not have a lot of crimp, but he is very friendly and huggably soft.