Archive for October, 2008

Moving into Winter…

October 28, 2008

Yes, I know it’s only just Fall and we have another two months before Winter officially begins, but the snow seems to be coming a bit early this year!  We are due to have 1-2 inches Tuesday night, or is it Wednesday night…whatever…it seems a little early.  The earliest I remember snowfall that actually accumulated was Nov. 10, several years ago, but then, that was 8″.

Sunday, I caught the goatie girls and we took them up to Lasell’s for breeding.  I also caught 8 chickens destined for the freezer and took them to Joyce to process.  And yesterday, I spent three hours moving sheep around. They are all in breeding groups now.  And I ache a bit.  Will take photos later.  One of the group is temporarily shut into the shed, as John needs to have access to the composted manure from last year for his garden, so they won’t be in their run until Friday.  Since it’s to rain most of the time til then, I don’t suppose they’ll mind much.  No one seemed cycling yesterday; at least there were no girls sidling over to the rams, saying, “Here I am, Big Boy, ” which often happens.  I am a week or so early, not usually putting them into breeding groups til Nov. 1, but hey, I was ready, so they are now in those groups, and I can spend my time picking up fencing from all over the pasture and storing it for winter…except for a bit of it, which I’ll use to make a path from the woods down to the area near the winter fencing for the pigs, who don’t go to slaughter til January.  Spinning today, so I’ll get to relax.   Enjoy your day.



October 24, 2008

Wednesday a.m. at 8, after finishing chores in the rain, I packed Lizzie in the car, along with a cooler of meat, dinner stuff, a birthday present for my grandniece, Gianna, and snacks, I took off for a whirlwind tour of N.J. My sister was in from California for a week to go to her granddaughter’s first birthday party. Expecting company this weekend, it was not an option for me, but I hadn’t seen Lynda in 3 years, so off I went. It was 37 degrees at our house. One half hour out the temperature started dropping, and the rain turned to snow. (Odd because I was going south!) and we had snow all the way to the N.Y. border, just about, where it turned back to rain. At Albany, the rain stopped, and it was just overcast to N.J. Got to Lynda’s son’s and daughter in law’s house around 2:30, and visited for 2 hours or so; then on to see my grandkids! Got there around 5:30 or so, the kids said, “Hi, Granny,” gave me hugs and then took off with Lizzie for the backyard. Didn’t really see them again til dinnertime. I had brought stuff to make the kids’ favorite dinner (at least their favorite at our house!), shepherd’s pie…or so I thought. It was early when I packed, and instead of three pounds of ground lamb, I ended up with two pounds of ground lamb and one pound of pork sausage…which turns out to have been a boon, since they had no salt in the house, and the sausage was seasoned! Dinner was pleasant, with all stuff from our farm, and then after dishes, John discovered a plumbing issue and took off with his “snake” to attack the bathroom. I was tired, so Lizzie and I retired to the “guest room” which is their camper, and went to bed early. Woke up early, the kids woke up, fed them the left over shepherd’s pie for breakfast, along with apple sauce, walked Lizzie, and we took off for home. Arrived home at 4, tired from all the driving and visiting. Made dinner, and after dinner, and answering email from two days, I conked out and went to bed at 8:15! Today, back to normal, thank God. Morning chores, marketing, clean bathroom and set up two guest rooms, for Mary from N.J., longstanding friend, and her sister, Ki, from Chicago, whom I met once 40 years ago, are coming for the weekend. I also need to start to set up fencing to transfer sheep to breeding groups, goats to truck to go for breeding, and pigs to winter quarters, not to mention all the winter fencing areas. Soon the ground will be frozen, so all that needs to happen this week. I won’t transfer the pigs til the end of November, I don’t think, just before snow flies, but I need the fencing in place, since by then, the ground will undoubtedly be frozen. (they need to be along the drive, for in January, the butcher will come to take them away, and he won’t be able to get his truck into the “back forty” which will presumably then be covered with a significant amount of snow. I also don’t want to be hauling water and feed through 2 feet of snow every day! (Watch, this year there will be no snow til after Christmas…whatever! The pigs will be along the drive in time to dig up my garden hopefully. So, I guess it ought to be in mid=November, not the end! Planning, oh, planning!

I forgot to mention that on my way home, I stopped in N.J. to visit with Shelley Nussbaum, a shetland breeder I’d met online through the Vermont Sheep and Goat Association, of which she is a member, too. She has lovely sheep, maybe 40 of them, some with patterns, some not, all with pretty great looking fleece. She’s gotten some sheep from the mid=west, some from the northeast, some from the N.J. area. She has a farm in South Jersey, just north of rte. 195, with horses as well as sheep and cats and dogs…including the sweetest maremma I’ve ever met.

Some time in the next two weeks, my last two ewe lambs will leave to go to their new home with Mila, a woman in my spinning group, new to the area. She has a couple of Alpine goats which she plans to have bred, and milk in the spring. We compared notes, as I am also having my little goats bred and plan to milk in the spring, though I sometimes doubt the wisdom of going down that path. Logically, as I age, I should be having fewer animals and fewer chores, not more. But logic has never been my strong suit.

Coming down the last two weeks til Election Day, I have avoided the radio in the car, and we don’t watch television. I’ve been continuing to read about the candidates in the news media and we did watch all the debates. I am convinced that Barack Obama is the best candidate, and in fact, one of the few since I’ve started voting that I’ve been enthused in any way about. Just watching his responses to accusations from McCain as opposed to McCain’s responses to accusations from him, is enough: to be a leader in the world, I think you need a cool, unflappable sort of demeanor. McCain looked at times like he was going to have a stroke…not what I’d think is a good response of a world leader sitting around a conference table with other world leaders. I’d think one needed to have a cool head, not take things personally, be willing and able to discuss rather than explode. I’m hopeful Obama will win, and was very pleased that Colin Powell, whom I respect, has endorsed Obama. This morning, reading yesterday’s papers, I saw an article about $150,000 spend on clothing and hair consults and such for Ms. Palin, when she came on board! I love to spend money on clothes (which I can’t do anymore, since we left N.J. and our moneyed jobs!) but even in my wildest imagination, I can’t imagine spending so much on clothing for me and five kids! Whatever are they thinking, with all the starving people in the world? They claim they’ll give the clothes to charity after the election…whether they win or lose? Won’t they need those clothes to keep up the image they are trying to project, once in the White House, if they win? So the clothes will NOT be given to charity, then? Or will they, and she’ll find ways to buy NEW clothes for every state occasion? And when her kids outgrow them? It reminds me of the “charity” thrift shop at Heritage, U.S.A., where Tammy Fay sold her used clothing (she only wore each dress once, apparently) to people for $500, out of Christian charity! Scary! If they give away Sarah’s clothes, that seems like profligate waste and irresponsibility! Why buy such expensive clothing to begin with. Far better to buy modestly priced clothing, which still would look nice on her (what wouldn’t?) and give the rest of the money to people with no heat, for cripes’ sake! No, wait, she purports to be a Christian, so for Christ’s sake, literally! I don’t know how anyone can accept such gifts, such profligate waste, and still purport to be a Christian! But there are many views of Christianity, not only mine (though some people would not have enough “Christian charity” to allow me mine.) so I guess I should stop trying to judge her by my standards of Christianity. So, just from the standpoint of being a human being, in the best sense, leaving religion out of it completely, how can anyone purporting to care about the country and her fellow countrymen, agree to being decked out like that while people are starving and freezing? Now, I know she needs to look good, but I should think a couple of $200 suits (which many of us can’t even afford) should do it! Even $5000 worth of clothes and shoes for her and the kids would go pretty far. (One has to assume that given her job in Alaska, those kids were not dressed badly to begin with! And if they were, what was she doing with all the money she made?) Enough! The dawn is about to burst forth from the night, and I need to put aside politics and deep thought about money, and get ready to head out to feed the animals and consider the lilies of the field, how beautiful they are.

There was no snow here when I got back. It is way too early for it to have “stuck”. I heard from a neighbor that she did get some snow here at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, but she’s a little higher than we are. The weather guy said snow above 1500 feet. Today, it is supposed to be 60, though it is 24 now! So, this afternoon will be a good one to work out of doors. I may even have to find a short sleeved shirt, having put them all away last week, because “winter” was coming.

Okay, I’m off to clean the bathroom!