Here’s One You’ll Never Hear Told In The City Over Drinks

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Ah! Farm life!  Tank’s pink eye didn’t improve, so catch a goat, put goat in a dog crate. Put crate in car.  Next time bring ear plugs cuz goats scream.  Watch goat do back flips at the vet to try to escape.  Listen to more screams while getting injections and having eye lid sutured shut.  Put goat back in car.  While driving home have goat pee all over himself cuz that’s what bucks do.  Roll down windows in 95 degree heat to kill the smell in the car that you are taking up for your son to use cuz he got a new job at school.  Such is the life.  Tomorrow begins super-duty fly suppression cuz that’s what spreads it.  More goop to apply to his eye.  So much for weeding the gardens.  Glad plants are forgiving.

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The Greenhouse Foot Shuffle

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Of course, with everything that has been going on lately, the tasks lower on the totem pole get pushed off.  I should have been tying  tomatoes onto the trellises for awhile now, but that hasn’t happened yet.  Evidently the plants in the greenhouse kind of love the place.  The walkways are overgrown and the tomatoes have hundreds of flowers.  So now we have to walk by shuffle stepping so as to not damage the plants by stepping on them.

We are going to have a bit of a heat wave the next few days so I added another ventilator fan to keep the air moving.  The fruit is staring to set so we don’t want all of this progress to get stopped in it’s tracks.  Everything is doing amazingly well.  I have to take an injured goat to the vet (probably today sometime), then I’ll get to working on the plants again.  Fortunately, plants don’t demand as much from you as those farm creatures with feet, mouths and eyes.  Having my new farm hand has been a big help.  That, and putting down the saw for awhile.  As a good friend said the other day, “You do know that you are good enough, right?”  No, not really, but thanks.  I farm to burn off the crazy…. and there is a whole lotta crazy to burn.

 

2 Out Of 3…. Or Maybe 4. Not Bad For A Grumpy Old Wreck

4FFFCDD2-EF96-45CC-B36A-DD723C07EF62My goal, while Zina has been out of town, has been to get at least 2 or 3 more minor builds out of the way before she gets home.  So far 2 down.  Next up, plumbing our water tank.  Then, lastly, a jungle gym for the girl goats.  I’ll likely get three done.  It’s too durned hot to construct stuff out in that goat pasture.  It’ll just have to wait.  Also, after six days of throwing, sawing, hauling and screwing, lumber and steel, I’m feeling some stenosis twinges in my hip,  and my toes are kind of going to sleep.  It’s from too much illegal bending and twisting.  I’m going to have to let the old backbone rest a bit.  Those tingles are definitely PTSD moments.

I finished roofing the dog house this morning.  There are still a few minor details to batten it all down; but those remaining  things are to winterize it.  Considering it’s 98 degrees right now, I think I have some time yet.  Both pups have been in it and are looking decidedly spoiled.  If we ever need to babysit a Buffalo, now we’ll have room!  Or the in-laws.  Either works.  So 2 compost bins (I still need to fill) and a horse sized dog house in about 6 days.  I’ll chalk it up to that farmer dude being able to do anything!

 

A “Dog House”

Nothing like 5 hours of driving and a little construction in 95 degree heat to just invigorate you.  We had to attend to some parenting issues over the last several days; not the least of which was having one of the roommates go off of his meds (clinical schizophrenic as it seems), impersonate a police officer, berate Aaron outside of his window, scare the bejeezuz out of him, break into the apartment and then get arrested.  Ah, college life.  Everything else seemed pretty easy to handle after all of that.  He had a doctor appointment on Friday and then back up to school.

However, in the midst of all this, an engineering department manager saw Aaron sitting outside of class the other day.  Aaron is an Origami Artist.  It keeps his hands busy while he is reading.  The prof saw his stuff and was very impressed.  He asked Aaron what he wanted to do with his ME degree when he finally escaped college.  Aaron basically said, “planes and or automobiles”.  The guy gave Aaron his card, told him he knew of an engineering research prof that needed an assistant. Aaron emailed his resume and Voila! Interview next Tuesday.  This professor does research in “Multi-functional polymers and composite materials” (Ya, me neither).

So after an up and back to school on Thursday and Friday, I get a text from him about this.  He needed the only dress shirt he owns and wanted my lighter road bike instead of the heavy Trek mountain bike, in order to ride the 4 miles to the interview.  I told him to ride at a reasonable pace so as not to be a sweaty mess when he arrives (there is a campus bus service, but being a control freak like his mother, he didn’t want to take a chance that the bus would be late).  So off I went, up to deliver said items.  I swear all of the Front Range is under construction!

After 5 hours, I was back home and set to the next in a series of smaller projects that needs to get done.  The first was the building of the composters.  This next one was from the lessons learned from the land hurricane that hit us last winter.  The first doesn’t involve anything from me except writing a check.  We are having a shed built for the boy goats.  Of all the critters, they took the bomb cyclone the worst.  They had the least shelter and those poor boys had ice hanging from their coats.  I love my animals and that shall never happen again.  Secondly, the dogs had a hog hut as a dog house.  The blizzard had such strong winds that it swirled the snow around the front and actually filled the hut up with snow.  So in the fashion of the little grow out coop I made for the chickens, I am making a “Dog House” for the pups (And for the off chance we need to house an elephant).  It will have the actual shelter and I will be adding an awning to it for shade.  That way, along with their swimming tank, they can stay outside all day if need be.  I can too if I get kicked out of the house.  Always be prepared!

So while Zina is off to Detroitistan to help clear out her folks’ house to get it ready to sell, I’m here doing what I do best: weeding, screwing screws, swearing at the barn sprites and keeping the place running.  How did I do all this while I was still working?  Can’t remember, but there is a scar on my back to remind me.

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I should be done with the framing and wall covering tomorrow.  Then it’s off to the Stockyard Supply Store for the metal roofing.  Then the awning.  I’m thinking of putting a gutter on the back that runs into their swimming tank.  We’ll plumb that when we get to it.

2030 is the new 2100

An important video from friend Paul. You might want to live with some urgency.  Ever since I read “Limits To Growth”, my doom calendar has always been 2030.  Even the more conservative scientists are now waking up to the urgency.  Too little, too late, but here it is.  Thanks Paul Beckwith.

Voila! Carpe de Compost!

D0B87475-6B6F-404B-9035-86998249FE64I built a couple of composting “bins” inside the chicken pasture over the past two days.  I had to do it in shifts because it is over 90 degrees now.  Summer has arrived. Or perhaps the hurricane that looks to make life difficult for New Orleans changed all the weather patterns.  In either case it’s blinking hot!  My water consumption goes hockey stick on days like these.

I put these composters in the pasture to help with fly control.  Zina has a relationship with a food bank near her office and she gets the leftover produce every week.  It’s a lot.  It’s not your garden variety table scraps.  It’s bushels of stuff.  With that much rotting vegetable matter and our own chicken manure, flies happen.  Outside the pasture there wasn’t much we could do.  With them in with the boy goats and layers, everyone gets a job.  The bucks can eat whatever vegetable matter they’d like, but the chickens are master composters.  They will get in there and scratch and peck and eat all manner of insect eggs and larvae.  It should drastically reduce our fly problem.  We had fly issues over by the donkey barn as well.  Why? Well, because donkeys crap a LOT.  When we got turkeys it dropped to practically nothing.  Voila!  We are an equal opportunity poultry employer!