My annual panic had not set in until last night when Mike informed me that the forecast is calling for nighttime temperatures to fall into the 40s within the next week. Unlike some parts of the country, we have been having unbelievably cool weather this summer, which I love. This colder-than-normal weather pattern has been here since last winter when we had temperatures at something crazy like 16 below zero, which I did not love. I've been hoping something would snap soon, and we'd be back to normal seasonal temperatures. If this trend continues, our first-frost date of mid-October will probably be coming a lot sooner, which means less time for things to grow in the garden. I'm still waiting for my fall lettuce to sprout. And if frost comes sooner, frozen ground probably will also, which means we have even less time left than normal. In other words, it's crunch time.
The Urban Dictionary defines crunch time as:
The interval of time immediately before a project is due, when it becomes apparent that the schedule has slipped and everyone is going to have to work like dogs to try to complete the project in time. Crunch time usually occurs during the period between the next-to-last scheduled milestone (prior to which everyone was able to delude themselves that the schedule had NOT slipped) and the final deadline for delivery. During crunch time, workers are in crunch mode. Prevalent in the software industry, but used elsewhere as well.
- Put drain tiles in the yard around the house. Every year the flooding is getting worse, and we said that we were definitely going to get this done this year. Can't do it once the ground freezes.
- Replace almost all the electric fencing with woven wire. Goats and sheep do not respect electric fencing. Woven wire is destroyed when it floods. So, we're going to put woven wire in all the areas that don't flood, and we'll use the temporary Electro-net for rotational grazing in areas that do flood. New fence posts have to be put in before the ground freezes.
- Create kidding pens in the smaller barn. Last winter, Mike created "temporary" pens in the smaller barn for me, so I could sit in the heated office and keep an eye on goats that were in labor. Over the summer, he removed all of them. New pens have not been built. After last year's experience kidding in below-zero weather, I am not breeding anyone for due dates in January or February this year. Although we could do this after our world freezes, we are kind of wimpy when it comes to working outside for very long in cold temperatures, so it needs to be done soon.
- Stain more trim for the house. Yes, this can also be done after it gets cold, but then Mike is tempted to do it in the heated barn office, and I'm afraid that the fumes are going to cause him serious problems. Katherine is supposed to start staining this weekend, so she can do it in fresh air.
- Put tile around my bathtub. This might sound like a low-priority item, which is why I have been staring at concrete board for four years. At some point, it needs to be moved up on the priority list. And it has to be done when windows can be opened because it's a headache-inducing-stinky job.
- Landscape in front of the house. I'm over-the-top optimistic to think that this is going to get done, but I either need to seriously get it landscaped or learn the names of all the weeds growing out there so it sounds like it's a "planned natural area" when people ask what we're growing in front of our house. It is kind of pretty when the weeds are five feet tall and blooming, but I don't think anyone would ever want that much Queen Anne's lace.
Speaking of ordering, I need to order maple sugaring supplies, so we can tap our maple trees next spring. I just ordered two books from Amazon on the whole process. As we were walking around looking for oak and hickory trees, we realized we have a lot of very large maple trees. My sister-in-law in New York learned that all the suppliers are sold out during sugaring season, so last spring she used Chinese take-out cartons to collect sap. I've already started looking for supplies, but the less-expensive suppliers are still saying "sold out," so I need to remember to keep checking back or just order and hope it all arrives before next spring.
This weekend, we need to do goat maintenance: FAMACHA everyone (check their anemia status), give copper to those who need it, trim hooves, tattoo summer kids, and probably a few more things that I've forgotten at the moment. Oh, yeah, the bucks need to be moved to new pasture, which is always a fun job.
Now, I have to get ready to teach today.