Monday, September 28, 2009

Can I panic NOW?

A month ago, I realized it was crunch time, perfectly defined as when you realize you will have to work like a dog to finish your work by the deadline. The difference between our world and the modern world is that in the modern world, people give you an extension if you don't meet your deadline -- or you get fired, and it's not your deadline any longer. But in the world of Antiquity Oaks, there is no one who can grant an extension. We snooze, we lose. It's just that simple. Winter waits for no one.

Number one on the list of things that had to be done this year was "put drain tiles in the yard around the house." Without drain tiles, we will be ankle deep in water next spring when the snow starts to melt and the spring rains begin. The dogs will have muddy paws and wet legs and bellies for three months. We'll have to wash the front-door rug every day. And most fun of all -- we'll have to balance on concrete blocks as we walk across the mote in front of our house. Yes, we have a mote on Antiquity Oaks. Although I did have daydreams about being a princess when I was a child, now that I have a mote in front of my castle, I don't really like it at all.

Although Mike bought four rolls of woven wire and two rolls of welded wire, he's only finished the fence on a new chicken yard. This past weekend, he and Jonathan worked on digging holes for fence posts, so we should have some new goat pens operational next weekend. At this point, I'm not very optimistic about finishing the far west pastures this fall, but it won't be a problem until the next flood.

The kidding pens in the smaller barn have not even been started, although that is an inside job and can be done over the winter. And I won't bore you with a list of everything else from last month's post that has not been done. But if you read my blog regularly, you know that we've been keeping ourselves busy.

This morning I gave all the milkers a BoSe (selenium) injection in preparation for breeding season. I still need to give it to the dry does. We injected the bucks last week and gave them copper boluses. Mike finished the desk in the library, and we spent half a day making soap a week ago.

One thing that was not on that list last month was the new garage. We were going to build a garage in May, but that project didn't get any farther than estimates for the concrete. This means we will once again have the fascinating experience of trying to figure out how to enter a car when the doors are frozen shut.

But when I started this journey seven years ago, I read a book that said you can always tell the real farmers from the hobby farmers because the real farmers take care of their animals first. Hobby farmers build nice houses, garages and white fences across the front. Real farmers are always making their barns better and improving the livestock fencing. We are so busy taking care of the day-to-day things with the animals that the drain tiles (for our comfort) and the garage (for our comfort) didn't even get started this year. As for the kidding pens, well, the goats don't mind kidding in the big barn. It's just us wimpy humans who want to sit in a nice warm office and watch them through a window until we're really needed. And the other stuff that didn't get done from last month's list is also for us humans. Does this mean we're real farmers now?


Anonymous said...

re: frozen doors...have you considered putting a blanket over the top of the car so it covers the doors? Then you drag it off in the morning and the car doors shouldn't be frozen since it was covered all night. You could have 2 blankets that you alternate with - thaw one while the other is on the car.



Deborah said...

A blanket would get blown off by the wind. In fact, we had crazy wind today, and it blew the solar panel off our gate opener. Snow and ice storms are usually accompanied by crazy wind. Our first chicken tractor was torn apart by the wind -- after we anchored it with concrete blocks. Our first greenhouse also was ripped apart by the wind, so I was holding my breath today as I looked out to the garden to see how our current greenhouse is holding up. This was its first significant test since we put it up this spring. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Mom L said...

You definitely sound like a real farmer to me, and have ever since I started reading you!!! My life is disgustingly lazy by comparison.

Nancy in Iowa

Anonymous said...

I've always used a blanket to keep the ice from forming on my doors and windshield. I wrap it around the car and then close it in the door so that it is secure. works like a charm


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