Hard Days Work…

We spent another day working hard on the homestead. That party is looming hard in our horizon and is making us work hard with a tangable deadline! Of course, we’re trying to do things at a comfortable pace… but we did manage to get 9 cards done today and still have 31 total for EVERYTHING we want to do to the homestead at the moment.

Not everything has to be done before the open house, so I think we did a pretty good amount of it all today! That felt great. And after we were done, I walked around and took a bunch of pictures. Of course, they didn’t turn out. Something is up with my camera. When I go to manual mode, it takes the shot, then says that the file contains no data. I spent all evening putzing around with photo recovery program demo, but none of them would recover them. Durn it. And I shot some really nice shots!!! Waaaa! I will test tomorrow and see if it happens with a test on the manual mode vs automatic. Or I will just borrow Jessy’s much fancier camera and attempt to take a few of the pictures again!

In the meanwhile… enjoy these shots that I took on automatic!

We installed the three cattle panels between the sheep shack and the barn. This way when we bring the sheep into the back pasture, they are not tempted to sneak into the garden or the weed preserve and then out into the neighbor’s soybean fields!!! Tricky little ewes…

This is looking west from the barn. We moved the hammock back here and our little hillbilly wire spool table and chairs. We find that we love sitting back here and watching the hens and the ewes and all. So much more fun then up front of the yard. I’m pretty sure we’re painting the little coop. I just don’t like the blue. I thought I would but something about it, I dunno, don’t like it. I think it’s going to go back to white. Weird, but I’m not digging it. Maybe red? Too traditional? Hmmm…..

This is the old foundation, directly across from the side doors of the big barn. Not sure if it was a house, or a farm building, but it seems like it might have been a house, since it has a front porch. Miss Julia and her boys worked so hard to rid this all of 4 foot high weeds! And they discovered a fish pond in there! It’s not holding water, so it’s in the plans to move all the rocks, and put down a new liner and then re-decorate it with the rocks and cool logs. We’re hoping it gets done by the party!

Doesn’t this little area just look so nice? I’m been trying hard to impress on my girls that we need to keep the place tidy and neat. They kinda roll their eyes at me when I pick up stuff they leave behind… pop cans, tarps, plastic bags from installing something, empty feed bags, whatever. But then they get it, when they see animals get hurt from junk from the past owners. Or they step on a piece of glass, or the mower flings out a shred of beer can stuck in the grass at dangerous speeds… it only takes a few minutes to pick up after yourself. And it looks so nice! We were sitting on the bench by the barn and Maggie sighs big and says to me, Mom, it’s SO pretty out here…. and I just smiled and nodded. Yep. She is getting it. I watched her pick up a little paper bag from the hardware store that got laid down while we were working and she smushed it and pushed in her back pocket. Good habits need a little cultivation. I’m sick of raking up trash and glass and crap that the previous people just left all over the place. They were loosing the place, so they didn’t care. We’ve spent HOURS and HOURS cleaning up the place like that. And have hours left.

Ahem. Sorry… on my little soap box there for a bit. Trust me, our place is far from perfect and we’ve been known to have the screen porch a mess and the mudroom… well, it can clutter up in a heart beat. And we still have a TON of sticks and weeding to do. But we’re trying really hard to watch that farm thing of just kinda dropping stuff and leaving it when you’re done. I drive by too many little places that are just cluttered with farm junk and stuff all over the place, weeds growing up over the stuff and then I drive by many places that are neat and tidy, well run and I think, there’s nothing much different about the farms… I mean, they both probably work just fine, mess or no mess… but in the end, it’s the well maintained and nice looking places that always seem to be a little more, well, professional, nicer, I dunno… they CARE about it and really work to keep it nice. Doesn’t have to be landscaped and manicured… it just looks like they spent a little time at it. And maintain it nicely. I want that for our place. It had it’s 10 years of looking like a dump. I want it to look nice, like the century farm family that laid the place down did. Can’t tell you how many natives are telling us that we’re doing a heck of a job… It’s nice to hear that. And they always add that the first family, they had one of the nicest little farms around, just super nice and so pretty. WIndhaven may have had a little rough patch there for a few years, but she’s going to get her looks back for sure. Might take us a year or two… but we’re trying hard.

The hens LOVE it when I mow the tall grass down. They follow the mower like they are on parade. There is always at least 8 or 9 of them trotting along no matter where I go. Today I mowed a few more strips in the back pasture, then all behind the little coop, under the wind chime tree and then all our nature walking paths. They run all the way to the back of the property, around the back pasture and then past the corn field and into our native weed preserve. (haha) That’s what I’m going to call it for awhile, because it’s pretty on the back eastern lot. It’s near our woodlot area that we’ve left wild for all the good things back there. Beautiful butterflies and birds, bunnies, and bats! We’ll probably eventually turn it into a big dug pond to help with the water runoff in the spring, but for now, I’m just going to call it the wild area. It’s really pretty… I’ll try and take some video of it all later on this weekend. I have one more big area to beat down and mow… around my big failed garden! I might have a few pumpkins back there but you wouldn’t know it for all the weeds and grown up grass and such. I’ll manage to whack it back this weekend… but I might need to get the weed whacker out first to lower it all for the mower!!! It ain’t a miracle worker and 3 foot high weeds is a little bit much for it!!!

We got tired of having to walk all the way back to the barn gate to then walk back to the coop yard. So we made a little gate out of a piece of cattle panel that I won at that farm auction. Just sank a post in concrete, so that if we want to some day build a cute little gate, we’ll have something good and solid to attach it to. Right now, it’s just a little wire panel, but it sure beats the heck out of walking back and forth. We figured that out one day when we had little Copper, our homegrown chick, get loose. And darn it, if that little dork figured out all he had to do was walk through the fence and we had to stop and walk all the way around. Once on the other side… he would duck back through the fence! It was funny, but let us see the flaw in our fencing design! haha…. It’s not a gate for general use, but more an occasional gate, if you need to get in or out near the coop.

Little nuggets sitting in the sun and peeking out the window from the coop. They seem very content in their little summer home. We weighed them today… only 3 pounds on average. A few were 3.2 or 2.14, pretty much 3 pounds. I also checked… they are only 6 weeks old this week… I thought they were 7! So I think it’s pretty sure that they will be able to attend the open house party! Yeah nuggets!!!

Our beautiful sheep paddock is all done! Complete with very sturdy cemented posts, a lovely 55 gallon livestock tub of fresh water, raked clean down to the dirt of trash and yucky stuff, and then filled with a whole bale of comfy soft orchard grass hay to nibble and lounge upon. Their mineral block is tucked inside their shack so that the rain doesn’t mess it all up and inside their shack, it’s filled with sweet orchard grass hay and a chicken or two for their bemusement. (The chickens just like going in there…) And of course… party lights for that festive evening ambiance. These are three spoiled ewes. I wish I could find some ram stud posters for inside, or maybe an animal cracker dispenser so they can self treat for those times I’m busy. I want to try and build them a little back scratcher… I catch them trying to rub on trees and fences but usually with only limited success. I think something built, just their height would be the most perfect thing to spoil them with! Haha… Yeah, they are definitely spoiled…

The way the gate is, when it’s open, it makes a sort of chute that makes it very easy to just gently herd them into the paddock. And the other gate can swing open to chute them into the back pasture area! Chutes and easy passage for sheep is a really good thing. They can be so spooky at times, so having nice gentle ways of getting them to do what you want is always desirable. I’ve seen those gals jump straight up in the air nearly four feet up without a single good reason! Mocha is like a springbok! She can leap sideways too! One time they thought a stick was something to be freaked by and every single one of them leaped over it like they were in the Olympics for high vaulting! So, yeah, having the gate work as a little gentle chute? It’s a good thing.

I’m so happy that Jr. replaced the rotten boards in our little bridge! We love the little bridge and when Jessy nearly fell through one, we’ve been avoiding it now. But he pulled out all the bad ones and now it’s as sturdy as anything! We’re going to give it a new coat of paint in the coming week, as we paint the outhouse and a fence and probably the chicken coop! Whaddya think…. is the blue just sort of wrong? What color would you paint it? White? Some other color? Red? Green? Light tan? Sigh….

I’ll try and take more pictures tomorrow!!!

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About Mobymom

the banjo player for Deepwater Bluegrass, and the editor of BuckeyeBluegrass.com as well as the main graphic designer of the Westvon Publishing empire. She is a renaissance woman of many talents and has two lovely daughters and a rehab mobile home homestead to raise.


Hard Days Work… — 5 Comments

  1. I read in your last post about the problems with your dog and I know some people have given you some suggestions. I don’t know if you’ve ever watched Cesar Milan, but he feels that dogs need exercise, discipline, and affection (in that order). I was having some problems with one of my dogs , and after adding a structured 2 mile walk (morning & night) it made a drastic change. It’s like having a whole new dog, she has changed so much! I think many problems come from dogs not getting enough regimented exercise (especially if they are on a farm or a larger piece of property). Running around a yard just does not work the same way. I know that it’s hard to fit that in every day, but once you start you won’t even need a clock, your dog will come to you and remind you it’s time TO GO!! :) If you put her doggy backpack on for the walk it will be even better, he uses that method all the time. Give it a 30 day trial and you will surprised and have saved your sanity too!

  2. I love seeing everything you’ve accomplished at the farm. You and your girls have so many reasons to be proud. I think the little footbridge would look great with the white rails and light blue walkway.

  3. Thanks for answering my questions. :) I think you have a few more weeks on the nuggets, too. The place is looking great!

  4. The place looks great! I totally agree with keeping it neat. I hate seeing cluttered places where people use their property as dumping grounds. It’s such an insult to nature.

    My vote is to paint the little coop red. I just love red outbuildings.

    Whatever happened about the black walnut tree? I think you said a fellow was very interested in it. Take care.


  5. What a delight to see your continued progress. I think I know what it is….you’re in love! You LOVE this place and it shows. (:

    I hope you have a fantastic party. I’d be tempted to crash it if we were neighbors.

    Could I add my two cents about the shed? I agree with you that the color is a little strong. White or a traditional barn red maybe?