Sunday, March 26, 2006

log houses

Tonight I faxed the Morris Brothers Carpentry & Excavating to ask them to be our contractors for the addition to our house. Boy, this is a long story. We bought this farm, literally, without knowing that there was a log home underneath its complete ugliness. After the closing the farmer asked us if we hadn't wondered why the windows were so deeply set. Well, having completely remodeled our last "farmhouse" we just figured it was another quirk in the home. But, NO, it was because some of the house was log underneath everything else. Well, at the time, it was immaterial. The house needed more work than you could shake a stick at, but I thought I could live with it. I was wrong. This place is "butt ugly" Nothing was done with any type of a plan, and we can never ask "why" because there is never an answer to that question. Now, just a minute ago as I was typing, Gene Morris called back, and we made a date for Thursday evening. He will be out here to get serious about this job.

After looking into putting a tract home on our property -- tooooo expensive. We have gone back to the original idea of stripping as much as possible and putting on a log addition. Jake has always wanted to have a log house. Well, now it looks like that just might be a real possibility. I didn't think that I have been very fussy about the places that I lived, but maybe I am wrong. I have never had to live in a place like this in my whole life. I certainly don't want to spend the rest of my life in a dump. Now, there is hope that we will have something more than this dump to live in. It is very exciting. I probably won't sleep all night just thinking about it. It would mean that I would have a huge shop in the upstairs portion of the addition. I would have more than enough room for my quilting maching, sewing machine, and "wool stuff". That would be a dream come true. Right now our living room is soooooo small, actually the "dining room". It is cramped because I am using the "living room" as my shop. The whole project will take a lot of time and money, but it will be worth it.

I just can't believe that this could actually happen. It sure is another highlight!
Now, I have these things to look forward to: 1. maybe a lamb, 2. maybe some calves,
3. a new septic system (dumb, I know), 4. beginning an addition to our home. That is a lot of wonderful things that could happen this spring. And that is another thing; it is SPRING!! What a wonderful thing to have happen again.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Another highlight

Well, this morning was another highlight as High Ridge Farm. When I went out to do chores this morning, the 2 boy sheep had gotten a door open in their pen and disappeared. They had dropped down into the shed where the manure spreader and tractor are kept. The landing and stairs are in ruins, and I have no idea how they got down into the shed without hurting themselves. I had a few scary moments until I got down there and checked them out. The next problem was how to get them back up into their pen. The first step left on the stairs was about 4 feet up in the air. I made a ramp with several pieces of plywood and added a set of steps from our old basement that had two steps on it. I was able to use my "ramp" to get up. Dickie was the first one to come up. Since they have been shorn, they remind me of goats. Now Dickie was as nimble as a goat as he came up the ramp and steps and got back into his pen. Tommy was not so sure that it could be done. I had to go back down and coax him to come up the ramp and steps. I was so happy that they were back in their pen and unhurt. I don't know how they came out of that unscathed.

I have left them in the barn because they are happy there and Ami, my ewe, is much happier to have some other sheep with her. She is all alone since my old ewe died last month. I am working with her to tame her down. She is very shy. That is an understatement. I sure hope that I can gain her confidence before she is due to lamb. I sure hope she has a lamb. She is nice and rounded now and doesn't look like the boys at all. I sure hope that roundedness is a lamb getting ready to be born.

It looks like April 15 is the approximate date for birthing around here. We have 8 cows and one sheep who have been "exposed" to a bull and a ram. Now, will there be offspring? I sure hope so although the bull may be too small for a couple of the cows. We will just have to wait and see. It should be another "highlight" at this place.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

High Ridge Lowlights

High Ridge Highlights

Well, I guess I picked the wrong title for this blog. I should have called it High Ridge Lowlights. Today was one of those days. I woke up at 2:00 a.m. with a headache. Taking my medicine makes me extremely alert. So I worked at the computer from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. Then I went to sleep. The phone woke me at 8:00 a.m. It was my friend Sandy Stevens telling me that the shearer was coming to their house tomorrow. I have been calling the same shearer trying to get them to come on the same day that they come to Sandy's because she lives about 20 minutes from me. OK, that is another thing to think about.

I got up. Went to get the little dog and found her in the throws of a seizure. This is nothing new, but means that she will be literally glued to me for at least an hour. That slowed me down.

It was 9:15 before I got out to the barn. It is also snowing like crazy at this time. I need to get my ram and wether into their shed to keep them dry. After I got them penned in with a small gate and some binder twine, I decided I better check to see if the neighbor's sheep were inside. I hopped into my car, a little two-seater Suzuki X-90, and headed for Curt's house. I missed the drive towards his house and took the other side of the driveway. I started sliding and ended up half on and half off of the road, stuck about one foot from a utility pole. I was pointing downwards into the field and didn't understand why I had stopped. I knew I couldn't leave the car there because the road hadn't been plowed yet. I managed to slowly move the car into the field and proceeded a ways before I was stopped. I do not understand why I couldn't go further. I got out and walked to Curt's house.

Once I found his sheep, who were happily enjoying the barn, I managed to secure the gate that would keep them in the barn. Then I trudged home again, this time going across the field which is much shorter.

Now it was time to cover the door of the sheep shed to keep the snow from blowing in. I accomplished that with a blanket, some nails and a hammer. With this all finished, I could feed and water the cows and feed the ewe, who was already in the barn.

I don't even remember when I put in another call to the shearer to find out if they would be coming to me house tomorrow. I talked to the father who said he would get in touch with his son who was going to be the shearer. Well, that was not a "yes" or a "no", but I am used to that.

When I got in from the barn it was 10:30 and I felt like I had been wrung out and hung up to dry. The first thing I did was put on dry socks and shoes. The rest of the day was better, thank heavens.

Jake came home and used the Bobcat to drag my car out of the field. The Bobcat was even going sideways because that field is so hilly. We had to clean out a pen for the ram and the wether, and I mean clean!! Then we bedded it, made a few changes so that the sheep could not escape, and went out to get the boys. (Dickie and Tommy - after my favorite comedy team -- (I know, I am old) Jake managed to wrestle them into their collars and we led them happily up to the barn. There......they are happily munching on the new straw and comfortable for the night. I watered the cows and swept a place for the shearer. Oh, I forgot, in between cleaning the pen and after getting the sheep, I actually talked to the shearer, and he is coming tomorrow!!!! I am so happy! We were in the house by 8:00 p.m. What a day.

Now everything is quiet again. I hope that it is the same in the barn. I await the excitement tomorrow will bring, but I will rest more easily because of the raspberry cordial that Dave and Holly and I made this summer.

High Ridge Highlights

High Ridge Highlights

It is snowing up here. We are supposed to have some significant accumulations. Last time they were wrong, but it looks like this time we may take a hit. We are ready. The cows have extra supplies in the barn where they will stay while the storm lasts. They seem to like the shelter of the shed when it is storming. I guess that is not too dumb. The sheep will stay in during the storm, but they wil be out soon afterward. They are a hardy breed and are often seen laying down on the snow. The outside cats will be hopping around and begging to go into the "little house." Sometimes I will let them. It just depends
It looks like today will be a "quiet work day." That means sewing and reading, whichever I chose at the time. Right now it is the middle of the night and Pansy (inside cat) is doing wind sprints from the shop to the bedroom. I guess she thinks that is fun. It is accompanied by "mews" just to inform me about what is happening.
Up here we are expecting an exciting spring. Our animals are bred, except the cats. If all goes well, we could have a lamb and some calves. It is a guessing game because no one is noticeably pregnant. Lambing would be after April 15, and I don't have a date for the calves. I will have to check on that. It should be an exciting time. We have had two births on the farm so far. One we expected and the other was a surprise. Both were uneventful, thank heavens. That means that we have two calves now, plus one. They are all in the barn with their moms, two boys and one girl.
Now we will wait and see who else produces offspring. I am fearful that our bigger heifers will not be bred because our bull is quite small. I hope that I am wrong. Maybe he is a bigger boy than I think. The ewe did not get pregnant on her first exposure to a ram last year, before I bought her. We will see if we do better this year.
Inside, I just finished my spring quilt yesterday. Today I hung it in the bedroom. It is too big. The winter and summer quilts will just be full size. Now I need to finish some placemats and table runners. The placemats just need binding, today's work. I need to finish piecing two of the table runners and then quilt and bind them. The light should be good today with all the snow reflecting into the shop.
Yesterday I did demolition duty. I cut out the framework for a closet that was in a room upstairs. It gained me a few more inches of space for storage. I have condensed all of my "stuff" into one room now which leaves the larger room upstairs for a usable living space. I have my wool preparation machines up there and a desk and dresser for storage. It is a pleasant room because of the southern exposure. The cats sure like the two south windows for "serious sunning." Southern windows are at a premium in this house where light is dearly needed.
Only four days until spring!!!! But who is counting?