Friday, November 28, 2014

Boy, was I wrong

This morning I emailed a friend, "not much excitement here".  As it turned out, I was very wrong.  My black Friday turned out to be very exciting.  When I went out to feed everyone I discovered Black Olive (my large black sow) gave me a nice surprise, better than anything I could fight the crowds for at a department store; two tiny piglets, a boy and a girl.

They took naps in my lap for about 30 minutes while their mom was eating.  So far they're not afraid of me.  Piglets usually squeal like crazy when you hold them but these two seem to like the warmth of my hugs.  The other pigs have welcomed them and are pretty gentle around them.  I saw Roxie gathering more straw to put in their pen to keep everyone warm.  Every now and then I think I shouldn't be keeping a non-productive gigantic hog but then I find many excuses to keep Roxie.  She makes all the nests and takes care of everyone.  This afternoon I went to check on them and all 10 pigs were cuddled up in a 7 1/2 X 7 1/2 foot shelter.  It's adorable the way they pack themselves together to keep warm to sleep.  Look how tiny the piglets are next to Roxie.

 This is 9 pigs.  One is out grazing.  They could probably fit a few more in.
  Tell me, is this not the sweetest thing you've ever seen?

Because my goats are ready to be dried up, it's time to separate Windsor from Raisa so we can continue to have milk.  I've been dreading this but Windsor is almost 8 months old so it's time.  Raisa is in heat today so she'll follow me anywhere.  I coaxed her through a gate where the pigs are, hoping Windsor would follow her.  My plan was to get her to go through first, knowing he wouldn't.  Then tomorrow coax her back through the gate and not let him through.  Well, he didn't want to follow.  Everyone else did.  The donkeys thought they were missing out on something.

Later I let the donkeys through and Windsor followed.  Now they're exploring new territory.  I hope tomorrow I can get Raisa back to the side of the field where I can milk her.  I have no idea how much milk Windsor has been taking.  I'm kind of excited.

The neighbors' horses were interested in the cows and donkeys now that they can see them better.
It was a pretty afternoon.  Ignore the traffic noise and power lines.  You'd think we live in the city from the sounds of it but that was just 2 cars with one obnoxious driver trying to impress someone.

It turned out to be a pretty exciting day afterall.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Little bear

I went down to milk goats this morning and was surprised by 2 things.  We returned last night after a week of vacation.   I stopped milking the goats so the farm sitters wouldn't have to deal with that.  I thought they'd be all dried up this morning but was pleased to find they all still had quite a bit of milk.  It'll be interesting to see how they'll produce now.  Hopefully all of them are bred now.

My second surprise was this.  See the black spot that looks like it's on the bridge?

Here, I'll zoom in so you can see it better.
Keri had been barking most of the time I was milking but it wasn't till I finished I saw why.  The bear is pretty small and he looked very sleepy.  He kept closing his eyes.  So cute.  Bear season is next month.  I hope this little guy stays safe.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Safe from dummies

When we bought this old house the previous owners asked if we wanted the 2 large safes.  One was from a post office and the other a bank.  They're heavy and wouldn't easily be moved out of our basement.  Of course we said yes; mostly because they're cool, not because we have much of value to protect.

James keeps some things in one of them and the other has been sitting there empty. This summer one of our neighbors was robbed so before we went on vacation James suggested I put my jewelry in the safe.  He didn't say which safe so I chose the empty one.  I locked it up tight and off we went.

Later I went to retrieve my jewelry.  I followed the combination instructions to a T (I thought) but at the end of the directions it said to unlock with the key.  The key we had didn't open it.  Both of us took turns messing with it to no avail.  We searched everywhere for the key.  Nothing.  So, for the past 4 or 5 months I've been wearing the same 3 pairs of earrings and 2 necklaces I took with us on vacation this summer.

Finally I called a locksmith.  Apparently not all locksmiths can open old safes like this so we had to  hire one about 45 minutes from here at a cost of $135.00 just to show up and another $100.00 per hour he was here.    Oh well, what choice did we have if I wanted my jewelry back, right?  I should mention, most of my jewelry is costume jewelry. I'm not a girl whose best friends are diamonds.  I wear what matches my outfit or what I like.

The young locksmith arrived this morning.  I had envisioned him trying to pick the lock, and when having no luck, using a cutting torch to open it.  James watched It Takes A Thief as a child and may have had some more interesting scenarios, I don't know.  What happened next was nowhere close to these images.  Mr. Young Locksmith turned the dial a smidgeon, tugged gently on the handle and opened the safe. No key necessary.  I guess we should have been embarrassed, and maybe I was a little, but mostly I was happy he didn't have to use a cutting torch and spend another hour here.  He was too polite to tell us we were idiots and didn't know how to properly use a combination lock.  He told us this happens all the time and shared other stories to help us recover our self-esteem.  Also, to make us feel like we got our moneys'-worth, he lubed the combination dial and interior mechanisms, stating this may have been why we found it hard to open.  He made us both open the safe to be sure we werent' a lost cause, or maybe to prove we were.

As you can see, the safes work best as storage for paint cans.  Maybe we should only use them for this purpose.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Boat needs a name

We're going to finish this boat and deck, that's a sure thing.  We're loving the way it's coming along and  spending much more time down by the river these days even though the temperatures are dropping.  James sealed the deck last week so all that needs to be done on it is the railing.  I'm enjoying it without for now.

The boat is making major transformations too. Remember this ugly duckling?

There were so many cracks and leaks in the roof water was wreaking all kinds of havoc inside, not to mention it was super nasty and dirty.

Two pressure washings later, plus lots of fiberglass, caulk and paint and here she is today.
We're loving having stairs.  Until recently we were climbing a wobbly step stool.

The interior looks even worse than that ugly picture above but I look forward to posting a before and after photo of it someday too.  Until then, I think we need to come up with a name for her.  Maybe she'll blossom if she has a name.  Hmmm, maybe Blossom.