I went to town FOUR times today--the reason of course being I can only get one roll of hay in my truck at a time and then I still had to get the feed and Snip's hay. Unfortunately, I forgot the chicken feed so I have to go back tomorrow because they are out!!
I started out about 1:00 and it was 4:00 by the time I got done running around. I didn't have any wrecks (obviously), I snuck under a few yellow lights, and got hay all over myself even while driving down the road.
Dumping off the first roll of hay over here at Granddaddy's was rather intersting. Moon-bat hardly let me get it out of the truck before she took her stubs to it. I hollered at her and she looked up like, "Who, me?" Grrr...yes, you--you scary critter! :) Anyway...she did start eating it after that.
The second roll was less eventful. The third roll, which I delievered to my cows, was also an experience. The cows were up. Abe first started in on the bumper (I even had the engine turned off!) but quit once I threatened him. I started pushing the roll and all of a sudden I'm having something akin to a game of tug-of-war with a 1,000+ lb. (guess) bull with an 800 lb. roll of hay! So, while I was attempting to get the netting off, Abe was shaking the thing back and forth (or forward and backward from my perspective). Eventually the hay fell off the tailgate and I managed to rescue the plastic netting before it got chewed on.
On my way back into town for the fourth time, I stopped to get eggs (must have eggs for breakfast!!) and water-softener salt. Then I got the horse feed at Bryan's and on to Smith's. At Smith's the owner confronted me thusly (I don't think I've ever actually spoken to him before): "I believe you're the lady I want to talk to." Oh? I was like, "What did I do??" (I didn't say that...) Anyway, he wanted to talk to me about the fact that my molassas tank was half-full of water. He had been out about a week ago to put molassas in the tank, but he wasn't going to put the 'product', as he said, into the water because it will make it stale. He said he had called and left a message (I didn't even think the answering machine was hooked up anymore??). So, anyway, he told me that I needed to siphon as much of the water out as I could--and he explained how to do that. I'm glad he did because I didn't remember exactly how to siphon stuff. It took a couple of tries and few different peices of pipe--and now I really need to sharpen my knife!--before the water started flowing. I got sillily excited about it. :D
Then I did a little more work in and about the barn. Savannah helped me put the Snapper back in the barn by steering for me while I pushed. After I got that in, I backed the truck up as close as I could get it to the barn (still a few too many obstructions) and unloaded the cow feed--minus two bags. Savannah drove and we fed the cows.
After feeding the cows, Savannah returned inside to finish our supper (I was hungry!), and I unloaded the sweet feed and hay. I also put the salt in the softener. Since I really am trying to keep on top of all my extra feed sacks better (i.e. burn them--one really doesn't need to keep ALL of them; just enough to come in handy if you need a sturdy paper sack), I hauled another four (yesterday's and today's) out to the burn pit along with the salt bag and the hay netting. Once there, without matches of course, I wasn't really sure if I was going to go all the way in and get the matches and come back out or not--like I said, I was hungry and I tend to get lazier the hungrier I get. I happened to look over and see something very interesting.
A couple of days ago, when I went to burn the trash, I couldn't find the open box of matches, so I just opened a new one. Anyway, looking off to my right this evening, I saw a match box with matches scattered all around it, just laying there in the pasture! I have no idea how they got there, but I went over and picked almost every single one up--and found out that they still work too! In other words, the trash got burned and I didn't have to go into the house for matches afterall!
By now, Snip was really getting impatient for his supper. He'd been nickering, blowing, and whinning at me ever since I got home and I kept telling him to wait...needless to say, he was mighty pleased to see supper show up. I feed the cats and covered the chickens up better with the tarp and came in for supper...and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
Well...after the morning feeding routine (which has changed slightly since the chickens are over here now), I changed out of my ratty jeans into some decent looking clothes and plopped down at the computer to work on a 'James and Burke'
episode. I haven't gotten that finished yet.
At about 10:50, I suddenly realized I had better get started on lunch--Granddaddy likes to eat around 11:30. I jumped up and went into the kitchen and stared at the pack of chicken thighs. Something akin to this was running through my mind, "What a dingbat I am!! Chicken takes an hour to bake!!! I KNOW that! What was I doing on the computer??"
With those kind of things running around in my foolish brain, an idea suddenly slapped me upside the head. "Hey! Why not fry a couple of pieces for lunch and just stick the rest in the oven?" Saved by my practical streak, I got the skillet heating and put the chicken into a baking pan and into the oven--minus two pieces. One for me and one for Granddaddy. (I forgot to mention everyone else was not home...)
With the chicken crackling in the pan, I hurriedly chopped some mustard greens, thankful Mama had already washed them in the big sink across the creek. I dumped the baked beans out of the box they were in and put them on the stove to heat as well.
I ACTUALLY HAD LUNCH READY ON TIME....I was rather surprised about that, but quite pleased. I was equally pleased at the way it turned out--tasty. :D As Granddaddy was getting seated and I was dishing up the chicken from the stove (no need to dirty an extra dish with two pieces of chicken that were just going to be promptly removed), I told him, "We're having a good Southern lunch." He grunted, "Good."
We didn't talk much while we consumed lunch...but that's not unusual. He went back to the TV and I to the blanch the remaining greens I hadn't cooked. I also washed the dishes and made my coffee. Once done with all that, I took my coffee and returned to 'James and Burke'...
Coffee gone, I turned my attention to my afternoon's errands. I dropped by Wal-Mart first to get silver spray paint for the 'new' gate, as well as cat food since they are almost out. I made an impulsive (not too implusive really) buy of the Tintin movie. I've wanted to see it ever since I first heard about it (I LOVE Tintin!) and was just waiting until it came out on DVD. (I think I'll watch that tonight...)
I fully enjoyed this next part...While standing in line, the lady in front of me looked me over once. A minute later, she turns back and motions to my spurs (which I had noticed her looking at) and asked me, "Are those the real deal or just for decoration?" If she had noticed that the sole of my beloved boot is coming off, she might have answered that question herself. :D I told her, "They are real." Then she asked me if I used them...duh. "Yes, I use them on him sometimes...sometimes he needs it!" "Is he standing out there in the parking lot?" she teased. "No...when I left the house he was standing there eating hay!" A little later she said, "I'm a Northerner, can you tell?" I laughed (this whole episode was hilarious), and said, "Sorta."
I was checking out and the cashier carded me--because of the spray paint!! That is kind of weird. Anyway, she said I didn't look over 18.
From there I went and got fuel...then with a full tank, I headed for Bryan's.
At Bryan's I hopped out and headed in; the Hispanic guy (who for blogging purposes I'm going to call 'Jose'--unless I find out his name), saw me, grinned, and asked, "A roll of hay?" I laughed, how could I help it, and agreed with him...only I was actually getting two! Scott (I think he owns the place or is one of the owners) took my plastic for both rolls and Jose loaded #1. Seeing me fumbling with my straps, he backed the forklift around and basically asked me if I'd like him to show me a better way of strapping in the hay. Why not? And you know what? It really is better! The hay doesn't roll near as much with the strap around the back rather than over the top.
I arrived home and unloaded roll #1. Granddaddy's cows have never had hay before, so they haven't exactly attacked it. I think they will eat it--once they get done butting it around and ripping it to shreds with their horns. Moonbat started 'horning' it first thing and I yelled at her while shaking my PVC head-wacker. She just looked at me over the roll of hay...nevermind....
I dashed back to Bryan's, and Dave (who has an injuried eye--he might startle you if you weren't expecting it--he makes up for that disfigurement with a quick smile and laugh; I like the guy...and I appreciate it when God places physically non-perfect people in my path. He continues to teach me not to judge by outward apperances or get 'grossed out' because someone has something wrong with them. I just hope Dave didn't see the reaction I had when I first saw him...I fail miserably on this front and I am ashamed of myself for it.) loaded roll #2. I strapped it in like Jose had shown me and left again.
After unloading that one, I headed out again...after filling a five gallon bucket three times and carrying it around 100 yards to make sure Snip had water. The pump is no longer pumping water--even though it was sitting there and running! I have to do some research on that. (If anybody reading this has any idea what might be the problem, contact me! Please...I'm totally lost on this front. :})
At Smith's I picked up another 14 50 lb. sacks of pellets and one of chick feed...I was going to get 4 bags of mineral too...but they were out. Drummer Dude, Redneck 1 (who I hadn't realized was so short! It's been a while since I've seen him) and Redneck 3 loaded my truck. Redneck 3 seems to be a real nice kid--he smiles an awful lot...
I got to our place, swept out the garage (I remembered Mama! :D), unloaded six of the bags of pellets and left again. I got over here, unloaded feed, chased calves, filled up Snip's water tank a bit more (the cows can get water out of the creek, so I'm not too worried about them), got something to drink myself, fed cows with Katherine's help, then fed Snip, the cats (I only saw Shadow), and the chicks. By now I was really hungry...three measely prunes at 2:30 don't exactly qualify as a filling snack and it was almost 6.
We (the first shift, Katherine, Granddaddy, and I) ate shortly after I came in. I really tried not to shovel...something I'm really bad at when I'm starving. And that pretty much sums up my day...it was busy, exciting, and even distressing to some extent...I have to figure out what to do about the pump...but I'll worry about that tomorrow!
Until next time, enjoy laughing at (and with) me!
That's right...I got my little chickens this morning!
While cooking either Savannah or Granddaddy's breakfast this morning, I meandered out to my desk (where I keep my cellphone) and flipped it open. Sure enough, I had missed calls and a voicemail telling me that my chicks were in at the post office. I went ahead and ate breakfast myself, loaded some stuff (i.e. chick feed, chick grit, cow feed, and a hearty cardboard box) into the back of the truck, and roared off.
As of yesterday afternoon, we were going to put the chicks in the horse trailer as a brooder...by the time we went to bed last night, the plan had changed. Or rather, reverted to my original plan with a few minor detail differences.
Upon reaching the other house, I first fed the cows, then hauled the box out and hurried out to the barn were Mama said Daddy had told her he had another one. I found it without any problem and didn't even see any spiders. Then I rushed back to the garage with it, and started getting set up. Mama told me to go on and get the chicks and she would finish setting up. She also warned me not to have a wreak because I was in such a hurry...
I got to the post office and had to wait while a couple other people went through the line ahead of me. By the time it was my turn, there were a couple people behind me. I stepped up to the counter and said, "I'm here to pick up a shipment of chickens." After getting my name, the man behind the counter headed to the back to find them. I heard the peeping before he showed up again and it made me grin. In the meantime, I had a short exchange with the three people behind me. One was a older black lady who has such a pretty smile. She said she used to 'do that' [chickens] and that she used to get Rhode Island Reds. When I told her mine (half of them) are Rhode Island Reds, she seemed so pleased! She then proceeded to remark that she would have to do this again once she retired. The other people, probably a couple from up north someplace (they didn't exactly look or feel like locals) asked me a few questions too...when I was going out, the gentleman went and opened the door for me. It was unexpected, but appreciated.
I had to stop by over here to pick up some apple cider vinegar and garlic to make a home-made version of an electrolyte solution. I got across the creek and Mom mixed up the solution (I was getting the lights set up). Once done with that, I started unpacking the chicks, dipping each one's beak into the electrolyte solution water until I determined they'd gotten a drink, then I set them down into their boxes.
My roosters are Rhode Island Reds and my hens New Hampshire Reds...I got muddled in my thinking and thought I had gotten half Rhode Island Red hens and half Rhode Island Red roosters (the same with the New Hampshire Reds)...so I split them up that way. And then I got to looking at the label on the inside of the box. Phooey...so Katherine and I got them straightened out. I think I still have at least one rooster in the with the hens, but since the top of his beak was a little bloody, I'm fine with leaving him in there. The hens don't seem as vicious, but they sure were more stubborn about starting to drink! :P
McMurry Hatchery always includes a free 'exotic' chick in their orders...I think the one I got is a Brahman. We had a couple of those two years ago...the one hen was dumb as a box of rocks. I rather liked the roosters, they weren't so bad. After we butchered them (at about 5 lbs or so) we found out that it isn't unusual for them to get up to 10 pounds!
New Hampshire Red...they'll change colors. :)
The one I suspect is a Brahman...
Take a drink, little chicky...
Rhode Island Red
And just because...here's my two week old calf!
There you have it! Now, I'm off to go run feed store errands...
Here for your perusal are some pictures of Savannah and I's 1860's ball gowns. Mine is made from an 1860 pattern--the dress is called the "Saratoga". I really, really like it!
Savannah in her gray silk gown...
Savannah has changed her gown a bit--she took the black lace over-skirt off and made herself a black chemise. She also added the lace on the sleeves.
My session cockade (which you will see in the pictures) was just 'sitting' on the dress. It isn't completely finished--I still need a 'CSA' button (planning on purchasing one this weekend at Brooksville). This way I can't be mistook for a Yankee! (Since all my clothes are blue!)
Katherine made my earrings; they are clip-on's since my ears, though pierced, are terribly sensitive. It's kind of cool to be able to wear earrings! (I never wore clip-on's because they always bothered me--too tight--but Katherine has figured out how to make them comfy.)
Racheal modeling the "Saratoga" dress.
Period correct--no make-up! :D
I put these close ups here so you can see the details a bit better...the white undersleeves actually belong to my chemise.
If you are interested in getting a dress like this for little more than the price of the materials--please visit Liberty Seamstress
I love my dress!
Ahem, excuse me, I'm clucking like a chicken. Why? Simple...chicken coops are on my mind!
I spent a good hour in town getting stuff I need to build the chicken coops. Would you believe it, but none of the places I went had this particular type of PVC pipe fitting? I got the 't', 'x', and elbow connectors, but I couldn't find one of those that looks basically like an elbow with an opening on top. The closest anybody had was at 'Do it Best'--they had one, but the top hole was like half-inch rather than one inch. I went to Tractor Supply, Smith's, and Ace and none of them had even that!
Now that I've finished my lunch (I wasn't ready to eat at lunch time, so I only ate about half my food), I'm going to go out and at least get started on the hoop houses. Savannah and I are planning that next trip to P.C. (Monday), we'll go to Lowe's or Home Depot. Surely they will have what I need! I can get everything else pretty much done before then and all that will require is a few minutes for each corner.
I still need the chicken wire...I forgot that today. Oh well, I'll get it later.
I look forward to getting my chickens at the end of this month!
I figure that's an okay title since it's where it all ended up.
This morning, after blogging, I played my guitar for little bit, put together a short video (which I haven't put up on YouTube yet), ate lunch and got ready to go to town.
My first stop was Bryan's. The plan was to get a roll of hay, take it over to our place, drop it off, and start working in the garage. Well, as is not totally uncommon when I have my day planned to a 'T', things didn't work out that way. Mr. Scott was out of cow hay!! He told me he'd have some more in, in about an hour. I told him I'd be back then and started to leave. About half way out of the building, I hit the breaks and swung around almost laughing. "Well, since I'm here, I'll go ahead and get a bale of horse hay!" I got the local stuff--$8. I think that's a pretty good deal.
I figured I might as well bound over to Smith's and get the pellets for the next week. I called Daddy once I was sitting in the parking lot (it would have been fool-hardy to call him on the road--there is no way I could have heard him. The wind was honking!!) and got a few things straight. Anyhow, I got 18 bags of feed. I drove around back and "Drummer Dude" come out along with another feller I've seen once before (as of today I think I'll dub him "Frayed Hat").
Drummer grins, "How ya doin'?" (By now most of the guys who work out there know me--as in facial recognition. As far as I know, none of them know my name--which is fine! :D) "Oh, pretty good." "You got 18 bags?" I nod. "That's an odd number," (said with another grin). [So, technically, it's actually an even number--but I knew what he meant!] Drummer Dude and Frayed Hat go to pitching the bags into the back of the truck. Ol' Freckle Face (the red-headed kid I haven't seen since mid-summer) strolls up and watches them, looking kind of bored in the process. Once there about 9 bags in the truck, I hop into the back and start hauling some of them further in. Then Drummer Dude starts pitching them back there, so I just stay out of the way.
It was kind of funny, but the last two bags landed almost simulaneously at the same spot--only Drummer's was first. He and Frayed Hat looked at each other and laughed and Frayed said, "You beat me to it!" I then jumped out of the truck and gave the boys a cheerful "Thank-you!" before climbing into the cab and driving away.
I came home, unloaded 14 bags and the bale of hay, and after a brief run into the house (during which Savannah and Granddaddy arrived home from his chiropractor appointment), I was off again--first to drop off the remaining 4 bags at our place, then to town!
First stop, Auto Zone. I've been needing new windshield wipers for a while now and as it looked like rain threatening, I went ahead and dropped in the auto parts store. I went in and looked at blades; standing next to a man doing the same thing. After a little bit, he wandered off and was just standing there, so I went up to him and asked, "Do you work here?" (I thought maybe he did.) He said, "No." We talked just a little bit. Seems he didn't know any better than I did which blades he needed! Anyway, it was a friendly exchange. I was going to wait and see if I could talk to a sales rep, but after the man went out, then came back in with one of his wipers in his hand, I laughed and said, "I think I'll do that too!"
I'm glad I had a flat-head screw-driver floating around in the truck because it helped me pop off the blade (my knife would have worked just as well though). I took it in and picked out the right kind of blade. As I was fixing to check out, the rep asked me about the vehicle in order to make sure I had the correct blades. Well, I did; only, I had the 24 mm (what was on it); but according to his database (he even went out and checked the truck to see what year it was and what attachment it had on the wiper arm), I needed the 18mm ones. I learned something; he said if you have blades that are too long for your vehicle it can cause them to not work sometimes! Which just might explain why I have had trouble with the wipers working in the past....
As I was putting the new windshield wipers on, I discovered that the right one was different from the left one (I replaced both, even though only the left one was stripped.) Anyhow, they match now. Due to my hight and the angle, I ended up crawling up and sitting on the hood (I did not bend it in!!) in order to change the right one. I was busy trying to remove it when a couple people walked by--they were black (I only tell you this so you can get the right voice in your head)--and the lady in the back was having fun. :) She called out to me, "Ride it, cowgirl!" (I had boots and spurs and hat on--the 'cowgirl' look.) I looked up at her and just grinned real big while laughing under my breath. A minute or so later, she called again, "I'm just having fun." I don't remember if I nodded back at her or not, but I was grinning and laughing, so I hope she knew I wasn't offended--it really did amuse me.
Anyway, once I was done replacing my windshield wipers I was ready to head back to Bryan's. I ended up going almost out of town before I got turned around. (The main reason being the semi that was behind me in the other lane.) I pulled into Bryan's--the hay was there, still on the truck (which was still running--diesel, you know). As I turned my engine off, the Hispanic guy who works there drove by on the fork-lift. He gave me something of a two-fingered wave and nod. I figured he was going for my roll of hay (he had been standing behind me leaning on a pallet of--dog food, I think--while the discussion about hay had been going on earlier in the day.) He was and I think it was already loaded by the time I had it paid for. I strapped it down (because I feel safer and more confident with it strapped down--even though it really isn't necessary) and headed off to dump it.
I am so glad I changed the windshield wipers, because I needed them! :D It didn't pour while I was driving, but I still needed them. I got to our place, set up to unload and it really started to rain. In between sitting in the cab and goofing off in the rain, I finally got the tailgate down (it sticks sometimes). Once the tailgate was down, I cut the netting on the roll and started pushing and heaving. Well, what with the wet hay, wet plastic bed liner, wet rubber boot soles (that have no tred indentation left), I almost didn't get it off. I think without the help of that short board I might not have gotten it.
I was soaked and covered in hay stubble. Oh well...wet kids can drive down the road as well as dry ones. Just don't let the water dripping off the back of your hat onto you back bother you....
Needless to say, I didn't de-spider the garage today. Perhaps tomorrow. :)
Well, now that Christmas is over, (or at least the first half of it), it's time for me to dump the clutch and get to some serious work. I'll be starting that by getting a space cleared out in the barn for me to deposit the feed bags, getting hay for my itty-bitty herd, and de-spidering the garage across the creek. That is today's battle plan.
After that come booder building, coop building (I have to have this stuff ready by the last week in January), fence work, barn cleaning (I want to get the tack room cleaned out so I can use it as a tack room/feed room), and whatever else pops up maintenance-wise. I'd better have the mower fixed before spring, too. :)
When I putter through town to get hay, I think might stop at Tractor Supply and see what they charge for water troughs (or maybe I ought to just build some large wooden boxes for my brooders? I'll talk to Daddy about that later...) and compare with Byran's and Smith's. I much prefer giving my business to the feed stores because they are locally owned and operated rather than being a chain, but sometimes Tractor Supply might be cheaper. (Speaking of which...I wonder when they are going to put the Ariat boots on sale again...mine are getting plumb worn out. Even marked down though they still cost upwards of $50-$60...) Anyway, if I decide to build wooden boxes, I'll get my lumber at Do-it-Best. I will also need heat lamps (Do-it-Best), water tanks (those cost pretty much the same thing at all Bryan's, Smith's, and Tractor Supply--I've already looked), chick feeders, and of course feed.) And of course, I will need chicken wire.
Also on my list of things to do it oiling my saddle (and my boots). On top of that, Snip needs to be ridden. And that's just the outside stuff. Indoors I need to transfer video files and start working on my Cow Cavalry project again. I need to take this computer in and get the promised mega-hard-drive put in...
Oh, and let's not forget the usual suspects--the dirty dishes sitting on the counter right now screaming to be washed.
I'd better get to work...see ya later!
P.S. I wonder how much of this I can get done before Mama and Katherine get down... :D They are coming down for a couple weeks--once that big ol' snowstorm passes them! Yay!
Drum roll please....
*pauses, hand to ear, until she hears a stirring drum roll*
I am pleased to announce the Rebel Gray Socketeer
Please check it out and tell me what you think. I only have two pairs of socks listed at the moment, but I'm well on my way to getting the first sock of the third pair completed. :) I'm really enjoying this knitting stuff.
The other day, one of our visitors asked me how long it took me to make a sock. I kind of laughed and said, "Well, that depends on how much TV I watch!"
Now, I just need to talk to Mrs. K about putting them in her sutlery...I don't think she'll have any problem with that at all. (Maybe I'd better figure out some nice tag thingy before Brooksville! :D)