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Friday, October 10, 2014

It's Been a Week!

Wood pile to the extreme upper right is ready for use!
I did not get to help out my fellow farmer, as planned, at the end of the week last. A fox, which plagued us earlier in the year, returned the continued loss of birds every time Tractor Guy manages to get a halfway decent sleep, is not acceptable. So the de-nailing of the piles of recycled barn wood got moved to top priority and I attached that straightaway Friday morning. I managed to get about a quarter of it processed before I came in for a lunch break and discovered a phone call from Tractor Guy, who had gone to town on errands.

Seems he had just filled up the car, which then totally refused to start and refused to give up a clue as to the problem. So my productive day got derailed into a rest-of-the-day rescue mission, which bled over into the next day as well. Fortunately there was an out of the way place that the car could stay near the station overnight and equally fortunately we have friends with BIG toys!  LOL We borrowed a friend, his BIG dump truck and equally BIG flat bed trailer to haul the poor car home where it is, as of now, not yet giving up any secrets as to what is wrong. Not that we needed yet another "gotta get done before winter" project, mind you.

A less than exciting thread of endeavor is also proceeding. After our "doctor" (actually a PA) left the

practice we had been using, I decided it was high time to move to an associated practice much closer to home (the original office was in the town where we first landed in Maine, over a hour away). I had my first "meet and greet" appointment with my new PA at the end of last week and we talked about how to proceed. My main health goal is to get my knees "fixed" so appointments for xrays and a referral to the surgeon of my choice were put on the list, as well as an appointment for my annual wellness exam. I am surprised and pleased at the speed with which this office processes stuff! The x-ray was scheduled for Monday and in just a few minutes, actually, I had a CD of data from both this visit and the previous one in 2011, to carry to the surgeon. They also had the referral visit scheduled within the week as well. That will happen the end of the month, though even if he agrees surgery is in order, I won't be able to have it done until much later in the year.

I am planning to go to Oklahoma early in December, to pick up a livestock guardian dog pup from a friend's dog's bloodline. A good working dog to help spell Tractor Guy on guardian duty is essential now that the predators have found us, and even though it will take a few years for the big guy to grow into his duties, I am excited about the prospect even though it means any potential surgery will be delayed a bit.

Here on the farm the harvest continues. I picked the last of the green beans, hoping they are ripe enough to make seed, though the pods are mostly not totally dry yet. I also found our few, struggling, sweet potato roots, and also found that some of the vines were not totally dead yet. I am going to try rooting them and over wintering, to see if I can get (a) an earlier start with them next year and (b) more "free food!" There are tons of carrots out there, a good lot of celery and leeks... all of which need to be dealt with. The parsley is still producing, so I need to pick a final time to freeze and dry and mulch the plants in the herb garden. There is a lot of mulching to be done, in general. Boy, do I need to figure out how to clone myself!

On another line of thought, I recently realized that on my trip to visit my friend who just moved into the state, as well as on the recon visit to her rental house in advance of her arrival, I passed through the town in which the Maine Grains mill, and their associated local retail outlet, is located. In my quest to use more locally grown food, I have been hoping to go to locally grown wheat flour, and I discovered that they do rolled oats as well! Somewhat expensive stuff, but if I can get money ahead to pick up 50 (or in the case of oats, 40) pound bags, it will be doable. Just need to get money ahead...

Tractor bucket makes an
adequate scaffold.

 On the hex sign front, I completed and posted this 36" diameter Heart Chakra sign this week and am on to working on a smaller Welcome, also for outside display.

And, finally, the last bit of electrical work has been completed on the window and door project. There is a flood light on either side of the window and door array, lighting the front area brightly when needed. And I DID need it last night, as I heard a kitty yowl and figured our "guard cat" was on duty. We had just run a skunk off in back so I was not sure what I would find when I lit up the front. No skunk, just the skinny feral cat that we saw leaping from the chicken pen last week. The growling was coming from our kitty and she and I ran off the invader.

Tree nursery
 Last project of the week was potting up the baby maple trees that had sprung up in the garlic patch. Garlic had been mulched with several large bags of maple leaves, and I guess the seeds were carried along in the mulch. Since we are committed to planting trees along the property lines and trees (usually) don't come free, these 23 volunteers will be nursed along for several years and then set out with the pines and oaks we have been buying. There is one more volunteer, growing right next to the foundation, that I will add to the collection soon.

Turkeys and guines come up for a treat ... and get underfoot when I try to do anything. Thanksgiving (left) and Christmas (right) are slated for holiday suppers. Their guinea friends will be lost, I fear, without them... but we didn't raise these birds as pets.

With the passing of this month's full moon I do feel some changes taking place. Things are beginning to FEEL more settled, even though there are still many "get ready for winter" projects in process, pounds of food to harvest and process and little visible progress has been made on the general level of chaos. After far too many weeks, it seems, of running here and there -- all for good purpose of course -- I am looking at a week with no scheduled excursions. Oh, I may run to our little town grocery or have to get tractor fuel or maybe, finally, a bit of kero for the heater, but I am actively looking forward to a whole week with nothing to focus on but home and farmstead and hex.