Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Public service announcement

I am no longer posting here.
If you are looking for my blog, I am now at http://www.sarahshevett.livejournal.com

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Dead sheep and a dead truck

And another sunny day!!

The day started out with a dead ewe, and an AI breeding back in heat. Yeah, it couldn't have been better.
So I gave in and bred the doe ( daughter of the #1 Best Alpine milker 2005) to my milkiest buck Marvin (sire is full brother to another Top 10 Alpine milker). Oh well, that isn't a huge disaster.

We tried to start the Ford and almost had it but no go. I need to have my truck or the battery charger on it for a good long while.

I did manage to get the tractor shut off cable handle taken off and I'm about ready to attach the new one. The longer I have this tractor ( and the more things I fix/ replace) I might someday understand how the damn thing works. I already now know that the cable doesn't go to a carburetor ( it's a diesel) but to the injection pump.
And it was easier to get at after I pulled out the battery. Tomorrow it will start.

Ted came and took all my garbage to the dump..YAY!! Even some of the mess from the Grade B barn. It's time to do something about that building, I'm just pretending the ranch isn't for sale, as there is NO action on that front at all.

I'm watching the Dog Show, and just learned that George Washington was an avid breeder of American Foxhounds. Did not know that.
Oh and I have found a way to now get FOX back on the T V ( not a real loss in the first place..) and in about a month I will get ABC back, but for NBC and CBS, they are coming to install a free antenna, we'll see if that works at all. Nice try, though. I won't get to see the last episodes of Survivor. Dammit.

Next post: the joy of my new book from Lloyd Kahn and Shelter Publishing.

Now the revolution will begin

Last night, because of some new regulation, we lost the networks from our satellite T V.
Something about the local market, blah blah. Of course, there is no local market here, and the main reason we got the satellite in the first place was so I could watch the Tonight Show as I have most nights for almost all of my life.

So the only option is that the satellite company will, for free, come out and install a regular antennae in which to attempt to receive the 2 channels that come from Eureka. Since we live a mile up a narrow hollow, I pretty much am sure this will be pointless.

Global warming seems to have pushed out regular winter weather to the north, and soon the vineyards will be popping up here, as this winter has been so easy and sweet so far. Of course, we aren't even into the worst part yet, but so far it's been wonderful.
I mowed the whole lawn at the ranch on Thursday, a feat I have rarely attempted. I had mowed my side within the past 2 weeks, but this weather has just been a boon for the lawn. By the last few swaths I was hurtin, but it's all done. With this weather I'll bet I'll have to mow again within 2 weeks.

The boiler works delivered my sheet of expanded steel and I dove right in and cut 2 pieces for the milk stands I am working on.
Builders note; a plunge cut is infinitely better than a regular skill saw cut pass.

To do list:
Clean out little tank room
Get tractor started.
Move big Ford
Start doing something with the Grade B barn roof.

On the tractor front, I went to The Farm Shop and picked up the shut off cable. It was nice to find out that when I asked about how to replace it, the owner called over another mechanic to ask, because he wasn't sure. The mechanic kinda rolled his eyes and sympathised with me that it was a real pain to replace, so if I struggle, I am in good company.
I could really use that tractor now. It's gonna get fixed here pretty soon.

Ted has almost all the sheet rock in the new bedroom completed, so I should get the dry wall and taping done, and then primer. Then we need to decide on paint color, and how to do the ceiling, which we are at a loss with.
I'm hoping to be in there by Christmas.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ug I've had some wierd gut problem for 3 days now. I have no idea what the problem is, but it keeps me awake at night. This might be something I go to the doctor for if it doesn't go away. I haven't been to the doctor since my post partum check up. Josh is almost 19.

We are having some lovely weather, so this is what a dry winter is like! The sun is out again today and it looks like it's going to be clear for most of the weekend too. It's been a long time since we've had a dri-er winter, I don't even remember what it is like. Last winter we were at something like 135% of normal rainfall.

I spent a lovely gloaming piddling around the ranch. I even managed to get into the tractor to survey the latest problem; easy enough it is a broken choke cable. That should be quite easy to fix. I haven't wanted to start it as there was no way ( I knew) to turn it off! Now that I see how that cable works, I see that I can manually shut it down..
I started cleaning out the loafing shed pen, and I set out salt licks for the sheep and the milkers.
I cleaned out the little trailer, and I think today I'll fill it for a dump run.

I guess I should think about shopping for the holiday, but it still seems too far off. I tried on Sunday, but it's just too far away.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Abby the leaper on Vimeo

Abby loves to jump over the fences, the higher the better.
I need to find a dog puissance.


I made the mistake of clicking on the "update your Blogger account" and now it's not only merged with my Google account, but now it sucks. And I don't see any way to undo what I've done.
I may go back to LJ.

I have been thinking about how isolated I spend my time, very little social interaction, and maybe it's time for me to change that. I'm older now and Imight be able to handle dealing with people and their shit better. Some days I don't talk to anyone but Ted and Josh, and some days it's just Ted ( well and the goats, but they don't talk much).

Then on Monday some people came by to get a kitten. That was nice, they were a very cute couple, and the guy was from Allentown, Pa, not far from where I went to High School. Allentown, home of Dorney Park which once had the #3 best roller coaster in the world, according to the N Y Times.

Later I went up to Eureka to pick up my steel and it turned out that they had sold the big sheet of expanded steel that I dragged my little trailer up there specifically for.
I pretended to be really mad ( only for a second) and they were highly apologetic and offered to deliver one as soon as the truck came. That's a long ways to go to deliver one sheet of steel. why would they do that? It's not like I am a huge buyer for them.
Did I scare them? I mean they are metalworkers, tough right?

Back at the ranch I was amazingly productive, almost finishing one headcatch and cutting out all the tubing for a second.
Back home that night I spun 3/4 of a lb of yarn, which was a lot to do in one night. I have an order to fill; I donated yarn to a local long time breeder and ADGA judge who in turn will knit it into a sweater to donate it to a fund raiser. The ADGA convention will be here ( well, Santa Rosa) in 2008).

I called my nephew for his birthday yesterday. They were on their way to sushi for his party. It's hard to get any information out of an 8 year old in a car. I did manage to get his e mail.

Cold cold last night, and it's frosty this morning. Ted started a fire before he left so it's pretty toasty in here now.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Welding table

Here's my wonderful addition; the welding table. Already it has been such an improvement. There's the headgate that I built in less than 2 hours today, and I even cut the pieces for another.
It was such a breeze working on the table instead of on the ground.
I "heart" my welding table.

Rain. Not rain. Rain. Not rain.

We seem to be in a regular winter cycle of a day or 2 of rain and then one day of sun. That's all fine, and it actually looks like most of this week will be un rainy, which would be welcome.
Things are pretty soggy now, but it's par for the season, with little sun and lots of wetness.

Yesterday Josh and I doodled around Eureka in the rain, he drove the whole time. Mostly without incident, except when he almost went the wrong way up 1 way Henderson.

I got the packing stuff I need to pack up the milk stand to send it to Idaho. I also got seat covers for my disgusting cloth car seats that I just couldn't stand looking at/ sitting on anymore.

Today I have to go back up there and pick up my steel. I actually started the next stand yesterday with some leftover 1 X 1" square tubing. It's a dream working on the new table, projects will be so much easier now.

Someone is coming ( or so they said last night) to see about the kittens today. I have had the ad on Craigslist, and had about 5 or so calls, but no one has come. They are getting pretty big now.
One is a sweet purr bear and should go to a nicer home than my barn

It was a good thing I did go to the ranch on Saturday afternoon. I have pretty much been doing all chores by noon or so, but I went back to work on the table, and found my big Alpine buck had worked a hole in the gate and got in with J's weanlings. It makes me wonder what else goes on that I never know about. Anyway, there were 3 doelings in heat, so I'll see if the cycle again or the Lutalyse it is for them as they are way too small to be bred. Good thing I saw all of that. And I fixed the gate.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Well I finally have myself a welding table. It's like an artists easel, and I am pretty happy about it.
I made the base out of some heavy 2 X 2 square tubing that I got from Mike's scrap pile. The top is also from Mike, a piece of 1/4" with some angle welded to it; he had been using it for a door, which is amazing as it weighs at least 100 lbs.

I couldn't lift the top myself, so Ted came to the ranch last night so I could put the top on. It's just the right height, and about 4' X 4'.
Tomorrow I will pick up the next steel order and build a few more milk stands. I am looking forward to not having to work on the ground; my back is looking forward to that too.

I am waiting for the rain to stop so I can run out to do chores. It's finally letting up.

Last night I brought Simon to the ranch and at one point I realized he was gone. Then I hear the sheep baa ing and coming into the corral, which is a bad sign.
Sure enough he had sorted out one small lamb and was just following it. He does that, doesn't do any harm, but it's bad and when he came in I whacked him with the wire brush. He stayed pretty close after that. U just need to keep a closer eye on him. I also need to start his training in earnest, as he is obviously ( finally ) ready.

So now I have this lone small lamb who has now run off by itself towards the dike. And it's getting dark.
I let the lamb figure out it wasn't going to get eaten and get it's head back together and I see it running through the hayfield, looking like a little white bunny, with the whole bunch of Tim and Kathy's Jersey heifers following it.

I "baa" at the lamb which seems to get it's attention, then I spend the next half an hour trying to get the lamb to the sheep and the sheep to the lamb.
It was a lovely evening to be out in the field and Abby has decided she LOVES jumping the 4' wire sheep fence. I need to get photos and a video of her doing it, it's pretty spectacular.

Well the rain has quit for now, so I'm off to tend the flocks.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sharon and Taylor

The kikos

These are my 2 kiko cross doelings that I got from Sharon ( my landlord) and bottle raised last winter.
They have been bred and have been living with J's yearlings, even though I have been trying to get them out.
They are too fat to be on the free choice grain program, but I can't seem to be able to keep them in the pen with the other bred does.

Finally I have fixed it so they can't get out, but they are not too thrilled about their new digs. They spent the first few days outside, but have finally moved into the barn with the rest.
Even still, here they are by themselves in the yard while the rest have gone out to graze


We went to see "Stranger Than Fiction" in Eureka last night.
It was a WAY better movie than I was expecting. It was a different kind of movie than the commercials lead me to believe.
It did for me all the things I want from a movie. I left the theater feeling like a different person.

Then we stopped by the casino on the way home to try our luck. As we entered ( through the doors being held open by the Indian Native American doormen, a guy was leaving who told us "everything we touched would be golden". That was a good prophecy.

Sure enough we once again left the casino with a gain. Although I lost my money, Ted covered my loss, his loss, the money for the movie, popcorn and still a profit.
We are still way ahead of the casino in the overall loss/ win ratio.
And the casino was full of lots of characters. It was a fun coupla hours in there, quite a different environment to spend that time in.

I had another wild dream this morning. maybe the LJ barn drama, maybe my interest and desire to get on a horse, but I was pulling a horse trailer with a grey mare in it with a tricycle up the McKinleyville hill. I thought the tricycle was better suited for the haul than my little Nissan pickup.

If I can't swim and I can't ski here, I really should try to get back into the horses. I mean, I need to throw money into the fire, right?