Saturday, June 12, 2010

Trees in the pasture

Jerry and Alice have managed to kill off all the trash trees in their pasture by girding them. They literally stripped the bark off of all the mimosas inside their enclosed area. All of these died over the winter and Ken and Matthew cut them down last week.

Fortunately, they have left the large plum tree alone (other than to eat every leaf within four feet of the ground. They also, surprisingly, left the little plum tree alone and it's now loaded with plums.

The sheep have also discovered how yummy the fallen fruit is to eat and gobble up every single fallen fruit. So I go out in the evening and pick the just barely ripe ones BEFORE they fall. I made the mistake of hand feeding some bug chewed ones to the sheep yesterday and Jerry thought that meant that all the fruit in my hand was for him.

And he jumped up on me with his 75 pounds backing some sharp edged hooves trying to get to the little plumbs in my hands. He didn't cut me as I had recently trimmed said hooves, but he sure put a nasty bruise on my thigh. Bugger!

He sure didn't get any more fruit from me. I'll tie him up the next time I go fruit picking.

The new game, which is also a way of training him to respect me, is to run at them making crazy animal noises. They run! And wow, they are really fast! They race around the whole pasture and come right back for another play with the "monster". I can almost hear them giggling like little kids as they fly past on a round. We play until they are panting a little. Gives them some exercise and gives me a smile.

They still come at me like fuzzy vaccuum cleaners when I have animal cookies, or other treats and a quick snag of a front leg and I can do whatever I need to so with them. I'm very pleased with how tame they have become.

I've noticed that on Alice's front sides (where we did need to shear), her rise came later than the rest of her (which is why we needed to shear) and there are little clumps about an inch long that are sort of matted out on the ends. I'm pulling these off as I can. She doesn't seem to mind much so long I as I don't ask her to stand still very long. That way I will have a nice "clean" fleece from her next year without a bunch of garbage left overs from last year. She will have a very wavy fleece next year.

Jerry does not appear to have any rise at all other than on his belly and butt. I'm just pulling those off from time to time when a lock is really dragging.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Neglectful and seeking a solution

I have been terribly neglectful of my blog. I need to get better at adding updates.

I think I get intimidated by the desire to add photos, but I find it difficult and awkward to add them as I have to first go take pictures, then bring the camera to the computer, find and plug in the cable and finally get them to upload which tends to be a hit or miss operation.

I could certainly leave out the pictures, but then it is just an on-line journal.

I confess that Ravelry makes tracking my knitting projects much easier. But it does not do a really great job of spinning and weaving. Weavolution, if I used it, could probably handle the weaving. So that leaves the spinning.

There is also the matter of the sheep. This does seem to be the best spot to track the adventures of shepherding.

I've been busy doing life chores for a change.

I've started tasking myself with small jobs in order to make a dent in the big picture when it comes to the house. For example, while I wait for a cup of coffee in the microwave for two minutes, I unload the dishwasher... or at least as much of it I can get done in 2 minutes. While waiting for the kettle to boil so I can make instant oatmeal in the morning, I may load the dishwasher or chip some ice from the inside of my ancient chest deep freezer. This morning, I cleared off the windowsill in front of one window and washed it, then decided while it was clear, to wash the one window over it.

I also replaced the paper in the bottom of the silverware drawer and wiped down the inside of the drawer while I was at it. Lots of mice droppings in there in the very back. Sort of scary. Glad I cleaned it.

Tomorrow or later this afternoon, I will put away the dishes in the draining board and then wash the windowsill and window that the drainboard blocks. Later this week I might wash out a veggie drawer in the fridge or clean off one rack.

But each day, I am trying to find one or two jobs that need to be done in the kitchen that does not take a lot of time, that I can accomplish. Then I will get Ken or Matthew to do the big stuff -- like scrub the floor or clean the oven.

For me, I think the secret is not to let myself get overwhelmed. It's also about not becoming resentful about how quickly the house becomes dirty and how there is a need over and over again, to clean it.