Saturday, September 29, 2007

Keep your cool(er) and prevent frozen pipes

Our water line was installed two weeks ago and the very end of the line - where the hydrant and the water cut-offs are - has sat open to the sky. In order to finish that section, I'd need to build an insulated box, cover the pipes, build a lid, cover the lid and the box with dirt. Not that it's a lot of work. After all, I built a milk stand for our goats in about two hours with nothing but scrap slab, a chainsaw, a hammer and some nails. But it's a bit of wood and I didn't want to use scrap slab for this because it's underground and would rot.

So there I stood, looking into an open hole thinking "Insulate box, insulate box... hmmmm." And inspiration struck!

When Robin and Summer left two days ago, they left behind an old cooler whose lid had warped. It was a matter of a few minutes work with the chainsaw to slice the bottom off of it and fit it over the water cut-off handles. I then seated the lid as best I could and covered the whole thing with dirt. The dirt will keep the lid in place. The cooler will keep the pipes from freezing.

And I didn't have to waste wood.

This is a perfect example, I think, of reusing a piece of potentially toxic trash. What ideas do you have?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Belated hellos and fond farewells

Our dear friends and benefactors Robin and Summer Woodsong, along with Summer's sister Julia, have been visiting and working about the farm for the past week or so... must've been longer, but time sure is fun when you're having flies... something like that.

Of course, nothing ever goes as planned. I am told Robin's plan had been to show up on Monday and put up a yurt. On Tuesday we were going to start on a barn. By Friday when the barn was finished, we would go an play in Mountain View.

But we were stymied on all accounts.

The yurt is up and what a yurt it is. I was able to swing from the ceiling like an ape (watch the comments, there) and not budge the thing an inch. Solid and stable. However, it took the better part of five days.

Instead of the barn, we started staking out the orchard. They had brought with them 330' of 8' fencing to keep the wild ones (both the deer and our goats) from getting in an helping themselves. I say orchard, but that won't be for several years. First, we want to make it into a garden to get the soil prepared. However, finding poles to support that fence was a bit of a challenge. It's started now, though. Jen could be seen pounding in over-sized T-posts from several steps up on the ladder. I yelled at her for being unsafe, but that's what I'm going to do when I get to it, so...

Also, instead of a barn, we set up a wonderful outdoor kitchen with the grill and a gazebo. I did a lot of cooking out doors in the past week or so and loved it. We have since added the refrigerator - rescued from its tarp under the trees - and plan on making a real kitchen out of it so I can cook even more. Whee!

They helped us tarp the trailer. The trailer had been drip-free and seemed watertight until we leveled it. Then the water would pool and the roof would leak.

Julia, who had learned to spin this summer at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, came down to the shop and learned to card and blend fibers.

Somewhere in all the fun and excitement and work someone said, "We're sorry we didn't get as much done."

Yeah, but look at what did get done and the fun we had doing that. Imagine if we had got it all done. Could we have withstood that much fun? And there'd be less fun for the next visit!

I sure hope it's soon!

Friday, September 7, 2007

sticks and, well, sticks...

As we arrived at the farm this evening to take care of the critters and tuck them into bed, both Jeanette and Lena commented on the stick stuck in Muppet's neck fur. They both thought to remove it and one of 'em shrieked... well, not a shriek as much as a surprised "eek."

I went to see what was happening and was told that Muppet had a friend... an 8-inch long walking stick!

By the time I got Mups cornered, his friend was gone so I didn't get to see it... bummer.

I did get to see one earlier in the year. I thought I had seen walking sticks before, but never like these...

From Wikipedia

Meanwhile, it's been too rainy to work with the chainsaw and cut any more sticks, so the cord wood siding on the dinosaur has crawled to a stop... not that I'm even going to complain about the rain. It's wonderful!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The tortoise and the truck

Everyone knows the story of the tortoise and the hare.

This one has a happier ending.

On our way from the farm to the shop this morning, I spied a lump in the road. I knew what it was and so did Jeanette - a turtle. A piece of potential roadkill.

I glanced in the rearview to make sure there was no one behind us, stopped and set my flashers, and got the slow moving critter out of the road. The dogs were interested, but not aggressive and Jeanette cooed over him... he sure was pretty. Spotted red and deep green.

We set him loose when we got the shop - facing away from the road.

Guess I need to get an 'I brake for turtles' bumpersticker... but how will people know I don't mean the teenage mutant ninja variety?

Blogged with Flock

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Spatial anomalies

We've been moving pens and pastures, fixing holes in fences and creating new walls. Folding farm space, so to speak.

We moved the sheep pasture fence yesterday and warped the sheep's world. They hate it when we move things around. Now they have to make new dust baths and new sleeping dips. But they do have more green to munch. I think what they hate the most is that the little marauders, who used to come and go through cracks in the fence are stuck inside with the regular sheep, for now...

It rained today, and it is supposed to keep it up all week, what a blessing. The air is velvet soft and gentle cool. It smells so sweet. This is what we moved here for, the gentle wetness, ahhhh.

Kermit found a new home. He is going to grow up to be a guardian for a goat herd, but right now he can share Lynn's attention and bottles with Clyde the sheep and Lazarus the goat. She says he's doing well and she loves his little kisses.

The kids have a new pen at the end of the barn and really seem to be loving it. Cappucino is trying to convince everyone he is a buck, but no one believes him yet. Maybe he'll start making some of that buck perfume, now that it is cooler, and the girls might not just think of him as another kid.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Home sweet... er... camp trailer

Sure, it's small. But small isn't always a bad thing... kinda teaches you about limits. You learn to pare down your belongings and live with what's needed and do without what's wanted or, maybe, what was not thrown away or put away.

Philosophy aside, it's been a nice move. The bed's more comfortable!

We've managed to move the dinosaur to the front of Midas and Jeanette and 'Lena are filling in the spaces with cordwood and chicken wire to make it catproof.

The goat's catch-pen has been secured - mostly.

Everyone seems happy with the arrangement.