Friday, October 31, 2008

A Dog Lover's Link

You have to try these interactive dog tricks. Very cute! Try typing fetch, sneeze, sit, stand, play dead, roll over, jump, wave, beg, high five, shake, down, sing, dance, fetch, kiss. If you discover any more commands that this little cutie will do let me know. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

And So It Begins..... Again!

Old Man Winter is right on time with his annual Halloween snow storm. Usually it doesn't stay long as the warmer sunny late autumn days will still make their appearances from time to time in their futile attempt to fend off the approaching winter season. Last year, however, we got tricked. We had snow on the ground from mid October until late May. Hopefully this will be a "normal" (not that I remember what that is) year and this is just a tease of what's to come. But you never know in the north country. Better make an appointment to get the snow tires on!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dog Dance

Anyone who has ever has a special relationship with a special dog will appreciate the bond between these two. Warning: tearjerker! Get your tissues handy.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Playin' with the big dogs!

It always amuses me to watch the dogs wrestle and play. They have such a wonderful joy of life, having a way of enjoying pure play. It also amazes me how gentle the big dogs can be with smaller playmates. They could squash Roxy with one snap of their big, powerful jaws, their mouths being larger than her head. But they genuinely seem to enjoy their encounters with this feisty pup, letting her "beat up" on them without needing to win. We humans should take a lesson from the dogs and just enjoy the day and the play.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Before and After

This is the clearing project on the north side of the driveway. Since there's now a permanent fence along the south side we needed to clear back the brush and trees on the north side to have a place to put the snow this winter. Last winter we had 12' of the white stuff (not all at once of course) so having a place to put it is critical. I put the goats in the area for a few days to clear out the underbrush so I could at least see what I was doing. Then came the chain saw and chipper. The end result is quite a bit different. Just have to move a few bigger logs to a land fill area and spread some grass seed. By the end of next summer you won't know it was ever that overgrown. The sheep will keep it cleared out so the brush doesn't grow back. That is, after all, what started this sheep/goat/pig/chicken/turkey enterprise - edible land management.



Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Crunch Time!

I haven't had much time to post to the blog recently. With winter just around the corner it's crunch time to get everything done before it gets too cold to enjoy being outdoors. Things that need to be accomplished in the next few weeks: Finish the next 12'x36' section of the barn, split and stack 6 cords of firewood, clear trees and brush on the left side of the driveway to have a place to put the snow this winter as we now have a fence on the right side, clean the chimney and wood stove and get that ready for winter, button up the house (such as making sure all windows and doors are properly weatherstripped, paint any wood that needs touching up etc.), general clean-up and organize around the farm. Sheep will need crutching (which is shaving their underbellies and crotch areas to prevent wool from becoming matted with wet manure. We didn't do that last fall and the wool was so long and matted in the spring it was hard to get the clippers through at shearing time.), trim feet on all sheep and goats, make sure all vaccinations are up to date, run an electric hot wire on top of fencing on all winter pastures to be sure animals still have a deterent as the snow gets higher, put the rest of the ducks in the freezer, toward Thanksgiving time process the turkeys, and the list goes on.

Hopefully, we'll have a long autumn season to get all this done. Last year winter came a bit early as we had snow on the ground from Oct. 19th through the 3rd week in May. Needless to say we got caught with not enough time to do everything comfortably before Old Man Winter came for an extended winter visit. But regardless of when he makes his appearance all the chores and preparation still need to be done. It’s just more pleasant to take advantage of these beautiful fall days when the sun feels so good to be warming your back and your soul.

These are the days when it's good to put a soup or stew on to simmer in the morning so that it has slow cooked all day, filling the house with it's wonderful aroma and the promise of a hot, savory supper when the day's work is over. When the sun begins to set and you feel the temperature begin to drop, and your body is also ready to drop, exhausted from a day's heavy labor, it's good to know that Mr. Crockpot has been busy at work all day and supper is just a ladle away.