Monday, September 22, 2008

In Which Cleaning Out The Barn is Crappy!

It was a nice weekend. Beautiful. The sun was warm, with a cool breeze and the barn, after a hot summer was getting a bit on the stinky side. Hubby was home (so he could start the skid-steer for me) and I had all afternoon on Saturday to clean out the barn.

Backtrack a bit here. It is in my nature to take the most disagreeable task and get it done first, then move up my list, so by the time I'm ready to quit, the only things left on my list are so easy and so neutral that it's easy to get them done.

That's how it's supposed to work.

Back to the barn.

Obviously, (or maybe not so much if this isn't something you do on a daily basis), one of the most disagreeable tasks in the Cleaning Out Of The Barn festival we do twice a year whether it needs it or not, is actually donning the muck books and getting into the calf pen. The calves themselves are fun. They are convinced that the only reason I'd actually be in the pen with them is to play. They're not small creatures. When they play, sometimes it hurts. Especially when you're old.

So, we're (me and the calves - not hubby), are up to our shins in calf doo doo, with a pitch fork and old gloves shoveling (or pitching) calf crap into the bucket of the skid steer (or bob cat - happy li'l bro?). This is enjoyable, some of the hardest work on the farm is enjoyable because it's soooo physical, and not mental at all and there are actually tangable results. The bob-cat can't get the crap out of there by itself, because it's all one big mat, someone has to break up the mat so the bob-cat can haul it away. So the machinery loosens it, and then I, with my pitchfork and playful calves, fork the broken up hay/doo doo, and other stuff they've drug in there, into the bucket of the bob cat.

This is enjoyable, for the first 10 minutes or so.

Then things start to hurt, and it starts to get annoying getting butted in the butt by the calves whose only mission in life is to play. And it is annoying when you hoist a pitchfork full of cow crap into the air and have it fall off the fork. And it's annoying when hubby is laughing at me. And it's really annoying when the skies cloud over and start to rain, which makes things get a bit slickery. This isn't like horse crap. Horse crap you can throw on the lawn, kick it around and eventually it goes away. This doesn't go away. And it's waaaay to hot to put it on the garden (hot being a chemical term in this application). This needs to be hauled a long way away from where human noses are, put into a pile and then let set to "cook" for a year or two, then it will be nice black dirt.
And once again, I swear that I'm going to do this every other day, or at least once a week, so I don't have to do a marathon session twice a year. But I won't. It will take me that long to quit hurting.
And I actually put it on my list to figure out how to make bio-fuel out of this stinky stuff.
On a side note. We got frost. I don't know when. I'm going with sometime last week, at night. But it killed my tomatoes. Grrrr. Usually I get a heads up on these things, that's how distracted I've been lately. Usually someone from Southern California will tell me we're expecting frost, I'll deny it, then I'll hear it on the news. That and I can usually feel it coming. Oh well, so much for the Over Wintering The Tomatoes And Peppers experiment. No reason now to hurry on the greenhouse. The lettuces still look good and the peppers that were covered by leaves... are still ok, but the tomatoes are gone. I have room in the house for the lettuces and the peppers, so I'll start hauling them in.
Tonight, I'll get all of my pots filled with dirt (for spring seed starting) and find a place in the barn for them. This serves two purposes, it gets all of the planting stuff off the deck to make room for the firewood, and I'll have my dirt already in the spring. It's hard to find dirt to start seeds in March or April when it's under 3 or 4 feet of snow and frozen under that. This way, I'll have it already in the pots, just bring it in, let it defrost and then plant away!
Oh, and, out wandering yesterday... I found a whole gob (lots and lots!!) of grapes. So I gathered them up and now have to figure out how to make wine. That will be an experiment, but look at it this way, the next time I have to do a marathon crap forking session, I can ease the aches and pains by getting smashed on a bit of home brew!
Life on the farm is never boring. But it's alllll good!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So do you have wine yet? I know you already have some whine with that cheese.