Thursday, February 23, 2012

So, yeah, once again it's been awhile and there are so many things going on in my normally crowded life.

Works continues (barely, damn economy - don't get me started...) My daughter and I have taken over my Mom's business while she decides if she's ready to semi-retire or not. Semi retirement. Hmmmm, unusual concept, but so far it's been really good for her and great for us.
We've taken the traditional 9-5  concept of the office to a more casual "just get it done and if there's time left over..." strategy and it seems to be working great for both of us.
I can now go to my Yoga classes during the day, or the yarn shop if the yarn fumes start calling to me and work early mornings, late nights or weekends if I want. That in itself is almost like a semi-retirement!

As far as the garden, yeah there's still quite a bit of snow out there, but that's ok. Up here we save snow throughout the winter and call it "water table" in the summer. I've got some seeds started, some herbs that I use for cooking, and am looking at doing an organic garden for things like oils and tinctures for our little fledgeling business. I've even gone so far as to get the duffel bag of seeds out of the closet and go through them! Gasp!!

Normally I won't plant tomatoes or peppers... until Mid March or so, but it's hard to wait. The weather has been so nice lately (so not like February in Northern Michigan..) that the urge to get my hands in the dirt and ride my bike have been nearly overpowering. Thankfully there are fail safe preventions automatically put into place to rein me in. The snow in the garden keeps my hands inside, where they stay warm and the ice on our rode pretty much limits my bike riding, but pretty soon......

This year on the farm I will be getting more chickens (LOVE pastured birds). I used to say my chickens and turkeys were free range until a new friend (shout out to Monica) told me the difference between free range and pastured. You would think that free range would be all about the little birdies going where they want, and when they want, but not so. Free range means that they are  kept inside and have an outside space where they can go, be it grass, mud, dirt, or chicken crap. Pastured is really what you want. My birds are pastured. They spend the night inside the hen house, but in the morning I let them out to roam where ever they want, which usually means the barn this time of year. Then I play heck trying to find their nests. Every year I have to re-train them to lay their eggs in the hen house, so soon that initiation will begin.
I am also getting a couple of pigs. I love pigs, they are so funny, and smart!

My cows have made it through the winter so far, and are looking quite nice. They will look a lot nicer when stuff thaws out enough that I can get the skid steer into their paddoc, and get some, um, cow shit cleared out of there. I'll put it in a pile and then use if for next year's garden. I don't know the time table on letting cow crap compost, but I give it a year.

Going to build a dog pen this summer, tired of having to put them on a chain. I have a nice large part of the yard, away from tractor paths and garden paths and pool paths that will work nicely, and it's quite large, so they'll, I'm sure, be a lot happier.

Am still looking to re-home my boxer. She's high energy, about 4, has been spayed, is great with kids, very affectionate, and loving, will sit on you all day long if you allow it and just in general is a very nice dog. Why don't I keep her? Well, hubby really doesn't like her, and I don't have time to put the training on her that she needs to go from a good dog to a great dog. Why did I get her in the first place? I didn't. She was left behind when her owner moved and the family that took her in didn't want her anymore and was considering euthanization. She's too great of a dog for that. So with that in mind, the search continues.

We're butchering another cow this weekend as two families are almost out of meat. This cow was aquired with hopes of producing a nice line of calves but that hasn't happened, she's wild and since she hasn't done what she needs to do to keep her spot in the pasture, we're going with option B.

Knitting! Ah knitting, my passionate friend..... Being the sort of person who has to compartmentalize my life and then tear that all apart just when it seems to be working.....never mind.
Currently on the needles I have another pair of socks, a crazy brother project (more on that later), a denim sweater and will be starting my own Knit-A-Long over on my other blog Craft Gossip shortly. I figured out that I don't really knit socks just to knit socks, but I knit socks so that in spare moments during the grandkids wrestling or basketball games, or waiting for food in restaurants, or riding along in the car I have something to keep my fingers busy. That's really best for everyone.

So as the snow continues to melt a little more each day (totally weird for the snow to be melting in Feb) I see all of the remains of the yard that didn't get cleaned up last fall. It's so nice and clean under the snow and then......

Yup, there are so many, "and thens...".

Life is Good! (And thanks, J, for lighting a fire under me to get this going again ;-)

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