Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ambition Strikes Again - And This Time, On A Saturday!

So... yesterday I got a streak of ambition. I hate when that happens, it almost always means more work for me. First off, I made a list. This is usually a good start and almost ensures that I have procrastinated long enough to knock at least a few things off of The List.

When ambition strikes me, I always try to get myself to do the most objectionable chores first. Then, as I work my way down the remaining items, it doesn't seem so bad.

This is going to be Farming 101 Boys and Girls, pay attention!

First on the list was to do the mid-winter clean out of the chicken coop. This really isn't as bad as it sounds as during the winter I do a deep litter method. Basically, you just throw a bale of hay or straw in there, fork it around a bit, making sure to scoop the good stuff off of the floor of the coop and mix it all up. Throw a bit of corn or grain in there, plus the hay seeds and the chickens will do the rest. This, as you can imagine, while composting, throws off a bit of heat for my little egg layers. The picture shown is not of my coop, it is one I stole off the internet, mine is more hay. I will do more in another week or so, when my arms are not yelling at me quite as bad as they are this morning.

Then, since for some reason, Michigan has not been privy to any snow this year, I did some yard clean up. We have a pile of bones, for the dogs and cats and birds. They are all of the deer that hubby got this year and all of the wildlife enjoys them. The birds will pick out bits of meat from between that the larger cats and dog can't get, when I let the chickens out of their run for the day, they are all over it, and everyone is happy. My lab/shepherd/Shar-pei/hot mess mix puppy is all happy too, as she gets to toss the bones in the air and then chase them. So, how does this relate to cleanup? All of the bones have to be retrieved from every conceivable spot in the barn, yard, under the decks and returned to their pile under the beech tree.

All of this forking of hay and chicken poo,
and cleaning up of bones only took about 1/2 hour so now what to do? Well, you take the puppy for a walk, or rather, you try to keep up with her as she romps through the woods. Hunting season is essentially over, so it's safe to be out there again. Shown here is said hot mess, 80 lbs of YIKES! But she's adorable and I am hers, so I guess she gets to stay. Plus she is an amazing cat herder, which is totally necessary, if only in her mind.

Next on the list, use another bale of hay to spread in the garden. This encourages worms and discourages weeds. I don't want to till, I think that tilling, especially in prime soil such as I have breaks up the organisms, cuts worms in half..... and creates a hard pan about 6" down. So, I compost. Of course, hubby has to be on board with this, which when it comes to my little farm, doesn't happen regularly. The saying, "Let me do the farm, you just keep my tractor running", doesn't play very well when he has the chance to jump on one of his big machines and play.

Don't even talk to me about the cukes, squash, pumpkins and watermelon plants I had last year that got "scraped up" so he could "make the ground even". Really? REALLY???? Make the ground even? You just wanted to play, and now you've "scraped" up all of my plants and taken out a whole row of onions.
See? Told you I wasn't over it yet. And besides if you want to "make the ground even", why do it AFTER I have planted the garden? Yeah, still not over it.

So, yeah, got more hay sprinkled down, which in the spring should be composted pretty well.

Next I came inside because it started to rain. Yes, I said rain. In Northern Michigan, in December and not even the really cool freezing rain/sleet stuff we sometimes get. It was flat out, rain! But it's a good time to get the fire going again (log cabin, don't need the wood stove going all the time in this weather as it heats so efficiently and the cabin holds heat really well...), put on a pot of tea, start dinner and break out the seeds! After all, I have to see what seeds I have ( I already know this, but it's still fun to do), make more lists about when to start what, what can go in the ground early, what needs to be started in the greenhouses before it can go out...(again, I know all of this but the List Compulsion) takes over. And see if there is anything new I want to grow this year. Yes, I will try sweet potatoes!

Then the big aquarium in the living room. This thing is huge and is the reason I finally got my wood floors. (big leak, lots of water, big insurance check = hardwood floors!) Change out some of the water, replace the filters and clean up the resulting mess. After that, although there were still lots of things on my list, I sat down to knit for awhile, took the partially cooked pork roast out of the crock pot and put it in the oven, planned the rest of dinner and collapsed. That's not really a lot of work in one day, but after all, it was a Saturday!

There are still a lot of things on my list, like wash the bathroom floor, but that can wait, because, one of my young grandsons is coming to stay a couple of days with me!

Life is Good!!

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