A very productive day…

Here’s one of the new feeders that Anthony and Michael built for the critters. These are the ewes, who have decided that only four at a time can get their behinds to the feeder. They aren’t sure about breakfast and dinner either because it is in that ‘thing’. Subsequently,this will cut down on the amount of wasted hay for sure.

It didn’t take Bubba any time at all to figure out how to get dinner or breakfast. He just dug right into the feeder. However, Bo and Blue weren’t as excited about the thing. Later, I did see them right up beside Bubba.

Yesterday was an amazing day. The list seemed long; however, it was pretty well finished by the time I decided I hadn’t eaten lunch and it was time for dinner. So with all of the critters fed with their new feeders we called it quits and went for our own dinner. Anthony and Michael did quite a job of making short work of the list.

I had started out in the morning by contacting the lawnmower service about taking the John Deere for winterizing. Then when that was done, I secured a place for my little Geo for the winter, too. The alpacas received their dewormer. And then it was Maggie’s turn. She was not happy with the paste; but she did swallow it and then decided it wasn’t as bad as she thought initially. Maggie has a good temperament when it is something that she wants. Consequently, dinner being served after that miserable tasting paste wasn’t terrible. In addition, she got an apple, and a couple of her favorite hard candies.

I’ve been keeping Maggie’s and the alpaca boy’s areas as clean as possible. I’m not sure what happened but the alpaca boys have decided to do their pooping inside. They have always gone outside, but then there was a situation with the door where they got it off the hinges. Once the hinges were fixed I thought they’d go back outside; however, they have other thoughts. It isn’t a big deal to keep clean, but I’m not sure why they have made this choice.

The ‘baby’ chicks were run out of the loft. Literally Anthony and Michael had to pick them up one by one and shove them out of the loft. I don’t understand why they were so resistant because every time the door to the alpaca girl’s area was open they tried to get out. Then when the door was open they had other ideas. It doesn’t matter as they are now outside with Ghost T. That’s another matter for discussion.

Since the little chickens are now out in the general population I’ve let Blackie and her two babies out of the larger cage. They are running amok in the loft for the first time by themselves. And Speckle’s sister didn’t look so well yesterday as she sat in the sun and didn’t walk around much. Therefore, she is back in her cage, although the top is not secured, with a heat lamp. When I checked on her late last night she was tucked under the lamp, so even though her foot has healed she appears to still be under the weather.

Later in the day, Anthony and Michael helped unload 65 bales of hay stacking it just right in the loft. There’s not much space because of Blackie, her two babies, and then Speckle’s sister still residing in the area; however, there’s nothing like the fresh smell of hay. The unloading of hay definitely makes for a noise-filled serenade from the barns, too.

Ghost T has thus far behaved himself. He’s out in the general population with the little chicks that he spent time with in the loft. I don’t say that out loud or mention it anywhere else. So far he has left Cochin alone. Cochin and Ghost T have been crowing back and forth as usual checking on each other, but no violence. I don’t suppose that 24 hours is a good measure of whether or not this is going to work that Ghost T has bonded with the new chickens and will leave some of the old ones for Cochin. I got up very early this morning, thank you Max, to check on the whereabouts of both roosters and found that they were behaving. Instead of going back to sleep I went ahead with my morning routine and a cup of tea while waiting and watching the both of them. Then I started chores and still wasn’t back inside for breakfast until after nine a.m.

The morning sun tried breaking through the clouds to no avail. Although it was warm the sun played an in and out game of pushing through the gray skies. Now the wind is up and blowing pretty hard while there are supposed to be thunderstorms soon. As a result the skies are filling with darker clouds than even those of the morning.

And so it goes…

Copyright © 2011

 

A gray day…

 

The trees down the north side on the stone wall.

All right I got it, really I am paying attention now it’s fall and winter is around the corner. The forecasters are calling for some mixed precipitation a week from today. And I realize that some parts of the country have had the real stuff fall on the ground. It’s okay to say snow because it is on its way whether or not I like the whole idea or not. The strange thing is that when it finally arrives I’ll be thrilled to see it. I’ll be outside putting my old body down on the ground to make a snow angel. In addition, the snow will be beautiful to see. It will cover up the mushy ground. All of the vegetation will be covered with a coat of white, clean freshness.

Moreover, the things that didn’t get accomplished by the time the snow flies will have to wait until spring. I can still hope to get a few more things done when we have a nice sun filled day, but a couple of things will be put on the white board for spring. I suppose that it is all right to have some things to look forward to for spring. However, for the most part things are in pretty good shape. In addition, it is probably a good idea to have a deadline in which to move towards otherwise it can become one of those things that keeps getting put on another list.

I did mow the grass one last time. I hope it is the last time because tomorrow I am going to work on getting the lawn mower ready for winter, too. Anthony and Michael are going to come tomorrow to clean. Then hay is being delivered. I have to go to pick up a bit of grain, too. I’m still not sure what to do with Ghost T as the babies (misnomer) are ready to go out into the general population. Then the alpacas are due for herd health, Maggie some dewormer, too. It is definitely going to be a busy day.

 
The babies have decided that they can sit on the window sill and check out what is ‘outside’. I suppose that they are pretty sick of living in the loft. There’s not much going on in the loft except being chased by Ghost T from time to time. They are four months old and big enough to go outside with the others. I hate to do it because the other hens will pick on them, but they will have to stand up to the old ones and find their place in the pecking order. It is just the way that it is.

Speckle’s sister was walking pretty well this morning so she got to leave the loft and went back outside. She didn’t seem too excited about being out there as she spent most of the day sitting by the ewe’s water bucket. But I think she’ll get it together soon enough. At least she isn’t hopping around on one leg because the other hens pick on each other when they see one not up to snuff. Her feathers were coming back in, too. I noticed that some of the hens and Cochin are getting into the molting cycle.

It was raining hard tonight when I did chores and the geese were all outside standing in it. They were so happy out in the rain. I had to rattle the scoop to get any of them to pay attention to dinner time. A couple did come into their house, but couldn’t wait to get back outside again.

The best part of the changing seasons is since I eliminated some ridiculous activities I have cleared my schedule to realign things. This new schedule will allow me to review the things that I have wanted to accomplish with the farm, writing and other projects. And it is time to regroup as the upcoming winter will cause a hibernation to take effect, too. Sometimes when there are too many things on the lists it can be disappointing. Consequently, it is time to pack up and make changes as the seasons warrant.


The alpacas love to nibble on the leaves, they think they are like potato chips!
And so it goes…

Copyright © 2011

More about lists…


Evening, as the sun hits the tops of the leaves that are turning.

The rains are coming and going pretty frequently now as autumn is firmly upon us. I see the 10 day forecast doesn’t mention anything relatively near the 80 degree mark. I think those days are over until next year. However, the 70 degree days are numbered, too. There are only a couple of warm days mentioned and then the weather slides into the 60’s and high 50’s during daylight hours. In addition, the nights are definitely sinking, too. Consequently the to do list doesn’t seem to be shrinking, but getting longer. Some of the things that remain to be done will fall into place, no pun intended, while others are going to take a concerted effort.

Then there are the things that I will probably not get done at all. However, a new list will have to be written to incorporate those items at a later date. I suppose it is that way with other people, too. I do try harder to get the things done that particularly influence the animals or other people though. On the other hand, I have observed people that do not seem to have any method to their madness to accomplish things. For instance, the consummate procrastinator comes to mind.

I have heard the phrase about putting things off until tomorrow, but it would seem that tomorrow does come eventually, then what? For instance, I’ve noticed lately a person’s residence at which the garbage has piled up to a level above my height. Now I’m not extremely short, nor am I tall, but I would venture that anything over 3 feet of garbage cannot be healthy. Moreover since the weather is turning the critters that normally live outside will be contemplating a winter residence that contains enough to eat inside an abode. Consequently, I wonder if tomorrow will come soon enough to remove the pile of trash before it invites unfavorable critters?

In addition, since I had to move my mailbox five times to please the post office I have observed that there are several mailboxes from here to town that need attention. In fact these mailboxes have been swaying, leaning, and falling for most of the spring and summer. I have to wonder if the inhabitants of the residences have a to do list of any kind, or perhaps if they have noticed that their mail does not get delivered. There are a couple of mailboxes that lie on the ground for days at a time. I suppose since the boxes are on the ground it is difficult for the mail carrier to put a notice of repair in the box. But, in the past the post office and carrier in tandem always have found a way to leave me a note. It may be that living in the country it isn’t of particular note to always receive the mail or meet other standards.

Of course living in the country it isn’t as important to make sure the lawn is mowed. There aren’t any lawn inspectors measuring the depth or height of the grass. Still it does look better if the lawn can be discerned from the woods that encompass the residence. I have to admit that I do not cut the grass as frequently as some of the neighbors up and down the road as I am not into manicuring it; however, when there is no demarcation line between the woods and what should be lawn it is a tad bit noticeable. One such ‘lawn’ now has small trees growing in it so I’ve been wondering if this is a deliberate action to add a tree farm to the property.

On the whole none of the observations I have made really matter because I know what I have to accomplish, and will keep writing lists to cross off before winter arrives. However, it is worth observing how other people either accomplish or delete from their lives the things that should be done in order to meet the seasonal changes. And while I am snug inside I’ll imagine some people trudging to the post office in town to receive their mail through the cold and deep snow. In addition, those that have not cleaned out their garbage will be inundated with unwanted guests.Then in the spring the lawns that were not kept will be difficult to clear. All of this is an impetus to keep my list updated and worth accomplishment.

And so it goes…
Copyright © 2011

A Dog Named Dexter…addendum…


The colors of the foliage as it seemed to change over night.

Change is definitely upon us now as the leaves turned quickly into an autumnal landscape. It was amazing to see that some of them happened so rapidly. The nights are cool to cold; however, this morning I was in a tee shirt as I cleaned Maggie’s over night addition to her living quarters. I started out in layers that soon were deposited throughout the barn. The humidity is high and with movement I was a mass of heat. Consequently, by the time I had cleaned out Maggie’s generous pooping my back felt good from being worked and the tee shirt was just enough clothing.

I sneaked in a photograph of Maggie yesterday as she was snooping on the neighbors. While she still has some sheen her winter coat is growing. In the mornings when I groom her there isn’t as much hair in the comb. However, she’s still doing her famous rolling around. I suppose it feels good after being groomed to get back to her original dirt laden self. She’s in good shape to go into the winter months though, feet and all are in excellent condition. I have to mend her winter coat a bit here and there though. I’ll put mending on the list.

The first weekend in October will bring herd health for the alpacas, Maggie and fall check ups. Since a rabid dog has been reported in Albion, Maine it is imperative to call on Monday morning to schedule rabies shots for the critters. Then there is the paperwork to update all of the 3 ring binders with documents. In addition, the new Savvy 2013 calendar has arrived and will need to be filled with information. The year’s end will be here soon enough.

Moreover, the new weekly schedule will allow me more time to contemplate the changes for the upcoming year. Since the alpaca girls are bred there will be some adjustments to make inside and with a new addition. And then there’s the time that’s so precious these last few months before the winter takes over. I have noticed that people talk about time all of the time. They usually don’t have enough time, or time passes quickly and it is about time.

I don’t suppose I ever thought much about time while I was busy attending college, caring for my sons, and working. Later, after college I found that there was so much more time than I had experienced before. I yearned for my old schedule. I suppose that it was comfortable to have such a rigid time management schedule. Then just like that I was graduated and it was over. I remember thinking that I didn’t have enough to do. I wanted to study, write papers, listen to lectures. I wept over the lack of mental stimulation of an academic lifestyle. Sure there was more time, but what to do with it?

So I worked and worked. There’s something about working that makes a person tired. It isn’t that it was physical work or very mentally exhausting at the jobs I worked. It was the idea of being upright and moving to accomplish something. It was about producing. I think the first time that I realized work was the advent of producing something that could be observed or counted I fell into a funk. For example, the whole process seemed like the little hamster in her cage that we had as a pet. She slept during the day and then ran all night in her wheel. The unfortunate thing was that she didn’t get anywhere in that wheel. She could have traveled thousands of miles, but she didn’t produce anything either and neither did I. Granted, I did received a paycheck for my time; however, it took away my time for little compensation.

Then after my sons left home and I realized there was more time. Time had been passing without notice. There was still work, but the reason for doing it changed. I didn’t work for purpose any longer. Consequently, time mattered more than the compensation. I didn’t particularly suffer the empty nest syndrome because I expected my sons to join the world as productive human beings. I taught them that work was necessary. In addition, the fact that they were males they weren’t going to be able to run out and get married to have a husband take care of them. They were going to be out there paying their way. Of course as they had grown they required less and less attention from me anyway. So there was more time to schedule to do something.

And now it is about time. It is all about time. Without making a life plan that included extended travel, moving to Florida, or settling for someone else’s dreams I have found a new schedule. I have found that it is not particularly necessary to manage time. Time happens to leave whether I am paying any attention or not. In addition, I can do with it as I please. If I choose to fill it with things to do then it is up to me because I don’t have to follow it. I can cancel, remove, or change the schedule at any time. After all, it is all about time.

The sun, what there was of it, as it tried to pry through the rain clouds.
And so it goes….

Copyright © 2011

What is like, comment or share?


My little luxury that I bought yesterday.

I’ve been reading through the admissions on Facebook and find that it is amazing the number of different posts. And I don’t have hundreds of ‘friends’ either so where do these submissions come from? I cannot imagine the people that have hundreds or thousands of ‘friends’ that they do not personally know who have access to posting on their news feed. I suppose someone out there in cyber land creates these things with the hope that they will be passed around and around. It depends on the person’s viewpoint as to what exactly their particular bend is when it comes to selection. There are the daily notifications of one’s life, the silly and frivolous as well as the extremely serious in nature that tend to be more prevalent. However, I find that when I am clicking ‘like’ I am not sure whether I am in agreement or not.

Recently an article concerning the ‘like’ button was fully discussed on the news. Who knew this was news? I hadn’t considered whether or not the ‘like’ button was pushed had any real merit. But there it was on the major news as something worth considering. I suppose in the world of ‘likes’ it is important. The main thrust of the article was that Facebook officials were deleting the fake ‘likes’ of those that ran up the numbers of some pages and not others. I fail to see why it is of any real consideration, but someone who has more likes than another person is probably running amok spewing that their page is better than others. It reminds me of a little child screaming that they are liked more than someone else with a tally sheet of numbers in their hand. Of course the ‘share’ and ‘comment’ are worthy of the same coverage, or at least they should be equally considered.

Sometimes the things on Facebook are so damned beautiful that it seems they should be shared all over the world. However, other times I have to wonder why anyone would send the posting out even once. Moreover, is it important to share everything or be more selective about the ‘share’ button? I wonder if anyone has considered a study on what is going on in someone’s mind when they decide to ‘share’ or not. Probably someone somewhere will ask for the detailed numbers, if they exist, to begin such a study. And then this study will become a major news event as the ‘like’ situation. On the other hand, the comment button may be the most noteworthy.

Is it possible to comment on everything posted on Facebook? In addition, is it really that interesting to other people? I specifically like the ones where there is a continued discourse. Everyone has an opinion, I’ve heard they are like noses or another part of the anatomy. Therefore, I suppose the comment section is worth making opinions known or voicing a response to another posting. The ones that are miles long are usually not worth reading. In fact it is impossible to open up the comment section that lists hundreds of responses. Likewise, is it important to read all of these comments?

In conclusion, is this social media really necessary? I suppose it is too much to ask that people communicate by writing each other a letter or picking up their phone to speak directly. Of course that is another whole matter because people are unable to use pens or pencils any longer. Further, the act of writing isn’t important in order to communicate. And when it comes to phones everyone has one that does everything for them and provides an instantaneous connect. All of this begs the question that if people are so well connected with the availability of communications resources why are they still not able to get along? And does the ‘like’ button really need to be an option?
And so it goes…

Copyright © 2011

Off to the coast, Moxie, and tranquility…

A path to the water at Fort Knox State Park, Stockton Springs, Maine.

 

After an exciting evening I woke this morning with new vim and vigor. I decided to take the day off as it were and drive down to Belfast. I love the Reny’s Store in Belfast because it is bright with wide aisles and of course there is always a great selection of stuff that I probably don’t need. However, I always find something that I just have to purchase. Consequently, I did buy some things I needed but also purchased a wind chime that is made of little metal water pots and buckets all of different colors. It is hanging on the porch and makes a great sound. I’ll have to take a picture of it later on as it is very different. I noticed it before but figured I had better not spend the money. However, today there were only two left and one was certainly marked ‘mine’.

 

Then I decided to head up Route One to see what I could see. There are so many things along the road because this is the main tourist route it is difficult to keep from running off the road. But I did slow down as the speed limit isn’t 55 mph there so I could see plenty. I stopped here and there snooping around to see what kinds of things people were selling. There are two pottery shops that tended to call my name loudly into their lairs. I was pretty good about purchasing anything though as they have some pretty high prices for the tourists.

 

There was a long line of the big recreational vehicles. Some of the tourist’s vehicles are large enough to house a family of 8 or 10. In addition, they always have a car that they are dragging as well as some motorcycles for when they are parked somewhere. The out of state plates were too numerous to bother to notice. It suffices that they are tourists and still here to clog the roadways.

 

I found myself in Stockton Springs where I bought gas, got a crab meat sandwich, Moxie, and a candy bar for dessert. Then I followed the signs to the state park where I ate my lunch at a picnic table in the  woods with a view of the water. Since it was what I call a blue-blue day both the sky and water were absolutely beautiful to admire. The air smelled of pine. And the breeze was just right, not too cold or too warm. I practiced deep breathing while I enjoyed the views around me. Unfortunately, the spot that I had picked began to be inundated with people wandering up and down the paths, talking on their cell phones and listening to their music. I departed as the quietude was broken.

 

As I drove back toward Belfast I slowed down and annoyed the locals as I took some photographs of the scenery. I suppose that they wondered since I have Maine plates why I was causing such a slow down. As a result, I pulled off the road at one point to allow the parade to pass as I waited for a clear shot. It shouldn’t have been such a big deal, but a couple blew their horns as they had to angle their vehicles ever so little away from the side of the road.

 

As the afternoon ticked away I realized it was time to abandon my luxurious wandering and make for home. It was still quite beautiful even though the sun was beginning to longingly linger toward the gloaming. And I arrived home in time to hear April begin her conversation with the other ewes remarking about dinner. I brought in my goods from Reny’s, walked the girls, changed clothes and entered the barns to the welcoming calls of the hungry critters. I’m not sure that they missed me at all during the day; however, since they heard me return it meant that it was definitely time to eat.

The radio was turned up, hay, grain and water were dispensed and the noises quieted. Then as I sat on the chicken’s food can I found myself pleasantly content. Though the day was busy, I was relaxed and nurtured by the knowledge that the coast is still there.

 

 

 

And so it goes…

 

 

Copyright © 2011

Dexter…

The end of a beautiful day as a rainbow descended from the clouds over the mountains.

I don’t suppose I could credit the day to being very productive; however, the morning chores were done and then I did what I get paid to do. I answered emails and graded papers. I reviewed rough drafts and sent corresponding feedback. I was inside keeping my nose in my own business when Betsy Ann, the consummate watch dog, started barking hysterically. Usually I don’t pay much attention; however, Bonnie joined in with the barking and thus I ventured to the door to find another dog at the bottom of the steps looking up at me.

Now I have seen this dog before and recognized him. His name is Dexter, although I don’t know exactly where he is supposed to call home, I realized that it wasn’t here with Betsy Ann and Bonnie. I opened the door and he began to meander to the road. Then as I followed him off the property he made a zig zag down the road to two people on horses that appeared to be ignoring his existence. I supposed that he was with them. There upon I called out to them that the dog need not be on my property that I have livestock. The young woman turned on her horse to continue the conversation by trying to dismiss the whole event. After a couple of my assertions that the dog was on private property she continued to yell something of no consequence. I finalized the conversation by stating clearly that the next time the dog was on my property he would be shot.

Now the reason that I know that the dog’s name is Dexter is that he has been here before and not very recently at that. In fact the last time he was meandering around someone called him by his name before he decided that the smells on my property were concluded and he followed the people riding their horses. I suppose he figured he’d done his best to figure out who or what peed and pooped in my front yard.

It isn’t so much that the dog was doing his normal behavior; however, it is that Maine has some laws about dogs running amok. First and foremost they should be on a leash. I believe that is commonly called a leash law. When I take Betsy Ann and Bonnie outside to do their constitutionals they are on a leash. I do not want them to be harmed, or run off. I am particularly keen on keeping them because I love them. They are my dogs and companions. I am not inclined to allow them to run amok, certainly not near the road, so that they could possibly be hurt. But these people who were horseback riding apparently have different ideas as to how they feel about Dexter.

Subsequently, anyone who knows me realizes that the threat to shoot Dexter is an empty retort. I would not shoot someone’s dog. However, I will call Dexter to me if he is on my property and corral him until he is picked up by the animal control officer. I will ask that he be kept from running amok. I will ask that the letter of the law be followed by the people who are ignoring him. I will ask that Dexter be cared for properly and protected. I will be determined that Dexter be cared for properly by being leashed as per the law. And if the people who own Dexter are inclined to bring him on their horseback riding excursions I will call the animal control officer several times.

What I find most disturbing is that the people that own Dexter are not particularly interested in what happens to him. And how do I know that they aren’t interested in Dexter? Well, I would consider that Dexter is running amok on people’s property without the knowledge of the horseback riding people. In addition, this great country road on which people are supposed to be going 45 mph is very busy. Consequently, the people driving this road do not drive 45 mph but travel at much higher speeds. I would think that the horseback riding people would be interested in keeping Dexter safe. But perhaps they don’t love him. Perhaps it is inconsequential that Dexter is loose and running in and out of the traffic on Hill Road.

All in all though it was not a particularly productive day I found that perhaps Betsy Ann and Bonnie as well as the farm animals are well protected. I suppose they don’t think about it; however, I am inclined to consider their safety more now. I am thankful that the farm animals are behind walls that a dog could not get through. And that Maggie and the rams are behind an electric fence, although they are barn sour and stay inside most of the time.

In the end it isn’t Dexter’s fault. He’s a dog that would probably attack one of my chickens and kill it. It is his nature to do what comes to him. However, his owners are at fault for not protecting him. In addition, they are not abiding by the rules either. I suppose if they have a ‘big’ name in Clinton they think because they own an exorbitant amount of property and their god given right to a legacy that they have more rights than the rest of us that live in a dilapidated old house with a few farm animals.

And so it goes….
Copyright © 2011