So, here it is, middle of February and I can hear my old pal Scifichick snorking because I didn't make it to seed starting day without cheating and starting seed early. Yes, I have a whole slew of tomatoes already up and past the peat pellet stage. I decided to use those cheap dollar general 18oz red solo cups this year. Cheap and throw away, they've got more root room than the seedling peat pots that sell at rural king. When I say cheap, I mean cheap. A ¼ of the price of those tiny peat pots with twice as much root room. I used my own compost in the cups to give the seedlings an extra boost for growth. The past 3 years, I've got a friend I used to coal mine with who now owns and operates a greenhouse in a nearby town. He loads my truck bed up (at random) with root bound tomatoes that have grown to the point of unsellable. Lane hates to waste as much as I do so he brings them to me because he knows I'll plant them. I usually pick out the heirlooms and give the others away, LOL. Pass it on, the kindness thing. No one I have ever offered them to has passed on them so it makes me feel good to share. I've got a ton of tobacco seedlings started. I haven't split the peat pellets tho, the temporary cold snap/snow event has slowed them just a little. Darn overcast days. As it continues to warm up around here, I'll be getting everything else started. I can hardly wait to get the beans and corn in the ground. Still a long way off but I can still chomp the bit in anticipation, LOL
Slowly, little by little, I'm getting this place in line. Still have a ½ mile worth of fence line to clean up/clear and run new fence, the back field needs mowed and a load or 2 of lime spread out there, the new hay feeder I have in my head needs built and some minor prep work connected to farmers market selling. Plenty to keep me busy on top of a full work schedule off farm. It's a struggle day by day thing. Don't make enough money from the farm to cover the farm bills so I work off farm but that takes up all my time so I find myself struggling to advance the farm. LOL A continual black hole of struggle. The kind of thing that always seems to be right up my alley. Eh, it seems like all I do is think about the farm, even when I'm at work. I spend all my time there thinking about what I can get done the next morning before I have to go to work, LOL. Time for bed or I'll oversleep the alarm........
Eh, this morning is a dandy. A bit of freezing rain in the wee hours. Now it's overcast, the salt truck just rumbled past and wow, is my back stiff! Rub a little DMSO on it and wait 30 minutes. Same thing just about every morning this winter. I remember the days I was 10 foot tall and bullet proof. I also remember the days when I was 6 foot tall and it was a flesh wound. Now, it's 5'9 and a trip to the ER, LOL Time and tide wait for no man. I slept thru the alarm again this morning, it seems to be a trend for me the last month or so. Happens much more often when it's cold and overcast. Ha, that's this whole winter! Hahahahaha
We had a nice little warm up a week or so ago. 4 days of high 50s, low 60s and I commenced to cleaning up the barn. The goats make one heck of a mess with the hay they need to eat. Part of it is the babies running, jumping and playing in it. The rest is just normal goat behavior. Either way, the waste is is about equal to what they actually consume. So, this cold snap has made another big mess in the barn. I don't clean it up during the cold spells, the goats lay in it. Plenty of wheel barrow loads to haul out tho once this weather breaks. I have a hay feeder idea floating around in my head. I made one a few years back when I had just a couple goats. It worked pretty good but then the herd multiplied and soon it was obsolete. Now, since I've slowly been building the herd back up (more hours=more pay=more feed) I see the need to build another feeder. I could have easily made it thru the winter with 200 bales for both the goats and the one lone horse if I had a feeder in there. I've decided to not make round bales for this year. Seems to me a waste of time. I've 25 sitting here and I'll probably end up burning them all. Yes, the goats and horse have eaten on them but they've spent most of this winter in the barn. The horse is old (over 20) and it seemed wrong to let her stay out in the ice and snow, standing knee deep in muck for another winter. She's fired up and sassy from being cooped up but it's better than having her get down from the weather. Kind of like having her around and I know her days are numbered now.
I'm gazing out the window at the freezing rain slowly falling, day dreaming about the coming growing season. I'm ready to get the garden turned over and ready for the soil to warm up. Hard to warm anything when it's overcast and raining little ice pellets! Wait a minute, I thought that stupid groundhog said winter was over! Eh, maybe it's time to put him in the stew pot. Goofy tradition that doesn't mean anything anyway. I trust the local skunks more than that overfed groundhog. Yep, I smelled one yesterday. That one might have jumped the hibernation gun but it's a good sign better weather is just around the corner. Also, the horse and goats are loosing hair just a little bit. When you draw back a glove covered in hair after the morning rub, it's a sign of better weather coming. They know when spring is here.
Casper, the photobombing billy goat is still off on his date. I'll probably check up on him this weekend. It is my opinion that breeding season is over but the nannys owner insisted that she was in heat. If her Togg is in heat, more power to her. Casper will do his job. I miss him around here tho. Kind of nice not to get harassed every feeding time over the bucket before I can get it spread out. Casper is not happy unless he gets a mouthful before anybody else! LOL
The babies are mostly billys this year. They're still too young to really have a good assessment for the young nannys. (2 for sure, one white, one carmel colored) So far, they look good but that can always change as they develop. I've got a good picture in my head of what I want in the herd. Plus, the idea of having all experienced nannys for next season is a pretty good one. And, maybe it's a good idea to just hang steady with the size of the herd for this year. A thought for later on since it's feeding time and I need to get moving..........
Now it's Wednesday, February 17th. Chores are all done and I'm working on finishing my first cup of coffee. Whaaaa?!? Just the first? Yep, dogs wanted out first thing and they herded the goats up and brought them to the front door. There goes my peaceful meditation over a cup of coffee thing. It flew right out the window. I want to stay home from work today, very badly. I feel the inventory flu coming on. Eh, I don't have to do the actual inventory, I spent the last 2 weeks doing precounts etc. All I have to do is try to conduct business around 20 people not familiar with my store and none of them really want to be there either. Makes for a long, long day. Then there's my ex-husband, who acts like we're still happily married and he's just hanging out at his parents house, texting me first thing “how ya doin baby?” Really???? What am I, a pink pig? We're divorced. We're staying divorced. No, you're not moving back in here and the divorce papers really are a legal, binding document. ARG, come on coal mine! Buy me out so I can disappear from here and start over somewhere far away from this nutcase.
20 minutes and I have to leave for work. Yay rah. Even tho it's warmed up to 45F, wish there was a little sunshine to go with it. Yesterdays snow and cold is almost a memory, LOL Stil some hang-on drift piles around the farm. I turned the Spookmeister loose this morning. She took off bucking of course, made 3 laps around the barn and proceeded to roll in a couple choice mudholes. Same old Spooky.
Well crap, time to head for the job. Damn, I want to stay home today. Lunch break will be here soon enough tho and that's when I will post this. More ramblings coming up, LOL.........................