Water pressure woes.

We have been having temperature and pressure fluctuations while people are showering. It seems to only be occurring in the bathroom. I decided I would try and fix it even though it involves plumbing. I had used vinegar to clean out the keurig maker last week I figured it was time to do the same thing to our hot water heater.  My parents had a sump pump and I cut a short hose in half and made a double female ended connector and a regular short hose. I used two five gallon buckets and three gallons of white vinegar. It was pretty loud once I got the vinegar recirculating so I closed the laundry room door and had to open the back door so the vinegar fumes didn’t make me pass out. I let it circulate for an hour. Then closed it all up and blew out the hot water line into the deep sink.  We got some stuff out but not a ton. I also changed the shower head in the bathroom. Tonight when I took a shower the water temperature was great!  Very consistent throughout the entire event. The water pressure was still an issue. I need to change the system in line filter and then see how it feels. I suspect I will have to tear apart the bathroom faucet!!  The Home Depot junk valve is still haunting me. I will do the filter first because it is easy!!
I had to put another bale of hay out for the cows. Unfortunately, there is snow on the ground and my little tractor could hardly move the bale. This was exacerbated by the stupid bull getting on the other side and pushing back!!  I had a very hard time getting the hay to its final destination I will have to start moving the feed spot closer to the hay stack. I counted the large bales of hay, we have 20 left. Five for every month will get us to April 1 2016.

Winter is here

Mother Nature did not dissapoint, winter is here!  Three days ago we got four inches of snow. It is hard to believe I was walking around in a short sleeve shirt less than a week ago. Now we feed all that hay that got put up this summer. We have to feed two bales to the sheep because it is so cold. I think we are down around forty sheep now, after selling off 23. I should have another 11 ready in the late spring. Come March we will begin the search for a new ram. 

Now that daylight savings has struck we are always feeding in the dark. I doubled up on the head lamps with great success.  The child thought it looked ridiculous but it’s all about the lumens. It worked very well. We are taking mouse to the barn when we feed. He is staying away from the sheep and when they  get excited and start jumping around he runs over and stands under Zeke’ legs. No sheep will get him there!  He knows sit and down well. Knows no, kinda knows off but doesn’t like it. Kinda knows phooey but doesn’t like it cause it’s disguised as a no. He will go to the front door to potty do you have to watch him. No more random squats. Another two weeks we should have him potty trained. He is crate trained at night. Will go 6-7 hrs in his crate at night. He will sit briefly for his food dish. Everyone else has to wait for go signal to eat. He will come for me about 75% of the time outside. Not very responsive to return command when he is outside. I have been treating him nonstop so my success rate is higher. 

I was out in the barn laying out straw for the sheep and horses and found another stack of eggs from the hen who hatched her babies in the barn. Another two dozen eggs stashed between two straw bales. I will have to throw them out now. Who knows how long those have been there. 

Last sheep sale of the year.

The cows do know it is winter. There is no more feed available out by the vehicles so I had to start feeding the cows. Unfortunately, I have not picked up my special hay hooks to go on a chain to allow me to pull the large bales off the stack with my little tractor. So instead I climbed on top of the hay pile, sat on the second bale and attempted to push the top bake off with my legs. It took a few tries but I managed to get it off the stack. Since I was already up there I knocked two more bales on the end off. They were much harder as they were lower and kept rocking back into my legs. I didn’t think I was going to get them to fall over.  But, perseverance won. Now I have a few weeks more to go get my hay hooks. 
I have been super busy at my various jobs so I have been having to feed the cows at night. As long as Zeke runs interference and guards the hay it works out pretty slick. He has to keep the cows away from the hay stack while I fish out a large bale with the tractor and then push it across the ground to the feeding area. 
Feeding the cows by tractor light.

I have a few small bales of hay for the alpacas stashed over here. They don’t use much hay. 

We sold the last of our for sale sheep six days ago on Saturday. A very friendly, very pregnant ewe and a non related intact ram lamb who was only about three months old.  We had two Rams. I banded the second one but his balks were huge!  I could only get one rubber band around them so I hope it works. 
Machine shop hay pile lower and alpaca hay in place.

Is it almost thanksgiving?

One week ago today this was the weather. I figured at this rate I was never going to have to feed the sheep.  The horses were getting the occasional hay feeding as they are the most pampered animal on the place. I was outside doing chores in a short sleeve tshirt. I love the mild weather but dread the spring as the bugs are always worse!  What good does it do to be ready for winter if it isn’t coming?  Was all that planning and prepping for naught?  It looks like I should be out building fence. Luckily we are still getting rain so my new planted field is getting moisture. 

Upper prime done!

Upper prime pasture all planted and ready for spring.


Ram all deboned.

Ram ready for freezer two hours later.

It is done, the upper prime pasture is all ready for spring.  We just need the correct temperature, moisture and optimum growing conditions to make it a success.  Time will tell if I got it right.  It took me two hours this morning to run the harrow over the entire field.  Annmarie puppy sat while I did that first thing.  I then puppy sat for most of the day while paying bills and doing inside chores. 
Late afternoon I had to run out in the rain and wind and strip the ram carcass of any meat so I could grind it up with our kitchen aid.  Surprisingly easy to hack off the meat when you are just going to grind it all up any ways.  It goes a lot faster than I anticipated, only 30 minutes.  It took longer to clean and skin.  I tried to take the puppy with me outside but Zeke took off after the chickens, tearing around the coop and rolling chickens this way and that way along the run.  I was holding the puppy in my arms and hollering loudly with multiple swear words.  Zeke finally came over and laid down, not very contrite but he did comply.  I set the puppy down on the ground and he ran straight for the house!  I had scared him by hollering at Zeke.  I caught him twice running back and finally just had to put him on the breeze porch with Zeke.  He did fine up on the porch. 
I went to feed the cows a new bale of hay and had some difficulty with the bull.  As soon as the bale was out of the machine shed the bull started attacking it with his horns.  He has learned to tear up the bale this way.  It is much more efficient and fun than just eating it calmly.  The problem was I still needed to move the bale over to the feeder.  This is done by me pushing it with the tractor.  The bull was on the opposite side and once I started moving the bale he took that as a challenge and started ramming the bale and pushing back.  My poor little tractor was having a hard time moving the bale and the bull all at the same time.  Swearing at the bull did not make him waiver for a second.  He just kept pushing back.  Once I got the bale into its proper position and quit pushing it the bull really went to town on the bale, tearing it up with his horns and prancing all around.  I had to shoo everyone away so I could cut the strings and get the feeding panels around the bale.  I so need to get the hay hooks I requested for the tractor.  That was the last easy bale, all others will need to be pulled down off of a three high stack.  My little tractor cannot reach the top bale with its bucket.  I have a week to get the hooks. 
I ground up the entire ram and will now use it for summer sausage.  I will give it a try next week.  I expect good things from the sausage as the meat is pretty strong.   I did not have to add as much pork fat as I thought I would because the ram had more fat on him then I anticipated.