Well it was a long weekend, the weather was too nice for January, we set a record high temperature. I had Mr Professional and Mr Tex over for Friday and Saturday. The time was spent getting yards cleaned up and trees trimmed at both my Mother’s house and Mother-in-law’s house. We spent a day at each to get the trees and bushes trimmed and all of the clippings picked up and removed. I am definitely feeling my age. I crawled up into a tree and used a chain saw to cut branches out. I had to work at getting around inside the tree and was very glad the chainsaw was electric. The chain saw was so great I am going to go buy myself one with a 16” bar. It was super quiet and incredibly lightweight. Just fill bar oil and change out the battery! We ended up burning the slash pile two days in a row, there was so much material on it. At my mother-in-laws we cleaned off the hillside and removed blue spruce needles, leaves, wild roses, blackberries and branches. She had multiple plants with thorns and I was working up a sweat so I took off my warm hat. I have around eight cuts/scratches on my head from various branches and multiple scratches on both arms. Those thorny bushes make you pay for moving them.
On Sunday I didn’t want to really do anything, but things have to get done. So we moved a culvert up to field 4b and set a bigger one up into field 3. It is almost too wet to work with the tractors. The little John Deere kept trying to get stuck. It just does not have enough mass to get around when the ground is wet. Mr Professional keeps wanting to get tractor tire chains. I won’t do it. Chains would merely allow myself to get really stuck! We have a little time and will try and back fill around the culverts as the weather permits.
I do morning chores on the weekends and Annmarie does it the rest of the week. I do the evening chores and if I have to feed the cows it takes me an hour after work to get everything done. The morning chores consist of feeding horse, cats, four boy sheep and letting everyone out of the barn, ten minutes tops. The real problem here is if there are new babies then you have to catch them and get them and their mothers in a jug (crèche). That can take over an hour or be even more painful. The evening chores are just guaranteed to be long. I like the predictability of evening chores. So in a nutshell, the morning chores are like playing the lottery, you are a winner occasionally but most of the time its a losing proposition.
We got lucky and were able to be the recipient of ten 10 month old chickens. We picked them up yesterday. I put a large dog kennel in the back of the pickup and had a tarp and some straps I could wrap around it to keep the wind off of the birds. The problem is it was cold and we had about a 50 minute drive to get home. While we were eating dinner in our vehicle I felt pity and managed to jam the large kennel into the back seat by moving the front seats up as far as they would go. This is not the most comfortable configuration but it does allow the chickens to stay warm. Annmarie met me in Pendleton and arrived with gloves and a Pendleton woolen blanket. The pickup has a few foibles. I call them character traits. There is a large crack in the windshield, the vehicle has not been washed for at least two years, the ABS (antilocking brake system) is armed all of the time now so the brakes are a little touchy, the heat/air conditioner don’t really work, the headliner is held in place with gorilla tape and headliner tacks, the aftermarket seat covers are constantly trying to come off, there seems to be an intermittent short and the turn signal/brake light fuse has been replaced twice in the last two weeks, but they do work. The passenger door panel is loose and not attached to the door frame. The passenger window can only be rolled up/down on the passenger side door switches and there are no keys for the doors so it can never be locked. This door problem can be overcome with smooth fencing wire and time, but its annoying so I now just leave the rear window slider latch open all of the time for emergencies. Basically, it is a farm vehicle! The chickens survived the trip just fine and today when I went out to collect eggs I was able to count all ten of the new chickens! It was nice moving the chickens in the dark.