Well it is that time of year again, and I would love to say that sorting the animals went smoothly but since I am unsure if it has ever gone smoothly this would be counted as the worse. Again, I would like to thank Coronavirus and my own inability to communicate my feelings and concerns in a manner that the female species understands. I do realize that this is a failing on my part and grunts and reassurances are not a substitute for honest open conversation, for which I am not particularly good at. That being said, it was brutal.
The cows needed sorted as we had an interested party in buying two 6 month old weanlings. Plus we have a brand new calf, only three days old and by far and away the cutest calf we have ever had on the place! He has a white shaped heart on his forehead. New calf on the ground means no dogs to move the cows, they went along pretty good until they got to the near end of the orchard and my mostly down fence. I am going to have to take a weekend and put the tunnel to the gate in so they do not balk near the gate and they don’t get hung up on anything. We managed to sort the cows fairly easily and Annmarie was able to sort off the baby and catch it by herself! We hardly ever get to them this early and it was a pleasure to work on something so small. Luckily, I was able to find both testicles and got him tagged and banded.
We had the one nutter that is now four months old that needed to be banded. I lined up our fabulous $50 calf table, that has been out in the weather all winter, and we were ready to go. The calf probably only weighs around 300#, mind you it takes two grown men to take down and hold a 100# calf so it can be tagged and banded. The calf table failed to perform or it did perform as expected from a $50 wonder, I think this depends on your perspective. I broke the up/down bar for the neck guard using a cheater bar. It was an abysmal failure and now we have a one nutter that will need to be pulled off in 2 more months.
Sarah and I tagged the last lamb that needed it and put the two ewes out with the main herd. We had one lamb get out and after 20 minutes of chasing it around and it refusing to go through the open gate we gave up. It eventually made it over by the yard and I let it in the yard then let everyone else inside.
Last weekend, the child and I worked on grouting the bathroom backsplash. It looks amazing and I am very happy with how it turned out. I will start moving electric outlets and light switches this week so we can install the blue pine tongue and groove boards on the wall. I need to get the wall behind the toilet and next to the toilet installed before the plumber comes. I am super excited to see how it turns out.
Annmarie embraced the use of the sheep as a lawnmower this week. I am personally thrilled by this development and by the end of today they will have mowed down the yard to a very low level and I can ignore the lawn for another two weeks. The only bad part of this process is the dogs start to smell like sheep all the time. They also eat a lot of sheep poop, its like candy.
I also did my part of the taxes which is adding up all the expenses and income and collating it so Annmarie can input it into our taxes. I knew we had to spend more due to the hay shortage last winter from all the heavy snow and then we bought even more hay to get us through the winter plus we purchased all the hay equipment, planting equipment and a side by side. Wow. Ouch almost $37k in equipment. I know we needed to do it as we spend a lot annually for feed but I was surprised. I should not have been but sitting down at the table and going through every individual receipt really brings it home. This would be why I have to do it so I pay attention to where the money is going.
Yet despite all the angst, the heartache, the pain and hard work I still love it. I love that my wife cares enough to try and get me to slow down. It is days like this that I am reminded of why I do it. What else would I do with my life? Why would I do something else? I ask myself this every once in a while but I never find a better answer. So in this trying time take care of those you love, do what you can to help others and be cognizant that burning the candle at both ends is hazardous.