Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hot, humid. Well, it's June in Ohio!

Even Rowdy, who is a firm believer in "Bigger is Better" when it comes to sticks, finds these a bit too large to bring to me.

Yes, hot, humid.  We've been blessed with a couple of mild summers recently and I think maybe we forgot what summer is really like.  I've even turned on the air conditioning in the house a few times.  The alpacas sit in the barn in front of their fans, getting up only to  eliminate, turning the barn into a giant toilet.  Can you tell how happy I am about this?  Twice a day I rake and scoop and about every other day I spread a wheel barrow load of sawdust on the mess to help with the moisture and the smell.  This time of year, especially with as much rain as we have had, not much helps.

We did finally have our last cria of the spring!  Peg, who we've had since she was 6 months old and is now 11, had a little girl last Friday (also my son Zac's birthday) at 367 days gestation.  She's a cutie.  Her sire is our male, Eclipse and keeping with the solar phenomena theme, she will be called Aurora.  Our first cria of the year, whose birth you witnessed virtually on this blog, is also by Eclipse and he is named Corona.  For those of you who think this is only the name of a mediocre beer, here is the definition:  "The upper, rarefied solar atmosphere which becomes visible around the darkened sun during a total solar eclipse."    We also finished shearing!!

As mentioned, we have had a lot of rain.  Rain gauge measurements have often been over half an inch and up to .9" in one 12 hour period.  Our little creek behind the house is usually about a foot wide, easily jumped across.  For those who wonder why we have bridges, here's the answer:
The good thing is that the creek recedes quickly as soon as the rain lets up and all this water makes its way to the Ohio River.

Sam has been working on plans for our picnic pavilion up at the pond.  It will be 24' X 24' and will be constructed entirely of lumber cut and milled right here on the farm.  He will have to buy metal for the roof.    His first step is to cut a couple of large poplar trees.  The one Rowdy is standing on at the top of this post Sam cut 3  14' logs and 1  8' log out of.   From those 3 logs, he got approximately 60 14' 2 X 4s    and 4  8' 2 X 4s.  He will be cutting up another tree as well.  

Sam's Sawmill is a portable band mill, so it is a huge band saw that he pushes along a track.  His dad has a nice electric powered one you don't have to push, but this was a little more budget friendly and does the job.  

This project will basically be a pole construction, using locust posts (also to be cut here on the farm), which all our alpaca buildings are made with.  He will be making his own trusses for the roof, which will new for him.  Hopefully this will be done before Labor Day!

There has not been a lot of knitting or spinning time for me lately.  I have started skirting all those fleeces which are piled waist deep in my summer kitchen.  It makes it hard to get in there to get out canning jars, which I had to do just the other day to make a batch of wild raspberry jam.  Summer is just full of this kind of work which is much appreciated every time a jar of jam is opened the rest of the year.

Today I am off to visit my mom in Dayton and then she and I will be heading to Grand Rapids Michigan for the weekend to celebrate my aunt's retirement from teaching.  She is finally getting out of kindergarten after 30+ years!  It will be great to spend time with family, though I do feel bad about leaving Sam with that wonderful stinky barn.  Just a little.....

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