Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mending Fences, Spring Break, and More

Life has been crazy, but in a good way.  I did not post last week as I had a houseful of family all week, but let me back up and start with the weekend prior to that.

Grover and I ran in our first 5K together.  It was a benefit for a local shelter for dogs, cats, etc.  There were a lot of dogs there and we really had fun.  I talked to so many people who were intrigued by Grover's looks and mesmerizing eyes.  And we did fabulous in the race, coming in third in my age category (out of 14) in 30:03.  This was a great time considering Grover took a poop break at about 1.4 miles which I stopped to bag!  Here we are at the finish line.  We have another 5K in about 3 1/2 weeks.  We need to get under the 30 minute mark this time, Grover!

Then family arrived.  First my mother with my niece and nephew in tow.  She was only able to stay a couple days, but she and I managed to get the kitchen walls painted in her house.  Next comes the flooring.   

The same day my mother left (leaving niece and nephew), my brother, his wife and their youngest child arrived along with their 2 dogs.  For the next 3 days, the weather was perfect and everyone had a wonderful time.  There was dirt- and mini-bike riding, dog walking, dogs swimming in the pond, shooting, eating, drinking and just a darn good time.  It was so hard to see them all leave on Saturday to go back home to western Ohio.  They are going to be leaving Ohio and embarking on a new life in Phoenix, AZ once the kids are done with school, so this was a very special time for all of us.

And since they left, things have been back to "normal".  On Monday, I used the tractor to scoop out one side of the overhang on the alpaca barn.  There was a good 2 or 3 years worth of build up in there, mostly hay, but some poop as well.  It was packed about 2' deep.  I still have the other side to do, but I will have to tear down some fencing to get to it.  You can see in the photo where Buck and Star are in the cleaned out side and to the left, the side that still needs scooped.  I can't believe how deep it was!

I also started some fence mending on Monday.  We have a creek that runs through our property.  A lot of our pastures border this creek, which means we have had to build fences on a creek bank.  We always leave a good 2 or 3 feet between the fence and the creek, to facilitate weed removal, etc.  Each year, that space gets narrower and narrower as the creek banks erode.  This is how my fence looked in one of our pastures that has no animals in it currently.  6 posts were literally laying in the water.  I had to hook a logging chain to one of the posts and pull the whole fence up onto the bank with the tractor.  So then I dug 5 new post holes and re-set the posts, discarding the old fencing as it needed to be replaced anyway.  In this same pasture (where the fence was in need of replacing because it was cheap fence and it lasted its 12 years), a deer was run into the fence last week by a predator of some kind, and tore loose 2 sections of fencing.  So yesterday, I tore down the rest of the old fencing and all the fence on that side of the field will be replaced. The deer was killed, by the way, and mostly consumed by the time we found it.

And while I was working on repairing fences, the alpacas were enjoying the day in true alpaca fashion.... sunbathing.  It is about time to start getting the fiber off these critters.  Possibly this weekend.

 As far as fiber-y stuff goes, I did not get a lot accomplished while I had a house full of people and dogs.  I did finish up the next round of the traveling socks, however, once everyone left.  I have to say I think these are the prettiest ones I have had to work on.  I did do a little spinning on the back deck on Sunday afternoon as well.

I will close with a few photos I have taken around the farm in the past couple of weeks.

These 3 are part of the old oil well pumping station that is up on a high point on the farm.  These 2 pieces are about 15' apart and they used to work together to pump several wells.  
There are pieces of old belts and lots of old heavy duty cable that ran from this machinery to each well. The big link in this chain is about a foot long. I don't think nature will ever be able to quite reclaim all of this.

 I love that this fence post has a heart on it.

And I love how this walnut firewood, which is left from the timber we had harvested in February, looks all in a stack next to the house. 


  1. Congrats on your run! And kudos to Grover too. I love the photos of the old well and your firewood.

  2. Thanks JoAnna. I especially love the firewood stack. It just struck me when I walked by it a day or so after Sam stacked it. That old rusty stuff that is probably from about a 100 years ago is pretty cool. Sam actually uses a piece of it here and there as needed, but mostly it just sits there.