Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Ridgetop

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Coming along fine. Got the last pork leg we bought, pork roasts, ribs, along with some beef, whole chickens, all the goat milk and colostrum, etc. moved to the milk shed freezer. Took a better look at it. The lid is super heavy - must be the additional insulation - and there are 3 levels. The top 2 levels are baskets while the bottom level has plastic dividers. Very nice.

Got the ram moved out but DS1 says we better mark down all the dates until today as possible breeding dates for Lewis. The crayon was completely missing from the backing plate! DS1 says possibly the rain melted or loosened it from the backing. The backing was still in the harness just the crayon part was gone. So we will wait another week before putting another ram in and must keep the ewes in with that ram for another 3 weeks. Not too worried since I am sure some of them are settled.

The crayon was changed on January 3 and the last ewe marked on 1/13. So the crayon was still good on 1/13. The ewes that did not remark were marked 12/21 and 12/22. If they had recycled they would have marked before 1/13. There are only a couple of them that may be questionable. 2 that marked on 1/6 and 1/13, and 3 that have not marked at all. So we will put another ram in and see what happens. If none of these ewes get marked by the next ram, then they will lamb between 6/7 and 6/18.

I also have to sort out the next breedable set of young ewes.
Recordkeeping!
:barnie
 

Ridgetop

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GE Garage Ready 21.7 cf chest freezer. It also comes in 14.7 cf size. We ordered it before Thanksgiving. Delivered after Christmas. It showed as unavailable to order on-line. DH and DS1 went in to store and were going to order a 22 cf regular freezer which was available. But when the salesman checked he said they were getting a load of the Garage Ready ones that I really wanted and he could guarantee delivery on those but not on the ones shown as available. ??? This one wasn't cheap, but the regular ones were only a couple hundred less and with the extra insulation this would work better in the shed. We also get a 10% military discount so if yu know someone who was in the military they can get the same deal on stuff at Lowes and Home Depot. Also thinking of our upcoming move to TX it might have to go in the barn or on a porch for a while so more insulation is better. It actually came in a month early and we picked it up since the delivery dates were confused.

It is about 66" long, and slightly deeper and taller than a standard freezer due to excess insulation. it also comes in an upright style which is more $$. I prefer the chest style of freezer since the cold air doesn't pour out when you open the door. I had an upright and while I loved it for storing my prepared meals, I did not like it for meat cuts since most meat cuts are not designed to lay flat, and they would fall out on my feet! :hit It can be harder to keep track of everything in a chest freezer, but I try to go through and rearrange everything every couple of months. Also, I try to keep my premade meals, baking supplies (nuts, choc chips, glacee fruit, etc., baked goods, bread, ice cream, etc. in one freezer while the other is for meat, fish, vegetables, etc. The Garage Ready freezer is for long term storage of meat, goat milk and colostrum, and multiple lambs. We haven't butchered any lambs for a year because we didn't have any room to put them. Now instead of taking 6-month-old cull ewe lambs to the auction, I will take them to the butcher for
our use. :D =D

Freezers have shot up in price. The one we got before this one was a Frigidaire 25+ cf chest freezer when we finished the laundry room. It measures 76" long. DH happened to see it marked down to $450. It was the display model on the floor, and I think it was so large that no one could fit it in their homes. We would have ordered another one but had nowhere to put it. We told a friend about it, and he was going to try to get one like it since he already had 2 or 3 of them - they did Farmers' Market sales of lamb, goat, and pork. As soon as we finished our laundry room, our smaller freezer quit and we had to find another the exact size since I laid out the laundry room reno to fit both freezers, our spare fridge, stackable washer/dryer, and cabinets/shelves. All the cabinets were installed, as was the washer/dryer so we couldn't rearrange anything otherwise we would have gotten another of the giant freezers.

I buy everything in bulk and cook in bulk too when making meat loaf, spaghetti sauce, chicken divan, pork chili verde, curry, etc. for the freezer. That is the hardest thing for me when we are in the trailer. Since the freezer and fridge are so small, I have to shop frequently.

The coyotes have been noisy the past couple of nights. The weather report says expect high winds again now through Wednesday. Possible showers on Thursday.
 

Ridgetop

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Sorry - return from TX. Will be living here for another 18 month off and on between trips to Texas, so it is still home for now.

NEWS FLASH!
DH Covid test is positive. He must remain home for 5 days then if he feels ok we can leave for TX. ???!!! Times have certainly changed in the past year. Only 5 days to quarantine and no need for anther Covid test! We won't be leaving here for another couple of weeks. Don't want any relapse leaving us stranded in a trailer by the side of the road!
 

Bruce

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Yep. Sure hope he isn't a long hauler. I've heard of people months, and many months, after recovery hardly having the energy to do more than simple tasks. Then it is nap time.
 

Ridgetop

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Nap time, aka "checking the eyelids for light leaks" happened frequently before Covid. :lol:

He is able to get up from recliner alone now, and says he is more stable on his feet. Stopped using the walker. I have noticed that he comes to bed early and sleeps late, along with frequent recliner naps. He is annoyed when he wakes up at 10 am after going to sleep at 9 pm since he usually is up around 6-7 am and comes to bed around 11 pm. I keep telling him it is because he is still recovering from Covid. Luckily with the cough syrup he doesn't spend all night coughing anymore so is getting more sleep. We won't be leaving until second week in February though. Hopefully he will have recovered by then since he will need to be in good condition to build Baymule's pens and shelters! LOL :lol: :lol:

Went down last evening and vaxed the youngest lambs, mamas, docked ewe's tail. Will be selling her mama when the ram lambs go to auction. Her udder attachments are not good, and the abscess on her udder is back. Drained it but won't keep her. One boon of originally being heavily in dairy goats is recognizing good and poor udder attachments. Her attachments are failing, and she is only 5 years old. She is not old but poor udder attachments don't hold up and if her daughters show the same attachment breakdown, they will eventually go to. I have several of her daughters but have not been entirely satisfied with body type and wool on some of them. She is a Hijo ram daughter, but I have several other ewes that are Hijo daughters, along with my 2 Hijo sired rams so she can go. Plenty of that bloodline in my flock at the moment - they are giving me enormous leg thickness, loin width, and length. Bloodlines are fine, but if you are not getting what you want from an individual, you need to know when to cull. DS1 actually wanted to send her to the auction several months ago but we decided to let her lamb out first. We will be taking 7 ram lambs and this ewe to auction when we get back from Texas. Will keep the ewe lamb.

DS1 was asking if we would be castrating any of the ram lambs for our freezer and I said no. We have decided to sell all ram lambs without docking or castrating at the auction. We will cull ewe lambs at 4 and 6 months and those ewe lambs can go in our freezer.

DH is working on our taxes today. I have everything done tax wise on our properties for him up through November 1. I just have to check on everything that has come in for December and January and add it to the figure columns. Then DH will get the figures from me to stick in the appropriate places on the forms. This year I did all the paperwork right after our ranch purchase closed. Ahed of the game! :D =D

DS3 and wife are talking more and more about trying a move to Texas. They are talking about renting our ranch for a year after the current tenants move out. I told DH that I won't rent the pastures to them because I want to keep my cattle land tenant. However, they can out up corrals for their horses on the side of the property. With them renting the house we will go back in our trailer and stay for a month or 2 to work on the place. DS3 can help put in fence posts with his tractor, install cross fencing do the sheep, and put up field shelters. He is a workaholic and loves to be busy. They are planning on going back this summer and looking at the property and looking at areas they might want to buy. Once they are in our house, they will put their house up for sale.

MAYBE. That sounds like the plan but you never know. However, it will be fun to plan another trip back with them and look at property. Surprisingly, they have friends in the Tyler area! If they do come back and decide to buy a place somewhere around Tyler it won't be so far from us. :weee

Also, with DS3 in Texas DS2 might decide to eventually come back as well. :fl DDIL2 likes animals and grew up around them in the Philippines. (She will often help us when we are separating the sheep.) She loves to garden, and would like to have chickens, etc. DS2 loves to fish so if he doesn't want a ranch, he can look for a place on a lake somewhere close by. If he wants ranch property, he can lease out the pastures and fish in his own pond. Maybe I will see my grandchildren in 4-H after all! :celebrateDS3 takes his boys fishing too, so they can come to our pond, or Fork Lake. He also has a pontoon boat.
Better shut up so I don't jinx this. :hide

Going down to the tool shed now to start pulling out toolboxes and getting ready to pack tools. Also have to order some stuff on Amazon for the trip.
 

Ridgetop

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DS1 finally went to order my insulated overalls and THEY ARE NOW OUT OF STOCK!!! So are DH's thermals!!! I had told him to order last week but he put it off and now of course, it is my fault because I should have done it myself. I don't order on Amazon because he set up the account and the last time I ordered on my own he was furious because they took his gift cards in payment.

I found another pair for half the price, but they are nylon ski type overalls. They will do for a couple years to keep me warm. If they tear, I can patch them. Got them in black so I won't scare the cows. Eventually I will get the pricier Carhart's when we move to Texas. I have several pairs of thin leggings which will do as thermals under the ski overalls. I remembered that DH got a double pack of thermal PJs that will do for thermals under his regular overalls so that will work. He also has about 5 long sleeve T-shirts and thermal shirts as well. I will toss all of them in the large storage box I'm using for packing our winter wear.

Starting to gather the tools in a pile ready to load into the trailer after it comes back from the shop, and I have it ready to go. DH plans to get another load of hay on Friday before picking up the trailer. He hopes that will be enough that DS1 won't have to use the Connex stock while we are gone. He is hoping to get through to lower prices in summer.

DS2 went to work expecting to be gone for a week but came home yesterday because the job is finished. Got home at 10 pm and went straight to bed. DDIL2 is still at her mom's with Robert. Just as well since DS2 got up and went left for work at 4 am again.

Finished another set of articles about Bubba and the probems we had with hm in training etc. and sent them i ti The Anatolian Times. They published the 4 previous articles about Harika and the problems we had with her and our other dogs. The last one will come out in the next issue. I had sent the ones about bubba in before, but they were too long so I condensed them. Also sent some pix. Problem with sending pix i that either the dogs are far away in the gully and indistinguishable from the sheep or passed out on the driveway or field looking dead.

IMG_5991 (1).JPG Rika sleeping the sleep of the just after a night of guarding. I wish I could get a good picture of her looking noble and protective. She is apparently too busy doing her job to pose. LOL


IMG_5652.JPG I do have one picture of Bubba looking majestic on the field. Don't know how I got this since as soon as I approach with the camera for a great shot the dogs leap up and scamper towards me with their tongues hanging out. Or immediately clean their privates.
IMG_5709.JPG This is Angel on guard where she was posted by Rika. This is a true story - Rika told her to stay there, Angel wanted to follow them but sat obediently watching the other dogs go into the gully with the sheep bunched behind her. Rika and Bubba went into the gully and ran off the dogs outside our fence. Then Rika and Bubba came back, and Rika touched noses with Angel telling her she could get up and go. These dogs really do talk to each other!
IMG_5885.JPGIMG_5884.JPG Really dead coyote parts that Angel brought up to play with.
The bottom of the gully and back of the property could be littered with dead coyotes for all we know - it is too steep and difficult for us to go there. The dogs have brought up at least 2 different dead coyote carcasses to play with, so we know they are working. And we haven't lost any sheep or lambs.

Every now and then I like to look at these pix and remember the things I have seen for myself to realize how extraordinary these Anatolians are. :love


Well back to tool packing.



 
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