Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Baymule

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About the time y'all get here, next weekend, we'll hopefully be loading up the 500 gallon diesel tank and stand and 9 round bales, along with four 40' power poles to take to Groveton. I know y'all are anxious to go check on your ranch, so go do that. Then we can go to Groveton and have a fence/pen building party! @Hideaway Pines and her husband wants to come join the fun too. No need for y'all to stay in a hotel in Groveton, not that there is one anyway, :lol: Y'all can stay in the house. There is or will be after today, plenty of beds.

There is still lots of little stuff in the Lindale house, but I'll be making trips to Groveton like a ferry boat, until it is all out.

We can move sheep and dogs and come back with stock trailer and flatbed and move more outside stuff. It seems like the pile is not dwindling down, it's like a cat having kittens. Just when you think you have all the cats neutered, another one has kittens! LOL LOL It seems like I'll never get to the end of the pile!
 

Ridgetop

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We will call you when almost there to decide whether to go north or south. I need to talk to the septic guys to see when they have scheduled the new septic system. We also have to go to Quitman to turn in paperwork for our property tax AG and other stuff.

Need to be back March 3 for ortho appointment about knee and C3 where there is some damage. On March 5 I signed us up for a Dorper sheep seminar in Orland (northern California) covering different topics including parasite control.

I got a response from the NRCS about the possibility of funding for farm programs.
They sent my email to Quitman and I got an email from the man there who said to call him about what is available. Will do that on Monday.

I sent 3 emails out to different Dorper parasite control breeding programs at different Universities. UT responded and I will call her on Monday. Most of their work is with Katahdins but they have some Dorpers and White Dorpers in the program as well. Figured I need to check up on parasite resistance before moving to the Barber Pole worm capital of Texas. LOL According to her email they have greater worm problems with spring born lambs than with fall/winter born lambs. I want to check with her on this. Also she had some info about frequent rotational grazing helping with parasites.

Then went back through my calendar and found where P9 and 323 were marked and noted on calendar but not on white board. Definitely my fault that we moved P9 so close to lambing and caused her to lose her lamb. :( 323 is a large ewe but had tiny lambs. Possibly her sire is one that throws small lambs for easy lambing, but they must fast. I will look him up on the NSIP indexes and see if that is true. I will keep track of their growth too. I am going to start checking udders for ligament support since bad udders don't hold up. Then I will cull ewes with poor suspensory ligaments and bad udders. When raising lambs every 8 months ewes need strong udder support. P9 can go in with the ram in another couple months with some yearling ewes.

Annabel is here today while her mother is at work. She will also be here Monday and Tuesday then DS1 will take over babysitting her for DD2. DDIL2's dad repaired DS1's car so he will be able to use it to pick up DGD1 from school. He also picks up DGD2 on Fridays and needs the carseat for DGD3.

DH insisted he saw on the weather channel that the temperature in Texas was 70 degrees! He refused to believe that Baymule had written it was freezing and below. This am he decided to prove to me that he was right, and we did not need any warm clothes for our trip. he asked Siri what the temperature was and at 12 noon it was 34 degrees in Groveton. Then I made him check in Yantis and it was 31 degrees. I refrained from going "Neener Neener"!

Going to go pack some winter clothes.
 

Ridgetop

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Packing some flannel PJ bottoms for him to wear under his overalls. Also, thermal long sleeve shirts. If he gets too cold, I can stop at a Walmart or TSC and pick up a pair of thermal long underwear. I packed all mine so I will not freeze, but he doesn't feel the cold as badly as I do.

Got the large suitcase packed with most of our heavy stuff, sweats, thermals, overalls, etc. The problem with winter travel is that all the clothes are large and bulky! I did pack wool socks too. Any my winter lace up boots. I will throw the rubber muck boots in the car too. Packing the small overnighter for on the road stuff, meds, and toiletries. I also have a large rolling duffel bag in which I will put the boots, shoes, extra jackets, etc. Oh yes, must remember my computer and Yantis files and docs. Maybe I should bring the heated massage pad I got for Christmas for us to share after we work on building fence. And DD2 gave me electric leg and foot massagers too. They look like big boots. Probably should throw them in the car as well! We can all take turns using them! :lol:

DH is thinking about asking DS2 if we can take the Black Dragon (his truck) instead of our SUV. It has 4WD and sits high in case of bad weather. Also having another truck to bring more stuff from Lindale and tow trailers will be useful. The Black Dragon has a tonneau cover over the bed which is annoying to use but will keep everything dry on the road.

The main problem I have with the Black Dragon as opposed to our darling Twinkles, is that it is soooo high. Twinkles is high enough with 4WD, but Black Dragon is really tall. I have fallen out of it several times and just managed to save myself by hanging onto the door! The running boards seem to be slippery. DH is torn as to which vehicle to take. Black Dragon has heated seats . . . but so does the SUV. I think Black Dragon also has massage seats. Not sure but when DS2 took me for a drive I thought the truck was shaking until DS2 told me he had turned on the vibrating seat to surprise me. I hope the instruction book is in the glove box since we won't know how to turn on and off all the bells and whistles. Maybe we should stick with the SUV.

Looking forward to meeting @Hideawaypines and her DH.
 

Baymule

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Remember it IS Texas, and it can turn out warm the next day after a hard freeze. Along with all the heavy artillery, bring along a light jacket. :lol:

Go take care of things in Yantis first. It looks like we will be closing on the farm this coming week. Then this coming weekend, I'll be moving the fuel tank, don't know which day. Maybe moving hay too. I'll be packing up what is left in the Lindale house and going through the stuff in the portable building. I may make a turn around trip to Groveton, taking more stuff down there.
 

Ridgetop

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Woke up this morning to DH laying on the floor next to the bed and coughing his lungs out! :ep

Don't worry, he had dropped his Kindle behind the headboard and was trying to fish it out. Told him to go take some cough medicine. Then I pulled out the underbed storage box to reach the Kindle for him. Realized I need to remove all the underbed storage boxes and vacuum under there. :hide

Then remembered that during the night I had woken up remembering that I forgot to pack the drywall keyhole saw. Will need it to cut the small hole in the wall to add the outlet in Baymule's BR. Down to the shed for the saw which was in a big plastic storage box of drywall tools. Decided to bring along a 5" putty knife as well so those got added to a tool box.

So happy that when I cleaned up the sheds and sorted all our tools after renovating MJ's house, I labelled all the boxes. :D =D Saved me hours (maybe days) hunting for the appropriate stuff. I have several large plastic storage boxes containing miscellaneous electrical stuff, another with just wire, and several with drywall too. That is just in the old milk shed - not to mention the innumerable labelled boxes of renovation hardware and specialty tools in the toolshed. :weee In spite of DS2 and DH using tools and not replacing them exactly where they got them, most of the tools remain in place and whenever I go in the shed, I put the stuff in the drawers and cabinets. DS1 puts everything back in place and also keeps his own personal tools in his room. :gig Smart fellow! Probably why DS1 and I work so well together.

I packed some jeans and lighter jackets, as well as some T shirts for DH. Also for me since I can wear my T's over my long underwear. Fashion statement! Got to repack the suitcases today since the duffel is empty while the large case is too heavy to lift. :hide Need to redistribute some stuff. Also need to sort out my Yantis papers and docs to pack. Were supposed to receive the tax stuff with paperwork for the AG, etc. in January but it looks like we will have to go to the Quitman tax office and have them pull the paperwork up for us. As usual before any trip I spend most of my time worrying about what to take. I even stress about what kind of sandwiches will travel better on the road so we don't have to :thstop to eat! So stupid!

Now I am stressing over whether the 12 x 20 tool shed at the new place will be large enough for everything! There is a small room in the barn though that we can use for a lot of the stuff that is animal related. DH plans to run electrical service underground to the barn so we will have outlets and lights in the barn and that room. I can put a freezer and fridge there too. That will give us storage for the livestock vaccines and meds currently stored in the fridge in the laundry room, as well as cold bottled water. We may need to insulate the room and even put in a fan.

Baymule said that the Connexes will sweat in the heat so we will need to drill air holes near the top of the walls and attach screen over them to keep out bugs. Then a lot of our building materials can go in them. I am worried about having enough storage on thus new property. We plan to put in a large shop building but it will probably cost about $70,000. :thAlong with the game fencing $50,000 :th:thCan we afford this place without selling our California home? I think once we are living there we will refinance the place to pull out the money for the buildings. Since we are paying a higher interest rate due to not actually occupying the property, we should be able to take out a higher loan and reduce the interest rate to make it possible.

We don't want to sell our California home for another year or so in case we have to return. So much to consider. All our children and grandchildren are here. We have enough land that even though hay costs a fortune we could reduce our flock and afford to buy feed. If either one of us has severe health issues that we need family to help us we may have to return. :hit Not to mention the freezing winters in Texas!!! :eek: 🥶

No time to think about that now - have to lighten the suitcase! LOL
 

Baymule

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Freezing winter usually only lasts a week, 2 weeks is extreme. It’s not pleasant, but at least we aren’t looking at snow for months.

It might be cheaper to buy new shipping containers here, than pay transport from California. If you decide to go back, then you’d have to pay to move them again.
 

Ridgetop

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DS3 offered to haul them back for us. They were purchased new 2-3 years ago. They have doors at each end so we can divide them in half for storage needs. Might pour concrete footings or pad for them, not sure what DH will decided to do.

Talked to the NRCS in Quitman (for our county) today about redigging the ponds and interior fencing. He said that they will not help with ponds, but can supply names of persons to call about them. However, he did say he said that they will help with interior fencing for rotational grazing! :weee We should have him come out and look at the property. Then he will work with us to draw up a fencing plan for the fields and we will submit an application along with the fencing plan. The fencing plan needs to be approved, and a contract drawn up, then when the fed farm budget comes through, they will authorize it for payment. They will pay up to 75% of the national average for fencing costs for however many feet the authorized agent allows. The fencing has to meet the plan you and the agent draw up. The plan has to be authorized and a contract filled out and signed that you will put in the fencing according to the plan. It sounds like it could take as long as a year since the money comes available in the spring. They will NOT pay for any fencing you put in before submitting application, and signing the contract. Also, there are other requirements - # of animal units per acre, and LBS:animal unit. An animal unit is 1000 lbs. of animal per acre. So cattle, sheep, goats, hogs, etc. - all would be determined at # of animals to = 1000 lbs. = carrying load on pasture. Since this is the national average for fencing costs, I figure it might only cover about half the costs but that is wonderful since we have 45 acres! I will check to see if we can do part of the property first then apply to extend the fencing later.

Very interesting and I think we will try to talk to him when in Texas this month with the idea of submitting the application next summer and drawing up the plans then for the interior rotational grazing fencing. Pretty excited about this possibility so THANK YOU @farmerjan!

Got my tax papers and AG application so will fill those out and take in to tax office in Wood County with cattle grazing lease, and VA paperwork. Should be ok and I like to make sure of those items in person.

Talked to the septic guy and he said that he has the permits for the septic but the ground has been frozen. Thinks he can get a date to do the work in a week or so. I know DH wants to be there with the electrician for the extra panel or box he wants installed, since he plans to continue the wiring out to the well pump n als to d electric in the barn.

Next talked to Tennessee Tech Amanda Houser about barber pole resistance in White Dorpers. She is the assistant farm manager and has White Dorpers at the college and of her own. She gave me some good information about worm infestations and resistance etc. Next call will be to Virginia Tech about their program.

Repacked the suitcases yesterday. I think DH and I can lift them now! LOL They have wheels too. DH got the car taken care of so if he decides not to take DS2's truck we are good to go. Leaving noon on Wednesday or as soon as I get home from the preschool meeting, hopefully sooner. Figure in the car (or truck) without the trailer we can make 300 miles the first day and at least 500 each day Thursday and Friday.

Couldn't sleep last night thinking of the stuff I need to do before we leave. Mainly pack the truck/car and file papers un office, etc. Driving out without the trailer is much harder since usually I load everything into the trailer as I remember them for weeks in advance. I also have a whole second medicine cabinet of stuff in the trailer, including toiletries, shampoo, etc. so don't have to pack them. When travelling in a vehicle without my tow-behind-home, I have to remember to pack all that stuff! :fl:confused:
 
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