Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

farmerjan

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At least all that pork is the epitome of true "FREE RANGE" animals!!! I know all the ranchers I am in contact with would much prefer to not have all that free range pork running around and would rather have to go buy confinement raised pork because that would mean their fields are not all dug up like a bad tilling job.
 

SageHill

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So yesterday since we did not have anything else to clean out and the dump was closed, we went to the Priefert outlet. We priced gates and panels in the "seconds" yard and then scored in the "thirds" yard that had 2 panels and a 6' gate with wire on it. DS1 immediately wanted the small gate for the property in California to replace a chain link gate. If had a BIG dent in the top arch (no wire on that) and we called it an "Art Gate". I told the salesman that it would be a "statement piece". :lol: One 12' panel was pretty damaged, one 10' panel did not look damaged at all, and we got all 3 pieces for $65. The seconds - 16' gates with wire were $210 each and they looked just as good as any you would find at Tractor Supply. Like DS1 said, after coming home in the truck, being unloaded, and a couple months use on the ranch they ALL look like "seconds"! :gig

Really glad about the dump being only about 10-15 minutes away! We went early and loaded up a load and went to the dump. 3 trucks ahead of us and the guy said that if we had a lot of wood to dump we might have to wait until next week since it had been really busy that morning already! We dumped the garbage and went back for the wood and metal. (Metal dumps for free in another spot of the dump.) We quickly loaded the wood and metal and another bag of garbage and got back to the dump. As we were dumping the last of the junk and wood 3 more trucks and a trailer pulled in to dump.
View attachment 93590 Here is the clean tack room. :celebrate

You can see the opening in the corners where the walls have pulled apart at the bottom. The area at the bottom of the walls needs to be cleaned out and the walls reattached to the floor. Not a hard job once we are there.

DS2, DDIL2 and Robert are having a good time visiting places in Texas. They bought tickets for the rodeo Saturday night in Fort Worth for all of us. On Friday we will drive to Lindale to the all-you-can-eat Eastern Buffet. :drool They fly home on Sunday. DS1 will stay here with us and travel home by car with us. DS2 asked where Baymule lived and when he found out she was down near Houston said he wished he had known he would have gone to meet her. DS1 said that would be hard since she was my imaginary friend then laughed uproariously. Bad DS1, no biscuit!

Still didn't get the laundry done today. Went to Walmart and grocery shopped. Will have to find another grocery store once we are living here since Walmart is expensive. We will check out Aldi for produce, and a couple of bargain grocery outlets. Also will put in a large vegetable garden and can a lot of the veggies. I have 2 pressure canners, 2 hot water bath canners, and boxes and boxes of canning jars in our shed which will be coming with us. I really would like to try the new electric pressure canners. I saw one in Washington State but the store closed up during Covid. I will check on line and also check the reviews but being able to set it and have it keep the pressure without always adjusting the heat would make canning lots of jars a lot easier.

Got an appointment tomorrow with the Legacy Land Bank which does farm and ranch loans to discuss interest rates and possible loans. We need to put up a large carport to protect our trailer and vehicles from hail, also a storage tank for the well since we will be using the well to water the sheep and garden. And possibly a tractor loan eventually. Just a discussion so we know what is available and doable. Next week we meet with the NCRS fellow for Wood County.

Our tenant, Larry, wants lamb and said he usually gets about 4 deer each year. He will trade venison for lamb. He also gets a lot of hogs. He said young gilts cook up beautifully in the pressure cooker with a recipe he uses to make pulled pork. Yum!

Really have to do laundry tomorrow!
WOW!! Fantastic work on the tack room - amazing!!
I got a Presto Electric Pressure Canner and LOVE it. sooo easy. Pricey - but I can fill it, turn it on and leave it.
 

Ridgetop

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Just what I want! With 2 of them and the 2 stove top ones, I can process at top speed instead of standing for hours in front of the stove and sink! :)

Met with Marc at the AG bank yesterday and learned a lot of good info about Texas farm loan rules which will be useful for the ranch operation. Had a really enjoyable conversation with him. He told us NOT to borrow for a tractor since many of the tractor sellers give 0% interest. Then DH decided he needed a pedicure, so we went there. Had it in mind to go price trailers (info only) afterwards but got our wires crossed - I thought he wanted to go to the one on the way back to the KOA while DH meant the one on the way to the ranch from SS. Different directions from SS so we grabbed a Chick Fillet, came home and did laundry instead. No rush on pricing trailers. I thought DH wanted to price cargo trailers (he had a lead on a 24' used one) but it turned out he wanted to price flatbeds so he could haul a tractor, panels, and hay. I guess we need to discuss our plans more fully. With the extra space in the 5th wheel from removing the banquette we will be able to bring a lot of stuff back inside the 5th wheel as well as in the truck bed. I will go through the stuff we will be moving to decide what we don't need that can come back now. We have about 4 36x30 rabbit cages still in the shipping boxes not put together, along with boxes of feeders, auto watering system parts, nest boxes, etc. that can all come back. Not to mention the older cages that I need to take apart and they can be boxed up flat pack to bring back. Oh yes, and the chains and clevises/hooks with which to hang them. Those can all come back in the trailer along with some other boxes of equipment, etc. for repairing the house and barn.

The 30 acres next to our place is on the market again. The buyer decided it would cost too much to build the 12 houses he planned and has put it up for sale by owner. DH wants me to call him to see what he is pricing it at. Interest rates are around 8% plus right now! DH wants to buy it but don't know if we can manage the payment right now. And our stocks (along with everyone's) are in the toilet so no use selling them. I really miss Trump and his economy!

Speaking of whom (indirectly) did everyone catch Biden's speech to the UN? He started off ok but at the end he lost his way, mumbled confused stuff, and then couldn't figure out how to get off the stage. It wasn't even laughable, just embarrassing and sad. Another person got up on stage, thanked him, and kept talking to cover up but poor Biden sort of wandered around on the wrong side of the stage. I feel really sorry for Jill Biden having to see her husband deteriorate and having to cover for him. I also felt bad for the USA to have our president shown in this sad light. It is no wonder Russia and China are feeling their oats. :( However, a wandering disoriented Biden is better than a cackling Kamila! Or Pelosi! At least for another 2 years if we can hold out.

Got hold of the fence guy our electrician recommended. He is local and actually lives a few houses from us (so a few miles LOL). This guy works for Coca Cola and does fencing on the side so I am hoping we can get our fencing in and can work with him as we extend our fencing. We are meeting on Saturday morning. We are meeting with the NRCS guy on Monday. Maybe we will get an idea of how to fence to start, and what it will cost. Hopefully we can get started on doing the fencing now. :fl

Also got hold of the HVAC guy and have set up to meet with him to discuss tenant's concerns about the HVAC - no heat in winter in back bedrooms, etc. HVAC says unit is new - 2015 - and in good condition so maybe an inexpensive repair or new ductwork for bedrooms. :fl

Might be back sooner than February to get some of the work done. Getting anxious to get stuff done for our move next year. Fencing is major requirement. We can rent a Ditchwitch to put in water lines for the sheep pens with little trouble. Once the tenant is out of the house, we will be able to come back with a truck and flatbed or cargo trailer of supplies, tools, and equipment since we can stay in the house while working. The fridge and stove stay so will only need to bring card table, chairs, blowup mattresses (don't tell DH), TV, VCR, and camp chairs while working on place. Once we are moved in, I will paint the rooms one by one and shampoo carpet in the BRs for now. Redoing floors can wait until we decide what to install. Setting up ranch operation is more important than house at the moment. That is why most ranches/farms have good solid barns and outbuildings while the houses are little and sometimes need paint! LOL
 

Ridgetop

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Went to pick up Baymule from the hospital and take her home after her surgery. Then I stayed with her for several days. That woman is hard to keep down! After the 5th time of telling her to stay in her recliner and I would get the drinks, I threatened to duct tape her to the chair. She kept trying to wait on me!!! We enjoyed our extra visiting time. she was up on her feet and barely using either the cane or walker. Such a showoff! But I was so happy that she said the surgery took away most of the pain she had been suffering. What a relief or her. I was worried about leaving her when DH came back since i didn't quite trust her not to jump up and go to work.

While I was with Baymule, DH and DS1 emptied out the other storage shed on the property and took the junk that had been left there to the dump. DS1 found an antique oak school desk when cleaning out the shed. The tenant was going to throw it out but he saved it. It is the kind with the fancy scroll work sides that hold the writing portion to the back of the seat in front. I will refinish it and put it on the front porch with a flower pot on the desk. It will look very cool with a couple of outdoor rocking chairs and hanging pots of flowers on the front porch. And my old farm milk can.
Then they went out tractor comparison shopping looking at what they could get, prices :th, and ease of use. Some brands were less comfortable for DH with his knee problems. There was a large difference in prices too. DH talked to Baymule's son about tractors and he advised not to get the rocker type forward and back transmission. DH and DS1 enjoyed their father-son bonding and got a lot of information. We will probably get the attachments used or elsewhere instead of buy them all new from the dealer. Some implements are made better by different manufacturers, while the amount of work we want to do with them will have a big effect on whether to buy a costly one or cheaper one. We are not making hay or ploughing for crops, so we can get by with cheaper makes of some things.

DS1, DH and I met with the NRCS representative and drove around the ranch. He told us a lot of the info we needed to understand about how to apply for a grant for rotational graze fencing. We will need a water source in each pasture with a plan for supplemental water source in case of emergency. We have 2 ponds but don't want our sheep drinking from them due to the dreaded liver fluke. They will be used for the cows. Instead, we will use a ditch with to put in water lines to each pasture which will end at 100-gallon troughs with a float valve. We have a lot of 100-gallon trough so just need to pipe the water from the well to the troughs. We can turn the water off and on to each trough as we move the sheep out of the pasture into the next one. Since we have city water that would count as an emergency source. DS1 and I need to draw up the boundaries of the property and locations of the current barn, etc. then figure in where the fences will go. After we are sure of where to put the fencing, we submit the plans for approval and apply for the grant. Once the grant is approved, we sign a contract and have a certain amount of time to get the fencing installed.

DS1 is now on board with the plan of the ranch and says that he will miss his little nieces and nephews badly but sees that the ranch can be doable. DS1 is worried about the expense of the farm equipment and wants to look at used equipment. I think we would be better off to buy a new tractor and get everything else used. I think that DS1 is getting more interested in the ranch since we are encouraging him to do a lot of the planning.

DH caught a bad cold while I was at Baymule's from sitting directly under the AC in the trailer. I made him stop at Walmart on the way home and bought some Delsym cough syrup and cough drops. On the way back DS1 called and asked us to check at Tractor Supply for some of the Country Vet home and dairy spray that goes in the time-release battery-operated sprayers. Apparently, we were out of the dspray (99% pyrethrins) at home and they couldn't find any for less than $29 per can on Amazon. This was at 5:30 pm on Saturday night! Called 3 different TS stores on the way home but all out. Then called Atwood's in Mt Pleasant and they had a different brand but thought it would work. We went there and it would fit so I bought 20 cans for $11 each. DS1 said he thought we could get buy with 5 cans and he might be able to get some on Amazon at a different supplier cheaper, but I wasn't taking any chances. Each can lasts 30 days, and we have several sprayers in the house. We went through this same problem about this time last year since this is technically after fly season and everyone is sold out with no idea when the new stock will come in. On the way out of Atwoods I walked past the vaccine fridge and discovered they had PENICILLIN!!! I can't get it here and tried in Tennessee and TX but no one had it. As of January 1 it is a vet only prescription drug! I turned right around and bought 12 bottles - they only had the 100ml size and they were pricey. The next day after thinking it over though I went back and bought another dozen vials.
We arrived back in Mt. Pleasant after a 4-hour trip, and I sent DH straight to bed with Actifed for the runny nose and Delsym for the cough. I also threw in a couple antibiotic pills just in case. He slept all night then had a hissy fit in the morning when I made him go back to bed. He wanted to get up and pack for the trip home so we could leave but I flatly refused to do it. Then I hid the truck keys. I kept him in bed the next day with the meds and he slept most of the day. He was a lot better by Monday so we packed up ready to pull out early Tuesday. By then I was coming down with his cold. I loaded up on the Actifed and Delsym and slept a lot of the trip Tuesday. DS1 drove half of the way and we made good time. We hit rain in New Mexico. We stopped Tuesday and Wednesday nights to sleep. On Thursday - only 49 miles from home the truck just stopped running. DH was able to coast onto an off ramp where he and DS1 found that we had lost a water hose and the radiator was dry. :oops: :he :hit

This required a tow truck for the truck - under the 50 mile limit to Galpin (our truck's second home) so 2 hours later off Twinkles went. DS2 came out for us in our car since we needed to transfer some of our stuff to the car before the trailer was towed away. The tow truck for the trailer took longer so we all sat around in our camp chairs outside the trailer in the shade on the off ramp waiting for it to show up. After another 2 hours we were trying to decide if we should just camp there like homeless people and assigning sleeping areas when the tow truck showed up. He had bad news. He did not have time to take the trailer to our house that night. The trailer would be stored overnight in a locked impound lot with a loose guard dog so would be pretty safe. The traier wuld then be delivered the next day. But that meant we had to scramble to get our meds, toothbrushes, etc. out of the trailer. DS1 reminded me to get the Penicillin out of the fridge. I decided take all the frozen food (a couple steaks and some ground meat) and some of the perishable fridge items home too. 5 hours after our earlier eta of 2:00 pm we finally dragged homecaround 7:00pm.

Oh yes, did I neglect to say that when we got into the car we discovered that our 2 daughters had used the car and the gas tank was almost empty?! :somad:rant:smack DH was very irate to say the least. He favored us with a diatribe on the thoughtless behavior of children who use your car when you are out of town, run your car out of gas, and then don't fill it back up. The rule has always been that you can use the car with permission, but it comes back with a full tank. This rule had been broken and DH was sniffing for blood. Luckily, we made it to the gas station before we ran out. Had we run out of gas the situation would have been dicey. DH spoke severely to both our daughters later that night. Both had used the car and each denied that she was responsible for using all the gas. Did we care whose fault it was? NO. These are adult women. Their father snarled at both of them equally for several hours. They were wise enough to listen and apologize. I unloaded the car, took a shower, took meds and went to bed.

This morning DS1 got us all up to meet the trailer at the shop. The tow truck was a larger one and the driver didn't think they could get it up the hill so DH decided to have them deliver it to the trailer repair shop since we had some trouble with the brakes on the trip. This meant that DS1, DH and I all went over to retrieve all the clothing, dirty laundry, etc., and possessions that needed to come out of the trailer after a month-long trip. While DH discussed the problem with the trailer guy, DS1 and I unloaded everything from the trailer. I had brought 2 very large suitcases for our clothes, & shoes. Our jackets, tools, the inflatable mattress, camp chairs, etc. would also come home. The car was almost completely full when DS1 remembered that the trailer shower stall was full of DS2's and DDIL2's excess suitcases from their Texas vacation, along with all their souvenirs, etc. :confused: He managed to get everything into the car with the exception of the mounting block. We use it to get up high enough to reach over the sidewall of the truck and plug in the brakes.

Once the truck is back from Galpin we will retrieve our trailer which now requires another repair job on the drawers. The drawer glides on 2 drawers need replacing. I will take care of that when it comes home. We also found out that the card table and chairs we used are too large for the trailer space. Mainly the chairs which are large, molded, folding chairs and very comfortable but also large. However, we wrapped them in plastic and left them stored in the shed at the ranch. We can use them in the house when we are moving in.

Came home from unloading the trailer and put all the clothes and stuff away. Doing laundry. Got to figure out what to do for dinner. Probably do roasted chicken. While DS1 gassed the car yesterday on the way home DH and DS2 went in and bought 2 BBQ chickens. The head of lettuce and tomatoes from the trailer will do for a salad.
 

farmerjan

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Your truck problems were like ours....only we were in Pa so not close to anywhere for anyone we knew to come get us... and it turned out the electronic crap could only be fixed by the dealer... and we were on our way TO, NH...
It seems to have been a year for vehicle problems for everyone going on trips... us with the truck then the flats on the trailer.... the friends from NH when they left to go south to Ga and all those truck problems... at least not on the way back to NH when they took me... you problems @Ridgetop this trip and didn't you have some issues before, @Baymule with her new car back a bit ago.... my Explorer with the AC and in the shop for over 6 weeks... just keeps on....

Glad you are home... and yes, the "adult kids" deserved every bit of dressing down....
Glad the NRCS meeting went well... so glad that you will be able to get some money... hope the country doesn't go to "he// in a handbasket before then", and the money dries up...
 

Baymule

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I’d say except for the breaking down part, y’all had a good trip. Y’all got a lot done and as Chairwoman of Entertainment , we had a great time! LOL
I thought I had after surgery care nailed down and when that blew up on my face, you were there to make sure I was ok. I sure appreciate that.
 
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