Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
4,260
Reaction score
12,700
Points
553
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
No lambs yet today. DS1 is going t Smart & Final for groceries (turkey on sale), and to Lowes for lumber so he and DS2 can build the shelving unit that will become the Barbie House. 2 shelf units 36" x 16" x 72". This is their joint gift to DGD1. DD1 is buying the materials. The advantage of using a shelf unit like this is that it can be repurposed for other storage when she outgrows her Barbies. The interior space between the shelves will be 15" high because Barbie and Joe are 12" dolls. They need to be able to enter the rooms. LOL It will be fun decorating the rooms and possibly making kitchen cabinets. I can't remember if there are any kitchen cabinets in the boxes from DD1's dollhouse. I can whip some up fairly quickly though. We replaced the fan in our bedroom and I saved the blades for that purpose. They are oak. I also have some metallic aluminum spray paint I used when I made DGD1's kitchen set that I can use on the appliances. They will look like stainless steel! LOL GI Joe is not only macho, handsome, and armed, he is also a good provider for Barbie and their large brood. :gig

I am filling out the FSA loan application today. I need 3 years of production records on the sheep, money made (or lost), a listing of all classes I have taken in livestock, etc. This will require pulling out the 4-H record books and finding the seminars that I took the children to during the years. I also attended some on my own. Then I have to show all experience in livestock that qualifies me to become a "first time farmer". And then the normal loan app stuff - all property, debts, income, etc. etc. :thI do have the sheep production records, the weight charts, sales and purchases of all sheep, feed and equipment receipts, etc. I plan to flood the loan people with copies of everything so they can see that I keep extensive records. This will either influence them to my benefit, OR make them deny the loan outright due to the enormous amount of paperwork I submit! LOL If we can get a loan for the perimeter fencing it will be worth it. Maybe. :gigThe perimeter fencing is mainly what is holding us back from our move right now.

This FSA loan is different from the NRCS fencing grant where you front the fencing costs under rigorous rules, submit your plans for approval, sign a contract, and then receive partial reimbursement for the fencing costs after they inspect to see it is done the way they agreed on. That does not cover perimeter fencing, only the interior fencing for rotational grazing or watershed. The FSA loan is a one-year loan and I am not sure we will qualify since the FSA rep was not sure it was obtainable unless the property is paid off. One bright spot is that we are considered "Socially Disadvantaged" since DH is 80% military disabled vet, and I am a woman. We are racially incorrect being white, but I wonder if I could identify as a race that gets a more favorable social disadvantage and be sure of acceptance. If male athletes can do it, why couldn't I? I wonder why that would be considered ethnic appropriation while men "identifying as women" are applauded for breaking sports records in women's sports. :idunno

DDIL2 has taken Robert to stay with her folks until Tuesday. DS2 and DH are going to Nipomo tomorrow to get the 2 horses. DS1 and I will be on our own. Maybe I will thaw steak for dinner tomorrow. HEE HEE Robert had a major tantrum when DDIL2 took the car seat out to her car. He likes to sit in it in the house and pretend to drive. Then when she left he refused to come say goodbye to any of us. Instead he just waved from the doorway. LOL

I will take a break and make 3 batches of cookie dough. Then finish packig some of the open boxes in the LR. We need to move the packed boxes outside - keeping the under cover - until the horses are moved up here. Then a major cleanout of the trailer and start loading the boxes and equipment. We won't take any lambs to the auction until we get back from Texas.

Baymule, too bad you are sick because you could drive up to meet us and I would bring back a ewe lamb for you to start your experimental cross-breeding program. I have 6 3-month-old ewe lambs right now, and 7 (as of yesterday LOL) ewe lambs that will be 3-4 months in February. Put in your order. LOL
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
4,260
Reaction score
12,700
Points
553
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
I will check before we come back. Barber pole-wise this is the best time for the lamb, but we will be back again in February/March for the wedding in Athens.

Sunday afternoon, X087 had a nice pair of lambs m & f. DS1 and DS2 were shopping for wood for the dollhouse. I finished my mending and made the last 2 grocery bags for DS2's Christmas gift. Dinner was ready. It was getting dark so I went down to the barn and moved the 2 ewes with 2+ week old lambs into the closed off creep pen. Then I cleaned out both jugs and moved BL18 and her single ewe lamb into one. DH went out and fed. Then we moved X087 and her twins into the remaining clean jug. DH also hitched the stock trailer for the trip to Nipomo the next day. All done when DS1 and 2 got home after dark. DS1 said "why did you do that I would have done it when I got home". But I hate moving ewes and lambs in the dark. Easier to trip and fall.

Monday DH and DS1 went to Nipomo. They couldn't get the mustang to load. He was never trained well to trailer but DDIL1 thought he would just follow Skittles into the trailer. Skittles hopped in and he probably would have gone in if they had shoved him forward with her but they waited. When they went to load him, she was pawing the trailer floor making noise. Her mother did the same thing, anxious to get going. They couldn't even get him close to the noisy banging trailer so decided not to send him. I asked DH why they didn't just unload the mare and load the mustang with a butt rope. Then load the mare. He stared at me blankly and said he let them get on with it. :\However, one less horse to feed along with the rapidly growing flock of ewes. As of now we have 40 ewes, 4 rams, 5 junior ram lambs for auction, and another 4 still to lamb before December. And 7 more being bred now. Got to get to that Texas grass.

Went to DD1's house yesterday and decorated for Christmas before she left to take DGS1 for a doctor appointment. DGS2 had gone to Nipomo with his grandfather and uncle so I brought DGD1 home and we made cookie dough. I am making the dough now and freezing it so I can bake it before Christmas after our trip to Texas. No room in the freezers for baked cookies and 3 lambs coming from the butcher soon. DS1 had taken the car for his DDS appointment so DD1 came back and picked me up and we finished the decorating. She had brought 2 sofa tables int the room but they were all crowded together and I suggested we move them back. The room is very hard to arrange because the piano and bookcases are on own wall while one complete side of the room has a window seat. We decided to rearrange the LR furniture. The DGSs moved the loveseats, chairs, and tables out, and rolled up the rug. We tried it with the rug at an angle but not too satisfied. I kept asking her what she thought but she kept saying that she couldn't do furniture arranging or decorating and I needed to do it. I called for wine. After a glass each, DD1 suggested angling the loveseat. I sat in a chair and we had the boys put the rug back in place. They angled the loveseat which looked good. Both sofa tables went on the other window wall (no window seat) with the other loveseat in front of one and a leather chair in the corner. That made room for the other 2 chairs in the other corners. With the coffee table turned crosswise, the room suddenly looked bigger, more welcoming and had a better seating plan. Before the loveseats were in the middle of the room facing each other and the chairs were sort of in the corners behind them. Now the room can seat 8 people in a comfortable conversational grouping. Each seating area has table space for glasses. Looks much larger too. DD1 was happy with it. I channeled my Gammy and directed things from my chair with another glass of wine. ;) I could rearrange furniture like this all day!

Scary emergency yesterday when DH called to say they were on their way back early. Got a call from DDIL2 that her OB/GYN couldn't hear a heartbeat (due on December 14). She was sent to the hospital for another test. DS2 still 90 minutes away. Just before leaving DD1's we got a call that everything was ok. In hospital doctors heard heartbeat and DDDIL2 was on way home. Big relief for whole family. :celebrate

Dental appointment for me today, then DD1 wants to go shopping. I have a return at Ross and today is 10% off for seniors so we will go together. :old My knee was hurting yesterday, and I had a touch of sciatica in the good leg. Hopefully I can get my last shopping done, DD1 can get hers started, and all I will have left to do is my return to Burlington and a good zipper front sweatshirt for DS2 which he told me he would like. I wish I had known during my 4 hour expedition last week. Hope things are not picked over. Maybe most people are waiting for Black Friday. :fl
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
27,542
Reaction score
74,518
Points
853
Location
East Texas
That’s good news on your DDIL and the baby! I know that is a relief!

You know the horse trailer fiasco is all your fault. Yup, your fault! If YOU had gone with those adorable dolts, you would have seen to it that y’all came back with BOTH horses!
Never send a man to do a woman’s job!
 

SageHill

True BYH Addict
Joined
Aug 27, 2022
Messages
345
Reaction score
1,147
Points
203
That’s good news on your DDIL and the baby! I know that is a relief!

You know the horse trailer fiasco is all your fault. Yup, your fault! If YOU had gone with those adorable dolts, you would have seen to it that y’all came back with BOTH horses!
Never send a man to do a woman’s job!
I think @Ridgetop needs to clone herself! :D
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
4,260
Reaction score
12,700
Points
553
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
Tuesday - First thing got out the 21 lb. Tom turkey lovingly nested in my freezer. Only ones available were smaller hens 12 lb.-16 lb. at stores. We always buy extras at Thanksgiving so I had one. On the way home from the dental appointment I stopped to return unwanted items at the Reseda Ross and looked for other gifts I needed. Found a couple items, including super cool rolling pin for DGS2. It is by Joseph Joseph and has different size rings that attach to the ends to determine dough thickness when rolling it out. It also has measurements on the pin itself to help when rolling out dough to a specific size. Perfect for a budding 12-year-old chef. Returned the other one - Thank you Amazon Prime free returns! They only had one and I had never seen one before. (Turns out DDIL1 wants one so I told my DDIL2 about it and she will get it for her for Christmas.) Also got a great T-shirt that DGS1 (and his whole family) will love. And a wine bottle tube that I will pack it in. Says 'Santa, Please define "good"'. That is perfect for him also - he's 15.

Came home and DD1 picked me up to shop for Christmas with 15- and 9-year-old children. Finished exhausting trip to Ross, picked up food and dropped DGS1 off at Scout thing, continued on to Burlington where I could not return my items since they were at my house. However, found a heavy fleece jacket for DS2 - not as nice as the first one i got at Ross but that one the zipper did not work properly - and a perfect shirt for DDIL1. Also found the other 2 T-shirts I needed for DGSs 3. Another day on my feet and I could hardly walk by the end of the day but Christmas shopping finished.

NOT! Wednesday am DS2 said he would like another pair of slippers from LL Bean. LL Bean stopped having their good slipper sales during Covid though, and re not having any this year. I suggested we try the slippers from the My Pillow guy. Bought a pair last Christmas for DH since his size was not available at Bean and the My Slippers were on sale for half the price as the LL Beans. He likes them, they look the same, and have worn well. DS1 & 2 agreed to try them. So the jacket goes back. Sigh . . . .

Wednesday - Had to get ready for Thanksgiving. Usually, I clean the house from top to bottom then clean again the day after Christmas before putting up Christmas decorations. This time I had to epty the dining room fo all the boxes that I had packed to take to Texas. Also the ginormous 2 boxes that had been blocking the room since DS2 removed them from our trailer last summer. They are framed prints by Thomas Kinkade. The packing boxes measure 4' x 5' and 4' x 6'. He didn't check the measurements of the pictures when he ordered them! He didn't want to remove them to the Connex because one was for DDIL2 for Christmas. DUH! Bring it back for Christmas or -even better - take her to the Connex to look at it! I can't even walk into the living room! He did that. I also moved the 5 boxes of books I packed from the bookcases (to make room to store DGS5's toys) out to the patio since no one had moved them on Tuesday when I specifically requested DS and DH remove them from the family room!. Again sigh . . . . DS1 found me moving them and did the last 3. Finally got Living room and dining room emptied and could start on dinner preparations.

DS3 sent a picture of DGS3 with his first dove. DS3 said they would go turkey hunting - he had 2 tags - but said the turkeys did not want to come out to play. They got about 5 doves. Told them it was lucky that I had the turkey already defrosting. Doves are like Cornish hens - they barely feed 2 people apiece. I planned to feed 19! DD2 texted to say that they would not be at Thanksgiving because they were both working. DS3 and family were driving down from NIpomo. We would sit down 15 to dinner. Decided that no children's table would be necessary since with Robert in a high chair we could fit 14 comfortably at the table.

Decided not to make any pumpkin pies since it was already Wednesday afternoon. DD1 wanted to come over and learn how to make the notorious Cranberry Orange jello with ginger dressing. Half the family love it, half the family don't. Apparently, I am doomed to continue making it just for tradition. But since DH and I love it, leftovers don't go to waste. And as the children age, they decide they like it. DD1 finally showed up with DGD1, and DGS2 to make the jello. They brought a peach pie they had bought. We had one pumping pie in the freezer that DS2 had made and I decided we would bake the berry pie in the freezer the next day. 3 pies would be enough. I gave her the recipe and talked them through it. Just as they were about to make the orange jello to pour over the chopped celery, drained crushed pineapple, and whole berry cranberry sauce :ep OH NO! The orange jello that DS1 picked up that morning turned out to be PEACH jello. Same package, same color jello, BUT not orange! Emergency call to DS1 and DS2 who were out shopping to return with ORANGE jello. DDIL2 asked about flowers for the table but I told her we would make a centerpiece with the squash, pomegranates, and other vegetables we had. Normally holiday tables are what I go all out for to decorate but not this year. For some reason I am feeling a bit down. Probably because I feel a bit dispossessed from my house due to the family room being one big storeroom for children's items and toys. When my kids were younger it was the same but I seemed to have more storage and not so many huge children's play items in the rooms. On the other hand, there were only 2 adults living in the house and the children obeyed me when i assigned them chores to do. Unlike now. DS1 returned with the orange jello and DGD1 and DD1 finished the mold. DGD1 had done the ginger dressing whie they were waiting for him to return. DD1 also had DGS2 make the green bean casserole ready for the oven on Thanksgiving.
DH chopped the onions for the dressing and DS1 got the turkey roaster down and ready. The bird was in the fridge swaddled in a wet cloth like Grandmother taught me to do to keep the skin from drying out. I had already chopped the celery and the cooked giblets. I made the stuffing and let it cool.

DD1 announced that she wanted to learn how to stuff a turkey. Apparently, she was a self-styled "turkey virgin". She could not recall ever helpng with the turkey. I told her I had tried to get her to help me one year long ago but she had pronounce the naked turkey "gross" and refused to touch it. This from a 4-H girl who snatched newborn kids dripping with birth fluids up and dried them off! Go figure. :rolleyes: Anyway DS1 talked her through it and we got the bird stuffed. He checked to see if the roaster pan would fit in the fridge, and it would - but only if everything else was removed. Tom was again snuggled in his wet cloth and placed in the fridge in the smaller pan to await transfer on thanksgiving morning to the roaster pan and . . . . :drool

Thanksgiving Day - Got the bird transferred to the roaster and basted. We needed to set the table which normally i do the day before but with Robert on the loose couldn't happen. At 18 months he has learned to push out the chairs to enable him to climb onto the table. DS3 and family arrived just as I was stepping into the shower. DS3 had brought his flatbed trailer so all the men trooped out to park it. Naturally it takes all 4 men to do this.

This is when they discovered that DH had not locked the gate properly on the breeding pen when he fed. :thLewis had been having a wonderful Thanksgiving and had marked 3 dof the yung ewes that were waiting their turn in the breeding pen next month. They were all old enough so not a problem - DS1 marked their numbers down on the board. The problem was that all 4 men now had to corral abd wrestle the ram off the field and back in with the other 3 rams. :barnie Luckily I was enjoying my shower and did not see this. The muffled shouts from outside seemed to be normal for our family as 4 men discussed secure placement of a parked trailer.
DS assured me that he would sort out the ewes later. No problem. Later he would discover that the young ram - Junior - discovered he could scramble through the narrow horizontal gap above the feeder where the weight had broken a bar loose from its welds. Junior discovered the delights of mingling with older women on Thanksgiving afternoon. I will remain silent on what was said to DH about the entire episode later by 3 men whose father had been strict about gate closing and proper penning of stud animals when they were boys. DS1 wrote on our breeding calendar that Junior had been loose in the field on Thanksgiving Day. Any lambs resulting from this episode will end up at the auction since Junior is sexually mature at 7 months of age. Another day chez Ridgetop.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. DDIL2 made candied yams from scratch with fresh yams. She made them in the oven. They were fantastic! She was unanimously put in charge of candied yams from now to eternity. The cousins had a blast playing outside in high winds. They had to keep coming inside to clean dirt out of their eyes, but were thrilled to be together. Robert fell in love with his youngest boy cousin, Luke - age 8. Luke wasn't too enthralled by Robert's approach since Robert would follow him around screaming at him. We finally had to explain that since he couldn't talk this was Robert's way of inviting Luke to play with him. Not sure if this impressed Luke much, but eventually Robert went down for a nap.

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving Day. We have a lot to be grateful for even in this political situation.

BTW DD1 said that her friends are having to take over caring for their parents. Some parents are even starting to show signs of dementia, or reduced facilities. Her family named their blessings that DH and I were still mentally and physically healthy. Later DH and I reassured each other that we are still in our PRIMES! We also made a pact not to tell her about our aches and pains in case she decides to investigate Senior Living facilities before we can get to Texas! We are going to a funeral today for the mother of a very close friend of DS2 and 3 from high school. She got an infection and it went to her heart and killed her. Probably septicemia. We knew 2 or 3 others who had this happen. The infection gets into the blood stream and goes to the heart, very fast and always a shock since the original infection is not considered life threatening. Whole family is going. This is the boy who saw the cougar stalking him in our yard and thought it was the bobcat. He is engaged to a good friend of DDIL2. She and DS2 introduced them. So sad that his mother will not see him get married or hold her grandchildren. :(
 

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
8,054
Reaction score
28,799
Points
708
Location
Shenandoah Valley Virginia
AHHH the typical day at the @Ridgetop farm and residence !!!!! :lol:

Love the antics although I am sure you could do without so many screwups since it was human error that the sheep keep getting into such pickles....

So sorry about the friend... life does not follow the path that we want it to.

Time for us to get a bull in with the 30 cow/calf pairs we moved on the hill, and one next door with the 4 that are in there and be ready for the ones to go in there in a week or 2. Then it will be preg checks for the spring calving cows and calves weaned off them....
Never ending cycles...that is life on the farm.
 

SageHill

True BYH Addict
Joined
Aug 27, 2022
Messages
345
Reaction score
1,147
Points
203
:lol: all the guy "screw ups" TOO FUNNY --- esp it takes FOUR to parking the trailer --- takes only one or ~maybe two of us ;) -- all in all - sounds like a good one for the books (with a few extra lambs next year).
 

Ridgetop

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
4,260
Reaction score
12,700
Points
553
Location
Shadow Hills, CA
Another sleepless night after dozing through a Hallmark Christmas movie with DH. I don't know why I can't keep my eyes open until I turn out the light and try to sleep. :\ Probably nerves. Definitely nerves - I am clenching my jaw so hard that I have given myself a headache!

Just deleted a very depressing paragraph. We have 3 freezers full of meat, healthy family, and adorable grandchildren. We are lucky. just have to keep thinking on the upbeat. Tomorrow I will start decorating the house for Christmas. First the formal living room since Robert can't get in there beyond the baby gates. I will do the family room while he is sleeping, and finally the Christmas tree. DDIL2 mother is returning from the Philippines December 4. Maybe she can go stay with her mom for the day while I put up the tree and block it off with the baby jail. Very useful for babies and puppies.

I have been doing my sheep inventory, listing all sheep purchased and amount paid for them, sheep in production (bred or lactating) and their value, and young lambs and their value. Next will be an update of the equipment - sheep equipment takes one whole page - 2 columns and does not include the rabbit and horse equipment which is on another page. property, banking, savings and checking, plus 3 years financial records and tax returns. There is more which I have forgotten but since it is for a government loan, you can imagine - possibly even DNA samples from all the children. All this for the FSA loan application.

Lost another ear tag apparently during the ram scramble on the field. DS1 came in from sorting out the ewes and returning them to the appropriate pens and demanded to know to whom scrapie tag 0132 belonged. I searched my registration papers without finding any 0132. He narrowed it down to one of the blue grade tags which helped. He further narrowed it down as a mature ewe and had the numbers of those still retaining their ear tags. 20 minutes later, we identified her as BL14. This ewe routinely sheds her tags like a snake sheds its skin. She has had both her flock tag and scrapie tag replaced twice which is why her scrapie tag did not match her registration papers. However, she had a 3rd tag - her evaluation tag from July which also carried a number. Eureka! DS1 was able to identify her definitely as being BL14. We will need to retag her AGAIN!!! :thThen he came back in after finally moving everyone back where they belonged. This time he told me that he forgot that Junior (P17) was a ram. Apparently since P17 was not on his list of ewes to return to the breeding pen, he kept chasing Junior back into the ewe pen. OY VEY! If we keep any more ram lambs, we will reverse the sides where we put the flock tag and scrapie tag in order to immediately identify them as rams. Junior will also need to be assigned a tag color for any lambs he eventually sires. We are already using purple, blue, orange, and green. Orange ram Axtell has been sold, but I don't want to use that color for another year or so since it will be confusing. Red or Yellow are still up for grabs.

We have to vaccinate and dock in the jugs this week. We also need to trim feet on some of the ewes. DS2 suggested that we just trim the ewes when they are in the lambing jugs since we are vaccinating and they are often ore docile then. That is a good idea since we would only have to do a few at a time. Lewis really needs to be done. His hooves are so long that he clicks when he walks. It sounds like something is trampling through dry twigs and leaves. At first, I kept looking around for whatever was sneaking up on me in the shrubbery. Then I noticed his feet! I don't think we have trimmed the rams in over a year. Most of the ewes are ok since they run on steep hard dirt, but the rams are in a smaller pen. Feet are a priority now. DS3 laughed very hard when he described poor Lewis trying to run after ewes with his long hooves clacking like castinets. I am a bad sheep owner. The dairy goats were easy. They liked getting on the stanchion for their grain, we could see their hooves twice a day when milking, and I would trim several every day. The sheep have harder hooves though and the rams have hooves like cast iron. Last time we did them, DS1 and DS2 had to use bolt cutters instead of hoof shears. This year I had DS1 look at the Hoof Boss electric trimmer. This is actually a mini grinder that doesn't cut the hooves, it grinds them down. While this might take a lot longer on Lewis whose hooves have curled underneath his foot, at least by grinding the hoof wall thinner, it will be able to be trimmed off with the hand shears and then electrically ground level. Anybody out there have one?

We will have to pull the squeeze away and use the head catch. It might be easier than putting the sheep in the squeeze. I have seen some new squeezes that don't just turn the animal on their sides, but instead flip them completely upside down with all 4 legs in the air. Wes Patton says this type of squeeze is easier on the sheep who struggle to get up when on their sides but don't when completely on their backs. Most of these are in the UK or Australia, but there is at least one company here in the US. $3500.00 for that squeeze and it weighs about 700-800 lbs. Not any time soon. I still need my fencing along with other things. However, I was able to find the Hoof Boss on sale for about $270.00 with 15% off and free shipping so might give it a try. DS1 and I checked out the goat and sheep trimmer and agreed we would try the goat Hoof Boss. The only difference in all of them is the type of grinding blades/discs they have in the kits. The sheep one has a grinding blade that DS1 and I are very leery about since our sheep will be kicking and this looks like a circular wheel of razor wire. It works like a mini chain saw but the way in which you use it is different, and it shaves off sections of hoof. We feel more comfortable with the grinding wheels since both of us think that if one of the sheep kicks at the moment we are using the chain saw looking blade they will get cut very badly. An incident like that would put us off trimming for quite a while. Kind of like when DS3 sheared a big wether for a friend and accidently cut off the tip of one ear. I am asking all the children to chip in and get it for me for Christmas. First, I will post asking anyone who has one and uses it what they think of it. One problem is that I am left-handed, and it does not adapt well to left-handed operation. DS1 was not impressed when I said he would have to do the trimming. :gig

Secondly, DDIL1 said that she has the Presto electric canner. She has not used it yet, having only done fruits, jams and pickles using her water bath canner. She promised to let me know how she likes it. It is on my list for Texas. In fact, I want 2 of them if my garden does well since the hardest part of canning is doing only 7 jars at one time and having to constantly regulate the temperature.
 
Top