Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Baymule

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Your sheep are white, have you thought about tattooing their ear like a rabbit? Then if a tag comes up missing, you could check the tattoo and know who is who. I have a young ewe with a split ear because she ripped her scrapie tag off. Because she is marked like no other sheep I have, I still know who she is. Colored sheep do have their advantages.

Thanksgiving is behind you, now here comes Christmas!

The hood trimmer sounds like a good idea. Have you looked at a Dremmel tool? Multiple grinding bits, might be easier to handle. Just an idea.
 

Mike CHS

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I don't know how heavy your sheep are but we use the Deck Chair from Premier1 that hangs on our chute. We had a turn table but got rid of it after having several of the sheep panic and lay down. Getting them out was not worth the stress on both and us.

We have pretty much quit doing hooves unless there is obvious issues and Teresa uses the hand trimmer while I hold the sheep in the chair so they calm down fast. If there is any major flattening to do, I use an angle grinder.
 

Ridgetop

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I am back after a month-long hiatus. Haven't posted anything since Thanksgiving. I have been very depressed about many things.

Money is always a big one -
Our truck, which coasted to a stop 20 miles from home the first of October, has been in the shop awaiting diagnosis and repair ever since. As long as they have had it they should be paying the licensing and registration, not to mention the insurance! First, we were told that we needed to replace the fuel pump - singular. Our diesel has 2 of them, did they not know this? Replacement of the fuel pump required dropping out the fuel tank to get at the fuel pump in the tank. Once that was done, the truck still would not run properly so after DH reminded them that the truck had 2 fuel pumps, they replaced the second one. Still not running, and after another month to decide what was wrong - we finally got the news. Hydrostatic Lock!

Our truck needs a new engine. The cause? The plastic container that holds the radiator coolant had developed a crack allowing the coolant and water in the radiator to run out. The engine lights did not show it over heating, but according to the shop this was the problem. Risking my marriage, I questioned DH as to why in 22 years of truck maintenance, with all the work being done at this dealership, no mention was made of replacing the cheap plastic coolant container. They have replaced just about everything else on this truck over the years - why not the plastic container? This question received a rabid snarl from DH who takes extremely good care of his truck, Twinkles, and was probably considering the same question silently.

$15,000 for another engine. However, since we have replaced the turbo, all 6 tires, the leather interior, some of the suspension thingies, and other essential parts within the past 2-5 years and the truck is worth much more than $15,000 we will take the Texas farm fencing money and put in the new engine. With luck the truck will go another 300,000 miles. So maybe we will get our truck back in January in time to make a trip to Texas. :hu

However, no farm fencing money now. At least not enough to pay to fence the property. We will have to do it ourselves in sections. :(

Next I lost another ewe. One of my best OF COURSE! She came on to lamb 5 days after her due date and made no progress. I tried to pull the lamb but with rear legs from one and the head of another, no luck. Couldn't puch it back in either. My regular vet has stopped treating anything except horses. I finally found a vet one county over who would come out - luckily it was the morning not the middle of the night. I gave the ewe some Banamine while we waited for the vet who was at another emergency. She arrived in the afternoon and sedated the ewe. Without the ewe straining against us she was able to pull out the extremely dead lamb and his twin sister. Both big and very, very dead. The vet said that was why they were positioned wrong, and I couldn't rearrange them. They had been dead for about a week. Their little hooves were coming off and the skin was slipping. Very nasty and stinky.

However, I did not have to shoot another ewe so that was good. Hopefully she would survive. :) The vet didn't have any Penicillin - even vets can't get it since it is all back ordered. Luckily, I had found and bought 2 cases of small bottles in Texas so could give her a big dose. The ewe wasn't looking all that good, she was exhausted, we could only treat her and wait. The vet gave me a bottle of Banamine and some syringes of Oxytocin with instructions to give her 4ccs of Penn 2x daily along with the Banamine and Oxy. Unfortunately, the dead lambs probably poisoned her and she went septic. She died during the night. A first freshening 18 months old grade 5 ewe out of my best ewe and ram. :( And with twins.

With the emergency I had missed my hair appointment and every time I looked at my scraggly hair in the mirror I felt more depressed. I rescheduled and missed my second appointment with another smaller emergency. :he

Now I was broke, ugly, old, and with a dead ewe and lambs! Very depressed. The only good thing was that I had made all but one batch of cookies, and had just about finished my Christmas shopping.

Next up was decorating the house for Christmas. Since the family would not understand if I closed all the curtains, turned off all the lights, did not answer the phone ever again, and went into deep mourning, it had to be done. My sons had brought in the many boxes of decorations, and I proceeded move all the furniture around and put up the garlands over the windows. Finally, I had everything decorated except for the Christmas tree which I was delaying until DDIL2 was out of the house with DGS5 for several hours.

DDIL2 had a doctor appointment with Robert and I proceeded to drag the Christmas tree box into the family room. There was a small throw rug that was impeding the box so I tried to move it out of the way but instead I got tangled in it and fell heavily onto my new knee on the concrete floor! 🤪😩😭 PAIN! DH, DS2, DD2, and DSIL2 were sitting in the family room while I lay moaning in the doorway. They didn't notice me while they loudly discussed Christmas. Finally, DD2 did notice me and sent DSIL2 to help me up and drag the box into the room. I hopped to the sofa and collapsed. I couldn't stand on my leg and worried that my new knee had broken. DS2 helped me back to my room and onto the bed with an ice pack.

OUCH! I couldn't walk on my replaced knee leg for 3 days. I was finally able to lurch around on a cane for another week at which time I discovered apparently I had twisted my back and hips. Then sciatica showed up in my good leg. I have still not completely recovered and am taking aspirin and Alleve.
:barnie:hit:old

Now I was broke, ugly, old, AND CRIPPLED! And even more depressed. At this point I began to wonder if God wasn't telling me that moving to Texas was not in the cards. Just before I decided to sell all the sheep, equipment, Texas farm, and move into a retirement home, I remembered Andy telling me on Thanksgiving about our Farmall tractor that is at his house. Big Blue has a problem with the front attachment loader arms, BUT all rear attachments work. In fact, Andy says he uses it for bush hogging his property. He offered to drive it back on the flatbed trailer. Big Blue will allow us to use a fence post drill, a fence post driver (which I can rent in Sulphur Springs) and bush hog our pastures. In addition, there is a New Holland dealer in SS and Farmall tractors are made by New Holland. Maybe we can get the front loader arms repaired in order to be able to use a front loader. If not, we can bring back Baby Kubota since it is super small but useful as a giant wheelbarrow. With Big Blue DH, DS1, and I can install the fencing ourselves. Baby Kubota can be used to clean out the barn and do some garden work. :)

Still unable to move, DS2 and DS1 put the tree together for me. 12-year-old DGS2 needed Christmas $$$ so I had him come over to decorate the tree. I sat on the couch and unwrapped the ornaments while he hung them. Tree was done. I also had him wra y Christmas gifts. I really like doing it myself, but he needed Christmas $$$ to pay back the advance his parent had given him. I recovered some mobility to go shopping with DD1 and supervise gingerbread cookie making and decorating with the 4 grandchildren. Did I mention that I really don't like making cookies with my children and grandchildren? So much easier and cleaner to do it myself. I don't make decorated gingerbread cookies though, so I put on my 'NICE GRANDMA' hat and did my duty. Hope I get credit in heaven.

One wonderful thing that came along was the arrival of our DGS6, named Nicholas in honor of DS2's dearest school friend who was killed in Afghanistan at age 20. They were scheduled for a C-section on December 14 (her due date being December 21 but the baby being huge) but little Nick decided to arrive earlier. DDIL2 began having backaches on December 9, and on December 10 I mentioned that she didn't look very comfortable. She said she was "timing her contractions"! I asked and she said they were about 5 minutes apart! Then she said that she was having to go to the bathroom about every 2 minutes! AAAAGH! And the prospective parents were just sitting there on the couch calmly! Don't these kids know anything? You would think after the first one they would get with the program!
:barnie DH and I rushed DS2 and DDIL2 into their car with instructions to immediately get to the hospital. 2 hours later DS2 called to say they were taking DDIL2 into the delivery room for her C-section. Although I might have been able to deliver the baby normally, since she had to have a C-section I would not have been able to attempt that!!! Litte Nick weighed 8 lbs. 6 oz. He has gained a pound and one inch in 20 days!!!

Robert would have gone to his other grandparents while they were in the hospital for 4 days, but DDIL2's family had come down with Covid!!! They didn't even get to see the new baby until 10 days after he was born! 🙁 Luckily, since my back, knee and hip had rendered me practically immobile, DS1 was able to take care of his nephew.
 

Ridgetop

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More about Christmas.

On Christmas Eve I made Mexican food - tamales, chili verde, and Spanish rice. Peppermint ice cream blls with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry on top for the kids. I pride myself in being politically incorrect and have no problem with cultural appropriation. Since the US is supposed to be this big melting pot of immigrants, I don't understand why the politically correct left feels we can't enjoy other ethnic delights. Anyway I normally wouldnot have had the family over after Mass, but DGD2 fhad to go to her other mother for Christmas morning so we had to give her gifts to her on Christmas Eve.

We had to do a turkey in our roaster. DS1 really likes to do this, and has become a turkey expert like his grandaddy. We used the large 22 lb. turkey we had in the freezer for Thanksgiving and HORROR! discovered we did not have another! DS1 went shopping and could not find any large ones. We finally ended up with a scrawny 18 lb. bird.

I think that the producers were running low and using some of their old production hens. That turkey had little meat, and no fat. The little bit of fat it had inside was yellow fat indicating an old bird, not nice white fat indicating a young bird. DS1 and I agreed it looked like the Cratchit's Christmas bird, before Scrooge had his change of heart and sent them the prize turkey! DS1 referred to it as a large chicken. You will realize how small it was when I tell you that it only took half a box of prepared stuffing to fill it!


Since we had the Cratchit's bird, luckily we had a ham as well although DSIL1 texted that he had a problem fitting the ham in the Instapot since the bone was too long. Did we have any suggestions? DS2 sent him a picture of a man with a chainsaw. :gigDD1 has discovered a fascination with the hot air fryer she received from her brother last year for Christmas. She made some kind of steak in it that was delicious. DGSs5 and 6 have still not unwrapped all their gifts. We are all too exhausted!
 

Ridgetop

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BTW, @Mike I looked up the Premier sheep chair and am ordering one to try. I was going to flip the sheep and just hold them on their butts but the chair looks so much easier on the back (and mine is still not doing well). DH and DS1 thought it looked like it would be easy to use and work well. Also, since we move our ewes into the barn regularly, we could use it in the barn under cover and trim feet every time we have a group of ewes in the barn. For the rams we can use it in their pen, and it would be less upsetting to them than chasing them around the pen to catch and confine them. I like the look of the bungie style webbing better than the Sydell chair and I think it is the only one that is adjustable in width. I figure we can use a bungie cord across the chest or neck to help keep the sheep in the chair if they are too wild. Our sheep are not tame like yours. LOL
 

Ridgetop

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Wow....that's depressing to ME and I'm only reading!! I will admit, apologetically to some :lol: :lol:
No apologies needed.

I am feeling much more cheerful realizing that Big Blue will save us $$$ on buying a tractor in TX. And that we can put in our fencing with less work using BB and hiring just a couple workers here and there.

ALSO, our new LGD puppy was born the first of December. :) Erick is choosing us a good female that we will pick up after the wedding on March 3 and bring home.

I didn't mention it before but shortly after Bubba went back to Texas, and before Erick could collect him, he died. :hitNot sure from what since he was used to the heat, showed no symptoms, had been fine when he ate his supper the night before. It hadn't been that hot. He was just laying there dead the next morning. After hearing about Baymule's Sentry and his poisoning from possibly eating a toad or frog I discussed it with Erick and he agreed that might have been what caused it. Erick has a stream on his property and it is fairly close to where the dogs were housed. We were both devastated to lose Bubba since Erick had fallen in love with Bubba. He said Bubba was not overly aggressive - that it was him sensing my worry because he was such a large powerful dog that encouraged Bubba to be more protective. Erick also had several bitches he wanted to use him on. My new puppy that I am getting is an outcross and Bubba would have been a perfect breeding for her. Luckily, we had Bubba collected and have his semen in the tank. But I miss my big beautiful lovable boy so much.
 

Baymule

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You have had a lot going on and sometimes things just get us down. Losing Bubba was a hard blow and it takes awhile to come to grips with it. You have lost lambs, ewes, and it seems like it will never stop. Then the truck went down. Taking your fence money to fix the truck just took the wind out of your sails. Falling down on your new knee sure didn’t help any. But you can’t keep a good woman down, especially one on her prime of life.

I’m real good at clipping T-posts….. just saying. I work for food and somewhere to sleep. :)
 
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