Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Ridgetop

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:yuckyuck :lol::lol::lol: DH is hearing me laugh and says I have too much fun with you guys!

When El Nino comes (if it ever does) we get that much rain here all at once too. I want a constant water source, thank you, gentle rains, green pastures, good fences, pleasant temperatures, oh wait, that is heaven! And I am not ready to go yet!
 

Bruce

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I don't need gps or any of the other crap. Get lost? I just do it the old fashioned way.
Sadly DD2 can't get anywhere without the Nav in her car. I swear she would drive into the ocean if it told her to. And it always wants to use the biggest roads so often a much longer than necessary route. She can use maps but doesn't have a clue of where things are relative to others. She had to go feed and water a cat last week, many miles, never been there before. We showed her what route to take, she didn't put any route markers in the GPS. Missed the turn, continued to follow the GPS's instructions, WAY longer route :he Oh well, it is her time and her gas.
 

greybeard

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When El Nino comes (if it ever does) we get that much rain here all at once too. I want a constant water source, thank you, gentle rains, green pastures, good fences, pleasant temperatures
Yeah, but you aren't on flat land. There isn't 12" difference in elevation from the highest part of my property to the lowest (except the bottom of the pond of course. It will be 96 here today. I consider that pleasant, and I have good fences and good cross fences and more cross fences and about 25 gates. My pastures are green right now, except the black bahia seed heads on 15 ac of it. A river is my eastern property line 2200 ft to the East*. Small but has never dried up and as much water as I pumped from my well in 2011, I never ran out. I had a 1 1/4" line blow off of it between to pump riser and the pressure tank last week and it ran all wide open all night.

*sometimes I walk across the pasture and down to look at the river,

and sometimes the river walks across the pasture and up to look at me.





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Sometimes too, the iceman cometh
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Most of the time tho, it looks like this

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As a special deal just for such a good BYH member, I'll let you have it for it's new, post-Harvey appraised market value.
 

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Ridgetop

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Greybeard: Hmmmmm . . . . Thinking about it. That much water to dry So Californians is tempting. And not having to actually walk to the river when my arthritis is acting up might be ok too. But, another of my requirements is not to actually be in Tornado Alley - I forgot about hurricanes. On the plus side is the prospect of cross fencing and GATES for pasture rotation. On the minus side is high ground to move the sheep and horses/mule to hen the lake comes to call.

How much damage did Harvey do? And where did you move your cattle? How long did it take for the water to do down? We have our own types of weather problems here but having grown up with them (several generations) I know about them - I don't know about east Texas problems other than the intense flooding near Austin where my friend lives. His creek floods and he can't get his stock across or get to them. However, he has Anatolians and the dogs stay with the goats and sheep so no problems. The dogs are also big and strong and can usually swim across once a day to get fed.

I did talk to DSIL last night about the wonders of east Texas. He was transferred to Austin by his company right out of college before going back for his Phd. He loved the city so maybe there is hope . . . ? I told him that closer to Dallas the weather gets less humid. Also, that I heard lots of tech companies had moved to Texas so since he wants to change companies may be he will start looking. He and DD sold their home last year and have not found what they want yet so are in a rental - this could be the time for a relocation.

Bruce: Yes DH loves his GPS toy. However, I often use my phone while he is trying to figure out where the GPS is sending us - often very different ways to go! Sigh . . . I wish DH wouldn't throw out all my maps when he has the car detailed before a long trip! Daddys "short cuts" used to make our small children cry. The words "short cut" still sends a shudder through them. LOL

Well the new water lines are in not BUT we can't turn on the water because the old broken line is still leaking and we just ran a new line. Now we have to remove all the ferns from the planter where the original water valves are and cap the line, No problem but those ferns are the only living plants in any of my flower beds. Even weeds won't grow in baked clay. The ferns survive from the trickle from the hose connection when we turn on the spigot to fill the field water trough. I hope they will survive the transplant process. My old house had lovely flower beds with minimal watering but here in this soil (clay and shale with 9 ph unless amended) I have a problem keeping the stuff alive without constant watering. And we have a water shortage remember. I think I will fill them in with concrete and then just use pots - maybe even artificial flowers. LOL

So we turned out the sheep for the first time since losing the lamb and they did very well. We didn't feed in the am, they grazed o forage all day and came in during early afternoon into their shelter for shade. they went out again but ran back in when we brought their hay and grain feed into the corral. Looks like they will be able to clear everything before lambing time in (hopefully) 5 months. I think everyone is bred since no one is marking anymore but will change the crayon again next week just in case. New Dorper ewes were exposed to this new ram a week before we picked them up. Memorial weekend we put him in with all Dorset ewes and one marked. Then he slipped that marking harness two days later and we ordered anther. One ewe remarked and one Dorper marked. The other Dorper was not in with the ram because her papers said she was a spring lamb but I called the breeder and he said no, she was definitely a yearling ewe, so put her in but she hasn't marked yet. She has only been in 10 days though. Anyway, I like to leave the marking harness on for several months with crayon changes to make sure. Anyway, if the last Dorset doesn't mark then she will have been bred after the ram took off his harness - a 1 week window. If the other Dorper doesn't mark than I will know that she was bred during the week before we picked them up. So I know the breeding dates of all of them, and am selling 3 of the 6 remaining Dorsets so only will have 4 ewes bred for lambs. All Dorper ewe lamb born for the next few lambings I will keep, then sort and cull. I will sell all the Dorset crosses to my meat customers. I have been looking at the Dorset lamb that I kept from my ewe that tripled but although she is nice and thick, I don't like her rump which slopes too much compared with my best Dorper ewe lamb. I think I will be culling heavily over the next 3 years. I can buy another Dorper ewe(s) at the sale next year to increase my flock and keep quality high. The problem with just a few sheep is that I cannot cull like I used to with the rabbits. Then I kept 1 out of 8 and sometimes 0 out of a litter if they were not up to my standards. Easy when you have 32-40 kits from a rabbit doe per year as opposed to 2 lambs in a year from a ewe.

Well, with feed prices what they are, and forage minimal without rains, I console myself with a lower feed bill. On the other hand I also have to contend with DH who wants to keep them all (and buy more) to make sure he doesn't have to cut fire control on a 45-60 degree slope. A rancher's wife's lot is not an easy one. :) LOL

Moving to a larger ranch in east Texas with pasture and water (in reason), would mean we could raise more lamb and sell more. But we are getting older :oldand maybe we shouldn't be thinking this way. Maybe we should be thinking bout retiring to condo like our children suggest. :hitYUCH! After living away from close neighbors I just can't stand the thought of being so closed in. We do need to think about good medical treatment close by - we both are cancer survivors.

Today DH and DS dig out the ferns and cap the broken lines so we can turn on the water! They have made pointed remarks about "not knowing how" and being "afraid to kill them" but it is just a ruse to get me to do the digging for them. But I am wise to them.

Today DH and I have ben married 47 years! :love I plan to celebrate our anniversary by finally clearing off the patio where we were storing all our supplies while we converted the garage into an entry, bedroom, and large utility room. We added this 5th bedroom so we could move my aunt in with us last Christmas. Sadly, she knew but never told us she was terminal, and passed away in November. Anyway, she stayed on her ranch till the end so that was good too.

Now I will remove all the junk, shelves, fencing (to keep the dogs out of the groceries) etc. and move our patio furniture back into place so I can once again relax in front of a sunset with a glass of wine! It has been 2 years since I have been able to do that! But no fireworks this year in the dam - first year on our hilltop that we will have to go somewhere else to see fireworks. :pop Look on the bright side, our friends invited us to play bridge and watch their firework - they live near the school where they have fireworks, and have a great view from the front yard. We will bring lawn chairs - and wine! :clap And next weekend our first patio party in 2 years - BBQ for DS birthday with family. Gotta go to work.
 

Bruce

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to make sure he doesn't have to cut fire control on a 45-60 degree slope. A rancher's wife's lot is not an easy one. :) LOL
You can hardly blame him!!!! 47 years is a long time, you wouldn't want to lose him in a horrible mowing accident. :D
 

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