Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Ridgetop

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The slope is 30-45 degrees. It is so wet that even the weeds and rocks don't give you any traction. Poor DS1 spent about 20 minutes trying to get her up the hill before coming in to get help. He and DS2 debated leaving her on the hill but she is my best ewe and I said I would go get her. DS1 was furious that I went out in the rain and mud. He was shouting that I was going to slide to the bottom of the gully and he wouldn't come down to get me since he told me to stay inside. In the end the two men had to half lift and half drag her while I held the flashlight and tried to stay upright on the hill. All I could think as the boys dragged her up the cliff was, "no matter how much it rains in Texas at least it's flat"! LOL

Poor thing was covered in mud by the time they lifted and dragged her into the barn. Going out to check her now. Just hoping she doesn't abort - she is about mid-term of pregnancy. If she does, she will go in with the yearlings and 2 new ewes to be bred to the embryo ram.

. . . Just ran out and checked on her. Still raining. Snowflake ate most of a flake of hay and is laying calmly with her head up and alert, looks ok. 7088 is laying in the adjacent pen and Surprise Lamb is bouncing around like all 2-day old lambs do when they discover they can jump. LOL Hopefully she will be better in the morning. Tomorrow I will ask DGD1 to go down and give some special love to Snowflake who is HER lamb. LOL
 

Ridgetop

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Tree days of heavy rain have caused lots of flooding. The Sepulveda basin is closed due to flooding. it is one of the major thoroughfares across the San Fernando Valley. It's the spillway for the old Van Norman Dam. Miles flat space has been turned into parks, dog park, playing fields, etc. Developers keep wanting to put houses there because they don't realize that when we have these once in 10-20 year storms it completely floods out! We are playing bridge today, but we are driving in the opposite direction to Burbank so no traffic problems for us.

Snowflake is laying down in the barn. She has gotten up, eaten a bit, and changed position so hopefully no permanent damage. Still keeping on eye on her.

Couldn't sleep again last night. DH comes to bed and just as I'm dropping off, he starts talking about stuff. Then he calmly drifts off and I lay awake. I finally get up and go do stuff - wrapped the other loveseat and one chair, checked on cabinets for the island, etc. When I came back to bed he said he woke up when I left. Apparently, he doesn't like it if I'm gone. He said from now on I can't get up since then he can't sleep! He was snoring when I got up!

Leaving for bridge - hope I have good cards. Dh said they will leave Thursday afternoon after PT. Bad idea since they can't get far in an afternoon and his night vision (until he gets cataract surgery on the other eye) is not as good as it was. DS1 hasn't learned to pull the gooseneck yet although DH plans to teach him on the way. DS1 did pull it to the bottom of the hill once and even though I told hm to listen to his dad about how it handles he ignored me. That darned Testosterone Poisoning! He pulled it into the shrubbery along the road and had to back up and maneuver 3 times to clear it. LOL
 

Ridgetop

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Snowflake is doing well. Pretty sore but able to get up and limp around slowly. She will be fine. With those 3 days of horrible rain, I've decided to remove the rams from the breeding pens and put them in the front pen which had some shelter. The entire flock of breeding ewes can go into the creep pen. DS1 already removed the creep bars so they have a 10'x20' space using both the mama pen and lamb pen. I will section off a pen for Snowflake next to 7088 in the large barn pen. Then I can use portable panels to connect that large barn pen to the creep pen gate allowing the ewes to com into the other inside pen as well. Feeding will be a hassle, but better than having them slide down the hills!

Wrapped the other chair and ottoman in plastic ready to be stored in the Connex. I decided that I might have to rent a small temp controlled storage space in Texas for some of the paintings and furniture if it won't fit in the house. In the barn the rats could gnaw it and in a Connex it would be too hot so probably cheaper to just rent a small storage space with AC if I need to. Still want to take a bunch of nice furniture to Palm Springs on consignment but no time till summer and then they close due to the heat. So probably have to wait until we come out for Christmas. That will give me time to get the rest of the house set up and see what I actually need and what size pieces will fit. Still debating between a Murphy bed or sofa bed in the spare room.

Got to take my antique cream separator apart and pack it in a box. It is a big one that my DMIL got for me when she was visiting her sister in Kansas. The legs are just plain 1x2's attached to the bottom. They have to come off for transport. Instead of screws they are attached with nails. DMIL and her sister went around to the farm auctions and found it for me. They also found me a glass hand cranked butter churn. Taking them to Texas with me along with my great grandmother's washboard and some other antique tools and kitchen ware. Now that I have cleared up some of the mess, I found two of the hummingbird feeders that I was missing so they can be packed too. I will take the garden feeder hooks as soon as the extension cord is off them. LOL DH reminded me that we have 3 plastic compost bins - the kind you hook the sides together. DDIL1 gave them to me when they moved. I never used them because we did not have a garden. At the old house I used a shady corner of my vegetable garden for the compost pile. We'll probably forget lots of little odds and ends that we can get when we come back. I am so tired of moving!

DH and DS1 are leaving Friday morning early. They will be back Tuesday night. They still have to load some alfalfa bales Thursday evening. They are picking up another load of alfalfa on the way back. $18/bale in AZ. Still another load of boxes and furniture to go along with another load of equipment, portable panels, and fencing. Then we will get the sheep and horses back, DH and DS2 will bring the last load of corral panels to Texas, and we will be moved.
:weee

Mostly. :fl
 

Ridgetop

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I never thought I would move from here. We love the view, privacy, and conveniently close to everything BUT this state has changed so much that it is no longer being governed by the people, let alone for the people. We vote in every election but as soon as it looks like the conservatives may get a grip on things, the pols change the voting rules, districts, etc. So gotta go.

DH and DS1 are leaving early tomorrow am. DH said 4 am. I packed his suitcase, and some food snacks for them along with water. They will stop at Denny's for dinner and have breakfast at the Best Western in the am. If they eat as soon as it is served at 6 am they can be in the road by 6:30-7:00. They will stay in Las Cruces which has a big parking lot for the trailer. By now we pretty much know where the best BWs are for trailer parking. LOL

Snowflake seems much improved. I will not turn her out for another week. By then DS1 will be back, and we will remove rams from ewes and move the sheep around. Will need to start trimming feet for move as well.

While they are gone, I will go down and start packing most of the tools in boxes so we can move the metal tool chests to TX. Before we finish moving the tool chests, I think we will need to order and install the retrofit heat barrier in the shed. Then we can install cabinets, put the heavy-duty shelving units back in, and put the plastic boxes of building tools and materials on them. If DS2 doesn't want the tool shed with cabinets I can remove more of them for Texas. LOL Otherwise I need to visit a Habitat for humanity in Texas and see what they have on offer. Having the tool shed set up so it is easier to lay hands on the tools without searching for them will make doing the repairs and renos on the house and barn easier. Also will box up the livestock first aid equipment, meds, etc. I won't take the horse tack, equipment, and saddles back for a while - I have 3 large plastic trunks of blankets, tack, along with 2 saddle racks and saddles. We will bring them back later on another trip.

I am ordering 5 more jug gates, and some of the slanted feeding panels. I hope I can get them made in time to pick up when I pick up the sheep. I wonder if I can have Shauls bend the slanted panels in a slight curve for the hay bales. I have enough 5' Sydell panels to make more jugs so just need a few more gates. I fought for so many years using panels to make jugs without gates, having to unfasten one side of the jug to enter, that having actual gates is a luxury that in my Prime I value.

:eek::thOH NO! Just went online to order the jug gates and read that Shauls had a fire in July2021 and it burned down everything! They were looking for new premises. I have emailed them to see if they are back in business. I will call tomorrow. :fl Love their products.

Took the cream separator legs off and am packing it now. I use old metal film cannisters to store cookies and pies. They are about 10" in diameter and fix perfectly inside the round cream separator. It is an old metal one by Superior (the label is still on it) with a spigot on the bottom underneath and a glass window set into the side. The lid is domed with a raised threaded 2.5" mounting that a canning jar ring fits on. You put a filter or screen over the threaded mount and screw on the jar ring. Then turn the lid upside down, sit it on top of the separator can. The lid becomes the strainer. You pour the fresh milk through the lid into the can. The can is about 12" in diameter and 28" tall. It holds about 5+ gallons. Overnight or during the day the cream will rise to the top and you can see the separation line in the glass window. Put a bucket under the separator spigot and open the valve to drain the skim milk off. Really cool! My DMIL was so excited to bring it back to me from one of her visits to her sisters in Kansas. Her 2 brothers and 2 brothers-in-law were all farmers in Kansas. The summer DD1 and DS1 turned 6 and 3 we went back for a visit and they had a wonderful time.

I have to go out and get the box of antique kitchen gadgets from the shed so it can go back with us. The kitchen cabinets have soffits above them, and I can hang up the gadgets there. I also have a box of antique tools belonging to my grandfather who was a German master cabinetmaker. He made all his old tools and I have a lot of them. I would like to make a deep frame and display them. Or maybe remove a piece of paneling, finish off and paint the area between the studs, then attach a glass cabinet door. Lots of fun stuff to work on in Texas. :clap
 

Ridgetop

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AND THEY ARE OFF!

DH and DS1 left at 4:30 this am for their turn around trip to Texas. DS1 said they will overnight in Las Cruces no matter what time they arrive. We never stop in El Paso, and there is 200 miles of nothing after that until you reach a stopping point or gas station. He would have to drive the gooseneck all night and DS1 decided it would be better to take it easy since they will only spend one day in Yantis unloading the corral panels. He plans to put them together as they unload them. DH first said they could just lay them down on the field but DS1 said no because the grass would grow up in the panels making it hard to get them off the ground. He said it would actually be easier to attach them together as they unload and fence off the hay bales with them. Aside from the alfalfa bales and corral panels, there is only the freezer and some boxes and cabinets in the overhead compartment.

I asked Wes Patton about the Codon testing for the Dorpers and he said:
"I know the Katahdin world is really into codon testing, but since there is almost no scrapie activity in the country anymore most of the dorper breeders are not paying much attention to it. We had a tough time getting RR's since we got most of our genetics from Australia because they selected for QQ. They did that because they didn't have Scrapie in Australia and they wanted to have a quick way of detecting it if it got there. We did find some RR semen and used it heavily and that helped get more into our flock. Testing your rams would be good and you may find a good market for White Dorper rams with the Katahdin breeders, so it might be good to be able to produce some that would satisfy them. It doesn't cost that much, so I would say go for it."

I will go ahead and have all 4 rams tested for it. Depending on the cost, I might have some of the ewes tested as well.

DDIL2 is picking up Robert from Preschool and going to her folks for the day so I will be ALONE. However, I will not be kicking back with my book and bonbons. :( For one thing I have given up candy, cake, and ice cream for Lent. It is the Catholic version of a diet. LOL The weather has warmed up a bit, so I plan to put together some of the small boxes I have to load some tools. The small boxes are best for that since tools are HEAVY and we have a lot. I will empty the rolling metal tool chest and it can go back in the next load. I bought it for DH as a Christmas gift the first year we were married. It is a Sears Craftsman from back when they had their lifetime guarantee and were made in the USA. 52 years old and still in great condition.

I am going to order some of the retrofit heat barrier and have it delivered to me in California. I can take it back in the next load and since DH and I plan to stay there for a couple weeks, I will try to get it installed so we can move the freezer into the shed. DH can rent a DitchWitch and run electric to the shed from the house panel. No reason to wait until we are living in Yantis to order and install the stuff. I probably need to put a screen on the window. I thought about buying a screen door for the shed but want to replace the storm doors on the house with the kind that have screens as well to allow a breeze to ventilate the place. I can put the old screen door on the shed, mainly to prevent the wasps from building their mud nests there. We have a ton of wasps but mainly around the time the Catawba moths are on the trees. I think they must be the type that feeds on the caterpillars since later in the summer when the caterpillars disappear so do the wasps leaving only their mud nests behind.

TRAGEDY HAS STRUCK! Wes said he thinks that the Binses may not rebuild Shauls after the fire 2 years ago that burned them out. I called them but have not heard back. :hit I am looking for another manufacturer for the jug gates. Might have found one but they are quite a bit more than Shauls and will have to pay shipping. Still have to check with the neighbor. Maybe they can copy the gates I have.
 
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