Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Ridgetop

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OMG! DH is a genius! :love

He had to dig out the well shed door because dirt had accumulated in front of it. Then he had to dig out some dirt from the bottom to find the spigot. We found that our well has a 50 gallon tank or more - larger than a BIG hot water heater anyway. Then he attached the hoses to the well spigot while I turned on the power to the well. :fl We have water! And we watered the sheep in less than half the time it usually takes - the pressure from the well is much better than from the house! The water looked a little dingy but did not smell bad. I did not taste it. The sheep seemed to like it and drank it without any problem. It was a lot easier to attach and disconnect 200' of hose than 300' - we have to detach the hoses each time and put them away because Ozel thinks they are snakes and likes to kill them. We also dd not have to keep going back to the house to turn the water on and off, a savings of about 75' and messing with the gate.
:weee

DH was worried about whether we would have good water pressure from the well. We knew we had water from when he accidently ran the tractor into the well shed, and we had to have emergency plumbing repair, but now he knows that when we run water lines to the barn from the well we will have good pressure.


The panel is very hard to read what goes where. When we came back, I got my stepladder and rewrote the faded info as to what fuses/switches go to what. Then because you can't even see the indented numbers on the metal panel, I got a bottle of white fingernail polish and painted over the numbers. Then I wiped off the polish with a paper towel leaving the white color in the indentations. Now they are easy to read - both the numbers on the panel and the list of what is what on the door.
 

Ridgetop

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Exhaustion has become a way pf life. I understand better how the pioneers felt traipsing across the country making only 40 miles in a day with their wagons, doing the same thing over and over. You finally get used to the continuing weariness.

I finished clearing out the boxes and wrapping papers from the unpacked boxes. The boxes are broken down and flat packed to go to CA to DD2 for her to use to pack her apartment. The wrapping paper is flattened and folded, the bubble wrap is rolled up for reuse. We will take that stuff back to DD2 so she can start packing for Texas. She said I promised to help her pack so maybe it is ready for ME to reuse it on HER stuff. LOL Luckily she has a small 2 BR apartment.

Levi and his crew arrived this am to begin installing the posts for the front fence. It is actually enclosing the back and side yards up to the front of the house and across to the garden fence. He was concerned where the city water line came in from the street. Anyone's guess, although we can see the shut off in the front and know where the water comes into the house where the well water piping that is cut off is. We are hoping :fl they don't hit a water line when they drive in the posts. Instead of fencing the entire front and back yards together, I decided I would rather have the dogs farther from the highway in case of an accident taking out any front fence. We will eventually add a wrought iron looking fence across the front with lots of shrubs in a probably vain attempt to soften the noise from the traffic. I am thinking flowering shrubs but whatever grows fast and thick in northeastern Texas is what I will plant. The flowers can be on the inside of the fast-growing shrubs where we can see them.

My cough has not improved, and DH says it is my turn to go to Urgent care. He is probably right since with all the unpacking boxes, moving furniture, and resultant dust it gets harder to breath with the coughing spasms.

I have to finish clearing off my desk and putting stuff away, then I will start on the laundry room. The white storage cabinet I brought from California fits in ok, but I need to remove the baseboard behind it to get a snug fit and attach it to the wall. It is one of the old style closet cabinets and has drawers in the bottom cabinet. The drawers are installed in the same holes that y use for the shelf supports and I am going to remove them and see if I can get them to fit together closer. Right now they have 3-4" gaps between them. If I can move the drawer glides closer together I can pick up more shelf space. There is just enough space on top of the cabinet to fit my large electric turkey roaster. :D =D Once I have moved in everything, I can start on my island. That will give me more space for cooking utensils, large drawers, a double trash can cabinet and all the shelves will slide out. I also have planned for a small eating bar at the island. I want to use the current peninsula top for the eating bar if I can figure out how to make it fit. It is not large enough to cover the entire island. :( Eventually, I will recover the counter tops with quartz so it won't matter, but in the meantime, I would like it to look cohesive. I will also eventually remove all the cabinet doors, sand them and revarnish them. In the meantime, I have to move the last bookcase out of the living room and move the furniture around. When DS1 gets here we will start on the tool shed, putting in heat barrier, and installing the cabinets. Once the cabinets are up in that shed, we can move the tool cabinets in, and unpack the tools. I packed the contents of each tool chest drawer in one box. When we unpack them, they are already sorted and can go into the marked drawers of the chest - saving me a lot of work resorting them! Thanks goodness DH did not pack the tool shed!

On Friday DH goes to Longview with Larry to pick up the generator. Then the electrician will come to install it. I need to call the Propane man and get him out for an installation date. Once that is done, I decided to have Larry's electrician (who is a Jack of all Trades and contractor) do the shower in the large bathroom, and then do the tile. I would have to buy a tile saw so I will see how much he charges to do the shower surround over the tub. Hopefully it will be affordable. Otherwise, I will have to go to Harbor Freight for another tile saw. I wore mine out on the 7 units in the apartment (7 kitchens, 13 bathrooms), our house kitchen and 2 bathrooms, and DS1's kitchen. It finally bit the dust since it was a lower quality small one anyway. It did the jobs though so worth the original cost.

We need to go to Prieferts to see if we can get a couple gates for the barn. They have seconds (and thirds) you can get cheap. We need to turn out the horses int the large pasture. Poor Josie is getting bitten by something. She has raised bumps on her sides and face from some kind of bug bites. Spunkster used to get those welts, but I never saw Josie with them. I can't get her a fly mask because she rips it off on the corral posts, then stands on it and rips it apart with her teeth! Mules! Gotta love 'em. :lol: Left my fly spray home in CA with a lot of the sheep supplies - need to buy more.

Back to unpacking, rested enough.
 

SageHill

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Oh man - that cough --- DH has it too. Good Lord he was hacking and hacking last night. It's from the crud you guys got right before the start of your move. Driving me nuts listening to him, but geeze it's gotta hurt all the coughing.
.
As for the counter top piece and the island, why not have two different countertops that cover the island? The piece you have for the eating bar can be of a different height - probably higher you'd need bar stools. It would just take something to make a raised "frame" on top of the current island cabinets. Thinking outside the box. We have that - eating bar is higher than the regular counter, and forms an L with the counter - but it was designed that way.
 

Baymule

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Josie may be getting bitten by deer flies, but I’m guessing gnats. They are awful. My chickens used to be attacked by swarms of gnats. I waited until they were on the roost at night, then spray them with vanilla. Gnats don’t like vanilla.
 

Ridgetop

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I can get some fly spray and add vanilla. Poor girl - she never had anything like this. Skittles is black and usually the black horses get more fly bites but she has none. I wonder if Josie is allergic to whatever it is. Tomorrow DH said we will turn them out in the large field. They have trampled down and eaten most of the 1/4 acre garden space. We will let it recover for the rams. We have to start feeding the rams hay now because the area they are in has been grazed down to dirt in places. Not good.

The new fencing has the T-posts up and the pipe struts have been welded. Tomorrow they will put in the wire. Then we have to wait while they make the gates. At least it will be more secure for the dogs - and little Coconut who squeezes into the ram pen and follows them around crying. They are very docile. In fact, Moyboy has started coming up to me for a rub - maybe he's hungry. I still dont trust them. LOL

Premier 1 emailed me that they have the tetanus Antitoxin in stock so I ordered it immediately. Everyone has been out of it for 2 years. I use it when we dock tails. I give a shot of CDT and another of Antitoxin for instant protection because we band the tails. When DS1 arrives in another week or so, we will have to sort out the new lambs, vaccinate them, dock ewes, and tag all. Then second round of vaccinations for the older lambs and separate out the 4 ram lambs that we are keeping to grow out. Both the OOPS white ram from the yearling ewe I bought from Wes, both the OOPS rams of mine out of JR, and the black head ram that Wes fostered onto one of the ewes. All of a sudden we have 7 rams. :\ Oh well, I will see how they develop and advertise mine. JR is looking better and better. He is very long, thick, and nice looking. I wish Colene could have done the inspection since i would like to see what she thinks of him now. Well, I will sign up again next year.

The metal man took everything except the old sterilizer and the huge plough or harrow. Not sure what it is but it is heavy. He is coming back tomorrow with help to pick it up. So glad to get eid of that garbage. Now we have more room to move the alfalfa bales back against the wall, and stack the ones DS1 is bringing.

Whie we were in the barn with the metal man Rika (who is feeling much better) went after something under the small tractor. She sort of dug it out and kept biting at it. At first, I thought it was an armadillo, but then I saw it was a Red Ear Slider turtle! LOL It was a female about 10" long and not happy with Rika trying to bite the shell off. I took it away from her (after determining it was not an Alligator turtle) and took it out to the small pond behind the barn. I tossed it into the pond, but it landed upside down on some grass at the edge. Sorry! As I was trying to get close enough to flip it over without falling into the pond, it righted itself and swam away. Rika, deprived of her prey, waded out into the pond looking for it but gave up after I walked back to the barn. Turtle hunting must be an Anatolian thing.

Unpacked another 8 boxes of framed photos and pictures today. I sorted them out and realized I need to take some back to my kids since they won't all fit on the walls in this smaller house. I had lots of room on the 30' hallway walls in CA, but not here. DH and I are choosing our favorites, and I will give the kids back their own pix. Easier and better than having them go through boxes of framed pictures after we are dead. Even better, I don't have to store them. HEE HEE HEE I will tell them the first reason though since they will feel guilty that they don't miss us more. :lol: Actually DS2 called to check on DH's cough. DS1 calls us with updates about stuff every couple days and DD2 called to wish me Happy Mother's Day. I haven't called anyone. :gig

Blue Bell time - Rocky Road is this weeks flavor.
 

Ridgetop

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What a morning!
The fence guys are back working on the fencing. DH decided to move the horses over to the big pasture. After breakfast he went out with Coco's bottle, the dogs' breakfasts, and Rika's meds. He wanted to move a large pasture trough over for the horses and then move the horses. I did the dishes, got the halters and went out to get the horses but he hollered at me to come to the barn.

Apparently, we had a dead lamb in the pen. Rika was also in the pen with an afterbirth. I opened the gate and the sheep headed out. I went in to see who had lambed since I didn't think we had any more pregnant ewes. Surprise! 100332 who we had figured was open since she had no udder and didn't look pregnant had a lamb nursing. Another lamb dragging an umbilical was following her. Inside the barn was the "dead" lamb. Laying still but not dead. Texas is the spot for triplets!

These three didn't look very good at first but were all alive. The ewe lamb with a hair coat was pretty vigorous and nursing, the ram lamb was squalling and looking for a teat. The smallest and weakest lamb was also a ewe just laying curled up on the ground. That was the lamb that DH thought was dead. The lamb was very weak and couldn't stand. The ewe wouldn't let me get too close to help the lamb latch on. The other two lambs were trying to get milk. I figured since the milk hadn't come in yet, I should make a bottle and since the little lamb was too weak to nurse, I should get some colostrum. I told DH I would go to Atwoods and get some.

First, I had to get the ewe and lambs into a jug. OOPS! no jugs. No problem, I would put her in the creep. But no gate into the creep from the pen and I didn;t want to try coxing this ewe who was not very tame around through the pasture, into the barn, and into the creep. Instead, I decided to take the panels apart to gain entry to the creep. DH brought me my tools and I took the clamps off two panels and opened the creep. Then went back for the lambs. Got all three and the ewe in the creep when another ewe decided to come in as well. Really Snowflake? Shooed her out, brought in a feed barrel, and gave mama a double flake of alfalfa and about 1 lb. of pellet. DH brought the hose and filled a water tub for her. I closed up the panels and went to go to Atwoods for colostrum.

Once in the house I grabbed my purse but then - WAIT! I remembered getting some powdered colostrum last year. I had never opened it so it should be good. I didn't know how long before the weak lamb decided to depart for greener pastures on the other side so time was important. I had boxes of sheep stuff from the shed piled in the spare room. Luckily, I found the colostrum and lamb nipples in the first box! I mixed enough for two lambs, figuring the second lamb might need a swig, and started back to the barn. WAIT! Need to iodine the cords! The main supply was in CA although I had 3 unopened gallons in the shed. I checked the other boxes for some iodine. Found a spray bottle with some iodine, emptied out a pill bottle and dumped the iodine into it. Now I was set. I collected the bottle, iodine, a set of bridle hangers I found in the colostrum box and started for the door. WAIT! Better make a trip to the bathroom first. As I tinkled, I thought wistfully of the first house we wanted to buy which had a 50 x 100' metal building on concrete with a full bathroom in it. Sigh. Then I realized we could just use the trailer bathroom in emergency. Since we are in our Primes, that can happen. Sorry - TMI!

Back to the barn finally with my supplies. The super weak ewe lamb was curled up looking worse and was shaking. I checked the inside of her mouth and it was warm as were her ears (per Baymule don't feed cold lambs until after you warm them up). I put her on my lap, tilted her head back, stuck the nipple in her mouth and - nothing! Too weak to suck. I dribbled a little into her mouth and she started sucking very weakly. Maybe more like lapping at the milk. I tilted her head back further and made sure she was swallowing as I gently squeezed the bottle and got about 2 ounces into her. Checked her tummy and while it was not full, I could tell she had some milk in her now. Hoping that would strengthen her, I put her down and she stood. Took her to mom and she just stood there as her bro and sis pushed her aside for the teats. OK, this lamb goes to the house for more bottles. Coco's dog crate was in the carport. The cords of the two smaller lambs were dragging on the ground so I cut them shorter and iodined all three cords.

Back to the house with the lamb, dog dishes, both bottles and the iodine. Got a towel and put the lamb on it in the carport. Dragged the dog crate out and dumped the old shavings in the yard. Back in the house with the dog crate. Back for the lamb. Put her in the crate - where she peed. Eureka! At least she had enough milk in her to pee! Maybe she will make it. I will put the timer on so I can give her an ounce or two every couple hours. If she is stronger tonight, I will put her back in with mom. Hopefully mom's milk comes in, otherwise I have another bottle baby. Never used to mind when we had 50 dairy goat kids on bottles and buckets but now it is a time waster for me. However, it does help make the sheep very tame and calms the others. If the ewe's milk doesn't come in, I may have all of them on supplemental bottles. :\ Well at least I hope this one survives.

These are the last of Lewis' lambs out of a good grade 5 ewe I bought as a lamb at side from Paul Lewis before he sold his flock so I would like to keep these ewe lambs for the flock. I have her mother who I also thought was open due to udder lack. I wonder if we will have another lamb or two from her today pr tomorrow. This ewe only singled before, as did her mother too.

An eventful morning!
 

Mini Horses

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Good job!!! Wow. Surprises most every day on a livestock farm. ☺️ Those farmers who just grow crops -- they just have no fun days!! Of course, no totally corrupted plans from said surprises either.😂
 

Ridgetop

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Actually one ewe gave birth the morning after they were delivered by Bob. She had a single ram lamb. Not sure where the others were born in the trailer, I am calling it Texas since one was wet and just born when they turned in the drive. Also I'm out of CA scrapie tags so . . . . My Texas tags are due to come in next week.

Not sure if the smallest triplet is going to make it. She doesn't seem to have a suck reflex. She also seems to e drooling a lot. I have used the snot sucker on her and gotten a lot f mucous out of her throat but she is pretty scrawny, and I don't hold out much hope for her. She is standing though so who knows what tonight will bring. The other two look good and although they are skinny, look lively. If the ewe's milk doesn't come in I will supplement them.

DH and I went to Priefert and bought 10 12' farm gates with wire on them. They were seconds but we couldn't see anywhere they had damage. We will put them together with corral clamps and make a ram pen. By putting them in the corner of the existing fence in the barnyard we can make a 24x72' pen. Or a 36x60' pen depending on how wide that area is. That will use 8 panels. Then the horses can go into the pasture with the sheep and the garden grass can rejuvenate.

I think we can use the corral cover frames (they don't have any metal panels on them anymore) for shelters on the pens though by putting tarps over the frames and lashing the tarps to the panels. Maybe we can use 3 of the gates to make 3 sided supports for the frames. Hopefully that will give us more cover for the sheep and definitely the poor rams out in the rain with no cover. The horses will go in the big pasture and can get under the trees. This is a really wet year.

The other two 12' panels are for the barn to gate it off from predatory sheep hunting alfalfa instead of grazing. And horses who like to lounge in the barn and chew on tractor hoses. These Priefert gates come with screw in pin hinges to attach to wood posts and chain gait latches. I think DH is considering going back for more tomorrow. He said he paid $150 for similar panels that were only 10' long in CA, and these will work just like those did for lamb safe fence panels that we can attach together without having to add any wire or hog panels to prevent the small sheep and lambs from climbing through the panels. I will have to call tomorrow and find out how much the 5' seconds are since they can be used for jug panels. Priefert also makes panels for sheep, goats, and hogs but they are made with the same pipe as their corral panels and are NOT portable due to weight. They would make excellent hog pens though. I will still go to Lometa to look at jug panels and get a cradle hay feeder.

On the way home from Mt. Pleasant it began to rain heavily with thunder and lightning. Visibility on the 30 was almost nil. When we reached Sulphur Springs the rain eased up and DH stopped for Popeyes chicken. Then the skies opened up and we decided not to stop at Walmart for a few groceries. More downpour, lightning, and thunder for 10 miles. The rain slackened up when we pulled into the driveway, so we raced out to feed and close up the sheep immediately. DH left with the dog food while I checked on the lamb. She did not want to suck so I headed out with the bottle for Coco. When I got to the barn DH said the sheep had gotten into the barn. Sure enough, I looked, and an entire bale of alfalfa was a memory. The storm started up again while we were in the barn. The sheep called to me to give them their normal grain ration, but I was cruel and pointed out that they had eaten about a bale and a half of alfalfa so were going without pellets. They tried to stare me down, but I am a brute. I tried counting the sheep, but we were missing some. I counted several times before giving up. As I left the barn to run for the house, I noticed that several ewes elected to stand outside in the rain tonight. They had their lambs with them. :mad: At least send in the children, folks! Apparently, my barn is too small. I have a 20x30' space for the sheep with a 20x10' creep. It is crowded with the 40+ ewes and lambs. One corner floods. There is a large puddle at the entrance and the sheep did not want to walk through it. They must have been listening to warnings about driving through puddles in Texas when you can't see the bottom.

The fence guys got part of the fence up but had to stopped when the rain started. They will probably not finish for another couple days with the rain. They still have to make and hang the gates. I did get hold of the propane guy to come out in the next couple days (depending on the rain) to write up my order for the tank and piping to the generator.
 
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