Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Mamma Sophie has a brand new boy as of today. I knew she was close, because yesterday she lost her mucous plug and her udder is huge. He seems fine. He let me touch him and check to make sure he is all right.

I've been a bit remiss in making birth announcements. Baby Binky is about a month old. He is Dinky's.

I spent the weekend finishing up the painting of the old farmhouse living room. For those of you who like to see "before and after" pictures, here it is all clean and white and waiting for carpeting and furniture:

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Better Mouse Trap?

This will be the last of three beautiful days with temperatures in the seventies. I've been able to work outside without a jacket, or a raincoat, or ten pairs of gloves... But predictions have us back in the reality of late Autumn by tomorrow morning.

We've had a taste of cold weather, but then bounced up and down for a while. It would be a miracle if we don't now settle down for a long winter's nap. The trees are rapidly losing all their lovely bright leaves, although there are still some left.

The plastic "storm windows" are all up in the chicken house. All the hay is cut for this year and most is under cover. We may get a chance to put the new hay elevator together today and get all the square bales up in the lofts.

I've inadvertently managed to discover a simple way to trap mice in the chicken house. Just place an empty five-gallon bucket somewhere near the feed containers. Leave it upright and don't put any feed in it, so you don't catch chickens. The mice are so curious that they climb down into it, but they can't climb back out if the sides are straight. Perfect. I just empty the bucket of dead mice every few days. It's even cheaper than glue boards. Poison is too risky, as the chickens may eat it.

I'm still pulling out the dried weeds in the garden. They are taller than I and I'm building up a huge pile. I dump buckets of goat manure on asparagus beds each day after raking the barn.

I've started a Cow/Calf course given by the Extension Service through VA Tech. It comes through the mail in monthly installments and is accessible online. Perfect for me. This will be ongoing through the winter and is good information to store up in my brain. It covers pasture maintenance as well as practical learning about bovines.