Wednesday, August 6, 2014

wonderful wednesday

Oh my gosh, am I tired!

For two days in a row, I have had hired help for outdoor chores;
a fellow with a brush-cutter and chainsaw for a few hours yesterday,
and the hard-working 16-year-old for a few hours today.

"About time for a Poultry Palace Clean-Out,
wouldn't you say?"

Each day, I did morning chores an hour early,
then spent 3 solid hours doing prep-work.
When a helper arrived, I worked alongside or nearby.

Final step in the Seasonal Scrubdown:
Palace windows now (briefly) gleaming!

Yesterday, when the chainsaw man had gone,
leaving a wake of downed saplings and branches behind him,
I was very ready to call it a day.
Until I noticed the fresh cherry branches left on the ground in one of the paddocks.
I spent another half hour picking them up, one by one,
and heaving them over a 6' fence to get them out of goat-reach.
(Had to be done.)
He's coming back Friday, and I hope to get 
the other half of two tasks finished.
That should be all the chainsawing/brushcutting needed for a while.

Special Effects: chickens through a screen!
The hens are at the screenporch door,
probably saying "Thank you for our spotless Palace!"
"Come back! You missed a corner!"

Today, by the time the tireless teenager left,
I could barely creep to my chaise with a huge glass of V8 on ice.

More progress on the VRB!
Hundreds fewer branches to trip me in the paddocks!!

It is so lovely to have this young man helping out here.
No complaints, no shirking, no hesitation to ask questions.
Real, visible progress on tasks that have been
nagging at my mind daily for a very long time.

Today I even asked him to do a couple of chores
that I can do myself, but which are very labor-intensive
(for me, these days; but not for him)
while I got on with other tasks.
And I'll tell you what: between us, we got a heck of a lot done!
I'd go take more pictures to prove it,
but that would mean getting out of this chaise.

Would you like to see some squash leaves instead?

I planted a few varieties of winter squash this year,
and although any possible harvest seems a long way off,
the leaves are simply delightful!

The big leaves are huge!
The size of the steering wheels I remember from childhood;
a narrow rim of coated metal, with a horn in the middle.
I wonder if those steering wheels are still made.
I would like to have one.

Squash and kale: my cup of leaf appreciation runneth over.

Speaking of leaf appreciation,
I dragged some oak tops all the way up the driveway yesterday
and distributed them between the goat paddocks.
Today? Just naked, frayed twigs and barkless branches.

So, in conclusion, here's a goat picture for you:

Left to right: Tsuga, Acer, Campion, Azalea, Lily, Betula
The goats have had a rather unsettled time,
due to all the noise and bustle and shifting around.
So this evening, they shared an entire bale of hay at the fence.
It was a lovely picnic!
Fun for all!

(I had to do something. There weren't enough chaises to go around.)



  1. Oh, a family picture of the goats! lovely. And yes, on the prep, etc., and the long day partly despite and partly because of the helpers. But that young man should get a medal! one of the Good Teens! I've had a few of them in my life, and they're a blessing.

    Are the cherry branches toxic to goats? I only know about birds, and how careful I was never to give them fruit tree branches for perches, etc., because of toxicity.

    1. Wilted leaves (not live or dead, but dying) are reputedly cyanogenic. Lots of disagreement re species and degree of danger, but I don't like to take chances with this one.
      And yes, this teen is a good egg!

  2. I wish we were neighbours, I would love to come over and help you. I would love to see if our dogs would be friends!

    1. Oh, I wish we were, too, Kath! Not so I could put you to work, though :)

  3. Hmm - Does it look like the oak diet caused their midriffs to spread overnight? ;

    Yeah, have stong helpful males around sure is a treat. Now, hopefully, you can relax during the winter months :)

    1. Male or female, old or young...the key feature is Stronger Than Me. ;)

  4. Farming is a lot of work but you reap tons of benefits, too. A farm hand is essential, I'm glad you found a good worker! I raised chickens for years and years...Beautiful critters. I admire the goats just never owned any! Enjoy the lounge at the end of your day!

    1. Thanks for your comment. Now I will know who to come to with chicken questions!

  5. YAY for goat pictures! Glad you got some help with that job - that HUGE job! Have a restful remainder of the week!

  6. Self sufficiency is exhausting - I am puffed just reading about it lol but I am convinced it must make you healthier and value what you have so much more.
    I think those chooks are lucky to have you !

  7. I feel quite lazy by comparison!! Just looking at all the cleared branches looks like such a huge task. So glad you found a couple of good workers to help you get the jobs done up. My son has been volunteering at a local farm, and it makes him appreciate what hard work is all about. Giving the goats that lovely bale of hay makes me think of you all sharing a pot of icecream together at the end of a hard day. Dear old goats :) Take care Quinn, Wendy x

  8. I need to send my almost 16 year old your way to get a lesson in hard work. Glad you were able to get so much accomplished. Have a good weekend. Tammy

    1. There's always room here for another pair of hands! ;)


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