Market Shoppers: We were not at Market this last Saturday and we will not be at Market this coming Saturday, the 30th. I have added a Market page to the Blog, and I will update there as far as dates and items available. I am still in Denton weekly, and if you need eggs, please send an email or give me a call. Often I can arrange a meeting place for delivery.
We really missed you guys! See you again Soon!
What the heck is next?
Have you heard me mention it is hot? Well, not only hot, but very dry, the ground has cracked wide open, and the grasshoppers are here to stay awhile. I always thought that Texas was brutal in August. Maybe because I have always enjoyed July and then just tried to survive August, but this year has been ridiculous! I would like to tell you that we are hanging out in the A/C, or taking a dip in my favorite brother's pool, but no luck. The list of To Do's has been long and it has gotten longer.
I hate it when that happens.
It seems like every time you cross one thing off the list, you add three. It is enough to make a girl a little depressed, definitely overwhelmed, add cranky to that, and at times it can even bring you to tears. The only thing keeping me going at this point is that I feel like if I just keep working my butt off, then one day it will all be done.
The Man in Charge says - Not True!
He says there will always be a list of things to do and I will never actually be done. I don't think he understood the part about the only thing keeping me going...So, I am not talking to him anymore. I can depress myself, thank you very much!
As usual, I have some pictures, but they are still in the camera. See what I mean about how you can't do one thing without having to do another. I will have them uploaded later, but for now, a brief run down of the happenings on the farm...
1. Garage Project: walls, ceiling, and floor - check! I am painting the trim today and that is it for painting. I plan to be shopping for shelves later today and then this thing will be done. I can get my life back and hopefully, it will be a little more organized. My garage is everywhere and I can't take it anymore. Almost everything we talk about these days starts with, "When the garage is done, we can...."
I am sick of it!
2. Over the weekend, we rented a back-hoe and did some work on our creek. You know, because I like my plate heaping and I didn't have anything else to do, but the Man in Charge said we had to get it done now! The problem with the creek has been that it has developed a mind of it's own. When we had heavy rains, you remember back in the day, we were losing feet of ground with each rain. Well, "The creek is dry and you have to strike while the iron is hot!"
Or is it, "Stick an iron in the creek?"
Or, "Strike when it's dry?"
Something like that...I can't remember. I just know that we had to get to it. So, hopefully we have solved that problem.
3. We have installed a misting system in the chicken house. The girls were a little skeptical at first, but when they realized how cool it made the area, they became fans really quick. We also added two fans and it is almost like A/C in there. Well, A/C for outside in Texas, but you get the picture. This project came with its own list of added things to do because it has taken over a week to get the thing adjusted properly, and I still may not have it 100%. We added an automatic timer, and it runs from 10:00am to 6:00pm.
Guess where the girls are hanging out between 10:00 and 6:00?
They are eating more feed now, but they are cool and fulfilling orders by the dozen. Last week we actually sold out of eggs. This is a first for the girls. I usually have 6 or so dozen on hand, but we were out. I had orders to fill last Wednesday, and to complete them, I had to make another trip to the hen house to collect the last dozen.
Talk about some fresh eggs!
Whoever invented the Misting system...Genius! We have had some issues with too much mist in our system and it was creating a few problems. Apparently the girls are not really big fans of taking a shower, and they let me know about it. Plus, at one point, we had a nice puddle in there, and that can't be good for anybody, but I have made adjustments daily and twice yesterday. Hopefully, we are getting there. I would like to permanently cross this project off the list, but I feel like it will be ongoing with touch ups and adjustments through the rest of the season.
4. We are in a hay drought! This has taken a lot of time and is one of the things that is the most depressing. I can remember buying hay for $4.50 a bale/delivered. Those days are long gone. With the last drought we had a few years ago, hay shot up to $11.00/bale. It never really came back down, but we have been in the $6.00 range since then. I fired my old hay guy last year for selling me contaminated hay (I will save that story for another time), but I thought I had things wrapped up with a new guy this year. Not a chance! With the drought in Texas, and the heat everywhere else, hay has gone up over $3.00/bale in the month of July. Guys that had hay are either sold out, or they are sitting on their inventory so they can sell it at a higher price later in the year. With the continued drought, there will probably not be any additional cuttings this year. This is it and there won't be more. If I was a betting kind of girl, I would say we will see hay in the $15.00 range by winter.
I did manage to find some hay and I am having 50 bales delivered today. I still need more to get through the winter, but I feel a little better about things. I am not going to tell you what I paid for it. It was a lot. I can tell you that it is premium quality. During the last hay drought, we were paying $11.00/$12.00 for garbage. We had horses turning up with colic and it was ugly. The price of hay was very high, and you add Vet bills on top of that...No, thank you! I vowed never to go there again, and for the most part, have been pretty diligent about having my barn stocked with hay. This year, I let it lapse a bit, but I will get it done. I am only wishing that I had done it in May or June.
All of this means that I have another project to get wrapped up. Before the guys get here with hay, I have to finish a project that I started last year, you can read about it here: How to vermin proof a pole barn. Most of the time, life dictates the To Do List, and, as usual, life sent me somewhere else after I started this project last year. Plus, this project was hard and I have never been eager to get back to it. Now here we are, once again. With the amount of money we will spend on hay this year, I will be damned if possums are going to live in it.
Sorry for the cursing, but I felt it necessary!
We worked on the barn yesterday afternoon, in the heat, on the hottest day of the year, until 9:30pm, and we still are not done.
Sound like a run on sentence...you bet it is.
You can't shovel dirt around the barn to secure the perimeter. It is actually like concrete! You have to use an axe or pick axe to break it up. Try swinging one of those in a bent over position. Not too nice on the back. My Full-timer said that her hamstrings are killing her today. This, she noticed, as she tried to turn over in bed.
You know you are sore if laying in bed hurts.
We were able to finish the end of the barn that we needed to use first. While typing this, the guy showed up with the hay. It didn't take long to figure out he is a newbie. I helped him unload it and stack it, but I have to go back and re-stack some of it. We were both soaked in seconds and it wasn't even 9:30am. He said that people are starting to go hay crazy. They sold a container load of hay from Saturday morning to Monday morning, and they don't sell hay on Sunday.
I will be back with a few pictures later. Unless they find me...wondering around aimlessly in the streets, with an axe in my hand, mumbling about hot irons and creeks running dry.