Sunday, October 22, 2006

Muscles... sore...... Body... not... responding...

It was a good weekend.

The odds were stacked against it, with cold, windy, rainy, and overcast all figuring prominently in the forecast, and a fair bit of physical exertion on the agenda, and some bad luck piled on.

Our truck died in the most inconveneint spot - halfway through the gate into the pasture. After what seemed like an hour of trial and error on my part to get the truck running, some very aggressive goat herding on Lori's part, and much screaming and crying coming from inside the truck, where the kids were both waiting not so patiently, we threw in the towel.

Those lucky boys finally got their wishes to come true. They got to run with the girls in the other pasture. At first the boys were nothing but raging horemones and stink, chasing the girls around. The girls were running away, looking back at us, as if to ask, "What have you done to us? What did we do to deserve this?" The bucks are pretty disgusting, frankly. They pee on themselves to make them smell sexy, they make noises like a cross between a turkey and a bullfrog, and they're about as suave as I was back in Jr. High. And Mack lost a horn, so he's got a horn on one side and a blackened, bloody mess on the other.

But they settled down as the sun set, and they all shacked up in the love nest, and were much more chummy today.

Despite the new (or should I say never-ending) truck troubles, I got the second of three shelters winterized. It was harder than the last one because a) I was working alone, b) the straw bales had to be transported much farther, and c) I was, at times, ankle deep in a soup of mud, hay, straw, and donkey manure.

I also got a corn sifter built out of bits and pieces we had lying around. The corn has stray bits of cob, stalk, dust, and debris mixed in, which hasn't caused a problem with our corn stove so far, but I figured it wouldn't be hard to sift out. The top of the sifter is a wire mesh that lets the corn through, but not with a lot of room to spare. From there it drops onto a screen that is angled downward. As the corn rolls down the screen, the dust falls through. The corn continues down to a little make-shift chute and into a waiting bin. The whole thing works fairly well, but I think the slope of the screen may be too steep because the corn comes out pretty fast, and some of it ends up on the floor. We don't need any extra reasons for rodents to camp out in our garage. So I may need to tinker a bit more.

The tractor got its front inner tube replaced. It had been patched once, and I figured patching it again would be dumb. And for five bucks, it's hard to go wrong. Thank you, T & B Tire.

The Circleville Pumpkin Show was this weekend, and man, what a madhouse. Having never been, we decided to check it out last Wednesday. It was basically just like the county fair, but instead of being at the fairgrounds it was in town, and instead of having livestock, they had giant pumpkins. (By giant, I mean 1400 lb pumpkins. And 13-foot pumkin pies. Is this a good time to mention pumpkin waffles or pumpkin burgers?) But the trouble with the Pumpkin Festival (other than the fact that the big mural says "100th Anniversary: 1903 - 2006) is that it's too big for the city. A fifteen minute run to the store for some wood screws took an hour, because once I got in, the only way out was to drive 10 miles north of the city and 10 miles back on a different road. They let me in and then blocked off the only underpass within 10 miles that would let me get home...

I also got the garden beds partially cleaned up, harvested a few leftover crops that kept going after the frosts, turned some compost, cleaned out the garage, hung some insulating blinds, and oh, I don't know what else. A bunch of stuff.

Somehow all this added up to a sore, stiff, uncooperative body tonight. But somehow, it feels good. Hopefully I'll still think so tomorrow morning.

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