Monthly Archives: December 2013

December 14

Was taught a bit of a lesson today here on the Hunker Down.  And, my teacher was none other than Missy the rescue dog.  I was spending some “quality time” on the internet since I had a signal I could depend on for the first time in a couple of days. (we just love AT&T here about)  Missy was out in the front yard chasing squirrels when she suddenly took of for the back garden area, and started raising all sorts of cain.  I figured she had one of the guinea hens treed , and even went out on the porch once to call her on it.  Noticed at that point that she was on the far side of the goat pen.  Got her to come in, but she was still in this agitated sort of mood, barking at me, pulling on my pants leg and pulling the kerchief from my back pocket.  All in all making it hard for me to concentrate on whatever was more important at the time.

SO,  I ran her outside again and settled back in front of the computer when the incessant barking over by the goat pen started up again.  It’s really not like her to make so much noise, so this time, I walked out that way.  Didn’t take long to realize that the goat we call Tricky had managed to catch her hind foot up in the wire of one of the hay mangers, and was literally hanging from it.  Poor girl was in quite a lot of distress, but not having my “ears” in, all I could hear was Missy barking, and no distress cries from the goat.  Wasn’t hard to un-catch her–just picked her up and once her weight was no longer pulling on it she lifted her foot right out, and although she is limping around, she is putting some of her weight on it, so I’m hopeful that it isn’t hurt too bad.

Now isn’t that something.  That little dog was trying her best to alert me to some trouble, and I just wasn’t paying attention.  Next time she sets off on a tare like that, you best believe I won’t waste any time checking out the reason…”What is it girl??  Timmy fell down the well again??”  Smart little dog, and a dumb old man here on the Hunker Down Ranch

JVC

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Dec 7

It’s been a long time since I last posted from here on the Hunker Down.  One might think that is because I have been spending my time “hunkered down” but truth be told, I’ve been busy as that old one legged man in the 4th of July sack race was.

Haven’t had any internet access for the past 2 days, –guess it froze up along with everything else around here.  It’s Dec 7th, and we have already had two healthy cold fronts.  This one came with a bit of snow and freezing rain, and since the temperature is going to stay below freezing today, the stuff is going to stick around for a while.  That doesn’t happen very often in this part of the world, and while it may be a treat for the neighbor’s kids, it’s a royal PITA for me.  Took a spill this morning while carrying some liquid water from the house  to the chicken pen—feet went right out from under me—and have been carrying water and breaking up the ice on the goats water tank a couple time a day.  But since I’m not too interested in spending any more time outside than absolutely necessary, it’s a good chance to bring the blog up to date, and watch the birds at the front yard feeders.  Pretty neat to see 8-10 male Cardinals gathered in the cedar (ash juniper) tree –the only green left in the yard.  Rather appropriate for the season I guess.

Some of this I probably have covered before, but without internet, I don’t know exactly when the last post went up.

Missy dog—the lost little pregnant pup had her puppies which were all adopted at the proper time, and she has now been altered so puppies will not be an issue any longer. (at least how things stand now).  She is a good little dog, and I’ve enjoyed having her as a traveling companion (more on that later).  She is a bit rambunctious, though and she does show too much interest in the chickens and guinea hens.  We are working at resolving that particular problem, although the only bird I’ve lost has been to Bert the LGD.  He has gotten ahold of a couple—just holds them down and licks on them.  The one that died, I didn’t get to quick enough, and Bert literally licked it to death—well, it was still alive when I got to it, but it was so traumatized and denuded of feathers, it didn’t survive the night in spite of my attempt to keep it warm and dry.  Missy also has decided that 8 am is long enough for me to stay in bed, and she starts barking and pulling at the covers until I get up.  Would have liked a dog like that when I had kids in school!!!

What has been keeping me busy has been the potential sale of the Liberty Hill property.  Had a good contract with a hefty earnest money deposit, and a closing date only three weeks off.  This was back in October, and since I had been trying to sell the property for about a year and a half without any offers, I was pretty jacked up about it.  Anyway, since we had left the place furnished, and hadn’t done much about cleaning up the shop space we got busy—bought an 8×12 storage building, rented a uhaul truck, gathered up a lot of friends and family, and dove right in.  Got most everything from the house in the uhaul—could have used a bigger truck,– and got it up to the Hunker Down without any trouble, and stuffed the storage building and much of my tractor garage also—could have used a bigger storage building too.

A former apprentice took most of the more exotic carving stock I had on hand, and also asked to buy the forklift,  I guess we spent much of three weekends moving rock tools and equipment , and the buyer dropped off a load of doors and windows for the work he was going to do to the shop.  2 days before closing, the buyer’s wife (of only 6 weeks) filed for divorce, and that deal was off.  Felt so bad for the guy, I couldn’t even keep all of his earnest deposit—we split it – but what a letdown—was already putting that equity to good use in my dreams.

Anyway, the buyer’s realtor got busy and had another contract presented, and before I could get back down to LH to sign it, another contract was also presented, so we had a little bidding war, the result being quite favorable for me.  However, the new closing date was not until Dec 10th, and now that has been pushed back also.   I just want it to conclude ASAP.

As for the traveling and Missy’s companionship, I guess between that first weekend and this past Monday I made at least 2 dozen trips between here and there.  Put lots of miles on each of my vehicles (about 250 mile round trip), and ran up some sizable fuel bills—over 900.00 for October, and over 600.00 for November.  Shoot, the F-450 diesel drank over a hundred in one trip alone. Now Missy threw up the first 2 times I took her anywhere, and then hasn’t been car sick since.  I’m thinking that since she was obviously just dropped off by her previous human, she, thinking the same was about to happen all over, stressed out so much about being in a vehicle again it made her physically sick.  Since she now knows a ride is just a ride, she is a good traveler, and she gives me an opportunity to sing to someone other than myself during those long country highway miles.

As to what has been happening on the ranch—not much.  I have been able to spend some time prepping the garden.  Built 5 new raised beds, three of which are ready for early planting, plus a double length raised bed for some blackberry bushes.  Have picked up one load of stable cleanings from Maria in Clyde, and should be getting another soon (once the ice clears).  And we have been digging up as much of the Bermuda grass runners as we possibly can—I once let that stuff get ahead of me and it is hell to deal with then.  One of the first improvements once that equity is in hand will be some water storage, and some rain water harvesting system so I can water without running up the utility bill.  Need to make good use of what little water we seem to get here, and that is something that needs attending to.

Goats are all doing well as far as I can tell.  The new billy (Buddy) appears to have been doing his job—several of the does, including double wide the baby factory, are expanding nicely .  Hoping for a good crop of kids early this spring.  To market to market off we go.

Will post this up soon as AT&T lets me

That’s how it is on the Hunker Down Ranch

JVC