Ides of March–2014

Thinking that this is my first post this year—my where has the time gone!!!

March–in like a lion, out like a lamb.  The first part has been extremely true this year here on the HunkerDown, and today, the wind has been over the top.  In fact, this entire winter has been a bit over the top here as well as other places in the country.  More reminiscent of those winters of my childhood 1950’s than those of the past few decades.  Hauling water from the house to the goats and chickens got old in a hurry, and there may be another freeze tonight.  Hope not as most of the fruit trees are now in bloom and leafing out.

Speaking of goats, we are in the midst of spring kidding season.  So far, 6 does have dropped a total of 9 kids, with at least 9 or 10 more due soon.  Double wide–the little Nigerian pygmy who had the quads last fall started the show back in late February with triplets.  She sure has been prolific to say the least.  Her daughter halfwide had twins this go around, while the other 4 (3of which are first time moms) had singles.  All seem to be doing well, and the kids are bouncing all over the place.  However, in an interesting turn of events, it seems that the kidding has lead to some status challenges amongst the does.  Lots of head butting going on–makes me flinch just to watch, and I hope that it all works out without anything other than pride being hurt.

I guess the good news is that the sale of the LH property went through–closed just before Christmas.  On my birthday in fact, so it was a good present.  Took a good chunk of the proceeds and payed off the note on the HunkerDown–two monthly notes finished for good.  My fixed retirement income sure goes a lot further now, and several things have been happening here on the ranch.

Moved in a little portable that we have finished out on the inside, and DL spent most of a week painting to match the cabin.  It will be my “office” space where I can keep all of my crap (books, magazines, and the like) in one spot, and not strung out all over the house.  Also plan to build a closet in there so we can keep seasonal clothing in the limited storage we have in the cabin, while the other stuff, and clothes I don’t wear but for “special” occasions can be secure, but out of the way.

Also have been working on some additional pens for the goats–basically small individual birthing areas, as I like to give the new moms and kids space for themselves, and a little special attention feed wise for a few days before putting them back into the general population.  Think it will help in separating out those going to market also.  My friend Joe, from Leander has come out a few times for several days, and has been a big help with both current projects, plus spending time down in the pit with the hammer drill, feathers and wedges, and whatnot, quarrying out the stone I need removed for the eventual root/storm cellar.

Expanded the raised bed garden area from three to eight 8ft x4ft beds and one 16×8 ft that I am prepping for those acid soil loving blueberry plants.  Adding lots of organic material, oak leaves, compost and some sulfur to the already slightly acidic sandy soil native to the place.  Want to bring it down from around 6.5-6.7 to the mid to low 5’s.  Doing some of the same for the apple trees although not to such an extreme.  Also planted 3 pecan trees, several pit fruit trees and some blackberries at the back (northside) of the raised bed area where they wont be disturbed.  Still have about a 60×60 foot area that I’ll work with the tractor for row crops and melon mounds.

Near future plans include drilling a well and rainwater collection from all the various roofs growing on the property, and a small addition to the cabin in order to have a real kitchen area, and a little more space in the living room.  Would like to add some solar and wind generation, but that will come later rather than sooner.

Hope to update on a more regular basis, and I’m thinking it’s time for a little rant over on the other site.

Pray for rain–we are really hurting for moisture on the ground here in NW Brown county, and every chance seems to pass us by—North, East and South.  I has got to be our turn as the bulls eye soon, I hope.


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