Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sorry for the absence, it's been a hairy couple weeks.

It's been a rough couple weeks, and I'm sorry for missing not one, but two posts in a row. Unavoidable travel occurred, and left me with barely the energy to do my job and the around the house work that needed doing. Fortunately, as the song says, we get by with a little help from our friends. Above is the fatigued crew that helped out with moving and re stacking 7 pallets of firewood for the winter, and helped out more which I'll cover later. A thanks to them is the first thing.

So, one good thing happened on the ridiculous trips I had to make lately, and that was seeing the first full double rainbow I've seen in my life. I only got a crappy shot of it, but I wanted to at least share it before moving on to everything else going on!

Anyhow, the work day last Saturday was amazingly helpful. We moved all of the split wood from this year and all of the split and stacked wood from last year closer to the house so it'll be easy to get to and bring inside. We'd put plastic over it, but a windy day blew the plastic off even with wood holding the plastic down. I really wish I'd had the time to build the wood shed I had planned. Time slips away from us when we have too much to do. The other huge thing they helped with was clearing out the drainage ditches. With a 200 yard long driveway you need to make sure the ditches stay as clear as you can so if there's significant water flow you don't lose the sides of the driveway. It's a lot of work clearing them out though, and as much as one usually thinks to get it done sooner rather than later, it's best to wait for the primary leaf fall to be done. This past Saturday was perfect for that, and we had a 3 person team. Two people raking, one using the iron rake to get the stuff out of the ditch, one using the plastic rake, and one dragging the garden cart back up the hill to dump on the pile of wood for the next layer of the new bed for next year.  The person with the plastic rake and the person with the cart dragging swapped off for rest. We got all of it cleared in about an hour, and dumped leaves to cover the entire new bed, and the entire bed that held garlic last year. Then we raked the remaining 3/4ths of the leaves we'd raked out of the ditch off the other side of the driveway and down the hill. We could probably have hauled the rest of the leaf litter up and put it somewhere to use, but by that time we were all tired of dragging things around. There's enough leaves if we need more and I have time I can get them easily enough.
 The main place we'd put leaves now is the now strangely for us empty front garden beds. The Lady of the House pulled down the forest of stakes and the dead tomato plants. If I have time I'm going to bring leaf litter over to cover those, then hay. If not, just hay to cover them over. After many years this will be a terraced slope, but for now, just making sure the beds stay fertile and easy to use is a priority. I don't want to have to fight through the bed in the ground creation process again any time soon.

 We have good news and bad news with rabbits, so lets's start with the good. Dawn and Sunshine have started fur pulling, and indeed love their straw. To the point even that they're spending a lot of time in the nest area themselves. Fortunately they're both really good about not soiling the nesting areas which makes life easier. Halley and Comet's litter is a mixed bag of good and not good with them growing fairly well, but their temperament is again, difficult. I haven't had enough time to work with them to properly reduce the fear factor in the kits, and it's showing. On the other hand, Twilight's litter is fairly steady and very happy. Also big. They've been moving around comfortably, and didn't even spend the whole day running when we were dragging cart loads of wood by them for a couple hours. They ended up just being curious after a while.
The bad news is our runt didn't make it. Well, he didn't die on his own, we ended up euthanizing him. We came out yesterday morning, and where normally he'd been all over the hutch and first at the food, he huddled in the corner. When put at the food he just  lay down and didn't eat, when we put water on our fingers he didn't even lick. He couldn't control his head, and it lolled to the side, or down with no control. We briefly considered bringing him inside to see if being warm would help, but with the head problems and the lack of interest in food and water, we decided it was time to euthanize. Every single reference for rabbits warns about faders, and that you will get attached, and they won't make it. Well, as faders go this little one did better than most, made it to 14 weeks old. I don't know how much of me having trouble with this little one is that we had to know him well, and had to root for him to survive because he was small, how much is the other stuff going on in our lives, and how much is left overs from putting down Tesla our cat, but it was a bad day yesterday.

Last and not entirely homestead related other than the fact it's making life more difficult. Things are tough for us right now. My time is going to get more limited, and so posts may get shorter and less descriptive. I'm going to try to keep the blog quality up, and keep the posts going. In the future if I'm going to have to miss a post I'll put  up a notice. Thank you all for reading, and I hope to be able to keep writing!

Be well.

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