I kid you not, poison ivy in this heat wave is not fun! Pair that with itchy red legs from wearing short pants while hauling hay last night in the insane high temps we're having and I'm one sweaty itchy bumpy woman. My suggestion for hauling hay, even in 100F heat is to put a pair of long pants on. You will save yourself from having red scratched up thighs from resting those bales there as you walk from hay storage barn place to trailer and then from trailer to our barn.
Now about that poison ivy... A couple evenings ago I was hearing lambs outside calling to their moms and one just didn't sound right. The baaaing seemed to be coming from the wrong area. Hon was home so we both went out to take a looksey and there was the smallest black ram lamb on the wrong side of the fence. We had no idea how the little booger got over there at that point, but knew he had to get back. Problem was, being on the other side meant he was on the neighbor's side which is thick with bugs, briars and scads of poison ivy until you get to the cornfield.
We weren't happy seeing him over there because of all the bugs, briars and poison ivy, but being the responsible farmers we are, we did what we had to. We went over the fence for him. I thought I was going to be okay because I had jeans on. I had also slipped on my rubber boots so I was pretty well covered with respect for my lower half. Thought nothing of the top half which was enjoying a cool tank top. Hon, on the other hand, had shorts and a t-shirt on and was afraid he'd get a boat load of poison ivy.
After chasing the little stinker around and Hon finally getting ahold of him, I went over the fence and then Hon handed him over. I gave him a cuddle, a pet, told him he was naughty, and put him down to find his mama. We found the only spot where he could have literally squeezed his body through and did a fence repair. All was right with the farm again.
Yesterday morning I started doing some scratching on my neck. I had thought I got bit by something and the bite was making me itch. Then more bumps came out on my neck. After that my inner arms were getting bumpy and itchy. Yup, poison ivy. At that point, by the way, Hon had not exhibited any signs of itchiness, which totally figures! It's been another day now and with this blasted inferno-type heat I'm not only sweaty from our home not having air conditioning, but I'm also red, bumpy and itchy on my neck, chest and arms. Oh, and my legs are also red and scratched up from the hay bale moving last night. Hon still exhibits no signs of poison ivy. My thoughts are the little lamb must have gotten that poison ivy oil on it as it ran around the nastiness on the other side of the fence. Then when Hon handed him over and I did my cuddle cuddle with him those oils got transfered onto me where had been leaning on me through the horror of my attention. Only way I can think of this happening.
So there's my story. I'm by no means looking my best at the moment, and this sweaty heat is making it even worse. Thank goodness poison ivy doesn't last too terribly long. In the meantime, I'm going to go back out to the hammock and lay there with my inner arms up and out airplane style to catch the hot wind as it blows over me and the sweat bees have at it while I
Bright and early this morning Hon and I were up to shear the rest of the sheep and trim their hooves...well, there's three left anyway. As soon as it got too hot we stopped so as to not stress them out any more than they already were. You can see the Kid joined us, too. Our thoughts are if he's going to have a breeding project for 4-H he should get his hands dirty (or in this case dirty and slick from lanolin), too. He also takes care of his chicken and turkey breeding projects. This year we let the sheep roo for the first time instead of shearing earlier in the spring. For some sheep it worked well. For others not so much. Either way, the rest has to come off. The weatherman has forecasted temperatures reaching 100 tomorrow and at least the high 90's for days afterwards. Yikes!
This picture is showing Dahlia getting her wool sheared off. Trust me, she's just fine. She's also feeling much lighter and cooler now. Footloose and fancy free.
The major chore for me was Z. She is going to the fair with the Kid, along with Little Man, and I think he said the little black and white ewe lamb. Little Man and Z were part of his project last year also. Anway, the Kid got some of the wool roo'd off Z's back earlier in the spring and the rest wasn't ready to come off yet. Next thing we knew the new wool was stuck to the old wool like glue. Since she's going to the fair the beginning of August I was afraid having Hon shear her all the way down was going to make it so she didn't look as good (very short wool by then) so I asked Hon to hold her while I cut her wool at the felted line of it all with the kitchen shears. Didn't look too bad by the time I got finished. Not fantastic, but I'm no professional either. Problem is my thumb is numb. I spent so much time cutting and didn't even realize it. Typing feels goofy.
Either late tonight or as the sun comes up in the morning we'll finish up with Badge, Josie, and Lucy. Lucy has roo'd it all off her behind and back so not much to do there. Brown Baby also has a bit of touch up to do, as he let me roo most of his wool off. There's just a bit of a hula skirt looking part on his behind to get off and I'll just use the kitchen shears for that. Badge has spots here and there that need sheared, more here than there. I may just ask Hon to hold Josie while I use the kitchen shears on her, too. Less stress on my old girl, I think. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
Last week I was at knitting class... Oh, you didn't know I was taking a knitting class? Well, I've been taking a knitting class at this wonderful new shop in Chillicothe called Unwind A Bit. It's on Paint Street right down from Lloyd's Candy Shop (Yum - but a different story). Anway, after the class, Jo (the lovely shop owner) opened up her "sale closet" and my mouth dropped to the floor. It was dark out, but the sun suddenly came out and rays of light danced around in there...landing on the very top shelf where there was what I can only describe as a big egg...a boucle egg. Now if you don't know what boucle yarn is, it's a yarn that has anywhere from little curls to big loops in it depending on what kind you're using. This one has little curls. Boucle can be very fun to use. One of these days I'll learn to spin boucle, but in the meantime, I'll take my boucle where I can get it...which in this case was in Jo's closet.
I grabbed that boucle and held on to it with the delicate nature of a football player on game day. No one was going to come between me, the boucle egg, and it's accompanying pattern for a totally cool looking wrap type scarf thingy. If more people were standing around the sale closet I would have to have told them, "Back away from the egg...it's all mine!" Yes, I can be posessive at times.
The great thing is Jo sold me that egg and it's accompanying cool looking wrap type scarf thingy pattern and I've been busy at work on it. Truth be told, I should be working on our class project, which is a pretty kimono sweater, but I'm kimono'd out. It's a big project and I'm a little project woman. I hope to have the kimono sweater done by winter...2015. As soon as I got home I made sure to take a picture of my boucle egg to show you how major cool it is. Even measured it for you so you could drool and then grab a tissue to wipe off the keyboard. It's a good 12" long and 8" from side to side. Yowza!
Here's the thing...I've been grappling with that boucle egg for days. I had to cast on 148 stitches to get it going. Ok, I can count to 148. I did teach kindergarten after all. Problem is keeping it at 148. I think all the cute little curls are swaying me into adding more stitches. I've completely taken the wrap type scarf thingy apart twice and am now on my third go of it. I'm determined to get it right!
This morning I had a lovely time outside. Because of the total lack of rain and deadening grass I took the sheep and horses out to the field we never did finish as a riding ring, which is right next to the garden. I did this very early, as the sun came up, before it got too hot. They have to walk through the garden area, which I cordoned off with rope, to get to the grassy weedy stuff. I sat in my little chair, gently laid my boucle egg on my lap, and proceeded to knit. Then Z decided the rope is only a guideline and got into the garden. Took me a good 15 minutes to get her to realize the error of her ways. After that I sat back down and began to knit. Next Lucy and her lamb ignored my protests and hopped the rope and went into the garden. I put my knitting down and went on about coaxing them out. Next it was Little Man and Badge. Do you see a pattern here? As the animals made their way back to a cooler area when it started heating up more I found I had no idea where I was at with my boucle egg and the wrap type scarf thingy. Before I sealed up their eating area for the hot part of the day I counted my stitches. Some how I am now at 155 stitches instead of 148. I am bound and determined to crack this boucle egg and make a cool looking wrap type scarf thingy before the week is out. If not, I won't be able to get back to the kimono sweater because the boucle will continuously be on my mind. When I finish my wrapy type scarf thingy I'll make sure to post a picture of it...and the kimono sweater even if it is 2015. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
This is Carl Moody. Don't be shy...give him a big wave. Please don't feel foolish just because you're getting stares from that person next to you at the local WiFi hotspot. Show them this story so they know what they're missing and tell them to head out to the farmers market next weekend.
Carl is the CEO and master baker of Moody's Gourmet Apples & Cinnamon Rolls. Don't let the name fool you, though. There's more to his baking confections than that. This week he also has sticky buns, chocolate covered pretzels, and pralines. See that other picture? Yup, that's a sticky bun. When I saw that sticky bun the heavens opened up and then a cherub flew down and sat on my shoulder whispering to me, "Go for it, Sharon...Jillian Michaels won't know..." Hey, who can argue with that!
Carl honestly makes the best cinnamon rolls and sticky buns I've ever tasted. I think he's been baking for the Market for three years now. Here's something you probably don't even realize when you bite into one of his mouth watering delights...he got up at 3:00 in the morning (yes, on a Saturday) to bake that for you. Really - I kid you not! That, to me, shows he really likes what he does...making sure the goodies you buy from him truly are fresh. He's like the Dunkin Donuts man of cinnamon rolls! While I'm wiping the cobwebs from my eyes, fumbling around for my shoes, he's already been up for hours! Just knowing that makes each and every bite taste that much better.
Now, I must say, although what you're seeing is a sticky bun picture, I can attest that everything else there is just as mouth watering. Every time the kids are with me at the Market they make it a point to get themselves a cinnamon roll and eat it in front of me, ooohhhing and aaaahhhing, letting me smell the aroma until either they take pitty and give me a bite or I'm able to get over to Carl's for one of my own. Oh, and another important bit of information...Carl will give you a fork and a napkin to go with it. Can't count on that at the local drive-through, but Carl always comes through! How do you spell bliss? M-O-O-D-Y-'s!
Oh, and before I go...one more thing. See that carrot Carl is holding in the picture? Yeah, that's the one. The Market is having a promotion this year...carrot signs! Pick up a carrot sign from the token tent at the market for $5. It's a great way to show your support for our local food and agriculature. The Market is also having a Facebook contest with the signs. Here's the rules...
1.) Post a picture onto the Chillicothe Farmers Market page that shows your carrot sign in action. Be creative!
I can think of a pile of places I can put it (and I don't mean on a pile, either).
2.) The post with the most likes will receive a basket full of market goodies. A bunch of us will be
contributing, so the winner of this is really going to be a happy market-eer!
So, what are you waiting for? Get on out there, get yourself a carrot, get creative and post that picture! Smiling & Waving, Sharon
Yesterday was my Dad's birthday. No I won't tell you his age...but he's quite a bit older than I am. I bought him a very special present. A hen I named Phil. Did I mention Dad's name is Phil, too? Mom has this game she plays every year where she supposedly gets a year younger as my youngest sister gets a year older all in the name of having delivered Erin on her birthday. I don't think it actually works that way, but we'll consider this hen Phil/Dad Phil an experiment.
This is how it all started... Last Saturday at the Chillicothe Farmers Market Little Yoder was there. He told me he had chickens for sale. I'm a sucker when it comes to kids selling things. That's how I ended up having a boat load of begonia flowers one year when I taught first grade and there was this big begonia fundraiser. I swear ever child came to my door and every child left with a begonia order. Anyway, I asked Little Yoder what kind he was selling and he said, "Bannies." I said, "What kind of bannies?" To which he answered, "Regular 'ole bannies." Now I'm a raiser and lover of poultry. I'm also a raiser of heritage breed poultry. I've never had myself a regular 'ole bannie so I rose the occasion.
All week I hid my secret of getting another chicken from the family. It just happened where I dropped the Kid off at 4H camp yesterday was right near Yoder's Greenhouse, which is clear on the other side of the county from me. I told Little Yoder I'd stop by, and as far as I'm concerned a person's word is gold and it's got to be something pretty major to not uphold my word. When I got to Yoder's, L.Y. came out and greeted me. Then we got down to poultry business. I told him up front, "No roosters. Hon will faint if I bring home a regular 'ole bannie rooster." Mr. Yoder yelled out the window to L.Y. to show me some puppies, too, which I politely yelled back, "No puppies either!"
Little Yoder took me to the barn where he has a bounty of bannies. He picked up a black one, gave it to me, and then I saw a brown one I liked so I set the black one down. Then he and I ran around like idiots trying to catch the brown one and it just wasn't happening. Then I said whatever one gets picked up is the one that will go home with me. It was that same little black one. So that sealed the deal. I'm not sure which one was smarter - the brown one not to get caught or the black one that got caught twice. After money and hen exchanged hands I was shown the puppies. I knew it! There was probably a plan hatched to show me those puppies before I even got there. My only saving grace was they were only about a week old and still had their eyes closed. WHEW! You thought I took one home, didn't you?!
Next up I was shown kittens, which I was able to say, "No kittens, thank you," to. Then there were regular size horses and a miniature horse. All very cool and obviously well cared for. Little Yoder told me about his family planting Chrysanthemums earlier in the day and that he had enjoyed a glass of lemonade right before I got there. (Oh, and yes, I looked up how to spell Chrysanthemum correctly before posting this).
On the way home I knew I had to come up with a story about this chicken. I figure I have until tonight, tomorrow morning at the latest, before Hon sees it and wonders what I've been up to. Here it is... Dad's birthday was yesterday. I bought the hen yesterday. He lives in a subdivision in Arizona where they can't even hang up a bird feeder. Here we can hang bird feeders and whatever else. I bought this regular 'ole bannie hen for Dad, named him Phil for an aging experiment, and will keep her here since he can't take her to Arizona. There! Seems like a plausable story to me. And yes, Dad already knows about this.
So there you have it, folks...my, errr, my Dad's new hen...Phil! Smiling & Waving, Sharon
Some times when I look back on something it really was funny. May not have been at the time of origin, but in hindsight, yes.
Some of the sheep need to be wormed. I decided since Hon was at work I'd do it. Have I wormed them before? Not exactly. I've played the role of moral support...supervisor...medicine dispenser. However, I figured I've watched Hon enough times over the years to be able to do it myself. I figured also if I were able to worm the sheep Hon would be happy to tic that off his list of things I ask him to do.
I started with Dandy. I got the wormer in the syringe and then got myself a bit of grain to give her. Sort of like when the lady plyed Hansel and Gretel with sweets before opening the oven door. Dandy graciously nibbled on the grain. Then I got a hold of her by a horn so she wouldn't take off. So far so good. I had a problem with getting the syringe thing in her mouth because she kept looking down and I needed her mouth tilted up more. Then I remembered back on how Hon has done it some times when they weren't cooperating. Mind you, he's overall bigger than I am, but that didn't deter me. Dandy wasn't being uncooperative in any way other than her persistence in keeping her head down. I threw a leg over her back and stood there like I was going to ride a real short horse. Then I put my hand under her chin to tilt it up some, inserted the medicine plunger thing, and down the medicine went. Yes, that's exactly what happened. Horay - one sheep down!
Ok, as Paul Harvey would say, "And now for the rest of the story..." As I was getting the last bit of medicine in Dandy she decided she didn't like it. She started walking backward, oh...I'll say quickly. I was also wearing flip flops, which was not an ingenious thing to do. Don't do that. Next thing I knew I really was riding her, my flip flops were where I had started at and I was dragging my feet through grass and unmentionable animal substances. She had her horns hooked around my thighs, which was quite nice of her considering it kept me from falling off, until her behind collided with the fence. Then her horns let go as she bounced forward, her butt went down, her head came up, and her horns got me in the chest, at which point I was ceremoniously deposited in a pile of horse poop.
My pride went out the window years ago so that wasn't a concern. What was a concern was me wearing my cute little jean shorts while sitting in a somewhat fresh pile of poop. Then I thought back on the experience and couldn't do anything but laugh. I got myself up out of the poop, collected my medicine syringe, found my flip flops, and decided it is best for me to leave the rest of the worming up to the professional and continue with my job of supervisor. My cute little jean shorts have met the trash can and seem quite confortable with their retirement. When Hon gets home I'm going to tell him I was able to worm one of the sheep, but I think I'll keep the rest of it to myself. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I did it! Yesterday I went up to the extension office for the Safe Sitter babysitting instrutor training. Now your wondering what in the world that is. There is this great program held all over the country called Safe Sitter. It's a course kids ages 11 - 13 can take to learn the ins and outs, dos and don'ts about babysitting. You probably think it's not necessary since you babysat and didn't have any training. I obviously wasn't your babysitter either. Then again, some of you might have taken some form of babysitting class when you were younger. When I clear back some of the cobwebs in my mind I vaguely remember taking a short class on babysitting when I was in middle school.
This all started months ago when my good friend, Connie Hill, asked me if I would be interested in taking the training. She has done the training along with a few other folks for years now here in Ross County. Problem is sometimes something comes up for an instructor when the course rolls around and then they're having to pull double duty to make sure the kids get all the information they need to pass their training. Oh, and Connie mentioned food at the training. Did I mention that? She said they have a pretty good lunch. I questioned having to be in Columbus at 8:00 a.m. considering I'm well over an hour away, but hey, there would be food.
Due to low sign-up for participating in the training course up in Columbus it was cancelled. There went my lunch...right out the window! Even so, our County extension office decided to hold a training for me and Lisa (the other newbie trainer), along with Connie and Beth (the veteran instructors). Oh, and I want to mention Lisa Barlage, who is the coordinator for the county Safe Sitter course. I appreciate her taking time to go through the training with us.
Basically we sat there for 3 1/2 hrs watching a training video (ok, so it was a DVD) and combing through the instructor manuels. Then there was <gulp> the test at the end. Connie failed to mention a test. She doesn't think when she had her intial training there was a test. She didn't have to take the test either. In fact, Lisa B said this is the first year for the test. I thought back to my school days and panic set in. I'm not a good test taker. Even when she said it was open book I wasn't impressed with the idea.
When we were finished with the training portion, Connie and Beth skedaddled out of there...probably so they didn't get caught up in the test taking. That left me and Lisa (not to be confused with Lisa B) to fulfill our training by taking the open book test. I am proud to say I scored a 99%. Oh come on, I know it wasn't a 100%, but I didn't agree with the one answer I obviously got wrong. I personally think if a baysitter suspects a possible broken bone and the options are call 9-1-1, call a parent to come help, or take care of the situation on their own, they should call 9-1-1. Maybe it's just me. If the Kid were babysitting and called to tell me he thinks someone he was watching might have broken a bone and wanted me to go over to check it out, I'd be saying in as non-hysterics as possible, to call in the professionals...and I'll be right over. Not, "Oh, ouch, that's gotta hurt. Tell you what, I'll be over right away to take a look at it and determine if I think it's actually broken or not." I suppose I'm just a bit squeemish about things like that. Give me a ewe birthing a lamb and I'm there. Give me a possible broken bone and I want the calvary called.
So, regardless of my 99% (which by the way Lisa also got herself a 99%) I am happy to say I am a genuine Safe Sitter Babysitter Instructor. Now I am legal and good to go next month when we do the actual once a year course in front of genuine kids. I've also been told I get to do the diaper teaching portion of the show. Oh, and I hear on day 2, which is test and graduation day, we get pizza so I'm not totally out on the food bit. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I was going to share two stories about today, but figured that might send you over the edge, so I'm going to tell you the one and if nothing else interesting comes up for tomorrow I'll share the other. Also gives you something to look forward to tomorrow.
So, Eldest has surpassed me in height. It actually happened a while ago, but I didn't want to admit it - even when he was standing right next to me. One bonus I found when his feet grew bigger than mine (and I'll admit to that without hesitation) was that I could wear his old outgrown shoes and not care if I got barn muck on them because I had laid claim to them. Over the winter a hoodie sweatshirt of his became mine because it didn't fit him any more, I was cold, and figured although I could send it on down to the Kid when he got bigger, I sort of liked it. I've even thrown on a t-shirt of his in a pinch when I needed one and the laundry was near...clean laundry, that is.
Anway, last night I was tired and stumbled with eyes half-shut up the stairs in search of something that would work as pajamas. Some nights I'm not fussy. I found a pair of black knit-type pants with white stripes going down the sides. I had thought I put those away for the winter, but then figured I must not have, and put them on. They were a bit of a disappointment. Definitely snug in the waste and hind end area. I was thinking to myself, "Sharon, you really need to have a round or ten with that Jillian Michaels exercise video again."
This morning Hon helped me move the sheep and horses over to the front pasture from the pond pasture. We wanted them to bypass the back pasture, although they have to walk through it to get to the front. Not an easy feat with the grass growing in there, too. Now I have a habit of going out to do chores in whatever I have on from the night before and since I don't have to worry about locking myself out in my pajamas again (trust me, that's a story for another day), I thought nothing of going out in those pants even though they were still, how should I put it...uncomfortable. I was thinking to myself, "Hmmmm, wonder if it was the potato chips."
After we lived through the moving pastures fiasco I got myself ready for the day, still thinking those pants were not fitting very well at all. I was thinking maybe I had better put them in the donation pile. After I got dressed I looked at the size of them because I knew they fit last I wore them, but maybe since then they went down a size or two. Well, that explained it! They said "Joe Boxer" inside and were Eldest's pajama bottoms that happen to look just like those black knit-type pants with the white stripes going down the sides...except these have a button in the front that my pants don't have. Now I know how to distinguish between the two, other than putting them on and feeling like something isn't quite right. Look for the button. The sizing issue must not go entirely both ways right now with pants, though. His size must be slimmer in the waist and behind area than woman's size (no, not going to go there). I bought two pairs of Gap jeans - one with a flair bottom and one with a boot cut bottom - not long ago. Both the same size. Tried on one, liked the other too and just snagged the same size instead of doing another try-on. The boot cut didn't fit. Too short - way too short - for me because I want my boot jeans to touch the ground if at all possible. I'm not tall anyway, so that's no hardship. I put those jeans in Eldest's drawer and I've seen him wear them with a belt. I'm sure he hasn't looked at the tag to see that they're not his ( because they say they're a womans size (no, I'm still not going to say). If he did, he'd refuse to wear them. Shhhhh, you are to keep that secret to yourself until he is 52.
So there you have it. After breathing a sigh of relief that those pants aren't actually mine, I still am considering going a round or twenty with that Jillian Michael's video. Maybe it's because of those potato chips...or the chocolate...could be the Smiling & Waving, Sharon
Maple syrup...mmmmmm...need I say more? Probably not, but you know me. I always have a story to tell. This is Charlie Elliott and his wife, Mrs. Charlie Elliott. Oh I figure right after I publish this her first name is going to pop into my head, but I am downright horrible at name remembering! Saving grace for me teaching school was the seating chart. I can tell you next week what she wore today, though. I can even tell you about this cute button down jean shirt she has that has their farm name on it. Oh how I want one of those! For some reason I remember some of the clothes folks wear, but names stump me. Why I remember...all right, now I'm rambling. Back to the story...
Hey now, don't be shy. Give them a nice, "Howdy!" and wave back. They are such a friendly couple! You know that '70's song by Steeler's Wheel, "Stuck in the Middle With you?" You know how it goes..."Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you." Well, I just love singing that part of the song, and Owl Creek Maple Syrup is to the left of me, but they are NOTHING like that song! There's no place I'd rather be. They keep me in line to the best of their capabilities. Charlie's been my Market neighbor for all of my four years with it. With Charlie and Mrs. Charlie on my left I get to see a fantastic couple every Saturday morning. I'm so happy to be on their right.
They sell the most awsome maple syrup! Big bottles, little bottles, leaf shaped bottles...it's liquid gold in a bottle! Then to top it off, Charlie's wife bakes up the most delectable maple included muffins and maple candies, too. Trust me, I know! (I hear Charlie really likes those candies, too.) I really need to make an appointment with Jillian Michaels for some ab work.
Seems like all that stuff at the grocery now days starts with the main ingredient of corn syrup. It doesn't even have a lick of actual maple syrup in it any more. I remember when finding 10% maple syrup in a bottle of that one with the picture of a cabin on it was amazing. If you're lucky you might find a teenie tiny little bottle of real syrup costing a small fortune on the top shelf stuck between the blueberry syrup and sugar free syrup. But my thought is why go and buy that when you can enjoy syrup that's made local? We really enjoy Owl Creek Maple Syrup! It's absolutely tops!
What cracks me up is when someone asks Charlie if he's selling honey. I don't know what it is, maybe it's the Owl Creek Maple Syrup sign that gets me giggling over it. Then sometimes I hear some other questions that just tickle me silly. "Does that have carbs in it?" "Is it sugar free?" Now I'm truly not making fun of anyone. If I'm going to make fun, I need to start with myself. It just shows me what a gracious and giving family the Elliotts are. Patience of saints. Charlie sits back behind his table and always has a kind word for everyone. He talks about the process of making their syrup, if it's been a good spring for the syrup to run, and the different bottles of syrup he has. They are just a wonderfully friendly family and I'm fortunate to spend my Saturday mornings next to them. Of course, I can't help but ask something like, "Hey Charlie, that got Vitamin A in it?" He's such a peach to put up with me! See you at the Market...and don't forget to visit Owl Creek Maple Syrup! Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I have a love/hate relationship with our electric fence. Seems like sometimes it works well and other times it doesn't. Usually when it falls into the doesn't category that's because I've let weeds grow too tall under it or I've leaned something up against it without thinking that's dampening the charge.
I noticed Tuesday one lamb in particular was walking through it with ease. You know, the grass is always greener on the other side theory. She was using the fence as a guideline and not the law...Sharon's law. When I put up the temporary fencing strands in the back yard yesterday morning I dug out Hon's handy dandy charge tester and saw that it was barely blinking at the 1000 volt mark. Yeah, that explained the total disregard for fence laws around here. The voltage running through the fence was a nuisance tickle on wool, if that.
This morning before Hon went to work he went out fence walking and found where the short in the wire was. While he was doing that I was, uh, sleeping. Yeah, that's it. I have a good explanation though. I was up real late working on my knitting project for class. Besides, it was still only 7:15. Anway, he flew into the bedroom like a whirlwind. I vaguely heard something about the electric fence, a popping sound, and then something about plugging it in, as I was in a sleep induced haze. Then he was off and running while I was fumbling around for where I stashed my senses the night before.
I decided to go outside and fumble around with chores while waking up. Deacaf coffee could wait. I thought while clearing away the cobwebs in my mind Hon said something about plugging the fence in, so in my mind I though it needed to be plugged in still because he was rushing around like a chicken with his head cut off trying to get out the door for work.
Quite frankly, since the fence had been carrying such a low voltage I had become a bit lax in stepping waaay over the temporary fence strands or pushing them down with the plastic whiffle ball bat to get over. I left enough of a gap in one spot so the geese and turkeys can duck under and get to the pond so I'd go to that spot and low crawl under, too. Well, I found out real easy this morning what Hon was saying about the electric fence. He didn't tell me to plug it in. He told me he plugged it back in after fixing the short. Now you're wondering how I figured that out. Well, you know in the movies where someone hits an electrified wire and they get thrown back the span of a football field and sparks fly out in all directions? Yeah, I always laugh at that part, too. Well, after I did my mind numbing spine tingling I think my body is still radiating voltage that can power up a small city crawl under the temporary electric fence strands it became clear to me what Hon had said. I dizzily went to the garage to get Hon's current tester and see what it was registering now that it is clearly fixed...locked and loaded...a law, not a guideline. It went from that paultry barely registering 1,000 volts to a bright and blinking 5,500.
So, to all friends and family that come to visit, the electric fence is in full working order now. I highly suggest you walk around...use the pasture gate...simply don't touch it. I should have taken a lesson from the kids and just pretended it had always been working just the way it should. I didn't feel pictures were necessary for today's blog. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to google the best way to get rid of the singed hair smell and how long it takes to grow eyebrows back. Ju Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals wouldn't agree. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm just called Mom. Life on a farm is full of family and hard work and I wouldn't have it any other way.