|ewes grazing on a June afternoon|
It’s SUMMER! (well, almost…officially summer begins at
12:38pm…but, close enough) It’s felt like summer for quite some time now and
this week was no exception. It was hot!
I’m fairly certain I sound weather-obsessed. It comes up in just about every post and
quite honestly, weather is a topic of perhaps the vast majority of my conversations.
Looking at it that way, I must admit, it does sound like an obsession. However, weather affects EVERYTHING we do.
AND…our only selling opportunity is a 5-hour window in an open-air market. So,
yeah, weather is a BIG deal. And, I can
promise, I WILL talk about it again before I end this post.
Other than heat and humidity (and a tropical storm in the
offing) this week was one of job alliteration. I’m pretty sure that’s not a
real thing, but for this post we will pretend it is.
|the hens kept cool by putting their heads UNDER the henhouse|
First we had MEATY Monday.
During morning chores we captured all the broilers and hauled them back to the house for processing after breakfast. We’ve gotten fairly efficient and a couple of hours later we had everything cleaned up and the broilers were chilling in the walk-in cooler.
So, we packed the portable coolers in the back of our vehicle, got a little lunch in town and headed off to the processor’s to pick up the lambs that were now chops and roasts and sausage. As usual, the meat looks great, thanks in no small part to the great team at Gore’s Processing. …and yes, we did have lamb burgers for supper!
|broiler ready for packaging and freezing|
|freezer full of lamb|
Tuesday was my TOWN day for running errands. But, before we could do anything---even eat breakfast---we had to move broilers to pasture. This would later prove to be a very good thing.
|the chicks are not too impressed with their outdoor digs|
I also needed
to bake a birthday cake for son-in-law #1 so we could deliver that and some
awesome bar-be-que (from Sooners in the Draft) as part of our “birthday
celebration”. However, before I could
finish the cake, my phone rang and…you guessed it. The Staunton Post Office was letting me know
that there were some chicks waiting for me to TRANSPORT them back to the
hill. I hurriedly finished the cake and
headed back to town, leaving behind a disastrous kitchen.
|my travel companions|
|I wonder just how many chicks have lived in the brooder...|
With the chicks
tucked in the brooder, I cleaned up the birthday cake mess (should have taken
pictures of that...there were chocolate
cake crumbs, cherries and whipped cream in the oddest places!) As a testament
to our failing senior brain cells, we had two cameras at the occasion and didn’t
take even take one picture of the birthday “boy”, his family, or the birthday
cake. Sorry, y’all!
|a whole lot of supplies have to be hauled out back|
just to shear one ram!
Wednesday was WET and WOOLLY.
Thankfully, not at the same time.
With soaring temperatures and no relief in
sight, we decided it was time to shear Waylon. He needs to be as cool and
comfortable as possible during the heat of summer as he will be back in “action”
around the first of August. While he is
a wonderful ram and we will both be extremely sad to see him leave the hill, he
is also more than a little intimidating.
He’s just SO big. (he probably weighs three hundred pounds) One of his
hooves fills my hand…and he truly hates to have his feet touched. But, we clipped his wool and his hooves
without incident. The heat and humidity meant that the clean-up job was
stickier and smellier than usual. I’m here to tell you there’s a very good reason
“eau de hot ram wool” cologne is not a popular scent.
|freshly shorn and wonderfully cool|
With an eye to the weather (again) the Boss decided to make
a dump/fuel run. ...and we finally got all the ewe wool out of the barn! Tropical Storm Bill was due to make an arrival and the
predictions were for up to THREE inches of rain. With the kind of grass growth that would
produce, it would be best to be prepared.
Showers started just as we returned
home. We ended up with about 5/8 inch,
although our daughter who lives on the other side of Staunton reported 1.30 inches!
(yes, my weather obsession did indeed affect the next generation) But, that was
just rain…Tropical storm Bill wasn’t supposed to hit the area until Saturday.
Yes, Market day. Bad weather on Market
day is always a concern, particularly when the Boss has music scheduled…
Thursday turned into a day focused on TRACTORS and
TRANSPORTATION. The Boss is working on a trade-in deal on the garden tractor. Honestly I don’t understand all the
particulars since I don’t handle the mowing, tilling and tractor-related
stuff. But, he headed out to the local
John Deere dealer to talk to the salesman and kick a few tires.
While he was gone, the fella from the Farm Bureau called and
reported that the Boss’ special order was in and requested that someone come pick
it up. Again, “not my department”, so I can’t say
that the super-duper dog kennel purchase looked exciting to me. But, I assure you, just wait…the Boss has big
plans for that, too, even though it did require yet another TRIP to another TOWN.
|I can assure you that the Boss' plans for these kennel panels have|
NOTHING to do with dogs! (stay tuned)
Then, it was FINALLY FRIDAY!
|Good Friday morning from the hill|
It always makes me laugh to
hear people talk about “dress-down Friday” and the end of the workweek. We
never dress UP around here and it’s a toss-up as to whether we work harder on
Friday or Saturday. We spent the day preparing for Market, just like
we have every Friday for the last 18 years. The zucchini finally made an appearance this week...and the summer lettuce is coming on...
|green and gold zucchini|
by picking the tiny ones, I can skip picking on Sunday
|Next week we will have green beans!|
Another “F” for Friday…the FLEA beetles have made their
bothersome appearance. And, just last
week, a customer commented on the lack of holes in the arugula. Sadly, the
leaves were somewhat hole-y for Satuday’s Market.
|flea beetles feasting on arugula|
Saturday is always about SALES as we head to the Market.
|time to head out to the Market|
talking about Tropical Storm Bill which was due to make an appearance at any
time. The dire predictions were still in force and lots of folks were worried
about high winds and flooding.
However, the weather held for the Market.
|our silly sign worked|
we sold a couple hundred dollars worth of lamb
Our customers had been waiting patiently for lamb to return
to our product line-up, so we had a good sales day and lots of happy people…and
it didn’t rain on the musicians! That
makes for a successful Market. Want to see the Boss's Market photos? Check this out.
|here come the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill|
The rains from Tropical Storm Bill arrived after we finished
afternoon chores and continued sporadically into the night. Despite the dire predictions, we only got ¾ inch
of rain, although it looked like the places on the other side of the mountain
must have seen some big storms and I’m guessing very high totals.
Sunday is a generally a SLOW day around here. We even SLEPT
in…until 5:30am. (old habits die hard)
And, that brings us to the end of our alliteration week here on the hill.
Hope you’re having a Happy
|beautiful morning after the rain|
Thanks for stopping by.
Come “visit” us again real soon!