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Almost Christmas, but still busy on the farm!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

It has been a round of all kinds of things to do lately, a lot of things are much harder in the cold and it has been cold the last week or so. I have been having trouble with my pellet stove burning too dirty, that is often several things wrong. I tackled the obvious things like cleaning the almost nothing in it flue first. Then doing the monthy cleaning early, That involves taking the metal plate off behind the burn-pot and cleaning the air flow channels, there are two and they are hard to clean out. My stove vac doesn't have attachments that fit on the end of the hose and the hose is much bigger then a regular vacuum cleaner, so I did it the hard way like usual, with a spoon lol, hauling out the excess ash. That helped a lot but I think the real problem is probably the combustion blower also needs cleaning, I can't really do that until I get the gasket you need to put the blower back together. I ordered that and a burn-pot gasket and a new igniter from Amazon, the parts from Englander were more then twice the price and with a hefty shipping fee, and the parts on Amazon are Englander parts plus no shipping with Prime.

I turned up the furnace the same night to warm up the bathroom/bedroom for a shower and after 1/2 hour I went in and it was not warm at all. Sigh, ran downstairs to the cellar only to discover a duct was on the floor. I was not happy to be trying to tape up a duct at midnight. This furnace was installed by Irving about 15 years ago, and I don't know who the person was but he definitely needs remedial training on cutting circles to insert ducts, the hole was lopsided and no where near round. When it fell the elbow came apart, I tried to stick it back in the lopsided hole but the tabs on the elbow were about 2/3s broken off. I need to get a new elbow but that wasn't happening at that time of night, and also do something about the hole. I used some gorilla tape to hold it in place and a ton of duct tape after I warmed it up on the pellet stove and managed to get all the holes closed.

Friday had several projects that needed to be done, one was load the lambs, two take them to Medway, three doctors appointment in Millinocket. Before I could load lambs I had to plow for about an hour to get the truck out. Then I took about an hour fixing the runway up the stairs and through both parts of the barn and closing the overhead door around the pickup bed. I was just about done when my neighbor came over to help me load them, and that went very smoothly. Next project was chores, I was just about done them when I noticed that one of the big cast iron paddle cow waterers between the two big Angus broke, the bowl was laying on the floor. Dogwood was kind of wet because they were drinking from the push button without a bowl under it. I shut off the water and told them they had to wait until I got home!

After showering and getting ready I took off for Medway, when I got there I told the guys that they would have to unload the lambs because I had go to a doctors appointment and was not going smelling like a sheep lol. They laughed and were very obliging, the whole thing didn't take long, if you get one sheep going they all follow.

My appointment was my yearly physical, the Doctor said I was in very good shape, and mentioned that he would be happy to be in such shape when he got into his 60's lol. Guess that was a seal of approval. I talked him out of lab work because I had a bunch done in July and had enough health related bills right now, and he agreed.

Saturday I had a breeding appointment in the morning up to a neighbors, so I loaded the broken off waterer bowl (the bowl was fine, just broken where the top part is attached) and another waterer that had the core stuck in it. Before we did the cow, we tried several ways of getting the core out of the bowl and finally a chisel and a Teflon hammer very carefully tapping it on the brass part did the trick. So after breeding the cow I went home to try to get the top part of the waterer off the pole and the core out of that to place in the other bowl. But first I needed to clean out the barn. Even with all the cows outside and out of my way it took me until after 6 to finish the cleaning out.

Back to the waterer, getting the core out of the broken waterer was fairly easy, getting the rest of it off the pole was not. I had to get a cutting blade on my grinder and cut off the bolts, after a while they rust together real well from getting wet all the time. I spend an inordiment amount of time running up and down the stairs for tools and supplies. But in the end it was not too bad, I got it done in about an hour, then decided to do chores right then and bring the cows in, so it ended up being a long day, I didn't get back to the house until 8:30. One thing about working down in the barn is that it is not too cold, it maintained 45 degrees in the stable even without the cows and with the door open to take the wheelbarrow out. I had to start stripping off layers fairly soon with the work of shoveling.

I just got my iPad battery that I ordered on the 1st of December on Saturday, a very slow 3 day delivery from CA. I was thinking the package was lost and tool the vendor so, the tracking was real weird, it was accepted at the facility then shipped out on the 2nd, delivery was supposed to be on the 5th. On the 5th it said it was delayed, on the 7th it was back in CA, then supposedly on its way again, all tracking stopped on the 10th, so on the 13th I notified the vendor that I still hadn't gotten it and they said they would send me another one in an email on the 14th. On the 15th they send an email saying that tracking said delivery was attempted and a notice was left, which is the post offices way of saying it was there, they don't attempt delivery of packages too big to fit in the mail box. I will probably not have time to work on it this week which is disappointing, but will attempt it after Christmas.

I am totally unprepared for Christmas so far, seems like it snuck up on me this year. I should be doing some baking this week but I haven't done any shopping at all. I am gong to take my nieces lists and do some online shopping tomorrow, and send the packages right to my brothers house.

I finally got Photo Sync to work on my computer, it refused to even acknowledge the computer for about a week.

So the first picture is Cricket, she likes to sharpen her claws on the cows rubber mats and of all things the cement! She is growing well, knows her name and comes running when I call her.

This picture is up in the loft, Tiger on the left and Dundee on the right, the amazing part is that these two have always fought, and while they aren't snuggled together this is the closest I have ever seen them.

This is the new little girl, I haven't really figured out a name for her yet, she is an Angus so they are usually tree names, stil thinking.

This is Calliope's favorite place to sit now in the evening, nice warm place, I sit up there when I am cold too!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So glad you were able to add the photos. I loved them all.

    emoticon Hope you can stay warm! It has been cold here too!
    670 days ago
    You are such a hard working lady, handling all those farm animals and farm chores! The winter only complicates things for you, doesn't It? I remember doing chores, taking care of cattle and horses when I lived in Michigan. We had no tank heaters or automatic waterers so we had to haul the hose out from the old farmhouse basement and hook it up to the frost free tap twice a day.....i also remember breaking ice in the tanks. There is none of that here, we raised horses here in Texas many years and there were only a few times that ice had to be broken!
    I love your new heifer, she is certainly a pretty one! Hope you get your pellet stove working right soon!
    670 days ago
    I was about to go to bed and I saw your BLOG.

    It was so nice to read about them all. Well Done (((HUGS))) Pat in Augusta. emoticon emoticon emoticon You are an amazing lady. Pat
    671 days ago
    What a pretty little calf! What about Holly ( she was born in December!), Dawn, after a Dawn Redwood, Alaqua (sweet gum tree), Olivette, Alona (oak tree), Amber, Ashley, Bailey(berry clearing), Cinnamon, Geneva (juniper tree), Pepper. Those are all fun!!

    Gee, when stuff breaks down, doesn't it do it in 3's?? You are SO handy at Jerry rigging something to make it work until you can fix it properly! I guess that comes with experience on the farm!!

    Cricket looks healthy, the barn boys are adjusting to being the main barn cats, and sweet Calliope looks as sweet as ever!

    671 days ago
    Now that was some busy week you had. Good news on your health too. When you find a name for her, please let us curious ones know. emoticon emoticon
    671 days ago
    Merry Christmas !!! emoticon
    671 days ago
    Thanks for sharing the pictures. You certainly have been busy with all the farm chores. emoticon
    671 days ago
    672 days ago
    Angus are named for trees? Never heard of that, but we only had cross breeds when we had our cattle.
    672 days ago
    Never a dull moment.
    672 days ago
    I love all the goings on at your farm! Just reading about it all makes my arms and back and knees hurt. ;-) I love the idea of all the animals, but the concommitant chores would probably kill me! Or make me stronger. You know what they say about what doesn't kill you....!
    672 days ago
    wow! You had lots of frustrations this week!

    The kitties look totay content.
    672 days ago
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