Sunday, January 31, 2010

Coyotes and the Rubber Heat Water Bag

Yesterday morning it was -15 according to the thermometer on our porch, but by the middle of the afternoon it had warmed up to the mid single digits, so Alanna and I decided to take a walk up our hill. As we often do, on our walk we saw coyote tracks meandering around.

Later that night I heard a whole pack them yipping up in the woods, which set off our neighbors' eleven dogs.

As hard as it is to imagine forty pound animals attacking a cow that weighs close to a thousand, apparently it does happen. So when we begin building our herd we will need to get some sort of guard animal, either a dog, a llama or a donkey. Right now we're leaning towards a donkey, since they are less of a hassle to care for than dogs, and because they are inherently hilarious.

It is Normandy's birthday today, and Edmund bought her a hot water bottle. While no doubt a quality product, the directions for use were quite unconventional. I have transcribed them word for word:

1 Heat water bag is use in medical treatment health and common live to get warm.
2 The water temperature that the heat water bag used should be around 90 C. The water should be not over 2/3 than the capacity of the heat water bag.
3 After filling water, must let the air in the heat water bag out and let the screw tight. Check if there is leak water phenomenon.
4 When baby use the heat water bag, should let the heat water bag a little far from baby.
5 When the heat water bag is used or storage must avert it to be weight on or stabed, not touch sour, alkali, oil and sunlight shoot.
6 Storage heat water bag should fill a little air inside. Put it in shady environment.
7 The dirt on the heat water bag can be washed by soap water than use water to wash it clean.
8 The heat water bag should not be put in the display window so long time, especially the display window in the sunlight shoot.

There's no way I'm going to top that, so I won't try. It was only -12 this morning, and despite the cold both days this weekend have been beautiful.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Opening Litany

We only bought the farm a few months ago, but there have been occurrences that deserve to be documented. We have not bought animals or purchased cheese making equipment, we have not broke ground for a new house, and we have not put up any new fences. What we have done is throw out a whole lot of stuff. For example:

Stacks of photos, boxes full of travel brochures, seemingly endless bottles, jars, jugs and tubes of soaps, ointments, shampoos and every other toiletry imaginable, a salt and pepper shaker collection, miscellaneous balls of fur and poop, pieces of rotten wood, boxes of goat and sheep medication, along with the syringes to administer them, all of the fur and feces ridden linoleum and carpet on the first floor, all of the fur and feces ridden rugs and flooring on the second floor (thrown out the window to avoid carrying them through the house), the dishwasher, the freezer, the other freezer with 80 pounds of rotten meat in it, the stove, the fridge, the two dead cats behind the fridge.

But some of it was good enough for the thrift shop:

A set of wedding china, about a dozen garbage bags of linens, a box full of shoes and boots, an upright vacuum, a drip coffee maker, several lamps.

Even more shocking, there are several things we decided to keep or at least have not yet decided to get rid of:

Assorted tools, a wood stove, a Singer sewing table, a sleigh bed, a desk, a wood stove, a chair eerily similar to one Alanna and I bought at a yard sale on Long Island, a metal ammo box complete with ammo, a copper fire extinguisher, a small antique post office window, and a hot pink flapper hat.

At this point I must confess that Alanna and I avoided the worst of the cleanup by being in France. But the pictures Normandy took made it feel as if we were there. I won't post the most graphic images, but what follows suggests the scope of the mess.