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December update - dairy farmer early retirement [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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December update [Jan. 17th, 2014|08:59 pm]
(restored draft..oops)

Things have slowed as far as ranch progress this week with the cold and snow. I love the snow, wanted the place because it got snow, but we are not prepared nor set up for it just quite yet. I was glad that I had built a small shelter for Pony so at least there was a small area of snow free ground where he could lay down.
As of yesterday most of the snow was gone but there was still snow in the hollows and shadows and my barn site was still covered, as well as the rototilled ground. It was very warm up there, and water was liquid and I got the hose to run for the first time in a week but this morning we STILL had frost here near the coast.
I am hoping I have saved my poor Calla Lilies; I covered them most nights when it got really cold.

One of my ewes is very close to lambing, so I am hoping and anxious about keeping them safe from the coyotes. Last night they were singing just up the valley. This is my best white ewe and she lost both of her lambs last year to predation. I am working on moving one of the LGD pups up to the ranch along with a few of the doe kids they have been living with so that ewe and her lamb(s) can go, too. What's to lose?

It has been another learning experience navigating the road up to the ranch in this weather as there are still patches of ice on the road in the shadows. Both of us have had no trouble negotiating it in 4WD even without actual snow tires, but we are being super cautious. From what we have heard it's the other drivers that we have to watch out for. So many things to learn..

I've been all hermitted up between the house here and the ranch there and have avoided most humans and don't seem to have much use for them. But here I am sharing this you all so I am still in society I guess. I can hardly tolerate chit chat, but I am still enjoying the holiday season now that we are getting closer..maybe it was the snow.

My experiments with the Pepperwood/Bay/Myrtle nuts have gone very well and I am loving a beverage made by steeping the roasted ground nuts in hot milk, maybe even liking it more than cocoa. The next recipe I will roast them a little darker and see how that affects the flavor. I made brownies with only Pepperwood nuts, no chocolate, and that was pretty intense. I am already looking forward to getting more nuts next year..