Week Nov 14
Sunday: persimmons, tomato vines
Mon: haul water – call Harmon – htg oil – mow? buck pen
Tues: to Mom’s – JoAnn (wreath frames)
Wed: GARAGE!!! cut greenery – persimmons?
Thurs: AM haircut – spinning @ Koko
Fri: Market
Writing on Wednesday morning. Sunday did get all the tomato vines pulled, and in the midst of it, a happy note: text message from my friend Steve’s Mom, to say that the fresh curds were perfect for her Pierogi. (I’m getting a recipe & Pierogi lesson out of this!) Persimmons, not so much: most are still clinging to the trees. Last week’s sold out at Market.
Monday was a day of LPS – little piddly stuff – like calling the meat processor to book a couple goats for December, ordering heating oil, of course hauling water, and some time fooling with the water pump.
Tues: More about Mom soon: we did get 5/8 inch rain, for once it came on a day I couldn’t work outside anyway.
Today, GARAGE means I have to sort out the chaos from Summer market (broken baskets, trash bags, ripped plastic tablecloths) and clear space for making wreaths. I prefer to do this outside when temps allow, so I can start getting the house in order for Christmas without daily sweeping out of needles and twigs. Then I’ll take the Yanmar (4WD tractor) and harvest white pine, cedar, multiflora rosehips and sheet moss.
Thursday: a strong temptation, when you give up an office job to garden for a living, is to go completely native: braless, faded Deva skirt, long hair stuck up in a knot. I have resisted that to the extent of getting a professional haircut every month. And Monica, a farm girl herself, takes me at my word: “Monica, fooling with hair is your rice bowl: farming is mine.” …and keeps me in a stylish, becoming cut (which older French women compliment and call “une Liberte'” after the head on the classic silver dime) that I wash, comb and let dry. That’s it. Maybe a little LA Looks gel.
I’m torn about Spinning group tomorrow. On one hand, there is so much to do here after yesterday at Mom’s: on the other, Leslie at Kokovoko is reviving our spinning group, and I need the instruction, practice and fellowship. I also need one of her fine wooden spindles for a friend who’s getting interested in fiber. And as my neighbors reminded me a few weeks ago when they rode up unannounced and seduced me into going riding when I should have been pounding T-posts: If I never got on a horse (or spun an inch of yarn) the rest of my life, I’d still never get all the fence mended. We did ride Friday BTW.
The back of the envelope doesn’t list routine chores unless for some reason they have to be slotted in a certain order, viz: set bread to rise: milk: shape bread… but last night’s feeding brought another happy note.
Last week but one, my Alpine doe & prime milker, Nightshade, miscarried. I had already turned her dry to feed up for kidding season, and I doubted she would cycle again this late in the year. (I missed a breeding season with her in ’08 when the buck I was leasing arrived late) I’ve been setting her on the milking stand and letting her get her feed of carrots and oats, to build her up, and also to check for cleaning from the m/c. She’s appearing dry and tight as an open doe should. But yesterday she was looking over her shoulder and nickering toward the buck’s stall.
On a hunch (it’s only been 12 days) I led her over toward the buck, when her tail began wagging eagerly, a sign of receptivity. So she spent the night in the buck’s area, and I have every reason to hope for a kid from her next (wait a minute – Nov-Dec-Jan-Feb-Mar-) April. And then in July, more of her luxurious milk.
But the buck’s pen still isn’t reinforced, so poor Nobel (“breeding for peace”) stays shut up in the barn, uttering a lonesome wail whenever he scents a doe.