Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cat Runs and Subfloor

Sweepy.. and it is only 8. I gotted Marianne to milk and done the choreses that morning so I can goes over immediately and sat up work on the decking for the day.

Joe and I on Saturday did just about half of the decking. I needed to make a dump run, and a grain pickup so we closed up shop early. I did find a wonderful mailbox at the dump, and a cast iron with enamel double bay sink for our future kitchen.

Uncle Joe and Marianne working on the deck. Zac having a quick bite to eat. Yesterday I had a glass of milk for breakfast, and then didn't have anything to eat until 3. I ate down a whole pie on the way to the dump, but by the time I got to the barnstore I had terrible heartburn. So I filled my canteen with water, and drank most of it, but it felt like I was choking on this burning sensation. So, today I took the time to eat in the day.

Basement looking like a basement now. Zac and Joe putting on last board. We're hanging over by 1/4 inch. I'll draw a line and take the skill saw to it tomorrow.

Ahh, Done.
Not bad you guys says Sasha. I approve. Ed across the street came by and gave a thumbs up. I helped him lug something into his basement, and he showed me a furnace he built, and a device he made to make twisted yarn. Turns out he knew my late great uncle. We were talking in the drive, and I heard a farting noise. (It wasn't me or Ed). Sasha, who ate most of my pie that day, was making a pass in Ed's garden. He had the runs and the first time I can ever recall actually being able to hear a cat poop....Ed laughed, said it was good for the roses.

I have been bringing Lydia into the barn. She is freshenning in February. So she is getting into a routine, and I touch her daily so that milking will not be so troublesome to begin with. She did not have a halter on the other day. I grabbed one, and realized that halters do not make sense to me. I kind of become dumb when one is in my hand. Thank goodness Marianne was not a horse person, and saw me fumble with a halter while we were dating. "Well, he is cute and all but you should have seen how he put on a halter. Not for me." They just do not make sense to me. They're like the algorithm to a bra clasp; completely over my head. One hook and a twist- who knew? Would have made high school easier...

Thinking: I saw before I had well finished all suddenly mount and scatter wheeling in great broken rings upon clamorous wings..WBY

Thursday, November 26, 2009

House as of today

I spent the first part of Turkey Day (By the way, Happy Gobbling Day) working on the house. I had not yet put the spacers in, and unfortunately that took more time than I had anticipated. Grandpa told me a way to do them temporarily with a board nailing every 16 after I came back. O well. Still, I did start the decking. I did not get much on, but nonetheless started.

So in reverse of where I am today-

This is the full basement with the carrying timber in place. It was a bitch putting it up alone, but felt kind of like a game of chess figuring how to brace a plank in place. I re-notched the wall instead of notching the wood in the timber. It was 1/32 off from the sill, which I thought was darn good.

Jack came over and we had a hell of a day putting up the rim joists and the first joists. The green hemlock is troubling to move alone, and having two hands makes the project move so much faster. Cheers Jack! Will try to get kiln dried for the second floor joists and rafters. It was pretty neat to work on the house today. Normally when I work it goes something like, "F--- it. It is a pig shed. It doesn't need to be square." But with the house, we're measuring out perfectly. Our last rim joist section was a saw blade too wide, but still took it back to make the correction. It was neat to be measuring out 12+ feet, and making correct cuts down perfectly with a little math and patience. *Note to reader: Not a carpenter so I find myself taking more time than I'd like.
Jack and I after we finished the next day. Our box was 1/4 inch out of square, and we adjusted it to being perfectly square. By the way Jack, I did find my sledge hammer after wards. (I had a splitting maul but he brought a hammer. ) We finished by tacking into the sill, and the joists together and into the timber. Jack's way of running the sides of the rim joists was better than mine. Now, on that note and since Jack cannot rebutt here: Mine would just take longer, but nonetheless the result would have been the same. =P Looking damn good though.

This is Fenevare- The picture does not do her justice. She has been growing very well, and looking unbelievably healthy. The 4 calves have been eating almost 1 1/2 bales a day, but growing wonderfully. She was born in July. I want to keep here. Trying to keep money in the pocket so that I will not have to do something stupid like sell her for cash. Pinzgauer xJersey.

Note: I am not a cat person. Swear... Sasha and Zac on mini lunch break. I let him eat whatever I am eating. Today was a slice of bread and water.
I cut out the spacers, and tacked them in. Wish I held onto that nail gun. I have a wrist/forearm problem as it is, and now it is just throbbing. The last part of the day I went lefty. Only three courses in for the deck today. Mistake: I bought 1x6's. They are going to go up slowly. The benefit: Planed, edged and dried for 40cents a board foot. And no chemicals from some nasty plywood.

It has felt like I have been doing half days since I do not have to milk, work house and then go to work. Next week will be tough to get back into that pattern again. Unfortunately the rain will stop me from working on the house tomorrow. Saturday should be a good blow out day though. I think I will treat myself on Black Friday to a used bookstore. Anyone want to go on a trip? Seriously, just e-mail, call.

Hasn't it been such a wonderful fall? The other day for lunch kitty and I layedin the warm grass. You should have been there. A line of our bodies in the sun- with the kat tiptoeing across our backs.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Antecaca- The first defecation made by a "milking cow" immediately after being milked. The term came about in the late 18th century when a dairymen in Pennsylvania wrote a short editorial on his observation that most of his cows would defecate soon after being milked out. The observation was widely noted thereafter, and the term, antecaca, became the named standard. It is believed, though little research has been made, that the pressure from the udder of a cow once relieved by a milking shrinks so that the colon of the cow then relaxes. This in turn promotes an antecaca. Antecacal defecations have been recorded in 82.5% of all dairy cows within 3 minutes of being milked. This is why in many states it is illegal to use a milk cow, in lactation in a cow plop bingo, as the owner of the cow could give an unfair advantage in the gambling event. Holsteins, Milking Shorthorns and Ayshires are the three breeds most likely to have an antecaca. Guernseys are almost never known to have an antecaca, largely believed because the unique carotene of their "Golden Guernsey" milk is a soothing agent for the milk glands and surrounding viscular tissue. Thus the relief from a milking is not as tangible as in other breeds.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fresh + Turkeys

I had a most fantastic day-
But prior to that I want to mention the movie Fresh, which Linda Howe put on last night in New London. I tend to be out of the loop on documentaries such as Fresh, King Corn, Food Inc. My reading tends to be other than farming/environmental genres, and hear about different books through conversations where I often think, "Darn. I need to read that." Well, the short of it- it was great to see the film and receive some reinforcement-post growing season- of many of the things we do.

Now- Onto the things we do!

Slaughter! Yum! Above is a landscapish view of what went on today. Mark, Jack and Pam, Michael and Nicki, Zac and Marianne, Gram, Casey- who could not find anything to do on their own, spent a wonderfully beautiful day together. They, without precept, arrived at Raccoon Hill Road, where someone sparked up the idea of slaughtering the turkeys. Everyone agreed, and five hours later they were done with 50 birds- lasagna and rice pudding was so well deserved afterwards.

Actually a bit of planning went into today, and it went off very well, with few hitches. On conventional standards were were slow- 10 birds an hour. However, last year it took us 2 days to do 28 birds without the new plucker. Pin feathers were still aplenty, but far reduced compared to last year.

O no. It is happenning. I was quite excited about this post, and had many ideas for it, but my energy was just drawn out. Sleep. Working on house tomorrow. Come to pie night Friday.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pie Scholarship at Night

I think one of the most pleasant of pleasantries in life are the particulars of not knowing how you'll spend an hour. Ostensibly we all wake- eat- and then perform the bulk of our daily lives as practiced as a base step to a dance. Let me pause quickly- sometimes it feels like that- I am happy to say that the farm, and seeing others self employed is varying very different. (say that three times fast)

But the pleasantries of an hour: an unexpected great conversation with a friend, the eureka of late fall sun on the shadows of brick walls, or being ready to leave work when three (wonderful) coworkers come in to make pies for a scholarship fundraiser for Kearsarge High. That was a wonderfully spent hour staying later- talking, reciting a poem, realizing that you knew how to lattice pies (I became the latticer!!) and then tiding off for home. Home becomes the ostensibly regular part, but with the division of difference between- a few pies. That was fun. And Linda, Kim, Tammy are too. In fact, many of the family at work make the job worthwhile. Sleep- Will worry about the morning when it comes upon me.

I'll tell you how the sun rose
A ribbon at a time....

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Sasha enjoying our lunch. He is now my kitty. I have yet to tell Marianne that, but I think she'll understand. We've shared enough lunches that we can be pretty good amigos now. Although the little bastard made me lose my balance as I was walking across the sill today. That is ok- I (accidently) allowed his bird of a lunch to escape.

Jack helping last week finish up the basement. Thanks Jack!!

This week. Since D and I were rained out Saturday I have been working to get the house going this week on my own. I built haphazard staging to hold the 2x's up as I built the supporting timber in place. I finished it in two half days before work. Then have been on the sill before work.

Prettier picture of house to come. Small, but shall be lovely. Night

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Two Lives WCW

WCW rubbed his eyes on rocks and stones pushing pen against whatever he had found to make a note that would chime in verse. He'd go teary eyed, crusted over in disguise by smile to deliver a baby always thinking- how many lives- how many lives in a lifetime can you live? He managed two, the best he could do.
I see the old men at dusk sweeping away their doorsteps- that is where we all fall into place at the end- pushing aside everything to light to fall in their places. I'm still living regrets from 3rd grade. Time for the doorstep. Time for the doorstep- to sweep it bare. Before the flood light comes on- yes dear yes dear. I am coming- just one more sweep across here.
How many lives in a lifetime? How many days unrolled from their plastic wrap happenings- Good morning- How are you- Good Good. (All Old Men sweep their doorsteps) When I am forty I will by a new riding mower and level the yard. I will cut you there- and say I got it. I got you. I am master standing in the yard my feet rooting in the 2-3-1 and liming. My feet rooting plant me here till I may sweep the doorstep bare. Grow again and we shall plan badminton and trample in the cuttings.

Someone is coming to move in next the door. (A crying white candle lights the room where)

I see all the old men sweeping their doorsteps. Yes dear, yes dear. Just one more sweep till I shall make it bare. (the moon's fairest woman brushes her hair) That is how you watch; sit there, sit there- never ask what he is sweeping away. You'll find out someday.

Someday before your second lifetime. I am tenured and always loving my doorstep. I pick a broom and find out what I am sweeping. How many live's in a lifetime WCW? I swept the dust that was parts of me before, and sweep and sweep there! they go out the door! Your foe said- I grow old I grow old. That we did and stood saying- "Where did all that time go?" I rub stones. I rub stones- my ankles in the creek so cold.

I want to be dust if you'll the broom- oh the touch like lust (from time to time like a nectarine) Let us do it like the old man- let us sweep now and see if we can find the bottom of our step- and sweep it clean (and we who are dying just to be near her.) We'll sweep it now and let the grass grow. Snip the roots and lets go. I'm sorry, apologies - How's you're morning? Perfect and lovely- we lost the birdy, and dropped the rackets. So lovely, we handed them to the neighbors- and found another game.

(a kind of kiss- she places her mouth to the flame and blows out our faces. El poeta no esta en mi memoria.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Today was gorgeous. Yesterday was Karma. I figure that event put me and the Universe back at zero- so we're even.

Finished the chicken coop in the barn today. Most of the pullets are in there now. Moved the camper trailer up to the house site as an equipment trailer. Took apart the hoop house.

Neighbor's daughter came over to see a milking tonight. I showed her both machine and hand milking, but forgot how difficult milking by hand can be the first time. Our ability to become dexterous is amazing. I can put my hands on a teet and the milk comes flying out. She kept squeezing and squeezing and got a squirt here and there. I did mention that it took me about a week to learn how to milk. But was very much fun showing someone else the cows. I was surprised at their perspective of the cows- I stand over them and just push them with my hip if I want to shove them over. She stood at their rib cages and thought they were gi-normous.

(I thought I should mention my computer just mentioned that my virus database has been updated...)

Just thought of Mezzotints and will be lost now ooing and awwing the web though it is much more fun with Nick gallery hopping...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's Raining Its Pouring

Zac's in the bedroom crying...

Let us begin with a sigh... Today's rain was most depressing in that I spent the bulk of the week prepping the basement/getting materials for today- and in the short of it- D. and I got very little done as a result of the poor weather. Before I discount our attempts- I will completely acknowledge that plucking chickens in the rain is far easier, and far more pleasant- yes gutting chickens mind you- than doing any sort of carpentry in the rain.

So, before I make this pleasant page a mire of displeasure- Let me thank D. for spending a Saturday with me in the rain. We are both busy enough to fully appreciate the pleasures of a day we should have taken off. Anyways, he kept cheery which helped me out. I have been on a long haul with the basement/other work- and this week was especially difficult to finish setting blocks and to get ready for today. I sped out of work in my one ton on Wednesday night to HD to pick up a few tools I did not have/PT lumber. Well the website said they closed at 10pm, but they actually close at 9pm. My plan was to work in the morning, and use the nighttime to run an errand. I suppose that was an error in many ways.

So tonight I wanted to briefly post, and enjoy the rest of the evening with a book, and hopefully wake tomorrow with that cheery Sunday mood. Eh? Maybe I'll set the alarm clock for 6:20-and just run out in my pajama's to milk the cows. Hell, maybe I'll just run out in my birthday suit. Oughta surprise any early morning milk customers, but otherwise I don't think the cows will mind.


I did not know Normandy was a name of a cow. Cow, your name is specially, and you are dotted, and spotted. However, can you tell me. Are you more spotted than dotted or are your feelings allotted moreso dotted? I would say so splotted but unlike a shorthorn your white and- well if I may pause before calling your coat white- you are not really so white- I shall say you are pretty- though I have not met you maybe witty, which if you are my dearest maiden will you kindly allow me to say you are a dearest sweet to me. I truly must pause at this time because Jameson and I are due to be met, and I am taking time to publicly announce an Ode to a Normandy Cow- and I fear the Jerseys in the barn will hear of this flirtatious talk, and oh dear, they shall milk dry.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pre-Weekend Posting

Hectic week. Energy level made an inverse from beginning to end. Still trying to chew that bite. Unexpectidely (sp) work became more hectic- so my ability to get in week rest dissapeared.

Hay un lucero quieto
Un lucero sin parpados
Un Lucero,
En el agua domida
Del Estanque

Still much enjoying reading about Lorca's life and some of his poetry. a bit more of Dickinson than normally enjoyed. She has the ability to grab you for odd facinations.
Ten minute break is up. Of the few enjoyables this week- I do very much realize that if you start as money as your gain, then you might as well be in the copper coupling business. There are so many more pleasantries to be had- some so simple. God didn't birth me with pockets for change- so I'll take the pleasantries very much enjoyed.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Relax, ok, but..

This posting has been put off with good intentions. Grandpa was hurt as a lot of you know on Friday of last week. He is doing well, and will be back home shortly. That is all I really want to say about that. As a reminder to that- farm readers, and I am completely guilty of it too: Disengage your pto if you're going to work on the equipment. He got caught up in the line drive of the manure spreader, and was damn lucky. The picture below shows his jacket, denim shirt and tshirt wrapped around the drive. So wear your chainsaw chaps, disengage before dismounting the tractor, and fix the manual brake on your IH tractor....zac...

The rest of the basement will/is being done without grandpa which is a shame. It has been a blast of fun to do it with him. This photo is a floor level view of the basement sofar. 2 complete walls.
Which I think is great considering it looked like this a few weeks ago!
This photo is from last week. The foremost wall now has 5 courses. Hopefully going to knock out 4 tomorrow before work. Then I will be able to do the windows the next day. Bulk head needs 5 more blocks to be finished. Compound, pour the floor, backfill, sill, joices, deck, then head down to the mill and start walls.
Reading: Mostly Lorca and Octavio Paz lately. S. has not been able to meet up for Spanish lessons, so my own course has been to play with short verses. Some fun new words: estanque (from memory the spelling) pond, desnudez, nudity, cortinas, curtains, o....I forget the word for looming, that was neat. They have been nice for this fall. I enjoyed a wonderful wooded walk, and was able to recite Wild Swans of Coole admidst the colors of the trees, but October is gone, and November pleasantly here with warmer weather than last year.

I am picking up a cute little heifer calf this Sunday. Little pricier than my normal calf purchases, but still heifers are hard(er) to come by, and I would like another critter for the extra milk here and there. I decided Antoinette as her name if she is unnamed. Either that or I will lock her in an attic and call her Bertha. Hope she doesn't burn me out of house!