It's 6:06 p.m. and its dark out. Now the evenings stuck in the house begin. For a brief few weeks it will actually be daylight when I do chores in the morning, but that won't last long. Soon I'll only see the critters in the daylight on weekends. Yes, I'm bummed. This is the most difficult season for me to adjust to, and I find myself with thoughts of hibernating roaming through my brain.
Winter is upon us, even if it is still mild and roses are blooming.
We've had some frosty mornings in the last week or so, but so far not an all over killing freeze. It still continues mild with lots of sunshine. However even if the season isn't in sync, I know what's coming and it's time to start battening down the hatches and preparing for winter.
Blogging has went by the wayside for the last week as I scramble to get things marked off the list and completed before the weather turns. At night, my body and brain seem to conspire to make me lethargic so that I can't muster up the energy to actually turn on the computer and form a coherent sentence.
The garage is now full of green aromatic bales of hay. It's a lovely sight to see and smell. This is the latest I've ever had to wait for hay, but the fall cutting came through and its a nice blend of brome, reed's canary and some fescue and millet. I like the lespedeza better and I think so do the sheep but this is very nice quality stuff and they eat it fine. Maybe next year the lespedeza will make it.
Outside my focus has shifted to cleaning up gardens, birdbaths, dog swimming pools, as well as finding a spot to store everything under cover for winter. Boone's large shed house has been cleaned and sprayed and fresh straw and blankets and pillows tucked in it. (The blankets and pillows will, unfortunately, be brought outside multiple times by a certain dog. At least he has been leaving his large bed inside.) Dog and cat covers and bedding as well as people bedding has been washed and aired. I even flipped the mattress! The wood stove has been cleaned and has been burning a slow fire for a couple of weeks now--just enough to keep the chill out. The dog's got an unappreciated bath over the weekend, taking advantage of the still warm air outside. Gourds(many) and pumpkins (2) have been picked and vines pulled. Wool has been moved out of its summer storage and wood put in its place. Keeping the woodbox filled and the hungry stove fed is added to the daily chores. When I'm out and about doing chores, I pick up bits of sticks here and there for kindling. There is allot of kindling out there from the ice storm. I try not to come back empty handed to the house. I know once it turns wet and cold it gets harder to find dry bits to get the fire started, so it's nice to fill the kindling tub up now.
The sheep are still in their breeding groups, which adds a little extra to the chore load. At least half are bred now, and tentative plans are to break up the groups over Thanksgiving weekend. It'll be nice to get everyone back in one flock and tucked in for the winter. Once they are all back in the main flock and the weather turns colder I will commence feeding round bales. This will reduce chore time considerably. When the ram is gone, then I will start leaving open the gate to the night paddock so the girls can come in and feed off the round bale during the day or take shelter in the barn if a sudden snow storm comes up.
Even without the cold to remind me, the urgency is there to 'get down to business'. As usual, there will still be things that won't get done, but I think that the important things are getting whittled down. With the warmer temps I've had to put off putting up plastic around the two chicken houses/pens. I'm sure I'll likely get to do that some cold and rainy day, when the weather dramatically changes, as it is wont to do.
Soon, it'll be time to turn my thoughts more to indoor activities. Some projects that will be fun for the winter, so the 'blahs' don't own me the whole season. I've got ideas, lots of ideas..... Maybe keeping up this blog better will head the list! ;-)
Hoping all is well in your little corner of the world--and that you are ready for winter!