Sunday, April 13, 2014


We keep looking at our two sheep-mountains, ewes Quinn and Quetzal, as they waddle around, wondering when they'll pop. They are so huge! But nothing ever seems to happen. Night checks are tiring, and so I try to fit in a nap during the day, but that's impossible on Mondays and Wednesdays when I have a late class. Hopefully they and the other three smaller pregnant ewes decide to give birth soon. I need more rest!

In other news, Aimee now has the long-planned "new" car, a Toyota Matrix with just under 60,000 miles, in very good shape. This, the culmination of about three weeks of car shopping that began in earnest during our spring break. That means I'm driving the Camry now, while the Ford, whose rust has become almost terminal, is up for sale.

Accordingly a couple weeks ago I listed it on Maine Craigslist. I wanted at least $600, and so turned down a couple of offers of $500. Then I clumsily missed a gear one day while making a left turn and caught the unmistakable whiff of clutch burning. At 167,000 miles without ever having had a clutch job, this car is well overdue. And no-one in their right mind would put a clutch in a car whose body was so rusty.

At about the same time a young person with some sheep farming experience called about the ad, and so one thing led to another. The Ford had to be discounted, on the grounds that I couldn't sell anyone a "lemon" without full disclosure and a price reduction, while we needed farm help with watching pregnant ewes and lambs on Mondays. In a series of email exchanges, we agreed to discount the price of the Ford to a couple of day's of sheep watching, throwing in a promise of mechanical help with the sticker.

Since the car can probably pass the Maine State inspection after a couple of small jobs are done, and if not, has about $150 scrap value, this seemed like a fair deal.

Since then a neighbor dog appeared and sniffed around the perimeter fence before being chased off, so we are even more concerned to have the coverage.

Three more full work weeks and a few days of grading are all that is left before our three-month summer vacation. Already the list of projects is growing. I plan to finish my ongoing trailer project (of which pictures will come later), switch out the failed transmission in the Nissan truck, complete the insulation project on the main house, hang T-111 siding over the new insulation and the extension and finish it with UV-proof wood finish, build a deck, grow our usual massive vegetable garden, and on and on.

This weekend so far has been pleasant, and I've made a start with the trailer. But it's inevitable that we're in wait mode for so many such projects, as well as for the ewes to give birth.

What was it that Dr. Seuss said about the "waiting place?"
“For people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or a No or waiting for their hair to grow.”
Unfortunately, with sheep and summer breaks, waiting is inevitable.

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Welcome to our Farm Blog.
The purpose of this blog is for Aimee and I to communicate with friends and family, with those of our students, and other folks in general who are interested in homesteading and farming activities.

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