Saturday, October 25, 2014

Eight weeks tomorrow!

Here's Ernie the English Shepherd doing his shepherd-dog thing, guarding the house and watching for Roo. He loves her like she was his own baby. I'm sure he would get a pretty good bite of anyone that laid a hand to her.

Our precious wee mite will be eight weeks old tomorrow, and we seem to be settling into the role of parents well enough. Aimee is having it harder than I, mostly because breastfeeding is time-consuming and keeps you in one spot. She's off to do the shopping and get a massage, a new treat for her, although probably also a necessity.

One important trick we discovered early on is that Roo falls asleep to the sound of white noise, especially machinery. The Kitchen Aid mixer is the best, but lots of other things have worked, from cars and trucks, through the drill press, to the new 3D printer in my workshop at college.

Accordingly, I recorded the mixer to my Mac laptop and play it in a loop whenever and wherever we need her to "go down." Here's the set-up, Roo in the rocker and the computer playing the mixer noise. Brings new meaning to the old phrase "mix tape."

Although there's way too much to do still, it's hard to get much done around here with weekends pretty much solid child care from front to back. We essentially have to plan out household and farm chores ahead of time, taking each others' plans and needs into account, and prioritizing. Even so, I've managed to find time to run the fat lambs to the butchers, deliver the meat, winterize the cars, clean up the yard, and put about half of the garden to bed. I'm waiting for a good solid hard frost for the potato harvest, then the rest can go to bed too.

Here's the underside of the Nissan pick-em up truck, getting what will be an annual coat of fluid film.

And her's a new investment, a diesel generator set built on an old British Lister Petter TS3 diesel. This cost $400 off Maine Craigslist. I got up at four this morning to drive up to Greenville to get it, leaving Aimee to look after Roo by herself for a short while. Turns out, when you have a baby and want to go dickering, you have to go early if you can, so you can get back to do your share of baby watching.

I'm looking forward to getting this beast running. It's 18KW, which is too much really for this house, but if we ever decide to build again, especially if we build off-grid, this will be ideal for running heavy duty farm machinery and shop tools. It can also be run off biodiesel and waste vegetable oil, like the grease cars the students use to build at the college in the early 2000s. I've been wanting to try a Lister grease-generator conversion for years.

The garden is still pretty to look at in places. The marigolds we planted to keep the flea beetles off the brassicas have done their work and then some, then decided to give us one final show.

Even Roo likes a walk in the veggie patch. Daddy is lousy at baby-selfies, though. Don't drop her!

Finally, here's Shawn doing his thing. The two at the front are breed ewes. Shawn is at the back, trying to keep up.

All in all, a very active late fall.

Snow will come soon, though, and I'm not ready yet. I need a few good days.

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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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