"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Shoveling Poo , Spinning, and Packing

 Look at the late winter sun shining on and through the bottles in my Blue Bottle Garden. Some herbs are just beginning to poke through the soil, the rosemary is going strong, the lilac in this garden is budding. The temperature has been in the low 60's for several afternoons now, and the sunshine is making my animals very happy and busy about all the activities spring brings on in the animal world.
 My free-range chickens spend their nights and mornings in the shed in the left of this picture. I release them after noon to do what they love to do. Scratch the earth for bugs and seeds, interact with each other creating some very interesting chicken drama , nap in the sunshine. A few motherly hens stay indoors to incubate clutches of eggs.
 The chickens are scratching through piles of manure placed here for future plantings. These piles are from my sheep pen. My oldest grandson shoveled all the sheep poo for me. Over the past 20-some years my husband has built up the soil in our gardens using the many, many loads of manure from our sheep, goats, chickens, and rabbits. You know of course, there is a lot of hard work involved in shoveling all that poo. We don't have a tractor , shoveling is done by one of us ( me, husband, or grandson) requiring a shovel ,a wheelbarrow, and a lot of hard physical work.
 Sheep enjoying the warmth of the sun as they snuggle into a downed tree and stump.
 This is a flower bed on the shady side of our home. I dumped 2 wheelbarrows of mostly composted chicken poo into it yesterday. Two of the twenty-five overloaded wheelbarrows of chicken poo I cleaned out of a chicken pen over a period of 3 days. All by myself, just me and my shovel and wheelbarrow. Shovel, load, dump.Shovel, load, dump...25 times. That is a lot of poo. I have been so tired after shoveling so much poo that I have been unable to stay awake late , very unlike me.

In preparing to sell our home we have been taking down poultry pens and reducing the number of chickens I have. We are down to 2 pens of laying chickens, and my silly frillies ( frizzled bantam chickens ) inhabit the old shed and free-range. No more breeding pens for show chickens. I don't think I'll ever show chickens again but I will keep them for eggs and entertainment.
I cleared out my craft room. Last weekend my husband and I carried all the shelving out to the garage, along with many boxes and bins packed and labeled for the move. The craft room is ready to be painted and re-carpeted . After painting and re-carpeting I'll keep in my craft room only my sewing machine and all supplies necessary to work on a quilt I want to finish before we move. The supplies can all be contained in a big basket.

I have a lot of wool to be spun up into yarn. The 2-ply yarn in the picture above is some of my handspun Jacob sheep wool blended with Wensleydale wool  (500 yards of yarn ) spun up in the last few days. I spin most evenings while I watch television with my husband. I can get a lot of yarn spun up and don't feel like I've completely wasted my time when I watch t.v.

My past few days were spent spinning wool, shoveling poo, and packing. I need a nap.

Accomplished This Week~
  1. Poultry pens cleaned and taken down.
  2. Goat pen cleaned.
  3. Craft room packed , ready for painting and re-carpeting.
  4. Tea-cups packed.
  5. 3 skeins 2-ply yarn ( 500 yards ) spun up and ready for sale.


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Wow, you have been busy and I would be tired to after doing all of that shoveling, wheeling and dumping. It's nice that you can sit and spin your wool while watching TV.

Have you set a moving date?

Have a great day. Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

Tea in the Library said...

I have shoveled my share of manure but never sheep! Thank you for visiting and your kind words. I have been enjoying my sheep - they are on my dining room table as part of a St Patrick's Day display. I'll post a picture soon. Angels to you!

Amber said...

I love your yard with the sheds and trees! You have been quite busy. I am going to have a TON of manure to shovel once things warm up here. We use the deep manure process in our animal buildings during the winter months since everything freezes, and the manure (covered with clean hay every day) provides better insulation for the animals. Anyway, spring brings a HUGE cleaning-out day with lots of shoveling and wheelbarrow loads. It's quite exhausting, but good honest work!

Nib's End said...

You make me want to go tidy something around the house.

Last summer we had an old tree taken down on our parking. The mountain of wood chips left after the stump grinder was done was surprising. One hot, humid day I moved all the chips from the parking to spread in our green break behind the house. Free mulch. I wanted to get to them before the village truck came round to collect them. There were about 25 wheelbarrow loads! Mine, I suspect, were less fragrant than yours. Afterward, I took some aspirin and a nap.

Connie said...

There is always so much to do when packing to move and trying to sell a home. I don't envy you all the work that is before you. It sounds like you are making great progress, though. Good luck with what remains. I hope you are able to sell your house quickly once it is ready.

Rian said...

Since I'm relatively new to your blog, I had to go back a bit and find out where you were moving. It looks like somewhere you will both love, but I can imagine it would be hard to leave your Spot on Cedar Pond. It looks so comfy... However, having said that, I can't imagine someone not wanting to buy it. Good luck!

LL Farm said...

Wow, you have been busy, and as always everything looks so cozy. Someone will be lucky to purchase your place.

Anonymous said...

You've really gotten a lot done. I'm glad you have the strength to do that hard work.

Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your husband. May the Lord bless you as you prepare for the move.

Debbie - Mountain Mama said...

I would be ever so happy to take some of that poo off your hands!! Wow you've been a busy lady - no wonder you're exhausted!!

Pondside said...

Boy oh boy, Kathy, you are deep in Moving Mode!! Unless someone has prepared a rural property for sale it is impossible to imagine the sheer physical labour. Take care of yourself through this process - especially your back!

Deborah Montgomery said...

wow -- you have been very busy!! I have been laying on the couch sick all week, wishing I could do some work, but maybe not that much. I'm sure you're excited about the move. Take care, and don't work too hard!

Karen said...

That's a lot of work, Kathy. You definitely deserve a nap. Bless you!

Stella Jones said...

Ooh I'm getting a bit nervous about your move. When I visit your blog I feel like I'm visiting a friend and to a certain extent I am familiar with your home. I'm feeling sad that you're moving but looking forward to seeing and hearing about your new home. Where is it in America? Is it much further from where you are now? It is hard for me, as a Brit, to comprehend the scale of the distances over there.

Julene said...

It's been ages since I've been to visit you in blog land! I can see that the move is progressing and what a job it is! You are doing great!! I love what you said about the chickens and entertainment. That's exactly how we feel about our animals. They give so much joy!
I'm going to poke around your pages a bit more and see what the Oregon side of the mountain is doing. Have a great weekend!!

A. Joy said...
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