Another picture of the awful state of our siding and the lousy paint job
Last night we got a second estimate to have our siding replaced. To go with the Hardi plank siding (same as the first estimate) the cost with the local company was the SAME. We even asked him to run an estimate with vinyl siding just to see...and it only saved us $1K. I was thankful because I really, really would rather have the Hardi board stuff. So now, since this is way more than we had planned, we have to decide if we want to do this now, before winter hits...or do we wait until next spring giving us a little time to set aside some money. I have a feeling that we'll be waiting.
I did not get new pictures taken of the chicks, so I'll do that at the end of this week and call them the 5-week old pictures. I did find out this morning that they are using the perches in the coop and that makes me happy. I also stuck a couple of wooden dowels through the chicken wire on the run part of their home so that they had outside perches to play on. They use them that way all the time! We just have to make sure that they don't perch there at night or a possum is likely to grab one and that would not be pretty.
I've received a lot of emails from friends, family and even strangers about how impressed people are with what we are doing. Before anyone starts thinking that this is all cute animals and delicious country cooking...I figure that I'd better reveal a few of the not so picture perfect sides of this endeavor.
This morning, I set the alarm for 5 am so that I could get up, get the goat milked, feed and water all the animals, get something to eat and pack a lunch in time to leave at 6:30 am to bike to work. H got up at 6 and I was still no where near being able to leave. The goat wasn't ready to be milked at o'dark-thirty, so that took longer than expected. The cat was way too interested in the chickens this morning, so I had to be extra careful when feeding them and changing their water - so that took extra time. Then when I got inside, I discovered that we had no more glass jars for milk. They were all in use! I had to shift some milk into freezer bags and sanitize the jars before being able to strain today's milk. Then I realized that I'd defrosted meat for dinner, but I hadn't marinated it yet. I had to do that before work, knowing that I had a late conference call tonight and wouldn't be home in time to do that if we wanted to eat before 10 pm.
I ended up telling H to go on without me. I finished up my morning routine with tears in my eyes. If 5 am isn't early enough to be able to ride to work, what is? 4:30 am? So that means at most I can get 6 hours of sleep a night? I can't go to bed any earlier...I've got things to do at night, too. Maybe a 3 hour commute is just too much in conjunction with a farm and a full time job. Sometimes I wonder if this is all even possible. Am I kidding myself??
Anyway, as I was noticing the gorgeous day dawning over the goat pasture, I decided on a compromise. I made a double sized lunch, packed an extra work outfit and my biking clothes in my pannier and threw my bike in the back of the car. I'm going to bike home from work today after my conference call, and bike back in to work tomorrow morning. Then I can drive the car back home tomorrow afternoon. As much as I'd rather ride a full commute with company (my H), getting to do it half on one day and half on the next is better than nothing.
On Sunday, our ride started out stressful because I felt that taking 2-3 hours out of my weekend time for 'fun' is a bad idea. That's just wrong, right? But there is so much to do, and just not enough time in which to do it. The bathrooms need cleaning. The dining room table is still piled high with boxes. There are piles of broken down boxes everywhere. There are stains on the carpet from the move that still need steam cleaning. I have boxes of clothing lining the back hall. The guest room bed is piled taller than me with misc stuff that needs to be organized and put away. The piano is serving as a holding place for random things that probably all need to go into a yard sale that is still weeks away from happening. The laundry room is in chaos with things collecting there that don't belong there. The basement room is only about 1/2 done and the rest of the basement is a sea of boxes, 6 deep in some places. The garage is piles of stuff with walkways cleared through it to get to the things we need (and there is no way even one car could fit in there right now)...the shed is a pile of garden supplies in complete disarray. The lean-to only has 2/3 of the roof shingled and the chicken coop has no nesting boxes yet. The yard is only 1/3 mowed, the row garden needs weeding, the apples need picking, there is wood and oil to be ordered yet, and the siding is in sad, sad shape. All this is slowly eating away at this 'type A' personality of mine. It does not sit well with me - I pray that I can keep myself in some semblance of calm until we have time to work through all this stuff. Clearly things are not the idyllic picture I often present here...
Maybe someday I'll get this all down to a better routine/science. It is possible to do it all, right? That's what my mom always told me. "You can do anything you set your mind to"...well damn it, I intend to prove it (eventually).