Playin’ Possum

Hello friends!

Wow-wee, it got cold this week! And blustery and rainy and goodness, fall is starting to feel very much like early winter. I’ve gone ahead and changed the site to fall colors, I’ll probably end up changing the banner again if we get some colors, but that cute little tree in the pasture might just about it. Which I’m grateful for, don’t get me wrong.

Its feeling really odd for fall, which seems to be the theme of the year, because it’s alternating strongly between “it’s still summer!” And “if you blink there will suddenly be snow”… but as for fall feelings? Not a ton of those. It really can’t decide if it’s like to be a long summery slope into a brisk autumn or a free fall plummet into winter. Seems like each day it changes its course.

We’ve been winterizing where we can around the farm, it’s a little difficult when one day everything desperately needs water to stay healthy in the midday warmth and the next, you’re worrying about overnight freezing. We’ve pulled the irrigation pump setup for the year and emptied the system. Seems like no matter how well we winterize the system each year, there’s one little brass fitting that fails every single season, so this year we pulled it completely off the pump and it has pride of place on a shelf in the warm basement. We shall see if that fixes the problem. It’s a pricey little piece to lose every year, and also, it’s just ridiculously annoying to fix again come springtime.

The house irrigation is a fancy mess that we have someone come help us with. It’s a computer run system with fancy automated valves, and it has never consistently run right, so we have professionals come handle the winterization for us. I don’t want to accidentally flood my basement because I thought I had the system shut down properly. In fact, he came out yesterday to winterize it since we are officially under freeze warnings for a while.

We plowed the remains of the garden under, hopefully any nutrients left will return to the soil and it will prevent the opossum from finding our farm a habitual resting place. It’s like fighting an angry tenant at this point, he regularly goes in and chases the cats away from their food unless we leave the shed lights on, will sneak into the equipment workshop and throw every tool and stored item on the ground, and will now taunt the chickens from the mesh roof of their run, since we leave the lights on in there as well, and no longer easily come in. I’ve been looking into lower cost lighting for the outbuildings, which I needed to do anyway, but it’s a priority now since darn near every light has to be left on to protect the farm animals. And honestly, our sanity, since it’s really disheartening to have to clean up thousands of nuts and screws off the floor every time that crazy rodent goes in and rips the shelving units off the walls. Did I mention he’s easily pushing 20 lbs? He’s gotten quite comfy helping himself to my produce and unfortunately, several of my chickens. The jerk. He even scared off the sprinkler guy for a while. I thought I was going to have to break in a new one. Do you know how hard it is to find a good sprinkler guy? Ugh. The best part of all of this craziness is the little guy is no longer afraid of us, so the tables have turned, and we’ve developed this odd sentimentality towards him that is absolutely not reciprocated. All in all, a very weird situation.

If you can ignore that I am incapable of selfies, I thought you might enjoy my “proof” for the tack store, so I can purchase dewormer sometime in the next couple weeks. Not pictured, Nellie nearly wiping me out seconds before we got the shot because she got too excited about selfies.
I had to “convince” her to hold still for me, she was really focused on eating some grass and I was blocking the way

I managed to make some cinnamon rolls since I have been craving them for about a week. They weren’t from scratch or anything, didn’t have time for that, but they were very tasty and lasted in my house less than 24 hours. My family is very strongly hinting at my making them again, but I’m running low on baking supplies and need to make a grocery run first. Especially because every time I use powdered sugar it goes literally everywhere and gets into everything. That particular product runs out very quickly.

As of the writing of this blog, we are still awaiting the arrival of a new family member, my cousin is having another little girl and she’s set to make her arrival any time. This will be my cousins third little girl and she is so excited to be growing her family again. Her older two are four years old and five years old and little spitfires to boot. They love coming out to the farm and playing with the animals, “helping” in the garden, investigating whatever new toys I’ve put in the toy boxes, and generally getting so dirty that I feel a little badly putting them back in their mom’s car.  Not all that terribly though, because clothes wash but childhood farm memories are forever. Trust me.

As a protip, if you live on a farm, dollar store toys are your friend. Let’s face it, balls will pop, dolls will take dirt baths, crayons will get mashed into your fences and porch railings (my fridge is partially purple because apparently even goof-off can’t remove crayon from a textured white fridge. I dunno, I think it adds something to the kitchen). The dollar tree in my area gets a lot of my business because at least twice a year I go a little crazy on the toy section to refill our stock (and update it as the girls get older and new arrivals join, age-appropriate toys are a must). And I pick up new toys here and there all year long to replace or improve. Usually in the spring I walk out with a whole load of balls, jump ropes, chalk, hula hoops, and whatever yard games I can find, and in the winter, I restock on crayons, little dolls, and those plastic food and utensils sets. The girls absolutely love those. I like that it saves my pots and pans a little wear and tear from rambunctious play.

The dollar store is also great for basic stationary supplies, holiday decor, and some kitchen accessories and baking supplies. I’m a big proponent of the “buy cheap and if you break it buy expensive” rule for kitchen gadgetry, and honestly, some of the stuff I’ve picked up at the dollar store outlived my nice utensils. The holiday decor is great as long as you get there early, in my area the Halloween stuff is out and picked through usually by mid-August.

Well, I think that’s all there is for me this week, as we get into the colder season, I’m going to have to get creative about the work on the farm, and I guess I should start working on all the indoor household projects that I’ve been putting off. Time to get organized for the colder months, I think.

Until we chat again, my friends!

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