It's been a rather busy and momentous month, so i'm way behind on reporting on the annuals for grazing and pasture improvement project. Here are photos of growth at 60 days. Turned the cows in on August 1, 2017. Yah willing, my final report will be coming soon. It will take some number crunching and analysis, so will be several days, but i'm ready to put paid to this project.
What does a woman do when she is stuck inside due to extreme ragweed allergies!? It is frustrating because the weather is starting to cool off and there is always SO much to be done outside. Fences need repair, brush needs cutting, barns cleaned out, livestock needs shifting to new paddocks…… the list is endless. Up until this year, youngest son, Nathan, would do my basic chores (shifting livestock, checking water) from mid-August to mid-October, but he is off to uni this fall, so the task has fallen to Rick, our new hand whom we hope stays on to become manager – he is certainly capable. So, while I’m grateful,it’s frustrating as well.
So, after spending most of last week at my farm in south Missouri (Dallas and I were hoping our allergies would be somewhat alleviated, and surprisingly for me, i did find some relief, not so much for Dallas) and redesigning and setting up the working corral and trampling through a ‘jungle’ of a small timber patch to string out some polywire in preparation for fencing it off this winter and we started tearing out an old house, but wrong time of the year for that – i got stung on my upper lip just straight away. OUCH! brought tears to my eyes!
This week, we are back home, so my major goal is to ‘fall’ clean the house. Spiders have built webs in every nook and cranny inside and out, so lots of vacuuming and dusting. Of course, I vacuum all the furniture; under and around the arms and cushions, and turn them over to vacuum the dirt and dust from underneath. Cobwebs in the corners, from ceiling to walls, and walls to floors. Climbing a ladder to wash off the center and blades of our two ceiling fans and dusting the leaves of our one inside plant. Dusting the tops and back of wall photos and pictures, top of furniture, and all the wooden trim and doors. And definitely under the floor grates which cover the return air ducts.
One tip I learnt as a travel consultant when on Fams and checking hotel rooms, was to run your finger along the top of doors and/or shower rods. If there is dust, then the room is NOT clean.
Washing windows is sort of an outdoor job, so I can only do so much of that at a time before becoming overwhelmed with allergy attack. But i can plug away at it.
Additionally, Monday i listed a bunch of unneeded items to sell on Ebay, paid bills, and RIck and i pulled the CIDRs, administered Estrumate, applied heat detection patches, and mouthed a few of the 17 recip cows because the needed ear tags and i didn’t know how old they were. The ear tag number starts with the year they were born. For example, a four year old cow’s number would start with a ‘1.’ This took about an hour, so i was struggling a bit by the time i could get back into the a/c. Took a break, then went back out to let out the cows into the pasture south of our house for observing and ran water for them.
Of course, breakfast, lunch, and supper preparations are everyday.
Froze up a couple gallons of green beans, cooked down, slipped off the skins, and froze a gallon of tomatoes.
Our dear friend, Jesse Bright, built this eight-sided picnic table out of western red cedar maybe 12-15 years ago. He was still in high school, (another talented homeschooler), so it’s been a while. Jesse is now a technical designer at Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill in Alameda, CA, specialising in making his companies’ skyscrapers sustainable and ‘green’ as is reasonable.
Since the table has been sitting directly on the soil all these years, the bottom boards finally rotted away. So, today’s task is to at least get all the boards cut. Unfortunately, ragweed pollen is at extreme high allergy rate, so I can only spend a few minutes at a time outside before succumbing to maximum sneezing, mucuos production, swollen, itchy, red eyes. 😦
When my children were younger, this project of repairing the picnic table would be one of many math lessons. (We just completed 13 years of home education). Of course I did all the cutting and drilling until they were older. However, by then they could manage the entire project. Measuring, determining angles, planning the project, gathering the necessary tools and materials, determining if something needs to be purchased, then going to town to make the purchase or finding them out of our own inventory. Time and financial budgeting included as well as problem solving (because you know nothing is as easy as it looks). All skills needed to be successful no matter one’s career choice.
If there is any good to be had by this allergy, it is that every nook and cranny of our house is dusted, vacuumed, and scrubbed (we have hardwood floors). Furniture is moved and wiped down from behind and underneath. Every chair spindle and nightstand leg. Even the deep, dark recesses of the wardrobes. Not my favourite of tasks, but a rewarding one nonetheless. And my favourite travel agent, fam (familiarization) trip, hotel site inspect check – wipe clean the top of every door. You know, the kind of cleaning you can’t hire anyone to do well. Clean everything you say – then they ask, ‘do you want me to clean that?’ Quizzically, you wonder if the assignment is unclear or is it a trick question!?
Deep down cleaning beats giving the tops a quick swipe at least twice a year. However, the windows – the outside anyway – cannot be washed because letting outside air, heavy with the yellow dust of ragweed pollen, will set me off with non-stop sneezing, wheezing, itching skin, eyes, ears, watering red eyes, scratchy throat, and, in some cases, difficulty in breathing, resulting in not being able to talk for several hours. Being inside with air conditioning is my only relief with Benadryl able to manage only the mildest attack, which may occur when i’m inside.
Some people fortunate enough to find natural ‘cures’ for their seasonal allergies have willingly shared their findings and though I try most, unfortunately, none have put the slam-dunk on my nemesis. I’m headed next week to another allergist for consultation and prick testing; perhaps this time a magic potion can be developed for me. What kinds of allergies, if any, do you have, and what works to control them!?