Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Labor Day week-end

With a four day week-end because of Labor Day, we made the most of it with getting little and big jobs done around the farm. Many projects evolved. A few happened because the time was right. If this was supposed to be a week-end for vacationing, our vacation was pretty farm oriented  (there was time for watching some DVDs among them one of the worst Randolph Scott movies I have ever seen).

To make the week-end even better, we had good weather, not too hot, not too cold, no rain until Tuesday and then only lightly. I loved the cloud shapes overhead to make the sky more interesting.

First came finally buying a used ATV which will become one of the farm's needed tools. How we got by so long without it or a horse, I don't know when trying to work cattle, but this year, when we had the cow in labor trouble, we knew for sure we had to get something that would do more than the truck, tractor or back-hoe where it comes to helping the animals or even herding them.

The ATV will also be easier on our pasture. You cannot believe the ruts the truck or tractors make when they have to go to the back of the farm for fence work and it's been wet for a long time. Those deep ruts have made doing irrigation this year much more difficult. Hopefully we can get some of that smoothed out before winter sets in.

Farm Boss finally found the right one, heavy duty enough to pull a cow into the barn, maneuverable, and at the right price. That took up Friday between finding it and then him going back with the livestock trailer to get it. Of course, I had to try it out and found they can be fun beneficial. We need a roll bar for it as they can be dangerous especially if used on slopes.

He sheared the horned rams which our regular shearer had not wanted to do given she had been injured before on the bigger animals. Those horns are something to be wary of, but they are so pretty. We are in breeding season right now; so the wool is off none too soon. Nighttime makes for some interesting barnyard sounds to say the least. For the most part, sheep, at least ours, tend to breed at night... more privacy?

Finally, and this all comes in no special order, came partially closing in two sides of the patio between the greenhouse and the back bedroom. This is where I have been painting. Great light and close enough to go in and out while working on a painting. . It will also give us a nice place in the fall and spring to sit in the late afternoon and enjoy a glass of red wine with the wind blocked and the sun able to warm the space as its biggest expanse of plastic faces east. There is even a heater out there for the greenhouse although not sure how economical that would prove to be.

I have a big pile of firewood to stack but am taking my time with it as I enjoy the job but my back lets me know when I have done enough. I give it a break and go back to it when my back has forgotten. I am not sure what makes stacking firewood satisfying but I generally want the job.

Although this year Farm Boss had thrown some wood from our place in the way before the firewood was delivered. It has made it more difficult. I worry when I am out doing it that I will trip over something and take a header. So this has been slower than usual for the stacking part. Next time he does that, he can stack the firewood! No, wait, I like the job. Next time he can stack the uneven wood!

Unfortunately in doing the patio project, we also realized that we have to do some repainting of the house. This is something we had not planned before next year but it cannot be totally put off-- although we won't repaint the whole house just yet. We did choose the paint and bought about half of what we will need.

So it was a laboring, Labor Day but fun too. Living here, sometimes taking a vacation just means staying home. Sure there's work but we could pay for this kind of exercise at a gym and here we not only get it for free, but we get some needed jobs done.
Oh and that 1955 Randolph Scott film, Ten Wanted Men. When I ordered it from Netflix, I expected a B western, which I sometimes enjoy, but this didn't qualify even for a B. Despite being made in Arizona, some in Old Tucson, having Richard Boone as the villain, Dennis Weaver as the sheriff, and a lot of other generally good western character actors, it was just plain laughable which might mean it offered something except, it was not supposed to be laughable.

I was so irked with Scott playing a man who had built up a huge ranch during dangerous times and then showing little judgment of recognizing risk when it was looming. I can tolerate a lot in a western because I like them so much, but they have to have some logic attached. The man he was playing would have been smarter and frankly so should Scott have been in accepting this story. Maybe he was stuck under a contract as he hasn't struck me as someone without commonsense.

I would feel sad about him choosing to make such a lousy story except he redeemed himself by making Ride the High Country in 1962 as his last film and good he retired after it on a high note.


Paul said...

A farm is a lot of work, but it can be a good life. I like the old westerns too-especially ones by John Ford. "Ride the High Country" is a classic film. I am glad that Scott finished on a high note, because I liked the old Virginian as an actor.

robin andrea said...

I always like reading about your farm life, rain. I find it very inspiring. I hope when your back gives you that warning sign, you ice it a bit. I have found that helps prevent a major pain.

Ingineer66 said...

Nice quad. That looks like fun. Around here a lot of the ranchers also have gator type vehicles to run around in. They have two seats side by side and a roll bar and a small pickup bed. More expensive than a quad and less maneuverable for herding cows, but they don't make deep ruts like a pickup either.

Rain said...

Farm Boss is already looking for the right little trailer to go with it. I am the one that is more concerned that he got a roll bar. I have heard of too many people being killed on them. We had thought of the gator actually but we have the truck if we really need something bigger or the tractor or backhoe.

TaraDharma said...

sounds like a very satisfying weekend. I love getting tasks done (I like stacking firewood as well, it's meditative). I have a friend who farms on Hawaii and she has an ATV that makes it possible for one middle-aged gal to take care of a large farm. The right tools are invaluable!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

You got a lot accomplished over the Labor Day Weekend...! I am impressed!

Sometimes, Actors do things for the money, because they need to....Maybe this film was one of those.
"Ride The High Country" was a lovely bonus-finish to a long career. How womderful that his laat film turned out to be a "classic".

Ashleigh Burroughs said...

I envy your tired-in-a-good-way muscles and congratulate you on the acquisition of your new toy.... uh,I mean farm vehicle. I, too, love your "life on the farm" posts, almost as much as I like stacking firewood... just like you.

I like thinking of you in your sunny protected space, sipping wine and enjoying the fruits of your labors.