Focus farmerNovember 1-7, 2004Longer days, less daylight
It has been pretty cold here all week. No more snow but it sure feels like it could at any time. We are spending as much time as we can outside getting ready for winter. With these shorter days I only have daylight hours on the weekends or in the mornings. Shawn's days are getting longer also. He leaves earlier and returns later. He has already had to put chains on his truck to get over the mountain (not Shawn's favorite thing to do). He is getting home with a little daylight left most days.
We have figured out a routine for taking care of the animals. I do the morning chores and Shawn does the evening ones. When we start calving in February, I have several people lined up to either watch the store or check the cows off and on every day. Luckily there are only 10 to calve so it won't be too bad. They are all really good moms and have all calved at least once already.
Things at the store are busy. I am getting ready for Christmas but refuse to put up any decorations until the day after Thanksgiving. I have fall harvest decorations out now and will change them to Christmas. I have a dinner and program for horse owners scheduled for the 10th so I am working on that. I have a rep from Fort Dodge and my salesman from the Animal Health Company that I get my products from coming. Also at the store I am working on a Grand Opening for the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, and a holiday shopping tour bus or two coming from LaGrande the fist Saturday of December. I am also trying to figure out a way to stock larger amounts of feed so that Shawn doesn't have to make so many trips to the mill this winter. I can have the mill deliver but it is not cheap. I changed my hours for Saturdays. I was closing at 4 pm but have moved it up to 3 pm. The Co-Op closes at noon so I am still open later than them. I am also open an hour longer during the week. They close at 5 pm and I am staying open until 6 pm.
Saturday morning was the annual 4-H Radio Auction. This is where the County 4-H'ers get their travel funds to help with the costs of travel when the kids go out of the area to state and national contests. The store donated a gift certificate then I purchased a few items. After I closed, I went to Enterprise to pick up and pay for my purchases. One of the items I have to wait until April or May for it to be ready. I bought a feeder lamb that was donated by a 4-H family. Not sure yet what we will do with it, probably finish it out and butcher it, we both like lamb. After I was done I went to Wallowa to the laundromat to wash Sneaky's winter blanket. The Laundry Mat in Enterprise has signs up that say, "no horse blankets". I wait as long as I can to put it on her but she needs it. I guess coming from a milder climate, she just isn't going to get much of a winter coat. Last year I tried to leave it off but she got too cold and never did hair up.
We ended the week with beautiful weather. Shawn and I worked outside most of the day, tearing out an old fence along our driveway that had been falling down long before we bought the place. Shawn has worked on it longer than just Sunday and it sure is looking a lot better! Next week I have to get more feed from the mill and I have the horse dinner, busy as usual!