My Handyman Husband: Red Green or Tim the Tool Man?
Some days I have to check my marriage licence to see if I really married Dave or if I married Tim the Tool Man or Red Green? (Red Green is Canada’s answer to Tim the tool man, only actually funnier if that’s possible.)
If you follow my blog you’ll notice that my hubby is a bit handy around the house and farm. And … if he can’t do it, he’ll figure out how to do it with sometimes hilarious results (case in point … “Another Hot Day”). It just amazes me how one person can have such an imagination or different ideas in one brain. Really he should have been a scientist or something. I think his talents are going to waste on the propane truck. I mean honestly … how many men do you know will build a barn from scrap wood, no design (except in his head), nothing … and who is not a carpenter and it will actually exceed building codes!
We were at a friend’s house Saturday night and our friend was having problems with something in his mink pens (they’re mink ranchers). Well, Dave just started rattling off different ways to fix the problem. From just using duct tape (Red Green special) to having someone come in and fix it by doing this, and turning this around, and splitting something etc. I could just see Dave’s brain working a mile a minute. I could also see our friend’s brain just bog down with information overload!
But living with Red Green/Tim the Tool Man can also be costly. Thank goodness I work at a hardware and building supply store. I get a half decent discount on some things. Because on the mornings he’s off I dread to hear “Honey darling, can you bring me …” I think, Oh no, not again … what is he building, remodeling or repairing today?
In the long run I think it’s cheaper living with my Red Green since he saves hundreds of dollars every year in electrical, plumbing, heating, car, tractor, snowblower and electronic repairs.
His latest feat was rewiring the barn. The pigs didn’t have enough light or so he thought. Well at least he also added a light bulb at my milking stand. Right at butt height! This way I don’t need a flashlight to shine at the goat’s butt to see if she’s in heat or not. It also lights up well to trim the hooves.
Like Red Green would say, “If the women don’t find ya handsome, they can at least find you handy!” (Mind ya, I find my own Red Green handsome AND handy!)
Well I have finally decided what to do with my goats and should I, or shouldn’t I buy the other goat (mixed breed) I was thinking of buying.
I’m going to stick to my original plan of just breeding Alpines. I didn’t buy the other one I was that I was hemming and hawing about. I didn’t have to room at the moment and it wasn’t in my original plans. Raising a purebred goat is just as easy as raising a non-purebred goat, yet I find it’s easier to sell them and you can get alot more money for them. Then you can also find out if their mothers, grandmothers, etc., were good milkers, temperment, etc.
I’m also not going to switch to Nubians. This is just from my personal experience and from a few others that have raised both Alpines and Nubians. Nubians are cute as a button and very friendly, but very, very stubborn and are one of the hardest goat breeds to tell if they are in heat.
I have been lifting Whisper on the milking stand now for 2 weeks, so if I ever breed her and want to milk her, she’ll know what to do. Well she still doesn’t have a clue. The other Nubian I had was the same way. It took FOREVER for her to get the idea of getting on a milking stand. So every day I have to lift Whisper, who is now 78 pounds, onto the milking stand. (Dave is usually not around when I do this or he’d do it himself.) No wonder my back has gone kerflewy!!! I don’t know … Maybe it’s that I pick the wrong Nubians. But, I’ll stick to Alpines like I had originally planned. We will be keeping Whisper as a pet though. I still can’t figure out if she’s in heat or not. I’ve been checking everyday, twice a day since September. A friend of mine is getting a Nubian buck in the summer, and she said when the time comes I can let Whisper stay at her house for a month.
Saturday, Dave and J. came and picked me up at work. They had a trailer load full of bags of shavings from the coffin plant. They bag them or box them for us. It’s so nice of them. It took us a while to find a place to store them in the barn. It’s kinda full with hay and some of Dave’s gadgets. But we finally found a place to store all of it. It had to be done by Sunday since it was giving rain for Monday.
Sunday was a beautiful day. Wow! We haven’t had such nice weather in a while. J. and I put the goats out in the pasture. He had to dig the door out first. Then we walked around the property just to see how much snow we’ve had. It’s really beautiful … but it can go for a little while now. I’ve seen it enough for a few weeks anyway.
I cannot believe it! I might have convinced Dave to let me have bee hives! I don’t like cooking with sugar because it’s so unhealthy, and the price is going to skyrocket (or so I’ve been told), but it’s so expensive to buy honey. Soooooo … why not raise your own? I have to find someone who does it around here, so he can show me the ropes first. This is not something to get into lightly. I mean, when it comes time to harvest the honey I might be petrified. So, I want to go through the motions first. It would also help with the gardens around here. I have noticed in the last few years, how so few bees there are. This is not good!
Not The Mama, But I’m Now The Mama
Sometimes, mamas don’t want to let their young nurse. That’s when I step in to be the bottle mama.
The Making of an Honest Sled Dog
The Russ-Stick Acres dog team goes on a winter sled ride. Originally published in February 2010
Splitting Wood by Hand
Splitting firewood with hand tools is a skill every homesteader should have. Even if you own a mechanical wood splitter, knowing how to use a splitting maul and wedges comes in handy when the wood is too large or the log splitter can’t be used. Originally Published in January 2013