Saturday, April 18, 2015

It's Raining...

I cannot even begin to tell you how happy this makes me. Rain, snow...Moisture of any kind is so VERY welcome. I was really getting worried we wouldn't get any before I had to make a do or die decision about planting my pasture this spring.

The vast majority of my pasture had absolutely nothing growing on it...except those damn prairie dogs, so when the farmer worked it up, it worked up great. There was one strip where there was still grass and that did not work up so well. The farmer told me, he would really like to get a rain on the ground, at least a 1/2", so he could work the field one more time and break up the cloddy section. We finally got that and a bit bring on the farming.

The only problem is...I got tired of driving the bobcat around and getting in and out of it 1000 times a day to pick up individual rocks, so I started just walking and making rock piles. The moisture showed up one day ahead of schedule, so my piles and piles of rocks are still setting in the pasture. LOL. Oh well, if it's too muddy to take the bobcat out, it's too muddy to farm.

I have had a bad feeling about the drought situation we are looking at here, so I have been buying up hay. Right now, people are starting to clean out their barns in preparation for this year's crop and the prices have dropped somewhat. Last Fall I was paying $65 for 800 lb. squares of grass hay. I just bought 60 of those same sized bales in a grass/alfalfa mix for $53. I also just bought 200 small squares of grass hay for $4/bale and may very well have worked out a deal with this guy to buy all of his hay this year for an extremely reasonable price. The only catch is I will have to get it off the field myself. But, he did say that if I made the agreement with him that he would have it baled any size I if the price is right, I'll have him bale it all in the 800 lb bales and that will give me a year's supply of straight grass.

My plan is to continue to keep buying up as much of last year's hay crop as I can. My gut says that the prices are going to be higher this year than they were last year and I would really, really like to be able to not only save a bunch of money, but alleviate worry about hay. The whole hay situation is just getting out of hand. Which is the reason I am so determined to get my pasture planted this spring. Ten-twelve acres of pasture will cut my hay costs by about 1/2 next year.

The first 2 years we were on this place, my hay costs weren't extra-ordinary, but after the prairie dogs made such a mess of my pasture and the messed up irrigation failed to water everything, my hay needs have skyrocketed. Enough is enough!! I suppose, in hindsight, I probably should have started the revamp on this place with the pasture and irrigation situation, but I didn't know enough people or enough about irrigation to jump on top of it right away. I needed the time to really figure out exactly how I wanted to lay it all out; pasture, dry lots and arena. Now that I finally got it all figured out...I cannot wait to get it finished. The way I will have it set up will give me 2 large dry lots, one of which can be divided, and each one of these dry lots will open out onto one of 3 pastures of varying sizes; 1-5 acre, 1-4 acre and 1-2 acre. Add an open faced shelter to each of the dry lots and I will have the perfect set-up.

The tile/carpet guy FINALLY finished up with our 'rental' house and I have begun painting the interior. We are not going to be renting this place out again. It's getting all fixed up and we may eventually list it for sale. MH really likes that place though and it is set up for his car collection exactly the way he wanted it. We got some pricing for building the exact same shop set-up on our ranch property and Gaahhhh!! It was astronomical. Unless we sell the other place, we cannot swing it and the market is not conducive for selling at the moment. So for now, we are simply going to do, His and Her's properties. LOL. I know, it sounds weird, but this place is perfect for me and that place is perfect for him. And this way, we have a guest house. :-D. When I was in AZ the last time, I got on a roll at the GoodWill stores and ended up buying almost all of the furniture the house needs. I still need to pick up some extra beds and a few odds and ends. The mattresses I will buy new, refusing to buy used mattresses may be my only phobia. I just can't do it. But looking for everything gives me the opportunity to continue to haunt the local thrift stores and hit some garage sales. LOL.

I keep trying to bring Flashy home, but circumstances keeps pushing that back. I went over the other day to show him off to Ronny and both of the yearlings had snotty noses. It was my intention to put Flash in the pen next to Beretta and Ruger, but of course, with a snotty nose, I cannot do that. I'll have to put him in the little barn away from baby Ruger. Then the winds came up for a couple of days and it was impossible to get anything done outside. Then the vet asked if I could move his mare and yearling to the vet clinic, so I figured it would be easiest to move everyone at the same time, then the weather changed and it got cold and wet. I'm adverse to moving youngsters around in less than good circumstances, they have a tendency to get a little more worked up and less than good timing or weather can make it more difficult on them than necessary. And since the babies already have snotty noses, no sense upsetting their systems any more.

This coming week is going to see me running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Getting the pasture cleared for the next round of farming, moving horses and bringing loads of hay home. I've also got to get prepared to take Frenchie and Scamper back to SD the last week in April. Of course that depends on the weather going on there and in the mountains, so I will have to wait and see how that all plays out. I love it that everything is coming together...but it never fails that it all seems to come together at once. LOL.

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