Monday, October 24, 2005

Enter autumn

Cold this morning... 24 F. Forecast low was 40 F, so even with my usual 10 degree allowance for the fact that the NWS is full of shit, this caught me by surprise. Didn't adequately cover one of the chicken pens and had a couple of dead birds this morning (not from hypothermia, but from "piling": they all huddle together so tightly the botom birds suffocate). Water lines ot the pens were frozen too, but they thawed by mid-day. Gray and in the 40s with a penetrating breeze now.

Am understanding why most people shut down their pastured chicken operations by this time of year... but I agreed to push one late batch through to help with the stockpiles for winter. Between increased mortality and increased feed consumption I may not make a profit at this final batch. So it goes.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Tackling the dining room

I've gotten the chickens down to enough of a routine so that, even though I have a full contingent of 400 birds right now, I have time to get back to working on the house. Next task: Dining Room. The one or two of you who have been here will remember this at the room piled with junk to the left as you come in to the foyer, not the room piled with junk to the right. Spent the last two days pulling out the remains of the drywall (mostly the ceiling -- incredible showers of filth cascading down!) so I can start prepping and repairing the original tongue-and-groove wood walls. Amazing to think that I am preparing these walls for only their second paint job ever; the first having been applied about 118 years ago. First though I have to remove a century of dirt and soot accumulated on them from innumerable candles, woodfires, and kerosene lamps.

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