Saturday, January 5, 2013

progress indoors and out

The weather was milder today - quite a bit of snow melted off the roof into the rain barrels. I'm very happy that my new submersible stock tank heaters have come. Two of my rain barrels were empty and are refilling; the third has ice on the top too thick for me to break through it (yet). Still, enough melt water got in around that ice that I was able to fill a couple of buckets from the spigot. I'm looking forward to being able to put a heater into all three barrels and all three galvanized tubs, so that the water in them will be accessible all winter. (No, I won't have them plugged in all the time!)

I scored six more Christmas trees for the goats today, too. Two from friends, one from a friend's next-door neighbor (who had seen the spot on the news about Hope's goats and their fondness for pine trees - AND who'd heard the spot on NPR about various ways to re-use Christmas trees, which did not include 'feeding them to ruminants') and three others from the side of the road, set out for the trash companies to take to mulching facilities. The first tree my goats had is now more akin to toothpicks. They were very happy to see a new one.

Inside, Eli came over to visit, and after plying him with hot chocolate, we moved some furniture. The work table is out of the kitchen, the butcher block is moved to behind the gas stove, the desk is in from the living room, and we moved the poster-sized photo I took in 1988 in the Bavarian Alps to the living room, and moved the children's art bulletin boards into the hall, where they are actually visible. There's still ever so much more tidying, chucking, and cleaning to do, but progress is good.


  1. Did you buy or make your own rain barrels? I've decided to have the kids try to help me make at last one this year.Glad the goats enjoyed their trees.

    1. Cyndi - two of the rain barrels came from the town's recycling program coordinator (such a deal!) and the third is just an open-topped 55-gallon barrel. The commercial barrels have spigots, which is really nice. The other one we have to dunk pitchers into it to have access to water. It works fine, though. I also have 20-gallon galvanized washtubs to catch the overflow of the two commercial barrels. And, I now have stock tank heaters in all but one of these (the commercial barrel at the west/cold end of the house, which has a HUGE ice block in it) so *if* they try to freeze again, I can thaw them. I can also offer warm water to the livestock when it's below freezing, which they appreciate.

  2. Christmas trees!
    We already take our neighbors' pumpkins for the compost and chickens, we'll take their trees too!
    Are you concerned about any kind of chemicals on the trees?