Friday, September 21, 2012

Sheep, clotheslines, bugs, and a new job???

Once again I haven't been home for several days in a row.  After learning about the mountain lion I half expected to come back to only a handful of sheep.  I finally made it out to the pasture today.  The ram met me up by the barn but there weren't any other sheep in sight.  I couldn't have lost ten, could I?  The back of the pasture is tree lined and the sheep like to hang back there during these hot days, so I headed toward the back, not knowing how many I'd find.  Amazingly all eleven are still in the pasture.  Was the mountain lion just casing the place for when he's hungry next time? 

I spoke with the local fish and game warden and she said that nobody has reported any animals being killed in my area.  She gave a good hint for luring it back.  Keep one of the sheep (an old one) out in the pasture at night as prey.  If the lion kills the sheep you can find where it carried it off to (it won't eat it all in one day) if you watch the sky.  Usually the buzzards will find it, although you won't have many birds circling that first day you should be able to see one or two.  Then you stake that spot out because it will come back in a day or two to get the rest of the kill.  Then you shoot.  She said to make sure you kill it, not injure it.  No problem.  If I see it I will kill it. 

I'm fortunate that the sheep walk themselves up to the barn each night, which is probably what is saving them.  But several years ago the lion was bold enough to catch one in the middle of the day so if they are hanging out in the very back, they will be easy prey.  Keeping an older ewe out to be purposefully caught?  It's an interesting idea. 

The garden is  producing well.  It's still over 90 each day.  Is it because the evenings are cooling off  a little?  I'm getting more eggplant and okra than we can eat so it's being put up. 

The clothes line broke.  It lasted for about 300 loads of laundry and being blasted by the sun.  Not bad for the six or seven dollars that it cost.  But that's only about a year worth of use.  What if I couldn't get any more clothesline?  Should I go to plastic coated metal?  How about heavy fencing wire?  Does anyone use this?  It sounds like a good idea and should be able to easily hold 20-30 pounds of clothing.  Right now I wrap the clothesline around the trees in the backyard.  I wonder if they would last longer if they were not rubbing against the bark?  What if I bought the metal wheel to guide the line? 

After being gone a week I came home to being told there were bugs in some of the food.  It's just little black flour bugs, but bugs are bugs and are a good way to wreck food, or at least wreck your appetite.  When I was told there were bugs in the food I had this flash of horror that all the food in the home-store would be infested.    Demand can be used in the house.  You mix it, put it into a sprayer and spray the floors.  It will kill the bugs.  I'm not sure how the bugs got in, other than walked through the open door.  When I buy any type of grain (whole or processed) or nut I always throw it into the freezer for several days prior to putting it into storage.  I took the container of cereal and crackers and put them into the freezer.  Dead bugs. 

I was gone a week, home for three days, gone for two, home for a week and a half starting yesterday, then I'll be leaving for a week and a half.  It's been a long summer.  I wish I got paid overtime! 

There's a possibility that I'm going to be changing jobs.  I applied for a job about six months ago that was out of state.  Over 200 people applied for that one position.  I was in the top ten but then they decided not to fill the job until next spring.  This new job is a local job...well, it's an hour drive, but we wouldn't be moving.  There may be over 100 people applying for this job.  I've already been told I'm the #1 candidate so it will be mine to blow at the interview...or dazzle them!  There are positives and negatives to any job choice we make.  The positives are 4 day work week, 1 1/2 times the salary, very little overnight travel.  Some real positives, especially 1 1/2 times the salary.  I just keep dreaming of more preps, including some of the more expensive upgrades I want to do to the property.  I could pay this place off in less than five years if I put almost all the extra toward the mortgage.  Wouldn't that be wonderful. Will this crazy society last five more years?  I would also be able to upgrade the bug-out place.  That is already paid for.  Perhaps that's the better thing to do?  Definitely some good positives and lots to think and dream about. 

What about the negatives?  Now, when I'm not traveling I can work at home or at the office.  I don't know if the new job will allow me to work at home on office days.  Now that all the house guests are settled in their own places, when the grand kids are in school, working at home is the absolute ideal place to be.  I need to think about some task?  Think while pulling weeds, fixing hoses, watering the animals.  It's easy to keep up with the place and work, and I get more accomplished working at home than when I am in the office.  With the job I have now I travel a lot and trying to raise a couple of grand kids and travel doesn't work out well for them.  They get passed around to their aunts and uncle a lot.  Work provides me with Internet, vehicle (I can commute in it, it's not for regular personal use), cell phone, etc. but only 2/3 the salary of the possible new job.  New job - guaranteed 3 days off each week rather than now working 5-7 days per week (including one stretch of 23 in a row this summer - sure they gave me an extra $903 for that so I'm supposed not mind working 112 hours per week for over three weeks)  The new job is sounding better and better isn't it?  I'll know in about 2 or 3 months if it's mine!

Somehow I must have offended someone.  I had 80 followers, now 79.  Isn't that amazing?  79 people regularly read my struggles of trying to work, raise grand kids, prepare for a disastrous future, coupled with some good laughs now and again.  Thanks for helping keep me on track. 


  1. It must be pleasantly surprising for the game warden to give you permission to shoot the mountain lion. I thought they were almost like the condor for being protected. Good Providence with that.

    Instead of tying the clothesline around the tree, you could push a bigger rope through a length of old hose and loop it around the tree. Tie these loops off at each tree. Then tie the clothesline to the loops. The loops will stay and all you would ever have to do is replace the clothesline when needed.

    Work is always a strange topic. I think the next 2-5 years will be a constant changing situation. I wonder how government agencies, like the school I work for, will adapt and change with the financial constraints that are going to be placed on them. Being near the top of the seniority list have some comfort, but I could also see seniority being thrown out. I also wonder about a younger teacher with a family. If I hang on, am I hurting them? Maybe being flexible and able to teach many things will be a help. There will be no simple answers to your job situation. Take care,and don't worry about losing a follower.

  2. The game wardens don't agree with not shooting mountain lions, nor the new law about not chasing away bears with a dog. Most people who work in the woods keep a dog with them just to chase away creatures that want to kill them. But that's now not allowed. Sorry, I'll keep a dog and a weapon with me. The state's proposition process has brought about some crazy rules that the wardens have to enforce, whether they agree with them or not.