I took a video of my hand driving today. It's uploading, just a short, probably be up by the end of this thread.
I had a dead tree down in my way, too big for me to move with my unaided body strength. I needed to get it into the creek. And my slip, which I had a rocky start with
yesterday, was still out in the Winter Pasture. These names are historic, from when G had about a hundred Angora goats and this was a fiber farm. I knew her but just as a friendly acquaintance. Long road to here.
But I digress.
3. I got a late start. A local church, where our adopted family goes, gave away a Thanksgiving meal free to all comers, out of a little kitchen facility which our family member owns.
Advertised it in the paper, all comers, free food, no speeches no hassle, drive by pickup.
4. I'm not a church person myself, but we've long since made peace with that, and just like my Amish friends, I have many friends among this congregation. Their founding pastor is a friend. Good people with kind hearts.
So we went and got our lunch, and ate it together, and then
5. I went out and harnessed up the girls.
It's gotten to where I can pretty much open up the harness room door, and start bumbling around, and Clara will come in to see what's up & score some goodies. Usually by the time I've got her haltered and tied, Missy is at the door.
6. Missy is much more refined and ladylike. She doesn't barge in. Clara's a good natured goof and just barges in happy. So, Missy will be at the door, looking in. I walk to her very gently, carrying her halter, speak to her, pet her on the forehead, give her a goody, then halter.
7. On the other hand, I'm not out in the barnyard trying to catch an unwilling animal, either. She just needs to be treated with respect. She chooses to work.
8. Regular readers will remember that I recently put a drawbar on the work cart. This is a giant technological improvement.
9. Now we can take the cart and a chain, and move stuff without me having to be able to pick it up.
They had dragged this tree we were going to work on to where it was, earlier.
So first we just zipped out and got the slip and put it where I need it to work on it.
They're so easy
10. I still have to tie them if I want them to stand a long time, but as far as running around the place, getting tools, loading the cart, going through gates, stopping for roads or just coz I want to, they've got all that down.
So we grab the chain, go around the front, stop,
11. open the gate, walk them through, up where the slip is, back the cart to near the slip, stop, they stand, they've got this down, I hook up the chain to the load, we head back to the barn. Through the gate, whoa, they stand while I close the gate.
When we get around to gravel
12. This steel resonating noisemaker hits the gravel and Clara take about three *real quick* steps, and I'm "Easy, girl, Clara, it's all right, and bring her to a very slow walk. The noise goes down and she remembers.
The first time they hear a noise like that chasing them,
13. the best thing you can do is make them stop.
They stop, the noise stops. Give them a second to think on that.
Take a couple steps and stop again.
By then they're good. You can walk on.
Next time it's scary, but not *as* scary.
Missy doesn't even blink. Clara's a rookie.
14. When they're first learning I just *throw* stuff onto the cart. Crash! Bang! Here have a goodie. Crash! Here's another, walk on. They get noise-proof pretty quick.
So after that we went and got a crowbar and went to the down tree by the creek. I had this vision of levering it
15. into the creek.
YeahNo. That thing is *heavy.*
Hooked the girls up to the skinny end of it and pivoted it around 90°, pointed it at the creek, and... Well, that didn't help much.
So we went back up to the barn for my saw.
I rarely use a chainsaw. They're noisy and stinky.
16. They scare my donkeys. So I use these. Mostly the pull saw, the one with the offset handle.
This was last winter, before Clara was working.
It was getting late, and Clara was thinking we ought to be about done. When I pointed her at the barn she required some restraint.
17. So, to make a long story short, we got the saw, I sawed up the tree into chunks I could move, and put it in the creek where I want it.
I own a diesel tractor with hydraulic claws on the front of it that would have enabled me to drive down there, faster than a donkey walks,
18. pick that tree up at the middle of its mass, and plonked it into the creek, driven back up to the barnyard and be done with it.
I don't feel that doing it that way would have been an improvement. People who do it that way have to go watch TV to avoid boredom. I'm OK.
18. Here's part of the drive home. The driving hand.

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More from @homemadeguitars

22 Nov
In the first place, climate change is a values decision.
It is a scientific fact that we know all the things we do which cause it. We know that, on this entire burning planet, about a quarter to at the most a third of the people who live here do the things that cause climate heat
2. and the other two thirds, the ones who aren't causing it, they're all getting along OK.
But we look down our noses at them, and burn their fields, and flood their gardens and their homes, with out energy and its outputs.
We literally do all this on purpose. Now that we know.
3. There is no question whether or not humankind could survive without pouring all this energy into the ecosystem.
Two thirds of us are today.
We're just too fucking proud.
Read 18 tweets
21 Nov
In the autumn of 2018 I looked across the pasture fence at my old pasture pet donkey, Abe. Abe was 16, lame, and his only "training" was to accept a halter, be led, and accept farrier services. Hoof trimming. And I decided to train him to pull a cart. Pretty vague.
We worked through September and October, and on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving I hooked him to an old 2 wheel cart my wife owned.
It didn't go well. I had rushed him. Shouldn't have been to that stage for maybe months yet.
I didn't really know what I was doing. Still don't. 🤷
As he ran, full speed, pulling me and the cart, toward the gate back into the barnyard, I realized I was in serious trouble.
He'd fit through the gate OK but the cart was roughly twice as wide as the opening. We weren't going to fit.
I should have shut the gate.
Another lesson.
Read 6 tweets
21 Nov
The girls had a fairly difficult day today. I planned to clean up the barnyard using the slip. There are a couple old rotted manure piles from previous years and previous management and animals. The gate post was rotted off, though, and things didn't go as planned.
I did eventually run the slip across the barnyard once, after finally getting the gates open, but I'd never run one before and I wasn't at all graceful with it. We did scrape up a scoop full of compost / dirt, but when I went to dump it I flipped the slip over...
3. And the handles whacked the girls on the butts, which scared them, and they started to run. I called out an apology to them and the accepted it, and stopped, but I'd messed up the handles some, and the fence was broken, and the girls were upset. I unhitched them from the slip.
Read 13 tweets
20 Nov
These are a couple of pictures of what's called a "slip", a horsedrawn excavation tool. In the black and white pic, one man is digging a basement with one horse and a slip.
I own one. I'm about to go hook my girls to it. ImageImage
Here's mine. I put these replacement handles on it. They don't fit quite right. ImageImageImage
This part is called an evener or a doubletree. Each donkey hooks to one of the short bars, and the long bar hooks to the load. Image
Read 6 tweets
18 Nov
I did some work with my donkeys today. I could have done it all with a small tractor, although some of it would have been quite a bit harder.
Donkeys can walk sideways. Tractors can't. It makes a huge difference. I was working in cramped areas.
Old farms used to have small lots.
I had an emotionally trying day. I am making enemies of people I would prefer as friends.
Let's step back from carbon for a moment. Carbon emissions stipulated as a process which must be halted.
I tweeted this earlier today, and it's not carbon. But it's got to stop.
Read 22 tweets
17 Nov
I came on this thread this morning, and I am sympathetic with it in one way, but in another way it shows the core problem with addressing climate change. Our core problem, the good guys, not the other guys. Our problem.
2. Nowhere in this lament for our fossil fuel addiction is any mention of the infrastructure plan.
We literally need more drilling in order to build that fucking highway. Instead of bitching about the oil, how about we bitch about the highway?
No, we all *want* the highway.
3. So we want to oil. So meanin'no offense, but if you're good with the highways, STFU.
We're drilling *for you.*
Read 20 tweets

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