And … we’re back in business! I’ve been working for six weeks with Elections Canada. I’m not sure I have ever worked six weeks straight with only one day off. This is my fourth election as a worker. Every time I am amazed at the teamwork and the incredible task it is to pull off the administration of the election process. SO MANY people! My job was to train all the people hired to work the polls in our area – advance polls, mobile polls and Election Day polls. We trained just over 400 people. COVID rules required that we hold small classes – ideally about twelve people. That was great for the learners – giving lots of time for hands on practice and feedback. As Election Day loomed the pace of every job increased. And then … there it was. I enjoy working the phone lines and internet as the ‘Help Line Support’. That day is always a blur. We start early – about seven thirty – so the poll workers can call in as they set up. And then the day speeds by as we talk with people and problem solve any bumps in the road. Once the polls close our team jumps into action to receive all the materials back – ballots, records, completed forms and heaps of used signs, posters and this year … PPE. It takes us well into the next day – three in the morning for me – to get everything in and counted. That sure makes for a LONG day!
As you can well imagine it is a great feeling to wake up and be able to STAY HOME all day this week! The first few days I had to compensate for my racing mind … still in Election Mode. I needed to slow … down … and focus on priorities. I finally settled on a building project needed to prepare for this winter. This winter … WITH DUCKS.
I had to laugh when I saw this shot today … I made a list of the priorities for early fall … And NOWHERE on that list would you find what we spent yesterday afternoon – all of this morning – and a good half a day coming up this week – building. I am going to be picking up a second large round bale of straw. I quite like picking it up each fall as I get to ride the ferry over to Wolfe Island to get it! At $35 it is a MUCH better idea than several hundred dollars of square bales. It makes a light snack for the jennies and goats to munch on. Actually much better for them than hay … but not ever their first choice. More to the point this year – it makes a great bedding material. First for the ducks – both their outdoor run and their indoor duck house quarters – need straw to keep them off wet soggy floors. Secondly, for the jennies and goats, the large round bale tends to shed layer after layer throughout the winter. The remains that cover the ground around the bale also make great bedding… IF it is under a shelter.
In a few days we’ll be running errands in the city and will pick up some heavy duty tarps to complete the job. The bale will get tucked into one side and there will be plenty of room – and plenty of cozy straw – for any of the goats or jennies to tuck themselves into on the right. It will also block the northeast wind from the paddock! Bonus!
I DID manage to knock one of the top items off the list. The duck house needed a good clean out. I was surprised that it wasn’t stinky when I got at it. I had been layering new straw over pooped on soggy old bedding. I’ve got stall mats laid in there. That makes it pretty easy to keep moisture from ruining the wooden floors. It also makes it easier to shovel right down to the bottom. That seems to bode well for the winter – when a thick layer of bedding will be needed to keep it warm in there. And ice free!
A little while back I rehomed two of our Rouen drakes. I knew four drakes and two hens was not going to be a good idea. I don’t like that about raising poultry. The rooster dilemma … in order to get hens someone has to hatch out a brood. And this summer it seems everyone’s broods had more than their equal share of roosters and drakes. Those poor guys end up in somebody’s stew pot – even if it isn’t mine.
In my absence the jennies and the goats have come to an uneasy peace. I was fascinated to watch Rosie catch MayMay’s eye as she was coming into the lower paddock. Rosie’s ears were forward … and her eyes were definitely inviting. I swear she was asking May if she wanted a boost to eat the leaves of the ash tree. She then braced herself before MayMay stepped up. Rosie stood her ground and let May munch away until she was done. I had been putting the goats away in their own quarters at night. It has become apparent that much of the time both the jennies and the goats are happy to hang out together through the dark hours. It is also apparent that should Rosie have had enough of goat pushiness she doesn’t hesitate to growl and scowl and chase them away.
So the goat beds have moved into the back of the ‘Bully Barn’. Rosie and Bella tend to take the front room – and these two the back. I’ve got another building task in the works to add a gate to the two doors to this room. Then when someone is grumpy – or the weather is bad – I can have the goats tucked away into their own space.
It sure is nice to be home. Smokey votes ‘Yea!’ to my taking some couch time in the afternoon. And Ozzy thinks life is grand when we are all snoozing nearby.
Happy fall from the Meadow Mice!