This entry is a continuation of a previous email. If you haven't already read the first one, then you're probably still not going to. In fact, why are you reading this one?
If you read these things you must be at least a little bit strange.
Anyway, back to stories that have nothing to do with salt..
Where was I..
I'll need to back track some. Before the sad mules moved in with us, we had a one horse stall barn with a chicken coop attached to the side of it. At the time, the plan was to build an entirely new, separate coop and yard and use the existing chicken space to add on to the barn so we could have a proper set up for two *horses... There wasn't an extreme rush on this project but Casey and I fantasized about doing it before this coming winter.
Now, a wise individual might seriously consider their current barn set up before dragging two sickly mules into it.. BUT. said sick mules didn't have shelter of any kind where they were living at all anyway, plus they were starving so merely having enough food was an improvement. I figured I'd figure out what the fuck to do with them by the time winter rolled around - which felt really far away at the time.
*yes, HORSES. Not the ass tainted animals that have been causing me grief for most of my life.
Our barn addition project still wouldn't accommodate THREE equines so I had to start getting creative. We have some wooded area behind our house that we call "the back 40" even though it's more like 1 acre.. I had been scheming fencing that in so that at least for the winter the mules could get under some trees for shelter and wear a turnout blanket. So, on the day I was released from covid jail my dad and I started getting to work on the new fence.
The next day we woke to a power outage.. I checked the local outage map, nothing had been reported. I checked with the neighbors and none of them had power. Our entire street was out. When the local power company came out to investigate, they discovered that the outage point from the underground wire was directly beneath our barn...
This is what happens when old time-y Alaskan homesteaders don't give two fucks about easements and right-of-ways. We knew the barn was flirting with the edge of our property when we bought the place but did not know there were power lines underneath it. ugh.
So what ended up happening was completely removing the chicken yard and bringing in an excavator to start digging.
^ where the chickens used to live.
Nothing like getting a phone call from your local power company letting you know you're gonna need to relocate your chickens.. and you're gonna need to do it right now..
Not having a ton of options, I decided to put them in the horse part of the barn as a temporary holding place and damn it, I guessed we were going to need to get on that new chicken coop project a little sooner than expected.
Now, even Buttercup doesn't have a barn. fuuuuuuuck.
It's not a huge deal in the summer time, as long as everything gets resolved by winter, right?
Before I get too far ahead of myself I need to note that it was around this time that our beloved pet rabbit BunBun learned that she can chew through her pen. I've known I need to replace the wire for a while now, but you now.. It's super hard to staple wire while you're juggling.
BunBun is the absolute sweetiest-bunny-rabbit-pie.. and after she was loose she just hopped around our yard and you could just go pet her and pick her up. So I decided she was just going to have to live this way for a while until I got the chicken situation and the mule situation situated. She was third in line.
ANYWAY. We've been working on the new coop and the fence in the back 40 at the same time and the progress feels really slow. It has been especially difficult to do construction-y things because Homer has decided to start a new season called monsoon, and heavy on the SOON.
Current forecast ^
The day before yesterday, after sending the kids off to their second day back at school I was going to get busy on the chicken coop project for a few hours before going into work. I was only able to just barely finish building the gate before the torrential downpour began. We don't usually get pouring rain in Alaska, it's normally just a barely-more-than-a-mist-drizzle... but on this special day the rain was feeling extra..
here is how Gus felt about it:
As you can see our pasture is in standing water at this point and it is nothing short of an absolute disaster. While we have made progress on the back 40 fence it is not done yet and I could not just let these guys stand in the pouring rain. Plus, there is no sign of it letting up for the foreseeable future. Not only are they miserable but they can also develop hoof rot if they don't have a place to get their little feeties dry.
^ britni's hobby farm..
I decided to put up a temporary electric fence in the back 40 so I could at least get these guys out of the rain. Easy, right? Just set up the fence and pop the mule and the horse in?
Gus is super herd sour (equine speak for separation anxiety from herd mates). I decided to lead him to the back 40 first because if I took Buttercup back first he'd be tearing down the corral fence or trying to jump through it before I was able to come back for him. I've led him around in the corral and our yard with some success and progress but he's mostly a little asshole about being led. He likes to just move about freely, completely unaware of the screaming little blonde girl being dragged by the end of the rope attached to his face.
All I had to do was get him behind the house and into the temporary fence.. but nope.. he started being a giant douche canoe and freaking out the second Buttercup was out of sight. I had to think quickly and try not to get myself hurt AGAIN! Especially because no one was home this time to come running out in their socks to save me. I jumped into an alder tree and tied him up from safety inside the tree. Here's how he felt about that:
^ blurry screenshot of a video because I forgot to take a photo.
gah. That didn't go well.
So I went to get Buttercup to tie her up inside the fence where they were supposed to go, just in case Gus pulled the tree out of the ground or broke his lead rope, he'd at least go to her and I could close up the fence. He proceeded to throw an epic tantrum like this for at least an hour. Unfortunately, he was so wound up it was absolutely not safe for me to handle him. I just let him continue his hissy fit until he calmed down enough for me to lead him where he actually wants to go.. [insert stupid stupid mule emoji here].
I was able to keep an eye on him through the kitchen window and started doing house chores while checking on him intermittently. He was, at least for the moment, out of the pouring rain.
I started sorting clothes in the laundry room to get a load going and discovered this little gem:
So there I am.. washing dishes, watching my mule perform a solo, one hour rodeo show and thinking about how to re-teach my 7 year old how to wipe their ass and I get this text from our neighbor:
Poor, soaking wet little BunBun. She's so cute but not quite smart enough to get out of the rain on her own... GGGAAHHHH!
Thinking on the fly, I decided to bunny proof the chicken-horse-barn-coop and put her in with the chickens for the moment.
After I got bunny tucked into the horse-coop with her new chicken roomies I ended up just letting Gus go and he ran right into the pen.
That was two days ago and it really still hasn't stopped raining since.
BUT. at least for this moment in time, everyone is safe and sound and dry..
BunBun this morning, wondering why she has to bunk with these pecker heads.
Safe and dry in the back 40. He's pretty cute.. even though he's a little dick ass.
She's a hot mess but she's still my favorite and the cutest bestest..
Fewf. After I turn over our rental cabin today and pack online orders at HQ I'll be back to the farm fixin' by tonight. I hope to finish the new chicken yard enough to get the chickens in by the end of this weekend - though that goal is probably unrealistic because there is always something and I just remembered I have to cover the Spit Shop on Sunday.
This super offensive code expires on 8-26-22 at 11:59 pm Alaska time.
Sometimes I get a little more into my story telling than my salt selling and I made a big oops on the last email. I was supposed to be letting y'all know about a new product we are carrying. What better time to announce a pain relieving CBD salve than when telling a story about the recovery of getting stomped on by a mule? Yeah. I royally fucked that one up didn't I?
Welp. it's not as suave now...
But yay! We have a new CBD salve made by our lovely Tammy!!! I had Casey rub it on my back daily. At one point I didn't think it was helping.. so I didn't have Case put it on.. then I felt what life was like without it and didn't make that mistake again.
For more than a year, Tammy has worked so hard to finish the licensing for her new salve and Holly, Kayla, and I have helped get the logo and labels going. It has been a long journey and we are so happy to finally be able to offer this amazing salve to you all. Check it out! or don't. It's your life. But I did my selling part so I'm off the hook now.
Harvested by hand with love and respect for the ocean.