This is day three without our mule... the fan belt broke on Friday and we didn't discover it until Kevin tore it apart Saturday. Of course, no one was open on the weekend. This afternoon Kevin worked for a few hours on it and got it all put back together, but after taking it for a short ride tonight to bring some feed to the barn, it doesn't look good. It appears there *may* be another problem. So we'll have to look at it again tomorrow.

We went to North Bay the other day and got our Argo - it runs great. It's not as fast as the new ones, but we don't need it to go fast - we just need it to float. We haven't taken it in the marsh yet to try it out. The guy who owned it used it only for ice fishing. But we've run it around a bit and it runs just fine. It's nice having a windshield and roof when we need it too.

It started snowing about an hour ago. A light wet snow. Tomorrow Kevin is hoping to get two of our biggest trees in tomorrow. A big Maple and a big Oak came down, one a few years ago, and one last winter. They are the biggest trees we have to tackle so far.

We don't have many deer left. We heard the hunters around took several spikes, and we haven't seen any of ours. Deer Norman was here Friday but not since. We have some does, and one fawn who lost his mom. There just are not the deer left in this part of the country that there used to be. Out of the 7 does we have seen this fall steadily - only 1 has a fawn. I don't mind people taking deer for food, but I do mind people taking them all, which seems to be the way a lot of people think. You just cannot abuse natures resources, and expect them to continue to be there for you and your children in the future.

We are having one of my favorite things tonight - beer braised beef. It's delicious. It's a simple crockpot recipe and it's so good with mashed potatoes and green beans or peas. I'll have to share the recipe. It's a keeper.

Barley has finally got his eyes on Butternut, Biscuit is still on the run, but he's been courting Butternut so that's a good sign. He's so funny acting like a big guy when he's so small still. He struts around and acts like the boss, which in some ways he is, but he's still such a little guy. The chicks are doing great, the Barred Rock thinks she is a house chicken. She loves the dog and actually follows him around! It's hilarious. And I think we figured something out about Max last night. We have been having problems with him chasing the sheep and goats. It just started about a month ago and he's been with them since 3 1/2 months. But before that, for the first 2 weeks he was with the rabbits only. Tahiti, one of our Angoras was out in the barnyard last night, as she sometimes is. She never goes anywhere and always comes back to the barn. She's only out if I am there. Anyway - Max licked her, and never once tried to chase her or play rough at all. He just licked her and ran off to play with his toys. I think because they are the first animal we exposed him to on the farm, he has bonded to them over all the other animals. He goes from cage to cage each morning sticking his face in their cages, licking them and making sure they are alright.

He's good with the sheep and goats, but he has to get over this chase/rough play thing. One of our problems is that none of our animals rough him up back. Our buck and ram are bottle raised, and Braveheart the ram is blind. The ewes are gentle, and even our does are too friendly. Maybe once Barely gets bigger he'll put Max in his place. And hopefully Max will outgrow his puppy stage at some point. He's just an oversized puppy right now. It might take him two more years to get over it, but hopefully he will one day. He's a great boy, just still learning his place in the herd.

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