JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

Sheep week

Surprisingly busy with the sheep this week.

Monday 10 October

Here we go again, it is Monday, and I am writing this on Monday evening. It is amazing. Today we worked from home. During the lunch break, a neighbor came to visit us. She was wondering how it was going with DWs lumbago. It is getting better and better; thanks for asking!

It rained a thin, dull rain today. It looked like it was never going to end. It opened up just before the end of business hours and became sunny.

Another neighbor came by and had a look at our sheep. We had turned off the electricity of the fence, so that was perfectly fine. It is slightly tricky to tell a kid of this age that sometimes the fence is painful, and sometimes it is okay. The dad had already experienced the kid touching the fence when it was charged. The outcome depends on how much currency leakage there is every single moment. With much leakage, it is almost unharmful to touch the net. With no leakage, the shock can be so strong that you even hear it.

After giving the sheep their food supplement, it was time to plaster the kitchen. I worked on the west wall today. I worked side by side with DW making dinner. She made a delicious salad with some arugula that I harvested from the salad bed.

Tuesday 11 October

It was lovely autumn weather today. Not that I enjoyed it much because I went to the office. After work, I noticed the package of nuts and bolts had arrived. The bolts were a little longer than anticipated, but they will work. I decided to draw how the board would be sawed to create the enforcement.

The tarp has four corners with anchor points; on the short side, there are two anchor points. On the long side, there are three anchor points. In total, there are fourteen anchor points. I could cut the board into 14 triangles, with two spare triangles. After marking up the board, I decided to cut the board at another moment.

Wednesday 12 October

It was cold tonight. I suppose we just missed the freezing point this night. In the morning, it was four degrees celsius.

DW had a day off; lucky she and I went to the office. I had a long stretching meeting that even went over time. Just in time, I headed home to eat a late lunch, and after that, I went to my appointment with the optician. It was the first time I went to this optician; it is not the cheapest in town. It took unexpected much time to get the eyes measured, select the frames, and figure out what type of glass I wanted in the frame. I will have one for computer work and one for regular viewing.

When I was done with the optician, I went home, connected the large trailer, and went with DW to the farm nearby to buy hay for the sheep. We bought 13 chunks of hay, enough for a couple of months of feeding the sheep. We still got three chunks lying in the container from the previous season.

Then we went home, and I started loading the hay into the sea container. I managed to fit all thirteen pieces in the container.


Thursday 13 October

Today I went to Colone, in Germany, for work. It was a rainy day, so the impression of the city was a bit greyish. Had it been sunny, I would have been impressed by the autumn colors in the leaves of the trees and brushes.

My colleague and I worked the whole day, so there was no time for a walkabout in the city. Not even during the lunch break. We got lunch brought to us.

In the late afternoon, we returned home to the Netherlands. There was a massive traffic jam on the highway/motorway out of the city, so we drove on minor roads. That was nice to see the countryside of Germany: farmland, little villages, etc. Our detour through villages took some time, and it was not until the next bigger city that we reached the network of highways/motorways. By that time, the traffic jams had dissolved.

How about DW? She also went to the office. Not her usual office but further away. Fortunately, her lumbago has subsided so much that she could take on a trip by train. It is not over yet, but it is much better.

It was not the right moment to start plastering after one full day in Germany. I sat on the couch like a sack of potatoes and then went to bed and slept like a rock.

Friday 14 October

Today we both worked from home, yeah! I got the feeling I am more and more in the office than working from home. I got the hybrid work, but I have been going to the office more than two days per week for various reasons, DWs lumbago, meetings, etc. I hope there will be a more quiet period for a while.

It was a rainy morning and barely any wind. It rained straight down. Towards the afternoon, it held up.

In the afternoon, our sheep got a visitor. It was the young girl with the father. She gave the sheep dandelion leaves to eat, which was good because they were nearly finished with their current patch. The girl gave leaves, and Bea and Selma gave up on that. Hannah enjoyed it very much, wiggling with the tail each time she got a leaf. The girl also liked it. The father got bored after a while but not the girl. After another round of giving leaves, both decided it was okay for today.

After work, I harvested salad from the salad bed. The salad still looks fine. It is a joy to be able to eat from our garden in October. I noticed there were small slugs in the beds. They come from eggs. Larger slugs cannot enter the beds because of the slug defense system. I wonder how the salad reacts to colder temperatures; will it degrade gradually, or will the whole bed give up one night, and I will see brown leaves the following day?

It takes time to clean the leaves, but I still like to do that. It smells fresh, and I am delighted by the feeling that I made this on my own.

Saturday 15 October

It was time to give the sheep their last fence area for the winter. DW did other things in the garden, such as harvesting runner beans and weeding.

I have been wondering how it would be if I had something to help me collect the nets. A mobile sheep net rack. I am wondering if I should call it a holder, but that word feels like it is used for something enclosing the thing to be held. We call it a rack.

First, I worked near the sea container. I collected the tools and materials I needed to do this. Then it started to rain; I moved everything to the rain roof. It was great to be able to continue work. Another option was to work inside, but the workshop is untidy at the moment.

I modeled the construction directly onto the little wagon. This wagon was originally a baby carriage with the top part removed. It could even be our wagon for DS 29 years ago. The wagon for DD was made of plastic, so it has perished. This little wagon is going strong. Some ten years ago, I made a deck on it, so it is easier to put things on top. The idea is to make something I can temporarily put on the wagon and later remove. I opted to use bar clamps to fasten the rack to the wagon. Then when needed, it is possible to take the rack off and use the wagon for other things.

I had some ventilation beams left: Wood beams with slots milled into the beam. These beams are supposed to be used under the house's fascia boards. We got too many of these.

The rain had almost stopped when I finished building the mobile sheep fence rack. I tried it, and it worked very well. It is challenging when the ground is uneven, but the resulting bundle of sticks and net are beautifully organized for the rest. In this construction, I put up two arms for the nets. I could put up two more arms if it worked and felt like it was needed. Since it worked very well, I will put up the remaining two arms at some point.

When the bundles were collected, I could place them in their new location. The sheep were eager to get to the new area, so they complained. The little girl and the father came by to see what was up with the sheep. She fed them with dandelion leaves.

I created a new area with all four nets stretched from half the house on the south side, between the house and the vegetable garden, and around the fruit trees to the dyke. The net then followed the dyke to the birch tree forest, around the rain roof, and around the water pump. The final stretch went along the house back to the south side of the house. It took some time to set up.

I moved the hay rack to the rain roof. Now when I think about it, it is better to call it the hay holder since the hay is held inside the holder. Had it been an open construction, then it had been a rack. I might be wrong about this.

The rain roof is located at the end of the driveway. There has emerged a hollowness here. I added seven wheelbarrows of gravel to remove the hollow. DW wanted the area tiled, but I was not happy with this idea initially. It feels like a vast undertaking; besides, the place is right now a multipurpose area, and when tiling it, it will be the winter place for the sheep.

On the other hand, we have not used this as parking since last winter. The area might be better to use for other things besides parking. We decided to tile it after all.

The rain roof had dried, so I removed it from the platform and brought it inside the workshop. There I will give it enforcement. When the enforcements are mounted, I will put it back up again.

In the evening, DD came for a visit!

Sunday 16 October

This morning I discovered that the Raven F1 zucchini plant is still flowering and producing new zucchini. The likelihood that they will be eatable is perhaps not that big; never say never.

I had thought I would start plastering on Sunday, but it was a weekend when we only worked for the sheep. The sheep were not even aware of how much attention they were given. I started the tasks for today by moving another ten wheelbarrows of gravel to the platform. What previously was a hollow had become a gentle little bump.

DD and DW emptied the small carriage while I finished the last wheelbarrows. We connected the carriage to the car and fetched the first load of tiles. Without any rest, the tiles were unloaded onto the platform, and then we went and fetched the last load of tiles. The tiles have not been hammered down to get a tight fit, and there is unevenness under them, so it will take some time before the tiles have settled. We were pleased with ourselves when the platform was finished for today. There is room for more tiles, but we leave it as this. DW had minor issues with her lower back, but she could generally work on the tiles without any issues. She kept her back straight and used her legs more, but she is much better now.

When the platform was finished, I put the stuff we originally had in the small carriage. It is garbage that needs to be brought to the upcycling center. The only "up" in the upcycling is that all burnable material goes up in smoke. Anyway, we get rid of the stuff, and that is what matters.

I also replaced the roof of one of the sheep sheds. Talking of the roof, I put up a better roof on the temporary hay storage shed. It was not rainproof anymore, so I added a new layer of tarp on top of the existing layer.

It feels like we are better prepared for the winter and storms, with a good batch of hay to feed the sheep. There is also another feeling of sadness that the sheep successfully competes with the tasks. I don't feel like I always have the initiative for when to work for the sheep. This became a weekend entirely devoted to the sheep. I was surprised about this.

Here ends this week's blog.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.