That’s me – the black sheep – the one who is different. Both of my parents grew up on farms, both wanted to be away from them. City life was easier and more to their liking. But something went wrong when I came along. I like the animals and the work – which of course is not as hard as they had one hundred years ago.
Today I spent some time learning to operate this machine. I think I live in the best of both worlds. I do not depend on farming for my livelihood, but can enjoy the benefits of the exercise.
Yes, I can get up there. Grandma Moses started her painting at 76. I bought my sheep as a business at 76. I think I have a good model to follow. So now when the sun shines again, I’ll take a driving lesson on the new machine. There is so much it can do, that I would never have been able to do without it. I’m a happy camper today.
My sprained ankle is not healing very fast, probably because I don’t stay off it, plus there is this knee the doctor would like to replace that has been troublesome, so other than feeding animals, I spent time knitting, which keeps my leg out of trouble. This is yarn that I spun maybe 30 years ago. Black wool and white bunny, then plied together. It is extremely soft and cuddly. There is enough left to make a scarf for barn duty when lambs arrive and it is freezing out there. I have about 24″ knit, using a large needle and garter stitch, which goes fast.
We have a new chicken coop for the dozen babies we bought a short time ago. They have grown so fast and needed a bigger, safe home. So my neighbor put chicken wire and a door on this 3 sided structure which he finished tonight and we have moved the chickens into it.
I also spent a several hours convincing certain sheep that they wanted to leave their comfortable ewe companions and spend to two months with a lovely ram. Sheep get used to each other and don’t like any upsets. If one moves, they feel they have to go as a group, which was not my plan. However, bribery with treats and lots of time, convinces them they should chose what really want them to do. So we now have 2 breeding groups set up to have March lambs.
In addition to all this fun, we had the fence man come to see why the hot wire is malfunctioning. He fixed several places, but I see tonight, one of the dogs is back out, so that still needs work.
You’ve probably noticed the gaps in messages. I have been fighting for a bit now with passwords and being locked out of my websites. Today, my 3 sons were here and think they have solved the problems. I have strict instructions to email myself with every password I choose to use so I don’t get so confused and locked out of my own sites. It took these 3 master programmers about 2 hours to get everything solved and me back to my sites. So I will try very hard now to remember to send myself emails when I make changes.
This is our latest sheep housing, which will protect about 7-8 sheep from the weather if needed and that thing in the middle is a feeder for winter. We will put a breeding group in this area for two months. We take a cattle panel which is 18′ long, bend it and attach to 4 x 4, railroad ties or whatever on each side of the bottom. By attaching several together we can make the house as long as we need it and covered with plastic or a tarp, it will last 2-3 years before needing a new cover. It makes a great chicken coop or just a storage shed as well.
We are still making applesauce and apple butter and will be for the next few weeks (on and off), The apples are picked and the potatoes are harvested and we are making some slow progress. But winter is getting closer with each day.
Chicks moving day finally happened!. They are now in the barn in a safe cage and out of the sewing studio. I know they weren’t in here very long, but they don’t belong in here. They belong in the barn and now that they are feathered, that’s where they are. They also have perches and more room, so win for all.
We picked up the building permit to be able to double the size of the barn roof, picked up a gift for a friend and went to the feed store.
Many of the apples are ready to pick, so I spent some time picking 5 grocery bags full. I don’t climb ladders, therefore I tried to shake some down. I will pick more tomorrow and then the rains will be back. It seems at this point, I’m running out to do what I can on the days that it doesn’t rain. And it wasn’t that long ago that we were wishing for rain. It would be nice to have alternating days.The last three days, I worked on this scarf during appointments and free time, but decided there are things, I don’t like about it, so raveled it and will start again. The white is angora rabbit plied to black wool, so it is very soft and warm and I anticipate wearing it during the cold this winter.
Does this officially make us a farm? We signed the papers and it has been promised by the end of the month. All this craziness started because I felt that I was not being active enough with my hobbies being quilting and knitting. I thought a few sheep would get us moving. They have!
– my new website has taken much of my time lately. It is in a simple state and may be for some time. I hope you’ll come visit me at the farm site. As I have time, I will continue to put my sewing/quilting and living posts on this site and my farm life will be on both sites.
Looking for more trouble, I joined the group Super Scary sockshttps://www.ravelry.com/groups/search#view=captioned_thumbs&pp=1&query=super%20scary%20socks&psort=bes on Ravelry. And yes, they are out of my comfort zone, but I have now cast the “Finding the Yellow Brick Road” socks onto the needles. Let’s see how far I get with them.
The other fun things I did today included calling the vet this morning and asking about a charge. It was a double charge. Then I looked at my credit card bill and my utility bill. Both were wrong. Both payments had been credited to the wrong account. I guess it was just my day.
But it ended well as we want to add a loafing shed roof to the barn so the sheep will stay dryer this winter. I went to city planning and they had someone there who took the time to do the drawing for me that I needed, then look over my paperwork so I was able to submit it right then. That was wonderful as it saved a trip and will speed up the process.
In order to get the sheep to respond better, I was advised to take a chair and some treats and sit with them. Bad idea – sheep mob! They know me as the food bucket. They have no fear of me, but would rather not have a halter put on, so choose not to let me put it on them. They don’t know others who come and there is that “stranger danger” mind-set that takes over.
After some other chores, we decided it was time for haircuts. He wants his cut monthly, but it had been a few years since I’d had mine cut. So now it’s considerably shorter.
I can now share this test quilt that I made. Bears was a fabric from mother’s small collection. I really had no idea what to do with the fabric until this “Sparkle in pink and white” pattern by Valerie Le Pont, came along and it worked quite well in this form. The flimsy finished at 46 x 57. and is very easy. It is offered by The Quilt Pattern Magazine this month.
These three beautiful Cormo sheep received their introductory shots and worming today, Now that they are getting used to the new place, they have really calmed down. We would have trimmed the feet as well, but somehow the shears didn’t get returned to their place.
I found someone for a one time cleaning of the stalls. Now we will see if things have calmed down enough for me to keep up.
This morning I again worked on my Website class, and at last I was able to turn in my first draft. The teacher will look it over, make suggestions and I will make corrections before going live. However, she is emphasizing, that perfection is not our goal. We will continue to make modifications as long as we have it, so just get it up and let people see it. I have more photo to take, but they will come gradually. And the site will be mobile, as sheep come and go, and I learn new things.
Now, because I don’t have enough to do (just kidding), we purchased a dozen new chicks. The real story is the flies are so bad, I need them big enough to eat fly larvae in the spring. I don’t remember seeing chicks for sale in the farm stores before this late in the .summer, but apparently they are sold for fly control as well as egg laying. So until they become big enough to go to the barn – meaning they don’t need additional heat – they are in the studio. Fortunately they grow rapidly.
Isn’t it interesting that because I bought a few sheep to keep me moving so I would wear out instead of rust out, I now have dogs, chicks and am learning how to build a website and studying sheep genetics. Who knew? This body was built to move and the brain was built to keep learning, and so it goes.