Category Archive: farming

2019
02/18

Category:
farming
Life
sheep

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Eating frogs

Mark Twain said “if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thin in the morning.  And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.

 

So before the month of February is over, our information is ready for the tax man.  I will try to drive it up there this week

There are still at least 4 frogs in line.

  • 1. The people who took our order to extend the roof on our barn to keep the sheep dry don’t appear to want to get it done.   I did make the order in August.  So I will be looking for another source.

  • 2.  The sheep need shearing.   I think we have that lined up for some of them on Thursday with people to help.  But this year, we will have to do it in two sessions.

  • 3.  Babies are expected to come anytime now.  Their actual due dates start Friday, but most of us know that nature doesn’t read our books.

  • 4.  This quilt that I have on the quilting machine needs to be finished to give as a gift.

  • It was sunny today!  The snow is finally on it’s way out, I think.  Yes, there is more in the forecast, but with 40 degree weather, it won’t stick.  February is our worst weather month, and it is on it’s way out as well.  I’m ready to start eating the second frog in the morning.

2019
02/11

Category:
farming
Life
sheep

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Blessing of rain

It’s raining! It’s raining.  You cannot imagine the blessing of rain until you really need it.

Our back yard – as beautiful as this is – and it truly is beautiful. It is also difficult to take care of the livestock when snow is 12″ deep and coming in over the top of the boots. Did I mention, it is cold and wet and COLD?    Fortunately we prepare for this and don’t leave when it snows, there is plenty to keep us busy  This snow keeps returning.

 The dogs have been loving it!

 The house not so much, but will wait until this is over

My mornings consist of making meals and sitting in front of the fireplace alternating with the computer to work on the taxes.  Bookkeeping was badly neglected last year.   I must do better.

The blueberry and grape netting is holding so much snow that the 4 x 4s and the pipe are bent.  It has made a room under the netting .   So there will be some reconstruction this spring as well.

Last fall, I chose not to breed as early as I had before because February can be such a cold month.  It  is our worst winter month.  It looks like that was a good decision.  Babies are due starting in March.   Then, we will be even busier, hopefully without snow.  This rain is such a blessing, even for 2 days to melt the snow and get ready for the next batch.   Then the forecast is for more snow.  This is already one of the snowiest winters I remember.  I hope you are keeping warm.

2019
01/20

Category:
farming
Life
quilts
sheep

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Sewing triangles

I tried a new to me way to cut half square triangles.   First  I stiffened my fabric, because somehow drawing on fabric tends to distort it.   So on the stiffened fabric, I drew corner to corner both way.  Then a scant 1/4″ on either side of that line, I drew a sewing line.  I sewed the 4 sewing lines, then drew another line across the middle of the block each way.    I cut on those lines as well as the diagonal lines

Then after pressing these squares open, I trimmed them to size.  I loved the fact that they didn’t stretch and I got 8 squares out of each larger square.   

 These half squares can then be used in any pattern using half square triangles.

AND THE LIVESTOCK

The sheep know that when I have done the cleaning for the day, food mysteriously appears in their feeders.    As soon as I have unloaded the last tractor load, they are on their feet waiting to eat.

Chickens don’t herd like sheep, but that doesn’t keep Bracken from trying.

I’m for more sewing time this week, though it will be slow while I’m still working on taxes.  I hope you are taking time for fun.

 

2019
01/13

Category:
farming
Knitting
Life

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Tractor was stuck

I requested this be done several times over the last few months and it seems it wasn’t important enough to get to the top of my handyman’s list.   I was so tired of the mud, I thought I’d give it a try myself, even though I’m still learning how to operate a tractor.  Well, I had 4 spinning wheels, the tractor was stuck and I decided to leave it where it was.

Today, my neighbor came over and showed me the proper way to move mud.   I will need to practice this technique and will probably get it stuck again before I get good at it, but I love what a tractor can do.

I did get this little wash cloth knitted, which helped me relax.

2019
01/09

Category:
farming
quilts
sheep

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Lamb baby quilt

It’s finished and even has the satin binding that babies love to hold next to their skin.  I will put this away for the right baby to come along.

Other than that, today, we changed a few sheep coats and did chores.   We seem to have filled our day.

Embroidering little lambs

These little blocks measure 4.5″ plus the seam allowance, when trimmed,  which is 1/2″  These blocks are taking about 1/2 hour each because one first lays the sky down, embroiders, then trims, then the grass, then embroiders that in place.  The the lamb is done, and finally batting and backing go on each piece.  But aren’t they turning out cute?

I now have these three rows done and another 2 embroidered, but not put together.   I  may not get it all finished in a week, but I’ll come close.   I linking up with Patty over at  Elm street quilts  

The chickens know a good perch when they see it and the sheep don’t seem to even notice.  The girls in this pasture got their mite medicine dripped on their backs today.   it beats having shots or oral meds.

2018
12/18

Category:
farming
Knitting
Life
Schedules
sheep

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Hopscotch socks

These are the socks I started with the Felici yarn pattern called Hopscotch on number 2 needles.  The photo is true to the colors.  Since I am a slow knitter it takes me about 40 minutes to do each color stripe and this pattern is just k3, p1 around and around.  I am ready to do the heel.  After  I  finish the heel and the turn it, I’ll put it in the car to work on while waiting for appointments, etc.  So far, I’ve been working on them in the evenings when I’m too tired to do anything else.

Today was a good day.  I have 2 stalls 12 x 15 each, this being one.  The other area is 12 x 30.  I cleaned the larger one yesterday and this one today.

Then I worked at getting hay down.   The shadows changed the color of the hay, but you can see a bale on the tractor and I did manage to get another bale on top of this one.  This type of work takes more thought and tractor maneuvering, because I don’t have the strength yet to lift these 100# bales.  But I did get it loaded and moved down the road and into the rams area to be able to feed them.  Usually my neighbor man does this, but was not available today.

After this and lunch, I took DH to the chiropractor and while he was there, I was able to get the groceries. After dinner, I rested for a bit.  I don’t want to spoil a night’s sleep by resting too much.

It makes me happy when I can see accomplishments like this and I feel like I didn’t waste the day. I’m hoping to get back on track after too many of life’s interruptions.   Well – after the holidays anyway.   Part of the problem is that I didn’t set goals and make schedules for myself this year like I normally do.   When I don’t, it seems I don’t get much done.

2018
12/13

Category:
farming
Life

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Swollen wrist

What an experience – not to be repeated.   It was so wet when I cleaned the barn last week, I put down extra shavings.  That worked great because it was much easier to clean this week.  The problem: because of less weight I used the shovel instead of the pitchfork.   That would have been okay if I had handled it like the pitchfork.   Instead, without realizing it, I used a different motion. I have been unable to use my right hand because of a swollen wrist from muscles not usually in play.   For an extreme right handed person, eating or writing left handed is a challenge.  Needless to say, I felt very tied down during those days and I am so happy to have wrists and hands normal again.

Before the wrist incident, I knitted these socks to this point, but find I don’t like this wool and gauge for socks.  I will start over with a different yarn.

GOTTA LOVE a SON

We have an adult son who lives in a part of the house and with whom we share a kitchen and laundry room.  I told him, it was his turn to buy laundry detergent.

Here is what I saw when I walked into the laundry room.   We only use 2 a year and he informed me that he had just saved us several trips to Walmart.  I don’t think that is the only reason I shop Walmart.   But we have laundry detergent for what looks like 4 years.  Sometimes, life is just amusing.

2018
11/25

Category:
farming
food
Garden
Life
sheep

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One thing leads to another

All of you know how one thing leads to another.  This morning after making Broccoli soup and steel-cut oats, I was cleaning off the counter top.   I wanted to put the potato starch into a specific container.  That was no problem, but I didn’t know where the lid was.  Usually the lids are kept with the container, but this lid was missing.  So I proceeded to look in the possible drawers.  I ended up cleaning out 9 drawers plus the pantry, looking for that lid, which I never did find, nor did the counter get totally cleaned.  I gave up

In the midst of this,  I remembered that we are changing a few more sheep coats tomorrow and I needed to wash coats to have enough clean for that.   Now I also have a few more coats to mend.

Next, I needed to move the dog food that Costco delivered Friday.  I order every 3 months and get 12 bags each weighing 30 pounds.   Again, not a simple task, because as you know, one thing leads to another.   I got the tractor, brought it to the front door, and piled on 8 of the boxes (Costco puts each bag into a box).  While I was doing that, I noticed that the plants in front had frozen, so pulled them out and  loaded them on top of the food.   I took the food to the barn, and put the frozen plant material on the compost pile.

 Now to get three more boxes to take to the studio, which is where we keep the food for the dog who guards the sheep in the lower pasture.  I picked those boxes up and went around to the studio, delivered them, and then decided that it was a mess around the door.   So I loaded the peat moss , some garbage and the water trough that I will be using for the boys in an upper pasture.  Off I went to take the peat moss to the upper hoop house along with some other items.  On the way, I left the garbage in the garbage house, the trough near the gate in the upper pasture, and the peat moss in the hoop house.

But it didn’t stop there.   Once you clean up a part of an area, you want to keep going, so we loaded all the parts of the fleeces that are too soiled to sell and took 3 loads of that up to the compost – well, I started a new pile near the new garden.  Then there was another load of thermalite etc to go to the hoop house and another load of junk for the garbage shed.   Most of this stuff was too heavy for me to move before I had the tractor.   We spent 3 hours doing this and enjoyed a late lunch.  It was nice to have it already made and we could just heat and eat.

After lunch it was back to the barn to clean a third of the stalls and feed the animals.   We will finish the other two stalls tomorrow and sweep off the cement areas by the two back doors, since they are now free of all the “extras”  Like I said, “one thing leads to another”,  but it feels so good to have it done.  Most of it I couldn’t do without the tractor.   I am so thankful we bought it.

 

2018
11/12

Category:
farming
Life

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Frightened

It has turned cold and that means in a barn, there are more rodents seeking a warm place, where food is available.  So we have several bait traps out with this product.  The animals cannot get inside the traps.  However, someone helping us emptied a trap into a garbage bag and put a different bait into the trap.

I looked in the office and saw Beau, with the garbage bag ripped apart and he was very interested in the contents.  That frightened me!   There is no antidote for the rodenticide used in Tomcat Bait Chunx.  It is toxic in small amounts.   A toxic amount in a dog will manifest either as paralysis or convulsions.  It is deadly.

So off to the vet we rushed.   They made him vomit and then gave him activated charcoal.   And we pray while waiting for 4 days.   We don’t really know for sure if he ingested it or how much.  We do know that 2.5 cubes of this stuff are missing.  It is toxic by weight and his being a big boy at 99# is helpful here.

This is a photo I snapped of him looking and playing normally this afternoon.  We’re supposed to keep our eye on him, but if he shows symptoms, there’s nothing that can be done.   Not a good thing.   So we cleaned the barn today with him helping us.  Kept us and him busy and now the sheep have a nice clean barn to mess up.

If you use any poisons, please check and recheck that other pets or children have no way to get to them.