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.
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.
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.
I have a few of these buckets of scraps sorted very generally by color, which means yellow, cream, orange are in the same bucket. There are still some scraps that need to be gone through and put in the proper places.
I also have need to make about 50 potholders for requests and gifts, some by mid November. Time flies this time of year, so this morning, I started this project. I found some ideas and started tackling the choices of fabrics, including looking through those not yet in their proper places.
This pumpkin potholder takes 19 pieces of fabric plus the bias binding. That does not count the backing, batting, or Insulite, which I will cut later as needed. So even though potholders are small, they can take up much time in selection and sewing, as they really are mini quilts.
I cut out enough fabrics for a total of 10 potholders (not all the same). Then it was stall cleaning time if I wanted to get it done before the rains started. After 3 hours of stall cleaning, I was out of energy. Therefore nothing has been sewn. However, I may choose and cut out all the pieces and then have a sewing marathon.
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!