Category Archive: farming

2018
08/30

Category:
farming
Life
quilts
sheep

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Sheep mob; haircuts; Sparkle in Pink and White quilt

 

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.

2018
08/29

Category:
farming
Life
sheep

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Website; shots; new chicks

 

 

 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.

 

2018
08/27

Category:
farming
Life
sheep

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Long weekend adventures

Bracken enjoys watching the chickens (or anything else that will move) as close as she can.   She does her best to stare them into moving.  She loves watching, always ready for a signal to round “it” up.

 

The weekend contained much miscommunication.   I was to go to Pasco or Walla Walla to get some sheep on Sunday night or early Monday morning.   It was that indefinite.  I was waiting for a phone to tell me when and if I could go to Pasco instead.  What I got was a call early Saturday morning stating that the sheep were on their way and would need to be picked up in Walla Walla at 4.30.   This was totally off my radar.   They were coming from eastern Montana and had to be picked up as the driver was staying with someone in the city.  I had a truck ready for Sunday, but not for Saturday.

A quick phone call to Mary – who has to be the most wonderful friend in the world.  She has a canopy truck, and her answer was, “sure, what time do we leave.”  We left at noon and went to Pasco, adding in an hour to see my aunt and cousin (left).   On the way, we finally connected with the driver as opposed to his mother and grandmother, both of whom had given us different time and place directions.  He ran into a lot of road construction in Montana so was 2 hours late.

At my cousins, we shared lots of hugs, she gave me a box of iris, and we looked at the map to see if we could meet him closer to home.   So, two hours later, we met at the fairgrounds farther north and transferred the sheep.   Oh, by now, my phone was dead and Mary’s charger didn’t want to charge it.  So she took the sheep photos, which are on her camera, and we headed home.  Now we have traversed from NW Washington state to SE in the state, to due north for the meet up and now went straight west and a bit south at the end to get home at 10.30.  We certainly saw a lot of the state that day!

After unloaded and securing the sheep, we were all tired.   These sheep were ranch sheep with the pedigrees we wanted, but not handled much, so are a bit wild now.

I started a stir fry and then realized, I needed something from the refrigerator, so took the fry pan off the stove, set it on a potholder, got the item from the refrigerator and put the pan back on the stove.   What I didn’t realize was thepotholder stuck to the bottom of the pan as I put it back on the burner.  I realized it when smoke started filling the air.   It was a big mess to clean off the glass top of the stove, but the food was fine.  The pot holder had been made from 100% cotton and had a special batting for hot items, so did not catch fire.   For that I was grateful.     So between resting from sightseeing around the state, and trying to catch the house on fire, I’ve been busy.

Oh, yes, and through a visit to the chiropractor in the long weekend.  It is NEVER boring here.   I need to get out to the hoop house and manage some plants that have also gone wild.

2018
08/23

Category:
farming
Life
sheep

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Choosing ewe lambs to show at fair

Choosing ewe lambs for the fair can be interesting.  This little one thought she’d try to play dead.   When that didn’t work, she tried acting like she was in the rodeo,  all because we put a halter on her.  

 

It took awhile, but finally she settled down and we were able to look at the  of them and decide which 4 were the most alike.  In the next week, we will choose two ram lambs to enter with them.  Choosing and working with the lambs, took most of the morning.

This afternoon, I had a customer come who wanted to choose some fleeces.   Unfortunately, most of the best fleeces had been sold,  She selected some nice Cormo and a couple Shetland fleeces and took home enough to keep spinning all winter long.  I will think of her spinning that lovely wool, while we are out there supervising delivery of babies on those freezing cold, March days and nights.  And maybe I will envy her just a bit when I’m up through the middle of the night with a ewe and babies.

2018
08/21

Category:
farming
Life
sheep

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Photo memories

This morning, I felt like I needed some time to pull life back together, so I went through my photo memories on my phone.   It was fun to go back and see what has happened in the last 3.5 years.  There were quilts, sewing projects, a wedding, birthdays, lunches with family, grandsons riding the small tractor – wonderful memories.   Remember these ducks from just a few weeks ago?  They are nearly grown already.

I realized when going through the photos how much I miss all the sewing.   So I started this paper pieced cardinal.   Then life interrupted, I went to the post office, made lunch – you know the sort of things we do.

I decided to bite the bullet and start mending sheep coats.  Some of them, I’m not sure what to do, because they need more mending than original coat.   However, the lesser fatalities that are off the sheep have been mended.  Some of these got caught in rose bushes, some rips are just from them rubbing on something sharp to scratch their itch.

2018
08/19

Category:
farming
food
Life
sheep

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Chasing my tail

 Today was spent “chasing my tail” and waiting.   I dislike very much when someone makes an appointment with you and then keeps pushing it back and finally 4 hours later you get together to do what you need to do together.   It wastes so much time, because not knowing when she will be there, you can’t really start anything.

However, we did start organizing the fleeces, marking which ones still need to be gone through and which ones are ready to advertise.   The ready ones are now on a rack like in the back and I’ll start going through the others this week.

To make my time more valuable because there will be less of it, I had to tell the young man who sometimes helps me, that I can’t afford stand around time.  So either I try to find someone else for a day a week or try to get it done myself, or leave it undone.  Unfortunately, weeds still grow – even when it’s dry.   Stalls still need cleaning.

I used 3 very large zucchini making this zucchini soup and have 4.5 quarts made so will put 2/3rd into the freezer for an appointment day.   I’ll just take it out in the morning and it will thawed in time for dinner.  It really is a very simple recipe.   I used three large, seeded zucchini, 3 red bell peppers, onion, celery and water to cook the veggies.   Then I made a “cheese” sauce to blend into it, seasoned it and done.  And even better, those huge zucchini that got away from me are used.

2018
08/14

Category:
farming
Life

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New wagon; exterminator

The wheelbarrow needs work, and it was suggested I get a wagon for what I am doing.   So off to Tractor Supply, we went and purchased a wagon kit, which then had to be put together.   My choice was to come back several hours later or put it together myself.  Since it takes half an hour to get to the store and the box said it only takes 15 minutes to put it together, I opted to take it home and put it together.

 

 

 

 

The box said it takes 15 minutes to put together.   What it didn’t say was that one also needed super human strength or the right tools to tighten the bolts.   So my neighbor came over after work tonight and did that for me.

Now I have a little wagon that holds 800# and will tip to dump.  I want to be able to haul the debris from stalls to the compost pile and dump it out.  It is also molded plastic so will be very easy to clean.

 

 

 

Yellow jackets, paper wasps, and bald-faced hornets have been especially prolific this year, so I gave up and called the exterminator.  They have little nests up in near the roof and have started nesting under the siding.  But no more.   They are gone!  I won’t miss them a bit and will be able to use the deck once more.

2018
08/12

Category:
farming
food
Knitting
Life
sheep

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Headband

The winter hat left me with extra yarn, so I knitted a headband for fall using K2, P2 ribbing for 4″, then bound off.   I chose 4″ because I wanted to get it done, but may do 5″ next time I make one.   I like a headband when I don’t want to mess up my hair or flatten it, but want my ears covered

Today was busy from start to finish including business calls, picking blueberries, cleaning one stall, and so the day went.  Tomorrow, I hope to clean another stall, pick apples, and get a massage.   The apples are early this year and have started falling and I need applesauce.  It seems I usually put more on my agenda for the day, than I have either hours or time to do.

2018
08/07

Category:
farming
Garden
Knitting
Life
sheep

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Winter beanie; ducks, grapes, and sheep

Winter Beanie

I found this Rowan tweed in my small stash of skeins.   I doubt that I purchased it, but I don’t know from where it came.  There are two balls of it and one is enough to make a beanie.   Since it is hot, that’s my latest project.  I have no pattern yet.  I cast 100 stitches on size 6 needles and am doing a flap of 4″, then will decide if I want to get fancy or not.   I may just do a stockinette stitch since I plant to wear it to work with the animals when it gets cold.

DUCKS:

Just look how much these ducks have grown in a mere 3 weeks.   Last year the baby ducks all drowned.  It turns out that infant ducks don’t have the oil in the feathers to keep from drowning for 2-3 weeks.  This year, our son has been giving them a lot of attention and has gradually been giving them deeper water.   They have enough oil on their feathers and are very good at swimming, so he doesn’t have to worry about them, but now he has become quite fond of them.

GRAPES:

While someone wasn’t watching, the grapes grew right through the top of the netting.   No use cutting them back now.   We will wait until they die back and next year have a better plan.

SHEEP:

It’s just too hot to do much besides lie in the shade, so other than coming in to eat, most of the day is spent lying in the shade chewing cud.

2018
08/06

Category:
farming
Garden
Life

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Garden and company

GARDEN

Though it’s difficult to see from this photo, I filled a 5 gallon bucket about 2/3 full of potatoes this morning.  We planted quickly in bad ground about 8″ apart in long rows.   I am delighted that we have so many potatoes.   They are so near the surface, however, that we will either have to cover them for the winter and take as needed or take them from the ground  before freezing and hope the garage will be cool enough.

Company

Our daughter came to visit today and left with 5 large zucchini (possibly to share), kale, tomatoes, and some orange peppers.  In this heat, the garden is watered daily, one can almost see the growth of the vegetables daily.

Yesterday, our son and his wife picked up their new Abyssinian kitten.  He is 3 months old and they have been a bit impatient to be able to take him home.  He is the cutest thing, and has some growing to do to grow into those ears.