The young boys are moved away from their sisters and mothers. One here seems to think the trip was just too hot and tiring. They and their mothers have “baa-ed back and forth all day about how evil we were to separate them. Such is life on a farm
The hoop house has been overrun with growth plus the fact that I haven’t had time for it for over a week. After a number of foods were nearly done, I poked some “delicate” squash plants along one side. Well that’s what the label on the plants at the store said. They are not Delicata, but they are squash and at least one pumpkin. They are threatening to take over the entire place. It’s near enough to the end of the season, I won’t pull them, but neither will I believe labels next year. Squash plants are now forever banned from inside the hoop house. They are just too happy in there.
This morning I picked tomatoes, onions, parsley, cantaloupe, cucumbers, red and orange peppers from the hoop house. Now they all have to be dealt with.
Then I picked some overripe apples as I’m out of applesauce and it makes a great sweetener in baked goods. I was able to can 10 pints. I picked a lot more apples – or rather shook them out of trees. I’m not sure how ripe they are. I’ll test them tomorrow.
While the apples were processing, I cooked some quinoa in broth. In another pan, I sautéed onions and added broccoli until just cooked but still green. Then I made a cheese sauce. I mixed it all together, reserving half the cheese sauce, put it in a greased casserole dish, topped it with the rest of the cheese and that will be our casserole for the weekend.
After lunch and a rest, I had to sit down and pay bills.
And this is why you have not seen sewing or quilting. When the rains start, and days are shorter, there will be time for sewing. “To everything there is a season”
Since it was cool this morning, today was a good day to clean pens. I tackled the one that is 20 x 12 and had several inches of wasted hay and waste in it. Tomorrow, I will finish by putting all this waste on the compost pile. It would have been done today, but I don’t have a tractor, just a wheelbarrow. Then I have a long area 12 x 30 to do and I can start all over again. Very few things stay finished. Think, meals, housecleaning, gardening, etc.
This afternoon I had a Groupon coupon for a massage and reflexology. It was great timing after all the pitch fork work and I enjoyed every minute of it. The next stop was City Hall to get the information on a permit we need to add a roof adjacent to the barn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
CLOCKWORKToday went like clockwork with all the appointments happening right on time. First Bracken and I spent two hours picking berries. Then the fellow I hired to help me catch up on some barn cleaning showed up.
NEW WASHING MACHINE
We decided to purchase a washing machine with an agitator spindle because we have not been happy with the way the clothes were being cleaned, plus we like the tub fill of water at times to soak the clothes. Since our last machine lasted just over a year, we decided to roll the years back and get one like we had a few years ago. This is a 4.2 GE model. The installers were here 5 minutes early and were done in 20 minutes, taking the broken one with them.
Butler needs some health tests before he can join the other boys, which he so badly wants to do. Here he is watching them while waiting for the vet and his long needle to draw blood.
And after all that, I had a 3 hour phone conference as we are setting up a new sheep registry. It has been a very busy day.
Bracken is an 8-year-old border collie who was in the top 50 in sheep dog trials in the US. She is being retired here because she needs a job and I need a dog that knows how to bring in the sheep when needed. I got so much more than I expected. She is incredibly loving and sweet. She stepped into the stall tonight at feeding time, and I saw her do nothing, but the sheep filed out, I filled feeders and then let them back in. That was so much more pleasant than trying to put hay in feeders over the top of the sheep.
Meet Butler:Butler is our new polled ram who will service the daughter of the rams we have been using. He is not only beautiful, he has very soft wool and is halter trained. He will make a great addition to the Shetland flock.
Look at gorgeous red peppers. What a difference a hoop house and a very hot summer make!
Hay day has arrived. Because it is a hot day, we started unloading at 8 this morning. It took about 3 hours to unload and stack 20 ton of hay and people were plenty sweaty and tired at the end of that time. The sheep should now have enough food to last throughout the winter and next spring the pastures will be ready for them.
Meet Alice, an accidental breeding caused this little bottle baby who is partially blind. So she was given to my neighbor to love. The hope is she may grow out of it.
This heat is really slowing me down. I was up at 5.30 this morning so my neighbor and I could give each of the sheep a shot, which should eliminate parasites. This is fly season and they seem particularly bad this year, perhaps because of the heat.
The neighbor took this photo of Lacey as she (the neighbor) was leaving this morning. It is the best I have of this dog.
Max Lucado is one of my favorite authors. Here is his post from today:
– Love God more than you fear hell.
– Once a week, let a child take you on a walk.
– Make major decisions in a cemetery.
– When no one is watching, live as if someone is.
– Succeed at home first.
– Don’t spend tomorrow’s money today.
– Pray twice as much as you fret.
– Listen twice as much as you speak.
– Only harbor a grudge when God does.
– Never outgrow your love of sunsets.
– Treat people like angels; you will meet some and help make some.
– ‘Tis wiser to err on the side of generosity than on the side of scrutiny.
– God has forgiven you; you’d be wise to do the same.
– When you can’t trace God’s hand, trust his heart.
– Toot your own horn and the notes will be flat.
– Don’t feel guilty for God’s goodness.
– The book of life is lived in chapters, so know your page number.
– Never let the important be the victim of the trivial.
– Live your liturgy.
Here is our new arrival, still wet, and having her first meal. We thought McKenzie and the other Shetlands were all bred earlier, so were not concerned and put all the ewes together with our Cormo herdsire. Dumb idea which won’t happen again. This was a bit of a surprise as we thought we were done. And again, we think we are done.
These are the blueberry bushes that I am becoming very acquainted with. See on the right how the berries will ripen 2-4 at a time/place. So the same bushes are picked over and over again. It seems slow as I only get about 5# or l gallon an hour. However, I now have 50# in the freezer. We love blueberries in various ways during the winter.
My design wall is not as big as needed for this flimsy. I have finished and the border you see on the bottom is all the way around. Next, I will pick out the backing and get it on the quilting machine where I will look at it for 2 weeks and then decide I need to get it done right away. And the frenzy will begin, but it will get quilted and bound in time for gifting.
And in between the other fun stuff on this farm, with this heat, we are fighting fly strike, which is no fun for humans or animals.
We are having unusually hot weather for July as are many of you. Because this is unusual for us, we have not invested in air conditioning. So we have a single fan – why buy another when we use it so seldom? Does it slow you down as much as it does me?
In the morning before the heat, I pick blueberries for a couple of hours – 4 days a week. If you haven’t picked blueberries before, you should try it. Our berries are on a hillside, meaning the hill goes downhill both ways. Therefore when picking, not only does one do the gymnastics of picking high berries, berries on the ground, berries inside the bush and berries hiding behind the leaves, but this is all done while trying to stay on your feet. The benefits are fresh air, sunshine and exercise at no extra cost.
I just put my gorgeous Shetland rams on the market. I need new blood and they have done a marvelous job here.
I’ll spare you the photos, but Saturday, we had the vet visit to pull a lamb that died before it arrived in this world. The vet told us that when it gets this hot, many times (across species) mothers give a couple pushes and decide it’s too hot for that and quit.
The Autumn socks are now up to the heel flap. So a bit of progress is being made.
I haven’t done much besides just trying to maintain in this hot weather – making sure everyone, everything has plenty of water and food. So until things cool off and return to normal, posts will be more sporadic.
How are you doing? Keeping up with life or slowing down in heat?