We did not anticipate all this new life that we are seeing. Both the neighbor and I have had a surge of births that we did not plan. Boys will be boys and if there are girls around, they use all their wits to get out and make a visit. As DH says, “They have all day to think about how to escape while we have other things to do” Plus the ewes seem to be having earlier babies this year than usual. We will have some very nice fiber pets for sale this summer.
This morning, numbers 7 and 8 were born. I am thankful that I only have 5 bred for April, because I already have a crowded barn and because of all this rain, everyone wants to be inside.
By this afternoon, mom decided one was enough. So the ram lamb is in the house.
The neighbor girl who has been helping by playing with the pups needed a quilt – or so the pups and I thought since she didn’t have one. So I made this for her which is 50 x 60. I “enveloped” it and used the butterflies and ribbons where our ancestors would have tied the quilt. The backing is so fitting since we live in Western Washington where we are setting rain records lately.
Even the pups have been bored with the rain and mud. They are finding indoor activities, called “Who can make the smallest pieces out of Mom’s calendar”.
The other “fun” activity we have had this week is an unexpected population explosion. 6 new babies in the last 3 days. Either the girls had secret dates or there was a very young boy that reached sexual maturity extremely early. We did purposely breed 5 ewes that we believe are due in April, but those are not the moms giving birth. Oh, what fun a farm can be!!!! Certainly not boring.
We have been relaxing by putting together jigsaw puzzles. Somehow they calm the mind and give one space to think.
But really, who buys purple sheets? I guess it’s better than dying my hair that color. It was a daring stretch for me.
“Knock out” is the name of this pattern for this quilt, which I tested for http://www.quiltpatternmagazine.com/. I loved how easy it was to put together and will definitely make another. The size is 55″ square – just perfect for wrapping oneself while watching TV or reading. Now to have my quilting machine serviced and get this quilted before winter.
My neighbor came over twice this week and we put ads up for some of the fleeces. Several were shipped out yesterday. We have absolutely gorgeous fleeces, so I think we will sell out this year.
I miscounted, thinking all the sheep were in for the night. When I went out in the morning this one was freshly born.
More babies are arriving on a fairly regular schedule these days, which means more cleaning, and other duties. So far 7 ewe lambs and 3 ram lambs. We will be seeing new ones over the next month. These are all Cormos. When they are done, the Shetlands will start. One never tires of seeing new life happen.
Did I mention more cleaning?
And here is what happens if you just can’t wait your turn for the nest and don’t want to go find another. The hen below was just a bit smarter and used a lamb jug. It didn’t bother her one bit that there were lambs there as she only needed a small corner.
Sometimes the work is hard and one is usually very tired at the end of the day, but I love that this is a very rewarding way to get my exercise.
We ordered this 30 x 40′ roof in August. It has had several promise dates. But now it’s here and erected and the animals will have more dry space and less mud. I am so happy to have it, but it is the worst company I have ever worked with. So this was Friday’s excitement.
Working backwards, my friend, Mary and I went to the Sew Expo Thursday for 3 hours. We wore our feet out shopping fast and spent very little However, I did find a company to process my wool that I can drive to instead of paying those horrible shipping costs. Plus she specializes in fine wools, which I have. We will try to get to her shop this week and see what she can do. Her yarns at the Sew Expo were incredible!
Wednesday, Beau went back to the specialist to have the eye with glaucoma removed. He is doing very well, except with the E collar, he runs into things that won’t bother him when it gets removed in another week. His first two days, he was hurting a bit and really wanted to be babied, but he’s over that now, and wants to be outside telling off the coyotes that come to near his property. We will hear when we take him back what they found in the eye. The vet said he doesn’t see this breed with glaucoma.
Tuesday, I mentioned the new babies who are now growing so fast. We may get another one or two tonight. The ewe was acting a bit off and shows signs of wanting to birth soon.
And did I mention the snow is gone and the sun is out – though cold – and I am appreciating it. Spring is coming and we are so ready!
Jonquille’s lambs of 2019. I went to the barn to let the girls our to enjoy the sunshine today and heard these darling little baby sounds. You will see the cinnamon color on the one which means it was a more difficult birth. It fades fast. I’m just thrilled that mom was able to produce them without complications.
Elizabeth is so good with the sheep, some appear to fall asleep while she is removing their fleeces. It probably feels very good to get that heavy wet fleece off. She spent from 9-5 and sheared half of the sheep. The end of April we will get the other sheep shorn, (boys and some lambs). The fleece is gorgeous and I will be putting it up for sale on Massena Meadows facebook and blog pages as we get it ready.
Back tracking a bit to Monday.
(in this photo, he was caught misbehaving)
Beau (dog) was crying when I went to the barn to feed the sheep and dogs. I petted him and he quit. But it was the first time I had ever heard him cry. Tuesday, he wouldn’t eat and as he is very food driven, there was no question that something was wrong. We took him to the vet to learn he has glaucoma in the left eye and it is bleeding. They kept him overnight to get the pressure down. As they were unsuccessful, the next morning, we had to take him to an animal eye ophthalmologist. We spent all day Wednesday at that clinic having tests run to find the problem. Next Wednesday, I take him back to have the eye removed and eyelid sewn shut. He can’t see out of that eye now. The technician told us dogs compensate very well. Until surgery we have lots of eye drops and pain killer. After surgery, we will see.
That took care of Monday through Thursday, but I had Friday to get something done. Well, that didn’t happen as first I had no energy left, which must have something to do with age.
One of the barn cats had a very swollen jaw Thursday evening and couldn’t open her eye. Our son was good enough to take her to the vet Friday. She had 3 abscessed teeth removed and she will be fine.
The roof people called to schedule the roof addition to the barn for this coming Tuesday. (they thought they could put it up by Thanksgiving, but for sure by Christmas) With everything ready for them, they called yesterday and rescheduled for Friday. I think I’ve been chasing my tail this week and I’m happy to come to near the end of it.
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.
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.
This morning, I stopped to have some fun with those half triangle I was making yesterday. They make the best Churn Dash blocks. Playing gave me the energy to go clean the barn.
Did you see the moon turn red last night? Here are some photos in case you missed it. The first is one I took, but my Iphone would not capture the red color, so I borrowed a photo from the news. It was amazing!