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.
– my new website has taken much of my time lately. It is in a simple state and may be for some time. I hope you’ll come visit me at the farm site. As I have time, I will continue to put my sewing/quilting and living posts on this site and my farm life will be on both sites.
Today we started by “eating the frog”. Our frog was cleaning out some long overdue bathroom drawers. One should not be able to find medicines dated 2004. Now you can’t. And there is room for what should be there.
Then I tackled changing coats on two of the ram lambs. They would rather run and play games than stand there and have a coat changed, but just look at this wool! It is gorgeous! It has lovely crimp and length. I am very happy with it and hope these boys find the right home with someone who appreciates it.
After some barn cleaning, Bracken and I came back to the house so she could chick sit. She loves that. Just standing there watching their every move.The 8 kennel quilts are finished. I will wash them and they are ready to donate.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.