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.
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.
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.