Crazy days and crazy weeks leave one a crazy life.
Yesterday’s went like this. When DH got up, he reminded me that I was to take him to a Dr. appointment in Seattle, which is a one hour drive each way, so I called the girls that are learning to garden and asked if they could come in the morning instead of the afternoon.
I then called our friend to ask about the water system and he told me he had taken his truck to have work done and he was stranded half an hour away. So off I went to rescue him. When I got back the girls were here so we worked on fertilizing and planting beets. When they were comfortable doing that, I came in the house and had a quick breakfast and DH and I headed to his appointment. We were blessed with good driving conditions and the appointment was short.
When we got home, the lady who does fence work was here to see where our fence problem was. I did not know she was coming. We went over what she found and she will be replacing some very old fence posts
I don’t even remember lunch so it was probably left overs.
I changed into farm clothes and another friend that I invited over the day before showed up. She is such a delight and we enjoy her company so very much. She wanted to see the babies that were born Friday morning – a surprise – because I didn’t that that breeding was successful. So we visited while she took lots of photos as I fed the sheep I felt refreshed when she left. Yes, it was a crazy day, but a very good one.
There are other appointments and the girls are coming back 5 days a week, to help and to learn. They are unusually polite and attentive teenagers. Today they learned to drive the tractor.
DH and I spent 3 hours this morning and got the stalls cleaned. I don’t like to let it go more than a week, because it gets hard to clean.
This is the 4th set of black twins this year. Both are ram lambs and will be sold as fiber pets. Apparently this hen wanted to be in the photo and if this is what it takes, she is willing.
In between the craziness, I have been altering sheep coats and spinning. I’ll update you on that soon.
In front is the lime tree – a bit straggly, but has three limes.
The orange tree has 3 large oranges, but they are so very green. Does anyone know if they will still ripen? – They are in the heated hoop house.
Lemon lost one of its lemons so has one small lemon.
The hoop house garden is nearly done for this year. I still have to clean it up. I picked what was left, and still have the aisles to clean. There are new potato plants and garlic across the back a long with three kale plants. There is some winter broccoli up front and that will be all we will do in here this year.
All of you know how one thing leads to another. This morning after making Broccoli soup and steel-cut oats, I was cleaning off the counter top. I wanted to put the potato starch into a specific container. That was no problem, but I didn’t know where the lid was. Usually the lids are kept with the container, but this lid was missing. So I proceeded to look in the possible drawers. I ended up cleaning out 9 drawers plus the pantry, looking for that lid, which I never did find, nor did the counter get totally cleaned. I gave up
In the midst of this, I remembered that we are changing a few more sheep coats tomorrow and I needed to wash coats to have enough clean for that. Now I also have a few more coats to mend.
Next, I needed to move the dog food that Costco delivered Friday. I order every 3 months and get 12 bags each weighing 30 pounds. Again, not a simple task, because as you know, one thing leads to another. I got the tractor, brought it to the front door, and piled on 8 of the boxes (Costco puts each bag into a box). While I was doing that, I noticed that the plants in front had frozen, so pulled them out and loaded them on top of the food. I took the food to the barn, and put the frozen plant material on the compost pile.
Now to get three more boxes to take to the studio, which is where we keep the food for the dog who guards the sheep in the lower pasture. I picked those boxes up and went around to the studio, delivered them, and then decided that it was a mess around the door. So I loaded the peat moss , some garbage and the water trough that I will be using for the boys in an upper pasture. Off I went to take the peat moss to the upper hoop house along with some other items. On the way, I left the garbage in the garbage house, the trough near the gate in the upper pasture, and the peat moss in the hoop house.
But it didn’t stop there. Once you clean up a part of an area, you want to keep going, so we loaded all the parts of the fleeces that are too soiled to sell and took 3 loads of that up to the compost – well, I started a new pile near the new garden. Then there was another load of thermalite etc to go to the hoop house and another load of junk for the garbage shed. Most of this stuff was too heavy for me to move before I had the tractor. We spent 3 hours doing this and enjoyed a late lunch. It was nice to have it already made and we could just heat and eat.
After lunch it was back to the barn to clean a third of the stalls and feed the animals. We will finish the other two stalls tomorrow and sweep off the cement areas by the two back doors, since they are now free of all the “extras” Like I said, “one thing leads to another”, but it feels so good to have it done. Most of it I couldn’t do without the tractor. I am so thankful we bought it.
The ducks are finished and the turkeys started. These are essentially small quilts and the binding is put on the same way as a large quilt, which takes a bit of time.
The garlic is planted and the plants that can’t survive a freeze have been moved. We’re expecting our first freeze tonight and as usual, it barely got done. It’s amazing how deadlines help push one to get things done.
Tomorrow is the dentist and the next day is the optometrist. And another week will be gone, and we will have arrived at week’s end. How does this happen so fast?
Potholders: Working slowly, but steadily, these are now ready for the Insulbrite backing, and binding.
The quilting machine has been updated with a new computer which I now get to relearn how to use. The older computer is no longer supported, so there really wasn’t an option if I wanted to use the computer aspect of it.
We also have been putting some time into readying the hoop house for winter. We will let it rest this winter as there isn’t time for everything. So the last of the tomatoes (I think) came in, the kale will stay where it is, in the back and I’ll plant the garlic yet this month. The citrus, we will move to a warmer place.
Chicks moving day finally happened!. They are now in the barn in a safe cage and out of the sewing studio. I know they weren’t in here very long, but they don’t belong in here. They belong in the barn and now that they are feathered, that’s where they are. They also have perches and more room, so win for all.
We picked up the building permit to be able to double the size of the barn roof, picked up a gift for a friend and went to the feed store.
Many of the apples are ready to pick, so I spent some time picking 5 grocery bags full. I don’t climb ladders, therefore I tried to shake some down. I will pick more tomorrow and then the rains will be back. It seems at this point, I’m running out to do what I can on the days that it doesn’t rain. And it wasn’t that long ago that we were wishing for rain. It would be nice to have alternating days.The last three days, I worked on this scarf during appointments and free time, but decided there are things, I don’t like about it, so raveled it and will start again. The white is angora rabbit plied to black wool, so it is very soft and warm and I anticipate wearing it during the cold this winter.
The ground where I wanted to plant potatoes was hard this spring but I had 2 helpers for part of the day. I strung string so they would know where the beds were. I asked them to dig a hole deep enough to cover the potatoes about 3″ and about a man’s hand width apart. The ground was hard, but the weeds had not yet started. The rows are 32′ long and there are 8 of them. I needed to plant many potatoes because we didn’t have time to prepare the soil. So they put the potatoes in the ground and I did fertilize maybe 3 times in the early part. We planted white, Yukon , red, and blue potatoes, in uneven amounts. I just needed potatoes for the winter. When it was really hot, I watered weekly for half an hour each row with drip hoses. We never found time to weed them. The dogs dug holes in the potato lie in and be cool.
I have dug maybe a total of 35+ feet (there are 250 feet of potatoes and some onions) of potatoes and filled 1.5 of the 4 gallon buckets. It is not easy getting the ground to give them up either. I cannot get a pitchfork in the soil, how does that bit of soft potato with an eye manage to push into the ground. And many of these potatoes are very large.
These are small kennel quilts. The photo is the front of one and the back of another to better show the minimal quilting. The people who rescue small animals during a crisis such as floods or fires use many of these in the small kennels. Finished 12 x 18″ is the only size they accept and are so easy to make. Cut two pieces of fabric 12.5 x 18.5″ plus batting. I used an old mattress pad to give it more cushion on these. Put the bottom piece right side up, the top piece upside down, with the batting on top. Pin as needed and sew around the entire sandwich minus 4-6″ to get your hand in to turn. Turn right side out , press, and if you topstitch a bit less than 1/4″, you may be able to catch the opening in the top stitching. On one I did a big x from corner to corner and on the other, just 3 lines on a diagonal. The part that takes the longest is choosing scraps that are large enough, but not so large as to waste fabric, and cutting it out. If you click on the red “kennel quilt”, you will find more information about these. They are extremely easy and if you don’t sew exactly perfect, the small pets won’t complain.
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”
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.