Category Archive: Life

2018
09/05

Category:
farming
Knitting
Life

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Super Scary Socks

 

 

Looking for more trouble,  I joined the group Super Scary sockshttps://www.ravelry.com/groups/search#view=captioned_thumbs&pp=1&query=super%20scary%20socks&psort=bes on Ravelry.  And yes, they are out of my comfort zone, but I have now cast the “Finding the Yellow Brick Road” socks onto the needles.   Let’s see how far I get with them.

The other fun things I did today included calling the vet this morning and asking about a charge.    It was a double charge.   Then I looked at my credit card bill and my utility bill.   Both were wrong.   Both payments had been credited to the wrong account.   I guess it was just my day.

But it ended well as we want to add a loafing shed roof to the barn so the sheep will stay dryer this winter.   I went to city planning and they had someone there who took the time to do the drawing for me that I needed, then look over my paperwork so I was able to submit it right then.   That was wonderful as it saved a trip and will speed up the process.

2018
09/03

Category:
charity
Life
quilts
sheep

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Cleaning, Kennel quilts

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.

2018
09/02

Category:
Garden
Life
quilts

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Potatoes; kennel quilts

Potatoes:

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.

Kennel Quilts:

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.

2018
08/30

Category:
farming
Life
quilts
sheep

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Sheep mob; haircuts; Sparkle in Pink and White quilt

 

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.

2018
08/29

Category:
farming
Life
sheep

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Website; shots; new chicks

 

 

 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.

 

2018
08/27

Category:
farming
Life
sheep

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Long weekend adventures

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.

2018
08/23

Category:
farming
Life
sheep

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Choosing ewe lambs to show at fair

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.

2018
08/21

Category:
farming
Life
sheep

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Photo memories

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.

2018
08/19

Category:
farming
food
Life
sheep

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Chasing my tail

 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.

2018
08/16

Category:
food
Garden
Life
quilts
Sewing
sheep

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Moving boys, hoop house update, quinoa casserole

 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”