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.
Sometimes, one just needs to play, so today, I did a bit of basket play. I cut out pieces of fabric 5″ square and make a tiny basket. I made the seams 1″ on each side. This one measures finished nearly 3″ across without finishing off the inside seams and about 2.5″ high.
Then I cut off the sides I had sewn and enclosed them in a seam. This then measures only 2″ across and is still 2.5″ high. I pinned the sides down so you could see how it would look with a button. But It is kind of cute with the sides up. I will be making various sizes of these throughout the year to use for gift giving. I can imagine one with home made spa ingredients, one with a recipe and ingredients. These will be fun to think up and give.
Today I made a fabric basket using Connie’s tutorial (blog: Free motion by the River) which is here. I have also added my own photos so you can see a different look. Above is my finished basket.
I started with two 17″ pieces of fabric, right sides together and a piece of batting on the bottom. I sewed a 1/4″ seam around them, leaving about 3″ to turn them right sides out.
I used a chopstick to poke the corners out and then just sewed across the opening, before quilting the piece.
After quilting I put right sides together (the inside of the basket is what you see). Then on the diagonal I marked 3″ from each side and sewed this line.
I refolded the basket so those two seams are together, marked the other two and sewed them.
With all 4 seams sewn, I turned the basket right sides down and using a button stitch, stitched the flaps out. The buttons are just decoration and have no weight on them. The measurement for this basket is 7 x 7 x 4.3″
I will be making more of these for gifts in various sizes. They are so handy and easy to make.
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!
I tried a new to me way to cut half square triangles. First I stiffened my fabric, because somehow drawing on fabric tends to distort it. So on the stiffened fabric, I drew corner to corner both way. Then a scant 1/4″ on either side of that line, I drew a sewing line. I sewed the 4 sewing lines, then drew another line across the middle of the block each way. I cut on those lines as well as the diagonal lines
Then after pressing these squares open, I trimmed them to size. I loved the fact that they didn’t stretch and I got 8 squares out of each larger square.
These half squares can then be used in any pattern using half square triangles.
AND THE LIVESTOCK
The sheep know that when I have done the cleaning for the day, food mysteriously appears in their feeders. As soon as I have unloaded the last tractor load, they are on their feet waiting to eat.
Chickens don’t herd like sheep, but that doesn’t keep Bracken from trying.
I’m for more sewing time this week, though it will be slow while I’m still working on taxes. I hope you are taking time for fun.
I requested this be done several times over the last few months and it seems it wasn’t important enough to get to the top of my handyman’s list. I was so tired of the mud, I thought I’d give it a try myself, even though I’m still learning how to operate a tractor. Well, I had 4 spinning wheels, the tractor was stuck and I decided to leave it where it was.
Today, my neighbor came over and showed me the proper way to move mud. I will need to practice this technique and will probably get it stuck again before I get good at it, but I love what a tractor can do.
I did get this little wash cloth knitted, which helped me relax.
Oh, yes, I had the best laid plans. I was going to finish the lamb quilt and start the quilting on the machine. However, without warning, we had a major windstorm . Really major and we were without power for 2 days. I spent much of the last two days tending the fire, cooking here, and sitting in front of it. We were so thankful when power returned. We were technically okay and could have survived longer, just too spoiled to want to camp in the middle of winter. But now we have POWER and are very thankful, having just relearned how wonderful it is.
So today, I finished the front of this quilt which is now waiting for quilting, backing and binding. It was done on the embroidery machine, which is a technique useful for someone who doesn’t really know how to quilt, but I found it more cumbersome.
When I make this quilt again, I will embroider the pieces flat and put them together and then quilt it. I think it makes a cute baby quilt. It measures 38 x 42″.