Tuesday morning Estelle had a surprise waiting in the barn. These little lambs are about two hours old at the time of this photo. They (ram lamb and ewe lamb) are still a bit damp and just learning where mom keeps the food.
I spent a fair amount of the week canning another 21 quarts of potatoes and 60 pints of various type of dry beans. That makes it fast and easy to make a meal for one. And it helps heat the house to do this type of canning in the winter when the cold comes.
Then I organized the yarns that I had spun that are for sale.
And the cold has started. It is now below freezing and last night we got a smattering of snow. It is supposed to increase throughout tonight and we may wake up to 1-3″ of snow. But Monday the rains will be back so it will quickly melt. In this region, we aren’t used to these cold temperatures, so it’s nice it doesn’t stay cold a long time. February is usually our harshest weather.
The neighbor girl who has been helping by playing with the pups needed a quilt – or so the pups and I thought since she didn’t have one. So I made this for her which is 50 x 60. I “enveloped” it and used the butterflies and ribbons where our ancestors would have tied the quilt. The backing is so fitting since we live in Western Washington where we are setting rain records lately.
Even the pups have been bored with the rain and mud. They are finding indoor activities, called “Who can make the smallest pieces out of Mom’s calendar”.
The other “fun” activity we have had this week is an unexpected population explosion. 6 new babies in the last 3 days. Either the girls had secret dates or there was a very young boy that reached sexual maturity extremely early. We did purposely breed 5 ewes that we believe are due in April, but those are not the moms giving birth. Oh, what fun a farm can be!!!! Certainly not boring.
We have been relaxing by putting together jigsaw puzzles. Somehow they calm the mind and give one space to think.
But really, who buys purple sheets? I guess it’s better than dying my hair that color. It was a daring stretch for me.
Time flies and this last year, the sheep have taken most of my time and energy, but I really miss the quilting and blogging. I decided this year, it is important enough to at least get a little done each month. This morning I pulled out these Sunbonnet Sue blocks and my goal is to make a quilt top from them before the end of the month. After making 3 twin size quilts with the other blocks, these 15 were left over. I’ll think this layout will work. I am linking to https://www.elmstreetquilts.com for the sake of accountability.
The 10 pups have had a lot of extra attention this past week since the schools were on vacation. Here the neighbor is telling them the story of the Lion King. At their 10 week vet check this past Friday, the weights were between 18.5 and 25#. No wonder we are going through so much food!
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.
I miscounted, thinking all the sheep were in for the night. When I went out in the morning this one was freshly born.
More babies are arriving on a fairly regular schedule these days, which means more cleaning, and other duties. So far 7 ewe lambs and 3 ram lambs. We will be seeing new ones over the next month. These are all Cormos. When they are done, the Shetlands will start. One never tires of seeing new life happen.
Did I mention more cleaning?
And here is what happens if you just can’t wait your turn for the nest and don’t want to go find another. The hen below was just a bit smarter and used a lamb jug. It didn’t bother her one bit that there were lambs there as she only needed a small corner.
Sometimes the work is hard and one is usually very tired at the end of the day, but I love that this is a very rewarding way to get my exercise.
We ordered this 30 x 40′ roof in August. It has had several promise dates. But now it’s here and erected and the animals will have more dry space and less mud. I am so happy to have it, but it is the worst company I have ever worked with. So this was Friday’s excitement.
Working backwards, my friend, Mary and I went to the Sew Expo Thursday for 3 hours. We wore our feet out shopping fast and spent very little However, I did find a company to process my wool that I can drive to instead of paying those horrible shipping costs. Plus she specializes in fine wools, which I have. We will try to get to her shop this week and see what she can do. Her yarns at the Sew Expo were incredible!
Wednesday, Beau went back to the specialist to have the eye with glaucoma removed. He is doing very well, except with the E collar, he runs into things that won’t bother him when it gets removed in another week. His first two days, he was hurting a bit and really wanted to be babied, but he’s over that now, and wants to be outside telling off the coyotes that come to near his property. We will hear when we take him back what they found in the eye. The vet said he doesn’t see this breed with glaucoma.
Tuesday, I mentioned the new babies who are now growing so fast. We may get another one or two tonight. The ewe was acting a bit off and shows signs of wanting to birth soon.
And did I mention the snow is gone and the sun is out – though cold – and I am appreciating it. Spring is coming and we are so ready!
Jonquille’s lambs of 2019. I went to the barn to let the girls our to enjoy the sunshine today and heard these darling little baby sounds. You will see the cinnamon color on the one which means it was a more difficult birth. It fades fast. I’m just thrilled that mom was able to produce them without complications.
Sheep shearing 2019 with Elizabeth.
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.