Archive for April, 2007

26
Apr
07

New Babies…

There was a bit of a break, but both farms had babies yesterday.  Dh even had to stay a little late this morning and induce one of our ewes to get her to labor.  She had a healthy little boy and is hopefully doing okay.  We are up to seventeen babies if I’m not mistaken.  I’m supplementing a triplet just to be on the safe side, but otherwise everyone is healthy and hopefully happy.

I’m getting ready to go to lunch.  I’m running to a store called Back to Nature to buy myrrh.  I’m on a mission to make our own toothpaste (using Crystal Miller’s recipe).  We are squeezing the last little drop out of the tube, so dh said he will give it a go and try it.  He’s so good to just go with the flow and try all of my (sometimes crazy) ideas.

I’m leaving 30 minutes early because our boss kept us late Monday evening.  So, I’m running some errands for mom, delivering Avon brochures (a fun little side business), and going home to prepare for a three day weekend at home.  Yea!  Mom is off work today and tending to chores at their house, so we just have our little ones to tend to.  We have no plans or prior engagements this weekend, so my dh and I are both ecstatic.  I love being home! 

Have a great weekend!

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25
Apr
07

Chores…

When I got to Mom and Dad’s my dh had pretty much all of the chores done.  Yea!  They offered to make us dinner because my sweet aunt from North Carolina had sent us a ton of food via Honeybaked Ham so we didn’t have to cook while Dad was hurt.  So, we went home to do some chores.  We are supplementing one of our triplet babies with a bottle, we are milking out and drying off a ewe, and had to feed and water before heading back down for dinner. 

My aunt and cousins were out last night.  My Grandma was put in the hospital yesterday.  She has pancreatitis, so they are battle it again.  Please pray for her.  She gets so down when she has to stay in the hospital (as this has happened a few times before).  She’s a social butterfly and it’s such a disappointment to her to have to miss out on bridge, bowling, and all her social gatherings.  Hopefully it’s a speedy recovering this time around.  I was going to run to the bookstore near where I work over lunch today to get her a book.  If anyone has any suggestions.  I was thinking just a “feel good” type book like Chicken Soup for the ….Soul or something uplifting.  Thank you in advance.

Today is haircut day for dh (it’s been 9 mos. since his last haircut and he’s looking like a wild man), so he is going to be late.  That leaves me to do chores at Mom and Dad’s.  Yuck!  Oh well, he has taken care of them the past two days.  It’s probably time for me to take my turn.

Tonight we are having scrambled eggs with farm raised eggs, msg free sausage, and toast from homemade bread.  I love it!  I love eating foods I know are healthy for me and know what has gone into them.  I had totally planned to make kefir smoothies for Randy and I for breakfast, but just didn’t have the time.  Maybe tomorrow!  Dh had an upset stomache this morning so I probably should have made the time to make one for him.  He seems to like taking apple cider vinegar for stomache ailments ever since I recommended he try it, so hopefully it helped him this morning also.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!  My week is almost over.  Yippee!

 

24
Apr
07

Picture Time…

Just thought I would share an action photo of our cats.  We only have three left.  Our dogs have a 10,000 sq. ft. fenced in backyard, the cats have free reign of the property, and yet they still felt compelled to crawl into the backyard and meet their fate.  Koal, our little mutt dog from Alabama, apparently has some Terrier in him and cannot tolerate cats.  Very Sad, but he just can’t help himself.  So, here are our remaining non-mouse hunting, non-mole killing, can-chase-grasshopper-or-a-leaf-with-the-best-of-’em, CATS!

Wil, Psycho, and Cooter (used to be a Daisy too incase you’re a Dukes of Hazards fan).

Not the most useful farm cats you will ever come across, but we love them just the same

Here is a picture of Me, Randy, and Cooter (Cooter is distracted).

 

24
Apr
07

Beautiful Morning…

I always love the mornings, but today the weather is absolutely beautiful.  We are on the verge of rain and possibly some thunderstorms.  So it’s damp and warm outside.  It reminds me of being back in Alabama.  Because of the possibilty of bad weather we kept all our sheep locked in the building since they are sheared and so if any of them decide to go into labor they won’t be have new babies in the rain.  Hank (our llama) wouldn’t go into the building, so hopefully he uses his small building if the weather gets too bad.  He tends to just stand out in the nastiest of weather and take it.

We have one set of triplets, so I tried them all on a bottle.  Once the little boy got the hang of it he drank like he hadn’t eaten in days.  I intend to supplement him every evening from here on out.  We are having a very high percentage of babies and are looking to have a profitable year in terms of sheep (and since it’s my ticket to being a work-at-home-wife), so I want to strive to do as well as possible.  My little brain was punchin numbers and brain storming off and on all day yesterday trying to devise and rework our existing plan.  I can’t wait to be home!

I do have a question.  Does anyone own or has anyone tried using a walk behind tractor?  I read about them on Mother Earth News.  The brands they advertise were BCS and Dr. Field.  They have ALL sorts of attachments and look like something that might be worth checking into.  We have looked at small tractors and implements, and I just don’t feel like it’s within our reach at this time.  Plus my Dad has two tractors he is more than willing to let us borrow at a moments notice.  Just thought I would see if anyone had an opinion on them.  Thanks!

Have a great Tuesday!

23
Apr
07

Triplets…

I took an extra day off this weekend allowing me four days to get my house and life back together.  We have dedicated our lives (dh and I) to my Dad’s sheep ever since he broke his ankle.  We are still helping with chores, but the workload has really decreased between the weather improving, she girls being on pasture, and lambing season slowing down.

So, I took the weekend to clean and experiment with a few recipes.  I went to the dairy near our house and bought four gallons of milk/cream.  I made kefir, yogurt, cream cheese, whey lemonade (not so good), and bread.  I made my husband a really good dinner (Santa Fe Chicken).  I will try to remember to post the recipe tomorrow.  Most people a long weekend makes them ready to go back to work.  It just made it harder for me and my husband.  He is on a mission now to get me home.  He said it just made him feel so much better knowing I was home with the animals so if there was a problem I could help them.  I also think he likes walking in the door to dinner and a smile. 

We had a set of triplets Saturday evening and mama is doing well to mother all of them so far.  There are two girls and a boy.  We are thinking we may supplement the little boy with a bottle if he doesn’t keep up in size.  However this morning dh said they were all taking turns at breakfast, so hopefully they will all be fine without us getting involved. ~Smile

The chickens have slowed down some on egg production.  The weather has been warming up, so that will start to play a role.  Kansas isn’t really a place to live if you love spring and fall.  They don’t exist here!

We worked on fencing this weekend also.  Hopefully we will be done by next weekend and the girls can go out to pasture.  Then we will start working on Toby’s (our ram) pasture.  We are planning on running my Dad’s Katahdin ram, Lewis, with Toby to keep him company.  Also, he’s the ram we are considering using on our Texels.

The garden is slowly but surely getting planted and mulched.  I intended to be real creative and try some new things, but due to Dad’s accident have decided to plant the things I know we like, know I can preserve, and know how to grow.  I have thrown out a few fun things to try, but for the most part I will use the space to grown the usual and dedicate my time to preserving it.  We want to experiment and see how little we really need from the grocery store.  Dh figured the staples (milk, bread, and eggs) are what take you to the store and what cause you to purchase other items you may or may not need.  So, we will buy our milk from the dairy, we raise our own eggs, and make our own bread.  Done!  I can buy the ingredients to bake bread at a bulk food store where there aren’t so many enticing impulse buys.  The garden can fill in the gaps.  Problem solved!

I love living on a farm and learning how to be more and more self-sufficient.  I also love my dh for being so understanding and heading down the path with me.

Have a great Monday!

18
Apr
07

Foster Mama…

It rained last night, so chores were interesting last night.  The rain always seems to slow us down, so we didn’t get home from Mom and Dad’s until 8:30.  Dad had a Romanov who had twins and left them (a VERY common occurence sadly enough).  However, a beautiful Katahdin yearling took them under her wing until Randy and I got therer to sort them out.  It was really sad because we put the new mama in a little pen and pulled her twins off the “foster” mom to put with their real mama.  The little Katahdin (foster mom) went wild crying and running around looking for them.  She’s never even had babies before and was still more aware of mothering those babies then their own mama was.  Poor thing!  I think I’ve said it in every blog lately, but I love Katahdins.  Our Texels are WONDERFUL mamas too! 

Our little crier is still not an aggressive eater.  We hold mama and get him to nurse, but he is very reluctant.  Tonight we will be supplementing a bottle if he hasn’t improved.  Another ewe, who is gigantically pregnant, didn’t come for food last night or hay this morning.  Hopefully this is just a sign she is getting ready to lamb.  She is really big and making Randy and I a nervous wreck.  Hopefully she will deliver today without any problems.

Our chickens productivity is down.  Only five eggs yesterday.  The weather hasn’t been the greatest for them, so maybe this is the reason.

Still contemplating the goat milk idea.  Dad thinks we need to find another supplier and give it a second try (he has a bit of a vested interest knowing he could have extra milk for bottle lambs and not have to buy the expensive replacer).  He also mention just buying a good Nubian and trying it for ourselves.  I really think with spring and all the heavy rains the bad flavor of the milk was most likely caused by the multitude of weeds popping up everywhere.  Just a guess!

My dh has requested I take tomorrow off work.  Yea!  I am way behind on housework and baking.  Hopefully the long weekend will help me get caught up around the house.

Have a great Wednesday!

17
Apr
07

A Snowy Weekend…

Our weekend was filled with rain, snow (approx. 4 inches), and cold weather.  Now it is over, we’ve picked up the pieces, and we are hoping for springtime weather.  Dad is up on crutches and even able to drive the car and 4-wheeler.  It is soooo nice to have mobile again. 

We tended to chores at Mom and Dad’s as usual.  Some of the sheep were let out to pasture so it was a chore getting mamas and babies in, but eventually they caught on to the idea.  We didn’t get home until after 8:00 and still had a ewe we needed to tend to.  She had been in labor since 5:00 with no progress, so let the fun begin.  I went to pull the lamb and made some progress.  Dh was getting impatient and insisted he try (I was so determined to pull it myself).  It’s a good thing I gave up the fight it took both of us pulling and mama pushing to get the little (not-so-little) guy out into the big world.  He is doing well although a bit of a crier.  Usually babies cry when they are hungry, but not the case.  He’s just a bit of a baby : )     It’s a very adrenaline pumping experience to pull a lamb, but when you step back, take a deep breath, and see that little creature staggering to it’s feet it is all worth it.  Texels are GREAT mamas!  I can’t say enough about the way they mother their babies.  I love to watch them!  Katahdins are the same way at dd’s.  They love those babies so much.

My cousin, his wife, and their son came over to Mom and Dad’s last night.  He brought over lots of bales of alfalfa for our sheep and dd’s.  It was so nice of him to haul them over on his semi so we didn’t have to make multiple trips with the truck and trailer.  His wife wants a bottle lamb really bad, but my cousin is not going for it.  Their son isn’t old enough to take care of it himself, and Cris is afraid he will end up with one more to-do on their farm.~Smile. 

We tried goat’s milk for the first time.  We are really struggling with it.  I want to like it so much, but both of us are having a really hard time.  I am really not comfortable with the idea of owning a Jersey (although I love them) feed, transportation if hauling is required,  and their size for handling (in comparison to sheep and goats) worries me.  So, we are still toying with the idea.  I thought maybe we could use the goat’s milk to make soap, ice cream, kefir, cooking, etc and still go to the dairy near our house for cow’s milk to use for drinking and for cream to make cream cheese and butter. 

My boss, who led me to believe it was not a good time for me to take time off  (even though my dd broke his ankle and needs some extra help right now) took another day off work.  That makes two days off for him since he told me I couldn’t take any time off work last Tuesday.  Dh is really upset.  He even mentioned selling our only reliable mode of transportation so we could afford for me to stay home and tend to the house, animals, and him.  It’s ironic as I was thinking the same thing after I left the family’s house wear we got the goat’s milk.  They are a beautiful, large family (Possibly Amish?  I hate to just assume, but they are very much homesteaders to say the least).  I am just intrigued by their way of life.  Although my husband and I will probably never revert as far back as horse drawn buggies.  I would like to start back peddling in our way of life and getting out of debt and no longer financing anything is our first BIG step. 

That is just a summary of the last couple of days at our house.  Dh is requesting I take a day off work this week to catch up.  I think he is noticing our barren fridge and the fact we have eaten cold sandwiches for dinner one too many times and thinking a day off would do us both some good.~Smile.  After getting to bed late, getting up last night at 1:15 with a crying baby lamb, and up again for work at 4:00 a day off doesn’t sound too bad.

Have a great week!




Adopting one child won't change the world; but for that child, the world will change.

I am the wife to my wonderful husband and joint care giver to the many animals we have acquired on our small farm here on the prairie. This is a bit about our life on our farm. We are striving for simplicity and self-sufficiency, determined to become debt-free, trying to live in tune with the natural cycles of this earth, and challenging ourselves to transition to a diet based on traditional foods. It isn't always easy, and we don't always succeed, but it is a fun learning process. Join us as we stumble through learning how to provide for ourselves, get off the treadmill, and work toward a simpler way of life.

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