Archive for July, 2007

31
Jul
07

An Amish community and 4-H weekend

 

We had a nice long weekend!  It was REALLY hot here, so we tried to take it easy around our homestead.  Friday my dh was off, so we helped my Dad worm his sheep.  Four hours later we headed off to a small Amish community not far from where we live.  I was in search of a bread box, a wood cook stove, and anything else I found interesting.  The only thing we ended up purchasing was a little sheep bib and blanket set for my cousin’s new baby girl.  We did get to spend the day together, eat out, and had a really great time.  We needed some time away together for sure.  On our way home we stopped in at the County Fair.  This weekend was the 4-H Fair, so we went to see the animals.  Chickens, rabbits, sheep, goats, pigs, and cattle were all in attendance.  It was fun to look at the different breeds.  We think we may have even located a Nubian breeder in our area.  I fell in love with a little Nubian goat there, so my mom is hunting down the owners today.  The price of lamb milk replacer just jumped $13 a bag here, so even if we can’t aquire a taste for goat’s milk we can use it to supplement bottle lambs.  We are also trying to get our pastures under control without the use of a lot of chemicals, so a few goats will help with that problem also.  Friday evening we even got to sit down and watch a movie, Fried Green Tomatoes.

Saturday morning was spent helping my dad vaccinate his lambs (are you seeing a pattern here?).  Four hours later we went home to shower and cool off.  We were too tired and it was too hot to do much around our farm by then.  So, we ran to town real quick to buy honey from a little stand that sets up at the fair every year.  They were out of the gallon containers, so I bought a small one to get me buy.  In the afternoon our neighbors came down for a swim and invited us to dinner that evening.  They made us a fabulous dinner, lamb chops and sweet corn on the grill and baked potatoes along with some veggie salads.  It was really, really good!  We have great neighbors.

Sunday we were up around 6:00 to get as much done as possible before it got too hot.  My dh rehung all of our gates with new hinges so the problem of our sheep getting out into our front yard, herb garden, and garden would be resolved.  Not sure my blue berrybush is going to recover from their last excursion out.  Every potted plant was ripped out of it’s pot when we got home yesterday.  I finally convinced my dh to let our sheep (and llama) into the backyard to graze instead of trying to keep up with the mowing back there.  It is great grass and our pastures are getting a little bare due to lack of rain.  He has also been trying to work with our blue heeler to be of some use when rounding up sheep.  She’s a far cry from a natural, but hopefully with some training she will be of some help.  As of right now, all she wants to do is give them kisses and lick their ears.  Fuzzy didn’t mind the kisses!

She would also just kind of prefer they stay out of her way so she can play ball with her Dad.

We have a baby pool set up for the dogs to cool off in.  Well, the sheep decided it was a stock tank and started drinking out of it.  Ash ran over there as fast as she could and practically did a cannonball into it to get them to stop drinking all of her “pool water.”  She panicked!  What would she swim in if they drank it all? 

We swam a little Sunday afternoon than retired indoors.  I read (Better Off:  Flipping the Switch on Techonology)and worked around the kitchen dehydrating some tomatoes and grapes while my dh watched tv.  Do you see a confict of interest here?  Ha! Ha!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

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26
Jul
07

My new best friend…

 

We have a situation on our little homestead.  We have about two too many roosters.  One of which is very mean and has attacked and drawn blood twice on my legs.  Now instead of changing into jeans and boots just to go into the coop to collect eggs I have a few other methods I use.  I’ve taken our cat with me, and he doesn’t bother me.  He just watches me from his perch on top of the waterer.  One day the cat was nowhere to be found, so I took a small piece of OSB board in with me to use as a shield.  It worked to block him from attacking my legs, but I also had back up.  There is another rooster in there who is now my body guard.  If the mean rooster comes after me he attacks him and pins him to the ground.  It’s the most amazing thing.  It may have nothing to do with me personally and just be a dominance thing.  However, that little guy is a keeper and my new best friend.  He has earned his place on our farm and when the day comes to downsize our rooster population he will not be one of them.  Has anyone ever butchered a bantie worth eating?  They aren’t that old (maybe right at two years).  I just know there isn’t much to them and didn’t know if it would be worth actually butchering them or not.

I’m meeting my Grandma for lunch today.  Yea!  We always have a fun time when she comes this way and we do lunch.  Dh is off today and tomorrow and on a mission to finish up some projects around the farm. 

This evening we are going to deliver some Avon and stop in to visit with my aunt and uncle while we are out and about.  Tomorrow we are helping my Dad worm his sheep and separate his lambs from their mamas.  When we are finished we are headed to a small Amish community nearby to do some shopping.  I’m in need of a breadbox and would love to buy and oil lamp if I can find one reasonably priced.

Saturday we plan to tag our sheep, take some pictures of our ram lambs that are for sale to email to some prospective buyers, and finish up weening all of them.  It’s going to be noisy on our farm for a few days.  The mamas don’t seem to cry for their babies as long as the babies cry for their mamas.  Poor things.  It’s really quite sad.  I cried the last time we weened one of our ram lambs and he cried and cried.  Ugh!  There are hard parts and not-so-hard parts of animal husbandry.  This just happens to be one of the hard parts.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

19
Jul
07

Our evening…

 

When I got home dh was watering all the animals.  I tended to the chicks, a job he isn’t overly thrilled about.  I started dinner, Navy Bean Casserole and sweet corn on the cob.  Our absolutely wonderful neighbor had gone to pick some from a friends garden and dropped some off with us.  I love sweet corn so I was thrilled.  A friend of Randy’s stopped in with his son for a swim so after we cooled off in the pool we headed to Grandma’s to unload some alfalfa.  We were fortunate enough to have the help of a neighbor and a friend to unload the alfalfa bales.  Not sure how dh and I would have handled it otherwise.  Those bales are just too heavy for me to be of any use.

When we got home from unloading the hay our cat, Cooter, had a bunny as big as he is.  A full grown rabbit!  Dh thinks it must have gotten hit on the road and he drug it home.  Not real sure, but I can’t imagine the little gimpy guy took down a full-grown rabbit.  He would be so offended if he knew I had told you all this. LOL

It’s my last day of work for the week, so I am very thankful to have the next three days off.  We will hopefully get our house in order in the next couple of days.  I plan to steam clean our carpets, so hopefully it really gets done this time.

Dh did flip out and turn the a/c on.  Like I said, we tend to get cranky if it’s too hot and apparently last night it was too hot.  LOL

Have a great Thursday!

18
Jul
07

The grass is always greener…

 

Apparently our little farm and the critters who live there are having some “boundary” or should we call it “fencing” problems.  During the day our sheep rubbed on a gate, broke it, and proceeded to head to the yard (and herb garden) to graze (llama included).  Luckily two girls from the appraiser’s office in town saw them while they were out and about, got them back in, and called my mom to let her know what was going on.  Then, our neighbor lady came down and wired the gate shut until we could get home to fix it.  What a blessing to have such wonderful people who will help in a bind.  Dh and I both work an hour from home and would have had a really tough time getting home to get everyone situated.  On the way home I passed a lamb grazing in the ditch instead of the pasture so I honked and yelled at her to get back in, and she did.  Then at home we had a ewe lamb who had slipped through the pasture gate and gotten in with our three rams, but just couldn’t figure out how to get back out.  I got her in her proper place and discovered another hen had climbed into the backyard and been killed by our dog/dogs.  That make three hens we’ve lost!  My dh put up some temporary chicken wire up to deter them until we can run permanent chicken wire over the goat fencing.  Who would have thought the girls could squeeze through four inch fencing.  The grass is always greener on the other side!

Our chickens are laying fabulously.  Not sure why since their numbers are decreasing steadily, it’s really hot, and the roosters won’t leave them alone.  Either way we are grateful!

Tonight we are swimming in our pool no matter what!  We have a great pool we never seem to have time to use, so tonight it’s on.  We are in the upper 90s here and have still not turned our a/c on.  It’s starting to get a little too warm in the evenings, so we will see how soon we fold.  It’s been nice not having a huge electric bill, but it tends to make us cranky if it’s too hot inside. LOL

Have a great day!

17
Jul
07

Family Time…

 

We had a great weekend!  We had family in from the Carolinas (two aunts and two cousins).  My aunt and cousin from SC made a huge Mexican dinner Saturday night.  We had spent the day swimming at our house then headed to Grandma’s where the girls had dinner waiting.  It was fabulous!  Sunday, we all attended church and met at Grandma’s again for dinner.  My cousin and uncle grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, and brats.  Yum!  Dh and I had to leave early to get back home.  The President of the Texel Sheep Breeders Society was on his way out to interview us for the website and newsletter.  The sheep and Hank (the llama) were on their best behavior.  My aunt also gave me a knitting lesson on Sunday.  I have already been taught to knit by my MIL, however, I needed a refresher course.  I think I might just have the hang of it now.

Last night was pizza at my uncles in town.  It’s everyone’s last night here, so we had a good time relaxing on their back deck.  It was a beautiful evening outside.  I just love being with my family!  I’ll try to post some pics soon.  I used my film camera, so hopefully the girls email me some I can post.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week.

12
Jul
07

Chasing Thunder…

 

If anyone has an Australian Cattle dog (Blue Heeler) out there you will probably agree that from puppy stage until they are about 5 years old you will go through, “the worst of times and the worst of times.”  Our blue heeler, Ash, (bless her little heart) has some seriously bad habits.  Digging in and eating trash, barking (more of a high-pitched yip), and pawing at you if you are sitting somewhere and fail to devote your full attention to her, just to name a few.  This morning it was thundering and lightening a lot.  So, when I let the dogs out I kept an eye on them to make sure they hurried.  Ash (since she was a puppy) chases her tail when it thunders and barks like crazy running in little circles.  This morning was no different.  It thundered and off she went, round and round in the middle of the yard.  When I called her to hurry her up and get her back inside she stopped spinning only to stumble around and nearly fall over.  She looked like a little kid when they hold their arms out and spin and then try to walk; stumbling and falling until the dizziness goes away.  My goal in life is to catch her on video.  Not sure why she insists on chasing her tail when it thunders, but of all her quirks this has to be the funniest.

 Also, I was tagged by Finding Contentment, mc2rwe, and Sweetheart.  So, here it goes.

 

Here are the rules:

 

Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

 

**I’m going to cheat and not pass it on.  Sorry girls, I’m at work and have to have some control over my blogging time. LOL

 

1.  My husband and I have been married for 4 years and have no children.

 2.  We lived like gypsies for the first few years of our relationship moving all along the coast of South Carolina (Myrtle Beach area), then on to Alabama where we moved from city to city before settling on a farm in Kansas. 

3.  I’m a computer geek and feel very unfulfilled in my career.  Working in a new direction these days : )

 

4.  Hope to leave this world better than found it.  Not sure how yet, but I know I want to make a difference not just go through the motions.

 

5.  We raise Texel sheep, Broilers, and Bantam chickens.  We have a llama (Hank), a cat (Cooter), and two dogs (Ash and Koal).

 

6.  Tennessee is my favorite place.   

 

7.  I am environmentally conscience and hope to gradually convert our house and our lifestyle to be less reliant on fossil fuels.  “Leave a smaller footprint!”

 

8.  I love spending time with my husband.  He is my best friend and my soul mate.  It’s amazing to me how we have grown and changed together.  Every time we take a new path, no matter what the change, we both feel compelled to change together and follow the same path.

 

Hope you all have enjoyed!  Sorry I’m not passing this along to anyone, but duty calls. 

 

Also, Chas thank you so much for the Blogger Reflection Award.

 

 

I hope to get this passed on soon, but wanted you to know it didn’t go unnoticed, and I appreciate it soooo much!

 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I will be spending it with my family.  My aunt is planning to teach me how to read knitting patterns.  I can’t wait!  My first project will be a washcloth.  Baby steps!

11
Jul
07

Picture Time…

 

Okay, apparently I was the last to know about Eyes of Wonder.  I will try to be more on top of things next time. LOL

Not an exceptional harvest, but we were excited to have fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet onions, and eggs.  **Not picturered-3 strawberries and 1 blackberry, ha!  ha!  I have bowls in the freezer, so I just fix them as I pick them and toss them in the freezer.  Maybe someday I’ll have enough to actually make something.

I found this the other day while I was doing chores.  How perfect it is!  I felt bad for the little bird who worked so hard to build it, but apperently forgot to attach it to the tree.  ~Smile

This is our miniature peach tree.  Due to weather it has yet to be very productive, but at least it’s pretty.  My herb garden consists of:

Pineapple Sage (this smells absolutely amazing, I want to make an ice drink out of it as soon as I figure out how), Oregano, Chives, Lemon Balm, Rosemary (in a pot nearby), Rhubarb (not an herb, but needed to get it in the ground somewhere), Thyme, Peppermint (in a pot nearby), and Basil.  I also have chamomile, echinacea, and parsley planted in a different area.I also ordered a miniature lemon tree, lime tree, two grape vines, and a blueberry bush from Gurney’s this spring.  Everything is doing great so far.  Winter will be the true test.  The lemon and lime trees  will have to be moved inside.  A friend of Randy’s has offered to give us a large green house structure.  We will just have to purchase the plastic.  I am so excited!  Now to find a spot, hmmm.




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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