15
Jan
08

Baby Lambs, Homemaking, Stray Dog, and a VW or two…

I am off work on Mondays and Fridays and work 10 hour days with 2 hours total on the road Tuesday-Thursday.  I get some grief from my family because I’m a “part-timer,” however; it works out for them from time to time also.

Friday, I was up bright and early to send Randy off to work.  He had been sick with an upset stomach the day before and still not feeling 100%.  I spent the morning cleaning, baking bread, and doing the outside chores before heading to my Grandma’s to vacuum her house for her.  She was in the hospital the week before Christmas and given strict orders vacuuming is not to be a part of her activities anymore.  So, she has asked me to tend to the vacuuming and any other housekeeping chores she cannot do herself. 

I got home in time to start making dinner, to vacuum our house, and finish up the laundry.  Finally, at 2:30 I sat down on the sofa to snuggle with the pups and do some reading.  Five minutes later my Dad pulls in the driveway and tells me he needs help with a ewe.  She has been laboring for some time now and not having any luck delivering.  As a recap, my Dad broke his ankle last spring and can’t maneuver very well these days.

So, I grabbed a few birthing necessities, changed clothes (thankfully), and headed to their house to assist.  The ewe is a first timer and smaller/younger than Dad likes them when entering motherhood.  He had a ram clear two fences and made his way into the pen of ewe lambs.  Dad thinks about 6-8 of them were bred by the ram.  This ewe was the second one to go into labor.  Anyway, as I began checking her I could tell she hadn’t dilated, I only found one foot at first, then two but couldn’t tell if they were the front or back legs.  (Keep in mind I am still new to the world of sheep birth.)  I began pull the lamb and finally felt the head.  Whew!  She slowly dilated a little, but still not enough to pull the lamb.  To make a long story short, I ended up lying on the ground with a sweatshirt wrapped around the lamb’s legs, Dad was holding the ewe so she wouldn’t lay down, and we pulled, and pulled, and pulled until finally a bouncing baby girl arrived.  Mama and baby are fine, but it was a scary little event.

It was kind of weird in my last entry I made reference to the fact if we happened to find another dog we would make it our own.  Well, we found a dog along the side of the road Saturday evening.  To make a very long story short, it smelled faintly of skunk and had a cut on his face, the vet said we would have to quarantine the dog 6 months with minimal contact to make sure it didn’t have rabies or have the dog put down.  We slept on it and decided to keep the dog, borrowed a 6×10 dog run, wired the bottom, and attempted to clean the cut on the side of his face.  As I was cleaning the cut I noticed small little pieces of something coming out of his cheek.  It wasn’t a skunk after all, but a porcupine.  My cousin called to let us know she had found the owner of the dog.  They came to get him and told us they were going to have the dog put down because they didn’t want to deal with it (they had the dog a grand total of one day, are in their 70s, and both disabled, eh hem).  Some friends of theirs had found the dog as a stray and asked them if they wanted it, and they agreed take the dog.  The wife came to get the dog and borrowed our collar and leash to take him to the vet.  As she was leaving said she would just have the dog doctored, pay for it, and deal with her husband when she got home (he is the one who brought the dog home and also the one who decided to have it put down).  When Randy stopped in to pick up our collar and leash the next day he asked what had happened to the dog.  Apparently he had previously had surgery on his face for a broken jaw, they had wired his chin to a metal plate they had placed in his cheek, and the wire-like stitches were protruding back out of his skin (not porcupine quills after all).  So, the vet fixed him all up and is kenneling him for one week while the current owners try to locate the previous owners.  Obviously someone has put some money into this dog and may be out there looking for him.  If the owners aren’t located he will either go into the humane society or be put to sleep because the current owners have decided they don’t want him anymore.  People absolutely amaze me, but that is beside the point.  Randy and I are tossing around the idea of whether we would like to take the dog on or not if a home is not found by the end of the week.  There are just a lot of things to consider before we can commit to another animal (will he get along with our dogs, can he clear our fence, will he hurt our sheep or chickens, can we afford another dog, etc.).

Monday I helped my mom on the computer.  She is taking over my Avon business so I can use my time to make my own soaps, shampoos, etc. as opposed to buying the chemical laden type.  My afternoon was spent working on our taxes and making meals for the week ahead of time.  I also made bierocks with homemade ketchup.  We liked this ketchup better than the NT recipe, so I will try to remember to pass it along this week.

We are going to try a new routine.  We have taken on yet another project of restoring a VW bus.  Since the days are noticeably starting to lengthen we have decided to rearrange our evening schedule so Randy will have time to work on the VW, and I will have time to do yoga before eating since you are supposed to do it on an empty stomach.  We are pushing dinner back about 45 minutes to one hour to give us time to do our own thing before eating.  I don’t like eating too late, but 6:30 or 7:00 shouldn’t be too bad.

Without further ado……

This is the parts bus (engine, etc.)

And this is the keeper.  Kind of hard to tell the difference, huh?  We are thinking green for the color, but as you can see we are a long way from paint.  First things first it needs an axle and tire to get it off Dad’s car hauler.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day.

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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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