The farm house

The farm house

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Merry Christmas From The Rickety Ladder Farm

A couple of days ago, well before the snow but before a rain, I decided to repair a small "indoor waterfall" in the barn. You see, the barn was not used for keeping livestock by the last few owners. Consequently, a few rodents and such have destroyed a few areas, in particular a section where the roofs meet and the water now comes in. It drips and also slides down a wall making everything wet, rotting and turns icy. Not a great environment for livestock. It's also the escape route for the barn-cat :also access for a predator grrr...
Here are a few photos of what the barn looked like before I decided I could do something with it. Also known as BC-before critters.

Above the window in this last photo to the left(blocked by the tree) is where the problem is. Now, what I thought I could do to repair this was use some spray insulation foam. It works well in cracks and crevices because it expands to fill the spaces. I read the label. Very flammable and explosive- good thing I don't smoke but nobody should smoke in a barn anyway. I inspected the area and decided I needed to get a ladder sigh..Off I go, get the ladder and prop it up and realize that the drainage ditch is more elevated at the wall than the rest of the floor making for a yet another wonky ladder episode and of course nobody's around. This is of course taking place inside the barn with sheep watching and a few stray chickens that go out from next door ogling, to them, what seems like a bunch of perches neatly put together upon which I am climbing.

Protective clothing and goggles were also recommended on the label. Well, I had my chore coat on and a pair of gloves, my glasses to see what the what. I make the rickety climb and started spraying. It works very well in the small places. So far so good. Now, there's a huge gap and I can see the metal from the roof. I start to spray. As the foam expands, it gets heavy. It does not have anything to support it from underneath so it starts to drop. Crud. Once I am done with the can, I scoop up what has fallen and it is still expanding.I decide to put it into an empty feed bag as I suspect no animal should be eating that!

So, nowhere on the label does it say that when wet, this substance becomes on of the world's best adhesives!!! While trying to put the fallen foam into the feed bag, the gloves are coated with this yellow goop. Also the cuff and bottom part of the sleeve is coated and it is not coming off....I take feed bag to garbage can. See the yongest is walking down the laneway from the school bus. He nods. I then go to utility sink in the house and scrub this stuff off. By now my hands are coated and slick and my fingers are sticking together. Not cool. I have knitting to do, baking, laundry etc...Oh my! This stuff is horrid. I yell at youngest "google how to removespay foam insulation". Apparently, nothing works. Well, a recommendation was acetone which I had on hand in the form of nail polish remover. Further down in the suggested solvents were paint thinner and a few other stinky things but they were not successful according to other victims.

I can tolerate the smell of the nail polish remover. I quickly run upstairs to the bathroom and use it right away. Youngest creeps up to see how I'm making out, trying to stifle a chuckle or two. What the acetone did was slough away a bit and made it less sticky. For days,I've been picking the stuff off my fingers very much the same way we did as youngsters peeling off the white Lepage's glue that we would put on finger tips and pull off looking at our fingerprints. This "stuff" however is more diligent and I still have some on a few fingers.

End result is the leak has slowed but not to where I want it to be. Plan B- whatever that is short of redoing a section of roof....

So such a long post to say, "Don't do what I did and why".

Have a Merry Christmas folks. Hopefully I will be back after the holiday to write about something much less dramatic!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

All Christmas and caked out...

Yesterday was my husband's Birthday. I managed to bake a Boston Cream Pie from scratch with the meager supplies on hand. You see, I am housebound. No, not ill but 1 vehicle in good working condition certainly curbes the ability to dash out and shop. Consequently saving money except that there is none. Christmas has come at a really bad time, again. We recently replaced 2 car tires(less than a year old) 4 truck tires, new shocks and afew other parts on the truck and it's still not operating well. Two licence renewal stickers and a licence renewed....all in December. To cap it all off, I am only working 3,25 hours/week which is not considered employed and hubby will be off work from Friday to the day after New Year's day...So gifts this year are whatever I have knit. Rainchecks for everyone as you see, it has been raining. The sounds of Christmas here are the sound of the sump-pump coming on and a truck scraping and spreading salt on the road.

Oh it did snow.. a looks someone with the biggest sifter ever, sifted icing sugar all over the lawn. I can live with that but I dread freezing rain and driving in the freezing rain. The weather has been mild and I am not complaining but it certainly seems to alter breeding schedules for certain animals. It also confuses some birds to not migrate. And then it gets really cold and they starve or eggs are laid and frozen etc...I do admit if I didn't have to heat a home for almost 6 months, oh the money I would save!!

Now back to Christmas...My youngest son turns 17 on the 22nd. We get caked out in December. He's a little peeved that the world is supposed to end the day before his birthday- yeah right. Not sure about that, I'm still getting invoices . No company seems to be mindful of that little nugget of doom. Now, I may be a little more sensitive to the whole commercialisation of Christmas this year, but enough alread. Emails everyday reminding me about how much time is left to buy x... order now.., don't be caught without...Which incidentally has nothing to do with the celebration of the birth of Christ in any way, shape or form. So next year, I am decreeing in my own household, that if you thik you should receive a gift, then it's because I want to share and am able to give not because a bloody date on a calendar equals gifts in the eyes of retailers.

Enough said. We will have a family gathering and our regular feast but I am also sensitive in that area as I've lost a few relatives ina short while I will most certainly miss the visits that usually occur at this time of year. Part of life, part og growing up,partof becoming ingrained on my perception of what I believe Christmas should be....

Oh yeah, hubby celebrates Christmas on the 6th of January. More cake anyone?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Last night, I was awakened by a wet nose, nudging me out of bed. It would seem that I fell asleep without putting the dog out. Apparently, that is one of those skills that only I possess such as refilling the milk jug and taking out overflowing garbage bags. Important things indeed ,but not enough to put on my resume.
 So off we go into the cold night, braving the icy driveway. Meanwhile, I look up into the sky and I am momentarily paralyzed. There were so many many. The more I looked, the more they seemed to appear. No photo could ever describe what I saw. I stared and stared all the while the dog is waiting. I looked into the night until my neck started to hurt, thanks to the car accident and the reason I could not kiss the Blarney Stone despite my climb up those bloody steep, slippery steps...

For that brief moment, I had no worries, no cares, no concerns. What an awesome feeling! Is it that easy? To just be distracted in order to forget the harsh reality of my everyday existence? One thought that did keep me thinking is that I am only a small part of this universe and yet, as small as my part may be, I matter.

Now, the realist in me buggers it all up. That wonderful view of stars twinkling , well a lot of them are probably dead as it takes many lifetimes for their light to reach our planet... Sadly, they are almost like ghosts. This is the kind of ghost you don't mind having around. However, it's this kind of thinking that gets me into trouble. Yet at that time of night, I don't think the dog cared too much about the stars, my thoughts, my questioning of the universe and my role in it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I've Created...A Brat !!

They warned me, I'd read about it.. but you never think it will happen to you.Up until  an hour & half a go. I want to forget about it but the lesson learned is important. You see, I was rammed. Yup, the cute little suck face didn't like the fact that I had ignored him while reaching for the water bucket. I had broken the golden rule of sheep keeping: Don't turn your back- especially to a male, especially to a horned species!!

This was the first occurence. It may not be the last. You can apply this rule to just about any other barn critter. Happily, it wasn't painful just a mere reminder and sadly a reality that the lambs do grow up. Magnus, the bad boy was told off as he stood there. All he wanted was his chin scratched. He walked away after I did that, like nothing had happened.

Today I am going to be emailing around the sheep community to see if I can have my ladies bred. I'm figuring it's probaly cheaper to buy another ewe or a ram but I don't want to deal with a ram after today, one who may mean serious business. I need to do my own maturing about my level of competence when it comes to rams. So not ready yet.

I am also working on egads, Christmas knitting. Even though...I said I would not. I did and continue to knit Christmas gifts. Only for the worthy and appreciative and needy such as the men folk who reside in the same house as I.Today is another beautiful sunny day and I must shovel. Not the white stuff but the dark stuff that animal provide endlessly. The back of the barn was not cleaned yesterday as the horses did not want to move when I was available...Good thing I don't keep a tight schedule around here.

Happy Knitting folks!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Small Incremental Changes...

Already, half the month has flown by. As I age, I do wonder how things happen so quickly or do they? Is it just an awareness that certain moments do need to be cherished and captured and some left and forgotten? Is it a silent race to get to the finish line? Part of my problem is that I do take time ro ponder these things. After all, I have the time to do so....

Lately, waking up and setting out to do chores in the morning has begun to be just that.. a chore. It's dark, cold(not as cold as it could be) and more time consumming now that I must replace frozen water for turkeys and some chickens...At least I have not been burdened with shovelling the fluffy white stuff yet.My sheep are very social and love to greet someone especially if they have food of some kind.

A year ago, I did not have sheep. January is when the ewes arrived. End of April is when the boys were born and now I have 4 more wonderful fleeces awaiting me. Not that long a time really. As I trudge in the morning, I wonder when will the weather really change? I think all folk who farm or raise animals are very mindful of the weather and what it brings. 

On Monday, I took this photo :

Moments before this was taken a flock of turkeys were travelling the field.
Today's photo, same view, sunny but with frost covering the landscape. 5 days and there is a change. Colder, less daylight. Theses are inevitable changes. Now how about what I can change as an individual?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Remembrance Day

Today, the 11th of November is Remembrance Day in Canada. A single day devoted to remembering folks who paid the ultimate price in defending us, our nation, our rights, our freedom. Many were injured, many never seen again. Sad times indeed.

As a Canadian, I feel very fortunate that none of these battles were ever fought here. One simply needs to visit any of the European countries to see the remnants of some neighborhoods. Very much like visiting Halifax and noting that there are newer homes in a section of old homes- thanks to the blast in the harbour so many years ago.

I can't forget this day as my Father was a former military member. He did not serve in any wars but must have been prepared to do so if required. Many parades I have viewed with Dad leading his men.I have a cousin who seved in Afghanistan who has come back a changed man. I also have another cousin who is in Afghanistan serving in a Eupol mission(policing) As I have no siblings, cousins were important to me- still are despite the fact that we are scattered all over the planet. So, I worry for them. And yet, I am grateful that war is not at my heels. That my house is still intact, my livestock not killed, I have not been raped or that I need witness anyone being murdered or blasted. Many more reasons to be grateful for certain.

Poppies are the symbol for this special day as poppies "grow amongst the crosses, row on row". I believe the maple leaf in our flag is also very symbolic. It looks kind of silly but if you think about where that leaf came from, one leaf on a huge solid maple tree, you can really feel what one maple leaf represents. Strength, fortitude, solidity, timelessness, unity. The next time you see a maple tree, take a look and imagine the power within if all the leaves that were on the branches were individuals, soldiers working on your behalf. I feel better already.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Darknes is upon me when I wake up and head out to do morning chores. Soon it will be as equally dark for evening chores. Such is how life is. You can't prevent nature from taking it's course.You may interfere but not necessarily.. you know what I mean.

I've been doing a lot of pondering about my life recently. I earmark everything from the time I've moved to this house 1) Still broke- need to fix that 2) More fulfilled in the artistic sense 3) Jobs suck... 4)I like being home creating and being with my animals So having said that, signs are pointing to doing what I thought would be a yarn shop from the house. I've been repeating that for some time but need venture capital for inventory.

Another interesting tidbit I discovered about myself is that I secretly want to live in a fictious world of a deceased painter. Sounds like some kind of silly story line for some kids' movie doesn't it? Years ago, I fell in love with this man's work. I own many 1000 pce jigsaw puzzles of his work that I have glued together and hang on my walls.Charles Wysocki seems to depict a lifestyle and time to which I can relate and would love to belong to. You can view some of his work here: and also purchase calendars prints etc...

Could this be one of the reasons that I am feeling that I don't quite fit in anymore? Or is it just my creative soul coming to the forefront? An incident at work most recently has made me take notice of what motivates some people...and why does karma sometimes take too long? What it really did was open my eyes to how unfair things are and my instincts, the ethical part in me does not compute hence can't get over the bad. And so, no longer want to be part of that- life is too short to give in to other people's stresses. So back I go to my fantasy life captivated in someone's brush strokes.

I've been experimenting with hand painting and yesterday's attempt was a success! So, may try some more today. I must clean the back of the barn as the farrier comes today.. more money I don't have but the horsies need their pedicures whereas I haven't had a haircut in almost a year. Contemplating a radical change there...Or maybe I'll start a puzzle.....

Friday, October 12, 2012

Scattered Thoughts, Scattered Leaves...

I was recently told by a fellow creative that I should Blog more here is an attempt at purging my thoughts. Yesterday was very productive for me as I designed a mitten pattern-on paper- which means it will be altered a dozen times before test knitting. Nothing complicated, just something for when I get my shop going and will be using my own wool! Yes folks, all this time sitting at home thinking, I could be making money if my shop were opened...If...2 lettters that can keep you up at night or keep you going with steadfast determination.

I firmly believe that things happen for a reason. The fact that I only work on Saturdays, when the car is available is not a sign to be ignored. Things are pointing me to this direction , the woolly path, and I must admit, I would rather be my own boss; a nice compassionate one....

Another thing that popped into my mind was Wool Week in Shetland is well underway. Now that would be an awesome event to attend! Well, why not go next year? I've a year to find funds. Then I thought, things like these are better shared with folks who share similar tastes and interests... so why not organize a tour??? Perhaps more of a group of folks to attend wool week together? There is so much happening and you don't have to attend it all & many things there are free. So if any of you readers( I know you're out there lurking) are interested, probably easier if you were from the Ottawa area or could get here...planning stages at this point. Let me know what you think! Leave a comment or message me on Ravelry showmethemoney is my user name!

Today's tasks at Karberry Farm are not so creative. We must replace a window in a door of the house as the weather is much colder, we need that gap filled. The cold air is creeping into the office as I type. I will also be building my turkey coop in the barn so that they have indoor shelter. So off I go....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Back to the Drawing Board

Yesterday I had started this blog entry and it disappeared while I was adjust the position of some photos- not impressed. So here we are again.

So, that enclosure I erected of electrified tape, 4 strands to be correct = epic failure. On Monday we decided to let the sheep out into the pen. The leader, the black ewe, went in and then made a spectacular leap between the top and 2nd strand! I stood in amazement, thinking now what? Holy crow, portable electric netting will be a must.Those of you with sheep will be saying , yeah saw that coming but I had to try because:  a) use it, b) be frugal. I am now rich in experience !

On Friday, fitting for thanksgiving weekend I made a new acquisition to Karberry Farm. No, not sheep, not yet....Turkeys!!! A breeding pair of Narragansetts! They are from this Spring's hatch. The Seller was going to be by the area so hubby picked them up in Kemptville. They are in the chicken tractor acclimatising to our yard. Soon, their pen will be ready...provided I have access to a vehicle that works... So hopefully in the Spring I will have poults- hubby approves of this and he is already hustling for sales next year.. The feathers are beautifully colored with patterns to boot! I am starting to see it as how I create my flocks- by color!

I also experimented with overdying some wool. Originally, they were dyed with plant material. So, I started with some of the paler stuff.
Not a great photo, but there is a variation in the colors. The outside of the cake is darker. When wound into skeins to dry, the colors are awesome. These are ideal for 1 hank projects. I will be handpainting something today...stay tuned.

I leave you with a photo of some of the roosters. If anyone would like one, please let me know!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Face the fear or buy a better ladder.

I decided to create a small enclosure for my sheep, near, the barn but not attached to the barn. This means, they will have to be herded to their " area". It will be 4 strands of electric tape fencing. If that doesn't keep them in, perhaps a concrete block wall might. In order to enclose the sheep, I needed to get the step-in posts from the loft above the barn. We are talking about 14 feet in height, not terribly high. It was cool & windy when I decided to venture out. The sun had been playing hide&goseek with my laundry all morning so I thought I best get on with it. I took the ladder from the barn and placed it below the entrance to the loft. As I put my foot on the first rung, the ladder moved. Not just a bit but quite a bit...I believe that this was the ladder that my husband fell onto when he rolled off the lower ledge of the chicken coop....another story for another time.... I repositioned the ladder & wondered if it was the ladder or the wind? The ground is never ever flat where you need to work. I try again. I go up a few rungs and the ladder seems to want to walk away from the barn. This leaves me with a gap that I don't feel comfortable with trying to gain access to a hole 14 feet above the ground.

My middle son is working on his truck in the machine shed nearby. I yell for him. Nothing. I yell again. He saunters over and says: "What?" If I could I would smack him as I believe what I want is rather obvious. "Please hold the ladder so that I can gain access to the poles up there or do you want to do it?" He rearranges the ladder. I sart to climb.."Aren't you going to hold it?" I ask. "What are you afraid of- falling, it's not that high." Yes. I am afraid of falling. I give him a look. He holds the ladder until I am partly into the loft and then he walks away. As I crawl into the opening, the ladder moves. I hasten my way- the ladder is still upright but now my issue is how to get down without killing myself?? I mutter a few curse words and set about locating the posts. I launch them out forgetting there are chickens below and I am reminded of this with hearing a few squawks. "Oops, sorry!" I exclaim to whichever chicken I may have startled.

Now I turn myself and sit on the ledge of the opening and gaze out. Nice view, would be better without some of the branches but how often will I be sitting up here... The longer I sit, the more I realize that it isn't that high, really. I think to myself that I've jumped higher on a trampoline, I've dismounted from uneven bars close to this height, I've jumped out of a window of a 3 story building...add "when I was younger" to all this and I think we all get the picture. I decide to make my way down the ladder. Before I take the first step, I see a truck driving by a little slower than normal. Great, it's my neighbour. Probably wondering what the cityot is up to today. If I don't move, will he not see me..oh please don't wave...And he waves. I've been spotted. Red plaid running shoes dangling out of the loft.

It is my fault. I always seem to give the locals something to talk about. But then again, I am quite comfortable being the crazy woman with all the critters in the haunted house...I think there's a word for it but no one dare say it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance

As the title may suggest, I have suffered another loss of a family member. An unavoidable phenomenon that unfortunately seems to be occuring more frequently. A few more empty seats at the dining table for the family get togethers. As I listened to the mass, I created mental notes of what I would like if it were to be my wake. The voice in my head says: "Who cares- you'll be gone!"

 Well, it certainly had me pondering, after experiencing the loss of a few loved ones, what is it that makes this experience so sad? The voice replies:"Duh, because you're losing someone, hence why they say they're gone, departed..." I don't like the voice's tone. I ponder this more as someone recites the beatitudes. Not a religious person, but I've been to more of these "Celebrations of life"that I feel I could probably give one should the pastor be stuck in traffic.

If I haven't seen someone in some time & learn of their death, I may shed a few tears. It's not the frequency or the location but more so how deep the relationship that triggers the internal grief button. What that person has meant to me, what experiences we've shared. The closer they are, the more difficultt o imagine your life without them. Circumstances seem to play a part in attibuting sadness. An accident, a young person, a person suffering etc...Ultimately, it is selfish but understood & accepted. A rite of passag as it is part of existing.

At this moment, I still become teary-eyd but it is getting better. I really should be looking for employment but battering my self-esteem seems so counterproductive and not the postive enrgy boost I require right now.
As for my one celebration of life, it will indeed be just that. Just you be fortunate enough to be left behind for it, I hope you will enjoy the bagpipes and the scotch. Drinks are on me!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


So the beginning of September is leaving me with much chagrin. A loss of employment, consequently loss of funds, projects that are not turning out quite as expected-such is my life. If it wasn't for having to eat, we could possibly live on 1 salary... but the way things are going, prices increase, pay stays the sameor less in my case & that's where the problems occur. The knitting I can fix, the job thiug isn't such a quick fix.

Alas, the knitting part is what bothers me the most. I cast on with some handpainted yarn to make a shawl. After 1.5 repeats, the colors started to pool despite the fact that there were 4 increases every other row. I've used this type of yern before in other shawls & scarves with pleasing results. So, a note on the pattern for future as well as the yarn. After that, I decided that I should piece together a vest that I had knit. Cables at the front & back, to be seamed together with a 3 needle bind off. Nothing tricky here except that the bloody cables don't line up at the shoulders. That goes for both fronts!! Bugger! A note written on that pattern also. Yes it's a relatively easy fix but it shouldn't have happened. Perhaps it was the knitter? Possibly but if it happened accurately on both pieces of the front, I somehow doubt it.Hmm.

Last but not least, I am attempting mittens- fox & geese pattern. Of course, I see a mistake a few rows down- probably due to the fact that I tried to make these on my lunch breaks in a place I hate. So, after I've conducted my job search for today, I will repair mittens & continue with a scarf I've started as a gift for someone who does not celebrate Christmas but will get it by then anyway- a token of appreciation! It's not a complicated pattern but reversible. Seems safe given the difficulties I've been experiencing.

Alas, sheep breeding season is but a few months away. I am leaning toward purchasing new and having them bred than sending my girls out. Of course, I will need to really turn the couch cushions inside out for that to take place. The prices are dropping this Fall due to the drought. So, if anyone can think of possible employment opportunities for me, you can help(enable)add more fleece=wool=knitting to my flock & consequently into your hands. Sounds like a win-win doesn't it? Anyone? Buehler?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I'm a bummer Dude!

Sorry folks if I've let you down by not writing, posting, joking, laughing, visiting etc.. I was very excited a few months ago to re-join the ranks of the employed, only to discover to my chagrin that I will only be working when needed to. So, as of Sept 2nd, I will have a big whopping 3.25 hours per week to pay my bills feed, etc...

I did not post anything in the last little while because I was not in a terribly nice mood & I learned that I should not let others influence me to such a degree. Well, let me tell you, as a Pisces, I read people's feelings all the time & it wears me out. So, I withdrew in order to save what little sanity I claim to ever have had.

Now I am facing a major bummer of not having enough funds all over again. So, keeping my game plan in the forefront is difficult when obligations supercede what I want vs what I need. So, goodbye Rhinebeck this year, perhaps next...( I can't count how many years I've said that now)

On the positive side, things happen for a reason- am I meant to find better employment? I hope it comes sooner than the last job as I can't thrive for very long without the money. That just sounds so awful yet, when the bill collectors start calling, they don't care what your story is.If anyone has any thoughts on future work for me, please contact me. I am serious. At the moment. I am trying to figure out which burger flipping place is the better option...sad but true. Like the song says: I gots ta get paid!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Taking it all off...!

I hope it's not a sign of aging but yesterday I looked all over for that darn camera that I had fixed. I had taken a few pics last week & made a mental note to get new batteries as there was not enough power left in them to upload the new pics. So shearing day was yesterday , and where oh where is the camera?? Right along with  the bbq lighter that has also sneaked off into the sunset. So I had to rely on some picture taking by Vanessa from Booth Boys Farm.


It is difficult to book a shearer when you only have 2 animals to be done.the shearer was previously over at The Vaanderlaan Barnyard Zoo & then popped by to shear our woolly beasts. So, Vanessa brought Billy- we believe he is a Jacob and Andy-?? but boy is he ever HUGE!! This has to be the biggest sheep I have ever seen. I honestly felt intimidated by this boy!

Billy & Andy waiting their turn in the barber's seat

My two are barely recognizable after such a loss. The poor lambs bleating for Mom & then "What the heck? You're not my Mom!" Night & day after shearing; in fact they don't really look like sheep anymore....

Before Shearing

After Shearing
 Judging by their current size, it won't be long before the lambs outgrow their mothers.
Now for the fleece. Hubby is in the process of building a skirting table which should also be a good drying rack for fleece also. I'm still debating about what to do with the fleeces as I am not a great spinner but would like to use some of this as commemorative pieces...

Tomorrow is my first day at the new job. Bittersweet as I look forward to  a new start but will miss my time with the animals. I keep telling myself that I must work in order to feed the animals instead of myself. I wonder if they'll all miss me too? So, the knitting will be slowing down. almost done with Snowcloud- just working on the short-row collar. I have started Maude Louise- cardigan pattern that calls for 3 different needle sizes for shaping. I have the back done already! And now for something completely different: It's not green!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Down on the farm...

It's Spring and with that come changes, especially when you have farm animals. My 2nd batch of seeds have been sown. I am waiting for some not so windy weather to plant as the stems are still very fragile..

Now, all the critters know it's Spring, especially the horses. You know that saying, " The grass is always greener on the other side..."? Well, Tessa, whom I thought was acting peculiar yesterday morning decided to test the fence. Twice people came to my door yesterday to tell me a horse was out. Took 3 hours to fix, sort out etc.. why the fence was not providing the jolt required to prevent this from happening again. All is good now.

Day old Australorp chicks

On Saturday I ventured out to the Bird auction in South Mountain. I came home with a hen of mixed breeding-don't care what it is as long as it lays an egg! Sadly, it was cold & windy even inside the building. There were indoor birds there & day old chicks suffering. I was not pleased to see that. They finally decided to auction off the chicks as they could not wait. I did not go there to buy chicks but I bid on 4 -day olds. I paid for them & left. 2 chicks were upside down in the box & the other 2 were chirping albeit very slowly.Long story short, I was angry & scared all at once. Paid $8 for a box of dead chicks. I prepped a brooder all the while keeping the precious cargo warm. I opened the box put the 2 in, looked at the other 2 & they wereNOT DEAD!!! Slow movement when I rolled them. So, I held them under the heat lamp so the body temp. would increase. I flipped them over belly up so they could warm up all this point they are doing the swallowing thing that means they are about to die... I made them drink, continued to hold them for 15 minutes...they are now fine & fully alert!!

Liam & Mom Clarice

Now for the Really big news..THE LAMBS ARE HERE!!!! 2 weeks early and I had no bloody camera. Well today I fixed the camera- which is why I did not post earlier. Liam was born around 11 am Sunday morning & Magnus was born early Monday morning. They are both rams which means as adults more fleece  moahhaha!!

Magnus & Mom Beyonce-messy girl...
  So this is the first generation of the Karberry flock. I wonder if I will have ewes next year?? I may add some Icelandic & Jacob to my flock...We'll see...until then I will have the ladies shorn- yes that was booked in May before they were due to lamb. Oh well....Come vist the babies if you can. In about 4 months they should have a large set of horns already!!! Need much better fencing for sure....

Sunday, April 15, 2012

New-old boxes

Recently I've noticed a lot of traffic for the nesting boxes at the same time every day....Hens are funny- when the feel ready to lay, that becomes the main focus. The problem here is too many at once & hens going in 2 at a time resulting in some broken eggs. Since I am home to observe this, I provided the hens with alternate options but they don't seem to be falling for them. So, on Friday, hubby & I built some more boxes, using scrap wood from a job site. We are frugal as we must be and I'm sure the chickens don't mind how they look. It's all about functionality.
Hopefully, this will rectify the problem. I will be adding more hens to my flock after the auction on Apr. 28th in South Mountain. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Spencerville sale- not happy about it, but that's life.
Shearing day at Shirley Browsky's farm has been moved to next weekend and I do believe my farrier is coming next plans are getting shot lately. I will be searching for a lift to guild on Monday because I really would like to hear about the rare sheep breeds.
My new pattern for a sock is ready to be test knitted. I had the awkward moments of changing things every other row and settled on something that is not complicated but interesting to knit. 4 round repeat-super easy to follow. It is after all the beginning!My plan is to create kits of my own yarn(giggle) as I only have 2 sheep and not enough wool to process...But next year, my flock will have doubled if nothing else.So, the designing has begun. I am looking forward to creating more!1 month from now, the sheep will be shorn and approaching lambing! I have been cleaning out the barn and mwntally taking note of how to expand space. I have decided on creating a few more pens using skids-palletts.Economical and sturdy. I have discovered that with sheep, if you see a space where you think they may be able to get out, they will.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter All!

It is Easter Sunday and all is the same. Except for something I discovered that will change knitting for myself for ever.... In this journey called life, I seemed to have lost something.. and found it elsewhere. The discovery came about as I investigated my disatisfaction of 2 garments I had knitted for myself. My tension is good, the garments bigger than I would like: that meant only 1 thing....I am smaller than I thought.

Indeed- I started with bust measurements and lo & behold...I have lost my chest!! How the heck does that happen? I am not a thin person but holy is only gone from there?? And guess where I found it? I suspected some time ago where I've added to my measurements. I was walking to the store- after child #2 I think, it's all a blurr-and my arms swinging kept hitting something. Yup, that something was where space was before.. ny hips/ass if you will. Once an hour glass shape to a pear. I don't know if that's a good thing but it certainly has repercussions for me as a knitter knitting for myself.

So if your knitting is off size  please take your measurements again...gravity sucks!

I am almost done with sleeves/back to Snowcloud... I am liking the simplicity. I am watching the Rosemary & Thyme series while knitting this. I have also finished a pair of socks for myself ( feet are wider after children)

I have also begun a pair of socks from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road...time to put some of this on Ravelry.....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New digs for chicks & reclaiming my space!

Well, I moved the little stinkers out and have reclaimed my knitting room,! I even cleaned it up and have books, a table & a couch, albeit a sagging one for my comfort and the cats too.
I seem to be working in a green phase lately and I don't mean eco-friendly green. The color green has always been 1 of my favorites. As I have been saying that this year is my knitting year and I am using up stash, I have started Snowcloud Cardigan by Littletheorem. So far I am enjoying the different construction of this piece. I am using wool-ease-egads. As I mentioned using up stash in all forms.

 I have started a pullover also but fell out of interest as 1 of my darling large dominant cats peed on the yarn. Yes, he's fixed but there are 2 large dominant males and it is not unusual for this behaviour to occur but must it be on my yarn?/ The yarn has been washed. I will continue on Snowcloud in green. Also on the needles is a lace scarf in Silk Twist by Handmaiden also green...
The scarf is not complete, so not blocked. I am looking forward to learning how to dye yarn like this!! Add that to using my own fleece, wow!

I have really enjoyed my time at home with my animals & letting my creative self be amused but I know it is coming to an end & I will have to return to the work mode once again: and not be broke!
Here are a few pics of happenings at the farm:
Forsythia in March

Tessa in mud & sun

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring it On!

The February Lady Sweater has been completed! -yes before St. Patty's Day.
 I wore it to the gathering in Kingston. Please forgive the quality of photos as either the cameras here are not working or a cat has chewed the usb cord. All photos are taken via Blackberry...

I am so enjoying the incredibly sunny & warm weather. It certainly has lifted my spirits! Since I have been off work for some time, I have taken advantage of that situation and have baked more, hatched chicks earlier, knit more for myself and today, I have planted seeds indoors. Since the weather is cooeprating I though I may as well go with the flow. So far tomatoes, squash & zucchini have been planted. I may purchase another box & plant different tomatoes & pumpkins. Everything else I can buy from nurseries or stores.
This evening, I will be moving the chicks to a small coop, just for themselves. They are popping the tops off the brooders and they smell!! I want my studio back.I will be experimenting with diatomaceous earth as a insect repellent and natural dewormer. Can't hurt!
I also signed up for a retreat/workshop in Wakefield today. I deserve it and investing in oneself is never a loss. So, I believe by what I've been told that I may start working in April. Not fun but I do need the funds to move on with my plans. Now, off to put clothes out on the line!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Gearing up for St. Patrick'sDay

Yes I's been some time. Many things have happened but not necessarily very happy or positive things, so I will refrain from spreading the negative vibe. On a positive note the weather has been awesome! Sure we had some snow Friday night but by today, it should be setting off my sump pump with a vengeance.

My February Lady Sweater should be completed before I meet up with a few folks who went on the Knitting tour of Ireland. We are gathering at Wool-Tyme in Kingston thanks to Anne Woodall owner & fearless leader of the trip. How fitting to discuss Ireland & remember highlights of the trip on St. Patty's Day!We will  also be discussing the itinerary of the next knitting trip: Italy! I am intrigued but I would prefer Iceland or Norway.. perhaps another year.

Meanwhile, one of my sheep, Clarice, is looking huge! She has long fleece which is awesome but she most definitely is getting round. Twins?? Triplets?? Only time will tell as she is very skittish and won't let me get too close. She will however take a carrot from my hand..but that's it. See the bump on her side? There's an equally large one on her other side also. She still has 2 months to go!

The chicks are thriving. They seem to be the biggest chicks I've ever hatched...and we have lots of eggs. If you are nearby, please stop in and have some! They are wonderful colors. Kids love them as they are Easter eggs to them and they taste good.

This week is March break, so I will have to boot the kids off the computer & continue with my job search. The saga continues but the bills can't wait. So, if you folks know of any openings, please let me know... I need to buy some fencing for the sheep and it don't come cheap!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The chicks have hatched...

Indeed I am now blessed with 17 little fuzzy chicks. As cute as they are, they can be vicious as I witnessed on Saturday. 1 chick has had it's eyes pecked so badly, I fear it may not see again. Why? Not sure but for now it's in a brooder by itself and I need to give it water and try to make it eat. This worries me. It chirps loudly after I water it but it doesn't seem able to see the water to do it itself.... If anyone of you are passing by, please pop in for some eggs! My hens are laying like crazy and the eggs are such wonderful colors!

On a yarny note, I have decided that 2012 will be pretty much the year of me using up my stash. Seriously, if I look hard & long enough, I have enough yarn for just about any project I would want to start- and eventually finish! My middle son turns 18 tomorrow. It was while I was on maternity leave for him that I learned to knit!!I will be finishing another 3 stitch waffle mitten for him as a gift: his request. Still plugging away at the February Lady Sweater. I'm just about at the section where you put the stitches on a holder for the arms..progress indeed. Sadly, I also learned of the passing of my aunt Kath, who was also my Godmother. Unfortunately, she lived in Regina. Since I am not working, I can't even consider a trip at this time, so a card to my uncle will have to be my wish of condolence & remembrance.

Loving the mild weather these days!My next project will be starting seeds indoors...I will wait until March for that, unlike the chicks. Apparently our bag of chick starter was the first one sold this year!! I will probably have the chicklet on my lap today as I peruse the internet for employment. Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Meet Ollie! The cat who thinks he's a chicken...

A few days before Christmas, we discovered a " guest" in our barn. Not sure where he came from but he enjoys being with the chickens. He sometimes sleeps in a nesting box & even drinks from the waterer. Since I can't even pick him up as he is still unsure of creatures without fur or feathers, he keeps to himself in the barn. I do feed him as I"m unsure of the mouse population in the coop...

As for myself.. what's one more critter! Between trips to the barn to bring running water to the animals, I've been trying to finish off the Christmas knitting. Since my Mother suffered a stroke 2 weeks before Christmas, my time & life were not my own. She is now at home, learning to live with  some impairment & not being able to drive until, knitting time was a luxury. Now I will concentrate on what I want to knit for myself..the list gets better get knitting. February Lady Sweater is on the needles now!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Eggs chosen for the hatch...

Welcome to a new adventure!!

On Monday, January 23rd, I accepted the delivery of 2 Registered Shetland Sheep!! Beyonce is the black ewe & Clarice is the musket colored ewe.Both are ewes and expecting in May.  They've been bred to a ram with the least likelihood of producing black. Curious to see what we will get.The sight of them put a grin on my face that I had forgotten that I could express in a long time. Wow! It was like Christmas for me. I've endured a terrible year, so for me, Feb 1st is more like to be my New Year. The sheep are a beginning into my own yarn shop. You have to start somewhere and since I already have a "Hobby Farm", why not add a critter that may give me a return on my investment! We plan on selling, wool, honey & eggs. Unfortunately, shearing is a few months away. There will be lambs & fleece to look forward to- isn't that a wonderful distraction to the winter blahs? I've also put eggs in the incubator...21 days to go before the hatch...perhaps we can do a sheep & chick watch!