The farm house

The farm house

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Knit? Not So Fast...

Tomorrow a friend is going to hospital for some surgery. I would like to take this moment to wish
Rose-Marie Bellinger well, a safe and speedy recovery and to keep up with her amazing attitude in her battle against cancer.May we have more knitting days together!!
On Sunday, I decided I would enjoy the beautiful weather we were experiencing of late. Admittedly, I was feeling just a bit sorry for myself because I could not attend Twist 2014, which is a fibre festival held on the Quebec side. A bit of a drive but I'm sure there was weird and wonderful things to be had. Turns out I exchanged this opportunity by purchasing a rare Lavender Orpington rooster and 2 blue Orpington hens. Have I swapped hens for wool??

I chose my spot on the back porch to catch-up on some knitting. With all the changing and adapting and cleaning to accommodate all the recent additions(woolly and feathered) I've not had much time to knit. Once everything is the way it should be, routine begins and I will be able to squeeze in some needle time...A fleece on the skirting table was begging my attention,my garden was screaming for weeding but I held fast to my resolve. I'm knitting today!!

Not long after I sat, I realized how quiet it was. Very little traffic,a few birds and roosters singing and calling.Crickets were humming and an occasional baa from the backyard making for a fairly peaceful background noise. A horse whinnied. I knew which horse it was. It was Whiskey; he has such a wimpy whinnie. Why is he calling? He only does this if there is a horse trailer around or if he can't see any of his friends...And right now, there is no reason why he shouldn't be able to see his friends unless...

Ah crap! Horses are on the other side of the electric fence. I yell at hubby and I tell him to tell our son that his horse is out. I head for the barn and grab a lead line and a bucket of feed. I head towards what appears to be a colorful spot through the trees- a pinto on the outside of the fence, the other two, inside and a woman who had seen this while driving along and helped put them back inside.

So, I feed them some more hay to keep their mind off all the grass that is beyond the fence and give up any thought of knitting for that day. It took a few hours to eliminate some issues and  repair some sections.
This, has really mad me decide that the 2 horses must be sold. So if anyone wants a Palomino qh gelding, he's yours. The Canadian is for sale...The escape artist will be going for training according to my son.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August Is A Peculiar Month...

August is..a peculiar month. The days can be sunny and extremely warm while the mornings and evenings can be rather chilly. The daylight is fading causing the blue of the sky to become more of a pastel than a dark rich Wedgewood color. The flowers are fading and the vegetables are ripening as are the crops. This maturing produces a golden hue over the landscape.

Soon, more colors will be more apparent as we prep ourselves for colder days. I like the Fall-knitting begins full tilt. Although, lately I've been so busy taking care of the sheep to get any real good knitting time in..ironic isn't it? At the Farmer's market last week, I was asked how I could knit while it was so warm? I pushed all sarcasm aside and replied because die-hard knitters knit all the time. But seriously, if you drank hot coffee, baked bread, cooked a meal, all of this and more on hot days, I suspect no-one would critique but one might empathize at you sweat...

Already, there are a few maples and shrubs displaying a new look...
I am looking froward to the new colors but not the new weather. How about you?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

But I Don't Have A Belfry

After 6 years of living in a tall house in the country, I was not surprised to hear my youngest son announce that there was a bat flying around upstairs. I replied: "Hmph, it's daylight."

So I trek upstairs and see absolutely nothing different than what was there before. I checked the spare room, nothing. I asked my son what he was smoking because there is nothing "flying" up there.He put his hands up in the whatever pose and walked off. Later as I'm putting laundry away, I opened my bedroom door to gain access to hallway and sure enough!! A bat-flying mid-height in daylight! So, I eventually get it into the bathroom where I suspect it first gained entry through an open window without a screen.(note to self: get screen for window) I opened the window in hopes it would venture out.

I then apologized to my son. I told my other son to not open the bathroom door. Minutes later,I hear doors slamming upstairs. I had forgotten to shut the transom window in the bathroom and so the bat was touring once more. I asked the boys where the bat was. Older says in the spare room. I then said "You were just going to leave it there??" Geez ...I suppose until it's darker...

So now, it's evening,I'm listening to the tv and trying out a new knitting pattern when I hear a holler from the living room. Oh, the bat must be out!! My husband was victim to the kitten being outside on the back porch and the bat swooping over his head right as he made the discovery that the kitten has escaped.

So,I said "Turn the lights on in the kitchen."-the bat was up on the corner of a kitchen cabinet. I grabbed a blanket and said to husband-"Here put this over it and gently grab it with 2 hands. I will open the door to outside." He glared at me. I said" You're taller."Which is the truth. And so with squeaky little noises, the bat was caught and returned to the outdoors to fly around at dusk.

Each evening I wonder if any of  the bats I see are the one who had an indoor adventure and where the heck was it hiding?...

Friday, August 8, 2014

Some Days Are Just...

Yesterday was one of those days,when everything you do turns to sh--!

It began with waking up earlier to travel with son #2 to his workplace in order for me to have the car to drive son #3 to work later. I realize as I'm getting ready to leave and putting dog out that there are 2 more bodies sleeping in my house-friends of son #3.

I return with car an hour later, boys are still here, my hay that was to be delivered last night was not. I begin to water and feed the chickens, turkeys etc..anyone who can be fed and needed feeding. Boys follow me out and ask if I can drive them to  a local friend's home. I offered breakfast but they wanted to go. Just then hay arrives. I said I will feed and then go. All is good. Except that the Partridge Chanteclers that I had isolated the night before so I could obtain purebred eggs had left?? No feathers, door locked???Oh,my! I discover a piece of fencing had become detached and they "flew the coop"! Plan B- breeding will be slightly delayed...
Drive boys, come back-check the garden-overgrown with weeds and difficult to access due to electronet fencing for sheep. Gain access and search for sage that I had planted.

Bitten by all kinds of insects, I find the sage and really need to clean out that section, next time when I bring gloves and bathe in mosquito repellent. I notice yellow beans that need picking but I didn't bring a bowl, but..maybe I can collect in my shirt? As I reach to pick them I hear a cat screeching as if fighting. I look over to see it is Ray, large male and dominant, excellent mouser by the way. He had got himself caught in the sheep fencing. He managed to free himself but he also managed to pull a small section out of place.
I repair. At  this point I think, resistance is futile. For the rest of the day, do nothing,think happy thoughts- your attitude will change the outcome. Sure, in theory,maybe.

I decide to knit a few rows. I am behind but a few rows here and there do add up.I decided then that surely, this luck thing is fiction and decide to trim the weeds and saplings by the front gate. Foiled again by a pair of clippers that have sprung to have my thumb caught in the handles.

I decide to relax until it's time to drive son to work. We won't go into the gas station incident. I arrive at son#2's workplace and hubby calls to say he will be picking up son #3 as they don't need him today!! WTH? They could have called- all that driving and gas and time for nothing.

Today is a better day and that's all it is: another day.

A few pics...
New ram lamb
New spotted ewe lamb! She's camera shy!!
Here's Aster in Mom's favorite corner!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Bittersweet End Of The Month

Poor Maverick- has passed away.

Thursday am I noticed that he was not up and about like the others. It happens-they don't all chew cud at the same time. But, when he did get up,his neck was tilted to one side and not moving too swiftly. What, oh what could it be? Well at first I thought pulled muscle? Horn caught? No- looks more like a deficiency of sorts. I solicited to advice from some established Shetland breeders and - a thiamine deficiency is  upon what we all concurred.

Next, find some B1 or Thiamine to inject...After calling several feed stores, only one had it, the vet did not have any...time is of the essence with these things.Meanwhile my meat birds are being processed and within hours, people will be coming to pick up. what rotten timing. By the time we located the Thiamine,he was down. I gave him 4 doses and I rubbed him under his chin. A little while later, he was up. He stayed standing for some time. My day went on; he was still not out of the woods.

Next morning , he may have been blind at this point,I found the water bucket upturned and the ram tangled in the electro-net, dead. A very unpleasant sight at 5:48 am.

Now, what to do? In a couple hours we are heading to almost Peterborough to pick up a ram and ewe lamb!! I felt horrible and a few what ifs were starting to cloud my mind. Well, what ifs exist only in your mind. Sure, different fencing may have helped him live longer? Not 100% certain on that. Would he be ever well enough to reproduce again? would this condition be hereditary?? Well, none of it changes the outcome. He's gone. A friend came and took him and will dispose of him. We agreed that the cost of deadstock removal is crazy and they profit from your unexpected expense.Although, I prefer losing a ram over a ewe any day...

Meanwhile, Dahlia gave birth the night before to  a lovely little ewe lamb-Aster! My concern was poor Dahlia may not be able to stand frequently to feed baby and she is a very thin gal to begin with. She popped that baby out with no difficulties at all! Aster is dark brown like Mom with white on her head and ears, and so tiny but very healthy. I will need to take some photos of her and the new additions.

All the colorful Aunties welcoming the new lamb!