June 28, 2009

Sunday Sunshine & Little Miss Maybelle

Isabella kidded today.

This afternoon about 4. Happy and relieved all went so very smoothly.
Meet Sunday Sunshine, the first to be born. A little doeling, she has a bit of her daddy's Boer coloring on her head and her mama's LaMancha gopher ears.

And this is Little Miss Maybelle. Just a few minutes later while Isabella was still cleaning Sunday Sunshine, she contracts twice and out comes another precious little doeling. Maybelle has her daddy's long ears and is solid white like her mama. She came out ready to nurse and going for milk before the cord was even cut. With a full belly she is down for a nap.
Isabella chose the hay room to kid in this afternoon. I have been attempting to slowly remove the remains of the winter hay and get it down to bare floor. Looks like I have a reason to procrastinate in doing one of my not so favorite jobs.

June 26, 2009

Honest Scrap

I’d like to thank Gizmo over at Gizmo Quilts for bestowing me the Honest Scrap Award. The idea behind the award is that you share a bit more honest information about yourself.

Here are the rules:

First, you have to tell your readers 10 honest things about you they may not already know.

Second, you have to tag 10 people with the award.

Third, you have to let the people you've given the award to, know that they've received this award from you.

Finally, make sure you link back to the person who awarded you.

Here are 10 honest things about me:
1. I feel it is so very important to be thankful everyday for what we have been blessed with.
2. I worry obsessively about my family and my animals.
3. I think the better half is the most generous and kindest person I have ever met.
4. I like my animals a lot better than I like a lot of people.
5. I talk to my animals like they are people.
6. I read a book a week.
7. I really don't like to go shopping.
8. I really, really don’t like to travel.
9. I’d rather be at home on the farm than anywhere else.
10. I don't know my own cell phone number but still know my late grandparents phone number from 30 years ago.

In no particular order here are the 10 other bloggers who I'd like to bestow with the Honest Scrap Award. I know some of you dislike the passing on of awards and meme’s …though if you feel so inclined, are up to it, grab the icon and go for it.

A Girl and A Farm

Growing Human

High Ridge Highlights

Small Pines

Ruby Creek Farm

Annie's Goat Hill

Life on a Colorado Farm

Is this heaven? No, this is Iowa!

Mapleton Farm


June 19, 2009

Preoccupied A Bit

Kinda slacked off on my daily blogging lately. Could be it's just that time of the year where there is always something to do and the quiet time needed to organize my thoughts is lacking.

Dad went back into the hospital on Monday, came home yesterday afternoon. He developed more fluid around his heart and lungs. Dr. says this may be a continual problem and he may have to routinely go in for fluid removal. This makes me worry.

The dairy girls are keeping me on edge too... no kids so far. Constantly checking on them. Here we go …hurry up and wait.

We are on our summer schedule now to beat the heat. Things are a bit off kilter for me until I get into a regular routine. During the cool of the mornings (this is even before my morning cup of caffeine) it is out to do the morning chores and care for the animals. I can manage working out and about the farm in the heat until about 11:00 but after that it is just way too hot. All other outside activities are now postponed until about 6 p.m. I have found mowing in the evening isn't too bad at all. Cleaning and filling the water troughs is now my favorite chore. Don't mind the cool mistings from the water spickets one bit.

Summer officially begins Sunday, June 21st. Don't you know we would go from average temps for our area with all that stormy weather straight into summer temperatures, the upper 90’s and high humidity. Early morning temps are holding steady around 70. Even the birds are panting. The sheep and goats find a shady cool place and relax most of the day.

We have a family dinner planned for Father’s Day, also a large family gathering coming up for the 4th of July. (Father's Day won't be bad, but 4th of July it's both families... ughh!)
Beginning preparations now to be invaded in two weeks. Working on the menu now.

Crazy in this heat I know, but I've been baking a bit. Made a scrumptious batch of goat milk ice cream, the first batch of the summer. Still making the regular weekly yogurt and Chevre. The better half and son are requesting I make Cheddar as soon as the milk begins to flow again.

Hoping to have the skirting table finished this weekend. I have been trying to find the time to get busy on sorting, washing and carding the recently sheared fleece.

Going out to check for babies, til next time...have a good one.

June 17, 2009

The Pond

Hasn't held much water since we moved to the farm.
Normally looks like this...
It really looks like a big crater.
In the beginning it had a dock (someone had high hopes).
We cut the dock down after a baby goat fell from it.

Today after the many days of storms, torrential rainfall and flash flooding...it's holding water.

June 14, 2009

This, That & The Weather

Rain, rain, go away!
Yesterday (Saturday) was beautiful though the days before were filled with heavy rains, flash flooding, severe thunderstorms, hail and damaging winds. They say the weather we are having is typical for this time of year, that May and June are normally the wettest months for Southwest Missouri. Seems we are stuck in an unstable weather pattern that is producing heavy rains and severe weather. I do wish we would become un-stuck from it. We have been very blessed that the worst of the severe weather has gone around us.

The access road/drive way washed out again. Weather permitting it will be the first of the week before anything can be repaired. The straight-line winds that came through (they say the winds reached between 50-60 miles an hour and in some places 80 mph) took down two large trees in the east pasture. One broke in half, luckily not landing on the fence as of yet. The top half is resting tangled in the tops of trees above the fence line. Waiting for the road to be passable in order to have BIL come cut it down. The other fallen tree downed a couple smaller ones that were in its landing path. The goats are enjoying having access to the green leafy branches.

The yard is littered with leaves, twigs, branches and limbs. Anything that was not attached or anchored down was blown around and scattered about. The two tarpaulins we used as wind breaks over the doors of the smaller shelters blew off. I still have yet to find the throw rugs I had drying on the clothesline before the storm hit. I could kick myself for not remembering to bring them in. I really can’t believe I forgot about them. No telling where they blew off to. I even walked the neighbor’s property when the weather cleared looking for the rugs. Couldn’t have been just the bath rugs or the rubber backed throw rugs used by the doors, nope these were my one of kind hand braided rag rugs. Sigh :-(.
One afternoon after the worst of the days weather had passed we lost electric and telephone for roughly 6 hours. Thank goodness my son has his new fangled phone which for some reason will let him send and receive text out here in the boonies even when he can’t call out. (Our cell service doesn’t and never has worked down here in the valley.) Knowing the better half would call home to check in, that he would worry if not able to reach us after so long a period of time I ask Son to text Sister who is 300 miles away to have her call the better half that was 800 miles away to update him on things at home. The miracles of modern technology, don’t ya know.

The satellite we expect to and it’s a given will go out for hours during overcast cloudy days. We really need to invest in one of the new digital antennas to pick up off air channels just to keep abreast of the weather situations. One day even my little standby Am/Fm radio could not pick up any stations.

This weeks forecast says we may experience more of the same type of weather.

With the weather being as it was I didn’t manage to accomplish much out of doors. The yard is half mown, weeds not touched and pens not raked (rather hard to rake mud) and work on the skirting table came to a halt.

Still on baby watch. I assumed that the dairy girls would decide to kid during the stormy gully washer weather. Thankfully no. June 9th was 150 days after being exposed to the buck. They were with him for 2 months so we have a rather wide window for kidding. Really could be just anytime now. Isabella’s ligaments are gone; her udder is filling so we are guess-timating that she will kid first, within a week if not sooner. Barb is such a hard one to judge. Again this year in the beginning she showed signs of being bred, her ever expanding mid section, cranky attitude, her udder showed just a hint of change. Now like last year the closer we get to kidding time she almost seems not bred. No loose ligaments, slimming down through her mid section (could be babies rearranging themselves), no notable change in her udder (could be one to wait until the last minute). If I were a betting woman I would bet she really didn’t take. She also could have settled later than Isabella who knows, we will just have to wait and see.

This year the peahens came of age. The girls brought up 8 new peachicks. This is good if we can successfully round them up before any predators have their way. We have 4 buyers on the waiting list.

With dear son home and asking for dishes and treats he hasn’t had Mom around to make for him in the last 10 years, these rainy days are excellent for puttering around in the kitchen. I normally don’t make many desserts, don’t have many sweets or snacks on hand either. That has changed a bit since his arrival. It actually surprises and amuses me in what dear son comes up craving…Rice Krispie treats, Minute (sometimes called No Bake) cookies, my quick peach cobbler, blonde brownies (he is not a big fan of chocolate), strawberry shortcake. His sweet tooth has put dessert back on the menu. Yep, gained a few pounds since he has been home. ;-)

Looks like another storm is brewing, so I best unplug. Til next time…have a good one.

June 10, 2009

Then & Now

My Angora boys

Sundance Fiber Farm The Sundance Kid
at 1 month old
Sundance came to us as a bottle baby due to his being a triplet and his mother could not produce enough milk to support all three.

Sundance Fiber Farm Jacob's Chance

Jacob's Chance was orphaned at 7 days old.
Of course we could not and would not refuse another bottle baby.
at 1 month old.
Jacob was also one of the last kids born before Sundance Fiber Farm closed her doors.Now

The boys at 6 months old.

June 7, 2009

Shear Pleasure

We did it, we really did it! All the Shetlands are sheared now.
I can't thank you enough Deb and Tammy for the wonderful information and advice back in March to wait til late May or early June to shear the Shetlands.
This was the first weekend the better half was home long enough for us to attempt shearing after the "rise". Jim was a bit leery and actually expected the same challenges. Nope, nada, nothing of the sort! Everything worked like a charm. We are delighted as well as relieved it was not our equipment after all. This means we do not have to invest the extra $$ for a separate shearing head as we thought. The same equipment we use to shear the Angoras works perfectly for the Shetlands. Just has to be like Deb & Tammy said...before or after the sticky rise.

Here is Kelly in full fleece.

On the shearing table, the outer fleece appears almost orange from being sunbleached.
Here's Kelly sans fleece. Tiny fella really.
I would love to put a coat on him to see if he would stay jet black.
After Kelly came a short break then on to Aberdeen.
During the break we let the boys run around in the yard and offered animal crackers for treats. It's a great way to keep them calm.

Once on the shearing table he continued to get animal crackers (see the hand by his nose).

Off it comes with ease.
Some may be wondering why we don't shear like most with the boys on the ground, sitting on their rump, etc. It is just too hard on the old backs. We repurposed an old picnic table into a shearing stand. Works great. No bending, stooping or having to toss the boys around. We feel they don't feel so man handled or stressed out. Plus they can eat if they want to take their minds off of being sheared.
Shearing schedule is now April and October for the Angoras, Shetlands first week of June.

June 5, 2009

The Crowning Joy

You might remember my saying that Aurora was the result of our breeding Bella Mia (our black Angora doe) to a black Colored Angora buck from Indian Springs Farm stock.


We were hoping for and expecting a black offspring from that breeding. Obviously it didn't happen. Though Aurora is white, her having both colored parents she is considered a color carrier. Aurora was bred to our black Angora herdsire Sundance Fiber Farm The Sundance Kid.
Aurora kidded this afternoon at 1:30
A single solid black doeling.
Say hello to Corona.

Corona attempting to stand on her ever so wobbly little legs.

Aurora was named for the Aurora Borealis, the northern and southern (polar) lights. They say the polar lights produce colors ranging from a misty white to every color of the rainbow (also was my hope for Aurora's offspring) ;-) .

Corona was named for the Corona Borealis also known as the Northern Crown a constellation lying between Hercules and Bo├Âtes. The constellation is a small arc of bright stars.
We are overjoyed with our two newest additions to the Angora herd. Not only due to their beautiful color, but with both being doelings, they are keepers.

Quick update - Fairchild and Ciara(photo below) are doing wonderfully well.
Still on baby watch for the dairy girls.
Hope everyone has a glorious weekend.

June 3, 2009

Early Morning Singing Song

Gliddy glub gloopy
Nibby nabby noopy
La la la lo lo
Sabba sibby sabba
Nooby abba nabba
Le le lo lo
Tooby ooby walla
Nooby abba naba
Early morning singing song
Singing a song
Humming a song
Singing a song
Loving a song
Laughing a song
Singing a song
Sing the song
Song song song sing
Sing sing sing sing song

Remember that song?

For some strange reason I have that song stuck in my head. And it’s stuck tight. When others things are not occupying and keeping my mind busy it continues to play over and over so of course I sing it.

Imagine the animals do believe I am half a bubble off plum this morning.

Raining once again. Outside projects on the back burner, no weeding, no mowing as were planned for the day. Mind you, I am not complaining in the least. The rains are keeping all green and growing. Hopefully these heavy down pour summer rains do not turn into too much of a good thing. The water is standing where there should be none. If this continues the poor plants may drown.

June 2, 2009

Stray Thoughts

After each kidding we offer every mother warm water with a little black strap molasses in it for extra energy and to help replace fluids. We use blackstrap molasses due to it being rich in nutrients such as iron, B vitamins, calcium and potassium. Also hopefully to help avoid ketosis. We pour or spray antiseptic (tincture of Iodine) on kids' navels to protect from infection.
Baby Name
We named the new baby Ciara. Ciara is the feminine form of Ciaran, from the Irish ciar meaning "dark" (due to her being black) and implies "dark hair and brown eyes."
Her mother’s name Fairchild is of Old English origin and its meaning is 'fair-haired child' (due to her being white).
Her grandmother’s name is Bonnie Lass. Bonnie is of Scottish origin, meaning fine, pretty or attractive. Lass is of Celtic origin meaning girl.
Since finding Ciara, I have checked udders not twice but 3 times and looks as if Aurora will be kidding sometime soon. Hoping for more colored kids.
Have to take time to send Ciara’s registration papers in this week.

Ewe Lambs
Scarlet and Pittypat are now weaned.

Skirting Table
Am repurposing an old dining table into a skirting table. The frame and legs are still in decent shape, the top of the table we removed. Sanding down the legs and frame, hopefully will finish today, will be painting it barn red then cover with wire. Wel-laa skirting table.

On the June Calendar
Did you know June is National Dairy Month?
Kidding begins week of June 8th
Father’s Day June 21st
Summer Begins June 21st
Weed before it gets out of hand
Till up pumpkin patch
Plant more beans and lettuce
Yard – Mow, mow and mow some more.
Fiber –Work it, work it, work it.
Send shearing blades off to be sharpened.
Inventory canning supplies.
Start the search for winter hay, buy and store for winter.

June 1, 2009

Surrrrprise, Surrrprise!

Happy June all :-)

Out doing morning chores and what should I find...

A new solid black Colored Angora doeling. Just a few hours old. More (better) photos to follow soon. I being in panic mode ran back into the house to grab the molasses water and kidding supplies didn't think to grab the camera til later.

And here I was preparing for Barb and Isabella's upcoming due dates. NOT even considering for a moment that anyone else was pregnant!

She is a precious tiny little thing, 3 lbs., daughter of Fairchild (first time mother) and The Sundance Kid (first time papa).