Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

It is Christmas day, and a truly wonderful day it is. After the initial destruction of the living room, the kids have settled to their presents. Naps have been taken and it has been a very leisurely day all around. It started snowing mid day, a beautiful fluffy snow, so Sarah and I took a walk to see how the critters were doing. Along the way we got some great pictures. It appears that 2 of our sheep were bred before we got them, so birth is imminent. Of course, being my first time, imminent is a relative term. All I know is their bellies are hanging low and udders are coming in. I know that both of these girls are not first time mothers, so I am hoping they will do just fine with minimal help from me. I have been keeping an eye on them to see any other signs, but without knowing just what to look for I could be hit over the head with one and not realize it.
So it looks like Persephone and Artemis will be the first to give birth on our farm, (excluding Isabella the hen, of course).
Speaking of Isabella and her chicks, 9 of the original 13 have survived, 5 of those are roosters. I am thinking of starting a new breed of calico chickens. The cross of a Americauna and and Egyptian Fayomis is pretty cool. I wish I could keep all of them, but soon testosterone will take over.

We have had to pen our Tom Turkey, H.R. Puffin-stuff. He is very assertive and I never know when he is going to take a dislike to someone. Has anyone ever been sued by a postal worker being attacked by a turkey? I don't wan to be the first. His hens hang out with him during the day and fly out to roost in their old spot. Evidently Puff is too big (or stupid) to realize he can fly out also.
Our temperatures have been in the 20's, which means hauling water for the birds twice a day, the yard is full of frozen lumps in the shape of water dishes. Of course, the ducks hop in the water as soon as it comes out, I don't think the chickens appreciate drinking the ducks bath water. Oddly enough, the duck pond does have a de icer in it, but they prefer the fresh drinking water.
Our barn cats are growing and are often seen romping around the entire farm. Spot, the bolder of the kittens has discovered the wonders of the porch, however Wallace and Marmalade have no problem telling him it is not his porch. Wallace is actually on the move and has become the garage cat. Now that the shop is open, he spends a lot of time in there, curled up in front of the kerosene heater. Lola, the other barn cat, seems to love the freedom on the farm. She is a beautiful long haired black cat, that seems to wear her matted hair with pride. The downfalls to having a long haired outdoor cat I guess. This spring she will get a good grooming, but for now I figure the clumps help to keep her warm.
Luna and Terra are quite big now, but are still puppies at heart. They do seem to be settling into their guardian duties finally.

Well it is time to cook dinner, so I will sign off, and Wish everyone a wonderfully Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Change of seasons

The Survivor.

So once again I have missed a big chunk of time. I won't try to fill you in completely, to tell the truth, I probably can't remember everything that has happened.
Fall lasted until Thanksgiving weekend when we got our first snow. Just enough to be pretty. We had another wonderful visit with friends and family from Delaware.
It is quite a nice tradition we have going now and there is always a full house on Thanksgiving. This year we did cook our own turkey, it was quite good. Terrance was a great tom when he was alive and I appreciate his life.
Of course both he and HR Puffin-stuff both decided to become aggressive right before Thanksgiving, so now we are left with a angry Tom who thinks anything that steps out of a vehicle is the enemy. He is now in lock up.
This past week, winter has truly hit. Everything is frozen which is so much fun when you have to haul water to the barn, knowing that in an hour it will be frozen. We normally have 100 gallons of water stored in the barn in 2 barrels. When things started to get really cold, we dropped the de icer, but we only have 1 that fits the barrels. So tonight Sarah and I used my heat gun to thaw the faucet of barrel #2 so we could then pour it into the barrel #1, oh I just love the winter freeze. Last year we bought 4 electric water buckets for the goats, this year we have more than doubled our barn population, so out to get more buckets we went. As of tonight everyone except Pan, aka Tiny Tim has an electric bucket so their water won't freeze. Luckily Pan is in the back of the barn and not in the direct freeze zone.
Flo went on a little sleep over after Thanksgiving. She went to spend some quality time with Teddy, the buck from Twilight Laughter Farm, where Psyche and Maple came from. Teddy is also the buck that Psyche spent her 'time' with. He is a beautiful creamy coffee color that I hope shows up in his kids.
I am truly lucky to have great goat ladies so close by who are willing to share their wisdom and experience.
Right before Thanksgiving, I also opened my soap shop, at long last. The one problem that I have run into is the heat, no amount of heaters can compensate for the fact my shop is in a cinder block garage. But other than that, I am really happy with the shop as a whole. I have also opened an Etsy shop. Life is busy, busy, busy.
We are now preparing for Christmas, for once we have our tree up early and it beautiful. We found a local place to cut our own tree. Sarah and Maggie picked out a great 7 foot spruce that fits perfect in the living room.