Friday, November 27, 2009
....Thanksgiving. It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone. The weather here has been cold and crisp at night, but is balmy and sunny today. It was an enjoyable holiday, filled with all kinds of good things to eat. Oh, yeah and family too. ;-) I had a good time, visiting and catching up with everyone. The food was excellent and while Mom prepared the main course---Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Corn and Pumpkin Pie, 'us girls' brought a few other side dishes. Dressing from my sister, cheesy spinach potatoes from my niece and rolls and cornbread salad from me. Since my great niece was born near Thanksgiving, my sister also brought birthday cake.
The only problem with all that food, is once you fill your plate up, it seems that it's impossible to stuff it all down, even though it tastes so good. The eyes are always bigger than the stomach, I think. However there were lots of leftovers packed up and sent home with everyone. A good day all in all.
Black Friday is being spent at home. I doubt you could pay me enough to get out there amongst that crowd. As I said the weather is shirt sleeves warm and it's so nice to see the sun shining. Today has been busy though, with trying to get the house tidied up some, and then settling down to do some 'Black Friday' shopping of my own on the Internet. Time to get Christmas gifts ordered and decided on. I made good headway, and hope to go to the big city next week to finish up. I'm finding it hard to realize that Christmas is just 'around the corner'.
Jama and Jim from over at Prosperine came over around noon to pick up Selena and Jackdaw. I had sorted out the three other ewes from his breeding group and released them to the rest of the flock, and then penned those two in the barn. They were in separate stalls to preserve Selena's sanity, since Jackie knew there is another ewe in season, just couldn't find her. (She's in the main flock). They weren't able to stay long, but we had a nice visit all the same, they are just real nice folks, and came bearing gifts of goat cheese and some lovely potholders and a plate (with sheep on them even!). Loading up went smoothly and lots of animal crackers helped soothed Selena's nerves. I told Selena I would miss her and Jackie that I would not miss him. It sounds like Jackie found a new girlfriend pretty much as soon as his hooves hit the ground at his new home.
Then later in the afternoon....the catty shack finally came! At a loss on where to keep the kittens safely through the winter, I've been wracking my brain to come up with something. They have their nice little pen in the garage, but they needed a good indoor shelter. Ideas from enclosing the breezeway, to buying a storage building went through my mind. However enclosing the breezeway would have to be done by myself, and at this time of the year, I would have to be nuts to start a project like that. It would also take me forever to complete. Storage buildings are expensive and lack windows. Then one night an idea came to me...what about a little travel trailer? Well, I prayed about it, and thought about it, and I had a real peace about one being provided. I looked at the want ads, on Craigslist and Yahoo lists. Nothing in my price range. So I ran a little blurb on the local town's Yahoo "Daily Deals" site.
I was so excited when I got an email within a day. A lady had a travel trailer--14 foot---for-sale for a really good price. The caveat was it was 'filthy'. Well, I can deal with filthy...so almost a week later, through trying to arrange times to view the trailer, it finally came 'home'. The people I bought it from were so nice. They have a farm, an orchard and a love of animals as well. It really felt right, and I was able to add in some extra money to have them tow it over. The lady that did the driving is a truck driver so she was able to maneuver the driveway, curves, and gates and back the little critter right into where I wanted it!
Right now it's blocked on concrete, but my Dad is going to help me jack it up and get more blocks under it so the wheels are off the ground, then also we can level it.
It really is filthy with the major problem being a mouse invasion at some point. I'm cleaning it with gloves and mask on and have gotten quite a bit of debris picked up already. An older man lived in it and had it outfitted with all the necessities. From what I understand he had to go to a nursing home where he later died, and it looks like they pretty much just took the essentials and left a mess behind. The trailer looks like it was not filthy though when it was in use, just accumulated dirt and mouse debris since.
I plan to tear out the carpet, most of the bed area and some of the seat area. I'm pretty sure they are not the originals and I'd like to get as much of that stuff out as I can, so I can clean it really good. It'll have to be cleaned from stem to stern and disinfected.
I'll post before pictures in a few days...and hopefully after ones soon. I plan to move the kitty playpen up next to it, and fix one of the windows so they can go outside or stay in. Eventually some of the kittens will come inside to live in the house, maybe some to a new home, and some may be outside kitties when the time comes in the Spring----once they are sensible enough to be around Boone. This will give me some time though to be able to make proper decisions so that I can quite worrying about the little rats, er cats.
Once the kittens are done with the trailer, then, I'm going to work on doing some restoration on it, and eventually turn it into a little wool room. Maybe. It's silly, but I'm pretty excited about it all. Probably by the time I clean the mess out though, I'll be less excited!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Happy Thanksgiving to All
Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart,
Give Thanks to the Holy One,
Give Thanks, for He's Given
Jesus Christ, His Son
And Now, Let the Weak Say,
I Am Strong,
Let the Poor Say,
I Am Rich
Because of What the Lord
Has Done for Us
Saturday, November 21, 2009
...adjusting to the new 'it's dark all the time when I'm doing chores routine' and trying to catch up all the projects that need to get done. I am closing in on 'the must get dones'. The flu kind took it out of me, but slowly I'm getting back to where I need to be. My cough has finally started to subside in the last couple of days which is a big relief. As I mentioned with the time change it's pretty much dark when I get home and dark when I do morning chores. It can get get dicey at times while feeding the sheep, keeping an eye on six little kittens, carrying in wood and etc. when it's dark as pitch. However we are adjusting. The first few days were tough though. Lots of yelling (me), getting lost (kittens), big sighs (Boone), but we are getting a routine now....
Whaa? Trying to sleep here...got my cushy bed, got my blankie,
got my fire...
Yesterday I broke up Jeff's breeding group. It didn't go as badly as it could have, but let's say it didn't go as smoothly as it could either. It took allot of patience (on my part) to trick Jeff into a catch pen to start with. The girls were oblivious and in and out of the pen, but not old cagey Jeff--he knew what was up. Eventually though the girls free access to grain got to be too much for him, and he bulled his way in. I slammed the panel shut behind him and despite him trying to push his butt back through, I was able to wire it. Haltered him, took a fleece sample (I remembered!), and then worked on putting the ram shield on. What a mess--all that wool and curvy horns and little cooperation. He got pretty mad because he hates the shield, but eventually I got it on. Then I tied him up (where he did all kinds of fancy tricks like rearing like a stallion and trying to butt the post down, until I shortened his rope close to strangling length...), and attempted to coax the girls out of the pen. The theory there was they would run as fast as their woolly hides could go up to the ewe pen, since they've been pining over being separated all this time. But no. Chickie came out, meandered all over the place and Lark followed her along side the fence, instead of coming out the gate. Eventually they both came out, but they thought they'd just stay down there with Jeff, thank you very much. So I left them to wander and got Cal out of his idyllic getaway paddock and put him back with Jeff. Then I let the monster loose, and he chased Cal around for awhile, but the shield keeps him from ramming, and at his age he gets winded pretty fast, so it was all pretty low key. Meanwhile the girls still weren't cooperating, so I had to do all kinds of stunts to try and entice them up to the ewes. Finally the light bulb went off and they came deer hopping up there as fast as they could and even went in the gate like angels.
Whereupon they were beset upon by the savage masses--normally called ewes---and endured quite a bit of ramming and chasing before everyone settled down. So that is done. Jackie will stay with his girls until Jama can pick him up. It will be easier to put those ewes back with the main flock since they are in the same area and require only two open gates, with no decisions on the ewes part.
Wood has been ordered (three cords) and I still have about a cord and half left for now, as well as a few piles of 'ice storm' wood to haul up. I need to locate some round bales--only about eight I think, as I still have hay from last year.
Wool and roving sales have been spectacular this year and it keep me busy sorting, boxing and mailing orders off. I'm so glad I finally 'bit the bullet' and got Paypal.
The dogs have been sadly neglected and like all good parents everywhere, to make up for it, I've been buying them lots of stuff--chewy bones and treats in this case. Also lots of pictures of them on the blog this time. They would like more walks please and not so much attention paid to those stinkin' kittens please. Ashley the Shredder has been very, very busy and has added Digging to her title as well. All sweetness and light she looks, but a very busy little body lurks behind that exterior.
Noah is doing very well. Only a couple of things now that I notice, and they are very minor. So far no more seizures and he is a playing machine.
That's it for now. I need to head out and unload some wood, and get Boone's house winterized. Then I think, I think, that the critical things are done on the list, if the weather shuts down on me. Well, except what the heck I'm going to do with six little Cheeto kittens. Still working on that one.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
In deference to their sensitivity during lambing season, I keep the dogs away from the newest mothers for a week or so. The dogs are never allowed in the pasture with them, but can run about the adjoining fence line when I'm out and about. Usually there is inquisitive sniffs by all involved, but Boone often likes to take it a step farther when he thinks I'm not paying attention. He acts innocent, but trust me he isn't--the body language says it all.
When I first got sheep, I had two collies--Jody and Ariel. Jody loved the sheep and wanted to live in the barn with them. She wanted to lay beside them and love them always. Mind you though these were sweet sheep--gentle Dorset ewe lambs. Jody and Ariel helped me do all the chores--out in the pen with the sheep. No worries. Fast forward a couple of years and the Shetland's arrived...in particular...Rouen. Rouen hates dogs and would have them for breakfast if she could. Poor Jody the good didn't stand a chance---and it happened before I could react. I mean who thought a midget sheep would attack a dog? But she did. Bowled Jody over good and hurt her feelings forever. For the safety of the dogs they could no longer go in with the sheep. However at lambing time, I would always arrange it when the flock was out to pasture, to let the collie girls in to see the new Dorset lambs. They looked forward to this immensely and would happily check out the new arrivals. After all....10 pound lambs aren't dangerous.
So back to the day I took these pictures...principle players are Tabitha the Shetland sheep, her daughter Vanora and of course Boone..... Let's let them take over from here.....
Boone: "hmmm..hmmm..hmmm minding my own business---(then whispering) little baby sheep you look like you'd taste mighty good" (licks chops)
Tabitha: "What? What did you just say, you big toad? Little baby get behind me!"
Boone: "Bring it on sheep shrimp!" Tabitha: (As she leaps at him and stomps her front feet) "If this fence weren't stopping me, you'd have an even worse smashed in face!"
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Just a quick update, since my computer is being squirrelly.
First, Noah, the little orange kitty has been very, very ill. At this point it looks like it being from the Advantage spot flea treatment I put on them three Saturday's ago. My best guess is he probably ingested it from licking if off his litter mates. I've had him to the vet twice and all blood work and exams show him to be very healthy. However he began having severe seizures last Sunday and had them all week, about every 4 to 5 hours. During the off times he has been very out of it, and his cognitive abilities have suffered.
I'll try and post a more informative post on this later, in hopes it will give a warning to others. Thursday I noticed a change in the pattern of the seizures, with more time between each episode. Friday he stopped having seizures and hasn't had any that I know of since. He is acting close to 90 percent normal today, and seems to be much more alert and aware. He still has a slight bit of cognitive problems, and seems very tired but otherwise the change is remarkable. Prayers and good thoughts for continued healing would be much appreciated. It's been emotionally exhausting and painful to see such a healthy young kitten go through this.
surrounding him and cuddling close to him, to give him comfort when he needed it. Gabriel was especially concerned and would stay close with his arm around Noah much of time. I would hold him during the night after he had his seizures, but they would take over in the day and keep him warm and comforted when I put him back in the box at night.
Secondly a week ago Wednesday I started getting sick. I ended up being pretty sick Thursday evening, all Friday and Saturday, and started getting a little better on Sunday. I finally went back to work Tuesday. I'm guessing it was some sort of flu virus. Respiratory, fever, chills, aches, and the worst part, just having zero energy. Doing chores took every ounce of energy I could muster. My Mom even came up and helped me one night, carrying in wood, building a fire and helping with some of the chores. I haven't been this sick in years. I'm still doing allot of coughing, and energy levels aren't what I'd like, but am doing much, much better.
Today the sun shone and the temperatures were in the 70s. After my Dad jump started my rider mower I was able to finally get the place mowed. It looks so much better. I can't believe it took so long to get this chore completed, but events just conspired against it.
That's the brief update. I better get this posted before the evilness that lives in my computer tonight swallows it up.