Friday, September 19, 2014

Cleo Flew The Coop

Meet Cleo (short for Cleopatra)...

Cleo is one of the chicks that arrived April 1st.
She is one of a kind...
an Egyptian Fayoumis.

This breed of chicken is known to be exceptionally fast and predator safe.

Cleo is very flighty and has proven herself quite the Houdini.
Every morning when I open the henhouse she comes out the door sprinting...
bobbing and weaving to get out of the way of the other chickens... and me, too.

By mid-morning....every single day... she has escaped the henhouse yard
and is the only chicken outside the fence.

You see, right now I am keeping all of the girls in their yard during the morning hours...
to make sure that the newest layers get the hang of laying eggs in the nesting boxes,
and not out in the woods or pastures or goat houses.

I have yet to discover how Cleo escapes, but every morning she does just that.
(And then spends the rest of the morning trying to get back in to her compadres.
Silly chicken!

Autumnal weather has given me a burst of energy seldom seen in the summer months.
And so, yesterday I stripped out all of the bedding in the chicken houses and 
replaced it with clean bedding.
I did a little mowing (mowing will soon be finished for the year...YAY!).

I paid my daily visit to Ginger and MaryAnn,
with pockets full of apple treats.

Oh, how these girls love their apples!

"Got any more???"

My free time was spent making these burlap flowers (wedding preparations)...

and packaging up orders (aprons, bracelets and knitwear) for shipping.

You might remember me mentioning that I was going to an auction
last evening to bid on a Hoosier cabinet.
Well, I would have given my eyeteeth for this particular cabinet...
however I was not prepared to pay the price that it sold for. did not find its way home with me.
C'est la vie.
I love finding great finds at great prices.
Maybe next time.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sometimes a Day Off Can Be Busier Than a Normal Day!

Those of you who know me, know that farm life suits me just fine.
I am happy as a pig in slop...
going about my day feeding, cleaning up, gardening, etc.

I have to tell you, though, having Wednesdays "off" from animal chores is
a luxury...and one that I really appreciate.

On Wednesdays, our neighbor and friend, Jim 
(or "Uncle Jim" as the animals refer to him)
comes over early in the morning and tends to barnyard chores...
feeding, watering, cleaning up, etc.
while I have the luxury of sleeping in....some days, the whole way to 6:30!

It's on these Wednesdays that I get a chance to head to town
for grocery shopping, appointments, and other errands.
Some weeks, like this week, I just stay home and enjoy the farm as a "visitor"...
enjoying the critters without the responsibility.

Yesterday was one of those stay-at-home days and I enjoyed every second of it,
I started my morning in the sewing room,
finishing this apron...

sewn from natural/blue cotton ticking...

the pocket embellishment sewn from natural linen.

Then I moved outside and worked in the vegetable garden for a while...
weeding, weeding, weeding.

My three sidekicks, Annie, Oakley and Sam, stuck with me like glue.

We sat in the front pasture for a while, 

just enjoying the view.

And then, like clockwork, everyone decided it was time to come in and get their chow.

Every day, at this time, the donkeys head into the horses' dry lot.

Once the horses have also returned to their dry lot, the donkeys skedaddle back to their own yard.

"Hey, how about some breakfast?"

These two donkey gals are not the most patient of animals,
and bellow their complaints quite loudly.
One of these days I will capture that on video for you.

Once back in the house, I worked on these boutonnieres,
made from linen, burlap, and guinea feathers.

and worked on a new bracelet design.
(I have an obsession with leather right now.)

My day off was ended with a date with Hubbs to our favorite little micro-brewery
for dinner and a drink.

What a most splendid day!
I love Wednesdays...
and every other day, too!
And that's the truth.

Hope your day is terrific.
I am heading to a public auction tonight to possibly bid on a Hoosier cabinet.
Hopefully, it will go just like the auction for the railroad cart
and I will walk away with a Hoosier for a song!
I'll let you know how it goes.

Oh...and here is a little pop quiz for you.
Can you guess what this is?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Quiet Autumn Days

One of my favorite times to sit and unwind is during feeding time.
There is such a calm, peaceful feeling in the barn when all is quiet
but the sound of chewing.

Each morning, after spending a few hours in the pasture, 
the equines head back to the barn for their chow.
Being such creatures of habit, they come back to the barn automatically.

Moonbeam and the Littles eat their chow in stalls,

while Donnie and Scarlet eat outside.

Separating them prevents thievery!

I sit on the stoop of the backdoor to the barn, while Sammy sits practically on my lap...

Annie finds a rug in the workshop.
(She has been staying with me... no running off... since wearing her "good girl" collar.)

Every single day, when finished with his chow, Moonbeam sticks his head out of the stall
and scratches his neck on the door....

Back and forth and back and forth, up and down and up and down...
every single day!

This autumn weather we have been enjoying has given me
a renewed enthusiasm for decorating and redecorating (re-purposing).

Yesterday's project was this old shutter.
I painted the inner panel of the top section with chalkboard paint,

turning the shutter into a list.
(This chalkboard will become a menu for the bar at next summer's farm wedding.)

I also redecorated our old icebox.

Is there anything that makes you feel homier than fresh baked pie?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Reform School for Annie

Our Annie has left the puppy stage
and made the transition to adolescence.

And (if you have had dogs then you know this all too well) with adolescence
comes a whole new set of "problems".

Our Annie has been causing a few problems around the neighborhood,
as well as going on several-hours hunting trips.
Of course, Oakley goes along to make sure she is safe.

It has gotten so that Sammy is now the "good" dog of the house.
And when Sammy becomes the "good" dog, you know something is really wrong!

So, as with Sammy in the past, we have had to get the "good girl collar" out for Annie.
We are working really hard at coming when called
and not pestering the barn kitties.

And on Sunday, when the newlyweds, Andy and Ashley, brought the newest member
of their household, Sam #2 (who looks an awful lot like Oakley)
for his first farm visit....

we had to use the good girl collar to reinforce to Annie that we don't show
 aggression towards our cousins.

What Annie learned from that encounter was that Sam #2 has a rather "electric" personality.
(She got a bit of a "shock" from the collar when she became too aggressive.)
She spent the rest of the day giving Sam#2 wide berth.

By the end of the day, all of the dogs had worked out their issues with each other, 
and there was peace in the pavilion.

This training collar works wonders with discipline issues.
Annie now comes right back to me as soon as I call her name.
This particular model has a 3 options....beep, tiny nick of a shock, and a sustained shock.
It also has a control for how intense the "shock" is...we have it turned down very low.

We prefaced the use of a "nick" with the beep,
and now, if Annie is not listening...
the beep is all that is needed to get her attention.

It really only takes a tiny shock once or twice for a dog to learn their lesson.
It may seem a bit harsh, but I assure you, it is not.
(Not when you compare that to this... or worse....)

Oakley, after porcupine attack.  Annie tangled with a porcupine twice this summer.
And, after a summer of dealing with porcupine quills and skunk sprays...
this is what is needed to keep Annie from running off into the woods
or getting into mischief.

I must say, since we placed the "good girl" collar on her,
Annie has been a model citizen...
staying within sight of me at all times.

I only hope that the good behavior transcends the collar.
And when the collar comes off, I hope that the lessons stick!


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