Friday, April 29, 2016

Another Escape

We are in the midst of Spring rains!


And these two girls are not happy about it!
They spent a little time out in the pasture grazing...
but when that was over were eager to get into their dry stall.

"Just look at these bangs!" complained Daphne.


I tried my best to finger-comb them for her...
but not much better.


Chloe, on the other hand was sporting a wet-look spiked top "do".


The horses and ponies, with their luxurious forelocks, are un-phased by the rain.


Tuesday afternoon I ran to the feed store for chicken feed.
Upon my return to the farm, our neighbors came running across the street...
waving me down, exclaiming, "The donkeys escaped!"

(a couple of bad words escaped my lips)
With very little effort, we escorted them back to their yard.
Apparently, when bringing them in from the pasture,
I passed through this gate...


and left the chain just looped over the gate.


Unfortunately, the wind blew the gate open
and Daphne and Chloe went on a walk-a-bout.
Oops!
The thing about donkeys is, although an open gate with fresh grass awaiting might be enticing...
they are quite insecure when not in their normal habitat...
and will quickly return home with very little coaxing.


"There's no place like home!" says Chloe with a wink.

*************

You might remember a couple of weeks ago we had our barn kitty TomTom to the vet.
His upper respiratory infection was cleared up with antibiotics.
Tuesday was the day his polyp removal was scheduled for.



Hubbs dropped him at the vet early in the morning.
I received a call mid-morning from the vet...
no nasopharyngeal polyps found.
Good news....no surgery needed.
Bad news.... no easy cure for his respiratory problems.
(As you can see from this picture...TomTom is a mouth breather...
his little tongue is always sticking out just a little.)


Well, another Friday is here.
We have a big weekend planned...
Tyler and his Mommy, Mackenzie and her Daddy,
and the newlyweds, Tim and Amanda will be here for the weekend.
How I love family weekends!
Hope your weekend is full of fun as well.

Margy in KY....here is where we ordered our portable fences... https://www.premier1supplies.com/goats/fencing.php?fence_id=85

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Why Do They Call It Cruise Control?

Because I spend a portion of just about every day mowing,
I have mowing stories to share with you.

The upside of mowing is the "quiet" time that it affords one for pondering and reflecting.

The downside to mowing is the fact that it aggravates a little sciatica that I have 
been trying my darnedest to ignore.


The other day while mowing the blueberry field and upper orchard,
where these beautiful flowering crabapple trees grow,
I decided to give my leg a break and try the mower on cruise control.
(Or as Dr. Becky now calls it... "Cruise out-of-control!")

I was mowing along around these crabapple trees when I suddenly lost control of the mower.
Not used to mowing in cruise-control, my reaction time was a little slow 
and I ended up mowing right through the middle of this white poultry fence.


(You see, we put this little portable fence up to keep the chickens from digging up
the mulch and compost that we put around the blueberries...
and also to keep the turkeys from eating the blueberries.
The fence does a great job keeping this field bird-free.)

Back to mowing...
The mower sucked the wire and plastic mesh fence into its blades and immediately shut down.
What a mess!
I hopped off the mower to find fencing wrapped multiple times around the blades 
in a tangled mess and bent and mangled metal fence posts.
Remember that apron that reads "I say bad words."?
Tis true.

 I crawled beneath the mower as best I could and cut each piece of mesh and wire from around the blades...eventually freeing the blades to rotate again.
The mower was fine.
The fence...well, that was another story.
(It's now ⅓ shorter than it used to be.)

So much for quiet time for pondering and reflecting!

***************
Yesterday I once again opened the gate between the pigs and the sheep
to allow a little mingling.
(You might notice that metal grate that is over the door on the first sheep house.
I placed that there to keep the pigs from consuming the sheep's protein block.
I'll remove the grate in the evening when everyone is once again segregated.)


Gracie immediately headed into the pig yard to enjoy the tasty undergrowth of which her own yard had been stripped (by her and the lambs.)


The twins were hesitant to leave the safety of their own little 
leaf-free thicket.


The pigs were happiest of all.
A new area to investigate, complete with friends, gave them much to enjoy.


Because pigs are so smart,
I like to give them as much stimulation as possible.


Opening this gate made for a pretty exciting day for Ginger and MaryAnn.

There was much to explore!
And, according to them, the sheep have much tastier grass in their yard.


As for the sheep....
eventually Faith and Hope joined their Mama and
they all enjoyed their time in the pig's yard...


exploring the pig house...


and snacking on the varied vegetation.


A little variety truly is the spice of life!
"What am I, bland?"  Hubbs just said.
"Don't worry," I answered...
"maybe a little variety in scenery...that's all."

Even with all of the added chores this time of year, I still like to afford myself
a little time for creative projects.

Yesterday's project was these pantaloons...
perfect to wear beneath the apron dresses that I have been making.


And can you guess what they are made from?


Antique pillow cases!
The crocheted trim on the open end of the pillowcase makes for a beautiful hem edge to the pants.

Two extra long pillow cases will make a pair of pantaloons perfectly.
(I had to add a little extra pillowcase fabric that was left over after cutting out the pantaloons
to the waistline area to make them long enough.  But since this part of the pantaloons
is always hidden under the dress, an extra seam is no big deal!)
Easy peasy!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Philosophical Mowing

With each rising sun comes an opportunity...
the opportunity to be the best version of ourselves.


The beauty of this is that it is not something that is dependent upon external conditions.


No, instead, it is a choice to meet whatever the day brings with positivity.


Why so philosophical today? you ask.

Well...this is what happens when I spend a little too much time mowing.
And since we are in "grass-growing" season, there's much to be mown!

Thankfully the animals are all doing a good job of mowing their own yards.

The sheep are now grazing again.
However, during the warmer hours of the afternoon,
they lie in their favorite spots and nap.


Hope always naps in the same spot...
right next to this cement dog that marks the grave of a well-loved pet.


She lies here every day... most times using the cement dog as a pillow.


Isn't she the sweetest?
Her soft little mouth is always turned up into a subtle smile.

Inside the sheep yard is one of my favorite trees.

This craggy old fairy tree is what remains of an old dead apple tree.
(Perhaps planted long ago by Johnny Appleseed?)


Over the past few years it is in the grass at the base of this tree that we find our morel mushrooms.
And this year for the first time, new branches have emerged
and are blossoming.


Perhaps apples will once again grow on the fairy morel tree!

Tom is finally over the spring molt and once again has a lovely tail.
More time will be needed for those feathers to grow to their finished length.


Chuck, however, still looks like he was worked over by an egg beater!

I finished two more cross-back aprons...
each with its own sense of humor.

One in beige linen checks...




And one in pink linen.







PS:  Dear friends....thank you for all of the heartfelt comments you have left for me
over the past week.
I am blessed by your generosity!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Loss

Today's post is brief.
As I write it there are tears dripping on my keyboard.

Yesterday I received this photo in a text...



from Dr. Becky's hubby who is our UPS driver.
He saw it on his route.

Sadly, I had to do the right thing.
If one of my precious pups were missing, I would want someone to contact me as well.
It would have been so easy to keep him... but that would have been wrong.
It's our loss.


His owner is just a young fellow....
he lives quite far away and was visiting his Mother when his pup disappeared.

I urged him to micro-chip Blitz (aka Tucker)
and to put an identifier on his collar.
He was grateful for the care we had given his pup.

So, I packed up "Tucker's" new toys and handed him over to his boy.


My heart is a little bit broken right now.
But, it was the right thing to do.

PS....Hubbs did text his owner and tell him that if he changes his mind about the dog,
or falls on hard times,
we would take him back in a heartbeat.

On an even sadder note, Dr. Becky's 12 year old Aussie Shepherd passed away yesterday.
Indie was a special soul... seen here in the snow this winter.
(Dr. Becky is Hubbs' sister...her home is on our farm as well.)


The snow has been replaced by clouds....because all dogs go to heaven!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Puppy Boot Camp

It's so funny how life works out.


In all of the world I cannot imagine a more perfect dog for our family.
Young Tucker has been with us a mere 4 days...
and yet it seems longer.


We are working on fattening him up a little.
His leg laceration (unknown origin... he arrived with it) is clean, but slow to heal because
he is so very active.
He's had his vaccinations thanks to Dr. Becky.
The future holds neutering and micro-chipping.
He's currently enrolled in puppy boot camp.


He's learned so much in four days.
He's learned to "sit",  "come", give his paw, "drop it" and he's beginning to understand "stay."
He knows his name as if it's always been his.

He's learned his place amongst the pack...
and gives the others the respect they deserve.

Mom and four dogs on the couch... there's always room for one more!

He's learning that although life is full of fun,
he is also learning that there are times to be serious.

He's beginning to understand that...
"we don't chase chickens,"
and 
"cats are to be respected."


Potty training....well, that is coming along... a little more slowly.
He's smart.  He'll get it.


We had a super fun weekend taking walks and playing ball.



Please excuse Sam's behavior, but this is always his contribution to the ball game.
I told you... he's a weirdo.

We also had another surprise visit from Mackenzie this weekend.
I am happy to say that she loves the puppy...
he brought out the biggest belly laughs from her!

I am also happy to say that apparently no one has been looking for this puppy,
so it looks as though he's here to stay. 
YAY!!!

PS: A check of the game cameras revealed that the bears did not return at all this past week.
But, oh boy are there a lot of raccoons out there!

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