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Friday, March 25, 2016

Chickies are Hatched and the Calf is Bald!

 Captain's Log:  25 March, 2016.

Incubator #1 - 28 live chicks 16 no-hatch
Incubator #2 - 36 live chicks 8 no-hatch

Conclusion:  We now have a bazillion cheeping chickies!  Good grief, whose idea was this?

Oh.  That's right. 
 I get overwhelmed in the Spring.  I want to do everything.  I start everything.  I have Lyme Disease, a chronic illness.  I get tired.  And then I laugh at myself and after awhile, things slow down and I'm not quite so overwhelmed and I drink more coffee and I think I'll survive.

AND THEN THE SUN COMES OUT!!!!  And I must go outside and do MORE THINGS!!!!!

And so it goes!
 This is the calf we started that has done well from the beginning.
 This little bald guy is the one that was very very sick.  I gave him everything in my 'sick calf' arsenal and he has rallied!  He is now drinking his full bottles of goat milk and eating grain each day.  I am sure his hair will grow back eventually.  I think it's a side effect of too many meds, but he was dying and now he's getting well, so DO NOT LAUGH AT HIS BALDNESS and he will probably forgive me, lol!
 This is not a selfie.  How would I take a picture of myself while I am milking?  WHY would I take a picture of myself while milking and WHY would I be smiling like that while milking?

Actually, I don't mind milking at all.  It hurts the hands (arthritis), but honestly, the milk is worth the effort.  No chemicals, it's fresh every single day and it NEVER tastes like goats.  Honest.
 For a couple of weeks I have been overwhelmed with orders for primitives.  Large orders.  I started to wonder if I could actually accomplish it all in the time required by Ebay and Etsy, but I have prevailed!  (It helped that it's been raining endlessly here and the sunshine & birds were not calling me to the great outdoors!).
 I sewed, I painted, I grunged and I tied.  I finished, I mailed!  I heaved a great sigh of relief and now I'm in the process of cleaning my sewing/craft room up once again.

My daughter bumped a vat of oil off the shelf in my pantry and so I cleaned my pantry, too.  Do you know how hard it is to clean up (cooking) oil when it has splattered/pooled/soaked into many items in your pantry?  It's very clean in there now.
 Ok, this is officially a selfie.  I drew this back in the olden days when I was young.  The year was 1977....the year I graduated from high school.

I do a lot of craft work and sewing nowadays, but I haven't actually tried any drawing in years.  It's on my list of things to do before I die....but the list is long and I don't have time yet. 

My husband and I are dreaming of a solarium off of our dining room onto the porch.  We can't afford it, but that doesn't actually mean that we won't figure out a way to do it anyhow!  He's a builder, so the labor is free ;-)  We do have a greenhouse, but it would be so much more fun to have a warmer, heated solarium attached right to the house..right?  Probably we wet Washingtonians think of these things more than other people.
He's been milking one of the goats every morning, too.   That was our deal - We could raise two calves this year if he helped with the milking since my hands just won't tolerate all that effort.  He likes this ole E-Goat and he loves his little calf buddies, too.

This guy is a keeper.  We've been married for over 36 years and I still like him.  He's down the hill at his bee house right now.  He had a dentist appointment earlier, sold some honey in town, came home and got right on the tractor and headed down the hill to work on expanding the bee house.  There are six hives full of a gazillion stinging insects down there.  I personally could not be convinced for any reason under the sun to BUILD SOMETHING NEXT TO THOSE BEES!!!!!  But he is a braver man than I.  Especially since I am not a man!

That's a bit of what's going on at the farm.  We're keeping close to home most of the time.  When my mom was so sick, we spent many hours in doctor offices and cancer clinics and passing the time of her treatments in town.  We're catching up on things we let go around here and just trying to get our bearings & strength back.  This is the first Spring without her and I miss her with every bloom and every ray of sunshine.  We used to play this little game every Spring to see who could spot the first trillium (wild flower in our woods).    Dave & I went for a walk in the woods the other day and I spotted that first trillium of the season and it makes me cry every time I think about it.  She was my biggest fan and I miss her so very much. 
Ok, now that I've cried all over my keyboard, I'll buck up and think about something else! 
A friend came over today to talk about Lyme Disease.  We shared, we laughed, we even cried a bit.  I think we encouraged each other on this difficult road of life and agreed that it draws us closer to the Lord and more fit for His Kingdom! 
May each of us be drawn ever closer to Him as we travel this road with its joys and sorrows!   Off to live more life on the farm until I sit down to blog again!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Brace & Bits, Doctoring Calves and Dodging Raindrops!

 I wonder how many people today would recognize this amazing set of tools?  My husband had these in his shop and I have stolen them.  A nice brace & set of lovely auger bits are just what I need in my sewing/craft room!  Actually, I stole them a long time ago. I've used them to drill holes in fence posts for gate hinges and I've also used them in the house for craft projects.  Sadly, the smallest bit is missing from this antique set.
 Shhh.  Don't remind him that he used to own this....After all, HE'S got power tools.
 Today I drilled the knob holes in this old thread cabinet just a little bit bigger so I could put new knobs on it.  If it had been in better condition, I'd have done my best to restore it properly, but it's seen better days and now it's going to serve as storage for my primitives patterns as I make them.
 It rained on Monday, so I made foxes.
 It rained today, so I made Cinnamon Bunns and blue Steller's Jays.
 Come to think of it, it's been raining forever, it seems.  Tonight it's raining hard and the wind is blowing pretty good.  The weatherman was suggesting gusts of 40mph and I notice the lights have flickered a few times.  I really hope they don't go out...I'd hate to lost the chickies I've got half-incubated!  I've been turning them three times a day.
 These little coffee cup bags have snap-shut tops and in the picture above I'm showing you the secret to making them snap!  Two sections of an old tape measure (I didn't steal it, I asked for it very nicely!), one on each side - makes it snap closed nicely!  I'm adding them to the things we'll take to sell at the Country Chicks Spring Festival in April.
 My newest addition to the sewing machine collection is a child-sized treadle!  This one is called an Eldredgette and stands about 24" tall.  It looks bigger than it is in this picture because it's in the foreground.  It's actually amusingly small.
Remember the quilt show I mentioned in my last post?  Well, here we are....I asked my husband that morning if I looked ok.  He said I looked like a hippie.  I was just a kid during the hippie era, but I guess I'm a late bloomer ;-)

The farm is still hopping.  We've got another calf, but this one is struggling for life.  He's got scours and probably pneumonia, but we're giving him everything I've got in the barn medicine chest and we've got him tucked in a cozy, hay-filled stall with a heat lamp to protect him from the wind & rain.  It's a big job to take care of animals.  Normally we feed calves a bottle (goat milk) twice a day after we milk.  While this little guy is sick, he gets his normal bottle (with many added meds) and then a bottle of Re-Sorb (gatorade for calves) midday and just before WE go to bed.  We give him Penicillin shots, too.  We're hoping and praying he turns the corner and gets over it. 
My new chickies came in the mail today, too.  I've got 6 baby pullets (girls) and two baby roosters - an old English breed called Speckled Sussex.  I've made more trips to the barns and up and down the driveway in the last couple of days than I can count!  Did I mention it's raining?  Can you say....drowned rat?  That's what I've spent most of my time looking like, lol!
Well, time to call it a day.  There'll be more chores tomorrow and I think I need to make bread again, too.  Pleasant dreams until next time!