Thursday, March 10, 2016


My alpacas have declared March 10th the official first day of spring here at Outback Farm!

This morning as I was filling up water buckets, the alpacas came walking up to me. They hardly ever do that, so I was wondering what was wrong. Then I realized they wanted to be sprayed with the water hose. They love to sprayed with water when they're hot. So I figured they must think it's spring and time to get wet.

                                          Sugar likes to get wet then lay down in the mud. He's so funny.

So happy 1st day of spring, y'all!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Making soap and cutting wood.

 Yesterday was pretty hectic here. Freya was not doing well when I went out in the morning to check on them. She was not eating. Had runny poop. I swear this happens every time. The day after they kid or lamb. So I called a few goat friends to see if they had any ideas. It's a pretty long story so I won't go into the whole thing. I'll just say that I will NEVER give a doe or a ewe molasses water again! Ever! I just hope she makes it. I had milked her some Sunday because the kids were just nursing one side. So had 3 little bags in the freezer. I'm giving them a bottle to help out. They are fine. Freya just doesn't have much milk right now with not eating much. She is eating a little hay here and there. Kim brought some alfalfa and she loves it. So I'll be getting more for both goats. And I'd like to sell the kids as soon as possible. But I think Freya will be fine soon.

So my brother Mark came out and we fixed the electric fence. There was a big branch that fell on part of it a few weeks ago. So had to get that all fixed. Then the post at the end had just rotted at the bottom. So put a new post in and got it all back up and running again.

Then we came in and made soap. He's been wanting to learn. We made an easy honey-oatmeal hot process soap. He did good! Quick learner.

That's the soap he made. He did a great job and he was so happy about the whole process. I think he will be making more soap soon.

And while we were fixing fences and making soap, my husband and his friend Kid were cutting up the rest of the tree. Kid went back home and got his wood splitter and withing an hour, they had this pile of split wood! Pretty cool, right?Now all we have to do is take it over to the wood shed and stack it up. I got it all out of the chicken yard so all that's left is the brush to burn.

I will be taking pictures of kids when I can get them outside. It's nice out but still a little chilly.

Still waiting on Olga to kid. Any day now. She does not look like she's going to really. But she is so lonely,  poor girl. That's the bad part of having just 2 goats. I was hoping they'd have kids about the same time.

Sunday, March 6, 2016


 This morning, Freya did not want to leave the barn. She kept calling me. I checked her and she didn't seem to be having any discharge or goo. But she didn't want to leave the barn. So I called the caretaker that stays with Mrs. T Sat. night til I get there at 8:30 and told her what was going on and to see if she could stay for the day.She could stay half the day then my daughter Heather came in for the other half. So I got to stay home and keep an eye on Freya.

(I did have to go to Mrs. T's from 5-7. When I got home, I heard one of my sheep. A very distressed sheep. So ran and got the flashlight. It was Cameron, all wrapped up in that darn electric netting fence I have around the kale in the garden. She hadn't been there too long. But I had to cut the wires to get her out. Always something going on with those sheep! She was fine.)

I did notice her udder had gotten huge though, so I knew it could be any time. And today was just a beautiful day to have kids!

So we hung out in the barn. I cleaned both the stalls. Fluffed up the hay. Got water buckets and hay ready. And waited. And waited. I always said waiting on goats to kid is like waiting for Christmas morning when I was a kid. Like it would never get here.

So I went inside and did some things inside.

Went back out 30 minutes later and   she had 2 kids on the ground, all dried off! I checked them both and they are both girls!!!!! And So cute! Freya is such a good mother.   

This little one is Isla. She has gopher ears. She's about the same color as Freya, a little lighter though.

And the one laying down here is Astrid. She has cute little elf ears like her daddy, Oden.

                                                                        Isla says hello y'all!

I left them alone to bond. When I came back for a check, they were both laid out here in the sun. I had to check Isla, she was laying so flat.

And they are both nursing the same side, so I had to milk out the other side. They are good kids, already full tummies and I've seen both pee and poop.

So, welcome to the farm! The first kids in 3 years I think. So exciting to have little kids here again!

Now waiting on Olga. This is her first time so I really want to be here for her. I'll be here all day Monday and Tuesday til my pottery class at 6. And the whole week will be in the 70's with NO rain!!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Goat watch!

Yesterday started goat watch 2016 here at Outback Farm! I counted the days and yesterday was day 145 for Olga with Freya being 5 days behind her. So the 3rd through the 18th is goat watch. Olga's udder has really gotten big the past few weeks! I'll spare y'all pictures of goat rear ends. But that is the most important part of a goat right now. It all happens back there! I have to check for loose ligaments in the tail. Check the vulva for any discharge. Check the udders for fullness. So a lot goes on back there that a person needs to be aware of. It may not be pretty, but it's important right now.

I need to get some towels and a few other things ready and put in a bucket in the barn. Need to have my camera charged up too. My brother is coming tomorrow to help work on the electric fence. I want him to help me get a few lights hooked up in the barn. It would help to have lights in there at night with kids. Flashlights are too annoying to have to hold and do things at the same time. I need 2 hands!

I am thinking they are both carrying twins. I just hope they come out the right way! And that I'll be here when it happens. This is Olga's first time. She's a big girl, but things can go wrong really fast. And these first timers can really be dramatic.

Most all the goats I've ever had here would have kids in the morning or during the day. I have gone out during the night for checks, but nothing ever happened. Maybe 5 or 6 in the morning, but that's the earliest. But these 2 does are new, so ya just never know. And goats are goats. They do whatever they want to do!

So hopefully, in the next few weeks, there will be some cute little goat kids bouncing around back there!

Thursday, March 3, 2016


 I started my pottery class last Tuesday night. It's hard. I mean, seriously, it's hard. I could not get it. The instructor wanted us to start with a cylinder. Right. No way could I make a cylinder. Mine and everyone else, made bowls or plates or whatever. But no cylinder. I just could not make the clay go UP. So the few things I did manage to make, I smashed at the end of class.

We get 1 free studio day during the week to practice. I went Wednesday last week. David was there then. He showed me a few other techniques that actually worked for me. I made these 2 pieces. A bowl to scramble eggs in and what might become a mug. It was fun that day. So these had been drying since last Wed. They were just right to trim yesterday when I went back after this Tuesdays horrible disaster of a class. It was not a good night for me. I almost cried. A lot. Very frustrating for sure. So I went back yesterday to practice some more.

This is the mug I started trimming on. I loved this part. It was fun. I love all the curly clay trimmings. I can save these and let them dry and add water next week to make clay again.

So Tuesday was not a good class for me. I could not get anything to work for me. Nothing I did was any good. I had 7 piles of clay on the plaster board to soak up the moisture so I could reuse the later.

So I went back yesterday to practice. There was another instructor the then. She was very helpful. She sat at a wheel next to me and we worked like that for a long time. She would just slap a square hunk of clay on the wheel, turn it really fast, and within seconds, had a workable mound of clay ready to make something with. So I tried it her way. It worked!

Then she showed me some more good techniques to make the inside. I have got to cut my nails on my right hand now. Fingernails just get in the way in pottery. So they have to go! I used all those 7 chunks of clay plus a few more before the night was over. I made 4 fairly good pieces. Even if they are not perfect, they say to keep some to practice the glazes on. Good idea. So these are drying now and should be ready to trim next week.

Only 4 days in, I have a great appreciation for potters. And I can totally agree with how much they charge for their work. I totally understand. It is a lot of work. It's a lot like spinning wool actually. The speed of the pottery wheel determines how the pot will turn out. Same with spinning wool. The speed of the wheel while spinning determines the twist of the yarn.

So there is SO much to learn. These 3 people who are helping us in this class have a lot of years of pottery between them. And all 3 are so different in their ways of instructing us. I have learned something from each of them. I don't know how far I will go with this, but I am enjoying the learning process. And who knows, I may even get some usable pieces one day.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

This shawl

I finished this shawl last week. Ended up with over 500 stitches.Took forever t bind off. Then I used a size bigger needle to bind off. Which is why I think it made the ruffle. Which was the top. But is now the ruffly bottom. I really had no idea what I was doing. I just started knitting from the bottom up. So please don't laugh at this very first shawl I've ever made. It still needs to be blocked too.

I did a lot of yarn overs to make the little holes. I just thought it needed something in there besides just all knitted. And I love the colors. It's not a heavy shawl. The yarn was probably more lace weight. Not really sure. So, there it is. And I had models a few days ago, but forgot to get pictures of it on.

Now to start on a new project!

I stopped at a cute little thrift type store in town yesterday after I voted. I had some time before my pottery class. And I found this cool pot. I love it. She had $19.50 on it and I asked if she'd take $15. She did! I love the color. I am thinking about redoing my kitchen and these are the colors I am leaning towards. With maybe some pops of red and yellow. Just something different. And I would love to find an old vintage range in this color. Wouldn't that be awesome? I have an old GE with a big and a small oven and the extra room on top. I love this stove. But I am down to only 1 big eye now. And the smaller over only has broil working. But I am not ready to get rid of it. I would like to get it fixed some day. And maybe it could be painted?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Rainy Superdedooper Tuesday.

 Yes, it's a rainy day here in N. Ga. And it's voting day. It's supposed to be 70 here. With strong winds now later this afternoon. Just a gloomy day really.

My brother and mom came out yesterday afternoon to eat and cut down a tree. My husband had gone to take our daughter for an interview, so wasn't here. Don't let this picture fool you. He did not get that tree down!

First my brother took the fence down. We didn't even think about doing that. Then he cut a wedge above where it split. Then started cutting with the chain saw. He cut it all the way through. Nothing happened. It never even moved. So he got a wedge and sledge hammer and went to whacking it. He was thinking it would turn and twist a little, then fall to the right. Well, it did. Right between 2 of the fence posts and just missed the shed! The top had already come off when it fell over or it would have hit the rook. But it was all good.

He went ahead and cut the tree in half so we could get the fence put back up so the sheep could get in there later today.So we will be working on getting the tree cut up for fire wood. My husband's friend, the wood fairy, will probably come help cut it up. He likes doing that. Then we will have a big ole bonfire.

                                               You can see here where the tree landed. Really close.

Do you see that bird bath? Back when it was still frozen, there was ice in it. I was putting sunflower seeds up there for the birds. But the chickens would hop up there sometimes too. One day, I noticed the bowl had fallen off. I didn't think anything about it then. Just thought one of the cats had knocked it off.

Well, about 3 or 4 weeks ago, I noticed one of the hens was missing. I assumed a hawk had gotten her, since I never saw any signs of feathers or  bones anywhere. This morning, as we were eating breakfast, my husband asked if I was going to pick up the bird bath any time soon. I just had this horrible thought pop into my head that the chicken was under there. I ran outside and lifted it up and sure enough, there was the hen. With an egg next to her. I cried. I am crying now. It's so sad. And I feel horrible. I never even looked or thought a thing about it. Poor hen.

I have to go vote today and I am still confused about this whole mess.I do not like any of the people running. One of them is the closest to what I believe in, so will probably go with that person. Then I have to go get Mrs,. T. to take her to vote. Her daughter is here too, but doesn't know where to go. So I'll take them.

Then off to the pottery class! I can hardly wait. I love it. But, the studio is in an old school building. And it's the voting precinct for that little town. Ugh. And it's probably going to be raining and nasty. The doors are closed at 6:30 and the class is at 6. Should be fun to find a parking place, right? Well, I hope there is a big turn out and all the parking places filled. They were all filled last week, come to think about it. But there's parking around back.

SO back to spinning this morning, while I have some time. This wool is amazing. Have a great day, y'all!