Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Crazy wild Monday!

What a day!

It started with goat checks every 2 hours through the night. And ended at pottery class.

Sunday night, Olga didn't go to the milk room to eat. So I knew something was up. Checked her and there was a little discharge, but not much. And it was gonna be COLD! So I set my alarm for every 2 hours. Got up and went to check on her. Nothing.

So decided to put her up in the back stall. And sat and waited. And waited some more. Went and got the camera, a chair and some knitting. I knit quite a bit on another Etta hat I started Sunday. Then went inside for awhile.

Came back out and saw this. The classic pushing position! Saw a little more goo. It was almost time for kids!

Some more pushing. Then the up and down, pawing the ground, lay down and push some more.

Then finally this! I don't know about you, but I find this amazing. See those little feet? I had just told Olga I hope she has some kids with color. And I saw the dark feet! Too cool! So this went on a little while longer.

I finally could see enough feet and snout that I helped her pull while she pushed. Out came this beautiful little lady! Isn't she so cute?

Got her all cleaned off and out of the way, because Olga was pushing again! Out came this little fella!

So a buck and a doe kid!! And, when Olga got up, she did it so fast, his umbilical cord just snapped right off at his belly. I didn't know it til I was drying him off and saw bright red blood on the towel. I panicked. Then realized it was coming from his belly. I ran inside and grabbed stuff and came back out with arms loaded. I sprayed him down real good, then wrapped him up around his tummy. I called my friend Linda in Ohio and she told me to just keep an eye on it and he might need antibiotic later.

Anyway, what better way to spend a Monday morning? Sitting in a goat stall, waiting on a doe to kid, knitting with a cup of hot tea? So fun.

Then here is the little guy this morning. All chipper and happy to be here! And no wrapping. It's dry and I'm keeping it sprayed with wound spray. He's such a cutie. Looks just like Olga. I named him Sorren, pronounced Surren.

And here they all are this morning. The little girl is Rika. Olga is a good mother. But these kids are also just nursing on one side. I had to take her to the milk room this morning to milk her. Which is not that easy because she has such small teats. Like only 1 finger can get on them.

They both like to get in the feed bowl.

But so far, Olga is doing great. No symptoms like Freya had. I did not give her molasses water after she had the kids. I do believe that's what makes the goats and sheep sick the next day. So all is well now. Olga is eating and drinking water.

So after I knew everything was ok with Olga and the kids, I went out to till more in the garden to get ready to plant dandelions, radishes, lettuce and more kale. Also I need to get beets and onions. so did that. I had to go get my middle grand daughter about 4 to get her to her 1st cello lesson at 5 over on Brainerd Rd.

But before I left I went out to look at the bee hive. Oh my goodness, there were bees all over the place! I mean like thousands of bees, flying and on the front of the hive. Like craziness. I called my friend up the road and no answer. Went back to the house for a few minutes and when I came back, the bees were all acting normal again. I went ahead and called my bee guy who is the president of the local bee club. He told me what to do, switch the bottom box and put it on top and put the smaller box on bottom. He said it would probably be empty. And that yes, they were probably getting ready to swarm.

So I got my stuff together and went out to swap them around. But, when I got all the boxes apart, the bottom box was FULL of bees and honey and huge white larva! Like huge larva!. So called him back and told him what I saw. He said leave it like it was, but put a queen excluder  on the 2nd box, then another box on that. Well, I added a 4th box, just because. And left, because they were pretty pissed by then!

So went to go get Coryn. Had to go up 24 and it was horrible traffic. It's just a little hill, but people just can't seem to get up. They all slow down. Stupid. Then get to Germantown Rd. which takes me to Brainerd Rd, which I have to get on. Well, traffic is so bad, we are barely moving. I finally got to the left turning lane, about a mile from the light. I started seeing smoke coming from my engine. Scared me to death, I thought my car was on fire! So I turned left into some apartment complex, parked, turned off the car, got out and opened the hood. Didn't see flames or lots of smoke. A guy came over and asked what was wrong. He didn't see anything or smell smoke.

Then I looked between the crack of the hood at the windshield, between the wipers and saw a flippin' cigarette! Someone threw their darn cigarette out their window and it hit just perfect below my windshield where I couldn't see it but just the smoke, and I thought my darn engine was on fire.

After I calmed down and got mad, I found a short cut to Coryn's house. Texted her teacher saying we'd probably be late, and took off. We actually got there 6 minutes early! And I tell ya what, Coryn, who's 14 and never ever touched a cello before, could play a few tunes when we left. She's been in band 3 years playing clarinet, so nows music. But she is a natural born cello player!

So got her back home and headed off to Tiftonia to my pottery studio to trim some bowls and cups for awhile. Didn't take long to get there. I always love going there to the pottery studio. It's so fun. So stayed there til 8:30 and headed home.

Checked on Olga and her kids. Sorren had lost the wrap so I checked him and decided to leave it off. All was well there. Went inside, took a shower, knitted a little while watching Castle, then to bed I went.

Just another crazy wild day for me!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Around the farm...

things are a bloomin'! A few weeks ago, the redbuds started flowering. This is my favorite tree.

And the figs too. I was a bit worried about them last night when it was supposed to be down to 32. But the wind blew, thankfully, and no frost.

The blueberry bushes are all pretty loaded with buds too! I hope to get some blueberries this year. Last year the chickens got them all. They are in chicken jail til fall, so no blueberries for them.

The sweet little violets are all over. As well as dandelions, hen bit and false nettle. The honey bees are in flower heaven!

And the elderberry bushes are almost all full of leaves. I love this bush. I still have several bags in the freezer of elderberries from fall. I might use them for some dye. I want to try gathering honeysuckle vines for baskets. They can take dyes and it stays dyed.  And I'd love to try dying some wool too.

These are my 2 lilac bushes. No lilacs yet, but some day. I think it takes several years to get lila blooms? Does anyone know?

And above, the plantain is starting to come up!! I sure need to make some plantain salve soon, for markets.

And, Olga finally had her kids this morning! More on that later. Have a great day, and happy spring y'all!!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Finished hat and gate.

I finished the Etta hat yesterday. I worked on it a little while at the restaurant with my mom and brother. Then in the car. Then finished it while watching The Middle last night. I want to start on another one right away!

My husband had gotten all the parts and concrete Tuesday to get the gate up. So he went ahead and set the big post in the ground that night so it would be ready to work on the next morning.

We got to it right after breakfast. It's not perfect. I have to lift up on it to get it to latch properly. But that's fine. It works! And it's dry right there! That's the main thing I wanted, to get out of the mud pit. The goats hated walking through that. I had boards laid out, but still had mud to get in. And we still need to get that tall post sawed off.

I was using a hack saw to saw the flat piece of metal that goes through the fence. My husband had just taken a drink of coffee and I looked up at him and said "really?" He laughed so hard, coffee went everywhere! it was so funny, I still laugh. The look on his face was hilarious! But it took forever to get that piece of metal sawed in half.

This is the old gate and the mud pit we had to go through every day. It was not fun at all.

The happy little goat family. Olga and Freya both got to go through the new gate to go to the milk room this morning. SO much nicer! And I cleaned the milk room this morning too! During the winter, when I'm not milking, that room gets piled up with junk, And bales of hay, so hay strings all over. Just a mess in there. So I got it all cleaned and organized and ready for milking now!

If only Olga would have some kids now. I am wondering if she's not pregnant, just really fat. Maybe a false pregnancy? When that happens, do they get really big udders? I don't know. She was bred, and I saw it happen, 5 days after Freya. So what is up with this goat????

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Etta hat.

I started this Etta hat at Mrs. T's Sunday. I've had this pattern for several years. But now I felt like I knew enough to be able to read the pattern. I did have to look the ssk stitch up on youtube and the yarn over. I almost forgot how to do that already. I guess I just need to knit every single day so I don't ever forget anything I've learned so far!

I really like this pattern. And it is fairly easy to do. But I did mess up on that 1st section after the knit part. Where I had to ssk and yo, sometimes the yarn got twisted and was together, so I just knit those together. I finally realized what I had done when I was back to about 85 stitches. Si this is a learning hat. I will make another and do it right. It just won't be as slouchy as the one in the picture.

I got my Taproot magazine Monday! My favorite magazine. Haven't had much time to read it yet, although I have skimmed over it. There is a cabled hat and gloves pattern in this edition I might have to try.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Shawls and buttons.

My sister and her daughter came up Sunday & spent the night here. We were going through some of our dad's things and I came across an old frame I had developed in my 10th grade photography class. It was of my sister posing for me for a school project. SO long ago.

So I got her to pose for me wearing my shawl. I think she did a fantastic job! And it fits her too.  This just might be a Christmas present.

(You can just see my redbud tree behind Heidi. It's blooming!)

Yesterday, we all went back to that Mexican restaurant for lunch. I have got to stop going there. The food is so rich and there's just too much!

After leaving there, I went to my pottery studio for more much needed practice. I had been wanting to make buttons. So David showed me the roller thingy and I got to rolling the last bit of clay I had left. I had to buy another 50 lb. bag!

One of the girls that comes during the week said I should take this home to work on it there, because it takes so long and I could be doing other things. I had already done some, so I wrapped this clay up on the board and put it in the car. Got these done last night. I can't wait to see them all done. They will be a lot of extra work though. With sanding and smoothing and waxing and all that. But it will be an experience. These will shrink while being fired.

I also worked on 4 little pots I made last week. Then worked on centering the clay and making cylinders.

My husband and I were going to get this wider gate put in for the goat yard but we need some more parts first. So while he's in town, he'll pick them up then we can work on this tomorrow. Where the gate is now is down lower and it's just a mud pit. It never dries out there because of all those huge cedar trees. So I want a gate up higher so the goats can get to the milk room. And I'll be able to get the lawn mower through this gate!

Tonight is actual pottery class. I think we'll be learning how to make lids to fit pots. How fun!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sheep company.

A few days ago I was sitting here with the back door of my studio cracked open a little. It opened some more and Cameron poked her little head in to say hello and see if she could come on in for a visit.

                                                            Then Cara decided to join her.

                                               She just wanted to see what happened to all their wool.

                                                                                   Silly sheep!