Thursday, July 30, 2009

Barn remodel update

So today I cut the remaining tin on the roof. This is quite challenging in 90 degree heat. That tin gets mighty hot. I also removed half of the tin I cut and the underyling support joists. Again you can really appreciated how badly the barn needs fixing when you uncover the structure. We also got our first pole up last night and can start envisioning what it is going to look like.

Today I got a dark sharp object in my eye while removing a 2x4 from the roof. Rinsing my eye and using my finger did not get it out so I had to pull it out with tweezers. I also dropped a 2x4 on my finger. This barn fixing business is painful.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer Heat

We are in the middle of a heat wave here- unusual for this area. My thermometer currently says 103 degrees and it is in the shade. The sheep are seeking shade:
And the goats are hiding in the barn:
Ebony (in the background) is only in the sun because she thinks she's going to be fed some grain (and she's right).

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Barn and Blueberries

Today we concentrated on the barn and blueberries. First thing (before it got too hot) we proceeded to remove more tin sheets and wood from the barn roof. We did not finish because there are two swallow nests with chicks almost ready to fly. So we'll give them a few days more before we proceed. We did notice even more poor construction of the barn as we take it apart. It makes me glad we are finally doing this, and it is motivation to do it right. Myself, Tom and Jerry's daughter Anna spent the previous two days scooping out the barn floor so it will be ready for placing poles.
After the roof demo was completed Tom took a look at the auger that our friend Jerry gave to us. It had a slight bent auger and a frozen drive shaft. Tom worked on fixing both issues and got the auger to work. It dug a 3 foot deep, 10 inch wide hole in no time flat! It also removes most of the dirt from the hole in the process. This is going to help tremendously with placing poles for our barn as well as future fencing projects.
While Tom was working on the auger I picked our blueberries. We have one bush that came with the place that produces a huge number of blueberries. I am not sure the photo does it justice. We have also planted 6 other bushes that are starting to produce as well. It was above 90 degrees today, and this picking took about 2.5 hours so I was quite hot and sticky with it.
INJURY REPORT: With the roof demo I managed to lose my grip on the hammer, and it spun around and hit me in the forehead. While milking the goat she kicked me pretty hard (as well as knocking the milk pail over and the baby wipe container). And twice I encountered nettles while picking blackberries. This farming stuff is high risk.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


It is definitely summertime here. We had our first 8 tons of hay delivered Monday evening so Tom and his brother got to stack it in the hay barn while I was at work. So I come home to the sight of animal food security for the winter and the sweet small of fresh hay!
We are starting to dismantle the roof of our old animal barn. Of course it is quite hot out, and the metal roof is particularly searing. Tom removed about half of what needs to come off so good progress despite the heat.
And I had to admire the summer sheep. Their wool is coming in nicely, and they are plump with green grass pasture. A pretty view for me!
Now it is time to shuck peas!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bucks and barn

I have come to the somewhat painful conclusion that I need to try to trade one of my bucks for an unrelated buck. Two of my bucks are related to my original buck as are three of my breeding does. And it makes no sense to keep four bucks. Unfortunately these are the best looking bucks I have seen. There is Yahoo:

And there is J. P.:

We have also begun the long projects of refurbishing the rabbit hutches and the barn. All will get new roofs, supports, walls and paint. So these are the "before" photos.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


So after animal chores, the first project of the day was to get the llama maintenance done. She needed her toes trimmed, her wool sheared, CDT shot and worming. So Tom attached a new stronger piece of plywood to the stanchion, and I caught and haltered Fancy. I managed to get her in the stanchion and proceeded to trim and shear her, as best I could.
She tried to jump out, lay down and whined the whole time. She had a large green ball of cud ready to spit at me if I was stupid enough to walk in front of her- which I wasn't. We both survived the experience without any injuries for which I am thankful. Then she was freed and ran back to her sheep and goat buddies.
Then I took new updated photos of the goat kids still for sale: Athena,
and Sugar Magnolia.
I am still trying to find good homes for them. The economy appears to have affected goat kid sales but not lambs nor wool- interesting.
On the way back from the barn I watered the plants in the green house, admiring a lot of large green tomatoes- I hope they ripen soon. I noticed that the garden is growing well, is fairly well weeded and pretty. The majority of the corn was definitely knee high by the Fourth of July.
Then I cleaned up, had lunch and made cottage cheese for the first time. I have been making chevre (soft goat cheese) and yogurt for a while, but this is my first attempt at cottage cheese. This is the cheese in a cloth, dripping whey.
And here's the final product.
It taste good- although different from store bought.
My grandmother worked in a cottage cheese factory when she was a young woman and never ate cottage cheese again. Hopefully I will not have the same experience with my little home-factory.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Babies and cleaning pens

When I as doing animal chores I noticed a baby swallow had come out of its nest and was laying in the entrance to the barn. I thought it was at risk of being stepped on so I fussed with it to try to keep it out of harms well. It is unlikely my efforts will help this chick as it cannot fly yet. I replace it in its nest where its parent fed it but it kept coming out again. While I has fussing around with this I realized how much of my life and its efforts are focused on trying to help vulnerable, cute, innocent creatures of the worlds- whether it be human infants, domestic animal babies, or wildlife's youngin's.
I also managed to clean on of the pens from its winter's bedding. The rabbits received new bedding despite the heat. They are initially a little nervous but soon are burrowing, chasing and munching on their new straw. 7 more pens to go!

Shaun the Sheep "Off the Baa"

Shaun the Sheep clip "Save the Tree"