Saturday, April 30, 2011

Not Just a Handy Husband

Some woman boast of having handy husbands that can make things and get things done. But do they have wooden feed trough with routed edges and flared legs? Probably not. The other day I was thinking I might try to make a feed trough from a stash of less than perfect lumber we have out back. I found a piece that wasn't too bad and headed to the wood shop. John was doing a project but stopped to plane, cut and route my wood into a fine looking poplar feed trough. And after it was done he decided it wasn't long enough and went out to the weathered stash and found another O.K. piece and a short time later we had two troughs.

Norma Jean inspects one of the new troughs

It is like that with all of my little thought (especially fiber tools like drop spindles and shuttles) It is just amazing! Or I should say he is amazing.

This morning I went to an herb sale and came home with 7 plants and two spinning wheels. I had run into a friend yesterday who is a weaver and she said she never really did get into spinning and did I have any use for two spinning wheels. I am checking them out to see if I want to buy them from her for the right price. One of them is currently sitting in John's wood shop for him to find tomorrow morning. It would be nice to have a couple of extra wheels people could use to learn to spin on.

After the herb sale, I went to an event to promote fiber camp and my fiber business in general. I made some great connections and found some very excited fiber enthusiasts.

Maybe this can work. It is going to be fun trying and I know where to go when I need a little something made.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

A lovely Easter Day and Hildegard's lamb got to come down and meet the others and our family. She loves the other lambs and is already jumping up on the over turned trough. She was born on Good Friday and Earth Day so we are thinking of calling her Mary Terra.

A good day for a nap in the cool earth.

Happy Easter Family and Friends!

Friday, April 22, 2011

13 Sheep and a LLama

Hildegard had a ewe lamb today. Right on schedule. Right day later cycle. You would think that I would be able to tell if a sheep isn't ready if it is 17 days to go. Maybe next time I will be better at judging if the sheep got pregnant the first time around. Mira and Hildegard were both right on schedule if you add 17 days onto when I thought the were going to deliver.

I just got so excited! It is amazing what you think you see when you want to. Anyway, she had her lamb at one something this afternoon. The only one to lamb in the afternoon and just barely. Hildegard picked the trees behind the barn to deliver as Annie did earlier.

Today, was the last day of fiber camp and I thought this might be the day for Hildegard so we listened and checked frequently. M. looked up in the trees a little before 2 and was the first to see the new white lamb. What a finale for fiber camp.

This lamb is fuzzy but not yet clean. Maybe the rain will finish the job. Can't wait to see her fleece up close --it looks different than the rest.

I am glad to be finished with lambing now I will have to find something else to worry about. All seem to be doing well. Now I will feel comfortable leaving for more than an hour or two.

Pictures tomorrow and more about fiber camp.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's Quiet

It's quiet at Cabin Spring Farm and I don't know where the chickens are. We said goodbye to Rooster last night. He went to live with 17 hens and another rooster about 15 minutes up the valley. I hope he likes his new home and he behaves himself. I was completely honest with the people and with it being a different set up they decided to give him a chance.

They came last night at roosting time with a cage. I took a towel, opened the big door, grabbed Rooster up and put him in the cage. He didn't seem too upset but all the animals were there for his departure and I wonder what they thought. John went down to let the chickens out this morning and Beau wouldn't let him near the small chicken door. He had to open the big door to let them out.

The hens didn't seem any different today. They came over the fence and scratched at some grain when John was down by the garage/barn- but other than that I haven't seen much of them today because there was no rooster crow to locate them by. I see them out the window now so they are still around.

I miss him a little but it sure is peaceful without him. Sometime one needs to make some changes.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


When I was young, growing up in Missouri, the neighborhood kids used to play outside games, after dinner in the dark all summer long. During the day, it was too hot and all you could do outside, was read under a big oak tree or go swimming. The lambs have been reminding me of those times.

During the day, the lambs hide out in the shade of the trees behind the barn alot, but come sundown and they come alive. They chase each other round and round the outside of the barn then jump up on top of the overturned tub, down to the chicken coop and back up around the barn. They are so fast that even if it was light enough to take a video they would be a blur. Once in awhile they stop long enough for me to snap a picture.

Greta is a week old now and allowed to play with the others.

I think Greta is going to have cotswold locks or at least not dense fleece like CVM. Norma Jean might too. Sammy has his mom's Finn fleece (he is the softest). The rest have their father's CVM fleece. I wonder what Hildegard's will look like.

We had torrential rain and some hail today. I went to town with not much going on and got caught out. It took me an hour to get home because of flash flooding. When I got home, everything looked so clean. Since the sheep like to be out in the rain, they got a rainwater rinse that made them shiny and soft. They felt so oily yesterday.

Heavy rain was predicted so I raked up the barnyard real good yesterday. I love it when I do something right. The barnyard is shiny now too.

We had rains like this in Missouri too and tornado watches. It is delightful to experience lush GREEN spring again even with the clashes of thunder that send all the animals to the barn for cover.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Hildegard is teaching me to practice patience. One time someone told me I had a lot of patience. I told that person that I believe that patience is not something you have but rather something you learn to practice. I am trying but I am tired of waiting and watching and being on guard.

A couple of weeks ago, the sermon at church was on faith. I wonder if faith is also something that humans don't possess so need to be continually practicing. I consider myself a patient and faithful woman but if I HAD patience and faith I would not feel the way I do now.

Maybe it is just me. Maybe others HAVE patience and faith. Oh I have faith that everything will work out the way it is suppose to but that doesn't allow me to just go about my day and forget about the sheep. Why? The word that comes into my head is "responsibility". Where does responsibility end and faith begin?

On a lighter note-- I took Zora's splint off yesterday. It is hard to catch the lambs now if they don't want to be caught so you have to sneak up on them and catch them off guard or out smart them. Anyway, I caught Zora and as I was taking the splint off Sarah watched and Zora licked my face. When I put her down she took off running on her leg, a little stiffly at first, but putting weight on it right away. One more episode past. The following is a video that shows what keeps me sane.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

6 lambs now

Mira had a lamb this morning. First thing this morning it didn't look like today was the day but on my way to church I look up and she is in the middle of delivering. I run up to the pasture in my church clothes to see if she needs help. The lamb's head and one foot are out but one foot is not showing. I helped the shoulder through and out she came. A beautiful spotted ewe lamb.

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What to do while waiting for more lambs

Still waiting for more lambs. We decided to wash fleece and maybe just maybe they would come if we weren't watching so closely.

When washing fleece it is important to use HOT water (most things you read say 165 degrees). The other day we put the hottest water we could get from the outside shower hook up in the galvanized tub and added a canning pot of boiling water to the tub to make it hotter. It took way too long to boil the water and it still wasn't hot enough. Friday we decided to try another method after finding just what we needed at Karen and James' house.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yesterday was a sad day at Cabin Spring Farm

Beau resting but always looking out for the lambs

Yesterday, when I went down to the barn in the morning around 6 A.M., I found Amelia had delivered a ram lamb but it was not alive. He was the largest lamb yet and unfortunately a single so Amelia does not have a lamb to mother this spring. Not sure what happened-- the face was licked clean and mouth open slightly. Maybe if I had arrived earlier he would have survived but that is something I will never know and I have to let it go. Amelia is doing well physically and I hope emotionally. That is life on the farm.

On a happier note, the other 5 lambs are doing very well and new moms are doing a good job. They keep us laughing. They mature SO quickly and have amazing instincts.

This morning when I went down to the barn at 4:30, all was quiet. When I went at 6 something, one of the sheep or Beau had opened one of the barn doors and most of the sheep were out and about. No new lambs so that was good -- maybe tomorrow. Hildegard and Mira are the last two holdouts.

I am sorry I have not been able to keep up with the blog as I have been exhausted at night. Here are more pictures finally.

Annie's ram lamb

Annie's ewe lamb (she looks the most like a CVM)

Charlotte's Norma Jean and Jumping Jack Flash enjoying the morning sun

Zora eating minerals

Annie and family enjoying freedom

Sunday, April 3, 2011

There were some moments of peace today

Relaxing at the end of a hectic day

Norma Jean and her brother Jumpin Jack Flash
love buckets
Nap time.

Today's new arrivals - Annie's twins

Annie had her twins around 8:30 this morning up in the trees. It gets more complicated and exhausting with each new birth. Three down and three to go.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Here are the pictures still contemplating names.

O.K., O.K. here are some pictures.

Charlotte's little girl-- very spunky

Her ram lamb looking toward freedom-- planning an escape

Zora is waiting to play with them-- stopping to scratch and trying to get in.

I love seeing them together; most of the time they are going in different directions. Good luck Charlotte

A relaxing afternoon waiting for more arrivals.

Tomorrow we will see if Charlotte is ready to take her lambs into the big world. Zora will be thrilled. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Twins at Dawn

April Fools chaos when I went to the barn this morning. Two extra baaa's from 2 new lambs. All the sheep were in together and one lamb is white and one black so at first it was not clear who they belonged to. After doing a check all were still fat except Charlotte. I sent the rest out of the barn and set the jug (pen) up for Charlotte and her black ram lamb and white ewe lamb.

Sarah kept baaing loudly and I could not figure out why -- Zora was fine. Later, I think we solved the mystery. The black lamb was licked clean and dry but the second lamb never did get licked clean. Charlotte was rejecting the black lamb a little but giving the white (second) attention.

We think Sarah licked the black ram lamb clean while Charlotte was delivering and attending to the white ewe lamb. Then when Sarah was sent out she was apparently having separation anxiety. She got over it soon after. The ram lamb was a little slow to learn where the milk comes from but by the end of the day it seemed like all was as it should be except the white lamb needs a rain shower.

The ram lamb looks like Charlotte but the white lamb looks like the milkman. Sorry no pictures yet but surely by tomorrow.

When I left the barn, Mira was looking at the barn wall while the others were eating hay but she had just eaten grain. Maybe the real April Fools surprise will be a lamb or two at a minute before midnight.

Beau seems to approve of the new lambs and has licked their ears.