Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sheep Protection

Another day of elevating my right foot for most of the day.  One of the highlights of the day was a care package from my mother-in-law. It included peanut butter cookies and all the necessary things for recouping.

 Also in the package was a newspaper clipping about a smart collar being developed by a Swiss biologist.  The article says, " Wolf expert, Jean-Marc Landry from the Swiss carnivore research group KORA is preparing to distribute a cellular network-enabled collar to warn when a sheep is about to be lost to a wolf attack".  A pulse monitor and a GPS tracker are connected to a mobile chip on a collar to alert the shepherd or sheep farmer when the flock is threatened .  They are also testing to see if they can get the chip to activate a loud noise or spray the attacker.   Interesting.

If I had these collars, I wonder if I could get down to the barnyard in time with as long as it takes me to get anywhere these days.  On that side, I found a website with a great adaptation for a wheelchair on difficult terrain. .  Maybe with the collar,  this type of wheelchair, and an air horn I could deter a threat to the sheep.

Good thing I have Cher, the guard llama in residence since I don't have any of the above.

Tomorrow, I am giving another farm tour.  This time it is a friend of mine bringing her sister and mom over.  Her sister is visiting from Albuquerque NM.  She is a spinner and knitter.

Every time someone comes to visit, I can get down to see the animals.  It is strange not talking to  them everyday.

Another time it would be good to have 11 kids.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I am Tired of THIS already

I guess it means I am getting better if I am starting to get tired of being off my feet.

The highlights of today:
Lyndy came over and helped again and did an amazing job on our refrigerator.
Three friends brought food for our new clean refrigerator.
I got to go up and down the new ramp a couple of times.
A weaving friend brought me some warp yarn so I can weave with some lovely homespun a student brought me.
A couple from Indiana came for a farm tour.

The couple have an alpaca farm in Indiana.  They were at the visitors center and saw we had farm tours and gave a call. So I thought, what the heck.  We went down to the barnyard, they checked out the barn and met the sheep and Cher.  Lyndy gave me a push down to the gate in my wheelchair but I couldn't go in the barnyard because of the roughness of the terrain.

It so happens the guys works with patients in wheelchairs in his work so he gave me a push up to the fiber shed.  First time I have had the strength and energy to get to the fiber shed since my accident.  Andy loved the animals and Elizabeth loved the fiber shed and all my cool equipment.  It was fun having them here.  They have 6 alpacas and are just kind of starting out.  Alway fun to share ideas.

Now I want to check out the Full moon and go to bed.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Its Going To Be Interesting

Saturday evening I was up at Lake Robertson where I slid on some pine needles, caught my right foot on a rock, and sat on the ground, knowing immediately that I had broken my right ankle. The sound and the instant swelling clued me in.  The orthopedic surgeon put it well,"A very bad second in a good day".

Now what?    X-rays at the ER on Saturday night confirmed at least two breaks.  My appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, yesterday, added knowledge of a third break, a surgery date of Thursday and no weight on the ankle for 8 weeks.

 I live on a farm with 9 sheep and a llama and 4 chickens. Are they going to understand?  I haven't talked to them in two days but they have seen me, what must they think?

One of the first things that came to mind, was to google,  "farming with a broken leg", but what came up was chicken with a broken leg, what to do with a cow with a broken leg etc.  There was one sight with much help but not geared to the farm.  We will figure out something.  One of the first things John said was, "too bad it is your right leg, if it were your left, you could drive the tractor".

It is scary getting from the house to the car on crutches so that is not going to work.  I can get up and down the steps but the grass and uneveness is dangerous.  Today, I should be able to get a wheel chair so I can get to the car, get down to the barnyard and maybe get up to the gate.

John has been cleaning the barn, but when my friends from accross the pastures get back from their trip I am going to see if the oldest can come and help out.  He helped when we went to see John's mom a few weeks ago.  And the good thing is he likes to get paid in picnics and board games, two things that sound good to me right now.

I truly believe, the most important thing is to keep laughing, and John can take care of that.  On the way back from the doctor's appointment yesterday, John said we needed more chicken food.  When we got home and stopped at the garage/barn, the chickens were there to greet us.  John carried the chicken feed into the garage/barn, all the while telling them it was camel food and not for them.  But they waddled after him anyway.

Yes, it is indeed going to be interesting.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Week One is Over

Cher was happy that we had Fiber Camp this week.  Extra treats every morning.

It has been a fun week and as usual, I learned much.  I think the campers learned a lot also and we had a great week over all.

The kids are super with the animals and have gained their trust.  Even Annie almost came over for treats.

This morning one of the campers decided we should take down things we had made to show the animals what we made with their fleece.  A couple of the kids reported that the sheep tried to eat the art.  I noticed that Zorra looked over to check out something.

Most of the campers this week were regulars at Cabin Spring Farm.  It is exciting to see how far they have come.  The home spun yarn is getting as good as mine, the weaving is getting more advanced, and  there was a needle felted horse and dolphin created this week.  And thanks to Beverly, there are a few pictures to be put on the website as soon as I can get to it.  Much of the artwork was not photographed but will be treasured  in my memory.

Next week, there will be a whole new group of campers, most of whom I have not met.  It will be interesting to see the new dynamics, and different strengths and talents.

Fiber Camp at Cabin Spring Farm has really taken off and I am appreciative of all who have helped spread the word.  This summer we have three weeks of camp scheduled in June and have had to turn away a few kids.  I hated to do it but even the new enlarged fiber shed has a limited capacity.  With the greater numbers this year, I have had to reach out for help, and fortunately Beverly was available.  She has added greatly to the fiber camp experience with her genuine interest in each camper and their stories.  We could not have had such a great week without her.

I look forward to this weekend, to rest up and regroup, but can't wait for Week Two.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Time to Draw the Line

I love living in the country.  I like encountering wild animals every day as I go about my circles BUT they are getting a little too close.

First it was the voles eating all my pea seed- twice.  I thought it was the chickens but now it seems it is voles. And now they are in the beds in the veggie garden eating onions and brussel sprout plants.

Next it was the palm size spider in the fiber shed.  Just to big to encounter when you are not thinking about it.  Then it was the opossum again on the porch and it looked at me like I was the intruder.  I had to go around to the front door to get in the house.

Back at the fiber shed, I opened a small bin to get something I needed, and was STUNG by a bumble bee.  Now that hurt.  It was stashing pollen in a piece of felt- in a bin (with a lid).  Is nothing off limits?

And there is the bluebird that wakes us every morning pecking on the window and making a mess of the sill, the glass (on several windows and a door) and my van where it sits on the rearview mirror and dropping stream down the door.

Yesterday, I went down to the cabin and found the dish drainer on the floor, a broken glass in many pieces, and footprints leading from the scene, around the corner and halfway up the stairs.  Couldn't make out the print well enough to guess what it was.

Enough is enough.  So I felted a snake to deter the bluebird for beginners.

It is now on the shower deck by the door that gets the yuckyist.  The rest of the deterrent plan is going to be about keeping compost buckets away from the side door deck, keeping the fiber shed floors corners and dark area clean and bright and... moving around a lot.  

As far as the bumble bees hiding in bins, maybe the next ones I buy,( bins not bees) I will check for tight fitting lids.  I am glad it wasn't one of the campers getting stung.  Now I can warn them to look before they grab and be ready with ice and clay.