Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Little Tired...

We're a little tired but no worse for wear! No damage here except a smallish tree down. Hope everyone else is Irene's path is doing ok! We only lost power for an hour. We were lucky! I'll do a post later about the outside animals.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

I Think It's Going to Rain

Well, what better way to end a summer long drought than a hurricane? *giggle*

Irene is heading our way and it looks like we'll be in for a good amount of wind and rain. We're on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and we could be getting hit pretty hard. Luckily I think we're far enough north that we'll be out of the very worst spots. Ocean City, Maryland (a barrier island) is being evacuated though. They're expecting lots of damage it sounds like.

The storm will be the worst for us late Saturday night into Sunday morning. The report on the news this morning said we could get heavy rain and sustained winds for about 9 hours as the hurricane passes by. Sounds like fun! Right? Ok, maybe not exactly.

Like everyone else, we're going to be doing some prepping for the storm. Here's a list of what we're going to be doing to get ready:

For the House/Property:

- pick up all toys out of yard and make sure lawn furniture and other objects are secured or put away

-install gutter extensions (we should have done this a long time ago)...we got 10' extensions, and a 20' extension in one spot

-dig a trench to direct water away from basement door (this is what contributed to all the water in the basement during the last storm

For Us:

-make sure we have enough water - this includes:

-fill bathtubs with water for pets, toilet flushing, etc

-fill water jugs or pitchers (or any available container) for extra potable water or for washing,

brushing teeth, etc.

-make sure we have drinking water (at least 3 days worth)

-make sure to have candles and matches, and flashlights with good batteries, lanterns, etc

-fill coolers with ice in case power goes out (for emergency food storage)

-fill extra containers with water and put in freezer (these ice blocks will then help keep your

frozen foods frozen in case power goes out

-have a supply of foods that can be eaten with no cooking and little preparation

For Animals:

-for inside pets, make sure there is enough food and water available for several days' worth of


-Chickens-cover windows of coop with feed bags (to help block blowing rain), fill hanging

feeder, fill large waterer and store several extra gallons of water in the coop so I won't have to

haul water during (or after) the storm

-Sheep and Goats-fill all available buckets and troughs with water, move animals in barn Saturday evening (their shelter in the pasture is not going to be water tight with this much water, so it's easier on everyone if I just bring them in the barn. Plus, I don't want to have to go get June in torrential rains so I can milk her)

-bring the rabbit in the barn in a temporary cage

-bring Tucker, the outside cat, inside the barn for the storm

And most importantly, I'm going to make sure to have enough knitting projects and movies to keep me busy during the storm! I'm mainly worried abuot losing electricity only because I want to be able to relax and watch TV. Plus, it will be much more convenient and I'll still be able to use the water (we're on a well), oven, stove, etc. We do have a small generator that can be used to run the sump pump or freezers if needed.

For a complete list of hurricane preparations and other information, check out the Hurricane Center's Hurricane Preparedness site from NOAA.

***I apologize for the stupid spacing in this post. Apparently Blogger and IE9 are not getting along.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Red Velvet

David's coworker sharpened a pair of sheep hand shears for me a few weeks ago, and David told him I would bake him something as payment. His request was red velvet cake. I'd never made (or eaten) red velvet cake before, so I went searching for recipes.

I check Bakerella's blog now and then, and I remembered she did a red velvet cake before. I decided to make cupcakes instead of a cake, since I wanted to be able to taste it and I didn't want to send in a cake with a piece missing. The cake part turned out really well. It was very moist and when we ate some after they cooled they had a nice crunchy top. The cream cheese icing was my favorite part. I didn't use the icing recipe on Bakerella, I used one out of my Good Housekeeping cook book. I believe it was 2 packages of cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of milk, a pinch of salt, and a pound of confectioner's sugar.

You want to know the funny part? David brought them to work on Monday and then found out his coworker had taken the whole week off! His other coworkers polished them off though. :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bear With Me

The past week has been a little hectic at our house. After a summer of almost zero rainfall, it seems we're catching up now. Last Sunday we had almost 12 inches of rain. Our sump pump in our basement failed and we woke up to find 2 inches of water on the floor. It's unnerving seeing your things floating in water inside your house. Luckily it was only 2", as all our appliances were spared. The carpet had to be torn out and unfortunately our Wii was waterlogged as well. Since the computer was in the basement, it was unplugged and moved. We haven't had a chance to hook it back up yet.

We're still trying to figure out what to do about replacing the carpet. It looks like replacement costs will be about equal to what our deductible would be if we filed an insurance claim. I hope things get back to normal soon, and hopefully we'll have time to hook the computer back up in the next day or two. I have a lot of catching up to do! I need to blog about our vacation (that we took a month ago!) and I need to blog about the rest of the fair (which includes the sheep show and a tractor pull!).

In the meantime, I wanted to share a few pictures I snapped with my cell phone camera.

I took this one Friday night while David and I went to Lowe's. The storm clouds were unbelievable. I wish I had been able to take a panoramic picture of the whole sky.

I took this one last week just before I got home. That crazy big cloud system was hanging right over our house.

We have lots of big open skies in our area and I love being able to see the clouds.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Devin's First Show

Yesterday was the open class goat show for our county fair. The whole family went and Devin and I showed June and Ida. Devin was nervous, and I was both excited and nervous. I grew up showing sheep in 4-H, and only showed a goat one time. I just wanted everything to go smoothly.

Shortly after we got set up at the goat barn, Devin and I made sure June and Ida were clean and shiny. Devin practiced with Ida a bit in their pen.

I was hoping Devin would get to watch a class or two before he went in, but his was the first class of the morning. He was in the Junior Showmanship class with one other little girl. If I was a nail biter I would have bitten off all my nails I was so nervous for him. He did great!

The judge was really great and asked them lots of questions.

I did forget to warn them that judges will frequently ask the showmen to switch animals to see how they do with a different animal. Devin did just fine. Ida didn't do as well for her new handler though, but the little girl did a great job even with a broken wrist!

Devin got second place and had a great time.

A little later he showed Ida again in the junior doe class.

Ida got second place in that class, and ended up being reserve junior champion. I was thrilled, because I think Ida has so much potential! I can't wait to see how she turns out.

Then I showed June in the milkers 4-5 yrs class. She got second out of three, which I was happy about.

The judge did a great job and was very hands-on.

June acted like a pro.

We had a great day, and it was a great experience for Devin! He was nervous going in, but he liked it so much he was disappointed when I told him he was done showing for the morning!

The sheep show is Thursday and I can't wait!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Timmy and Tillie

A few days ago I saw an ad for Royal Palm turkeys on Craigslist. The price was great, and it was for a male/female pair, so I called but the man told me they were already spoken for. The next night he called and said the person was a no-show, and if I wanted them they were mine. The next day I picked them up after work. He'd already named them Timmy and Mattie (Matilda), but I changed Mattie to Tillie since it was easier for me to remember.

They're nice looking birds and I'm so glad I was able to get them.

After a few turkey-spats with my Buffs, they all settled in nicely.

My goal is to have a breeding pair of Buffs and Royal Palms next spring so I can hatch and sell poults.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Shearing is Done

I sheared Bean the other day and was tickled to see the results!

Barley is on the left, Bean is on the right.

I think Bean has even better conformation than Barley. I assumed that since Barley was the bigger lamb she'd be the better one to keep, but I decided to keep both girls and I'm glad I did. Bean has potential.

Barley is on the left, Bean on the right.

Now I just need my clipper blades to come in so I can give them their finishing touches before the show next week!
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