Saturday, December 27, 2014

Ninja Cat

I thought I had locked both cats in the barn the other day, but I saw Kiki walking around outside.  I figured she had probably learned to scale the door, but I wasn't sure. I went out and put her in the barn, then stood outside and called her. She scaled that door like it was nothing. Cats are like furry ninjas.

Tucker (our other barn cat) is old and can't do that, so for now we just let him in and out ourselves.  I'm going to get them a cat door so I can close the solid wood door when it gets really cold out, and they can still get in the barn if they want to.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Time is Here!

Santa came!

He brought the kids awesome new beanbag chairs! These are Big Joe chairs, and so far the kids love them.

Devin got Kylee this cute crocheted Olaf hat from a local craft show.

We gave Devin his very own sheep hide, from one of our rams.  He has been wanting one for a while.

Santa brought Devin a cute pair of mice!

David made me a spinning wheel!  I know he put a ton of effort into this, and he even changed a few things from the plans, because he thought they'd work better.  His mechanic's brain combined a few tricks to make this a totally custom wheel. I love it!

David's Dad and brother came over for dinner.  Elmer thought David and Joey made a good seat.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2014


My White-breasted Nuthatch is back!  They're such pretty birds.
Our Christmas tree is up.  
And my little trees are in the kitchen. I love them!

The house lights are up, and I'm embarrassed to say that the ones on the roof were up year round. Oops!  Can you tell which one is the new strand?  They'll definitely be coming down after Christmas this year!
I got a new mat from Dad and Lisa. I love it!

There's a Christmas tree lot near my office, and each year I get free branches they cut off the bottoms of the trees.  I made this centerpiece using free greenery and candles we already had.  
And I put some greenery in a couple of stockings and hung them from the front porch pillars. It's an easy and cheap (free) way of decorating. I love free!

Elmer and Kylee got in some snuggle time this afternoon.

Our loaner buck, Stout, is here visiting. He's made fast friends with Ida and Nessa.  I picked him up on the 13th, and both girls looked bred on the 16th.  We should be expecting kids mid-May. I'm much later breeding the girls this year, but not having to worry about kidding in the cold weather will be nice!

Stout has the cutest little girly-voice.  Why is it bucks always sound so girly?

June is officially retired. She had a rough kidding last year, and I figured it was time to give her a nice, long retirement.  She deserves it.  

I couldn't miss this opportunity for such a nice picture of Barley. She's my big, stout girl and I love her.  
Her sister, Bean, is pretty cute too.  She looks like she took a porcupine butt to the face, with all that hay sticking out.  

First Snow of the Year

We got snow on the 11th, and I forgot to upload pictures until now.  Sheep look so dirty in snow!  It sure was pretty though.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The 5th Season..

We all know about winter, spring, summer, and fall.  We also have a 5th season....MUD.  Sometimes the mud season comes twice a year, between fall and winter, and again between winter and spring.  I hate mud season, with a passion, but there is no avoiding it.

We have gotten a lot of rain lately....every few days it seems like it rains.  There's just nowhere for the rain to go, and the ground is saturated.  That means the sacrifice area in the sheep pasture is a mucky mess.  Gross.

I keep the sheep off the main part of the pasture over the winter, because if not, they'll over graze the grass and cause permanent damage.  You can see the mud in the sacrifice lot vs. the pasture, what a difference there is.

I kept hoping the ground would freeze and it wouldn't be so sloppy for the sheep and goats, but finally I'd had enough, and I'm sure they'd had enough.  I pulled out a roll of the electronet fence and put it up in the yard, so they could get onto solid ground for a while.  They were so happy!

They do have dry ground under their shelter, but they don't want to stay under the shelter all day.  Speaking of their shelter, I added a bit on this year, using t-posts, pallets, and a cattle panel.

Now they've got almost double the space they had before, and I can move the addition if I want to, or take it down in the summer (but I probably won't).  Now I can close in the side and front of the shelter, leaving the front of the new part open, and they'll have a really nice area that's out of the weather.

I also just replaced the gate post...for the second time.  When we built the fence, we were on a tight budget and I didn't want to spend the money on nice fence posts.  I bought landscape timbers instead, which weren't pressure treated.  We did coat them with drivcway sealant, hoping that would help, but it really didn't.  The gate post broke off about a year ago, and I replaced it with another landscape timber I had from another section of fence that got moved.  Well, it rotted off too, so this time I was going to do it right.

I had put concrete in the hole, and I needed to dig the whole thing out. I tried using David's floor jack, and it might have worked if the post wasn't so rotten.  I ended up using a digging bar to pry the huge chunk of concrete out of the hole.

You can see the rotted section of the post.

Here's the new post, just set down into the hole to check depth.  I ended up using 100 lbs of concrete, so the post is rock solid now.  It's a pressure treated 6" diameter post, and that sucker should last for a long time!

Oh, and I had an audience while I worked...

Here is the completed post. The post to the right of the gate is also rotted, so it'll be replaced soon too.  I'm going to be going around counting posts that need replacing, and working on that when I can.  The lesson of the day is, spend the money and do it right the first time.

This is what happens when you try to take pictures of goats.

Sheep are much more cooperative.

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