April 30th, 2006:
This weekend we got a lot done on the farm. It poured rain all day yesterday (Saturday) so we moved the adult goats off the blackberries and back into the barn. Tom went to get more hay while I tattooed the goat kids’ ears. We cleaned out the shed- moved the rabbit cages out and prepared a space for the pheasant chicks who will be arriving on Tuesday. We also rotate the cows and sheep.
Today I dug up and planted another bed in the garden- this bed with lettuce, chard and broccoli. I have 4 beds done and four to go. The ground was way too wet today after yesterday’s rain to rototill yet. I moved the electric net fencing onto a new patch of blackberries and put the adult goats and the guard llama out there again. A couple came by to pick up their new goat kids- Marley and Chickadee (now named Lucky and Toni). It’s so sad to see them go but I know they’ll have a great new home and will be spoiled rotten there.
Then I did the critter chores and actually had time to sit down with them and pet some of my sheep- it’s nice to get a chance to enjoy them!
Today is a gorgeous warm sunny spring day! This morning I visited a woman who is turning 80 in February and wanting to sell some of her things before her 80th birthday. She’s been spinning and weaving for a long time and has taught both as well. She lived in the Southwest and worked as a manager for a large computer department a while ago when she was the only woman doing this that she knew of. She raised Navaho sheep and created Navaho rugs on her loom. She moved to the Pacific Northwest, sold her Navajo sheep because they didn’t do well in the wet climate her and changed to Romney Romeydale sheep. She had a place on Orcas with an 100 year old apple orchard which she used to press cider. Now she lives in Skagit county. She has an amazing garden and house. I had a wonderful visit and purchased some great items for weaving. I feel bad buying them from her, but she’s not using these things anymore and I can sure put them to use again.
I then got an oil change but while waiting for that I walked around Bellingham in the sunshine, got lunch and did a little shopping. Then I drove home on Chuckanut Drive- just gorgeous looking out over the bay and the islands!
I just got through doing critters. Everyone is doing quite well, and the lambs and kids are growing up. I had to give shots to the lambs today so they aren’t too happy.
Everything is just perfect today!
I am sick again- this time with a nasty cold and my asthma. I had brief worries that this was hantavirus since I swept out of shed last weekend that I recently found a deer mouse in but now I’m convinced it’s nothing so exotic. I haven’t been able to work or take care of the critters but more importantly I missed my mother’s 60th birthday.
I will say that it’s really nice being married. When I was single and sick I had to take care of the animals no matter what. I remember feeling quite ill and sitting in the pasture crying because I didn’t have the energy to walk and no one to help me and the animals needed to be fed. I felt so alone. Now I have Tom who has taken care of the animals every day this week except Wednesday. This morning I woke up early because I couldn’t breathe well. After I got my breathing under control I noticed it was raining. Tom was still asleep so I decided to bring the goats in from the blackberry patch. Tom woke up while I was doing this and shot this photo- pretty cute, huh?
May Tenth:I’m finally feeling better and can get off my butt for the first time in days. I moved the electric net fencing onto a new patch of blackberries. I pulled 4 goats kids from their mothers and put them in a pen to wean them before they go to their new homes this weekend. The two does that now have been weaned were added to the usual goat herd and moved onto the blackberries. The goats sure loved to eat blackberry leaves. Then I moved the lambs with their ewes onto the pasture. The lambs are racing around the pasture- kicking up their heels and really enjoying their new found freedom. It’s a real joy to watch.
Wednesday the seventeenth of May:
We have been working on getting a pheasant pen ready since Saturday. Tom bought some fishing netting for a very reasonable price and he had planted an old telephone pole and new fence posts. On Saturday we first drug a shed that belonged to my grandfather into the pen,, and then we strung the netting up. It was smaller than it was supposed to be so we spliced things together. Monday Tom got some more of the netting for free and we took down what we had spliced in and sewed the new netting in. On Tuesday we put chicken wire around the perimeter on the ground and tied the netting to it. Finally today we made a gate and put the peacocks, ducks and ducklings in. Every one seems happy with the arrangement so far. We need to add a better latch tot he gate and we’re going to put dowels in the phone pole for more roosts. We work most of Saturday and the three evenings after work until 8:00 but now it’s done. In 2 weeks the pheasants chicks should be big enough to go in also.
Today I also did some gardening. I planted the green (and purple) beans and the squash. The garden is finally in and looking good!
May 21st:Today we had two sets of visitors. The first was Sharon who brought two Red Speckled Sussex roosters to live here. They were hatched from eggs (originally via Ebay) as a school project for her daughter. The project went well but roosters are illegal in Seattle so they had to get a new home. The family really liked the chickens so they rented three hens from us for the summer to fill the void. She picked a black Araucana cross, a New Hampshire Red, and a Golden Laced Wyandotte. So they’ll get to be city chickens for a summer.
The second set of visitors were John Park and his wife Tina Thomsen-Park. She’s getting cancer-related surgery tomorrow and they were interested in seeing my ewe lamb Gwendolyn before that. They were really taken with her and decided to buy her. When we picked he up for inspection she had little horns! So this was a nice surprise. It also turns out they had owned her grandmother Grace who now lives with friends of theirs. So once Tina recuperates we’ll bring little Gwendolyn up to her new home.