Friday, May 6, 2016

Pigs and Chicks

We ushered the nice weather in with an in ground pig roast last weekend.
Devin usually spends the last weekend of April in Alabama at the Talladega Race with friends. This year the guys decided a pig roast at home would accommodate their busy family schedules.

 Devin dug the hole with his tractor and also loaded fire wood into the pit with it. His friend prepped a locally purchased pig by rubbing it down in spices and then wrapping it in foil and burlap.

 The guys stayed up late playing poker and tending to the pit fire, waiting for it to become nothing but very hot coals. About midnight they place the pig down into the pit and covered it up.

About noon the next day, the pig was ready to be dug up and enjoyed by everyone who came over for the feast.

The nice thing about these gatherings is that it requires very little work on my part and we get to eat pulled pork BBQ for a couple of days.

The girls also had a friend over for the night and they decided to camp out by the creek in our back yard.

Willow and Rose spent many hours during the week building forts and tents just for the occasion. They pulled out warm camping sleep bags, flashlights and snacks and then spent the entire night camping. Two of our cats found them and took the opportunity to bunk with the girls. It was cozy, I am told, with purring kitty cats.
It was so much fun that they are planning another weekend campout!

Finally, when you have free ranging hens you will at some point have free ranging baby chicks.

We have one particular hen who alway makes a nest on top of a cabinet in the garage. She will lay 12-15 eggs and decide to set. Of course she is a petite game hen and usually only manages to cover a few eggs properly. Every year she emerges with a couple of babies.

This year was no exception.
It is alway a bit scary to see her hop down and then cluck her babies to do the same. It is a good 6 foot drop down to the concrete. Her chicks always make the fall safely though.

She has been happily free ranging with her two babies ever since.

This weekend we are going to relax, enjoy the weather and work on a few unfinished projects. I hope to make it out to a local farm for strawberries this afternoon.

I hope you are having a fabulous day!

Happy Friday Ya'll!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Skull Bag Winner!!

The pollen count is incredibly high and the humid, hot weather is settling in for the week. It must be spring in the South!

I waited until the pine pollen was done dropping before cleaning off the front porch, and we have been enjoying it all week.

Of course, one cannot simply sit outside without a influx of many animals, especially dogs.
Yesterday we took advantage of the nice day and did some homeschooling outside on the porch with glasses of sweet tea.

I have been organizing my unfinished quilting projects and plan to start tackling them this weekend. I have several that need attention and now I have a great space to get started.

Quinn's cat Bumpit is known for being kind of moody, but she can not resist following me down to sew. She loves the sofa and all of the yarn and quilts.

Thank you for stopping here and reading! Using a random generator the winner of the skull bag is
Michelle Jackson!

Michelle, please email me at and send me your address. I will happily get your new bag in the mail to you!

As always,

Happy Tuesday Ya'll!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

New Studio Space

We have a partially finished basement area. Devin uses a room for a workout/weight room and I use the other for a sewing space.

Because my room was without a window, it felt dreary. I enjoyed the space, but didn't enjoy sewing in there for log stretches. Devin suggested we switch rooms and so we did.

I decided that since I was moving to a new space that I should paint the walls a bright color and attempt to decorate the area too.

Excuse the poor cell phone pictures, but here is what I have now.

We painted and hung a peg board to hang all of the hand dyed embroidery yarns over my cutting and sewing table.

This shelving unit I painted gray and it holds all of my yarns, as well as several other items.

I spent a great deal of time sorting through fabric scraps. Any pieces with some reasonable size to them were folded and stacked onto this shelf. They were previously stored in rubbermaid boxes by color. This allows me to see exactly what I have at a glance. Of course my ironing board needed a spot to rest as well.

Rose helped me make a strip fabric curtain with some of the many strip scraps I had stored in a box. I also have some of my crochet works in progress stored in that large basket by the sofa.
Speaking of sofa.....

We had a sofa upstairs that wasn't getting much use so we managed to bring it down into my room. I found some appliqué blocks I made several years ago and made them into pillow covers. Now I have a comfy space that the children love to enjoy while I am sewing.

I also made a design board out of insulation foam board and quilt batting. It hangs on the wall behind the sofa.

While moving my sewing items into my new studio I came across a purse that I made over a year ago. I love the skull fabric and it always gets compliments. I made two. One for me and one extra. It was intended to be used as a gift, but it never did find a recipient. Until now.....

I want to give this shiny skull bag away to one of ya'll. I haven't had a give away on here in a very long time!

US residents only, please. To enter, leave a comment. Tell me what kind of space you would like to have or that you already have for yourself. If you share this blog post on Facebook, let me know and I will enter you a second time. Winner will be drawn randomly on Monday at 9pm EST. Winner will be announced Tuesday.

Now it's time to get chores done and this day started!

Happy Saturday Ya'll!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Shearing Day

Yesterday we had the shearing guy come over. Because my sheep are long wool sheep, they must be sheared two times a year.

 With spring weather almost everyday, the sheep were really needing to have their long coats of wool removed. While we have the sheep captured, I also use this as a time to trim their hooves. Everything went quite smoothly.

Even Mary, despite her leg injury, did quite well being sheared. Her wound is healing up nicely and is almost completely closed up now.
The sheep always look kind of funny after having so much wool sheared off. I plan to send some wool to a processor to be spun into lace weight yarn and some into worsted weight.

After a full day outside with sheep, we decided to have a little back yard fire and dinner. Devin surprised us by getting food at the store, and he splurged and bought the kids each a soda.

Despite the sad looking face, Duke even enjoyed himself. He just spent a good amount of time lounging in a cool dirt spot.

My new project now is to move my fiber studio. Devin has a workout room and we have decided to switch rooms. Today I spent some time clearing everything out of my studio room so he can get some heavy duty weight room flooring put down. Once we get his weights out of his current room and into his new space, I will paint the room and fix it up for my sewing and fiber.

I came across a few items that I made and never used as gifts, as I had intended. I think we do a couple of give aways next week and find these items a new home. Stayed tuned!

Happy Thursday Ya'll!!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Sheep Gone Rogue

So I told the story about my 2 sheep escaping and how we found one dead on the railroad tracks.

Three weeks later, at 8 o'clock , we had a visitor. A local young man had been in his kayak on the creek when he said he saw one of our sheep.

He came straight to the house to tell us he saw the sheep and although she looked to be injured, she was walking and grazing.

Devin, Indiana and Willow went with this young man down the railroad tracks and across the creek. They saw my ewe. She was happily grazing in a field of green grass near the creek.

Because she would not follow them home willingly, Devin carried her home. This was not an easy task for even a strong man like him, as she weighs a good 160 pounds.

Her back leg had a pretty serious injury and she smelled like rotted flesh. A vet visit the next morning revealed she had a sizable wound that appeared she was attacked by something. The vet spent a good hour cleaning the wound of maggots and fly eggs. He washed the area well and used a wound spray on her. Finally she got a shot of a strong antibiotic.

Today she is still limping  some and her wound is draining. I am keeping a good fly spray on her to prevent another maggot infestation, and I plan to clean the wound of dirt next week when she is sheared. Her fleece is a mess and her dreadlocks on front have been torn off, but she is alive and will likely make a full recovery. I am thankful for that fact.

I am hoping that the farm has no more adventures like this one.

Happy Thursday Ya'll!

Friday, April 1, 2016

A Sad Good-Bye

Early last month we had a tragedy here on the farm. One that I am still finding difficult to write about, but I wanted to share all of the adventures here....good and bad.

Journee has always been a lover of animals and large dogs are her favorite.

 She loved going her grandparents as a toddler to play with their Rottweiler and American Bulldog.

When we moved to property we told her she could eventually have a dog of her own. When the timing was right, she was able to adopt an American Bulldog her uncle had bred.

Zelda. Princess Zelda, to be exact, was a sweet and very pretty bulldog. Journee and Zelda had a fabulous bond and Zelda loved going everywhere with her. She loved car rides and trips to the store and the bank.

Zelda was also one heck of a great livestock guardian dog. She could tear up a coyote and keep all sorts of predators at bay. She was quick and aggressive when she needed to be.

Well, I had two of my ewes escape fencing one afternoon. They managed to crawl under the barbed wire that fences the back paddock on the far end of the property. We noticed the sheep missing after seeing them earlier that morning.
The only thing on the other side of that fence is the railroad tracks. Devin walked a good way down the track and found the body of one sheep dead on the tracks.
These tracks are no stranger to dead animals, as there were bodies of raccoons and opossums along the same stretch of tracks. In fact, tragically a teen was hit in the same area a couple of years ago.

We didn't search any further for the 2nd ewe, assuming she was dragged further down by the train. We also left the carcass on the tracks because about 30 vultures had been eating away at all of the dead animals. We left feeling somewhat discouraged to lose two valuable ewes, but wiser too. The sheep will no longer be fenced in that paddock again.

The next day started out like any other. The bulldogs were turned out and we started chores. I took 3 of the girls to get haircuts and then we came home for lunch.
Journee arrived shortly after with some school friends. She was looking for Zelda, who was usually waiting for her at the drive.
We searched and called, but Zelda was no where to be found. Journee knew in her gut something was very wrong.

Devin walked down the tracks, to the same spot, and found Zelda had been hit by a train as well.
We assume she was eating sheep carcass and was hit.
Just like that, she was gone.

We were all sad, and I still cry if I stop and think too much about the sweet dog. She was just a few weeks shy of her 7th birthday.

Journee has since found a new outlet to get her large dog fix. She has always wanted to learn K-9 search and rescue. She has joined a local group and has started studying for the exams.

She has also found a top notch breeder locally of German Shepherds. She placed a deposit on a puppy last week. So now she can follow a new path, and we can all begin to heal.

RIP  Princess Zelda

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Easter Bunny

Never a dull day here.

Easter morning we woke up to find Annabelle in labor. Annabelle was born on the farm to our first milk cow Lucy. You can see the post about Annabelle HERE.

We had Annabelle artificially inseminated with sexed Guernsey semen, hoping for a nice heifer with the fabulous traits of both Jersey and Guernsey.

We were not disappointed at all.

Although Annabelle did require a slight amount of help via us pulling, the calf came out beautifully and a good size for a heifer.

 I was a little worried when Annabelle did not immediately pop up and start licking her baby. In fact, she just layed there in sort of a daze.
Thankfully I have reliable farming neighbors with years and years of experience. Farmer Joe assured me that Annabelle would soon perk up.

We assessed the baby and she was breathing fine, so we carried her to Annabelle's heads she could sniff her.

Within seconds Annabelle was perking up and licking her new baby.

It did take her a while to get on her feet, but she did quickly once other cows started sniffing around.

Of course Willow insisted that we name the calf Bunny since she was born on Easter. Who could argue with that?

Annabelle is doing good milking, especially for a first time milker. She lifts her feet some but doesn't kick, and Bunny is a darn good eater.

We let her out to exercise and stretch her legs today after her breakfast.

All in all, a good dairy week so far :-)

Happy Tuesday Ya'll!

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