Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Kid Ears

 Journee finally, after many weeks of waiting, got her German Shepherd baby.

She arrived at 8 weeks old and was quick to learn some basic commands. Journee paid high dollar for this dog's pedigree and breeding. She came from a local breeder and has so far been a wonderful pup.

Journee named her Kid and plans to use her to train for K-9 Search and Rescue, something she has always wanted to do and has researched extensively.

Because she is still so young, she isn't able to handle or process intensive training, but she has learned basic commands and loves to play a game Journee calls "Hide and Seek." Basically someone holds Kid while Journee runs away and hides. Once Kid is let go, she is commanded to "find."  She finds Journee every single time. It's amazing.

Journee must also go through some training and exams for this type of work, and last weekend she took an intensive field navigation class near Atlanta.
She is managing nursing school, work and her dog. Lots of work for her and she is never bored.

Of course we get to babysit when she is at school and work. The pup has bonded well with all of us and is super friendly.

Those ears? Oh yes, she has the best ears.

I can't wait to see where this adventures leads these two.

Happy Tuesday Ya'll!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Back Deck Garden

Hot, hot, hot! It has been a very hot start to summer here, and unfortunately we are also experiencing a severe drought.

I wanted a few garden vegetables this year, however, so I recruited the kids to help me get a back deck garden started.

We had a very nice pile of compost near the barn that was ready for use. It was mostly manure and hay from the cows and the horse. Devin kept it turned well the last couple of years. He scooped me some up with his tractor bucket and parked the tractor near the pots.
This is when hoarding is nice. I was able to round up several pots that were stored in the barn.

The kids helped shovel the rich soil into the pots for me and then helped me move them to the back deck. My back deck gets solid sun all day, which make sit good for only two uses. 1) Drying clothes and 2) Growing vegetables.

Along with the beautiful pool towels drying after swimming, the deck looks much better with some green life on it, and the plants do great with a good watering each evening. In fact, the boys have been helpful by helping me keep the pots watered. We have tomatoes and peppers in bloom this  morning . Who says you need tons of land to grow food?

In other farm news, we were needing a way to get some dairy ladies bred. Last year we borrowed a neighbors black Angus bull and I also had a few cows AI'd.

This year I was lucky enough to have friend loan me his Wagyu bull, Ralph.

Because we had a few weak spots in our fencing, Devin made fence fixing a priority.

We had some wooden boards that were starting to rot and lean some, so Devin secured the posts with concrete and replaced any rotted boards.

It was a day's project, but it needed to be done because you really do not want ANY cows escaping, especially a bull.

Now Ralph has been with us a few weeks and he has settled in nicely. We keep three dry cows with him: Belle, Molly and Valentine. I have the two ladies we are milking who will also need to spend some time with Ralph before his visit ends here.
I also have a smaller Jersey heifer ready to breed, but I will have her AI'd. This should give me 6 calves next spring!
It has been a slower way to build a beef herd, but it works....and it fits my budget :-)

It will be 95 degrees today! We are expecting some rain this week. Please cross your fingers we get some too, or there will be no berries to pick!

Happy Monday Ya'll!

Monday, June 6, 2016

My Lucy Girl

My computer is up and functioning again, and all ya'll are way past due for an update. Sadly, I have to break the bad news today.

Last week, my old milk cow Lucy died.

We bought Lucy 5 years ago from a commercial dairy near Nashville. She was 9 years old at the time and was about to be culled. She was headed for slaughter, but we liked her and decided to bring her home as my first milk cow.

Although she had a huge udder, she was a very docile cow and very patient. We could hand or machine milk her. She was milking machine herself, peaking at 7 gallons a day. She knew her name and would look at you every single time you called for her.

She had babies easily and had three while she lived here. She was a good mama cow and her calf last fall was to be her last. I was planning to use her as a companion cow for the rest her time here.

She was doing well and I was shocked to find she had died in her sleep, peacefully. She died in the back yard, near the wood line, laying down with all of her cow friends laying near by. She was a great cow.

She left a legacy here, not only with her two heifers that I will always own, but with the knowledge and lessons she taught me as my first family milk cow.

Rest in Peace Sweet Girl. 

June 2002- June 2016

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 mybarefootfarm@catt.com 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!!

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