Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Daily Life.....

Life is busy here at The Counting Sheep Farm. The day starts at about 6 am. The kids feed the animals and fold the laundry. I spend time studying my Bible and praying and then the wee ones come in for an episode of Gospel Bill or Storytellers.

Usually about 7:30 am, Twila comes to remind David that it is his job to water the rabbits and Jed needs to feed the cats. We start school promptly at 8:00am. I read a story to all the children, then the older ones are off to do school on their own. Twila, David, Jed, Josiah and I gather at the table for our school day. We use Sonlight Curriculm, so we spend a lot of time reading. Then it's time for math, reading and writing, oh and of course, science. Josiah has autism so school is a struggle for him at times but he really does his best and we are pleased with his progress. Josiah is doing much better than the doctors ever expected him too and we are thankful to God. Homeschooling blends well with farm life as there is always something to learn. Well, off to plant some seeds to get a jump start on the growing season! (Another science lesson!)

Monday, March 30, 2009

We have kittens!!

While we are waiting for lambs, we got a litter of kittens!

Right between the hay bales, in their very own secret spot......

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sometimes the days are long......

Today's been busy. Spin Guild met this morning (no complaints there, I love my guild); few errands to run and then home before the older kids must leave for work. A few minutes spent catching up on emails and replying to posts on Ravelry, then out the door again running kids to grandma's house. A stop at McDonalds for dinner and at 6:30 finally home for the evening. I am tired but there still chores to do and on Friday evenings all my helpers are gone. Taking care of the chores involved with 6 horses, 16 sheep, and the rabbits, dogs and cats seems a bit daunting tonight.
Off to the house to get my chores boots, then out to the barn I go. The geldings are happy to see me and nicker in hopes that will encourage me to get their grain to them faster. Once they are grained I head out to feed Molly and Pepper, the mother/daughter duo. I am tired and I just want to get in the house and finish the last of the day's work, but alas not tonight. Pepper decides that standing patiently for her grain is not a good idea and pins her ears back at me! (In horse language this means "I'm mad and if you don't watch it I may just do something about it!) Obviously unacceptable behavior.

A bit of a background: Pepper is 8 years old and we have raised her from a baby. Back in the day we rode almost daily. It wasn't unusual to go on 4 or 5 hour long trail rides. We rode with the neighbors and mostly we rode with our kids. Then our son died, and I pretty much stopped riding. Gone was my friend and my horse wrangler (he was the one who rode my horse when she was getting too naughty). In his place was a depression that I have battled for years, while my horse (among other things) was ignored. My other kids still ride, a lot in fact, but I have lost my love for it and my confidence. I really hope to have it back one day.

Back into the barn for a halter and lead rope so we can deal with this attitude quickly before it gets out of hand. I drop the grain in the feed bucket for Molly and Pepper and I walk circles. And walk circles. And walk......you get the picture. Finally Pepper decides I can be boss mare for one more day, it's just not worth losing her grain over, and reverts back to her normally sweet self. I have a distinct feeling I have won the battle, but the war's not over yet.

And I am off to finish feeding the sheep, hoping that nothing else goes wrong tonight. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Old School House

Right next to our driveway stands an old one room school house. Soon they are going to move it to another location to renovate it; before they did I wanted to take some pictures to remember it as it was......

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Beginnings of Spring

The boys opened the hives today to see how the bees fared through the winter. Much to our delight all is well. The bees busily went about their business as we watched them with new found wonder.

And singing in the tree, the first Robin of the season........

Friday, March 13, 2009

Musings on a beautiful day......

The first day that I can do chores without wearing a coat is always a treasure.

The horses were fed and tucked in, rams were given their hay, bunnies were fondled and given their treats then off I went to visit with the ewes. I admit, I am picking favorites; (at least for now) but we are expecting lambs soon. I squat down behind them as they feed to see if they are bagging up. Before too long Grape comes to visit me. Seeing I have no grain in my hands she sniffs my nose. Feeling offended that I have kissed her cute little muzzle, she trots off. Of course, laying at my feet patiently waiting for a belly rub is Chewbacca. I treat his ears for mites and check for matts, cutting off the few I find. Soon Grape comes back for another sniff, and I steal another kiss. I have forgotten the hard work and how difficult it is to trudge out in the snow to check on a limping ewe.

God is good.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hoof Trimming......

I wish I could say we do everything right here on the farm; but the truth is we have so much to learn. We want to do the right thing, trouble is we just don't always know the right thing.......but we are learning and willing.

This morning we found one of our ewes, Mariah limping. We checked her over but we can't find anything wrong. Hooves are in need of trimming (which we do) but no swelling, nothing is hot. I feel so inept at times like these. Well, we are out here with the trimmers might as well do them all we decide. (I should mention that animals only become ill or lame unless it is really inconvenient, for instance today when I am really sick) I wasn't planning on trimming until May when the shearer comes but it is a good thing we did them today. One, they really needed it and spring brings lots of mud and two, the whether has pizzle rot :( We have separated him and begun treating the infection so hopefully all with be well. Pizzle rot is attributed to too much protein in their diet so we are going to have to do a bit of detective work. (We mainly feed hay)

So lessons were learned today. It seems farming is part science, part art and part hope.

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