Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekend on the Farm

We had quite the busy weekend. Saturday we spent the morning clean the barn out (as usual) - we had a bad rain on Friday night and the barn was a bit of a mess. We put down fresh bedding and filled all their hay bins, put in fresh minerals and cut all their hooves. Whew! That is quite the task. We've never done the alpacas hooves. Honestly, we are scared to do it. Alpacas are the animals that make us nervous. They are the biggest animals, most mysterious, cautious of us too. I mean Blossom loves us, she'll come up for the occasional snuggle and when she's done, away she goes. Josie could care less about us. We are the people that provide her with food and she's even suspicious about that LOL. The last time their hooves were done was back in the Spring, when the shearer did it for us - needless to say, they were a curly, nasty mess. It needed to be done and it was time for us to just bite that bullet. Blossom was in a particularly snugly day. So while she was there getting a pet, I wrapped my arm around her neck, from behind. Picture me facing her hind end and wrapping my arm from behind her neck, around the front - so her head/face (AKA: the spit factory) is facing away from me and Mark. She knew something was up right away. She started to do her warning siren - if you've never heard this sound, it's a high pitch, rolling of the tongue sound...very loud. She is sending out a warning to the other animals that we are getting ready to kill her...Ahem...give her a pedicure. Mark makes his rounds to all of her hooves and gets them clipped and looking good. Wasn't as bad as we thought. Then, it was time to do Josie - the hardest part of that is the catch. She does everything she can to avoid us. We (Mark, Drake and I) try to get her cornered...have you ever tried to corner an animal that is tall enough to look you in the eye and gallops like a a panic? Not fun. I suggested that we fashion some sort of lasso out of rope that we had. Mark says that we aren't the lasso type. After quite a while of us stupidly thinking we could capture Miss Josie - Mark finally goes and gets a rope. He creates a slip knot at the end and with a couple tries, he actually catches Josie around the neck! I guess we ARE lasso people LOL ;-) After she knows that she is caught, she becomes fairly submissive. No sounds, no spitting...just stands still and lets it happen. But you know who DOES have an issue with this? BLOSSOM?! She is sending out the warning call like crazy! She is pacing back and forth! Spitting in our faces! Trying to clean Josie to let her know that everything will be ok. Um, Blossom, it's ok - we aren't going to kill her, we're giving her the same gentle pedicure that we gave you! Let's just say, it got so bad that 8-12 buzzards were flying overhead, thinking they were about to feast on a dying animal. Not today guys! Since we were already in the process...and dirty...we figured that we'd go ahead and get all the animals trimmed up. That's always a rough job - it sneaks up on us - but when it's done, it feels so good.
Later that day, Mark finally had the opportunity to clean out our garage - it was such a mess from working on the and hardware everywhere. It looks so nice now - swept out, open space...he really did a great job.
On Sunday, we decided that we finally needed to commit to putting up our food and prepping some food for the week. We cleaned and cut up four gallons of zucchini, shredded three - 4 cup containers of zucchini (two got put up in the freezer - the third is to make fried zucchini cakes tonight), we made four loaves of zucchini bread (two for the freezer, two to eat this week), we made two loaves of white bread (I just love homemade white bread), we sliced and speared all of the cucumbers that we had picked and canned 7 pint sized jars for the shelf and another for the fridge, we made a delicious cucumber salad for dinner to go with our homemade pizzas (first time making homemade pizza crust) was a yummy, tiring, dirty, productive weekend.
Oh! Last week we took the kids in for hair cuts - they all look ten pounds lighter :-) See pictures below...

Freshly baked white bread - LOVE this recipe. It's pretty easy and our dough actually rose...which is always good when you are making bread :-) I'm hoping to switch over to making all of our own bread...eventually.
We made the two loaves of white bread and four loaves of zucchini bread - two went in the freezer and two were left out for loaf is already gone LOL.
We also made homemade pizza dough and made two of these delicious pizzas!

We canned up seven pint sized jars of pickles (a mix of spears and slices).

YUM! Can't wait to try these babies - they are garlic/dill.
Drake got his hair cut - Handsome!!!
Cora got her hair too! Beautiful!

Her hair was long enough to donate to Locks of Love...again! For the THIRD TIME! So proud of that little girl, giving up that beautiful blond/brown hair to a child that doesn't have any. Who wouldn't want a wig made out of that gorgeous stuff!?

...and my Gage got his cut too...Willingly! Handsome!
Look out Mark! There's a kitten trying to attack you! Hey Lockhart - is Daddy doing that right?


  1. Shely - you are really farming/homesteading. How cool. I wish I was a fly on the wall of your barn when this was going on - I would have had such a laugh. Your kids eyes are as blue as the house - gorgeous and yes, Cora, this is an amazing thing for you to do. I have heard of donating hair locks but its not common here. I think when someone does have a pony tail cut off then they offer it via the hairdresser but I have never heard of anyone, especially a child, growing it for this purpose. What a good girl. The bread looks wonderful and oh, wouldnt it be wonderful Shelby to be a stay at home Mum who could do this stuff all day. Home baking every day. Next you'll have the needles out knitting yourself wash cloths, jumpers etc. Make sure that you dont go too feral on me. You can be the glamorous type of homesteader, like a glamper not a camper. LOL Love the cottage garden, do you have bees hives yet? Im sure Mark would love this job, NOT!

  2. PS - my Tom had an Aspie moment on Thursday (pay day. I got a call on the way home from work - Mum, you are not going to like this (big pause, in which i practically gave birth to a dozen catastrophic scenarios) BUT i just shaved my head. Really!!! Not short (No, 1) but shaved to the skin. It looks awful. I guess it could have been an earing or tattoo or or or or.... On Friday morning, I think he saw the gravity of the situation and asked if I'd write a note for being out of uniform so he could wear a beanie. I did but they didnt. He had to take it off for the whole day. I do not know why he likes a shaved head - maybe something to do with his obsession about military but I love his beautiful auburn hair - I havent seen it longer than a fuzz for at least a year. Today, he has gone to school dressed as a monk for Medieval Day and he so looks the part. I spent all Sunday and last night sewing his costume.

  3. Ha ha ha - aren't kids just a bundle of joy, every day LOL. I remember one time, one of our older daughters wanted to start shaving her legs...she wasn't old enough or responsible enough - I just knew that she'd leave the razor out and one of the little ones would get hurt on it. I told her that I would get her some Nair, hair removal lotion instead. Well, "to get me back", she decided to sneak one of her sister's razors and shave the entire width of the razor, approx 1 inch into her hairline. Mind you, it was about a week before school was to start and she had been out in the sun all summer - so the pure white band was VERY noticeable...Yep, she sure showed me ha ha ha - I had to suffer all that embarassment...she learned a good lesson that day. But on a more serious note with Tom - we have a friend that has some mental health issues and he cannot stand to have hair. Once it grows more than stubble, he goes and shaves his head. It makes him feel unsettled to have hair. At least it "goes" with his monk outfit.
    Look at you sewing BTW...I do knit and crochet and sew a bit - I've made hats, mittens, blankets and a sweater :-) That's actually why we have all the fiber animals (alpacas, angoras and sheep) - so we can spin their fiber and make yarn.
    I stayed at home while the kids were little...but unfortunately, we were still apartment living and they were so little, it was hard to find the time to be creative or get anything done. I dream about it now, being wealthy enough to have Mark and me both stay home and focus on what needs to get done around here. But, for now anyway, I need to keep working...I think that helps give me balance too though. Work gives me my glam days - I have a meeting today, so I'll be dressing up, make-up done, hair fancy etc. On farm days, many times the hair is up in a ponytail and I wear t-shirts etc. no sense in wearing my "Sunday best" if I'm cleaning poop out of hooves LOL.
    If you are ever in the states - you need to let me know...We'll have you to the farm and let you help do the chores...doesn't that sound like FUN!?!?!?!?! Not!
    Oh! ...and bees are coming next year. We are going to a beekeeping meeting Thursday evening. It'll be about $700-900 to get the two hives, the bees to fill them and other misc. supplies...It has been suggested, by Mark, that our plates might be too full for any more major projects yet this year. I understand - we need to consider finances...still need more prep for winter (oil delivery, hay and feed for the animals etc. and much more). So I've decided to back down and prioritize so that we can do this in a smart, strategic manner. I just get so excited - I want it all NOW!
    Today is 9.11 - it's a bit of a somber day here in th US. Everyone remembering where they were, who they lost, who they almost lost etc...soon they'll start reading the names and having the moments of silence.

  4. ...and with all this talk of bees...check out SouleMama's Blog today:

  5. Shelby - I wish we could send this blog to the past at oh, say 5 years-ago us, and see the expression on our faces! I know it's been said before, but who would have thought we'd end up here doing all of this? Amazing, and I Love you :)