Friday, March 28, 2014

Stinky no more

We have 2 house dogs. Quinn is a 6 year old miniature American eskimo.  We have had him since he was 5 months old. The story about him is that he was born during a snow storm in Michigan in March.  His mom had to potty, owners let her out.  She started giving birth.  He was born in the snow, then his mom put him in her mouth to keep him alive and managed to get back to the house. One puppy was left outside and died :( a few more were born inside the house.

In 2010 we lost our best family dog ever, Dottie.  We didn't want Quinn to be alone so we got 2 year old Zippy. He is a miniature schnauzer.   He came from what appeared to be a puppy mill.  He was kept outside in a pen with many other dogs.  We brought him home and changed his name to Shadow.  

This past week I took Shadow for surgery on his teeth. We did not realize it but he had several bad teeth.  On the positive, my kids no longer call him "stinky" and they now let him sit by them:

Prior to surgery Shadow would have been shoed to the floor and called @stinky@.  

Surgery was rough and the poor guy had a rough few days recovering, but now he is perking up and they said he likely will be better than ever. Likely those teeth were bothering him for a long time.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What I won't miss

I call this the "poop sled" or "cruise ship" (see that story here).

It's exactly what it sounds like, the place to scoop the poop in to haul it to the compost pile. It works great as long as there is snow or ice on the ground. I actually prefer it to the summer time use of the wheel barrow.

In that picture, I would throw the scoop of poop over the fence, so it was the easiest to haul it to the compost pile.  This is actually why I advocate for shorter fence lines, you can't throw poop over tall fences :) 

We have quite a few pens to clean up, so this sled has been getting a lot of use.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I admit there are times I have gotten caught up watching that tv show "hoarders."  I watch it with horror, sort of like watching a train wreck.  One time my son came in the room and saw what I was watching. He exclaimed, "so this is why you make me clean my room.". Yep. 

I am by nature a bit of a clean freak, but I have fears of hoarder behaviors.  While packing up to move, we have found collections of things:

We had 22 of these bowls.

To be fair, at one point we have close to 30 alpacas on our farm, so we really did need all of these.  Now, not to much.

The bigger question is what do you do with bowls like this?  I don't need them.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Goodbye Farmer

This past week our sheep left our farm.

This means we now have no farm animals.  We have no crop.  We technically have no farm at this point.

We hadn't intended to sell the sheep.  We planned to take them with us on our move to Kentucky.  But when there were unexpected delays with fixing the farm house, and then trying to figure out how to transport the sheep that far, it was too much.

We are at a cross roads.  And to be honest, there are so many options at this point, we aren't sure exactly what the future holds.

For now, we are regular people, not farmers.

I have many mixed feelings about that.  There are so many things I will miss - like having new babies each year.  But there are stressors that I won't miss - like trying to figure out how much hay we will need and how much it will cost.  Mostly I will miss the healthy lifestyle.   So much of our lives have been focused around our farm.

I don't know what that will mean for this blog.  I haven't figured it all out.  I will still be working with fiber arts, so there are still things to talk about.  We will take it one step at a time, like I have through this whole journey.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The ice dam

We had great news that the sheep are sold! But this meant someone coming to our farm to pick them up. And, well, we haven't opened the gate to the ram's pen all winter. 100+ inches of snow never moved. I've gone in there but I climb the gate :) Zac usually fed them by throwing hay over the fence. Now that snow had turned to a solid stack of ice frozen over the gate. We took boiling water, and may different tools (ie: pitch forks, sledge hammers, and the like), to chop away at the ice.

There was hay mixed in the ice, which actually gave us some leverage in dismantling this mess.

And finally, the gate can open!

Zac left the gate ajar while he ran inside to get something. I was cleaning up the dog's area and next then I know, ram is there!  Now if you know about rams, they like to ram things.  Rammy is sweet, but he does ram.  The good news is he could fit through the gate opening, the bad news, he did not want to go back in his pen and rammed me good before we got him back there.  I am sure that will leave a bruise.

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