Winter solstice

Winter solstice

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good-bye March

I'm not really sad to see it go and even though it's not going out like a lion, I would say it's more like a large cat... But at least we haven't gotten all the snow our northern nieghbors are getting. This morning, I checked the thermometer as I went out to milk...34 degrees. I could hear one lone peeper in the bottom, trying his best to keep a positive attitude. Next week is supposed to be warmer. I hope so because I am going to open the green house and get the rest of the seeds started. I am glad we haven't done that yet because we would have had to run the heater day and night to keep it warm. Ususally our days are warm enough that we only have to heat it at night. It can be in the 30's outside but as long as the sun is shining, the greenhouse warms up nicely. I can't wait to start. I love to go in there and smell the fresh soil and listen to all the plants growing. We  keep a chair in there just for that purpose...it's very good for the soul..... In the last week, I have only thrown hay down one time. The goats are out on the hill before it even gets light. They are so anxious to get the new grass. Romeo is growing up quickly but he still likes to be cuddled every morning after his bottle. He now goes out with all the other goats and plays with Blackberry, Apple Annie and Lilac. He still prefers the company of humans but he is learning to be a goat. I hope it warms up soon becase the Angora rabbit is in desperate need of a shearing. She looks like a giant slipper, her hair is so long. I got an e-mail telling me the chicks will be delivered on April 20th. The brooder is ready and waiting but I do need to buy a bag of chick starter. Emilee's cat, Peek-a-boo, is due to have kittens in a couple of weeks and Em is so excited. She says we need to "re-populate" (her own words) the cats in the barn. We only have two and she says we need more to keep the mice away. Hopefully Peek-a-boo doesn't have too many because I can't see us getting rid of any of them. I don't know where Em gets her craziness for animals.... ;)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's not over yet..

We have been blessed with several beautiful Spring days lately. The sun has shown brightly and then in true Spring fashion, the next time you look out, it will be raining. We have had some wonderful rainbows to admire too. But this morning, as I came out of the barn with a bucketful of warm milk, I was smacked in the face with a cold wind and snowflakes. Winter is not quite done yet. That's alright with me because it means I still have a few days left of sitting by the fire and knitting. I guess I have gotten this from my Mom but knitting is so relaxing to me. Sometimes I only get in two or three rows. When my youngest daughter called last night, she asked what I was doing and I said "knitting" and she said, "Alright, old woman"... I guess I am but I wouldn't change a thing. We were under a tornado watch yesterday and we had a doozy of a storm while I was doing the chores last night. Thankfully, no tornadoes here but one set down in Pa just north of us. It was as black as night at 5:00pm when it hit. And now this morning....snow. Those of you who know me, know that I love to try my hand at all kinds of things. I have decided next spring I am going to tap some of our sugar maples and make some maple syrup. I am going to spend the next year trying to gather up all the things I need. I already have a plan in my mind, so stay tuned for next year... I haven't told Tim yet but I can already see the "look" on his face. I have seen it hundreds of times. Oh well, I just can"t help myself.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring

We have had the most beautiful weather lately that I have been outside and haven't spent much time on the computer. I was able to get a batch of cottage cheese made yesterday and we had it with supper last night, with home canned peaches. It was delicious!! I have a batch of American cheese started this morning. After it goes in the cheese press, I am hoping to get back outside. I have been cleaning off flowerbeds and re-built a rock wall. I also was able to build our fire pit, after hauling 6 loads of rocks out of our creek. It came out so nice..I can't wait to have a fire in it. I moved Emilee's guinea pig back out to her outside pen so I could get the brooder ready for chicks. I ordered them last week but am waiting for an e-mail to tell me when they are coming. I got quite a variety this year, Aracaunas, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Golden Laced Wyandottes, Red Stars and Buff Orpingtons. I have had all of these breeds before and know I love them all. I got all Golden Comets the last time and that is just way too boring for me, to have all the same kind. We will be opening the green house in a couple of weeks and starting the rest of our seedlings. (Tim and I already started all the peppers inside) Tim hauled loads and loads of manure and spread it on the garden last night. When it dries out, we will be ready to till. The wood frogs have moved into the koi ponds this year. They have never done that before and I love to hear them at night. We have had our bedroom window open at night lately. They make such funny noises, not a croak at all. It's more like quacks and chirps. They have laid masses of eggs in the ponds already. So it won't be long and we'll have tons of tadpoles. We have really enjoyed this weather but there is a huge snowstorm out West and heading our way. But at least we had a few days right??

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ordinary Things

I remember the day of September 11th like it was yesterday....I was in the middle of baking bread. I remember feeling guilty at doing such an ordinary thing at the same time that my fellow Americans were fighting for their lives. All I could do was pray. Here I am again, going about my normal life, doing my chores, working, all ordinary things. While across the world there are those who are fighting for their lives. The news was on the tv in the kitchen while I was straining the milk this morning and I could hear them say that another explosion had taken place at the nuclear power plant in Japan. How does it feel for those people, just wanting to do ordinary things, but yet they have a cloud of radiation hanging over their heads. Afraid to even take the ordinary breath. Afraid for their babies, animals and their own lives.... And again, all we can do is pray. Let's remember them today.....

Friday, March 11, 2011

Whirlwind

Yesterday was a whirlwind!!! My add came out in the paper and at 7:45 the phone began to ring. It was still ringing at 9:30 last night. By noon I had sold 8 and I sold the last 2 at 5:00. I can't believe how fast it went this year. I kept back 2 of this years babies but I sold 2 of the older does, so I stayed at the same number. Plus I have my Angoras. Now I have enough money to buy the spinning wheel I have had my eye on. Of course, the Lord will get His share because without Him I would be nothing. He has blessed our farm so much. I got an e-mail yesterday from a good friend, it was quoting John Hagee on how prophecy is being fullfilled at a rapid rate. We can see all the signs that time is short. Jesus said "When you see these signs, lift up your head and rejoice. Your redemption draweth nigh." John Hagee ended the article with "Pray up! Pack up! We're going up....and very soon." Pray for all those who are not saved.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March comes in like a lion and another lion and another lion.....

March is so fickle...she really likes to play with you. When I went out to do the milking and all the morning chores on Saturday, the wood frogs were quacking and the peepers were peeping and I could feel spring in the air. It rained all day but stayed warm. By Sunday morning it had turned to a heavy, wet snow and by the afternoon all the little frogs were covered with a blanket of white. I'm sure they don't mind as they bury themselves back down in their mud, but it sure was nice to hear them. We had sunshine on Monday to melt all the snow. Yesterday was cloudy but warm. I was able to get some burning done last night after chores. There was just a little sliver of moon up in the western sky and it was a really nice evening. It poured the rain all night and we are back in a flood watch for today and tomorrow...... All the baby goats are down to a half a bottle now and we finally have some milk for the house. Goats and lambs are at an all time high right now, so hopefully I will be able to get a good price for this years babies. I have most of them sold already and I got a great price so hopefully that continues. With gas prices what they are, grain is going to go up, so now is the time to sell. We will be shearing the Angoras in 3 weeks so I will have to be spending alot of time washing mohair. Romeo, by the way, is flourishing. He plays with all the other babies now and when they go out on the hill and into the woods, he is usually in the lead. Nobody told him he is smaller than everybody else. He thinks he is the king. I just love him!! Enjoy this March day....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The birds are singing

I can feel Ol' Man Winter losing his grip. He tries all he can but the birds know better. It is 17 degrees this morning and the birds are singing like it was 60. They know that he can't hang on forever. Some of my friends have heard spring peepers but our "holler" is a deep and cold one and they haven't started to wake up yet here. They are calling for 60 degrees on Saturday with rain so that should get them going. I hope so. It won't be long and I can start weaning the baby goats. Some people in the goat world think you should bottle feed until 3-4 months but I have tried it both ways and have found that those babies that I wean at 2 months grow out better. Ours are eating hay and grain so well I could probably wean them now and they would be fine but I will give them 2 months. All but Romeo, he might get his bottle a little bit longer.:) He is so spoiled but he's the baby, so you'll have that. When I wean the babies, then we can start having farmers cheese and cottage cheese and ice cream and chevre and I could go on and on but you get the picture. We are planning a trip in April to see if we can buy some pigs from the Amish. We have several Amish friends that raise them, so hopefully we will be able to get some this year. Enjoy the day, it is a gift from God.