Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Fling, Kids & Puppies and Rowdy Gets a Haircut

What could be cuter than kids and puppies!?
I hope no one really missed me last week.  I generally look forward to doing my weekly post and spend a lot of time throughout the week thinking and contemplating what I will write.  Last week however, things conspired against me and I was just unable to sit down and post.

I may have mentioned in the past that we are only able to get dial-up internet service at home, unless we want to spring for something like Hughes net at about $70 a month.  Just not worth it.  We do have DSL service at our real estate office in town, and my regular days at the office are Wednesdays and  Thursdays.  I have kind of unofficially designated Thursday as my day to write my blog.  Well, last week, my brother and his wife arrived at our house on Wednesday with their 3 kids and I watched the kids for a day and a half while Larry and Jill attended an awards function in Pennsylvania for Jill's job.  Then on Friday, Larry and Jill picked the kids up at my place and headed for their spring break in Florida.  So, needless to say, I did not make it to the office at all last week and just let Sam come in here 5 days straight.  Tough, huh?

The kids and I enjoyed our time together, although the weather was unseasonably cold (and still is!) and I was just getting into the groove of the kid thing when they left.  Of course we spent time with the puppies and alpacas and hiked up to the pond, which 4 year old Lawson was upset not to be able to swim in!  Today, I hear, they are on their way to Disney.

In other news, the same day my brother and family were due to arrive, Apache, my 26 year old horse, was down in the barn lot and could not get up.  There was only me to help, and it took an hour before he was able to struggle to his feet.  Poor guy.  I had the vet come out and he thinks he is just old and sore and had a pain and it just hurt too much.  Of course, I was sure it was the end and I cried.  I know at 26 we will not have him around a lot longer, but he has been a part of the family for 18 years.  We put him on anti-inflamatories for a week and he seems much better.

The Spring Fling has begun!  I am sure that term has many meanings, but around here it deals with that of which we have plenty:  Poo!  Over the weekend, Sam borrowed the neighbor's tractor, hooked up the manure spreader to our tractor, loaded it up and off we went.

loading the spreader
 Once the spreader is loaded, we haul it down the road to the hayfield and engage the ground drive that  allows the spreader to fling poo in all directions!

Can you see the poo fly?
  We did not get all the manure spread since the neighbors needed their tractor back, but I believe Sam is working on that project again todayOnce we are done, the neighbors will come and borrow the manure spreader and clean out their cow barn and spread that on their hay fields.

Sam at the wheel

Despite the colder than normal temps for this time of year, Monday I took Rowdy for his spring haircut.  Last year I waited too long and he spent quite a bit of time in the water before I took him to get clipped and his flanks were so dread-locked already that Ilaina had to clip his back end clear down to the skin.  This year, I wanted to be sure he had an inch or so of fur left, so I decided to get him in by the end of March.  His under coat is so fine that the water just mats it.  I have no trouble keeping his beautiful coat nice in the winter, but I simply cannot maintain it in summer when he is wet every day.  I think he looks adorable.  Ginger's coat is much lower maintenance.

Summer haircut
 Even though it has been cold for a week now (we even re-started the wood-burner), there are many sure signs of spring's impending return.  It seems to me the first plants to turn green in spring are the multi-flora roses that grow wild all over our area.  They are not native to this area, but were brought in as natural hedges and quickly spread out of controlWe battle them constantly.  They grow long thorn covered whip-like arms every spring and will snag on skin and clothing alike as I walk through the woods.  I hate them almost as  much as lady-bugs in my house.

multi-flora rose along my hiking trail

We have hops, rhubarb and garlic coming up, though no asparagus yet.  All 10 maple saplings I transplanted from our yard last fall have buds on them.  I was unsure whether they would make it or not, so I am happy to see the buds.  I have been watching with interest some clumps of clear gelatinous looking eggs at the edges of the pond and wondering whether they are fish or frog eggs and when they will hatch.  The little black embryos inside are starting to wiggle around a bit.  And there are little brown salamanders or newts (not sure which) with bright orange spots feasting on the eggs.  

I have not done so well with my March to-do list, although I haven't done that badly either.  My big projects for March were to insulate and panel the studio and to finish skirting fleeces for rug yarn.  I am almost but not quite done with both.  I have 1 out of 3 walls paneled.  I bought the paneling while Rowdy was getting his haircut MondayI had planned to use old barn siding, but it just did not work out so I bought exterior siding which is a pressed wood product that looks like barn siding and I will stain it to look old.  Photos next week.  I still have about 20 pounds of brown fleeces to go through, which won't take long.  Then I  just have to get it all to the mill, which is about 2 hours away.

I have had little time to work on fibery things like knitting, spinning and weaving.  Still working on hats.  

I will leave off this week with a couple of photos taken around the farm.  The first I took Sunday while spreading manure.  It is of the shadow of the granary.  We had gotten a dusting of snow overnight and you can see where the snow melted as the sun struck the ground and there is a white line of snow outlining the shadow:

The next one I took from our back deck early Monday morning as the sun highlighted the hilltop on the neighboring farm (which has just been timbered):


1 comment:

  1. I too only have dial-up internet at home. It does make for a long process to write and post on a blog. I usually set aside part of my weekend to get it done. I dream of the day we have something better available (for a decent price).

    Your farm sounds just like ours, lots of spring activity :)