Catching up again. The story of my life! Didn’t realize until this morning that it has been almost 2 1/2 weeks since I last posted.
Yesterday was exciting. Kid the Elder helped me start to burn the back ditch, which runs from the cistern to the pond, and hasn’t been burned off (or mowed) since the summer before sweetie passed away. Yipes! I knew it needed done, but it’s not an area I feel safe burning alone, since if it gets away from me it could potentially threaten not just my house, but also 3 neighbors. It was calm when we started, but of course couldn’t stay that way, and we were hustling at one point, and ended up burning quite a bit more ground than I had originally intended. Plus, we found a pile of old straw bales that sweetie had set out there (not sure why he didn’t put them on the compost pile). Kid stayed out and kept an eye on that while I went back in the house to make more lamb milk. Needless to say, we both were exhausted by the adrenaline surge of stopping the fire from taking over the world. Someone local lost his house not too long ago to a field burn that he couldn’t control, so I’m even more sensitive to that possibility than normal.
In other news, the reason that Kid the Elder was available for me is that he and DIL have boomeranged. Their apartment complex was bought by a new person a few months ago after the old owner went through bankruptcy. This has resulted in 3 inspections of their apartment between Thanksgiving and New Years, and most recently they were asked to put down another deposit. When they balked, they were threatened with eviction. Not wanting that on their record they put all their stuff in storage and are now staying in my rv (no hookups). I have been very up front with them that this is a temporary solution and I am not going to make it comfy, since I don’t want roommates. We have a plan in place, which involves them saving up enough money to get into a new place. He lost his job last summer (they were doing a major purge), and she is starting the process of applying for SSDI, so money is tight for them too. It won’t be much fun for them, as I fully intend to be the bad guy when it comes to making them stick to the plan. I’ve already instituted 2 biggies – no more soda, and he and I do the grocery shopping (which means no more junk food). We are all over weight, and hopefully this will help us all. I am having to relearn how to cook the proper amounts. I’m used to having left overs and eating off of those, but they have lived with roommates for the last few years, and what got cooked got eaten, and my boy cooks in impressive amounts. The first week was rough, and I pitched a couple of hissy fits. I had made a great shredded beef over rice dish, that I was really looking forward to having for lunch the next day. I came in from giving Merlin his late bottle, only to find them finishing it all off and I blew a gasket. They apologized the next day, but I let them know that this was not acceptable. I have modified how I cook and deal with what I want to save (it goes into the fridge asap. Out of sight, out of mind). I have talked to each of them separately, as well as all of us together, to reinforce my views
Last Saturday was our local Fiber Market Day. We started earlier than we have in the past, which meant getting up at 5 am to be able to start set up at 6, since the doors were going to open to the public at 9. Merlin came in the house the night before for a bath. Like many bottle babies, he’s had a small issue with scouring. Not bad, but he needed cleaned up some. He stayed in the house in a dog carrier until he was dry, got his midnight bottle and then moved the carrier out to the car for the rest of the night. I had already packed the car the night before, so in the morning I just made a quick cup of coffee and loaded eggs (the hens have been prolific layers), and off we went. Once I unloaded the car and set up a small pen for him, Merlin came in to the building for breakfast and settled in. He was a champ all day long and got his picture taken several times. He had to wear diapers all day long to minimize the mess of having him inside, but took it like the little trooper he is. Here are some shots of my set up:
In the first one you can see the lattice panel that was Merlin’s pen. They also show what an eclectic mix of things I bring. I enjoy a variety of crafts (Kids tease me that I’m ADD, since I tend to flit from one technique to another). What didn’t sell needs to get posted to the Etsy shop, but I think I need to do a major renovation there. It’s always a fun show, and the weather changed about every 15 minutes. It was beautiful at both ends, which made set up and tear down nicer, but in between we had wind, rain, hail and snow. I got to see a lot of old friends, and taught someone new how to spin on a drop spindle. All in all, a win.
Last time I posted I only had 5 lambs. All of the definite ewes have lambed, and the final count is 10 lambs. Six boys, 4 girls. Also 6 brown, 4 black. I need to figure out if the browns are brown or moorit before I register. The genetics are so confusing. As I understand it, browns have black somewhere on them, moorits are brown all over. I always thought that moorit was totally recessive. I’ve been going over notes in the Sheep Color Genetics group on Yahoo, as well as the notes that Laura sent me from Dr. Phil Spondenberg’s lecture, and all I’ve figured out so far is that I need to do some more studying. Any way, here all some lamb pics, in order of birth:
Manny, born March 14th
Mary, born March 16th
Mark was born later on the 16th, but I only have his birth picture. Have to take the camera back out with me this afternoon…
Malcolm, born March 17th,
and his twin Merlin, born March 18th (4 1/2 hours after Malcolm) It’s hard to get a distance shot of a bottle baby!
Maggie, born March 21st. She and Mary were the first 2 to lose their tails and become big girls.
Micah is the flashiest lamb and was born March 25th In addition to all that white on his face, he has knee-high white boots on both back legs.
On March 26th, Eartha had twins. Meriadoc (male), trying in this picture to get lunch when mom wouldn’t stand up and little sister Maeve
And the grand finale: Millicent (Millie). She was a big girl, and mom Fraija needed a bit of help delivering her. Solid black.
Over all I am very happy with this crop of lambs, especially the girls. I love that I can tell them apart by the amount of white on their heads, and it is fun as they get more adventurous and start racing about. I will probably let everyone out on the pasture for a short while tomorrow so I can clean out the barn. Plus it may give me a chance to get some action shots.
Happy Easter everyone!