Monday, March 26, 2012

Two wee ones are born

I heard him quietly slip out of bed, and knew instantly he had heard something on the baby monitor. With my head still in dreamland, I wasn't entirely sure if the noises I was hearing were real - or simply an extension of the dream I still had one foot in.

I shook myself away - willing my eyes to open. It was 4AM.

He told me he was going down to the barns to check, and I lay in the dark waiting for the signal that all was good and I could return to dreamland. But then the text came through.

"Just a head. Bring the lambing kit"

It amazed me that I managed to get dressed so quickly and down to the barns so fast, lugging essentials in the dark.  My feet know the way, and so I simply followed, mindful that in the dark things can trick the mind.  Was that rock there yesterday?

I arrived to find him sitting with the ewe, speaking calmly to her.  I gloved up and ensured my headlamp was working.  One of the things we forgot to plan for was lambing in the dark - lights for the barn area are still on the "to do" list.

I wasn't sure I could do it, I was afraid to hurt her - but seeing that small head so lifelessly hanging there and knowing that if I didn't find two legs to go along with it death would be imminent - I gloved up and plunged my hand in.   And then I closed my eyes and allowed my fingers to see.  I could feel the small shoulders, and the right leg was slightly bent. With a little wiggling, I managed to pull it forward.  The other leg was pointing the wrong way, and flat against the body of the lamb. As I opened my eyes to asses the situation, I felt her contract, and as I pulled my gloved hand out the lamb came along with it in one giant whoosh!

We cleaned it's wee face, and I heard it gasp as the first breath of air entered it's tiny lungs.

We smiled as I cleared away the goo and encouraged the ewe to clean it. Within seconds the second lamb arrived, completely unassisted.

As I looked over at my dear sweet fireman, and smiled I realized that despite our fears - we could do this.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Silo Hen House

Some folks have expressed an interest in seeing more photos of the silo hen house. The story behind this particular hen house is one of recycling old buildings. Or in this case, recycling an old grain silo! When we moved into the farm, there was an old wooden grain silo attached to the barn. It stunk of mice poop, and needed a good whitewash.

So we set to work to convert it to a chicken coop. We white washed the interior, and added a an exterior run area which we filled with sand. We used 1x1inch screening on the exterior as we find it's the only thing that keeps the raccoons out.

It has full electrical to keep the waterers heated in the cold winter months, and to add lighting in the darkest days of winter. We still have to shingle the roof this spring, and I have a fabulous weather vane to add to the top. But here it is in all it's glory.

Friday, March 9, 2012

It's almost time...

As winter draws to a close (like how I said that so optimistically?) we get closer to lambing time.  I say that as the winter wind howls around the house trying to tear the siding off, and the snow is falling steadily.  It appears I am ever the optimist!

Our ewes are so big they are ready to deliver at any time now, and I am half concerned that I will miss the inaugural lamb, and half afraid that it will arrive and require assistance.

I think "will all of my reading be enough? will the hours watching YouTube videos be enough? will the advice of experienced farmers carry me through?"

More importantly "Will this snow stop so I can check on the lambs more easily in the barn?"

A smiling ewe

Monday, March 5, 2012

Flowers vs.Socks

He always folds my clothes and puts my socks away. It's such an odd thing really, I am such a neat freak, but baskets of laundry elude me.

Oh sure, I can wash it, and dry it and fold it into baskets. I even take the baskets to our bedroom. Where they sit...for days. Ok, who am I kidding. Weeks.

Most times the clothes are worn directly from the basket. I clean around them, and vow to make time to put them away.

And so, my dear sweet fireman rescues me. He patiently puts the clothes away, and while sometimes he puts them in odd places (yoga pants do not go with dress suit pants, but I can understand the thinking) at least he puts them away.

Then for a few days, the baskets sit empty until I start the cycle again.

He never complains, and I often wonder what he thinks as he pairs my endless pile of socks, matching each one with great patience.

I can cook, I can bake, I can clean. But I can't put away laundry. Perhaps he is thinking that it's one thing he can deal with. Regardless, I love a drawer full of clean matching socks.

Some girls want flowers, but me? I want a man who folds laundry and puts it away.