Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thinking of 2009

Words and Pictures of Inspiration for 2009 Keeping my little dream business alive and well has been hard beyond belief.....For people who spend their days trying to create a farm or a business that is beautiful and truthful, the task is daunting, but collectively, it can be done

MaryJane Butters

Really fresh farm eggs make a kitchen complete especially when gathered in an apron

MaryJane Butters
One of the things that being a farmgirl taught me was how to find fun in every job.
Edith Largent

For all of us who have or dream of having a small or even large farm in the country, may 2009 be the year when dreams come true......and perhaps even turn a little profit on that farm in the country.
(pictures are courtsey of Lang calendars and words of inspiration taken from MaryJane's Farmgirl Journal/Magazine)

New Year's Eve Day at Home

So yesterday was mud day and last night the Lake Erie snow machine kicked in. Nothing like hearing the wind rattling the windows at 2 a.m. The wind coming out of the north creates the most havoc in my yard because of all the drifting that occurs esp. with my driveway, though today there were what I call "baby drifts". Hopefully, I will not have to post "monster drifts".

A few drifts and blowing snow in the "winter" garden. Today I got 3 gardening catalogs in the mail so there is hope:)

I thought this was a nice photo of the snow in the backyard by my big barn. I think I am going to do some type of flowers in the old wheelbarrow in the spring.

The chickens were very excited to peak the snow off my boots this morning.....notice those cool pink coveralls that I am sporting:) I love my coveralls and I think they love me......though they make me look like an Umpa Lumpa.

I tried to get the chickens to come out and play but no go.....I think they were afraid of the snowdrift.

This is my very favorite kat. ewe "Abby". She loves me and always is first to greet me:)

Since I am spending New Year's Eve at home, I decide to make a few of my favorite things to eat. I made breaded city-chicken, baked potatoes, & broccoli from the garden. Then I needed a snack. So I made chocolate chip bread. This is a new recipe I found so hopefully its good:)
So I will ring in the New Year at home w/ my chocolate chip bread and a glass of milk!!
May all of you have a safe and wonderful New Year' s Eve!!!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Muddy Dog

"Squirt, could you please explain why you are so muddy?" I asked
"Well, your not going to believe it, but I was being chased by this HUGE rabbit!" Squirt exclaimed.
"Wow, that must have been one HUGE rabbit! Where did he chase you to?"
"He chased me into this really big, muddy hole! And I almost got stuck in it!"
"So, that explains why your nose is so muddy, you went in nose first."
"Yep, sure did," Squirt confirmed, "but I think the rabbit bit me on the butt!"

"Now how is it that your so muddy, but your brother ReRun has no mud on him?" I asked
"Well, you know he is a little overweight so the rabbits don't bother with him and he can't run as fast as I can."
"I see. But you do know what this means, don't you?"
"Yes, you have to get a bath before you are allowed to get on the furniture let alone sleep on the bed tonight!!"
Looking all sad, Squirt says, "But I hate the blue pool, it scares me!"
"Sucks to be you. You play, you pay."
After a lot of wimpering and patheticness, Squirt was all cleaned up and allowed on the furniture.

Poor Squirt......he was so exhausted after being chased by the HUGE rabbit and the bath that he needed a nappy. What would I do without my children? I sure do love having the time to be home with them!!
Let's see, there is only 115 school days left 'till summer break minus one week for spring break, MLK Day, President's Day, and maybe a few snow days thrown in for good measure.......but who is counting?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Looking for Sun in All the Right Places

Something unusal happened here today in Northeast Ohio......the sun has been in the blue sky all day!! It was so nice to see the sun and the animals were loving it too! I got all my outside Christmas decorations down and put away. While I was doing this I noticed that my miniature horse Speedy was laying flat out under the overhang by the big barn. Of course, a horse laying flat out can only mean one thing........

Yep, Speedy was taking a sunbath!!! Perhaps, she was also trying to dry out all the mud on her belly.....she is quite the character!!

This my J-CREW!!! Enjoying the sun from left to right is my black Shetland Jasper; next to him is Josiah, the flashy gulmoget, and then my moorit yuglet Jammer!!

I have never been a huge fan of all black sheep but they are growing on me. Jasper is 9 months old, fully polled, nice fleece, and I am really liking his facial features! What do you think? If he is not sold, then I am definitely going to use him with 2 of the ewes next year as I can't pass up the polled genetics. His mom is also out of Yankee, the mioget/yuglet ram I just lost.

Johnny is enjoying his new pasture with TJ, my black Cotswold ram. Johnny has been, lets say, a pain in the butt as he has a lot of energy to get rid of as I am still working on finances to get him gelded. So, instead of stressing everyone else out in the big barn, I have moved him over to the next pasture. There is a nice run-in for him and he has the company of 2 of my rams. He is a muddy mess and is rutting things up but he can run off a lot of his extra energy. It actually is working out much better for everyone, though TJ and Samuel may think otherwise:)

Though there is only a lot of mud and maybe a stray blade of grass, everyone enjoyed the sun and blue sky today. I got the Christmas decorations put away in the house, though I left the snowmen up and I have a small alpine tree decorated with white lights and some nature like ornaments on it. I like white lights in the house. There is another high wind advisory tonight, winds gusting up to 30-40 mph. Guess I'll grade papers and check out the new Hobby Farm mag. and maybe a gardening book......after all Spring is coming in 4 ish months:)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cheap Sheep

Black Vanilla Raspberry is my favorite fragrance from Bath & Body. However, it is never in the stores. My thoughful & wonderful sister Jen bought it for me for Xmas but she got it on-line. Problem was she never bought on-line and got me 5 for $25......all lotions in Black Vanilla Raspberry. She kept one for herself and I got 4. While I do love the fragrance, I don't need 4 lotions. I decided to keep 2 and exchange the other 2. So today I decided to go into town to get a few things done & go to the bank and stop at Bath & Body. Problem was I left the stupid bag on the kitchen table!! However, lucky me they had body cream on sale for $3.00 (got Sweet Pea) and got Vanilla Shower Gel for $3.00. They are having the Semi-Annual Sale.
And then, sitting stuffed in a 75% off bin all by their fluffy selves were these little seriously, how could I NOT BUY THEM?? Originally $8.00 and I got them for $2.00 a piece!

Don't they just make you smile???? See, I have no problem rationalizing a totally not needed item in my house of having way too much "Stuff".

On the other hand of my more "realistic" farming life style, the girls seemed to be enjoying the warm winter weather today. I guess chickens like taking "baths" in pine shaving because they sure were kicking up a dust storm and rolling around in the shaving today.

So, other than this silly stuff, life is moving along at Harvest Thyme. I am thinking about being productive next week.........I wonder how that will go.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day after Xmas Mission

I slept in 'till 7:00 am and I didn't care. I did morning barn chores. I exchanged yummy treats with my neighbor & chatted for a bit. I washed my new clothes. Put gifts away. Washed dishes. Put Martha Stewart patio furniture in the basement for the winter. Cleaned the fish tank. Had lunch & watched "Young & the Restless". Went to the feed store to get grain for everyone (6- 50 # bags). Then headed to Mom & Dad's because we had to go to a funeral. But before I went there, I was bad. It was impulsive, it was a rush, embedded in my blood from way to many years working in retail. The traffic off the highway to the mall was gosh ridiculous. Crazy people all trying to get to the damn mall. But I grew up at that mall. I lived 8 minutes from the mall in the suburban neighborhood. I know all the shortcuts to get to the I took them.
I spied the car pulling out of the parking spot really close to the entrance and my Town & Country mini-van blew by everyone else. Well, at least I didn't hit anyone and no one got the finger. I was on a mission. Get to Christopher & Banks and get my new calendar because I knew the calendar place had them 50% off. I had 35 minutes to do this & get to M & D's house.

This is a product of my mission. My new Lang Cow Calendar for 2009. It fits perfectly in my Amish calendar holder!!! Price was $7.50 and I am happy now. And I got to Mom & Dad's on time. Better yet, on the way home I got gas for $1.47.......filled up my van for $20. Tomorrow its suppose to be 65 degrees.......guess I will post pics of mud and my neighbors pond overflowing. Maybe I should build the sheep and goats a boat.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve at Mom & Dad's

Wishing all of You a Very Merry Christmas!!
May Your Day Be Filled with Happiness & Talk of Christmas of Memories!

This is my niece Miss Gracie Lynn looking very cute and happy on Christmas Eve!
(This pic was taken prior to her using almost a whole roll of TP when she went to the potty causing Grandpa's toilet to almost overflow; thank goodness Gracie's Daddy is a plumber:)
Lots of presents to open for everyone one Christmas Eve at my Mom & Dad's!!!
I counted my presents & sister's present to make sure we got the same amount. She opened her stocking last night and had 10 gifts in hers.......I will open mine today. I will keep you posted on how many I got:) Jen & I are very particular on making sure we receive equal amounts LOL. Though she and her husband Bob got a new palm video camera and I got a new oscalating electric heater w/remote & timer............hum.......put it sure is nice!!!
Well, Dixie and I are off to Mom & Dad's for dinner. I made a cheesecake and cauliflower pie and Mom is making ham and her awesome scalloped potatoes!!
Hope you all have a yummy dinner too!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Animal Neglect

Today is day 2 of my Christmas vacation and some very obvious animal neglect came to my attention. Upon morning chores beginning completed I came into the house to make my mini-cheesecakes. Not sure how long I was in the house but once the dogs started barking like crazy I had knew something was outside.
This is what I found when I opened the front door...........

I guess I forgot to put Mooshie back in the barn when I was done with chores and she obviously felt neglected. What a smart girl to come to the front porch, get on top of the cat house, and look inside the window to see what I was doing. She definitely has her own personality:)

Then Moo obviously feels neglected because he is pushing the heat deflectors off the floor vents and laying on top of the heat vents. I am sure he is telling me it is cold in the house and when he finds heat, he is not willing to share it. I did point out that propane is very expensive, I am using the fireplace, and I have a nice electric heater that I run (I heard Santa Dad bought me a new, fancy electric heater for Xmas:) I keep the thermostat at 63, 62 at night so its not like its Antarctica in the house. I am sure more "animal issues" will surface during the week but till then I must finish cookies and wrapping presents!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Do You Believe in the Magic of the Season?

Today was a wonderful day to appreciate the comforts of home. It was freezing cold last night and this morning but it was okay because I had nowhere to go. I bundled up this morning to do chores ( i love those pink coveralls), carried out warm water for everyone, put fresh pine shavings in the chicken coop, gathered firewood and had a fire going by 10:00 am. Cookie production started, laundry was going, snacking here & there, peeking outside to check on animals, (though everyone was staying in the barns), watched my soap opera, made chocolate candy, and then did evening chores....fresh straw for everyone at night as it will be cold, cold again tonight.

A couple of years ago my parents bought this picture for me and it always warms my heart as it is a wonderful reflection of my life in the was a day for reflection of that life.

And as the holiday season comes upon on us, so does the magic of the the sheep believe in the make of the season? Do they understand what joy they bring to those that believe in them?

Josiah told me today that he believes in the the magic of the season.........
Do You Believe in the Magic of the Season?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Break has Now Started!!!

Friday was my last day of school for 2 weeks!! I love winter break as it really is a time to get caught up on paper grading, inside house chores, reading favorite books/magazines, and spending much needed time with the animals. This will definitely be a Christmas at home as money is tight but I know in all honesty I really need nothing as I have plenty so taking care of feed for the animals and heat for the house is the #1 priority.
I thought I would share some pictures I took on Friday when my students and I ventured to downtown Cleveland for our annual Christmas movie. I won't tell you that it was a major fiasco getting downtown on public transportation as the weather was sleeting rain, cold, and the buses were running 30-40 minutes behind schedule and we had 110 6th & 8th graders going down. Myself and Mr. Kozak were the 8th grade teachers and I will tell you here and now I will NEVER teach 6th grade.....there is definitely something wrong with that age of child.
The price of the ticket to go downtown to see a movie and have lunch is one's cost for the movie, bus fare, and a donation to the foodbank at the Old Stone Church. This year we donated $200 to the food bank!!! I was very proud of all the students as our students at the school where I teach are all at or below the poverty level and many will have a very small Christmas. People often ask why I choose to teach in the inner city ......... I love reminds me to keep myself in check, to appreciate what I have worked so hard for, and it makes coming home to the farm/country that much more special. I wish I could post the picture of all my students that I took but with privacy/school stuff I can not. So I will share the photos that I can.

Above is the Old Stone Church. It is a historical landmark in downtown Cleveland. It is a beautiful Church and one where Abraham Lincoln was laid out for public viewing when his body was being transported home to Illinois after he was assassination.
The picture above and the 2 below were taken inside Tower City. Tower City today is one of the largest buildings in downtown Cleveland. There are many places to shop, offices, a large food court, and the cinemas. Years ago it use to be the home of Higbees, a large dept. store (and my grandma's favorite place to shop. She would bring me downtown to shop with her at Christmas).

These are motorized and animated decorations that hang from the ceiling. They are very neat to watch. Enlarge the photos to see the details of each object:)

So, that was my day. We saw the new Jim Carey movie. Okay, it must be my age, but it was really dumb; of course the kids loved it. But I am happy to report that "Night in the Museum, Part 2" is coming out in May!!!! I loved the first one; though I know the second ones always tend to be bad, so I will have to see.
I official finished Christmas shopping this morning; of course I was very happy to get chocolate Hersey kisses to make peanut butter Kiss cookies but when I got home I did not have peanut excellent....well I didn't say that but I am working on my potty mouth so Santa will be good to me. Now I have to stop when I go to the feed store Monday.

Hope everyone is being productive, safe, and happy this week!!!!!
Santa is on his way in 4 days!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Rush!!

Sometimes during the holidays I feel like my head is detached from my body as I start doing one thing after another......
kinda like this happy little snowman is who is holding this snowman head below:)
Yesterday I did some serious power shopping after school as I blew through Tractor Supply, Petsmart, and Kohls Dept. Store. And I swear I only bought a few things for myself!!

But I always know that Santa's little helper is always there to lend a helping hand!

I have managed to get holiday decorations up in between teaching, barn duties, and sleeping.

Tonight we are suppose to get some nasty weather like freezing rain. This should make for an interesting morning drive to work.......but it is my last day of school and then I have 2 weeks off for Christmas break!!!!! I love those extra perks of being a teacher:)
Look out sheep & goats cuz I'm gonna be home!!!!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Reindeer that Almost Wasn't

It was not Dasher, it was not Dancer, nor Prancer or Vizen. It was not Comet or Cupid, nor Donner or Blitzen. Heck, it wasn't even Rudolph. It was the $9.99 motorized grape vine reindeer that I bought at my favorite store. Why did I need another reindeer? Because I did because it was going to look cute by the front porch and the other 2 reindeer were back by the garden barn and I wanted one in the front yard. So, I bought it, it was a deal but when I pulled it out of the box to put it together, well it became the reindeer from hell. He became known as the #@*!! reindeer. I have a BA, MA, I am a teacher.....I can follow directions but I only have 2 hands and this assembly needed more!!!! Who is the idiot who designs & packs this stuff anyways? The holidays are stressful enough!

30 minutes later, a can of Coke, and a little help from Santa, and the reindeer was finally done!

Of course, a little help from Frosty too.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I Can't Decide What I Want to Do

I am not sure what I want to post because I am in one of those, "I don't know what I want to do" moods. I would like to do nothing, but I can't. I wish this was already Friday because this week at school is going to be a killer. I just can't be overly excited about the holidays because I don't have the money like I usually do to spend. I have not bred any sheep because I am not sure if I want to yet. I want to but I just am nervous about it. I guess I am doing a lot of reflecting and thinking the last few day. Today at least was very sunny for the majority of the day so that helped a little.
Alvin was in a playful mood outside and was being silly Alvin when I took this picture of him today. He is my only "indoor" cat that still loves to be outside in the winter.

Little Jammer had to get a change of scenery today. Jammer is just now hitting the over 5 months of age and was "flirting" with 2 of ewes in the big barn. Abigail promptly gave him a few good head butts but he has claimed her as his girl. I hated to burst his little bubble but I moved him just in case. Now of course, Jammer's mom screamed her little head of as if I had ripped her new born lamb right away from her. Hopefully, she won't annoy everyone with her mouth for too long:) So tomorrow is Sunday and I promise to be more productive......I will only watch one movie on the Hallmark channel instead of 2 like I did today.......but I did watch Jack Frost which is one of my favorites:)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Picture with Santa Claus!!

For those of you who tune in to life at Harvest Thyme, you may have read that last week was a pathetic week for me. So, on Saturday I decide that I needed to do something fun! I packed up Lil' Pumpkin and Dixie and we were off to see Santa Claus.....if anyone can make me smile, I knew Santa could do the job!! Now of course, Dixie is an avid passenger in the mini-van but Lil' Pumpkin was a tad skeptical as she has never left the barn, though she does look content in her little crate:)
So,we were off to see Santa Claus at Town-n-Country, the feed store were I stock up on all that expensive feed for the sheep, goats, horses, chickens, and birds. I usually take the beagles with me to get pics with Santa but since the friend with benefits was busy I could not manage all four animals by myself. The beagles tend to be very "dramatic" about car rides and being around other people and animals.....they are much better as homebodies so they stayed home this year. Dixie, on the other hand, is a big ham and just loves attention. Lil' Pumpkin I carried in like a little baby and she was completely content letting me hold her. Now, of course I had to be the only one who brought in a real farm animal at a livetock feed store so Lil' Pumpkin was a big hit!
I think Santa even liked her even though he is use to his reindeer:)
Isn't this a wonderful portrait of my kids? Nobody cried, carried on, screamed, or had a fit like some of those 2 legged kids do! Dixie even got a goodie bag with presents from Purina. It contained a new brush, frisbee, measuring cup, a fun mat for her food bowls, a food scoop, a foldable food bowl, a tennis ball toy, a magnet for Mom's refrig., a new bandana, and a thermo mug for mom!! A very nice gift!! They didn't have any gift bags for lambs however:) Maybe next year! Of course, because I was having a good day, something had to go wrong. I forgot my camera so I had to wait till they posted the pics on their website. So why didn't I scan the photo they gave me you ask? Well see I have a new $450 printer, scanner etc in a box in my back bedroom/study that I got last year from my Teaching History grant but have yet to figure out the whole thing. Other than all the rain we got yesterday and today, so far this week is much better!!! However, it is only Wednesday:)
But I needed something to make me smile and this picture did the job!!
It even warms my heart!!
I hope it brings a holiday smile to you also!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Here is to a Better Week!!

It is the start of a new week and I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will be a much better week than last week. Let me recap the events of last week because I truly believe it was one the more stressful weeks in my mere 41 years of existence. birthday spent with my family. A very nice day!

Monday........start of school. A long 3 weeks till the beginning of Christmas break on the 19th

Tuesday........4:00 am I realize the furnace is out; take the day off of school to fix it as it is the
coldest day of the year thus far.

Wednesday......Yankee & Samuel have a very bad fight

Thursday..........Yankee is not doing well; when I come in from morning chores I notice that my
cat Maddie is sitting on the bed with something white hanging off his cheek. After closer examination I notice that he has an abcess that has busted open. This is interesting because he is an indoor cat so where the heck this came from is a mystery. Regardless, at 6:45 am in the morning I am cleaning this abcess up, he is not happy with me, and to annoy him more, I give him an antibiotic shot before I am done. Obviously, I was late to work though at least I do not have a first period class. That evening I made the choice to put Yankee to sleep as his leg was is

Friday..........I decide that I needed gas before driving all the into school. At our town circle
gas was $1.65 but I know that gas is $1.54 14 minutes up the road so I decide to get it there. But when I get there,I can't find my Visa/debit card....where would it be? Oh, in my barn coat that I wore on Tuesday when I went to get the furnace part. But that's okay, I'll just use my "emergency" credit card. However, after 2 attempts at the pump to insert my credit card in which the screen has "Transaction rejected" I realize that my so called emergency card expired in July!!!! How excellent!! And since I have NO CASH on me because I use that stupid Visa/debit card for everything, I was able to scavenge four dollars in change in my purse and various parts of my mini-van so I could get to work; at least gas is cheap and I got almost a quarter tank! I was late for work again.

Saturday.......I decided to go to the bank and then go to one of those hand wash power wash
car places right in town because my van was a muddy mess. Did you know that when you wash you car when it is 26 degrees outside the concrete is really slippery and you can fall? Yep, I only baled once though.....I am sure Dixie was laughing at me as she was sitting in the front seat watching me. But she was happy cuz she got a biscuit at the bank. I did get some Christmas decorating done. This is the top of coat/shoe rack right by my front door. I bought the angel on
Friday at my favorite store for $4.99......with the week I was having I thought it was a good idea to have an angel in the house:)

There are 2 weeks till Christmas break.......I am counting down the days !!!!!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Gotta Love a Wether!!

Today's weather was quite cold; coldest of the year so far. All water buckets were frozen plus the small trough that I have at the big barn. I found a frozen egg in the chicken coop too. Its still stuck to the ground:) It was only 20 degrees this morning and should be colder tomorrow morning. In honor of this winter weather, I took a group picture of my wethers.

I love my wethers, everyone should have a wether to love and hug. They always have the most incredible fleeces!!
I love this face......I know Ira's eyes are in there somewhere!!!
Gotta love a wether!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Very Sad and Frustrating Loss

I need to write because I am frustrated, I am upset, I am pissed, it has been a really crappy week and today topped it all. I was contemplating writing about this about maybe someone reading will understand or maybe give perspective to a really bad situation.

Approximately 4 years ago I bought my beautiful mioget ram Yankee. He was going to be my foundation ram for my new Shetland flock. I was very proud of my choice and he was just beautiful. That first year he bred all my ewes which resulted in 3 ewes, a ram, and a cross-bred ram which became a wether. I decide to keep the ram as I had inspirations for him as I knew I wanted to get more ewes that year and therefore I thought I would not have to buy a new ram as I already had 2 now. Samuel, as he was named, was turning out to be a nice boy. My flock was starting to grow and just over a year ago I was reading about the polled shetlands. I really liked having TJ, my polled Cotswold. TJ has a wonderful temperament, easy to get along with, doesn't destroy fencing like my 2 horned rams were doing so I decided to go with the polled Shetland ram......I fell head over heels for Jed who is just as mellow as TJ.

The decision now was to move Samuel out. He was not aggressive with me but had had a few altercations with Yankee & TJ resulting in some cuts. I tried to sell him but to no avail and yet I could not gather up the nerve to take him to auction so he stayed.

This Tuesday morning Samuel and Yankee had a very bad run in. I found Yankee on his side by the back of their barn. At first I honestly thought he was dead. I got him propped up on the side of the barn and realized he was almost in an unconscious state. It was about 5:45 in the morning and that side of the barn is dark so I was having a hard time seeing. I could tell Samuel was not giving this up and I had to led him to the back pasture with grain to get him away from Yankee and me. Once he was back there and gated off, I ran to get my flashlight. Yankee was in bad shape. Quite a few gashes on the face and the blood was sickening. I checked Samuel's face and he was just as bad though he was standing, Yankee was not. I attempted to get Yankee up to stand but by the second attempt it was not working. I did the rest of the chores and then was finally able to get him up and hold him up by the rear to get him into the barn. I had to go to work and prayed all would be okay, though my heart was just not feeling it.

He was alive when I got home, though still in the same place. I gave him water which he drank and some hay though he was not interested. I could tell he was just really hurting. I tried to get him up but he just couldn't hold himself up. Front legs were not broken, back ones appeared fine. I was thinking a possible fracture to the hip, leg, maybe nerve damage, internal injury?? It was a bad fight. It had to have happened early Wednesday morning because they were fine the night before when I checked on everyone at 9:00 pm. This morning he had moved some, but not enough to indicate he actually got up. He ate some grain and drank but his eyes were just sad and confused. Samuel was still staying in the back gated pasture. I called the vet at lunch and they gave me some leads on where to go. I stopped to get some meds after school and headed home.

Yankee had moved himself to the outside of the barn but it was not good. He had obviously fallen as he was muddy, face, and sides and his leg was back left leg which was sticking out from underneath him was very broken, a break that I knew could not be fixed. And his eyes told me now was the time, and I knew it too. I will never know what happened though I think he fell and landed wrong and because of his weight, it broke but perhaps it was broke in the fight and I just didn't notice it but I know I checked his legs. To see such a proud animal go down like this just breaks my heart. Sure he was a shit when he wanted to be and I will never deny he made some big messes out of my fences and once busted out a wall in my barn but he still was my big shit. Within an hour, I held Yankee in my arms as he was humanly put to sleep.

So much to learn, mistakes made, decisions to be made. Oh, hobby farming and raising animals is very rewarding and wonderful but this is the hard stuff, this is the reality that all the pretty pictures don't show. It does take a lot out of your heart. I know I get stronger with every experience and I understand more about the nature of animals and what it takes to raise animals. I was not prepared for something of this magnitude. It was one of those things you hear people talk about but its not suppose to happen to you. I want the best for my animals. I do my best, I try my hardest, but sometimes it just plain sucks.

I have decide that I will be taking Samuel to auction was soon as I can find someone to help me take him as I do not have a trailer. I can't keep one horned ram that occupies a very large area of pasture with a nice barn nor can I keep him knowing what happened to Yankee. I just can't. The area can be used for so many of my other animals and other purposes. My inspiration was to breed Shetlands. I still will but as beautiful as the horns are, I just can't breed for them. I love the polled Shetlands more. I know that not all of them are as docile as the ones I have but they are what I truly prefer. I have learned this and perhaps I learned it the hard way. This was a heartbreaking experiencing, it was a learning experience one that I pray will never happen again. Things happen for a reason. Today I am trying to make sense of why.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Service Call at Home

So, the weatherman said it was going to be quite chilly last night, dipping down into the low, low 20's, so of course it would be the perfect night for my furnace to decide not to kick on at 4:oo am!! I was all snuggled in bed with my snowman flannel sheets when the first alarm clock call went off. I heard the furnace kick on, then the blower go on and then the blower kept running. No second click for the igniator, no third click for the propane to come threw the lines, just the blower blowing cold air. How excellent!! So I crawl out of bed leaving 3 dogs and countless cats to keep sleeping on the warm bed. Down to the basement, shut the furnace off. Wait a few seconds. Turn the furnace back on. Wait for the furnace routine to start. And of course the igniator does not glow which means it has crack in it. I am getting good at this as this would be the third time the piece of crap has broken. The first time was when I was newly divorced and had to call the heating guy out of the phone book and he charged me $175 for that call. But I watched him repair the furnace. So a couple of years later when the same thing happened, I was one up on it. That time I called the friend with benefits and he got the part and installed it. But since I am a seasoned pro with this igniator part I decided to handle it myself today.
Of course, I made the proper phone calls to my Dad and friend with benefits to make sure I was doing the right thing. Took the piece out myself. Had to go to 2 stores to find it but I got lucky because I took the receipt and the part with me. I showed the guy at the second store the receipt which had the part # & my furnace model # on it and the price of $45 for the part. He of course had the part but the computer was showing a price of $65. He said because I was so nice he was just going to charge me $45. Little did he know that I had gotten all my swearing and ranting and raving out at 4:00 am so I was feeling "more relaxed" by 11:00 am. Got home and within 10 minutes I had installed the part and the house was warming up!!!! Sometimes I just "crack" myself up! Of course, I did give myself a pat on the back:) I think my dad & friend with benefits was even impressed with me!
So, since I had to take a sick day from school ( first one this year, down to 172 sick days left:), I decide to be festive in the morning and grade papers after watching my soap opera ( Young & the Restless dieheart).

Cute snowman goes out onto the front porch..........
I tried to get Cubbie to come out of the barn to help but no go on that one!

Of course, I love that darn chicken coop so I put a snowman on the front........

and a Christmas wreath on the back window. I hope the girls appreciate my thoughtfulness!

The sheep were feeling all snuggly too as it was only in the mid-2o's by noon.

I put the snowman birdhouse out for the birdies.

Mooshie was looking a little fluffy....I need to get her & the other LaManchas goat coats. Anybody have a pattern to make one?

Little Squirt took a nappy after playing outside with Dixie while I was putting up some decorations.......looks like a good idea to me.....especially because its warm in the house now!!!