Sunday, June 28, 2020

We're kidding

Happy Sunday all !! We are melting away in the middle of a long duration the weather network calls it. I am a fan of summer and everything that comes with it but temperatures above 30 C are not my favourites. It makes everything just so icky, everyone is exhausted and annoyed, the kids are whiny and only happy when they are on the pool. We have a little window air conditioner and some fans, so really, it is bearable in the house but I feel so sorry for all the critters in their barns and in the pasture. I know they are as cool as possible ... but in a heat wave like this ... they are also not happy. 
The worst part of this ... I could deal with the heat when I have to but ... since yesterday we have has bazillions of mosquitos ... I don't think we've ever had them this bad. There is no getting away from them ...This particular week is not my favourite time of summer. 

Before the heat started and the mosquitos got bad, I spent one morning in my rose bed. Everything was overgrown with grass. I remember last year, I didn't even get to do it once. My wild toddler was almost 2 back then and there was just no getting away from the scenery to do any kind of un essential job. This year things are looking up. My wild toddler is almost three and she knows now that she can not just take off and explore the world by herself. She knows she has to stick around me or with her brother and sister, who explore just as much as her but with a little more common sense and understanding for safe and unsafe. Yes, things are getting a little easier and once in a while I can even find half an hour to do jobs like, weeding my rose bed. 

And so we started kidding :) Two of my four does gave birth to two little girls on Friday morning. We missed the birth but maybe only by an hour. The two does are Ruby and Pear, who are twins from two years ago. I thought it was so neat that they had their babes at the same time. 
This first picture is of Pearl and her baby Lacy. 

The second picture is Ruby and baby Trudy. Ruby and Perls mom was Gertrud. She died last summer. We were all very sad about her sudden death. To remember her, we decided to call Ruby's baby Trudy. 
Pearl and Ruby both are first time mommas and they are so good at it. It's always a little tricky with first timers. Will the accept the baby, will they know what to do, will they have enough milk, will they left them drink ?? Those two ... perfect. Both have lots of milk. So much that I might have to milk them a little just to keep the udder at a comfortable level for the mommas. I am planning on milking all four but not until the kids are a couple weeks old. Then I can give the moms some alone time to go grazing while the kids play together and before they go back to their babes I will milk them. I can't wait to have goats milk again and to make cheese ... yummm. 
Sky loves to drink the milk and I hope that my wild toddler will also enjoy it. She is lactose intolerant and I am hoping she will do good on the goats milk. 

This is Trudy again , maybe a couple hours old in this picture. Isn't she just too cute. I am already thinking ... maybe I will have to expand my little herd a little ;)

Here is little Lacy. She has tony ears like her momma. Pearls dad was a La mancha goat who have tiny little ears. Only Pearl inherited his ears tho ... and she passed them on to little Lacy. 

My big kids with their baby kids.  Baby goats are the most fun and most loved animal on the farm 

My little wildie loves the baby goats. She gets right into the job of feeding and watering and lots of playing and cuddling of course. 

while we mostly cuddling baby goats right now, the Turkeys continue to grow !!! 
I love them, they are such smart and beautiful birds 

The geese are more like the chaotic neighbours ... but they are cute as heck and I love them as well. 

Here is the meat chicken. They will be ready in only four more weeks. So far this meat chicken experience is a good one but I will tell you again 4 weeks down the road if this is something I will be doing again next year. 

So two does done and two more to go. I am on barn duty tonight. I check every two hours until midnight, G. does his rounds around 3am and then me again at 5am. Mable the doe in the picture is so big and is having such a hard time in this heat. I hope she will kid soon. Darla is the one that looks like she migh have her baby in the next 24 hours. So, fingers crosses for two more easy deliveries. 
Next week, for sure I will have more pictures of more baby goats :)

until then, take it easy and stay cool !!!

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Summer has arrived

Summer days can't ever be long enough. Don't you feel the same ? I try to get up as early as possible and most days am not done outside until I lose daylight. Speaking of daylight, Happy Summer Solstice to everyone out there. Our solstice celebration was rather small today since it was also fathers day and the kids had so much planned already. However we baked a peach cobbler and we to pick some yellow flowers in the pasture today. The picture you see is our walk down to our pasture, the Thimbleweed has started blooming. My favourite time on the farm. Everything is in full bloom, growing, having babies ... all fun things. Hard to believe that from now the days will get shorter again. I wish we could bottle these days up and bring them out like a good bottle of wine on a cold winter night ... ah lets open a bottle of SUMMER  

It was my birthday this week. This beautiful lady in the front was my favourite birthday present. She came to us from a rescue in Manitoba who brought her home from an auction last fall. When I saw her on their facebook page, after they brought her home, I fell in love with her. Well and voila ... here she is. She came in a package with that lovely mare behind her. She is an Alberta wildie, was captured when she was three and never been handled since. Both were baby machines in their previous home. Now their time to be a horse begins. Both are settling in well and are very relaxed and start to trust a little more every day. We keep them in a pen by the house for now, just to do some trust work and basic handling first before we let them out to pasture with the rest of the herd. 
I was joking with a friend the other day who said...oh got a horse for your birthday, you are so lucky ... I said, ya whenever G. doesn't know what to get me for my birthday, he buys another horse...haha.  People often ask, what do u need so  many horses for. It's easy tho ... of course we don't need them, or maybe we do, but they need us. All of them are here for a reason and often it is not a happy story that brought them here. We have a heart for those ones that noone wants, the old ones, the broken ones, the once that need a little extra care or groceries. 
When someone asks me, mostly with a critical undertone , how many do you have now ??? I tell them, we don't count in numbers ... we count the many reasons that brought them here. 
Anyway ... I love them all ... My new girl is Luna :)

Can u tell the girls are getting close ??? Big bellies and big utters. I can't wait for the little guys to run around the farm.

Our Cows left us this week. They went away for a date with a handsome bull at a friends house. 
We have two ladies and a calf this year. Next year our little herd will hopefully grow again. WE are planning on keeping the heifers and selling the bulls or keep one for our own freezer. G. wants to build up the herd to around 10 to 15 Cows. 
I have to admit they intimidate me a little.  I know I say I can't wait to milk Clarabelle next year fut honestly, I will have to work hard on my confidence until then. They are such big, powerful animals and not at all like a horse. They run right through you if they think that's the way to go ... 

Our broilers are growing quickly. These little guys will be ready to be butchered by the end of July. I find that a little crazy and am not really happy with the choice. This is the only meat chicken available for us tho.I wanted to give it a try but I am scared of giant chickens with broken legs and heart attacks and all those horror stories people tell u about them. I wanted to give it a try , that's why I only got 10. We lost one chick, so now we will hopefully have 9 in the freezer by the end of the summer. I think if I go with cornish again I will let them graze in a chicken tractor for the summer. 

These are my black and blue Maran chicks. They are growing nicely. I hope I won't have too many roosters. These guys are the future breakfast egg suppliers.

These guys are so freakin cute but oh so messy. I love those little geese. I could just cuddle these guys all day. The geese and Turkeys moved out of the nursery yesterday. It was getting too small for them. Once they are used to their new big coop, they will be able to come out during the day to free range. 

I never had Turkeys before and I must say, I really enjoy them. They are such friendly and calm birds. They never fuss about anything, they are tidy and clean and always come running when I come into the coop. I can't wait to see them all grown up. 

The newest member of our family came to us last Friday. Sky lost his beloved best friend Orange cat two years ago. He never gave up hope that Orange cat would come down the driveway one day ... 
He has been asking for a new kitten for a while now and finally it happened.  Orange cat jr. Sky loves him and I really hope they will become best buddies as well. We are waiting for a little friend for Orange cat .... maybe in my next post. The two are suppose to have a purpose as well. We need a couple good mousers for the barn !!!

My glorious three !!! The two big kids on their fathers day outing with dad.

The peonies are starting to bloom. Summer is here. Enjoy every minute of it !!! 

 Until next time, take it easy ❤

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Welcome to Thimbleweed Creek

Welcome to Thimble Weed Creek. 
Home to my little family and all the furry critters that belong to us. It will be 5 years in September since we moved here in 2015. It was a move with mixed feelings. We had to leave, what we thought would be our home for the rest of our lives. Our world shattered a bit when we heard that the owner had to sell as soon as possible. We knew we were not in the position to buy at that point, so we had no choice but to leave.  I remember the conversation we had about the new place, when G. came back from buying hay for the horses. There is this farm, overgrown and neglected but it has exactly what we needed. 500 acres of pasture and hay for the horses, barns and sheds and garages. So we went to look at it and there is was , overgrown, neglected and full of junk. 
The house was in a terrible shape as well. But, we tried to look passed all that and decided very fast. This is it. We will make this our home. So in September we moved with our kids, 12 equines and several chickens, dogs , cats and uncountable boxes. 
5 years later, we can call this our home. We took some good steps into the right direction. There were ups and downs but our family grew by another baby, several more equines, goats, bunnies, chickens, cows, turkeys and geese. 

We can for sure say the horses, mules, donkey and ponies have won the lottery with the move to this place. Endless green pastures and hay fields. In the winter, a cozy barn that keeps them out of the icy, stormy nights. 

Shortly after we moved here, I got my first dairy goat. She gave the best milk and I knew then ... there have to be more of those funny and sometimes obnoxious creatures in my life. The next year I bought a little buck and two more does and my little herd grew when it was kidding time. These 4 ladies in the picture are my current little herd. They are all due to kid within the next week or two. 
I can't wait to have baby goats around again. They are so much fun. I am sure you will be bombarded with baby pictures ;)

Clarabelle was the next step up from a dairy goat. The dream of being more self sufficient, to make my own cream, cheese, butter, jogurt and to have a good amount of milk, is mine. Clarabelle was 6 month when she moved in with us. She was the same size as the goats and she lived with them for the first year of her live. Now she is two and she still gets excited to see her goat friends in the pasture. Clarabelle will be bred this year and the dream of our own milk supply will hopefully come true next year. We bought another cow last fall. She  was bred when we bought her and had a healthy little heffer this spring. So, another little herd is growing :) 

I started my bunny adventure last spring. Looking at those cuties I could not imagine that they would be sitting in the roaster by the end of the year. But they did, and they were good and even the kids, who I thought would have a really hard time coping with that, did really good. 
It felt right to be able to raise our own meat or grow our own garden. And it makes me happy and proud to see our 3 children growing up with an understanding for where their food comes from. 
So we keep breeding bunnies. We love them and spoil them for the time they have with us and when their time comes, we are grateful for the healthy homegrown food on our plates. 

There is more critters crittering around, our lovely barn cats that love to sneak into the house during the cold winter nights. It gets cold here where we are - 40c nights are pretty common during January and February. We have several dogs that help us to keep our animals in as well as predators out. We have black bear, wolves and coyotes that come for regular visits, but never too close to the house. 
Of course we have chickens ... which farm doesn't have chickens ;) This year we added broilers to our chicken house for the first time. Also a first are Turkeys and Geese, fun little buggers those are. 
What else do we do here ... we garden, we ride, we homeschool, we cook and bake and venture out to explore the neighbourhood.  I love photography, you can pretty much find me snapping a picture wherever I am and sometimes I even find time to head out by myself with my fancy camera ;)
Time for myself is something that is lacking these days but I know when the kids are older and I will have too much of it, I will miss these days of craziness. 
I will tell you more about it, if you like to stick around .
Till then, take it easy