Archive for November, 2013

November 21, 2013

Sewing for Christmas Part 2- Crayon Roll

Sewn for a Secret Santa gift but they are so much fun, I’ll be making more! I know several people who might like them for art pencils, crochet hooks, knitting needles, makers and makeup brushes.

I used a snap closure because crayons are generally used by young children, some who are not old enough yet to tie a ribbon and loop closure with a button could be a choking hazard so I turned to my handy dandy snap press that I use for cloth diaper making and I like it very much! The snap is easy to open and close for most young children.

CR1 CR2 CR3 CR4

November 20, 2013

Sewing for Christmas Part 1- Child’s feedsack apron

A Feedsack apron for Rachel. She has been bugging me for months to make something from a feedsack. We don’t normally get these plastic-y type feed bags as much of what we purchase comes from the co-op in paper bags or we buy in bulk and it’s loaded into barrels for us. I was at the feedstore a while back and they had feed on sale at half off because the bags were ripped or looking a little bedraggled. After using all the feed, I washed them up and got to cutting! She’s gonna love it!

feedbag apron upper

 

feedbag apron bottom

feedbag apron full

 

feedbag apron back

Feedbag apron pocket

Nice big deep pocket to hold all the farm goodies a kid could want to tote!

 

 

November 20, 2013

November now…

Last week the wind howled here in central Kansas and we were watching the last of the leaves fly off the trees. Two mornings were bitterly cold with wicked wind chills in to the teens and 20’s. I don’t mind the cold but the wind chills just cuts right through everything.

The animals don’t seem to mind the cold yet too much. One of the bucks got his head stuck in a feeder last Monday night and stayed stuck until I found him Tuesday morning. It took a bit of manipulation to get him out and fortunately he was no worse for the wear though they did say the windchill over night was something like 13 degrees and he didn’t have a single bit of protection. I did not have kind words for him as I tried to wrangle him out of that feeder from the outside of the fence. I was not about to get in there with 3 other bucks intend on having their way with me. I preoccupied them with some alfalfa which sent the stuck buck into a frenzy wanting some too which made getting him out even harder! I was eventually successful however!

Last week we got a roof put onto the small roving coop that I use as a grow out pen for the chicks. We also put in a few roost rungs. The Sept. chicks have nearly outgrown it and we need to move them into the roving coop we made for the meat chickens, but that needs roosts too.

I expect to be putting new eggs into the incubator about January. A few of the last incubated Sept. batch were roosters and of the 2nd batch, 2 of the 6 chicks I picked up from the farm store were roosters as well. I feather sexed all those but they were already a couple of weeks old and it’s supposed to be impossible to tell at that point so I was taking a shot in the dark on a straight run. They’re 2.5 months old at this point and left for their new home yesterday and now the roving coup is a little more spacious =).

We kept 12 meat chickens back for ourselves when we butchered in Sept. to grow them out a little longer. Some do tend to be on the slower growth scale as they do not get as much food as the others. We butchered 6 the weekend before last and left 6 seeing as how most of them were really close to laying eggs. I felt kinda of bad actually to loose laying age hens but they didn’t start out as intended layers anyway. I really never planned to keep these as long as we did but they all look so great so I’d like to see how they do.

The pigs are well,  they spend cold mornings burrowed under the straw in their shelter. We’re thinking about possibly butchering out the boar but still haven’t made a final decision on that. We may have piglets again as early as Feb 14. Kinda wishing I had kept them separated a little longer for a March litter but February it may be. We’ll just have to see.

Snow and King’s 2 pups are reserved. The male will be hitching a ride with us to California when we go for Christmas and will be going to a friend of mine and the female will be staying somewhat local in Marion, Ks. Her new family came to meet her on Wednesday. They’ll be fantastic for each other.

Goat breeding has been entirely strange! We went about 2 months it seemed with few of the does coming in to a good strong heat and now its seems like it’s one right after another. I don’t know what that’s all about, maybe the weather. I have just one doe due in January, 2 in Feb and 2 in March. I don’t particularly like kidding in the freezing cold but I do like the earlier kids. The first doe will bring milk production back up as we’re winding down on the other does now and drying them off one by one except the yearlings who are still going really strong and should right on through Christmas.

We’re having the high school building construction class build our milk barn. Time is slipping away for us while we work on other projects and we’ve been waiting for the 2nd trimester to start for them as to give them ample time to get it done. It’s a great experience for the kids. We went and looked at metal siding and roofing last Friday so everything is ready for them to start and hopefully by January we’ll have it delivered and it’ll be ready to milk in once babies start hitting the ground. More than anything I want the separate processing area with counter and sink instead of having to lug the milk bucket up to the house. Making cheese and soap out there is also part of the plan as well. I’d love to find a small wine fridge for cheeses to put out there!

Jeremiah and the kids spent part of Sunday splitting wood and got the majority of what was in rounds completely split with the help of the 3 girls who belong to a friend that are staying with us for the week. The log splitter has been a life saver this year! It was a life saver last year too but it has been especially handy this year as we’ve been behind and didn’t even start the bulk of the cutting in Oct. like we normally do. We pulled several large logs this out of the woods this past spring but have mainly just had large piles of rounds waiting for the time to split it. After last winter being so long, we had maybe 2 weeks worth of wood left to burn that was pre-split and stacked this spring when all was said and done. We’re nearly through that now but have been building up the supply right behind it and we’ll do more than we normally do if the weather prediction is any indication of how much we might need! They all did a terrific job.

Last year I joked with the kids that it would be really nice if we could get enough split and stacked to cover us for the winter plus half of another so we were always ahead if we continue to split at the same rate. Well, last winter proved to require quite a bit more than the previous. So much for being ahead half a year =).

The evenings get dark so quickly that doing anything outside with any decent amount of light after Jeremiah gets home from work is pretty much unheard of so we try to take full advantage of the weekends, especially the nice ones! 

There are several craft fairs coming up that we’ll be at and a community project that we’re gearing up for. Today I am hitting the machine to make a few quick craft projects that should be really fun! It hardly seems possible that Thanksgiving is nearly upon us! Once school starts in the fall the days just fly by. My Grandma always used to tell me that time moves even quicker once you are grown up. I never did understand her…until now. Gosh.

The broccoli and cabbage in the garden are looking pretty bedraggled after last weeks over night temps and I think it’s about time to put the pigs out there to clean it up. All of the garden tools have been put up now and the yard cleared of summer things. It’s time for the earth to rest and renew.

And with that said, it’s time to start a new day!

Have a great week!

 

November 4, 2013

Snow’s fall litter

Snow delivered a very small but very healthy litter of 2 pups 4.5 weeks ago, a male and a female. The male pup will be following us to California in December to his new home. The female pups is unspoken for at the moment reserved. Friday they ventured into the main part of the barn. They are at the age where everything needs to be explored and time always needs to be taken out to play wrassle!