Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Update- Ramblings from the Farm

Keeping busy was not a problem this year. I think we tried to cram as much as possible into the pre Christmas season. I have a theory. It may seem far fetched to some but to my brain it makes sense. How about if we have Halloween in September, Thanksgiving in October and Christmas in December? We would have time to enjoy each holiday as it deserves. Two months to get ready for and enjoy Christmas just seems like a good idea. We get the lights and trees up in preparation for a very important holiday and only get to enjoy them for such a short time. Who do I call to try this out? How many of you are with me on this? Maybe I wouldn't be run down and get a cold so easily. I would have time to relax, drive around looking at lights, enjoying everyones talent and expression of Christmas. Now doesn't that make perfect sense?
I had planned on making about 25 baskets and taking to New Hampshire for Sue to sell in her store. Ted and I worked quickly putting only about 12 together. In each basket we had 2 bars of goat milk soap, 1 bottle of goat milk, shea butter and honey lotion, 1 container of homemade bath salts, 1 nail brush and a wooden soap dish. We had Oatmeal Milk and Honey, Almond, Honeysuckle and Lavender scents.

We even made homemade bows for each basket.

We got to Smoke Signals Pipe and Tobacco Shop in Dover, New Hampshire with all the baskets intact. We were greeted by Linc. He is Heather's pug. Link was all decked out for the holiday. He and his buddy Casey were the customer service greeters, just like at Wall-Mart.

We got home and had a tasty breakfast from Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans. Our first attempt with beignets and it was a success.

Christmas Eve came cold and overcast. We have a nice blanket of snow. We missed the snow that hit the mid east last week. Nothing, not even a flake. I enjoyed reading about the snow and everyone's reaction to it. Our sheep have their trails that they follow through the snow. The cold doesn't even faze them. They're Icelandic Sheep after all.

The guineas love to visit high places. Two of these dim birds spent Christmas Eve night roosting on top of the barn.

Strange birds. Can you just imagine the wind chill up there? The wind whips down the hill.

Emma was kind enough to bring us an ornament from the big tree out front. She was also kind enough to unwrap Susan's present and run around the house with it in her mouth. Bad dog. (not really).

Christmas Eve was a time for family and friends. I don't care how cold it is outside. When family arrives everything gets warm and fuzzy. Alex is a great cook and while we were out finishing up a few last minute shopping things, she was home working on this spread. Thank you Alex, it was wonderful.

Friends arrived, Kevin and Cheata from across the street.

Nikia their daughter joined in with the fun.

Teddy is home from Thomas College,and Tiffany came up from New Jersey with Jasmine and Kalel a cousin. They are cut ups and make the fun begin.
After some truck trouble Sue arrived from New Hampshire ready to enjoy the holiday. She always brings one of her most valuable assets. Her smile.

Combined with good friends, family and food the night was a hit.

While we were inside cooking Christmas dinner everyone was outside enjoying snowmobile rides. Jasmine and Ted started out the fun. Jasmine is a speed demon. All she says is "faster, faster".

And the rides keep going.

Nikia and Cheata got snow shoes for Christmas and tried out their skill.

Cheata is working on her skill.

One of our Christmas traditions is putting together a gingerbread house. All in all it turned out colorful and very sugar loaded. Those snow men cookies and Christmas trees are already gone. No one knows where the went to. I think they were taken during the night.

The holiday was wonderful. Family was the best part. We miss having the rest of the kids there.
Hopefully one day we will be able to get everyone there at the same time. What we do know is that we are blessed. Blessed beyond belief. It's not the gifts that make this time so special. It's the love that is felt and shared. Reading your blogs has been such a treat. I enjoy the time I spend with each of you. We visit each other, meet families, learn of trials and tribulations, send wishes and prayers that problems will be righted. In a way we are all part of a family. The family of mankind.
We are very excited about our upcoming trip to Dixon, IL next Saturday to visit Red Brick Road Farm. We are picking up Echo the ram, Emily and Ciera two bred ewes. I have to add this disclaimer: As Weather Permits. We will be blogging the trip as it happens. That could be a good thing, we will just have to see. We are so excited. I think I already said that. Anyhow, it will be interesting and fun and we LOVE a road trip. Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Belated Merry Christmas

Sorry this is late and no pictures. Just wishing that each and every one of you had a very Merry Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year. May health and happiness be for ever present and peace and contentment reside in your home and heart.
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Snow Labs

Thank goodness that snow has finally came to Maine. It just didn't seem like winter at all. I am one of those people who loves snow. It is wonderful. It makes the season right. Without it I feel slighted. I was born and raised in Florida but always loved the movies where the landscape is covered with snow and everyone was wearing those thick parkas and hats and mittens. Yes, mittens like the ones the kittens lost in the children's tale. We never had mittens in Florida. There were times we had the fans on and windows open for Christmas dinner. We wore shorts and tee shirts to put up the Christmas lights on the house. That just doesn't seem right. I dreamed of a white Christmas. Now I have them. I am so thankful for Maine. I love it here. I'm HOME. I am not the only one who loves snow. This is Emma and Lucy's first winter and first experience with snow. If you think Labs love water, it is nothing compared to a Labs love of snow. It took a small push for Lucy to go out into her first sighting of snow. But she soon became acclimated and wears it like a badge of honor.

They run and play, try to fetch snowballs that just disappear into the snow.

They are working on the sit command. It takes a bit of repeating but they are getting there. Look at those faces. Emma on the left and Lucy on the right. They are 6 months old today.

The sheep don't seem to mind the snow. If they think you have grain they are there. The pasture is so peaceful.

We are working with Emma and Lucy on house etiquette. They are good about not getting onto the sofa. They are staying out of their crate more and more. However, and that is a big however, when they are quiet, ALWAYS check out why. Here is Emma carrying a bag of corn starch that she found. No it's not snowing in the house.

It looked like it was snowing.........

all over the dining room.

This is where bad puppies go when they need a time out. It gives us time to vacuum and mop up the corn starch mess.

Ivy would never do anything like that. This is the face of innocence. She is a perfect pug. Just don't leave your lunch unattended. She is faster than a speeding bullet and hungrier than a full size grizzly.
Thank you for your comments and concern about Izzy. I noticed that when there is a void left by one of our cats, the other cats seem to try and fill that void. Mo never comes into the living room. Today she came in, sat in my lap and meowed. She knew. Keep warm and stay indoors. We are having an Artic blast over the next couple of days. I said I love snow, not highs of 9-10. I guess you just have to take the bad with the good. That's life isn't it?
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Izzy came to us as do many of our cats. She was a foundling. Someone dropped her off at our neighbors and she found her way to our farm. She brought love into our family. She fit in right from the start. She preferred to stay indoors but would venture out in good weather. She had personality and spunk. She was our no tail cat. She was born with a form of Spina Bifida. Part of her coccyx had never formed. From the start she had urinary problems. We went through several series of antibiotics, changes in cat food, and many changes of comforters. She would go for months and use the litter box and there were times she just couldn't make it. Lately she was having more of the bad times. Even with an attempt of another bout of antibiotics, which she hated, she just didn't rally. She grew weaker and weaker. As much as we love her, we just couldn't stand to see her suffer. We will miss our girl. I honestly feel that we will see her again. I hope that about all of our animals. They are just too important in our lives to just cease to exist. They were created with a purpose. Izzy more than served her purpose in her sweet short life. She will be greatly missed and always loved.

I haven't been blogging much lately. I have been exhausted. I don't know how else to explain it. To me it sounds lame. Work has been very difficult. I have been on nights for 2 1/2 years and I think I have reached my max. I have applied for a day position. I am praying that I will soon hear good news. Alex will soon follow. The hospital has been very good about scheduling us on the same shifts. This saves gas and allows us to work on the farm. I am trying to get back into the swing of things. We have so much to be thankful for. I feel ashamed of grousing. I'm just tired.
I hope that this post finds everyone healthy and happy. Don't forget get your H1N1 asap! Don't take this flu for granted. It is dangerous.
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday, But Not a Lazy Sunday

The guineas are early risers. A couple of them have found the roof. They are learning how to fly and have made the roof as a goal of some sorts.

They were noisy when we first got them and that hasn't changed a bit. As you can tell they are quite vocal. They have found the chicken gate to the pasture and are regular visitors there now. The sheep don't mind and Fuzzy the llama certainly doesn't care.

They were telling the world that Ted had put some round things in the goat pen and was making noise building something. As you can see Sophie is always willing to give a helping hoof or too to make the job easier. I could tell the next step in her playground experience was going to be Ted's back. I think like a goat.

We had discussed that the goats needed something to keep themselves occupied with. Ted had stopped by and spoke with an electric company just outside of Bangor about getting some of their wire spools to put together playground equipment, goat playground equipment. It turned out really nice and the goaties really love playing king of the hill. I think Bella and Sophie were playing Billy Goat Gruff under there.

I was inside with the wood stove going making soap. Today was a honeysuckle with calendula flowers day. I added a yellow mica pigment for fun. I had help with the setting up phase of soapmaking. Mo loves to help out. She keeps the quilt from coming off of the soap mold while it is heating up. Isn't she wonderful? She takes her job very seriously.

I have been complaining about the soap supply storage. No matter how I readjust things space is still a problem. My storage area inadequate. I NEED MORE STORAGE SPACE. Is anyone listening? I was afraid my scent bottles would break, my herbs and seeds were getting lost. I was whining. I know whining when I hear it, especially when it comes from me.

Yes my dear friend Alex was listening. She at least wanted to shut up the whiner. "Enough already," she said. "Enough of the infernal whining." "Do you know you are a whiner?" No, she really didn't say that. She is too nice to say that out loud. I know she was thinking it though. She started setting up the shelving in the staircase to our attic over the kitchen.

While I was making soap and listening to Nat King Cole's, "A Christmas Song" CD she was busy building a shelving system even Martha Stewart would be proud of.

I couldn't wait to move in. I started grabbing tubs off of the shelves in the mud room like a mad shopper on Black Friday in Walmart. I love my new shelving. I can see what scents I have and those I need. It looks so nice and neat. I can find everything now.

We have been so busy working the last couple of weeks that I have been remiss in my posting. I have been on reading blogs but just not able to post. I really miss it. I hope ya'll have had a wonderful Sunday. Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Sheep and Goat Kind of Day

We have had that kind of day. It started off with a package from Tonya from Flat Creek Wool and Pottery. I had ordered some Christmas presents and they arrived. It's so nice to get packages in the mail. This mug is Ewenice and the ornament is Ewenice too. See what I mean about a sheep kind of day?

Now the goat part of our day.... It was time to trim hooves. I will admit that I have been a bad goatmama. The littles have not had their hooves trimmed. Honestly, I was afraid. Afraid I would trim them too close and hurt them. But now...I went to Goat School. I trimmed the hooves of the deceased goats so I wouldn't hurt my babies. And to be completely honest again, I was still afraid. Afraid I would take too much off. Poor Sophie was the first. We took our time. She was patient for such a little girl. Of course a little grain in a bowl of hay kept her busy. She was picking through the hay trying to get every last piece of feed with those little goatie lips. Her hooves may still be a bit long but I didn't cut her. Actually, I did a rather good job on all of the littles. They all look beautiful and have nice feet too.

After this harrowing experience I got to reward all of us. I sat in the stall and took a goat break. Even Carina got into the love fest. She has been a bit standoffish. I think she is starting to warm up to us now. We made some changes for her. All of the goats have switched over to a sweet feed rather than pellet food. Even the littles liked this change. Now Carina finishes all of her grain. Just look at those lips. Ain't she sweet.

Isabella wanted to get in line early for feeding. I didn't have the heart to tell her she was about 3 hours early.

Edward wanted to get into the Twilight/New Moon mood. Here is his Cullen look. Sensitive but a bit standoffish.

Now for a big surprise. We got a call from a neighbor last night asking if we would like to take 2 Angora and Cashmere mixed goats. We were ecstatic. Yes, we said. Emphatically, YES! They're mother and daughter. This is Mercedes (renamed Sadie, after my grandmother) and no name (renamed Curly Shirley). Nothing, and I mean nothing around her doesn't have a name. Except for food. We don't name food.

Carina and the group are getting used to the additions. After all, they were new at one time too. Now they are family. One big goatie family.

The outdoor flock came closer to check out the new arrivals. I'm sure that they will all get along in time. Right now there is a bit of pushing and shoving till the pecking order is achieved. Sadie seems to hold her own. I fear the littles will still be on the bottom of that order again.

Our farm keeps growing and changing. I guess that is how life is too. Forever changing. Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Love Is In The Air

The day has finally come to put Truffles and Baby in with the girls. Truffles is a beautiful Icelandic ram and Baby his trusty side kick. Baby is a wether. Herd animals can not be kept as a single unit. They have to have a buddy to be happy. When we brought Truffles home we brought a friend with him. They have stayed separate from the girls so we would know when they were bred. The minute the gate came open and we went into the boys pasture the girls came tearing down the hill.

We thought we would try using a harness with a yellow crayon on Truffles. Supposedly this way we would have a physical indication that he had been there and done his business.

He acted like a little girl that had to wear a bra for the first time. Eww, this is uncomfortable... I can't move...Its too tight.

However, the minute he was turned in with the girls all thoughts of his "bra" were forgotten. I could just hear him. "Hi, my name is Truff...I live over in the next pasture. I have been keeping my eye on you. You sure are cute..."

The girls aren't sure if he is a good thing or not. They are playing interested but shy. Giving him come hither looks and then running away.

Inside the barn it was time to hang up the handy dandy "buck rag". Isabella and Corina had both been bred prior to coming to live on our farm. One good way to determine if they are pregnant, when you don't have a buck around, is to hang a rag that has been rubbed on the chest and face of a buck in rut. Evidently, this makes the girls go wild if they are not settled. Isabella took her time sniffing....

Corina took her turn next....
The littles even acted a bit interested. We weren't sure if they had come in heat this season yet. We know they are still too small to breed. Bella thought the buck rag was "interesting"....

......and it was soon forgotten. Evidently the bigs are with kid and the littles are a bit too little to care. Some things, like a new hay rack just seem more important.

The pups were out in full energy mode. What do labs do when there is a puddle?

Zoom.......through them at 45mph in full lab on crack mode.
All in all it was a fun day. We are very excited about the possibility of having kids and lambs in the spring. Now it looks like that is a real possibility. Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.