Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Twins...



 We're in the thick of calving with several coming each day.  We've been blessed with mild weather and the cows are out on the prairie having their babies.  We go out and check on them morning and night and tag and vaccinate the calves right after they are born.  We thought we were going to have a big snowstorm, but it tracked south and we got a little rain instead.  That's fine with us!


This young heifer had twins today!  When the cows were ultra-sound tested, we found she was going to have twins, so when we saw her out in the pasture walking with her tail sticking out, we knew today was the day.  We watched her closely and then brought her in.  First-time mamas sometimes need help and especially when there are twins on the way.  The men gave her a little help birthing and out came these two -- a bull and a heifer.  When twins are born in cattle -- a bull and heifer together -- the heifer is called a freemartin and is sterile.  It isn't that way if both twins are male or both are female, but only when they are male and female born together.  Isn't that interesting?

Spring is pushing up through the cold earth out on the prairie and in my gardens.  I'm so excited!  I'll be showing you soon.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Simple things: the art of folding...

Now normally, I'm not one to show the insides of my drawers
until today!
I've never learned how to fold like this,
and it makes all the difference in the world in organizing drawers
while using less space for storing clothing.
(Great way to pack a carry-on too!)

A young friend of my daughter's, and a friend of mine too,
said she was "tidying up" her home.
First she started with sorting all her clothing, discarding anything
that didn't bring her joy.
That's the key to Marie Kondo's methods.

 Our friend read the book:


Actually, she listened to the audio book for free here.
I started listening today whilst I was sewing four nighties for grandies.
It's really great!  I've learned a lot.
One of the things I learned was how to fold clothes so they are neat, tidy,
and take up much less space in the drawers,
AND the best part is
 you can see ALL of your clothes upon opening the drawer!
No more buried tank tops at the bottom of the drawer.
I love that.

 tanks, slips, swimsuit

 jeans and pants

 t-shirts, shorts, lounge pants

bras and undies

If you're interested in how to fold clothes like this and organize your clothing,
you can click on over to a couple short videos:
socks and stockings
A short article on 8 Decluttering Lessons from Kondo's book

Now go clean your drawers and start folding!
It'll make you smile!
I promise.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Of seedlings and such...

 My little paper pots have sprung to life!
All the tomatoes and cantaloupe have sprouted.
I'm seeing "fine hairs" of snapdragons today, but
nothing yet of the mini-peppers.
Soon, I hope.

 Here they are underneath their clear tops that cause it to rain inside.

 It looks like The Holiday Cactus is going to continue to bloom through Easter.
How sweet of her!

 On Sunday I took a long walk to a place where I like to go sit and think.
This rocky ledge is where I sit and look out, and lucky for me,
there were sheep to gaze upon.
(below)

 Everything looks so brown and dry.
There are little sprigs of green grass and forbs underneath the brown, 
but we could sure use a rain
or a big, wet snow.
There's a gusty wind today and we're hoping it stirs up some rain for us.
 ......................................
 
As I was coaxing the sheep to a pond of water today,
 I was thinking about the 23rd Psalm.
~~~~~~
The Lord is my Shepherd
I shall not want for anything.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside still waters,
He restores my soul.
~~~~~~~
I was guiding the sheep from their green pastures to the still water.
Some  of them ran right to the water to drink
 and others waited for me to feed them the alfalfa cake.  
We can lead the sheep to water and to the green pastures,
but we cannot make them drink or eat.
They have a choice.
We have a choice.
The Shepherd brings us to what we need
 and waits for us to receive it.
~~~~~~

A bloggy friend sent me a box of goodies!
A comfrey rootling, blood oranges and  Meyer lemons from her own yard,
 sunflower seeds from her own garden, 
and a beautiful hooked rug from her own hands.
Wasn't that so nice?  Thank you Kim!

Thanks for stopping by today!
~smile~


Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Signs...

 The signs are everywhere!
Spring is on the way!
Besides the warmer days, 
we are seeing the birds migrating home to us.
It's always exciting.....to me.
 

The "cheery-up cheery-o" tune of the robin singing in the evening was one of our first signs.

When I was a girl, I wanted to catch a robin.  It seemed robins would sit still in the yard for the longest time as I inched closer and closer and just at the moment I would jump to catch one, it would fly away.  My dad told me the correct way to catch a robin.  I wonder if you've ever heard of it?  Here's how you do it.  You carry a salt shaker along with you as you go hunting a robin.  And when you are within reach of the robin's tail, you quietly sprinkle it with salt and the weight of the salt will keep Robin on the ground so he can't fly away.  Even a girl can catch it!  (It never worked for me though I tried and tried.)

 Western Meadowlark (my photo)

The next morning Peach called me on the 2-way radio to say she heard a meadowlark singing.
Sure enough, I heard it too (but still haven't seen one).
That afternoon while Toodles and I were walking to the mailbox,
we saw four bluebirds flying just ahead of us on the fenceline the entire way.
 The Canada geese are honking around the ranch too.


Even the grandkids' sketches are showing signs of spring!
 
 Chickens are laying more eggs than ever. 

Chief with chickens and Conry
 
We've had lovely sunshiny days with a few rain sprinkles thrown in.
And there have been WINDS for kite flying!
Tulip and hyacinth tips are poking up through the cold soil.
I sure do hope that winter doesn't blow back in all cold and freezy
 and spoil all the green things trying to grow.
A wet, spring snow would be ok -- even welcomed.
We shall see how spring progresses.
One more sign....
My seeds are planted in their newspaper cups and set beneath grow lights,
and on sunny afternoons, I take them out to the warm deck.

" It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."  ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Newborn calves and lambies...


New babies are on the ground!  Yesterday our first calves were born.  The heifers will be calving now through March.  Aren't these little fellas cute?  A third was born this afternoon.





The last ewe in this bunch of sheep finally lambed yesterday. The poor ewe had dead lambs.  She really wanted them and had them all licked off.  We ended up turning her out with the other ewes and lambs and she bleated and bleated for her own lambs.  I think she was so wanting to mother a lamb that she would take any lamb who would come to her, and I did see some lambs coming up to her.  I wonder if she might be able to co-mother one or two lambs.  It happens sometimes.

We docked another bunch of lambs today.
Tally:
39 Ewes
22 Bucks
61 Lambs total
156%

P.S.   We heard and saw the first robin of spring today!

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