Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pictorial Cabin Update

Here's the long overdue cabin update. We put up these rafters last week. A windy, rainy storm prevented further work to be done this week. Today was our first sunny day and, (as it turned out), we got (some of) our winter hay delivered today. Anyway:

Satisfied I'm sure...

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your day.

---Ooo! I have to include this cool panorama that Stephen took of winter hay supply. I know, it's a lot! but i'nit a cool pic?? ---

Monday, October 27, 2008

Angora Bunny Report :-)

Hi everybody, this is Theresa. Mary asked me to write a post regarding my little bunnies. I would like to introduce my fifteen rabbits:  Mittens, Marbles, Minnie, Mia, and a new litter of ten!

Mittens is my oldest. I've had her for three years now. I got her with another one (Slippers) who ended up dying a year ago.

(Slippers and Mittens:)

So, I got another girl (Marbles) a few months later, to keep her company. Well, only two months after we got her, it became apparent that she was actually a he as I found a (dead) baby in the pen. Sooo, one of my girls wasn't really a girl... yup, sure enough Marbles was a boy! So, we quickly got to work making a bachelor pen for the poor guy.


Then, about a month later (near Easter) I was watching Mittens, thinking that she was acting a little strange. The 'rabbit midwife' () in me was right. Yeah, she had a baby right there in front of me. After a few moments, it was apparent that she wasn't going to take care of it. So, I took the baby in and fed it with an eyedropper, and I also would take Mittens into the house to let her drink. When the baby got to be six weeks old we were able to find out that it was a girl. So, she was then finally able to get her name, which is Minnie. She lived in the house with us for at least three months, until it was warm enough for her to stay outside. Now she has a cage in front of the house and every time you walk past she practically screams at you: "pet me!!!" And who could resist?

I sure can't!

So, after a while, we all decided that we wanted babies again, and that maybe she (MIttens) would take care of them this time. Sure enough, a month later there were four babies and (thankfully) she was taking care of them! It was so much fun watching them grow up and seeing them bounce around their pen. Sadly, when they were six weeks old it was time to start selling some of my babies. A few hours in front of the local grocery store sold three of them. The forth one didn't sell (Mia) so she's been with us since.

(The litter. Mia on the right)

I had Marbles breed Mittens and Minnie a little over a month ago. Mittens had one baby outside her house. It was still alive when I found it, and I quickly brought him/her into the house. It's one foot was hanging out through the wire on the bottom of her cage and had some teeth marks on it, (cats?) but it seemed like it would be okay. He/she lived for three days, fine and very bouncy, but then we found it dead on the forth day, so we were thinking it probably had something to do with it's foot.  His/her name was Muffin for its short life span.

(Muffin nursing on Mittens)

Then, Minnie had her first litter five days ago. She had ten (!!) big healthy babies, I was pretty surprised that she had so many, especially since her mom's biggest litter was four, and angora rabbits usually only have three or four at a time. Also, it was her first litter! I don't know how I'm ever going to name all these babies!! They're sooo adorable.

(Minnie's first litter)

I just sheered Marbles and Mia yesterday.

(Marbles getting his hair cut)
(Mia after her sheering. Once sheered, we found that she has a multi colored undercoat. It's white and black spotted!)

I was supposed to sheer them like a month ago when it was warmer so that they wouldn't get cold. Since I didn't get to it, I made them both little coats .

(Marbles and his new coat)

Mittens and Minnie both pulled out a lot of their hair to make nests for their babies, so I didn't have to sheer them.

We'll be sharing pictures of the new litter as they get older . Hope you all enjoyed reading this!

---Hello all, this is Mary. First, thank you Theresa for the post (I would never have been able to keep 'em all straight!), you did a good job. Secondly, we saw our first snow this morning as we were sitting around praying morning prayer. Johnny said it felt like Christmas and I couldn't disagree. Big fluffy flakes always instills the Christmas spirit into me. Lastly, we have a fun, silly slideshow/vid to share with you all. Stephen made it on the boys' new movie editing program for the experience. Theresa's sheering and the Veggie Tales song brought about the idea. It turned out adorable so I hope you can all view it! God Bless!!----

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fall Updates

Ok, I've already told you that I'm having a wonderful fall, now it's time to fill in the gaps with one of those big updates. Second to spring, I think fall is our most productive time of year.

The girls and I have been harvesting and processing both wild and cultivated treasures. Despite the fact that we've processed and put up numerous bottles, jars and freezer bags this week, our kitchen table is still buried.

We were given the leftovers of a neighbor's garden, which was mostly tons of tomatoes and hot peppers, so the girls and I have been putting up jars of salsa, as well as enjoying hot pepper eating contests in the evening when everybody is in.

(Peeling tomatoes)

(Operation Onion:)

Forty some tomatoes, forty hot peppers and nine onions.
Homemade tortillas, garden fresh salsa, cow fresh sour cream, homemade cheese and uh--purchased olives. Yummy!

We harvested black walnuts and have been making different tinctures from the hulls as well as getting the nuts, too. A few mornings ago, Mom, Mike, John, Liz and I all stained our fingers processing walnuts out on the picnic table.

From the garden, we've been harvesting carrots (did pretty good this year), broccoli, sunflower seeds, corn (did terrible this year!), root veggies (not so good, potatoes need help) and squash (did too well, ack!). Still covering Mom's greens and tomatoes at night.

From the wild, we've been harvesting dandelion roots (once dried and ground, they're a coffee substitute), wild mint (for us ladies winter tea needs), black walnuts, wild mustard, sumac and, of course, apples.

We got our first heavy frost a few nights ago. Time for those strawberries to go to bed! I got one bed put to sleep, three more to go!

I put Frysta (our half Icelandic pony filly) with the Icelandics a few frosty mornings ago. She's been getting to know them over the fence and really seemed to want to get in on the action and play with them in the big pasture. After a good romp, I put her back with Momma again, where she flaunted the fact that she had gotten to go out and play and Momma didn't get to come. When Momma burst her bubble with one of those discipline-type bites on the butt, Frysta settled down and took a long nurse to settle her stomach.

She was really running for awhile there!

Ah, lets see, the kids are still playing in the leaves, still playing on their ponies, still playing football, still enjoying life, um what else is new?

We have our winter supply of round bales being delivered today. We have to get them arranged up on tires, and fenced off from the pasture.

We have a storm blowing in this weekend. Even if the weathermen weren't predicting it online, we'd be able to tell due to these little fellas:

They're called snow birds, but around here we've picked up on Andrew's nick name for them: the prophets of doom. They crowd the roads, fields and parking lots a week or two before the first snow storm. These guys have been buzzing around us for at least a week now.

After two years of apprenticing, I finally did my first hoof trim on Lena a few days ago. It's been getting hard for Mom to bend over my new sibling (lol, she's pregnant!) to do the trimming, so it was the motivation I needed to give hoof trimming a try. Lena can be a spoiled little --ahem-- at times, which made trimming tougher then it should have been, but I was grateful that she was good to my new sibling! (And Mom.)
Here she is giving new baby a kiss.

We've been experiencing gorgeous fall sunrises and sunsets the past few weeks. I actually get treated with some pretty 'moon sets' occasionally. There were a few times last week that I woke at my normal rising time (about 7) to the moon spotlighting in my room and watched it set on one side of the pasture while the sun rose on the other. Camera simply can't capture it (especially when it's owner is still in bed).

Doesn't it just make you want to roll up your sleeves and get to work?

..or relax and kick your feet up after an accomplishing day?

Wheew. If I were more diligent about updating I wouldn't have these monster updates piling up (in picture form) waiting to go on. How'd that slideshow work for you as a way of picture sharing?

Well, I have a Cabin Update and a special Bunny Report (coming from Theresa!) in the works, so those should be up sometime next week.

Until then, enjoy your falls!!

(Can you believe I live here? Neither can I! )