I started this blog to keep in touch with family and friends who are scattered all over the world. My intention was to write about the farm and our family, keeping everyone up to date on everyone else. We all know what can happen to good intentions. Somehow I’ve become scattered and eclectic, writing about whatever pops into my head, and throwing in a bunch of recipes to boot. I don’t think that’s going to change because my thoughts and my focus tend to bounce around. I do think that I should make some kind of commitment to the original premise so I’m going to try to write a monthly newsletter that will stick to actual family and farm news. Good luck with that, right?
So here we go!
Lambing this year was busy! We had 18 pregnant ewes and all but one of them has delivered. There were several sets of triplets and we have 32 lambs. The lone hold out ewe will probably have a single lamb any day now.
There are 2 lambs being supplemented by bottle, and they’re doing well. They will stay with their moms and just get a bit of extra help from us.
All of the ewes did well, but we did lose 2 lambs. One was stillborn (a triplet) and one was deformed and dead in the womb as well.
It’s no secret that the weather has been crazy and unpredictable this year. We had hot weather in March and then in April it cooled back down. Now in May we’re getting a lot of rain. Lee was able to get his wheat fertilized early and he did some digging, but it’s now too wet to do any more. Some farmers in our area planted corn in April. That’s very unusual. The strange weather has caused serious problems for agriculture here. Specifically, the fruit trees blossomed and then the blossoms froze so apples and cherries in particular will be scarce. Maple sap ran so early that the taps weren’t in place yet and so there won’t be much maple syrup made in Wisconsin.
My horse pasture greened up very early and I was able to get Star, Irish, and Artie out on the grass in March. Unfortunately, even though I was careful to let them graze for short periods, Irish has foundered and his grazing days are now over. He’s doing well now. He was sore footed for a few days but is feeling much better now. Cody never gets to eat grass because he has chronic laminitis (founder) and will get sore on the tiniest bit of grass. I’m down to 2 horses that can graze the pastures for a few hours each day. I see lots of mowing in our future.
The early spring brought many of the migratory birds back early. Specifically the killdeers and barn swallows and robins were here in April. Sandhill cranes were back a bit early too. Just in the last few days we’ve been seeing orioles, and Lee thinks there was a hummingbird buzzing around him when he was installing our new bird feeder (made by cousin Ron, and it’s a very nice feeder!). I haven’t seen a hummer yet. I’ve been keeping the nectar feeders filled for both the hummers and the orioles.
Lee and our brother-in-law Mick put a new roof on our house a couple of weeks ago. We’re so happy to have it done, and I’m especially happy to have the hammering on the roof finished. Project #2 is the remodeling of our guest bathroom. It has been gutted and Lee installed a new shower. No more tub in that bathroom. The shower takes up the same space that the tub did, so it’s nice sized. Everything in the room will be replaced so it will look completely different. It’s been a challenge because it’s a tiny bathroom.
Another remodeling/repair project will be new steel siding on the barn. It’s on the contractor’s to-do list but it may be a while until he gets at it. Lee and I had a discussion about color and he was leaning toward grey, while I think that a proper barn should be red. Red it is.
In family related news….Aubrey, Josh, and Carys, and Josh’s mom Sally, are in Hawaii on vacation. They’re having a wonderful time and posting pictures to Facebook daily. It’s fun to see what they’re doing there, and I have to say they all seem so very happy!
Shirley and I will be leaving on Mother’s Day for Las Vegas. What a great Mom’s Day present! We’ll be there for 5 nights, staying at the Monte Carlo again. It’s become our favorite hotel in LV, mostly due to its location and ease of getting around.
We’re looking forward to seeing Alora soon. She’s going to be coming back to the US from Scotland and we’ve missed her and can’t wait to see her.
That’s all for this May update. Wish me luck in Vegas!