Sunday, December 29, 2013

Icy Rain

After a gloriously sunny and warmish day we have icy rain coming up from the south.  I'm so enjoying some free time here on the farm and am so grateful for all my little friends who keep me busy and prevent me from the sadness of being so far away from my family again.  Oh, do I miss them all.   I'm spending more time in the barn with caring for the piggies, the chickens, the ducks, the bunnies, and the barn kitties.  Then there are the humans who require clean laundry and an endless supply of coffee and food.  I've succeeded in keeping the piggies in their pen - for now.  Mind you their pen is a very long rectangular area about a hundred feet long between the stanchions and the barn wall.  They have natural light coming in and about a foot of dirt to play in.  The sheep and goats stick their noses in to say hello.  True to their Tamworth breed characteristics, Scarlett and Sue Ellen would much rather be loose, rooting around the fields but I can't have that right now.   Scarlett is bigger than her sister and a bit rowdy.  She will bite the edge of a full pan of warm slop and spill the whole thing on to the dirt.  I've started putting it farther away from the gate so it doesn't run over my feet and they can eat it off the ground.   Lilly, the grand dame of my sheep flock, had a taste of the slop when the pigs were loose in the barn and the farm sitter tried to feed them with the sheep.  The sheep pushed the pigs away and ate it all.  Now Lilly begs for it when she sees me coming with the buckets.  I let her lick the buckets clean after pouring it out for the pigs.  Lilly is ancient and rather withered.  Anything to keep her happy and spry, and, hopefully, get a few more months with her, is fine with me.  The sheep are growing lovely coats of fine wool.  The lambs from Zack, my registered Border Leicester ram, have much thicker fleeces with a nice crimp, but not as soft as the Bluefaced Leicesters.   Not too much wool is as soft as Bluefaced Leicester.  Better get out to town and get the paper and more apples for Lilly before the roads are covered with ice.  Then back to the farm to hunker down and feed the stove....and make some soup I think.  Life is good.

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