Thursday, July 14, 2022

Another one bites the dust

After two and a half years and three shots, I tested positive for COVID this morning. Ugh.

On Saturday my throat had a niggling little tickle; I thought it was just allergies. But on Sunday I had a cough and could feel it in my chest and realized Rick had shared his 'cold' with me. The cough turned productive, the nose got involved, and then my get-up-and-go got up and left. I did manage to rouse myself enough to make a batch of Spiced Rye Ginger Cookies Tuesday evening – but they didn't have much flavor. Oh well; that often happens during the congested phase of a cold. Couldn't taste a thing all day yesterday. This morning I woke up feeling like hammered grunt and still couldn't taste or smell a thing, so I took the above test. Those lines popped up fast; no waiting for results. Now waiting to see how long the effects of COVID last....

Fortunately, spinning doesn't take a lot of physical or mental energy, so I was able to finish my main TdF goal today. Using my two new Gooney Jenkins Turkish spindles, I've gotten one braid of BamHuey spun and plied (ply-on-the-fly/POF):

I have two more TdF goals for the month, so I started on one of them this afternoon; spinning cotton POF on my Carob Wren. This particular spinning project is project-driven; I'm going to knit some cotton washcloths.

Boomer, thankfully, is the picture of health. It's hard to capture that picture, as he is either coming up to get his incredibly soft fleece scritched, or hopping and bopping away. He is musket like his dam, unfortunate only because I had a buyer for a black-based polled ram lamb. But with his fine fleece, excellent conformation, and what looks to be a smooth-polled noggin, he looks like promising flock sire material for someone:

Bridget is wearing a coat again to keep that pretty fleece clean

Inside, my miniature orchid still shines, and the miniature African violet keeps unfurling more blooms:
Another of the orchids is getting ready to join them (they are all on the top of an antique pie safe):

Things are still pretty bleak outside with all the weeding that didn't get done, but the two daylily varieties below have joined the Stella D'Oros in adding bits of color here and there:

This time of year I'm awake for more sunsets than sunrises; here is some of the evening color I've captured in July:

That's it from the 'sick bed' at . . .

Thursday, July 07, 2022

Holiday weekend (and beyond), part two

From pretty much 2:00 on, I was on lambing watch Monday, alternating between sitting in the barn and spinning, and going up to the house occasionally. (There is an opening in the wall dividing the barn proper from the Sheep Sheraton which I could peek through so as not to interrupt Bridget's preoccupation.) I took a break to fix supper (Rick brought his mother out to eat with us, not something I was planning for), then went back to 'pacing the floor.' I was back in the house sometime after 10:00 p.m. when I heard some insistent bleating, so back I went. Bridget had produced a couple hooves and was complaining that it HURT, so I confirmed that they were both front feet accompanied by a nose, and proceeded to pull out a brown ram lamb while fireworks boomed in the distance. Rick came down and prompted me to check for another lamb, then we worked to get Boomer latched on and fed. Finally we gave up, milking out 10cc of colostrum and tube-feeding him so we could get some sleep.

This is Bridget's first lambing, and her instincts were excellent:

I awoke early the next morning and went down to check on mother and son. He was standing and suckling on first one side, and then the other. "Hurray!" I thought, but upon closer inspection, Boomer didn't look like a lamb who was getting anything to eat. Rats.

Look at that uniform, super-crimpy birth coat!

I ran back to the house to get Bling's bottle (followed by Bling, still my little shadow whenever she is allowed to be), milked Bridget, and fed a very hungry Boomer. His sides swelled noticeably, making us BOTH feel better – for awhile.

"Mmm; that was GOOD!"

"I recognize that bottle; I want some!"

I had to work part of Tuesday, but milked and fed before and after. As the day wore on, it became harder to get anything out of Bridget; we were both getting frustrated with the trying and Boomer was hungry. Desperate to have a good end from this last lambing, I called an acquaintance who has dairy sheep. She had given me some sheep milk for Bling, and told me then she always keeps some colostrum in her freezer. I drove to town Tuesday evening to pick some up and give Boomer a full belly.

Yesterday  morning Boomer was hungry and a little listless; Bridget was engorged and uncomfortable. After bottle-feeding Boomer, I was able to milk Bridget much more easily; then had to dash off to cover for Rick's secretary. Home again over the lunch hour to feed (no time to milk), then immediately home after closing the clinic at 5:30. Where what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a comfortable mama and a filled-out, nursing lamb!

Now his birthday suit is fitting better!

No need for a bottle there, so I opted to give Bling a treat – which made her one happy lambie:

Rejoicing over my blessings at . . .

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Holiday weekend, part one

To start with, the weather turned cloudier and a bit cooler, which I will take over hot, glaring sun any day.   That, combined, with our long, cool spring, lowered the risks from fools with pyrotechnics, which is always a good thing. Didn't do anything to reduce the risks from fools with guns, unfortunately.

But I'm getting ahead of my date with my honey! Sabbath afternoon he suggested an outing to Fern Hill Wetlands, because he had an errand near there to run anyway. We practically had the lovely place to ourselves, except for the birds (and nutria). My iPhone is worthless for detailed zoom shots so I left the bird photography to Rick and his big lens, but was satisfied with my scenic and wildflower photos.
Egret on the top of the snag

Great Blue Heron on another snag

By the time the sun was setting we were both hungry, so decided to try McMenamin's Grand Lodge. My limited experience with McMenamins food hasn't proven impressive for a vegetarian, but here we both found really good options and ended by sharing a raspberry cheesecake that was the perfect finish for an impromptu date night.

On Sunday morning, I found one of my old Australorps dead in a nest box. I'm now down to seven hens, three young ladies and four old ones. No need for replacements yet since we are still getting more eggs than I have use or market for; the old eggs below were all tossed because they failed the float test.

Brian had to work Sunday night (and  Monday night), so we didn't see much of him on Independence Day. We didn't have any big plans anyway, since Rick was on call. The horses were turned out and took a good nap (clearly they feel safe here and with one another), Poppy made herself at home in our bed (which had been made up for the day), and I spent time digging seedheads out of the throat wool of the sheep, thanks to last year's first cutting hay I've been feeding them. Made for a good excuse to work on Bling's and Broadway's halter-training!

Hanging out in the sheepfold, I noticed that Bridget's nether regions had changed  – enough so that I decided to put her in the corner pen. Before long, she exhibited signs of early labor.

Stayed tuned for part two from . . .