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Friday, March 28, 2014

Getting bigger (and deeper)

It snowed another eight inches the past couple of days; heavy wet heart breaking snow. We lost power just before going to bed last night and so I relearned how to play cribbage with Will over a bottle of wine, after Will filled every large vessel with snow to melt because we didn't think to fill up the myriad of water jugs we have. The power came back on sometime in the night and just when I got out of bed at five-ish in the morning, flickered off again. The kids had breakfast by candle light and around 9:00 the lights came back on. I was able to head out to the office after Will snow blowed the driveway and it did melt a bit during the day, though not all of the new stuff went away.

Poor Kim and her big brother still are locked away with their mum, but they should be able to be out in the sun and snow this weekend.

Kim is going to outgrow that sweater in a few days! She is nibbling on hay and nursing well.

She loves laying her head on her big brothers neck. He is adorable and they both have magnificent fleeces. I think Karen will be pleased to have them in her flock (I'll take Kim if she isn't!). Kashmir will stay here with us.

Muckle Mull, the escapee ram, went to the vets Thursday to be relieved of his "purse". I meant to take a picture of him lying in the back of the van but he was so meek and sad looking I forgot. Everyone at the vets office thought he was adorable (he was scared!) He is back in with his girls until he heals up and everyone will be rejoined after lambing at shearing time. He isn't talking to me just this moment for some reason.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Early Lambs

Doing chores I was surprised and dismayed to see that Kashmir had given birth this morning to two beautiful black lambs. Surprised because her due date is April 2nd, and dismayed because it was cold and snowing and windy. The smallest lamb I feared was dead, but when I picked her up she stirred a bit. I hastily tucked her under my shirt and Will, who is home from a nine day trip to NH, finished chores and blocked Kashmir and her larger ram lamb in the lambing jug.

I first gave the lamb to Duncan to hold while I readied a heating pad and they sat together for 20 minutes with just a faint stirring from the wee ewe lamb. I checked her mouth; ice cold and her flanks were still cold. Decided to run a sinkful of warm water and immerse her in it. I held her head out of the water and she soaked for a good 20 minutes until she started trying to get her legs under her. I hauled her out of the sink and into a towel and finally she started bleating. Ten minutes with a warm blow dryer she was looking for food! I mixed up a wee bit of colostrum powder with warm water and she took and ounce of that but was busy butting my chest looking for something better. Outside then to her mum who welcomed her with those sweet nickering noises ewes make for their lambs.

I will monitor her progress every couple of hours to make sure all is well, but she is up and nursing now so hopefully she will make it on her own.

Granny Aching would be proud of me. (If by some bizarre oversight you don't know who Granny Aching is, pick yourself up a copy of Terry Pratchett's "The Wee Free Men")

It must be spring.....lambs are arriving!



Friday, March 7, 2014

Beast Balm

I've been playing around in the kitchen again with natural oils, beeswax and herbs. My favorite moisturizing bar by far is the combination of coconut oil, shea butter, pure beeswax, and essential oils. I've dubbed these "luxury lotion bars", and these are available at my Etsy shop.

I had been given a salve of sorts that I decided I wanted to try and replicate, that was made only from olive oil and beeswax. I infused some pumice olive oil with calendula flowers to make a beautiful orange tinged oil with the properties of calendula flowers which are many: having all-around healing properties useful for a wide variety of skin irritations and conditions including wounds, insect bites, rashes, scrapes, abrasions, cuts, inflammations, and much more. Suitable for sensitive skin and babies. I then added pure beeswax to this oil to come up with a balm/salve that has the consistency of petroleum jelly, but without the nasty hydrocarbons!

This balm is suitable for both man and beast! It heals cracked paws, teats, hands and feet. Regular use helps heal and prevent chapping of skin exposed to sun, wind, water and dirt. My favorite thing about the salve is its moisturizing ability plus the beeswax helps keep the salve on your skin if your hands are in (non-soapy) water.

Calendula Beast Balm is available in my Etsy shop and is $5.50 for a two ounce double walled plastic jar that is safe to keep in the barn, your project bag, or diaper bag.

I will be using this on sheep udders this spring! April seems so far off right now.....