Saturday, December 27, 2008

Marvelous, Mysterious Mabel

Okay, so this is what we think happened. Mabel was definitely bred, was getting appropriately huge, and was due sometime between June and September. In August, after several drenching rainstorms, she sank up to her eyeballs into a clay pit. It took Maryruth and the whole volunteer fire department several hours to extricate her. After that trauma, Mabel stayed in the lower pasture for several days before coming up to the barn. We believe that the calf aborted and was dragged off by coyotes, as we never found the carcass. Mabel was noticeabley smaller when I picked her up in September than when I had dropped her off in June. Poor Mabey. So she is now keeping company with a couple of old beaus, to get her back in the motherly way. Not to fear, she has adopted a small calf, who is enthusiastically keeping the milk flowing.

Silver Bullet Press is open and offering good quality used books and deep discount used books. We have a color book and children's book in the works - keep checking back for "Mabel the Milk Cow". Click on the link to Mrs. D's Homestead.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ice Capades

A series of storms has been blowing through the homestead, keeping us cold and wet. We have to bring in enough wood to make sure it's dry by the time we need to put it in the stove. Gusty winds have necessitated hanging the laundry inside to dry. We came up with a system that works pretty good. Mrs. D got a couple grids used to hang things for craft shows and she hangs them over the doors, hangs hangers on them and hangs up the clothes. Smaller items are clothespinned to the hangers.

We awoke to 3 inches of snow this morning, so are very glad that we emptied the 5 gallon bucket rainwater collection system into the tanks yesterday. However, we had let them sit for several days, and they all had about an inch of ice on top! So we broke up the ice, poured the water into the tanks and reset the buckets. The ice was collected into another bucket and set indoors to melt and then be added to the rest.

And speaking of frozen water, the hose was also frozen. Usually it thaws by midday, but yesterday we had to carry buckets of water to the horses and goats and chickens, etc. and that was after breaking up the ice in their water buckets. Makes Mrs. D glad she doesn't have to carry it up from the creek!
Yesterday we made Lavender Tea Tree goats milk soap, and packaged up the lotion bars we made on Saturday. Maryruth made her fabulous Vegan Vanilla Castille soap and Jersey Cream Oatmeal and Honey soap. We also made some quilting scrap soap bags, for soap ends, lotion bars and other doodads. Click on the link to Mrs. D's Homestead for more info on our fabulous soap and lotion product.