4/30/09

Seeing spots

Shearing Daisy and Edie, our sweet but very spoiled sheep, is always a challenge, to put it mildly. Daisy does okay for the first few minutes, then starts to squirm to let me know she's had enough. Edie just bawls like a baby and pees all over everything. (That's her nervous reaction to EVERYTHING.)
Every time we shear them, their wool underneath looks so different than we remembered... but I sure don't remember them having these many spots before!


I'm beginning to think Edie is part Appaloosa-




Daisy's spots are smaller- but you could still play connect the dots.





A few weeks ago I mentioned our barn was getting a much needed makeover so we could make better use of our space. This is what it used to look like-





Hubby put in lots of long hours on this trying to get it done as quickly as possible, but he also wanted to do a really neat job to make it look good, too.

I think he out-did himself on this project.....



I bring you-



the finished barn!


This is looking through the hallway from the back of the barn....


This is my new feed room...*squeal*.. everything is so neat and organized, I can't find anything anymore! LOL


And this is Daisy and Edie's new pen.





To show my appreciation for Hubby doing such a wonderful job on the barn, I cleaned up his tractor and plow for him.



Which is kind of crazy, since he's going to play in the dirt with it this weekend.....


The event Hubby looks forward to all year is coming up this Saturday in Crossville, TN- the annual antique tractor Plow day. Hubby isn't the only one looking forward to it... I love being a spectator and taking pictures of all the old tractors and the beautiful mule and horse teams as they plow up the ground. Plus, the scenery on the Cumberland Plateau is wonderful.

More bee updates coming soon- plus an update on those two broody banties who are trying to hatch out ONE EGG between the both of them.... until then, have a great weekend, everybody!!

4/24/09

Feeding time and double trouble

It's time to feed the bees.... want to come along with me?


Several of you asked where the hives were located from the house or from the other animals, so maybe this picture will give you a perspective-

This is looking from the barn toward the hives- they're the two little white dots next to the fence.






Once I get to the hives, I open the outside cover which reveals the top inner board.






See the 3 holes on top? The bees get ventilation from those, but can't access it from inside the hive because of the feeder box.





Once I remove the top board, I pour the feed (honey/water mixture) into the feeder box.






I lift up the feeder box just to check and make sure everything is alright.... even though it's early enough in the morning that the bees aren't very active outside the hive, they are already scurrying around inside. I love being around them when they're calm like this.






A few of the bees have already found the feed.





I do this for both hives, replacing the board and cover after I'm done.

Here is a view from the hives looking toward the barn and house- this may give you a better idea of how far away they are.








Once I'm finished with the bees, I make my morning rounds and notice deer tracks in the garden. This is NOT good.









And when I get to the chicken coop, I see this.
(Click to enlarge it- their expressions are hysterical.)


Double trouble?
Definitely.
Two broody banty hens in the same nest box can only mean one thing.... stay as far away as you can!

4/20/09

The Bees have arrived!



Chapter 1 of our Honeybee adventure has begun!
Dad called this morning to tell me the bees were ready and once he picked them up and got them loaded into the new hives he built for us, he would be on his way with them.

Once here, Dad and Hubby worked on getting a level spot dug out in the ground to set the blocks on....



Then the hives were placed on top of the block and leveled.
Dad did such a great job on the hives- they are built so neatly and secure.



Now comes the fun part- opening the "door" and letting them out! Dad pried away the small screen over the opening and out they came....



Now the exciting (and nervy) part- I got to "feed" them! Dad showed me how to take the top of the brood box off and brush all the bees on top back down into the box. Then, I had to place the feed box on top and pour the honey/water mixture in for them. (Sorry there are no pictures of this, but it's hard to do this and take pictures at the same time.) And since we forgot to buy a bonnet, I got to experience doing this WITHOUT any protection on my head- just gloves.
Here goes......









It really wasn't as bad as I thought.... I just tried to keep my cool. I did squeal once when one got in my hair, but I managed to hold it together. (And my bladder.)


This is their new home... I hope they will be happy and thrive here on our little farm!


4/7/09

It is April.....right?

Hmmm.... then why does Smokey have snow on his mouth?





Maybe it's because of a little thing we call Dogwood Winter. We had enough snow on our back porch this morning for Smokey to stick his nose into, but it soon melted away. However, it continues to fall and look very cold and dreary, so I have turned my attention to some inside projects.





My trusty sewing machine has been hopping today... some new items are headed to my ETSY shop soon! It's about time- I've neglected my little shop for way too long. And if that's not bad enough, my 100th post came and went and I didn't even notice! I don't really know what to do to make up for not celebrating this milestone, so either smack my hand or leave me a comment telling me what I need to do to make amends for this horrible oversight on my part.
(Please don't be too hard on me, I get migraines easily....)

4/6/09

Alive and Cluckin'

Sarge has made a full recovery and wants to thank all of her well-wishers for your sweet words. She has taken back her position as Head Hen in the coop and is making sure everybody knows she's Sarge, large and in charge once more.

There is something I've always wondered, though.... am I the only one that sees the resemblance here?


This weekend was full of activity up at the barn- it's undergoing an extreme makover right now! I'll be posting pictures of the changes we've made in upcoming posts, plus a peek at my new and improved potting shed from last year.
And no bees as of yet- Dad says it may be the end of April before they arrive. I can't wait!