Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Holiday favor.........

I love's one of my favorite times of the year. A time for celebration, sharing, joy and caring. I start setting out my favorite decorations the day after thanksgiving :) They are all special and hold many wonderful memories. We love to send Christmas cards to our friends and family and enjoy receiving them as well. Often they are our "once a year" re-connect with newsy notes and family updates. It's the only time of year I really look forward to the mail :)

The weeks before Christmas are truly a continuation of the thanksgiving spirit. Counting our blessings and trying to help those less fortunate than we are. With that in mind, I'm asking each of you to do a small thing for a total stranger if it's within your power.

On Friday, November 27th, I'm starting my Christmas season by sending my first batch of Christmas Cards to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capital Heights, MD 20791- 5456

All cards must be postmarked no later than December 7th 2009 to be sure they get delivered by Christmas. After that they will be returned to sender.

This is a collaboration between the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes. Each card should be signed. Do not include any personal information or include anything in your card.
Each card is screened for hazardous material, inspected and then forwarded to an American Soldier. So many soldiers have nothing to look forward to at the holidays. WE CAN CHANGE THAT :)

If you want to check this out further go to: and search for Holiday Mail for Heroes.

If you can send just one card, it will make a difference in the life of a Soldier. They are all so deserving.

~Thanks so much and Happy, Happy Holidays ~

I am Thankful.........

For the beautiful surroundings, family and friends that God has blessed me with. I am grateful for the friends I have made through this blog and all the folks that visit from time to are all special and I appreciate each and everyone one of you.

May you all enjoy a day of Thanksgiving filled with peace, good food, family and friends.

~From all of us at Tylerfarm ~

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Plans for Miss Piggy

Our warm temps continue and we are are taking full advantage of it. Hubby is home for the week and we are plugging away on our list of "to be completed" projects.
The time has come for Miss Charlotte, our sow to be bred. This is a first for us. We have raised pigs successfully for years but I've never raised a female to keep for breeding. Charlotte has grown into a "BIG" pig and she's a pet. She loves to be scratched and petted. Mr. Pig will be arriving in a week or so. We finished up the honeymoon suite yesterday and moved Charlotte into her new digs.

The inside of our big barn was originally 10x10 box stalls for horses. I haven't had horses for a few years now so we have been slowly revamping the inside to accommodate our other animals. We gave Charlotte a 10x10 stall with a trap door through to the next 10x10 stall for a farrowing stall. We can also move Mr & Mrs Pig from one stall to the other to clean them out. I can open and close the trap door from the outside of the stall. The blue barrel is her source for water. It has a pig nipple on the bottom. She has to push down on the tip of it to release the water into her mouth. It works great and it keeps her accommodations much cleaner. I can also put a small barrel heater in it to keep her water from freezing should it get very cold in the barn this winter.

We are hoping Charlotte settles the first breeding so Mr. Pig doesn't need to stay very long. Gestation for a pig is 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days. If all goes well, we will have piglets in April when warm weather is arriving.

Our last hatch of guinea keats moved into the junior guinea house yesterday. They are happy to have a place to get outside and scratch around. They will stay here for 8 weeks or so and then move into the big guinea house with all the others. I have a trap door between the two and can just open it to let them merge when it's time.

This handsome fellow is one of our barn cats, Smokey. Lately he has been sitting on the stairs and watching us as we work in the barn. He's not exactly friendly but he's not all that afraid of us either.

He has plenty of company in the hay mow; I'll post some new pictures of them soon.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Naked goaties :)

Thursday was goat shearing day at the farm. Our pygora goats are sheared twice per year. Spring and fall. With the fabulous warm weather we are having, we waited a little longer than usual. The fiber is fantastic. Soft, soft, soft, slightly curled and a nice length. The two doelings fiber was very soft and very curly. All were very good on the stand. We did feet trimming, de-worming and de-lousing at the same time. They all have deep straw beds to curl up in at night. Delilah
Amos, Rudy, Delilah, Ribbon & Lace looking for an animal cracker :)

Rudy with his new "doo"


Ruby - she looks like a baby all over again :)

Darling Diamond

I will add this fiber to our clip from last fall and wait until this springs clip before I send it all out for processing. Last year I over dyed alot of the gray fiber that was spun into yarn. This year I'll over dye some of the white. The pygora fiber absorbs the dye easily and the colors are brilliant due to the sheen of the fiber.
Babies are due around March 1. We never get the same colors from year to year. Kidding is one of my favorite times of the year. Stay tuned!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

H1N1 - It strikes without warning

This wasn't my planned blog post but I feel it's important to share this if it helps anyone be better prepared if H1N1 hits your home.
The H1N1 flu has reared it's ugly head here and it came without warning just like medical practitioners predicted. As much as I've read and heard about it, it is still very frightening.

When Tyler went to bed Tuesday night, he was fine. Wednesday morning he woke up with a slight cough. He called at 10:30 a.m to tell me he wasn't staying after school as planned, he wasn't feeling well. When he got off the bus his ears were red and he wasn't doing well at all.
His temp was 102 at that time. I gave him tylenol/advil and sent him to bed. Yesterday morning he was burning up and had a severe cough. His temp was 104.7. I called the DR and she diagnosed H1N1 without a visit to her office. He is now on Tamiflu as are the rest of us as a preventative measure. He has been very sick and I have been very worried. We have kept his temp down with ibuprofen and cold cloths and now it's nearly normal although the dry hacking cough has made his throat and chest very sore. His back muscles ache from coughing so much. Thankfully he rests in between coughing spells and I really believe the tamiflu was the key in his quick turn around.

Not sure how it is in other states but Maine has had a severe shortage of H1N1 flu vaccine. Our schools were supposed to have it over a month ago and still have not. He was scheduled for the vaccine Dec 1. He will still get it if and when it happens. I'm very cautious about vaccines but think this one is a good one to have. This flu is dangerous and thankfully Tyler was very healthy prior to this or it could have been much worse.

I pray none of your families are hit with this.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Around the farm........

Another unusually warm November morning. It was quite humid and the fog was heavy. The fog was rising the same time as the sun. It was very beautiful and odd at the same time. We received 2+ inches of rain this past weekend. As much as I love the snow, I'm appreciative we are getting rain and balmy weather. It has given us time to finish fall projects without freezing fingers.
We have been planning to build a cow tie up and to use recycled stanchions that came out of an old barn. We had the time to work on it this weekend. Steve spent most of Saturday in the barn while I ran the shop. Sunday we worked together and finished up everything except for putting in the stanchions. We hope to finish it this coming weekend.

One stanchion will go into the space between the posts. The cows will have plenty of room to lie down and to eat and be comfortable and stay dry. They will stay in at night and during the day when the weather is miserable. It will be nice and toasty in the barn in the mornings :) Cows give off tons of heat and they smell good too.

This little fella hung around the barn on Saturday with Steve. His name is Chong and he is a Japanese silkie rooster. Sadly his buddy Cheech, passed away Friday morning. They are about 10 years old and were a gift I gave my husband years ago. They had the run of the farm and were sort of mascots. They are very entertaining to watch :) Chong seemed pretty lost on Friday and Saturday but today he is his normal self, hanging with the guineas and doing his usual patrol. I hope to find him a buddy before long.

~Thanks for visiting - stop in again soon~

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Frosty mornings...........

Frosty starts to beautiful autumn days this past week. The little farm shop was "cool" inside.
25 f on the outside on Friday. 42F this morning with the remnants of Ida moving our way, a couple of inches of rain expected. We have had a dry week so the rain is needed. Surprisingly the soil is dry.

The farm shop is open today. Yesterday we purchased a heater. When the sun doesn't shine, it's chilly in there. Hopefully our new heater will keep it nice and toasty. Our clientele is steadily growing and being warm is important. I love working in there on Saturdays. I am in the process of putting a new warp on my big rug loom in between customers. That's exciting for me. It's been two years since I've been able to weave on the big loom and I'm really looking forward to it.

We are building a new cow tie up in the barn to accommodate our cows on cold winter nights. We bought our lumber yesterday so building commences today. We have stanchions from an old barn that we will use. Everyone will be together and toasty in the big barn this winter.
I've been sending out mail orders this week. A lovely lady from out of state e-mailed looked for a fleece. I had just finished shearing this little fat fellow and after emailing photos, she purchased his. This is Cactus, a shetland/finn cross wether. He was one of my first quads born here and weighed just 2 lbs. He is also the son of the the best ram I have ever had. Needless to say, he's put on some weight since then :) He's a pet - we carried him around and cuddled him for months. He produces lovely fiber and has a forever home here.
That's it from the farm today. Better get busy! Have a great weekend everyone :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day 2009

TO ALL WHO SERVE: Thank you for your service to our country. I join the rest of the nation on Veterans Day in remembering the sacrifices of America's veterans and expressing my appreciation for your service.

I know so many have paid the price for my freedom. I never forget and am forever grateful.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A pleasant Sunday.......

It was a gorgeous 65 degrees here today :) That's rather unusual in our neck of the woods. But, we will take all the great autumn days we can get. Yesterday was a fruitless hunting day. Not for lack of effort on the part of our hunting family but no deer in this neighborhood this weekend. Five miles up the road my oldest son saw an 8 point buck in the middle of the road. Of course, he's the non -hunter of the family :)
We installed tub heaters for the sheep and cows today. My milk cow is due to calve in just 30 days. We had a 1/2 inch of ice on the water tubs yesterday morning. She really doesn't like taking a huge gulp of that ice cold water. You can see it hit the calf and the calf gives her a good kick. Can't say I blame her! The water will stay 45 degrees from now on.

The chickens were busy turning the compost pile in the sunshine.

Charlotte was very warm and wallowed in her mud hole for awhile today.

These are two of my very favorite sheep. Chamomile and Penny royal were sired by my very first ram, a Finn named Angus. He was an absolute sweetheart. I lost him several years ago to urinary calculi and he died on the operating table. I was heartbroken. These two gals have the same disposition that he did. They see you coming and they wag their tales and just can't wait for a scratch or a hug. I didn't breed them last year but I did this year. I'm hoping for a ewe lamb from each of them as they are getting along in years. We just finished up our fall shearing and these gals were very happy about that today.We gave my Mom a new garage for her birthday. We finished putting it up for her today. She's so happy to have it to park her sweet little yellow car in. She doesn't like the snow and it will be great she doesn't have to think about that this winter.
~ Have a good week everyone ~

Thursday, November 5, 2009

First snow...........

Even with the time change, it's very dark when I get up in the morning. As I was going about my morning routine building the fire, heating coffee water, feeding the cats & dogs, etc., the sky was trying to brighten up. No sunrise today. About 6:30 a.m. it started to snow :) Being the snow lover that I am, it simply made me happy to stand on the front porch and watch the flakes fall to the ground. It smelled so good - like winter. That cold, crisp, fresh air smell. I didn't stand there long, it really was cold. It didn't accumulate and later on turned to rain and the rest of the day has been dreary and I've spent it inside doing housework :( I love a clean house but I wish I could achieve that without having to scrub and vacuum! It does look and smell nice and I'm glad it's finished.
I'm so excited that my jasmine plant is flowering again. One single, white blossom. I can always tell it has bloomed as the fragrance is so strong it permeates the entire house. Another wonderful smell. The blooms only last a day or so but are well worth the wait.
It's thankful Thursday at our house: Hubby comes home tonight after being away all week. I am always very grateful for that!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Excercising your right........

As our country continues to change, and not always for the better in my very personal opinion, one thing they haven't taken away from us (yet) is our right to vote.

It seems Maine always has a *HOT* topic. Imagine what our state could do with all the money that both sides of the campaign have spent in the last year. Holy smokes folks - that amounts to a whole lots of cash that could do a lot more good in our state that the constant bickering it's caused. I just wonder if it's all worth it in the end.

Anyhow, I'd much rather be here ...

than standing in line with throngs of people but there I will be. Simply because it's my right.

~Have a great day everyone ~

Monday, November 2, 2009

Know where your meat comes could save your life.

"New York Firm Recalls Fresh Ground Beef Products Due To Possible E. coli O157:H7 Contamination"

Over a half a million pounds of hamburg is being recalled in New England.

Read the complete story here: