Thursday, August 19, 2010

I woke up with a bit of a headache this morning. I'm thinking it's from the smokey smell that has permeated my house all night. There were some old rolls of hay out behind the barn that have needed to be gotten rid of (all moldy) and Greg finally got around to getting them burned yesterday.

The heat has backed off somewhat, dipping down to 68 on Tuesday...that was nice. But, it was back up to 90 again yesterday. It was fairly pleasant, though, as the humidity was low. And it cooled off fairly well overnight. I'd have probably slept quite nicely if it hadn't been for the choking smokey smell!

Today we are off to buy a freezer. We have been talking about buying one, and now that the apples are ready to be picked, we have decided to go for it! I told Greg there wasn't any point making applesauce if I had no freezer to keep it in!

That means my craft-closet-cleaning-out is gonna have to wait a little longer! I am really itching to get upstairs and get that all sorted out. I don't know where anything is. I had to teach VBS last week and I had a really tough time finding all my stuff. I still have boxes up there that have not been un-packed, so who knows what treasures I will find!

Yesterday the puppies got their baths and grooming (nail-clipping, ear-cleaning, etc.) They do so well. Milly did jump out of the tub once, but then she stayed in there with no problems after that. I was always so afraid to clip nails with other dogs we've had. I don't know why...but I do Milly and Sheba's and they do great. Another fear conquered!

I caught Zinnia yesterday to check her eyes. Very pale. I am perturbed. We have treated twice for parasites, just a week and a half ago with the powerful, jet-fuel stuff (Cydectin). I'm wondering if there is another reason for the lack of color. I hate to take more pellets to the vet for's not cheap. I also hate to give them more chemicals. I put ACV in their water yesterday and will get the rest of the stuff to make up a natural wormer today. Hopefully that will help. I want to get to the place where we can use the natural stuff all the time, and save the strong stuff for only when it's absolutely necessary.

I think I am finished now, with "catching up", although I may, from time-to-time, paste in some random adventures we have had previously on the farm.

I need to go and get the farrier to come out again. I noticed yesterday that Skipper and Gabby's hooves are looking a bit rough. And Gabby's have little "divots" in the front two hooves. I hope Gideon (Gideon Yoder, the Amishman who takes care of their hooves)can tell me what that is about.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Current events: More chickens and a visit to the vet.

Well, Monday was my birthday. Greg took me up to Des Moines and had lunch with his mom. We met her at Prairie Meadows where they had a very nice buffet. After that we stopped at Lowes. Greg bought fencing and I bought hand soap refills! Then on to Indianola to pick up two more Maran hens. We did stop at A&W for rootbeer! I said it was more like it was his birthday than mine...except for the rootbeer!
On our way home we went to look at a little Shetland pony to see if we wanted it for a pasture mate for Skipper. She had been a bit neglected with founder in one hoof. The rest of her hooves didn't look so hot, either. And she kept regurgitating water...the owner said it was pond water. The place had a bad smell, too. Not like a regular farm smell...just really yucky. We decided not to take her. I wanted to rescue her, but just am not ready to handle an animal with a lot of problems right now. I hope someone takes her in.
Yesterday we took the puppies to see the vet down in Trenton. They are finally old enough to have their rabies shots. I feel a lot better about letting them run around the property now that they've had that shot.
I also took some sheep poo along to have him check it for parasites. He said they had a very minor amount. I told him what I was using, but he suggested something else. So, we will be trying a new med. on them. It is a cattle pour-on that they have discovered works well as a sheep drench. I hope they'll take it as well as they did the other stuff.
Tomorrow I am to go to St. Joseph, MO for a weaver's guild meeting. It will be interesting to see what kinds of weaving people do. I am anxious to start learning!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Catching up on catching up: Sheba

I have recently realized that I forgot to write about Sheba! She is our second Old English Sheepdog puppy.
One morning Greg's mom called and said she had seen some Old English Sheepdog puppies for sale in the paper and they were half the price of what we had paid for Milly. I said that I wasn't interested in another dog right now, as I was just getting ready to start Milly's obedience training, and she was finally starting to get the idea of housebreaking. I didn't feel I could handle another puppy, and didn't want to "start over" yet with housebreaking.
Well, when I told Greg about it, he thought getting another puppy was a great idea. He especially liked the thought of not having to pay so much for one. I was skeptical about the "cheap" price. But, after much "discussion", I finally agreed to go and see them. That was my first mistake!
We drove to Des Moines on Memorial Day to see the pups. They were all white-headed and so cute! There was only one little girl left, so I gave into my heartstrings, and we bought her. We named her Sheba Coconut Cupcake di Cavalli.
I knew immediately she was going to be tough to housebresak. She had never been outside, and had been kept in a pen where she could go on carpet in her bedding area. She did not just go on the floor, she wanted to go ON something. A rug, a pillow, a blanket, anything that might be laying on the floor, she would walk over to it and go right on it. She would go in her kennel at night, even go into it in the day time just to "use it". Not only that, but Milly even reverted back to going in the house again for a little while. I was so frustrated. I don't know how many times I regretted giving in and buying Sheba.
Milly had just started sleeping through the night most of the time, too. But once we got Sheba, that was over. And Milly had never needed to go out more than once per night. Sheba wanted out every couple of hours! I was not a happy camper about this.
They drove me crazy with their constant "playing". It seemed more like fighting to me. They would tear through the house, bowling over anything that got in their way. They knocked the fan over so many times that they broke one of the blades off. Then, if Milly was chewing on something, Sheba would lay next to her and bark...that high-pitched puppy bark! It got on my last nerve! I couldn't walk anywhere in the house without the two of them "herding" me! I was sure I was going to break a leg! And forget about training Milly! Sheba would cause such a ruckus while I was trying to work with was just too distracting for her. Oh, and Sheba turned out to be a little Houdini escape-artist and a dare-devil!
Well, things have gotten better. Sheba actually was housebroken quicker than Milly was. Not before Milly was, but she didn't take as long to get the idea. Milly will now "sit" on command MOST of the time. They both come when called. Sheba will sit on command sometimes (if she thinks she's getting a treat). We are working on "stay" with Milly, but she doesn't have it down yet. They'll both go to their kennel on command (for a treat, of course). Sheba doesn't like the kennel, so she sometimes needs a bit more coaxing, but Milly will go in, sometimes even when she decides on her own that it is bedtime!
They still fight some, but will settle down or go outside if I tell them to "knock it off". Their bark has gotten deeper, so it is not quite as annoying as it was. They are not chewing things up as much now, so I can trust them alone a bit more. At one point they were trying to eat our house! They did a good job eating away the wood around the bottom of the front porch posts! Milly still likes to peel the paint off and chew on that, though.
We have started letting them run free around the farm now, since they will come when called. But, only when we are out there with them. That seems to get out a bit more of their energy so they do not tussle in the house as much. And they are getting acquainted with the other farm animals. The sheep are very curious about them, and the chickens don't run for cover like they used to when the dogs got near their fence.
Milly still likes to dig holes and eat mud, so her face is always dirty. The top of poor little Sheba's head is always dirty, too, since Milly is forever putting her dirty face on Sheba's head!
I still think I would be a lot farther along with Milly's training if we hadn't got another dog yet. But Sheba is so sweet and so cute, and I have fallen in love with her. I wouldn't give her up now for anything. And we'll get there. Sooner or later they will both be trained...and then it will be time to get a male!