Saturday, January 16, 2016

It's a New Year!

 Here it is, another New Year and I'm making yet another attempt to resurrect the old blog.

So far we've only had a dusting of snow this winter and that lasted a day. Actually, it feels a lot like England: dark and dreary.

Things have changed on the farm. My old horse, Shady passed away in November. She went peacefully. We got up one morning and there she was laying in the pasture amongst the fallen leaves. There was no indication of her having been in any distress. The leaves weren't disturbed as they would have been if she'd been thrashing around in pain. It was just as if someone had placed her down on her side and she'd gone to sleep. A neighbor came with his Back-ho (JCB) and buried her for us, right there where she liked to stand in the mornings as she waited for the sun to come up over the ridge. I've missed her a lot and still find myself looking for her through the window when I get up in the morning. I couldn't resist looking at the Farm classifieds on Craigs List and yes, you guessed it fell in love with another horse! Well, not a horse exactly but a pony.

He's SO cute!! He has a nice sweet nature and even though he's only about 11 hh he's still big enough for me to ride.  So far I've just been doing in-hand work with him and I did sit on him briefly. He hasn't been ridden for a few months so I didn't want to push my luck the first time on him. But he did fine. I'm looking forward to spring and some warmer weather to be able to really start working with him.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Old Age!

It's been so long since I blogged. I must be getting old. I completely forgot my password! And try as I might, I couldn't reset it with a new one. Panic, panic! Google had me jumping through hoops with all kinds of questions to answer. Today, I thought I would make one last attempt before starting over with a brand new blog, and it worked! So, if anyone is still checking here, thank you for sticking with me!

All's well with us. It's been a busy summer. My Dad came over for a couple of months. It was so good to have him with us. His health was much better this time. He was able to do a lot more outside. He and Ken worked on our two old tractors and got them running. Dad also set about sharpening every knife and saw we own! So now I have to be careful about grabbing things because everything is razor sharp!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Two whole feet!

Of snow! I think this is the most we've ever had in one storm. I didn't even go out in it because it was over the tops of my wellies. Ken dug out some old snowshoes and managed to get to the barn to feed the horses.

It came down quite fast!

Someone forgot to bring their boots in!

Ken ventured out to see how deep it was.

The ducks were miserable!


The view to the barn.

A couple of days later our wonderful neighbor plowed everyone out with his backhoe. It was about four days before the road crews could get to us. Josh was out of school for almost a week.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

What we did last summer

People keep asking "when are you going to update your blog?" I'm sorry it's been so long , I really don't know where the time has gone. So here are a few pictures. Dad came over again early last summer and he and Ken worked on building a split rail fence with a lovely little picket gate at the end of the brick path. 

It's beginning to look like an English front garden. We can finally have flowers and the pesky critters can't get in to eat them all!

We adopted two Border Collies from the dog pound!  Kate and Pippa. I've always heard that BC s are neurotic, they need to run three miles every day... they're nuts! So I never really wanted one.  Well, all our other old dogs went to the happy hunting ground in the sky, one by one and we ended up dogless for three months! It was awful!  So we looked at the website of the local shelter and these pups were looking for a home. We originally planned to just get one. But you know how that goes. We ended up with the two of them!  

Yes, they're ... let's say, exuberant!( that's an understatement)  But they're SO easy to train! They're like little computers. And they beg to be programmed!  Last week I thought "it would be nice to have a dog that could turn the light on for me".  It took all of thirty minutes for Kate to figure it out! Now we say "light!" and she hops up and flicks the switch with her nose. As long as you're giving them things to do they're happy as Larry. When you need a break you say "In your house!" and they both dive into their crates and lay down and go to sleep.  No, they're not perfectly behaved  but they're very easy to redirect. They want nothing more than to please you. I think we'll always have collies from now on. 

But wait, there's more! About a month after adopting Kate and Pippa, we were adopted by Kojo!!!

He's a Great Pyrenees. 

Ken was brushing him and those cats just have to be in the middle of everything!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Building a brick path

Back in 2004 when we were here seeing our house for the first time, the previous owner mentioned how nice it would look to have a brick patio between those four trees at the bottom of the steps out front. I think it was something she'd planned to have installed at some point if they'd stayed here. I agreed, and ever since then it's something I've often visualized but never got around to working on. Well, one night last year a very old house just down the road burned to the ground. Thankfully, it was empty at the time! There was nothing left but ashes and a pile of old bricks from the collapsed fireplace and chimney. I asked the owner if I could have some of the bricks and he said "take them all!" So Ken and Josh and I made numerous trips to save as many as we could before the bulldozer came in and leveled the place for a new house to be built. These are pre - civil war, hand made bricks. They're rather soft so I don't know how long they will hold up out in the elements but I've decided to use some of them in this walkway. I'm still in the process of sweeping sand into the cracks here.

I had to build a couple of extra steps down to the path. These are just wooden boxes filled with rock and gravel. I could have made wooden steps like the others but that particular spot gets very icy in the winter. We had a little concrete paving stone there and Ken went flying one morning in December when he went out to work and didn't notice it was covered in ice! The rock filled steps offer much better footing as you let go of the hand-rail and step off that bottom stair.

I built in a couple of planters on each side of the bottom step and plan to put herbs in them. In fact I'd like the whole thing to be lined with fragrant herbs! There's also going to be a gate and fence. I'll take more pics as it develops. So far though I very happy with how it's turning out!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

More Scottish Black Face Pictures

Taken just a few minutes ago. I love these sheep!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Scottish Black Face Lambs!

Yes! We have our first little lambs on the ground! Quite a surprise to wake up to. Twins, a boy and a girl. They were born on March 4th. I thought they were early but remembered that this ewe got out and went to visit the ram while he was still supposed to be in quarantine. Little hussy!

So first we have the boy. His name is Windy


And here is the little girl, Marchie with her Mum.

It was a sunny day but bitter cold ( Way below freezing) and the March wind was howling! Hence, their names :)

They're all doing great so far. Amazing how much weight they've gained already. I'll take more pictures tomorrow.

The other two ewes shouldn't be too far behind so I'm watching them very closely. One is as big as a bus! Can't wait to see how many lambs she has.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Gelli Pad

Yesterday, while ordering stamp carving supplies I saw one of these:

Isn't it amazing? Life's just too short not to have one!

Thanks Dad!! ( He sent me some money for Christmas)

And here's their bog.

It's full of ideas, techniques  and inspiration. I entered the give away for some MagicStamps. I don't usually win things but maybe luck will shine down.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Hand Carved Rubber Stamps on Etsy

Hand carved tea kettle rubber stamp

I finally bit the bullet and decided to open an Etsy shop, selling my hand carved rubber stamps. Here's the link if you care to take a look:  IkkiPokki Rubber Stamps

I'm torn over selling them mounted or unmounted. So any suggestions are most welcome. Something in me wants to mount each one and add  a little handle, but that, of course adds more time and cost. I uploaded a few of each so we'll see what customers prefer.

I love carving stamps. Inking one up for the first time is always exciting because you're never quite sure how it's going to look printed. This little tea kettle was one of those " Ooooh, I like that !" moments.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year!

I don't know where to start; it's been so long since I posted. I was having problems getting pictures to upload so I would shut everything down, thinking I'll try again later.

So here we are the first day of 2013 and I just want to wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year and will attempt to upload some of the pics that I couldn't get to post last time. While I haven't blogged much, there has been quite a lot going on here on the farm.

First, this is Russet our Scottish Blackfaced ram. We found him not too far away. Who would have guessed that there was another SBF breeder so close! We're keeping our fingers crossed that we'll have a bunch of little lambs in March.

You know last year when I said I'd been doing some stone work? Well this is the wall I've been working on: (It's still in progress) Don't forget to click on the pics to see them larger.

Before and after....

The driveway, before...

The beginnings of the wall

Ta Daaa!
 Not finished yet though. Just waiting for the weather to warm up a bit. 

I still can't believe that I managed to find most of the stone just laying around in the pastures. Some came out of the creek bed and some was given to me by a neighbor. He had it left over from a retaining wall he'd had built and just wanted to get rid of the left overs. He still has some more and wants me to go and get it out of his way so I should be able to make more progress in the near future. 

Once it's done, I'm thinking of trying my hand at building a timber-frame lytch gate in the gap between the two walls.

I also finished the other side of the culvert:

So far we haven't had any torrential rains that raised to creek level. That will be the true test of it's integrity! In the past, we've seen the water way higher than the top of the culvert!