Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Knitting Gifts

I've been knitting again. I usually find it relaxing to knit, as I rest in the afternoons and evenings watching TV. It's relaxing unless I have to rip it all out and start again because I've noticed a mistake.

I don't like to post photos of my projects until I've given them as gifts, just in case they happen to read my blog.

The pale pink baby cardigan and pink socks were knit back in August and given to a sweet little girl in Kentucky. I used a "top down" pattern and embellished it a little with some clear beads.

I used the leftover yarn to knit a ladies hat using a brioche pattern from Purl Soho. This went to my sister-in-law in Montana. It's gets cold up there.

Another pink baby cardigan was sent to Minnesota for a baby shower. The baby is due to arrive any day now. I used a "vintage" pattern and chose to make a larger size for her.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Dead Rooster

My little broody hen experiment back in the spring had left me with three new breeds that I wasn't very familiar with. 

You can remind yourself by reading the old posts: One, Two, and Three.

The new breeds (and number of chicks) were Rhode Island Red (10), Barred Rock (5), and White Leghorn (5). After several weeks, random deaths, and chasings by dogs, I was left with about half of them. This seems to be the success ratio for me.

I had five Rhode Island Reds, two Barred Rocks, three Leghorns, and one mystery chick (sold as a Barred Rock but clearly not). And since they were small and all looked similar, I had assumed they were all the same sex. But as they grew, the rooster traits became more evident.

I first noticed that of the three Leghorn pullets, I had two roosters and one hen. I wasn't too concerned at this point. They were still small and not causing trouble. They were quite pretty.

Then the boys started to fight. And I noticed one of them was getting bigger while the other one didn't seem to be growing at all.

One day I noticed he was sitting around most of the day. The next day he was struggling to walk. The next day he didn't get out of the coop. Then he died.

(I've got several updates on our chickens so I will divide them into two or three posts.)

The white chicken is the Leghorn hen.

This is the healthy Leghorn rooster.

I put the dead rooster in the compost bin and covered it up. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


At the beginning of the summer I decided to try growing watermelons. I decided to plant one plant in the corner of the raised bed where I had planted potatoes. My theory was, once the potatoes were ready and gone (mid-June), the watermelon plant could spread out in the same area throughout the summer months. The variety was Black Diamond.

This actually worked well. Just about the time I was digging up the potatoes, the watermelon vines were branching out and needing more space. I was delighted to see that there were lots of flowers. Pretty flowers. This meant I should have plenty of melons.

And I did. At one point I had about a dozen melons of varying sizes tucked under the large leaves. My problem was I was never sure when the watermelons were ripe. I kept picking them and cutting them open to find white inside. 

I started asking around to find out how to tell when watermelons were ripe. I did searches online. I thought I was doing everything right. And each time it would be white and pink inside. The little bite of red in the middle was tasty.

So my chickens were the happy recipients of about a dozen watermelons throughout the scorching summer. They loved them!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Three Surprises

We had three nice surprises lately. Three baby calves were born.

At the time, the cows were intensively grazing the pasture in front of the house, right by the driveway. It was nice because we could see them without having to traipse out into the far pasture.

One morning (9/13) I was out walking and happened to notice the first baby which looked like it had just been born. It was still curled up on the ground and the mama was cleaning it. I was able to take a few photos of its first steps. To my surprise it was a black calf. You might recall that a big black Brangus Bull visited our herd earlier in the year. We had wondered at the time what damage he had done. So now we know.

A similar thing happened with the second of the babies. I was out walking about a week later (9/23) and noticed one cow out by herself. I thought at first it was the same mama and baby but quickly realized it was a new baby. This one was red brown, but with the timing, it has the same daddy.

The third baby was a complete surprise. We had taken our two Belted Galloway cows to be bred back in the spring, and had sort of forgotten about them.  On our way home one afternoon (9/27) as we rounded the corner, there it was standing in the field. So cute and such a white belt. I giggled to myself.

What is really cute, is seeing the three of them romping around and playing together.

(Sorry this post is so late. I had written a similar post several weeks ago but somehow inadvertently deleted it. It's taken me this long to muster up the energy to write it again.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Not sure what has happened, but our beehive is dead. Son was home the other day and decided to check on them and found they had gone. We will admit that we had neglected them, but that shouldn't be the only reason they are gone. We will have to start over with a new hive.