I have run across a few deals and freebies this week, and I thought I would pass on to all of you!
CreativeBug is having a a promo where you can get 2 months free with the code “Michaels” if you subscribe to their newsletter. Creativebug is crafty type classes- sewing, knitting, crochet, arts, paper crafts, and canning. I have done a month of their classes and really enjoyed it. They have some fun crafts for children, too.
Boca Beth is having a going out of business sale. She cd’s and dvd’s to teach children Spanish. I ordered a few. All cd’s and dvd’s are $3. The sale lasts until the end of March when she closes business.
Fit2B has a sale on their products until tomorrow. (3/20) Fit2B has some really great fitness resources for moms! It is work at your own time and pace online workout videos. The “14 days to a Better Neck” course is very tempting…
Things have settled down here quite a bit in the last week or so. Liana is all all better after her bout with milk fever. Her babies are doing well. They have been out with the barn with her for over a week now and are nursing off her, so I don’t have to give them bottles any more. They were too weak in the beginning to stand or nurse off her. They didn’t even have any teeth when they were born! Daisy and her babies are fat and happy. This makes me SO happy!
The weather has been beautiful here. It has warmed up into the 40′s and 50′s with a couple days where is gotten up to about 60 or so. This means I opened up the barn doors for my chickens and goats to get some sunshine and fresh air. All of them hate snow and cold, so I shut the doors in the fall after it snows. They all refuse to step foot in it! I have also been able to get a few projects done and some fresh air myself. My milking stand got a much needed face lift. It was leaning precariously forward and unstable for milking. I got out my trusty drill, screws, and saw and stabilized it. It is now in good working order for me to milk on.
Since I didn’t have any pictures in my last post due to a memory card that disappeared (found it!) this post will be full of pictures of all the excitement of the last couple weeks.
Now that my goats are back in tip top shape, I have time to do other things around here- like spring cleaning and sewing Easter dresses for sweet little girls. I am hoping to get all three of them a mama made one, but we will see. I also have two birthdays coming up in the next two weeks- Richie’s and mine!
The goat population here has more than doubled this week! My 2 yr old Saanan/Alpine cross, Daisy, kidded for the first time yesterday. She did a great job of pushing out a buck with a big head and a pretty doe kid. While she was birthing I was down there trying to take of Liana who has been having issues with Milk Fever. ( hypocalcemia) She keeps having relapses even though I am supplementing with extra calcium and leaving some milk in for her to re-absorb. Hopefully, I can get a handle on this soon.
The good news is that Liana’s ”preemies” are doing very well. They are full of energy and growing like weeds. I have been taking them out to be with her for a couple hours a day to get used to being outside. One will nurse off her and the other doesn’t. It would be nice if I could get both of them nursing well, so when she is better and it warms up I can put them out with her. Liana is such a good mom and is much happier when her babies are with her!
My #3 goat, Annabelle, broke one of my barn windows on Saturday. It is too cold to put new glass in, so my temporary fix was to staple a plastic political sign in. I love them! They have so many uses, but that is whole post in itself. Annabelle pulled the sign out of the window and cold air was pouring in while Daisy was cleaning off her kids. I put it back up three times. Grrr! I ended up nailing in up from the outside and so far it has stayed put. She has been a source of frustration this year. She miscarried in December, so no babies or milk from her this year. She has also had issues with keeping her body temp up. I have tried everything, but I think warmer weather is going to be the cure. I started giving her probiotics in hopes that they will help. This really just isn’t my year with goats!
On Saturday morning I woke up to find out something had made off with one of my chickens. There was a chicken head waiting for me in front of my coop door. I think some repairs to the door may fix the problem.
It has been a long and frustrating week on my little homestead. I am hoping this coming week will be better. So much of my time has been spent in the barn or feeding goat kids. Lillon told me last night that the goats see me more than they do! That was definitely true one day. I think I spent about 5 hours of my day taking care of goats! I told her it wouldn’t be long before they would need less care and I could spend time with my OWN kids.
Sorry there are no pictures with this post. One of my children lost my memory card I had set near my computer to upload later.
As I headed out to the barn this morning, I couldn’t help but shiver and think ” I hope no one kids this morning!”. The thermometer was reading -1 and it felt every bit of it! One of my does wasn’t due until March12th, so I wasn’t worried about her. My first freshening 2 year old I didn’t have a due date on though. That meant I needed to keep a close eye on her.
As I dumped the goats’ grain in their dish, I saw a sure sign of labor- mucus- hanging off the backside of Liana, my goat due in two weeks. Why??? It is supposed to be in the 30′s most of this week and she chose the day it was -1. Off I went to fetch the heat lamp, towels, and toolbox with my emergency goat medical supplies. While I was at it I put on an extra pair of gloves and another coat to try to keep warm. Both goats were terrified of the heat lamp, so I sat under it instead! Liana did get used to it and I kept easing it toward her as she started to feel more comfortable. My biggest worry was that the kid’s ears would freeze due to the cold. Liana took her sweet time getting down to business. After about 45 minutes ((brrr!)) she got down to the business of pushing out a pretty white doe kid.
The towels I had brought down were warm since I was sitting on them. I whisked one out and helped clear her face and rubbed her down. She had some meconium staining on her hind quarters, so I made a note to keep an eye on her. Not long after came another pretty black doe kid. She got the same rub down treatment as the first. Both were put under the heat lamp while Liana gave them a cleaning with her tongue.
While I was making sure they were warm, baby number three came out. I could tell as soon as he hit the ground something wasn’t right. He was not moving. I pulled the sack off and gave him a good rub down, but he must have died before labor started- maybe even a few days ago. He was wrapped in a towel and taken out, so Liana would focus on the two live kids. The two doelings were doing okay but not walking yet. I used a syringe to give them a little bit of colostrum while they sucked on my finger. They looked cozy so I headed up to the house for some lunch.
About an hour later, I head back down to make sure they were up and walking and warm enough. They were neither. I bundled them up in my coat and brought them into the house. A big box was pulled in front of the wood furnace for them. It felt nice and toasty, but it wasn’t warming them up fast enough. For extra warmth I added a heating pad, and since they were getting hungry I mixed up some electrolytes and syringe fed them. Their suck reflex was not good enough for a bottle. You don’t want to give milk to a very chilled kid. They can’t digest it.
After a nap, they were looking a little better and feeling warm enough for a quick visit to Mom out in the barn so she wouldn’t forget them. Since then we have been going back and forth to the barn. They suckle a little, but not well yet. They are taking a bottle now and are looking so much better. Both are doing a little standing and manage a step or two before collapsing in a heap. Their tummies are full and they are tucked in with their heating pad for the night.
or alternately called ” The Number One Greatest Homeschool Resource You Have Probably Already Heard of”. Don’t you just love those catchy titles they give articles to suck you into reading them?
My family has had a love-hate relationship with libraries over the years. When I was a kid my family moved a lot-our average was a move every year and a half. It wasn’t always to a different area, but it was still a lot of work. The running joke in our family was that we moved to escape the library fines. I think there were several libraries where our fines reached $20+. I still worry that someday a group of angry librarians will show up at my door demanding payment with interest. Thankfully, my current library has a maximum overdue fine of $10. I also have sweet librarians who have erased fines due because they were in a good mood. Now I just need to be careful not to lose or destroy books…or rather prevent anyone else in my house from destroying and losing them.
In spite of being on several libraries’ ” Most Wanted” lists, I still use it as a great tool in my homeschool. This year I felt my kids were getting old enough for a little more structured history lessons rather than the random ones we have been doing at timely moments. Feeling a little more ambitious I put together my own history curriculum using books from the library. Some books were ones I found while searching my library system website and some were suggestions from Guest Hollow. She put together a nice list of history books she was using to teach her son for the year. I highly recommend you check it out if you would like to find some great books for kids on history.
Our topic for this year has been Early American American History. We started with the Native Americans. A series I really enjoyed along with the kids was the “If You Lived With…” books. We read about the Hopi, Sioux, Northwestern tribes, and Cherokee people. It was fascinating to read about the different foods, traditions, homes, and religions of the First Peoples. Each society was very structured. Men and women had pretty distinct roles in their society, and religion played a huge part in their lives. After the First Peoples we moved on to early explorers, Roanoke, Pilgrims, Jamestown, and are now on to Fur traders.
At the beginning of our school year I picked out the topics I wanted to cover and made a list. We are working through the list in order of when the events happened. The library website allows users to make lists. I put the books that looked interesting on the list, and I request them about a week before we need them. It was a big job when putting the list together, but now it is easy peasy. The goal for this year is to get through the American Revolution and hopefully cover some early American government. Next year I would like to go over the Westward Expansion through recent history if all goes well.
Lillon lucked out again with her size being picked for another pattern test. She is dancing around in a new pair of booties! Eden was supposed to get picked but it ended up she was the wrong size. Poor kid! Hopefully, her turn will come soon.
Check out these beauties-
Aren’t they sweet? They are made from a felted wool sweater and part of a fat quarter. The soles are leather scraps. I really liked the idea of boots with leather soles. We have wood floors in our house, so it is nice to have something that won’t slip and slide all over the floor. Lillon loves the big flowers on them, and I like that they were pretty quick and simple to sew. I think the flowers took longer than the boots, but they were well worth it. The boots fit nicely and don’t slide off at all. Lillon has worn them quite a bit since I finished them. The weather has been cold, and they do a good job of keeping her feet warm!
The Flower Boot pattern comes in baby sizes and children/youth sizes. For Lillon I sewed up a size 13. Big Little Patterns are very clear and well laid out. All the ones I have sewn have turned out beautifully! I had not trouble at all sewing these up. The designer gives tips for how to upcycle fabric and leather, so they cost me very little to make- probably less than a $1. If I had more leather I would have made Eden a pair, too. Maybe on another trip to the thrift store I will find a nice piece of leather for the soles. Richie was even interested in a pair- minus the flowers, of course!
If you would like to make a pair for your own little girl the Flower Boot pattern is 30% off for the next few days. That makes it only $5!
Last week I got to sew up a pair of soft, warm pj’s. Pollywoggles Patterns was looking for testers and my hand went way up and waved around wildly because I really wanted to try these out! They looked so comfy. I got picked for a size 6. That meant Lillon was getting a new pair pajamas.
These were a pretty straightforward sew. Nothing was very difficult. If you are just beginning the collar would be the hardest part. It is pretty forgiving, though, and easier than it looks. The pants whipped up in about 30 minutes. I like that they use wider elastic in the waistband. They are roomy so your kids can goof around in the all they want without getting a hole in the crotch. I have it from Lillon that they are very comfortable. She wore them for 5 nights straight!
The Drew and Jesse pajamas go from a size 12m to 10 years. The suggested fabrics are fleece or sweatshirt knit. My version uses a sweatshirt knit that has been in my stash while and came from someone else’s stash- it was gifted to me. I just love the heart fabric! If you would like to sew up your own, Pollywoggles Patterns is having a new release sale for the Drew and Jesse. It is 30% off until February 9th.
Every year I try to grow more of our food on my own. While I don’t always reach that goal- think woodchucks, rabbits, potato bugs, and blight- it is something I strive for. The taste of food grown in my own garden puts the grocery store veggies to shame, and I know I am getting more vitamins and minerals in every bite from food that goes straight from the garden to my plate. I thought I would share some of my favorite places to buy garden seed. Most of the places I buy are try pretty hard to sell GMO free seeds and untreated seed. I like to buy open pollinated seed for most of my fruits and veggies, but just because it is nice to be able to save the seeds if I want. I have nothing against hybridization. Having tried open pollinated corn, I am thankful for hybrid sweet corn!
You can click on the links or the photos to go to the websites.
Baker Creek seeds is all organic, open- pollinated, and non-GMO. They test for GMO content in their seed. I really enjoy reading through their catalog. It is the most beautiful one out there! The photos are just gorgeous and their descriptions full of information. They also have some rare and unusual seeds you probably won’t find somewhere else. Think bananas, coffee, and passionflower!
Fedco is a co-op. You can buy a share in the company and get a discount if you buy a lot of seeds. My local food co-op orders from them, so we get a good discount on the already reasonably priced seed. They have a nice variety of seeds.All are non-GMO. Some are organic. They have both open- pollinated and hybrid varieties. I have had good success with the seeds I have gotten from them. They sell tree, tubers, and tools, too. Their catalog is pretty plain with newsprint type pages and goofy illustrations, but it has helpful hints and has a personality all its own!
This is the catalog I ordered from most before I found Fedco. There catalog is a nice, color catalog, good info, and their prices are reasonable. They also sell some bulbs, small plants, tubers, books, and soap making supplies. They offer some organic seed, lots of open pollinated varieties, a generous amount of hyrbid seed, and they do not buy GMO seed. There is also a lot of variety to choose from! I like that they have a small, friendly feel to their company.
Hopefully, my short list was helpful to you. I would like to add that I am not an affiliate for these companies. They are being shared because I think they are good companies with great service and products!
This winter I had more animals to overwinter than any so far since I was a living at home with my parents. My parents had lots of animals, so I did spent lots of time in the barn in the winters as a teen! I started the winter with 8 chickens and 4 goats.
My Mom sent a buck with me in September for breeding my does. The plan was to use him for breeding the butcher him , so we wouldn’t have to feed him all winter. He was very mild mannered to the point I wasn’t sure any of my does would get bred! They beat him up. He eventually got a little bigger and it looks like he got the job done. My oldest, dominant doe is getting pretty huge baby belly and she is not due until March! Daisy, the youngest doe, just started getting a tiny udder. I am not sure when she is due. I never saw her go into heat.
Annabelle is the middle doe and was the only one in milk last year. She was bred for late February, I think, but miscarried right before Christmas. She seemed to handle it well. She went into heat a week later…and then again a week and a half later…and again in another week and a half! I noticed this week that she has been shivering even though it is pretty warm here for this time of year. Her temp is low for a goat, 100.5. This is not a good thing! Normal is 103-104. After a call to my Mom ( I have yet to meet a vet who knows as much about goats as my Mom!), I put her on penicillin, raspberry leaves, and vitamin B shots to help her along. I think she may have a low grade infection due to her miscarriage. I started yesterday and she seems to be looking better already. I will take her temp tomorrow to see if it is back to normal. I would hate to have anything happen to her. She is such a good tempered goat.