Tuesday, March 3, 2009


A few bits and pieces to post about today...

The Chickenista was very kind to award me the "I Love Your Blog" award AND the "Butterfly Award" all at once! Wow! I decided to put all my blog awards in a collage at the bottom of my blog page, instead of down the side, since there seemed to be quite a few of them! She has a neat post today about the questions of eating the animals we raise. Good food for thought. She also has a really helpful post here about making your blog into 3 columns! I might try that soon!
I am supposed to re-award the butterfly and bloggy love awards now, but I'm altering the rules a bit. If your blog is listed in the blog lists on the right side of my page, or the list at the very bottom, consider yourself awarded these awards! I enjoy reading all your blogs and that's why they're linked on my page. Feel free to share the bloggy love!

***** NEXT RANDOM TOPIC!! *****

An excellent egg day! The girls went all out and managed 15.
I love my hens!! They deserve an award!

***** NEXT RANDOM TOPIC!! *****

What do you feed your sheep during the last month of pregnancy? Our sheep get grass mix hay plus a supplement of alfalfa hay. I want to ensure all goes well with the lambing, as much as I can, so thoughts on sheep diet amendments as lambing season approaches are welcome!

***** NEXT RANDOM TOPIC!! *****

I've been doing some spinning on my Louet S15. Some plum wool (I think Icelandic) and some white merino/silk blend with purple flecks. I'd like to ply these together soon and see how that looks. It'll be my first yarn made on the wheel. I think I'm doing reasonably well for a first timer. I finally got the Scotch brake for my Ashford traditional, so I'll be trying that one soon.

***** NEXT RANDOM TOPIC!! *****

I love my ducks! They are so big now! The days of learning to swim in the tub are long gone! But they are so handsome now! Here they are in the yard around the water tub, having a splash. They always move around in a group, and often invade the chicken coop, I think because it is heated. Smart little ones, these quackers!

I think that's all....until next time...


Lola Nova said...

Wow, so much to comment on. I am in love with that plum spun goodness, oh my! I have been a little obsessed with eggs lately, ooh I am giving your hens my own award for creating things of beauty and usefulness. The ducks are looking dapper and happy.
And my girl wants to know, "Hows that sweet baby goat, Luna? Her Mama is loving her so much?" (We watched the video together)

Nancy K. said...

Random Comments:

* You DESERVE the blog awards
* Look at all those eggs!!
* My sheep only get grass/alfalfa
mix hay. Sometimes I'll give
them a molasass/mineral tub to
keep their calorie intake up the
last couple of weeks. Of course,
I have Shetlands and they're a
pretty hardy breed!
* Nice yarn! Excellent for a
beginning spinner.
* Your ducks are AWESOME! They're
so BIG! You're a good Mom.


kristi said...

Seriously, stop with the duck pictures:) I never even gave ducks a quack until I started to read your blog....if I end up with even one duck, do I have a case to sue you? LOL And by the way, I love the egg photo!!!

Nancy Craig said...

Hi Claire, I have appreciated your comments and those of your mother. What fun I am having with the blogs. Isn't Lola Nova great. Keep up your great writing.

Karen said...

Love the purple, the ducks, the eggs,etc.
Check out my blog for a giveaway - would love to make you something!

Don said...

love the egg picture! I agree with kristi about the ducks, i may have to get a couple. the yarn looks fab!

JLB said...

*sigh* they're so beautiful! (eggs)

*sigh again* I want ducks....

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Can you tell me how to do the award collage at the bottom? I really like that!

I really don't change my ewes' feed much if at all in late term pregnancy. I feed 3rd cutting orchardgrass hay, and use a little livestock blend grain to lead them to/from pasture. I am upping it a little right now and standing by so that Inky (my oldest, skinniest ewe who has had triplets) and Butter (my one bred ewe lamb) get those extra calories.

Anonymous said...

Your spinning is looking very good!

Your eggs are lovely! How do you wash them?

I feed my girls grass hay and peas up until the last month of gestation and then I add alfalfa. I was really happy with the size of my babies and the amount of milk the mamas had this year.

Your award collage at the bottom looks awesome :)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wow! Your ducks sure have grown! They are full grown adults.

Your yarn looks great, especially for your first time. Lovely!
I have a Louet, too. It's so easy to work on isn't it? :)

Let me know how the ply works out. I've not done plying yet.

Congrats on the awards. And yes, your hens surely deserve and award, too!

How 'bout an extra handful of scratch or a bowl full of oatmeal? :)


Kara said...

Wow your spinning looks fantastic! It took me sooo long to that point. Your ducks are all grown up...they look great. And I am so jealous about the eggs, my hens are still on strike. I has been bitter cold but it is supposed to begin to warm up today so maybe...
I do give the ewes a "little" 14% sweet feed for sheep a month before lambing once a day. But I am talking 1 to 2 quarts for all 13 of them to share. They have been going nuts for the minerals through so I make sure I put out new loose minerals often. They get good hay free choice.

Cat said...

I love that yarn! It's so pretty!


Mom L said...

Wow, Claire, so much to comment on! Congrats on more awards - you definitely deserve those! Your yarn is beautiful - I'm in awe. I adore your ducks! I used to walk around a small man-made lake in Gaithersburg, MD carrying cracked corn to feed Canada geese - loved feeding the gentler "teenaged" geese.

Kiss Luna for me!


Claire said...

Hi Lola Nova! Thanks for the hen award and all! Luna is doing very well! She is exploring everything and is very bouncy. I'll do some more pictures in a post soon!

Nancy K - Thanks for all the kind comments! I will get a molasses mineral tub - great idea!

Kristi - Ducks are fab! And they have big eggs, although I haven't got any yet! No, you will not have a case unless the ducks take over your home. I don't recommend allowing that to happen.

Karen - you convinced me!

Don - thanks! Ducks really are fun to have around. Ours know their evening routine now, to go back into the barn. They line up outside the door!

Michelle - all I did was save all the award images to my hard drive and then make a powerpoint slide by arranging them, I chose a background colour, and then I saved the powerpoint file as a JPEG (using "save as"). I then posted the JPEG of the slide just like posting any other image. Glad you liked it!

Kenleigh - I just rinse the eggs under warm water and if one of them needs a scrub, I use a gentle little scrubbie brush from Lee Valley Tools, it's really a fingernail brush but it works well on the eggs and I can boil it to sanitize it. I don't use any detergents or anything. Apparently using warm water is better because it prevents transfer of microbes across the shell membrane, keeping the eggs fresher, longer. Using cold water will not achieve this.

Lisa - Thanks! I can't wait to ply so I can actually see how the final yarn will look.

Kara - I hope your hens get over their strike very soon. Mine certainly lay less on the very cold days. I was going to use sweet feed but then I saw the kind that I can buy has a small amount of copper in it so I got worried...

Cat - thanks! You can spin up the goat brushings too!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Both my area feedstores carry "livestock blends" with no added copper. Ask around; I'd be surprised if yours don't carry a copper-free variety. But do read the ingredients label to make SURE for yourself.

I don't use PowerPoint, but your explanation did make me realize I can do the same thing in InDesign - thanks!

Claire said...

Michelle - my feed store only has 1 type of sweet feed (it's a small feed store) but I'll try the bigger one on the weekend. It's just a longer drive to get to it.

I had not heard of InDesign but I just looked it up. Looks nice! I am lucky (??) to get the Microsoft Office suite of programs free because I'm a student, so Powerpoint came with it. Small perk of returning to school (again) I suppose.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I'm a graphic designer from way back and started with PageMaker. That morphed into InDesign. I use it most out of Adobe's Creative Suite.

Totally Timmy said...

I am so happy to have found your blog. Up until this year I have been raising chickens, goats etc but have had to let them go. Now I can read your blog and feel jealous!
BTW I use to breed Polish and those are polish chicks you have cute..sigh

girlwithasword said...

if the plum wool you're spinning is the stuff from High Prairie Fibers, I don't think it's icelandic. I thought it looked familiar, but if that's not what it is, please disregard my comment! Your spinning looks great!

Claire said...

Totally Timmy - glad to have you find me! I will be checking out your blog soon!

Maggie - it's the ball of roving that Lorraine gave me for the Christmas swap and I don't know what type it is. :-) All I know is, it's nothing like the merino/silk blend that the white stuff is.

Alpaca Granny said...

Your spinning is lovely. Can't believe you are a beginner.

Mare said...

Wow Claire! Your spinning looks awesome! I can't wait to see how those two different colored fibers ply together! I think it will look beautiful!