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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Farm Work

 ~ material for a table runner ~
WHEW! It's been a couple of days at Thistle Cove Farm. I suppose I should stay away from the media but then, dang it, "they'll" sneak up on me and I'll have no one to blame but myself. Like most of America, working America that is, generally, I'm too busy getting things done to pay much attention to how the politicos are reaming me. However, the past few days have found me glued to the radio trying to figure out if those blooming ejits are actually going to pass the debacle they are calling "health care reform". Ha! It all makes me want to run, screaming, for sanctuary.

Oh dear. I seem to be beginning again...on another rant. Hmmmm. Thinking. Thinking. Thinking.

Okay. I'll tell you about farm work. Town errands took up a portion of the morning and when we returned home, I worked in the studio. I've been dyeing yarn and doing a series of felted tea cozies, cotton table runners, quilts and other textiles but today took time out to iron some antique vintage aprons. Our county library is having an exhibit, in conjunction with VA Minds Wide Open and asked if I had some things to loan. They were especially interested in aprons and I've got a few dozen old aprons that were clean but needed ironing. I love to iron, seriously! it's such pleasurable work, ironing those old aprons and preparing them to be hung in our local library. The librarian also wanted other crafts so I'll take some hand spun yarn, roving, felted tea cozies and other things and show photos when the exhibit is completed.

I was just finishing ironing the last apron when the dogs began barking. Red and Daniel came to help get the animals ready for spring. Around here that means de-worming horses and sheep, vaccinating and trimming feet. I wasn't ready to vaccinate, wasn't aware the fellers were coming tonight so we just de-wormed and trimmed a couple of horses feet. I went to call in all the animals as they don't come for anyone but me. It's a hoot! I go to the fence and begin calling, "Here Sheep! Sheepie, sheepie, sheepie; heeeerrreee sheep!" As fast as their little legs can carry their fat little bodies, they came bouncing over the meadow thinking they were in for a treat. Usually corn but tonight not. I like keeping everyone healthy and well as it's a lot less expensive and a lot less work than getting them well.
  ~ de-worming sheep ~
These photos are blurry because I didn't use flash plus it was dusk and in a stall in the stable. There's one lone light bulb, shared between two stalls, and that's the entire illumination. Camera flash, indeed any flash, tends to spook the animals and it's already a, somewhat, fragile, situation. Red and Daniel have been farmers a combined total number of years than I've been alive and still do this type work seven days a week. I used to do this work but Dave has decided he'd rather I not put myself in situations where I could get injured. Bless him! So, I do the donkey work - call in the animals from the far pastures, open and close gates, run for supplies, hand off supplies, etc. And take pictures. Around here, everyone is resigned used to me taking photos; I don't even ask anymore. It's so much easier to de-worm sheep in close quarters. There's not much room to move around and that means the sheep are less active and less likely to take out a human's knee. Generally, we crowd them into a small stall, shove the de-wormer down their throat, mark their forehead and, when the crowd is finished, all are turned loose.

I like for everyone to be de-wormed prior to Sheep Shearing Day; it gives the meds time to work and the fleeces time to be cleaned by Mother Nature. I like clean pastures, thus clean fleeces, but I've had to feed so much hay this winter, I'm concerned the sheep fleeces might have a little vegetative matter in them. If they do, I won't charge as much money as I prefer selling a superior product.
 ~ Sadie and Carly, going eye to eye ~
  ~ Sam, watching as sheep are turned out  ~
 ~ Red, waiting for horses ~
 ~ Daniel and horses moving quickly ~
 ~ Abigail, looking old, cold and tired ~
 ~ Daniel, trimming Peach's hoof ~
It was a long, hard job but eventually all the sheep were de-wormed, all the horses were de-wormed and two had their feet trimmed. It's late, the dogs are all sleeping in various piles around the room, the cats are curled into tight little balls and I'm ready for sleep myself.

Spring. The beginning of work on the farm; early mornings and late nights but, hopefully a lot to show for the efforts. May it always be so.

Blessings ~ animals, ready for spring ~ Red and Daniel ~ no injuries ~ enough meds to handle everyone ~ studio work ~ aprons ~ 

Thanks for visiting Thistle Cove Farm,


  1. Yes, a look at your busy day! Busy here w/farrowing and getting iron shots to new piggies, etc. etc. Aren't we glad spring is about here! Hopefully we'll all have a nice summer.

  2. Farmwork is never done is it!
    Such a happy life...
    We loved living on our farm when we were raising the where near the working farm yours is but still a lot of work.

    Have a great weekend,
    xoxo~Kathy @ Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  3. After this long, hard winter, I am so ready for spring and summer on the farm!
    Saturday we are taking a farm tour around the farm. To eyeball the trees, ones that came down, some that need to come down, and check all the fencing. Soon it will be hay time. And, I for one, cannot wait!

    Your sheep are adorable. Wish we could make it on April 10!
    xo, misha

  4. The amount of work you do on a farm just amazes me! I do not know how you do it all. If you have a spare minute, I hope you will show us pictures of some of your vintage aprons.

  5. You live my dream, and I never tire of hearing about it or looking at the pics. :)

    and yes i agree...a debacle it is! :(
    Be well,

  6. we don't have a real farm/ranch - just 10 acres with a few goats and chickens - but it is amazing how much daily work there is keeping things maintained! Glad you had help with the worming - my current technique (since DH cannot help much in the pens now) is to sneak up (yeah right) on a goat throw my left leg over her back, grab lower jaw with a gloved hand (they only have teeth on lower part of mouth but they can squeeze blood out of you anyway) squirt whatever meds down throat of bawling animal and get off FAST. only a few small bruises on inside of chubby things! It is satisfying to see a healthy animal you have raised.

  7. Good post, girl. So glad you're getting the chores done. Feels good, doesn't it? We started lambing this morning in the wee hours. Love this time of year. Happy trails, my friend.
    Jami in WA

  8. oh, farm work is such hard work.

    we had a ranch growing up,
    and all the branding, counting,
    milking, feeding,. . . hauling

    guess you can tell i'm such a city

    it did give me the confidence to
    know that i can do it, though.

    since you are 'shepherds',
    do you love the movie, 'babe'?

  9. Hi West Side of Straight - we're expecting snow tonight so must wait a bit on spring...sigh.

    Hi Kathy - no, work is never done but at least it keeps us from getting into mischief!

    Hi Misha - wish we had enough trees to have your problem -smile-. We've open pastures with trees in the yard.

    Hi Garden of Daisies - will be happy to show the aprons and thanks for asking. As to doing what I do, half my waking time I feel lazy because there's SO much work to be done!

    Hi Susan - it's my dream life as well so we have that in common. The work load is amazing though and never seems to diminish. "Health care"...if we thought $300 a month was expensive, just wait until we're fined $5,000 because we can't afford government mandated health care! HA, it ain't cotton but it sure feels like slavery to me!

    Hi LindaSue - someone told me I have a hobby farm and I told them the work sure doesn't feel like hobby work! If you've got land and some critters, you're doing physical labor.

    Hi Jamie - yes, getting chores accomplished sure feels good! Glad to see you, hope things are well at your farm.

    Hi myletterstoemily - Do you know, I've never seen the movie Babe. oops...sorry -smile-.

  10. I love the movie, Babe, mostly for the quaintness of the farm and I'm a sucker for a pretty border collie!

  11. To eyeball the trees, ones that came down, some that need to come down, and check all the fencing. Soon it will be hay time. And, I for one, cannot wait!
    free internet jobs

  12. Your sheep and your hand-spun yarn reminds me of my great-great grandmother. She picked cotton and spun it for her yarn, though. I saw that you had visited my blog and thanks for you kind words. Our daughter has a friend in VA that spins her yarn and dyes it. I hope one day to knit me a pair of sock with it.


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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