Sunday, April 30

Weekend Dog (& Donkey) Blogging #32

One Very Soggy Donkey (And One Very Patient Doggie)

Want to see more?
Dog & Donkey Blogging
Donkey Doodle Dandy Photos
More Donkey Photos
Lucky Buddy Bear Photos

© Copyright, the award-winning blog where whether they're wet or dry, donkeys crack us up.

Daily Farm Photo: 4/30/06

Robin Is Busted Nesting In My New Garden Bed
(She is totally faking sleep--as if that would make her invisible or something. But each time the camera clicked, she opened up her eyes and looked at me.)

Lamb Report: Racing to get out of the house today, so naturally when I did a lamb count this morning I came up with an extra. And Posh, another first time mother, was cleaning up her brand new baby girl. Both are doing fine. I, on the other hand, am soaking wet and running late, late, late. I believe I once mentioned that
I'm never on time for anything. And speaking of that post, it sure would be nice to come home to a Chocolate Emergency Cake tonight. Maybe Molly Doodlebug will bake one for me while I'm gone. (What was that thud? Did you just fall off your chair laughing?) Current Lamb Count: 20. Number of gallons of rain one sheep can soak up in their wool and then transfer onto one farmgirl while she wrestles said sheep during the Welcome To Milking Motherhood Dance: Feels like about five.

Weekend Dog & Donkey Blogging photo will hopefully be up tonight!

Weekend Cat Blogging:
You Definitely Don't Want To Be on Her Bad Side

Molly Doodlebug—Talk About a Death Stare

As you can see,
Big Chip, Donkey Doodle Dandy, and those crazy hens aren't the only ones jealous of all the lamb loving going on around here. The Doodle Monster demanded I post a reminder that she can be adorable, too, you know (click here but realize she was half asleep in this photo). Plus, unlike those baby lambs who will soon turn into big old boring sheep, she (who is 10 years old) will stay a dainty 4-1/2 pounds forever.

© Copyright

Saturday, April 29

Daily Farm Photo: 4/29/06

Snugglebunny's Twin Girls Eat Together & Sleep Together

Lamb Report: Rained out. It's been raining all night and is showing no sign of letting up anytime soon. Since I'm not in the mood to spend the day slogging through the wet grass reuniting babies and mothers, I rustled up some hay and declared A Day In The Barn (sans Non-Stop Classic Rock). Current Lamb Count: 19. Number of sheep who hate me today (even though I turned off the radio): Every Single One Of Them. Number of soaking wet donkeys who could have slept in their hut: 1.

Baa Bonus: For those of you who can't get enough lamb pics, click here to see how Bruisie's baby girl spent the second half of her first day of freedom yesterday.

Friday, April 28

Daily Farm Photo: 4/28/06

Snugglebunny's Twin Girls Always Stay Together

Lamb Report: Mad or mist? It was 38 degreesF this morning and very, very damp. When I got down to the barn, the sheep were all steaming. Current Lamb Count: 19. Number of unhappy mothers stuck in Bonding Suite Prison for one more day: 1. Number of times yesterday I counted sheep and delivered lambs to wayward munching mothers: Too many to count. (Good exercise, though.)

Thursday, April 27

Daily Farm Photo: 4/27/06

Color Coordinated In The Garden

Lamb Report: Not much going on when I did a 4am check this morning--just a bunch of wide awake sheep chewing their cuds in time with the tunes and daydreaming about another day at the all-you-can-eat salad bar buffet. When I let them out of the barn today, they were all heading full tilt toward the front field within seconds. The three mothers staying at the Bonding Suite Inn are antsy to get back out with the rest of the flock. Yesterday I picked them a bunch of really lush clover from the garden, and they were happy--for the three seconds it took them to inhale it. Current Lamb Count: 19. Number Of Possible New Predator Killings: 1 (bad ass beagle covered in dried blood yet again this morning). Go, Robin, Go!

Wednesday, April 26

Daily Farm Photo: 4/26/06

Green, Green, Green!

Lamb Report: Things are looking up. At 3am I went down to the barn to give Bruisie's spotted baby a bottle, and she got up and helped herself to mother's milk instead. This is the first time I've seen her do that since she was born on Saturday. Yes! She is back to dancing and is quickly making up for lost meals. She also has a new friend in the bonding suite next door--Auntie R. had a big baby boy this morning. Current Lamb Count: 19. Number Of Lady Sheep Still Expecting (for those of you who are wondering when this Lamb Report stuff is going to end already): 5 (not including any more surprise pregnancies).

Answers to all your Munching Mowing Machine questions from Monday are up! Click here. And thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, April 25

Daily Farm Photo: 4/25/06

Sheep Freedom Day 3: Slight Overindulgence

Lamb Report: This whole coyote-deterrent-radio-blasting-in-the-barn thing can actually be rather amusing. Last night, after I sucessfully locked all the reluctant sheep up for the night, I turned around and found Martha and her twins calmly ambling down the driveway toward me. Bum-mer. This meant I would have to re-open the gate, thus giving the prisoners a chance to escape. So what happened? Bear herded Martha & Co. the wrong way and they fled, one devious little sheep sneaked out and made a run for it, somebody started yelling (who--me?), and a time out was declared. So I go back down later, somehow get everybody (for real this time) locked up, and as I slam the latch into the gate, The Clash starts blasting from the radio: You've just got to let me know—should I stay or should I go? Stay! You can't make this stuff up. Current Lamb Count: 18.

Answers to all your Monday Munching Mowing Machine questions are up! Click here.

Monday, April 24

Daily Farm Photo: 4/24/06

Sheep Freedom Day 2 Begins. . .

And Ends

It's all about the food. And fortunately a fantastic thunder/wind/hail/rainstorm dropped an inch of much needed rain on the farm last night, which means today the grass is growing even faster than everyone can eat it.

Lamb Report: I guess when Serena (who is Bruisie's mother) tried to run through the side of the barn rather than let us catch her up on Saturday, her baby decided that it might be just a wee bit safer out in the real world. So yesterday (while we were gone, of course), she came out to have a looksee. Mother and daughter are doing fine and are ensconced at the Bonding Suite Inn next door to Bruisie and her spotted darling.

Darling isn't doing much dancing, and we're having some trouble, but I'm hoping Serena will tell her daughter (whose full name is, appropriately, "Bruiser"--did I mention our heads collided on Saturday and hers is definitely harder?) a few things--like the fact that if you nuzzle Baby too hard with your nose, Baby tips over and cannnot get up. And that nursing is a very good thing.

I know they can't all be easy. But I definitely think we should have done what we did when we named Serena--come up with the most calm sounding name that we could! Current Lamb Count: 18.

Sunday, April 23

Daily Farm Photo: 4/23/06

And She's Up!

And She's Down For A Rest Between Songs

Lamb Report: Well, it's been a rather exciting 24 hours sheep-wise on the farm. After we spent a couple of crazy hours working them (this involves catching up 50 sheep that in no way want to be caught up), we opened the barn gate and declared the start of Sheep Freedom Day 2006. Woohoo! There was plenty of leaping and jumping for joy and devouring of the bright green grass.

Bruisie got so excited she went back in the barn and had a baby girl. For a first time mother only one year old (another surprise pregnancy), she did great. We did have a little trouble with some of the mommy hormones kicking in (like the milking ones), as all Bruisie wanted to do was lick that baby clean--and she spent all night doing it. This is the softest lamb I have ever felt in my life. Meanwhile, baby was having trouble getting up on those long back legs, but after assistance with the milk bar this morning, she was not only up and walking on her own, but after a few minutes I swear she was dancing to the Sunday Morning Blues on the radio. Then, as you can see, it was time for a rest.

Current Lamb Count: 17. Number of surprise guests in Bruisie's bonding suite last night: 1. (
Click here to see who it was.) Number of ecstatic participants in Sheep Freedom Day 2006: 50. Number of sheep wondering why Sheep Freedom Day Two has them confined in a tiny (but very lush) pen attached to the barn (because we'll be off farm again today): 0 at the moment, 50 once they mow down all the grass in a few hours.

Saturday, April 22

Weekend Cat Blogging #46

Patchy Cat Chilling Out To Non-Stop Classic Rock

Oh, you knew it had to be him, didn't you? The blasting radio is literally about two feet from his head. Like I said, at least somebody is enjoying the "coyote away" music.

Attention Cat Lovers! This Is Weekend Cat Blogging #46!
See fun feline photos & discover yummy new food blogs. Visit my pal Clare & her crazy Cat Kiri at Eat Stuff
in Australia for all the links to this week's kitties. For more friendly felines, catch the traveling Carnival Of The Cats each Sunday night. And the weekly Friday Ark boards everything from cats to cocoons.

Daily Farm Photo: 4/22/06

Lamb Love

Lamb Report: Apparently every night is Alice Cooper night on Non-Stop Classic Rock radio. While we were feeding hay yesterday evening he played "a serious amount of Led Zeppelin." As we headed to the barn for a midnight check, Joe said, "I think the music is working better at scaring off the coyotes than the giant spotlights shining onto the hillside--I don't even want to come down here." There is at least one diehard rocker who is enjoying what is (despite numerous attempts to prove otherwise) the only music station that will come in on the ancient, scary barn radio. Check back later to find out who it is. Current Lamb Count: 16. Number of sheep more than ready to be sprung on spring grass today: 50.

Friday, April 21

Daily Farm Photo: 4/21/06

It's Always So Nice To Come Home

Lamb Report: Had unexpected overnight off-farm delay, which means sheep were subjected to 38 hours of Non-Stop Classic Rock confinement. Everyone survived, though I'm pretty sure I overheard such phrases as "torturous," "totally unacceptable," and "borderline feedlot conditions" when I went to free them out into the barnyard upon our homecoming late this morning. I have the distinct feeling I may never be able to lure them into the barn again. Current Lamb Count: 16. Number of mothers-to-be who thankfully kept legs crossed in my absence: 7. Number of farm mysteries to solve: 1 (bad ass beagle once again covered with dried blood but so far no corpse in sight.) Number of farmgirls thankful everyone is okay: 1.

Thursday, April 20

Daily Farm Photo: 4/20/06

Sometimes There Simply Aren't Words

Lamb Report: Um, apparently Alice Cooper Night isn't only on Tuesdays. And if this morning's disapproving discourse was any indication, I now have a pretty good idea that Dan (who prefers to sleep up against the barn gate, which is located about two feet from the radio) is not a Non-Stop Classic Rock kind of donkey. Today I will be off the farm until well after dark, so I have decided that the sheep must spend the day locked in the barn with the music on. I cringe at the thought of the flak from the flock I'll no doubt receive upon my return. Current Lamb Count: 16. Decibel Level Of Morning Donkey Rant: Off the charts.

Pssst! My new kitchen garden blog isn't just for gardeners. Two new recipes posted yesterday. Click here and here if you'd like a little taste.

Wednesday, April 19

Daily Farm Photo: 4/19/06

Watercress Thrives In The Spring Runoff
here to see how it grows.

Lamb Report: Everybody A-okay. Well, as okay as you can be after Alice Cooper Night on Non-Stop Classic Rock Radio. These lambs will probably grow up and be unable to sleep unless Jimi Hendrix is jamming in the background. We're just about out of hay. (We would have run out weeks ago if it weren't for the peanut butter waffles and apple fritters.) The Green Grass Feast is merely days away. Current Lamb Count: 16.

Tuesday, April 18

Daily Farm Photo: 4/18/06

Spots On The Glass? I Don't See Those Kinds Of Things.

Lamb Report: At 4am, I ambled down to the barn to find bright lights, Non-Stop Classic Rock, and 50 totally wide awake sheep. Little pangs of guilt. They are used to sleeping out under the starry sky, listening to nothing but the soothing sounds of nature. And now this. I mean, I was only down there because I couldn't sleep--and that was in the dark and silent house. I have, of course, explained to them that it is all for their own safety. I told them of rowdy urban teenagers and the perils of apartment living. (But not one word about the trampoline--that's all we need.) Oh, and it seems that I Gallop On was right. Just received ebay confirmation for 50 pairs of dark sunglasses, 16 of them size XXSmall. Current Lamb Count: 16. Current Number Of Cranky, Sleep Deprived (but soon to be very cool looking) Sheep: 50.

Monday, April 17

Monday Farm Photo: Sunshine and Laundry on the Line

It's Monday Washday!

Lamb Report:
As soon as it was dark last night, a pack of coyotes out near the hayfield burst into song. If these creatures didn't pose such a threat to my sheep, I do believe I would find their nighttime serenades rather pleasant. As it was, though, the dogs went crazy barking at them, and I, well, I did what one can do when they are miles from anywhere and anyone--I raised my head up high, took a deep breath, and let out a long, loud howl. That shut them up.

But as I mentioned previously, coyotes aren't the only danger lurking in the darkness. I thought the all night barkathon was for the coyotes' benefit, but this morning I found a murdered armadillo just a few feet from the barnyard—and one bad ass beagle covered with dried blood.

Current Lamb Count: 16. Known Dog Victories Over Menacing Predators: 1. And no, I don't think the armadillo got the lambs, but they're destructive, awful creatures, especially in the garden. Plus the dogs despise them.


Sunday, April 16

Weekend Dog Blogging #30

Dogfoot Tiptoed Through The Tulips

Attention Dog Lovers! This Is Weekend Dog Blogging #30!
To see fun dog photos and discover yummy new food blogs, head over to
Sweetnicks on Sunday night for the roundup. And each week at The Friday Ark you'll find dozens of links to everything from pups to pine warblers. Hungry for more than canine candids? Don't miss Weekend Herb Blogging #28 at Kalyn's Kitchen.

Daily Farm Photo: 4/16/06

Easter Greetings To You
There was no way I could stop with just one photo. Click here to see my time lapse tulips.

Lamb Report: Stadium lights
cancelled due to rain. Radio set to mixed inspirational music until late night check revealed singing had changed to shouting about "spending your entire life fighting the devil." Next station was talking about being "covered with the blood of the lamb" (which would have no doubt lured the coyotes right into the barn). Finally settled on the only music station that would come in loud and clear (because you should have heard the ruckus yesterday during the news): Non-Stop Classic Rock.

All your suggestions regarding what to play in the barn are cracking me up. Am thinking books on tape might not be a bad idea. Maybe when I'm finished listening to Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix, I'll share it with the sheep. I bet the lambs would love it.

Oh, and yesterday afternoon
Liselotte (yes, that Liselotte from the infamous Name That Sheep Contest) had a healthy baby boy. (Click here to see the photo Liselotte the person posted on her Danish blog.) That makes 9 lambs born in 9 days. Current Lamb Count: 16. Mothers-To-Be To Go (barring any more surprise "B" lamb births): 7.

Saturday, April 15

Weekend Cat Blogging: Cat in the Box

Curled Up Tight

The next best thing to sleeping by the woodstove? Sleeping in the woodbox! But now that we're well into spring, it's time to close this lid until fall. Don't worry--I'll make sure The Doodle Monster isn't in it.

© Copyright

Daily Farm Photo: 4/15/06

I Haven't Shared A Sunrise In A While

Lamb Report: Everyone survived the night. The giant trees on the hillside looked spectacular all lit up with the big portable spotlights. (As I hit the switch, I expected that big sound of stadium lights going on--it was almost light enough to play baseball in the barnyard last night.) I figured out how to work the scary barn radio this morning and even managed to get reception, so tonight the woollies will be no doubt rockin' the walls. Oh, and
click here to see what I spotted in the barn this morning. Current Lamb Count: 15.

Friday, April 14

Toasted Almond Chocolate Chip Biscotti Recipe & Some Biscotti Baking Tips

Kitchen (& Chocolate) Therapy

Back in February, new reader
Jeph let me know that he had had delicious success with my Cranberry Christmas Scones and Chocolate Biscotti. His colleagues, he reported, had gobbled them up. Now he was wondering if I happened to have a recipe for almond biscotti up my sleeve. I did not, but I had been wanting to write about something sweet, I adore biscotti, and I was inspired by his request. So I made one up.

The first batch was flawless.The dough was easy to work with, the slices cut without breaking apart, and the finished cookies baked to an even perfection. They had a nice, slightly soft crunch (if that makes sense), yet held up to dunking. This totally new creation fell together so easily that, although I took notes, I didn't pay too much attention to exactly what I was doing. Which was fine because I immediately dismissed them as slightly blah, a bit on the boring side, definitely not sweet enough, and pointedly moved on.

Four more batches of biscotti later, I realized I was heading straight into another
Pita Project. Fortunately that was when I ran out of almonds and sugar. It was also when I realized that the original batch I had been comparison nibbling over the last five days was, in fact, quite tasty. All I needed to do was to recreate it. Several more batches of biscotti later. . .

Along the way, I learned some things.

—If you desire a fool-proof, totally stress-free biscotti baking experience, stick to my
Chocolate Biscotti For Beginners.

—If you use semi-sweet chocolate chips in your biscotti batter, they will melt during the first bake and make a big mess when you go to do your slicing. Dark chocolate (bittersweet) chips work well (and the ones I used were smaller than the standard semi-sweet chips, which was nice). Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips work well. Bittersweet/Dark chocolate chunks might work, but I haven't tried using them.

—If you don't let the toasted almonds cool, they will melt the chocolate chips when you stir them into the batter and make a mess. (I now spread mine on a plate and stick them in the freezer to quickly cool.)

—Biscotti are, by definition, dry cookies. By baking them twice, you are essentially drying them out. The dryness is what gives them their distinctive crunch (and longer shelf life than softer cookies). But weather, humidity, type of flour, size of eggs, and, quite possibly, the alignment of the planets all contribute to the "wetness" of your batter. So even if you are carefully weighing your ingredients, different batches of batter are going to require slightly different "drying" (baking) times. Also, everyone has a different opinion as to just how dry biscotti should be. All of this can be rather exasperating.

—If your cooled biscotti are not crisp enough for your (or someone else's) liking, simply stick them back in the oven for a while.

—If you add just one extra half cup of sugar to this recipe, you will end up with completely different cookies. They will be sweeter, but they will also be much crunchier. And they will require a longer second bake. If you are a fan of break-your-teeth-crunchy biscotti, this version might very well be your dream cookie, and you should probably try it. But you are responsible for all baking times and dental work.

Farmgirl's Toasted Almond Chocolate Chip Biscotti
Makes About 36 Pieces

This is is a pleasant, all around, not particularly sweet biscotti that lasts for several days and improves with age. (It also freezes well.) It holds up to dunking but is also yummy by itself. In my opinion, it goes well with everything from a cup of hot coffee to a cold glass of champagne.
If you're craving a sweeter (or fancier) dessert, you could dip one side of each piece in melted chocolate. Or you could dunk your biscotti in amaretto. Or you could break up a few pieces and stir them into some very nice ice cream and drizzle it with chocolate sauce or amaretto. The possibilities, really, are endless. The egg white glaze is totally optional but does give the tops of the biscotti a very nice shine.

3/4 cup (2-1/4 ounces) sliced almonds, toasted at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes & cooled
1 stick (1/2 cup/4 ounces) butter, softened
1 cup (8 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon real almond extract
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups (13 ounces) all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons (1/4 ounce) baking powder (Make sure it's fresh!)
1/2 teaspoon (1/8 ounce) salt
3/4 cup (5 ounces) dark chocolate chips or mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 beaten egg white for glaze, optional

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Toast almonds and let cool.

2. Place butter, sugar, eggs, and extracts in a bowl and beat until well blended (I use an electric hand mixer on medium for about one minute).

3. Beat in flour, baking powder, and salt and mix just until dough forms. Stir in almonds and chocolate chips. Dough will be stiff.

4. Divide dough in half and pat each half into a 3" x 9" flat log. Brush with egg glaze if desired.

5. Bake logs on a greased or parchment lined heavy duty baking sheet for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and just beginning to crack on top. Reduce oven to 300°F.

6. Let cool 15 mintues (or longer) and slice into 1/2-inch slices (I use a large serrated knife).

7. Lay slices on their sides on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, then flip slices and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until cookies are dry and crisp. (Note: they will crisp up more as they cool.)

8. Store in an airtight container up to several days or freeze. Flavors improve with age.

Still have a sweet tooth? You might also enjoy these recipes:
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies (and how to hug a sheep)
Yip Yap Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Snaps
Baby Chocolate Chip and Toffee Shortbread Cookies
Molasses Ginger Spice Snaps
Chocolate Biscotti For Beginners
Choco-Oat-Butterscotch-Coconut Crazy Cookies
100% Whole Grain Bran Muffins (four different flavors)
100% Whole Grain Ginger Pear Bran Muffins
Chocolate, Cinnamon & Banana Mexican Monkey Cake
Blueberry Breakfast Bars
Just Peachy Blueberry Breakfast Bars
Apple Blueberry Crumble Bars
Easy Orange Yogurt Loaf Cake
Heavenly Lemon Coconut Quick Bread
100% Whole Grain Ginger Pear Bran Muffins
Cranberry Christmas Scones
Spicy Pumpkin Pecan Raisin Muffins
Really Raspberry Tartlets
Easy Emergency Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Babycakes

© Copyright, the sugar and sweet foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares recipes, stories, and photos from her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres—and we sometimes start the day by eating cookies for breakfast—with a nice big glass of milk to make them healthy of course.

Daily Farm Photo: 4/14/06

Bright Spots Are Everywhere

Lamb Report: Not only did every lamb survive last night in the barn, but we gained one. Zelda (who is
Lucky 13's mother and the smiling, snowy-faced sheep in the middle photo) had a beautiful baby girl just before midnight under the big full moon. During our 4 a.m. check, the dogs were loudly patrolling the steep hillside. More coyote countermeasures will be in place tonight: bright lights, loud music, llamas. (Operation Llama Relocation is now complete.) Current Lamb Count: 14.

8:45pm Update:
This morning I had no idea how appropriate that caption would be today--I just spotted the first fireflies of the season!

Thursday, April 13

Shepherd's Nightmare

Mary's Twins On 4/6/06

We have a serious predator. Mary's twin girl (on the left) has disappeared. This was not a helpless newborn; she was over five weeks old. This makes two lambs in two days.

I cannot fault a wild animal for going after my sheep. Given the choice of snatching a lamb from a small fenced in area or chasing down a rabbit or deer in the forest, I, too, would choose the lamb. And if there are more where the first one came from, well, you might as well help yourself to another.

This, of course, does not mean that I am not stricken with grief (and in a bit of a panic). As I said yesterday, I have never before lost a lamb to a predator on this farm (though we are surrounded by coyotes). Mary (who is Doll Face's sister), is one of my very best sheep, and I was thrilled when she had a twin girl. Her baby was my best replacement ewe born so far this year. She held a special place in my heart, too, as I successfully performed minor surgery on her to fix an inverted eyelid.

The sheep have been penned in their 1/4-acre barnyard (connected to the barn) since the first lamb was born two months ago. Now I will lock them in the actual barn at night. It will be difficult to do, and they will not be happy, but at least they might be safe.

Sadness and tragedy are always looming here. This is a farm. These kinds of things happen. And while I never had any intention of sharing every unpleasant detail of my life with you, I felt I should explain what is going on--the continutation of the story, so to speak.

What I had planned to write about today was my new Chocolate Chip Almond Biscotti recipe after making one final test batch. Kitchen (and chocolate) therapy. Who knows. Maybe there is still time. I know I must do something.

Daily Farm Photo: 4/13/06

The Forest Floor Is Blooming

Wednesday, April 12

Daily Farm Photo: 4/12/06

One Final Photo: BB & Her Baby Girl on 4/10/06

Tiny life, big impact. I'm happy I was able to share her with you. Thank you for all your wonderful comments and emails. Your kind and thoughtful words mean so very much.

Hearts & Rocks & Numbers & Thoughts

Sometimes I think I need a heart of stone to live here.

One advantage to living on a farm in the middle of nowhere is that you can sit on the edge of a bunk feeder in the barnyard at sunrise and cry as loud as you like. Nobody is going to bother you.

I had planned to put this photo and its story up this morning, along with some thoughts that have been randomly connecting in my mind. About Lucky 13, who we lost a week ago today. About my brother, who we lost over 100 days ago and who was here on the farm when the first lambs were born last year. About the fact that Snugglebunny (whose eartag is #13) gave birth to the 13th lamb this year and should I give her a name that includes "Lucky" or "13" or would that feel wrong.

About the usual things—love, loss, life.

More below. . .

Tuesday, April 11

Daily Farm Photo: 4/11/06

Looks like he has his mother's eyes.

Lamb Report: This handsome guy, who is just 3 hours old in this photo, was born this morning to Amy (who was named after my pal Amy). And yes, his arrival necessitated yet another early check-out at The Bonding Suite Inn--much to Silly Wendy's dismay (she actually turned her back to the open gate and refused to come out--click here for a bonus baby photo).

Six lambs in five days. Now this is how it should be. Still several more to go (these girls are so big they don't waddle--they swagger), but at this rate we'll be done in no time. Current lamb count: 15.
Mini Milestone: I just realized that the 300th Daily Farm Photo came and went without my knowing it. The time sure flies by (too bad it wasn't the butterfly.) Click here to see the 100th Daily Farm Photo. So do you have any favorites?

Spring In The Spring

Do You Know What These Are?

They're Even On The Water Pump

Need A Hint?

Click On This Photo To See Who's On Guard Duty

We hear some pretty wild noises drifting up from the spring box this time of year. But the real serenades have yet to begin. Soon. . .

Monday, April 10

Girls' Day Out
No Room At The Bonding Suite Inn

I've Been Kicked Outside!

Well it's a good thing I didn't start leaving the farm every day, or I would have missed all the excitement. We've had five baby girls born in the last four days. That's why BB and her little cutie pie above were politely told that they had to check out of their bonding pen a day early--we needed the room. Snugglebunny had twins this morning, and first time mother Rosebud just gave birth to a big baby girl (start to finish was under an hour-woohoo!). They're are all doing fine, resting comfortably, and are of course absolutely adorable. Meanwhile, Bear & I are a little whupped. What a wonderful way to start the week.

Daily Farm Photo: 4/10/06

Look What Landed At My Feet

This butterfly was so big I actually heard a soft thud! when it hit the ground. Look around--there is probably something beautiful right behind you.

Sunday, April 9

Daily Farm Photo: 4/9/06

Alisha's inquisitive baby boy, born 4/6/06

First time mother Alisha is Doll Face's 2004 daughter. Today Silly Wendy (Doll Face's 2002 daughter), gave birth to a healthy and huge baby girl. If you thought Silly Wendy was big in this photo
taken a month ago, you should have seen her this morning.

Ten-year-old Doll Face is from my very first 'crop' of lambs, and I'm thrilled to have so many of her offspring in my flock. The sheep like to sleep out under the stars in the barnyard, but if one of Doll Face's daughters (or her triplet sister, Mary) is in a bonding pen in the barn, she will stay in there, too, with her rapidly growing, sweetheart of a son curled up at her side.

Mini Milestone: This is my 300th Daily Farm Photo. Click here if you'd like to see the 100th Daily Farm Photo. So what are your favorite photos? (New to Farmgirl Fare? The easiest way to look through past photos is to scroll through the monthly archives—scroll down to the links in the left sidebar.)


Saturday, April 8

Daily Farm Photo: 4/8/06

BB And Her 1-1/2 Hour Old Baby, Born Yesterday

The circle of life does indeed go on. Welcome to the flock, sweet girl.

What happens when you leave the farm for the first time in a week? You come home to find a newborn lamb of course. (This lambing business is dragging on so long I am seriously thinking about going out every day.)

BB, who is Tana's daughter and whose name stands for Black Beauty, Brown Beauty, and Bouncing Babe (a dear pal's nickname), gave birth to this darling little black girl all on her own and without any trouble. Not bad for a first time mother who is barely one year old. We don't generally breed 6 month old ewes, preferring instead to "waste a year" and let them mature, but these things happen. . .

Now unless we put a fabric "sheep coat" on this lamb (yeah, right), her wool is going to bleach in the sun. As you may have noticed, most of our lambs are born with lots of chocolate chip spots, but these quickly fade. Because BB and her mother are true black sheep (when we shear them they will briefly be back in black), this lamb may stay darkly colored. Time will only tell. Meanwhile, she is very busy sleeping and looking extremely cute. Her little ears flop down in the most adorable way. (You know I don't play favorites, LOL, but I have to admit that I love the jet black lambs the best.)

Of course I find every lamb born on the farm irresistible, including the two new members of the flock you haven't met yet. . . And as for baby names, I'm hoping to get to that this week. Hint: Jeffalina and Lefftey are (sorry, Jeff and girls) not on the list.

Weekend Cat Blogging #44

New Cat Blue Sky

Attention Cat Lovers! This Is Weekend Cat Blogging #44!
See fun feline photos & discover yummy new food blogs. Visit my pal Clare & her crazy Cat Kiri at Eat Stuff
in Australia for all the links to this week's kitties. We'd love to have you join us. Just leave your permalink in a comment at Eat Stuff. For more framed furry friends, catch the traveling Carnival Of The Cats each Sunday night. And the weekly Friday Ark boards everything from cats to Camiguin Hanging-parrots.

Weekend Dog Blogging #29

If Critters Are There, So Is Bear

Attention Dog Lovers! This Is Weekend Dog Blogging #29!
To see fun dog photos and discover yummy new food blogs, head over to
Sweetnicks on Sunday night for the roundup. And at The Friday Ark you'll find dozens of links to everything from canines to crayfish. Prefer food to fur? Don't miss Weekend Herb Blogging #27 at Kalyn's Kitchen.

Friday, April 7

Daily Farm Photo: 4/7/06

Purple Beet 'Greens' Make A Stunning Addition To Any Salad
here to read more about them.

Thursday, April 6

Daily Farm Photo: 4/6/06

Some Things Are With Us So Briefly.
Don't Wait For Blossoms To Celebrate Them.

Wednesday, April 5

A Sweeter Sheep You Will Not Meet

Lucky 13
5/28/04 - 4/5/06

She was never without a hint of a smile,
and she was always first through the gate each morning.

That's what happens on a farm--animals inevitably die. But, at least for this farmgirl, even after 12 years it hasn't gotten any easier. Some people would no doubt say I let myself get too close to my critters, but I don't feel that way. They are my constant companions, my dear friends, my family. The joy that knowing them brings me is immeasurable, and that, unfortunately, means losing one hurts so much more. And while I try not to play favorites, some of them just work their way deeper into your heart than others. Lucky 13 was in there pretty deep.

Yesterday morning I thought Lucky 13 was in the early stages of labor. As the day went on, it became increasingly clear that she was not about to give birth, and that something was very wrong. I poured through my books, comforted her the best I could, and administered to her around the clock. When I went to check on her a little while ago, she was gone. I'll never know for certain what the problem was. But I know without a doubt that it will be quite some time before I stop looking for her smiling face making its way toward the barn gate each morning. The photo above was taken on July 14, 2005 but never posted. Please click here if you'd like to see one of my other favorite photos of Lucky 13.

Farewell, sweet girl. You will be missed.

Daily Farm Photo: 4/5/06

The Lilacs Are Coming! The Lilacs Are Coming!

Tuesday, April 4

Daily Farm Photo: 4/4/06

Babies Chew On Everything

Monday, April 3

Daily Farm Photo: 4/3/06

Big World, Small Donkey

Weekend Dog Blogging #28

My One Little Patch Of Grape Hyacinths Gracefully Weathered Saturday Night's Thunderous Downpour

But Can It Survive Dogfoot?

Attention Dog Lovers! This Is Weekend Dog Blogging #28!
To see fun dog photos and discover yummy new food blogs, head over to
Sweetnicks on Sunday night for the complete roundup. And at The Friday Ark you'll find dozens of links to everything from dogs to dwarf hamsters. Hungry for more than pooch pictures? Don't miss Weekend Herb Blogging #26 at Kalyn's Kitchen.

I know. I realize the weekend has come and gone. But yesterday afternoon a strange little rain/wind/hail/thunderstorm blew through the farm and knocked out our power. It came back on a few hours ago, but just blinked out again. Thank goodness for my battery backup!