Spare bedroom painting in progress, color is the order

First coat of gold paint, pretty colorful.

I spent most of the day painting today.  Three walls of gold and one wall of dark green.  Color, lots of color on the walls.  White is my normal color of choice.  I also mounted railing for two different shelves in the furnace closet.  Still need a second coat of paint every where then I get to paint the ceiling.  The yellow tape is special tape that gives a clear paint line.  Will know next week if it actually works.  I have to let the paint dry for 24 hours then I supposedly can apply the yellow tape to the new paint without it causing any damage.  I have to tape the new paint so I can paint the ceiling next.  Hopefully, by the end of next week I will have the room all painted and ready for floor work.

Doing the right thing

I had to pee in the middle of the night around 0200.  It requires lots of sneaking to not wake the puppy on the breeze porch.  If he wakes up and hears you then he thinks he needs to get out of his crate and pee also.  I had successfully navigated the construction equipment lined hallway down and back.  I was curled up next to the super warm wife when I heard a very very faint “meep” (newborn baby sheep squawk).  Since I have the occasional tinnitus, I just passed it off as nothing.  Three minutes later Annmarie rolls over and says there is a baby sheep making noise in the barn.  I remind her that the sheep are locked up in the barn.  No go, she gets out of bed and starts dressing to go check on the sheep.   I ask her if she really needs me to go?  Her reply, “I am giving you the opportunity to do the right thing”.  What’s the comeback line for that one?  I drug my warm, cozy butt out of bed and got dressed to go to the barn with my lovely wife.  Who again reminds me, “Whose idea was it to have sheep?” (mine).  Of course, Zeke, said puppy wakes up and wants to go to the barn with us, we holler no at him, grab flashlights and a dry towel on the way out to the barn.  One of the ewes had just given birth to twins.  One of them was a squawker and just would not be quiet.  We left them alone and went back to bed.  Zeke protested for another 20 minutes from his kennel after we crawled back in bed.  We told him to go back to sleep, which he eventually did.

I went out and separated the sheep, keeping the new mom and babes with the last ewe to have babies and her offspring in the barn.  Every one else got kicked out.  The ewe was #3 and she had little twin girls, both mainly brown with a little black in coloring.  So far every ewe that has given birth has had twins.  Pretty nice.  Annmarie and I have agreed to have no more than 30 adult ewes.  As of today we have 29 sheep counting all the babies in the barn.  I will talk with the butcher tomorrow, unless I have jury duty, about a time for #3B to be processed. 

Closet painted

Spare room primed.
Furnace room/closet primed.

Well, I got the spare room all primed.  It took two days, I always forget how long it takes to paint.  Since I truly despise painting it just seems to go that much slower.  We decided to just use our kestrel white for the closet.  It just needs some fresh paint on the walls and ceiling so I can install the shelves on the walls.  I am going to put a shelf over the top of the door to store our used paint from various projects.  I am going to put a 20 inch shelf over the entire back wall.  I am even going to squeeze in a 12 inch shelf between the return and outlet ducts.  Not a lot of room, but I don’t want to waste the space.  I can store the empty canning jars on those shelves. 

Old cutting board, with new one.  I oiled it after this picture was taken.

I cut and sanded our new cutting board today.  I used a piece of plywood and another piece of that oak flooring from the lot bought for the utility sink.  The oak made the facing piece.  I was going to reuse the old face, but obviously it had tried to come off several times in the past.  There were 12 different finishing nails trying to hold it in place.  For a finish I just coated the new board in olive oil.  I just kept coating it until it was all soaked up.  I will continue to soak the cutting board occasionally until it is totally saturated.

Annmarie brought home paint chips for us to choose colors for the spare room.  We are going to go with Olde world gold for three walls and Vogue green for the fourth wall, with Greek villa, off white, finishing out the ceiling.  This will be the only room other than Sarah’s that will actually have some color on the walls.  Who knows, eventually I may get brave and change the colors inside the rest of the house.

Furnace room/closet painted

Sheep duties caught up

Sheep dog, Zeke,  Annmarie taught him to hang out on furniture.

Baby girl twins

 Well Sarah and I went out yesterday and got all caught up on the sheep tending duties.  We retagged three of the ewes that had ripped out their ear tags.  I had to use the other ear, hopefully they won’t rip this set out.  We tagged two of the baby girls and then tagged the baby boy and banded him.  We banded him first and then tagged him.  The banding slows them down for a few minutes after it occurs.  Once every thing down below goes numb they perk right back up and run around.  We have three more babies to catalog and treat but they are too little.  The 2-3 week age limit makes them big enough to handle the trauma and not so fast that they are hard to catch.

Zeke is having a hard time.  He is starting to get aggressive toward the sheep.  We have encouraged this up to a point.  We don’t want him to be afraid of them, but he cannot be barking at them all the time.  He got rolled again by a pretty aggressive ewe yesterday.  She jumped up into the barn and chased him into the hay room just to roll over him.  He was running and barking for all he was worth, but she still got him!  I had to chase her out of the hay area.  She tried to get him one more time, but I smacked her on the nose with the grain bucket.  She is so aggressive that she keeps the other sheep four feet away from her feeding area on both sides.

We went out yesterday and decided not to build jugs up in the main section of the barn yet.  It is much cooler up in the barn as the wind blows freely through the barn.  The babies just curl up in the straw next to the feeders and stay pretty comfy where they are now.  This year when we redo the barn I am going to insert windows into the barn window openings.  Currently, there is a screen or nothing covering these openings.  We need the windows for the light.  Once the windows are in that should stop the wind.  If I have time I will trench over some wiring so we can have lights. I will only be able to take one 20 amp line to the barn and it will already have three outside lights on it.  I will be enough, I plan on using fluorescent fixtures and they take less energy.
I will build some jugs this summer.  We will have to decide on a location for the jugs, our chute and scale, and the dividing fence to split the barn in half.  

Baby boy, his mate vanished from barn.

Frozen Solid

 We are quite literally frozen solid.  Thankfully, we only get encased in ice like this once every 10 years or so.  And I am quite thankful that this has not been accompanied by a power outage.  That would just be plain miserable.  The sheep are confined to the barn, which means hauling water out to them a few times during the day.  This is of course, not as easy as it sounds since the bridge is coated in ice just like everything else.  We literally skate across the bridge, scooting the water bucket in front of us until we get to the far end, where we go up the grass, not the ice-coated concrete steps.  Thankfully, a thaw is forecast for tomorrow so this should break soon.

The horses appear to be navigating without difficulty, and actually prefer drinking the running water in the creek to drinking from the bucket I took out to them this morning.  They’ve come quite ways from when we brought them home and they tended to stay in the smallest fenced in space they could find.  It’s now a usual sight to see them running full out around the perimeter of their pasture.

We did loose one of the newest lambs.  I’m not sure what happened.  He had gotten separated from the flock and had gotten cold, so I gave him a bottle one night, and he looked fine the next morning.  But last night when I went out to feed, he was nowhere to be found.  I don’t mean he was dead, I mean I couldn’t find him, nor his body.  I am puzzled. 

Schools have been canceled for two days, and its  good thing we have plenty of food in the pantry, because we’re not going anywhere without some serious effort.  The cars are literally encased in 1/4″ of ice.

The chickens did not get locked up last night because the latches are frozen in place.  They seem to be doing fine as well, although I did just send Sarah out to make sure they have access to water, since their ramp is literally a sheet of ice and they are not looking any too keen on coming outside.

Babies are fine

Sarah and I went out at dusk to feed and lockup the sheep.  She actually only went because she knew there were baby lambs.  Ewe #12 had two baby boys.  They were both doing well and jumping around.  Sarah’s didn’t make a peep, but the one I caught started bawling for momma the second its feet were off the ground.  Newborn sheep don’t actually bawl, they MEEP.  After about a week they start to bawl.  We still cannot tell when the mothers are going to give birth.  I was certain that the lead ewe was going to have her babies two days ago.  I did get some 2×4 lumber at the hardware store for the Jugs Sarah and I will be building this weekend.  I picked up the stuff to install shelves in the furnace closet.  Annmarie wants me to replace our pull out cutting board also, the veneer is coming off suddenly after 50+ years.  I bought lots of odds and ends to finish out the projects for the winter.  I really want to get into the upstairs bathroom and build more closet/storage space, but Annmarie is vetoing that project.  She wants floors downstairs and window trim.  So I am just going to finish the spare bedroom and work on the attic floor after that.

new babies!

 When I went out to feed this morning one of the Baker girls had just delivered her twin babies!  They were all cleaned off and dry but their umbilical cords were still bloody.  The skinny ewe in this picture is the mother.  The white headed sheep with horns is Lucky, the ram.  He kept harassing her, so I didn’t want to further traumatize her by stealing the babies for a quick look.  I fed everybody and they settled down.  I locked the horses out of the barn lot.  Sarah and I were going to build two jugs (mother & baby enclosures, used to allow bonding and isolating mother and babies for a few days) in the old barn and it looks like it is much needed so that is top of the priority list for this weekend. 

Both babies in the background.