Sunday, December 5, 2010

Labor Day, and no picnic ...

Yesterday was labor day here (a different sort of labor day), and was no picnic! First off, these little guys made their landing way down yonder in the pawpaw patch, so to speak. They had to be carried back to the barn -- uphill all the way. My heart was thumping like I don't know what from the exertion by the time I got them inside. The one colored like a dirty ashtray there next to the bucket along the wall had a crooked neck, like the thing you pull out of a frozen turkey. PaPa spent a fair amount of time massaging him, hoping to improve his chances. His neck was so crooked and so stiff he couldn't nurse from the mama ewe. Things are looking better today.

Once we got those little guys settled and thought our day would run smoother, we discovered this:

Not usually a big deal, but this is a first-time heifer and her calf didn't seem to have the strength/sense to get up and find the source of food. Mama tried her best, but wound up needing assistance. Again, PaPa to the rescue! He carried the little gal into the maternity pen in the barn, and Mama followed. They spent the night there. I checked on them before heading off to bed, and was dismayed to find the calf cold in the mouth (an obvious indication that it had not been feeding). I milked out enough for a bottle feeding (no small task with a first-time heifer!) and hoped for the best. At 3 a.m. she seemed to be doing much better, and this morning at 6 it looked as if she'll be okay. Let's hope.

Another set of twins arrived at chore time this morning. (They usually DO have their lambs at feeding time, for some reason I can't figure.) Here they are, at about 4 minutes old:
That was yesterday. Here's what was going on in the studio on Friday -- two ladies came to learn to quilt on the longarm machines. Here are Karen and Michelle, working with the laser light for the first time. A fun pair of sisters ... and they have yet another who is, by their description, a meticulous quilter who is sending THEM back to finish a quilt for her. I think she's going to be in for a nice surprise -- these gals were fast learners.

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