Friday, January 27, 2017


Welcome back! Happy 100th Day of School!

I hope you had fun playing in the snow last week. There was a lot of it!

Your teacher told me that the only questions you have been writing down are, "Do you have a pig?" and "Do you have a horse?" Since I've already answered those questions I won't take time to answer them again.

You are all smart enough to think of other questions!

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Wow! It's cold outside! It's a nice day to do chores, then work on indoor projects.

I thought you might like to see some spinning so Matt took a few short videos for you to look at.

This video is really short. Can you see my foot pedaling? It's making the wheel on the spinning wheel go around and around. 

The wheel is attached to the pedal by a short cord.
When my foot works the pedal, the pedal pushes the wheel around.

This is what happens to the wool when I'm spinning it into yarn.

You'll have to watch very closely to see how the yarn winds onto the bobbin.
When the bobbin is full, I take it off and start a new bobbin.

Today was a short post, but it took me a while to put it together. I had to take my spinning wheel out, clean off all the dust, grease it so that it would spin, and put on a new cord! I haven't had time to spin on my spinning wheel for quite a few years. 

Every year at Christmas I spin on a drop spindle at the Alpine Living Nativity. It's a lot of fun to answer people's questions and let them watch me.

Here is a 'fun fact' 
Did you know Mrs. Hahn used to spin, too? She did! She wanted to learn how when she was younger so we both took a class together on spinning wool into yarn.

If you have questions about spinning, I hope you write them down and send them to me. Or if you are reading this online, please ask your question in the comment section. I'd love to answer you!

Have a great 100th Day of School, and have a great week, too!

Friday, January 20, 2017


Welcome back!

I know I was going to show you more about wool and my spinning wheel but Matt has been sick and I haven't had any help with the chores. Matt is good taking pictures and videos, too. Since he was sick there wasn't anyone to take a video of me spinning. I'll try again next week.

Sometimes things don't work out the way we planned so we change plans and do what we can.

We had snow this week, just like you!
I love it when it snows because it's so quiet when I head out to the barn in the morning.
It may be cold, but it feels a little cozy because we feel like we live out away from town.
We don't, we live in the middle of a very big town, next to a very busy road!
The snow quiets everything and it makes the farm feel peaceful.
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Guess what Stinky caught!
One reason we like having cats is that they can find and catch mice!
Mice are smelly, they carry diseases that will make you sick, and they make a mess when they get into food.
Good job, Stinky!
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You already know that a rooster sounds different because he crows, and hens cluck. Did you know that boy ducks and girl ducks sound different? Your mom and your dad have different voices, so do ducks!

The boy duck has a darker head, and the girl duck has a light colored head.

Listen closely and you can hear one duck that quacks, and one duck that has a quieter, funny sounding quack. Quin thinks that duck has a broken quacker!

He doesn't have a broken quacker, he's a boy duck! Boy ducks are called drakes. Girl ducks are called ducks. Watch and listen to the duck with the dark head, you'll hear his voice. Watch and listen to the duck with the light head, and you'll hear her voice. 

The next time you are at a park or a pond with ducks see if you can hear the ducks and the drakes. 

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Here is another new hen.
She is fluffy and black!
Her name is Lucy. I think she's pretty with all her fluffy feathers.

Lucy is drinking out of the waterer. It holds about 3 gallons of water so the chickens always have something to drink. It's always a good idea for the chickens and other animals to have water, but sometimes they are out of the coop and they don't feel like walking all the way back to get a drink.

What do you think a chicken does when it doesn't have water close by?

They eat some snow!

It's still important to make sure the animals always have water to drink, but animals are resourceful and they will eat snow if they don't have any water around. 

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Do you have a dog or a cat with a collar?
Do they have a tag on their collar to tell someone who to call if they get lost?
So do our goats!
Look closely at River's collar and you'll see part of my phone number.
If she ever gets out of the barn yard and gets lost, whoever finds her will have a phone number to call.
Goats can't talk, they can't tell someone where they belong or give someone a phone number.

I hope you have a phone number memorized so if you get lost whoever helps you can call your mom or dad.

I hope you have a great week! I hope you have some time to play in the snow!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Jake Attacks!

Welcome back!

I hope you've had a great week.

Did you figure out what we use all the poo for? If you thought that we use it in the garden, you're right. We have so much poo that we share it with other families that want it for their garden's, too.

Would you like to meet some new animals?

I thought so!

This is Storm.

This is Fern.

We don't usually name our chickens. Our friends are moving and so they gave us all their chickens because they can't take them to their new house. That's so sad!

These two chickens are really friendly! I love the fluffy feathers on their heads. They are Polish chickens. Chickens have different breeds just like dogs.

Do you see the cage wall? It's about half-way back in the chicken coop.
Chickens aren't very nice to new chickens. When we get new chickens we put them in the back and shut the little door between the two rooms in the coop. We make sure the new chickens have food and water in the back room. We keep them in the back room for two or three days.

Chickens aren't very smart, either. Once the old chickens wake up with the new chickens in the back two or three times they think the new chickens are part of the same flock. Then the old chickens won't pick on or beat up the new chickens.

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We have new ducks, too!
The ducks really belong to Quin and Xander but the ducks are happier in our barn yard than they were in the little chicken coop they were in.

Can you see the difference between the two ducks? What things are the same, and what things are different?

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Thank you for writing me questions! I think your handwriting is getting better.

Annie was born 25 March 2010.
Misty was born 26 March 2011.
River and Serenity were born 9 April 2016.
Can you use a calendar to find out how old they are?

Echo was born 10 February 2014.
She had her first calf on 25 April 2016.
How old is Echo? How old was she when she had her first baby?

Sometimes I wonder why we have lots of animals! We have lots of animals for a few reasons. We like the milk from the goats and the cow. We like fresh eggs, they taste better than eggs bought in a store. We like the things that we learn while we're working on the farm.

We like having animals because most children don't get to see what farm animals are like. Our neighbor children love to come over and visit the animals. Pre-schools, scouts, Activity Day girls, and families love to visit the farm, too. We love being able to share what we do with other people.

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I have some sad news, too.

We have to get rid of Jake, the duck. He was such a nice duck but he has turned into a bully. We can't keep a bully on the farm. It isn't safe for us, or our visitors. Jake will find a new home this weekend.

Can you see him attacking me?
I have layers of winter clothing on so it doesn't hurt. 
He has a strong beak, and long claws on his feet so he could hurt children that come to visit.
We found a new home for him on a farm that doesn't have visitors.
I'm sure he will be happy there.

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Here's a fun picture of Stew!
His coat is so thick that he doesn't mind being out in the snow.
His wool has something called 'lanolin' in it. It's an oil. Oil and water don't mix very well so the snow stays on Stew's back until it melts and drips off. He doesn't get very wet when it rains, either. The water can't stick to his fleece!

Next week I'll show you a little more about wool. I have a spinning wheel and some wool from our sheep. It's so much fun to spin wool into yarn!

Have a great week!

Friday, January 6, 2017

It's Cold!

Welcome back!

I hope you had a nice Christmas Break. We had a nice one, everyone in our family was home! That's the best present parents can get!

Thank you for sending me some questions. I love getting your questions because then I know what things you want me to tell you about.

I think this question says, "Do you have dogs?"
Yes, we have dogs. 
JJ just had a birthday on January 3rd.

Matt is JJ's favorite person in the world! She loves him!

She even likes to sleep on his bed with him!

Our dogs know how to herd the animals.
They know how to move animals from one area to another.
They keep an eye out for strangers at the barn gate, too.
Please send me more questions. Please use your best handwriting so I can read them.

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Dale is riding the goats again, so her leg is almost better!
She still limps a little bit, but she's strong enough to fly up and ride the goats again.

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Oh, my!
Matt forgot to collect the eggs last night.
It was so cold that they froze.
We have to throw the cracked eggs away because once they are
cracked all sorts of germs can get inside.
That might make us sick.
It was very, very cold last night!

It was so cold that our new frost-free hydrant froze. 
We were frustrated this morning because these aren't supposed to freeze.
That means we had to carry a lot of buckets of water from the house out to the barn so the animals could drink today.

As long as the animals have enough food and water, and a place to get out of the wind and snow, they can stay warm, even when it's really cold.

What do you think these are?
My feet get very cold when we're outside so last year for Christmas my daughter got me electric insoles. They charge all night. They fit inside my boots and have a switch to turn them on. They keep my toes toasty warm while I'm outside working in the barn on cold mornings.

We have to clean out Echo's stall every day,
even if it's really cold outside!
We wish she would always poo outside the stall,
but cows and other farm animals poo where ever they stand.
Ewwww! Yuck!

What do you think we do with all the piles of poo?

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We give the animals some vitamins and minerals every day. Do you take vitamins every day?
Sometimes the animals don't like them so we hide them inside pieces of bananas.

If you look closely you can see two vitamin pills pushed inside the banana.
They love the minerals so I roll the banana around inside the bag of minerals.
They think they are getting a yummy treat when they get a
piece of banana rolled around in the minerals!

I hope you have a great week!