Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lydia wins!

As of 9:15 this morning, Lydia has recaptured all of the escaped rabbits. Well done, Lydia!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mass breakout at Azkaban... er, back of the yard

Lydia, the farm collie, was just chasing something in the back yard. I went out to see what she had... if it was vermin, then "Good dog!" And if it was a rabbit, then "Good dog!" and catch the rabbit.

It was a rabbit, a baby Cinnamon. Hm. There shouldn't be any way for a baby Cinnamon to get out of its cage. The cages are all fairly new, solid, and without any holes in the wires.

Except... where the feeder goes. Ah. It was the cage with the doe who keeps chucking all her food out of the feeder, and she managed to dislodge the feeder itself, and she and her entire litter escaped through the hole. Swell.

6:35: Lydia catches the first of the babies.

6:50: Lydia catches the mother rabbit.

Oddly, I'm not stressed out at all, as I would formerly have been at the notion of an entire litter being out of its cage. I have every confidence that by sundown, Lydia will have recaptured every last rabbit. At the moment, she seems to have them all trapped under the shed. They'll come out eventually, though, and she's got nothing but time!

Three more babies to find....

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cummington Fair, 2012, junior division

Black Eyed Susans
 Yes, this will involve bragging. No, I won't apologize. Would you?

Amanda entered some Black-Eyed Susans. They grow like crazy in front of our house.
Amanda's knitted scarf

Her sewn goods were really impressive, though! I don't have a photo, but she won a plaque for Best Sewing Display. Not bad for twelve years old!

Did well in cherry tomatoes...
Did very well with paste tomatoes...

We swept the Green Beans...

Also swept the grapes...
Not bad in bread-and-butter pickles, either!
The birdhouse Adam made in wood shop
And the canned green beans...
Amanda's painted rock

Amy Charlotte's dolphin watercolor
Amanda's Four Seasons painting
Andy's pencil drawing of a Halloween train

Amanda's marker drawing of a horse

 I gave up on trying to make these photos go where I wanted them. And the egg photos - while repetitive - just wouldn't format at ALL. Take my word that we won half a dozen ribbons for eggs, please.

Cummington Fair, 2012

My children and I always look forward to the Cummington Fair. Of all the agricultural fairs around here, it's my favorite. It's big enough to be fun and exciting, and small enough to be manageable and not intimidating. We were introduced to the Fair in 2008 by a friend, who invited us to enter Peanut Butter, our first Cinnamon buck, in the rabbit competition. He won a blue ribbon - that he was the only one of his breed entered didn't really matter to us. Since then, we've expanded our entries. Here are photos of (most of) my ribbons. (The baked goods' photos came out poorly, because they were all inside glass cases. You'll just have to take my word for them.)

I entered eggs in five categories - medium and large, white and brown, and "any other" eggs. I won a red ribbon (2nd place), two white ribbons (3rd place), and a yellow ribbon (4th place).

Apparently the brown eggs were supposed to be all the same shade of brown - but where's the fun in that?

I entered three tomato categories - heirloom, paste, and yellow cherry. My heirloom "Brandywine" tomatoes won a red ribbon - yes, I know they're cracked, but the first-place plate were only slightly less cracked. My paste tomatoes did much better - a blue ribbon! The yellow cherry tomatoes also won a blue ribbon, but honesty compels me to acknowledge that they were the only entry in the category.

For "exotic vegetable" I entered an artichoke, which also won a blue ribbon. There were other entries in the category, but I don't remember now what they were. And my green Concord-type "Niagara" grapes also won a blue ribbon! There were some purple grapes entered in that class, as I recall.

 In the upstairs hall, I entered baked goods, canned goods, and knitted items. My white bread won a white ribbon, the 'marble square' bar cookies likewise won a white ribbon, the brownies won a red ribbon, and the banana chocolate-chip muffins won a white ribbon. My multi-grain bread didn't place, though.

I entered a bunch of canned goods - grape jelly, diced tomatoes, green beans, bread-and-butter pickles, all of which failed to place. What did win a blue ribbon, though, was the grape jam, made from the Niagara grapes... and it's the MOST DISGUSTING shade of olive I've ever seen. I was quite bewildered!

The fingerless gloves I entered as 'knitted novelties' didn't place.

However, the baby blanket won a white ribbon. The bed blanket won a red ribbon.
And - finally! - after three years of entering sweaters made from the same Icelandic pattern, I won a blue ribbon!!!

I'll show the children's accomplishments in a separate post.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I joined Planet Fitness on September 1st. Naturally, my children had three sick days within the first week of my membership. I made my first trip on Tuesday, September 11th. I biked there (1.6 miles each way) and did no more than the PT exercises for my back before heading home. I thought my legs would fall off.

I went again on Saturday, September 15th. Unless I specify differently, assume I biked there, which I did on Saturday. I did my PT exercises, followed by a very modest tour of the machines. I focused mostly on my arms, since biking is as much as my legs can manage yet.

Next visit was on Monday, September 17th. Again I started with my back exercises, then did a slightly more ambitious round of machines. So far so good - I have really been careful about starting slow, lest I utterly cripple myself.

My fourth visit was today, Wednesday, September 19th. After my back exercises, I added a little bit more weight to the machines I have been using.

I have noticed that my legs are strengthening a bit - biking there didn't leave me sucking wind today (despite a stiff breeze in my face) like it did the first day.

And - best of all - 1 pound gone! 193/145... 48 to go.

EDIT:  Whoa - I just looked at that first day's post, and the news is even better - THREE pounds gone! (still have 48 to go, though)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New beginning

I have a plan. I'm doing pretty well sticking to it so far!


More to come.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

August 2, 2012 - RIP Decker

Decker and Sheba, 2001
Oh, what a sad day here at the Acre. Our beloved Decker went to the Rainbow Bridge to join Sheba and Mickey (and Draco and Amber, barn cats). The vet came to the farm to give the goatlings their vaccines, and helped us say goodbye to Decker. I wept and wept. It's awful to say goodbye to one dog, but to lose two in one summer was almost unbearable. Bless Lily and Lydia for keeping us company still.