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Toots
True Blue Farmgirl

68 Posts

Barb
Brussels Ontario
Canada
68 Posts

Posted - Jan 01 2010 :  04:18:04 AM  Show Profile
Happy New Year to all! I pray that God will bless you all with health , wisdom, knowledge(so you can share it with everyone else), prosparity and wealth in the years to come. Sheri, I hope you feel better. I understand completely about the little germ factories. God Bless you all.
Barb
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - Jan 01 2010 :  05:18:56 AM  Show Profile
Happy New Year! And May God bless you all!!! Cold here in MN today, tonight is supposed to be between -24 and -30 with a high of 1 tomorrow. Todays high will be around 2. The moon has been beautiful, I love the full moons as you can see so much outside at night

Rae

Farm Girl #647

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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oldfashioned girl
True Blue Farmgirl

2391 Posts

monica
oatman az
USA
2391 Posts

Posted - Jan 01 2010 :  08:55:43 AM  Show Profile
Happy New Year! I do hope and pray that all of you wonderful ladies have a prosperous and blessed year to come! I must say that I have been very blessed to know all of you! God Bless you all!

Rae, Stay warm!

Sheri, I will pray that you get better quickly! We have been fighting off colds here too!

Monica
farmgirls rule!

www.justducky48.etsy.com
www.justducky48.blogspot.com
www.duckystreasurechest.etsy.com
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Jan 01 2010 :  12:22:24 PM  Show Profile
WOW another year and new adventures await us...

I have wonderful news - my little deer family returned safe and sound. This morning on my 3 am check of the goat girls I could see them in the pasture nibbling on some of the left over goodies. I was so excited I let out a bit of a scream of joy. They look at me as to say "Yep Mom where Back".. This is the perfect start to my New Year..

I hope everyone will soon be on the mend and that our farms and homesteads are blessed with sound family members both two and four legged. That our business have all the growth they need and that those who have a need of what we do find us. I pray that everyone have a journey that is will be their hearts desire and that our troubles be short lived and gentle on it's lesson. My life is much richer for knowing you all and I count you all in my blessings each day. Thank you for sharing your lives with us and hope we continue thru this year.

Have a great New Years Day from the funny folks at the Funny Farm.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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oldfashioned girl
True Blue Farmgirl

2391 Posts

monica
oatman az
USA
2391 Posts

Posted - Jan 01 2010 :  3:57:02 PM  Show Profile
Grace, I can't tell you how much that has made my day to hear that the little deer family is back safe and sound!!! How wonderful!!!!!

I have good new too! I have finally had 4 sales in the past week!! I even sold 5 pounds of cotton!! Right now I am playing around with making orifice hooks with felted handles!

Happy New Year to you all! Have a warm and wonderful night!!

Monica
farmgirls rule!

www.justducky48.etsy.com
www.justducky48.blogspot.com
www.duckystreasurechest.etsy.com
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - Jan 02 2010 :  12:52:46 PM  Show Profile
Hi all. Hope everyone is having a great weekend. At least I am feeling human again - not 100% yet but better. I'm so glad to hear that your deer family is back and is fine. How are things in the maternity ward?

Congrats on your sales, Monica. How are your orifice hooks turning out?

Got a call from my phone company today - looks like high speed internet has finally hit my neck of the woods. Now that is EXCITING....it's just coming up with the additional funds for the initial hook up. I might actually be able to watch a demo on the internet. How novel would that be?

We had rain on top of our snow so now the barnyard is like a skating rink. It was tricky feeding this morning without falling. I don't care, though it sure beats the cold and snow that we had the past two winters. I'll take it with no complaints and much gratitude.

Blessings, Sheri

"Work is Love made visible" -Kahlil Gibran
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Jan 02 2010 :  7:56:26 PM  Show Profile
Hi all - What a day!!! I spent the day cleaning out all the barns while the weather was good and just as I finished we had lightening and hail - YES, you read that right.

No babies yet, still doing my two hour watchs - thought maybe a New Years Baby but nope....

Monica congrat's on the sales - I told you it was coming...

Sheri I am excited for you - High Speed - someday I might be able to do that - still on the slow dial up... Glad to hear you are almost back to good health, take it easy and mend all the way before doing your skating routine in the barn.

Rae - it seems like you are in the deep freeze. I was at 30 today but like I said hail and lightening - was not expecting that!

Sarita - I took a couple of photo's of the moon and posted them on my blog - I just love it when the moon is so full and orange. However, it does keep my dogs barking and the coyotes howling all night long. It has even keep my huge owl hooting - I love hearing them all but I guess for others it might be creepy.

Barb - I think in some of the past convo's on this forum we listed are best items to have during baby season - if you can not find it we can recreate it again for you. Since you have delivered calfs your not new to this but there are some trick for sheep and goats. Let us know if you need more help because there are many who will help.

Well, I am going to find the heating pad for my aching back and maybe get some more spinning done - think I over did it but the barns are clean, hay moved and the goats and sleeping in the clean digs. Now no matter what mother nature has in store for the farm in the coming week we are ready.... Night all.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - Jan 03 2010 :  04:45:25 AM  Show Profile
We did not get above 0 yesterday but that is January in MN. Sheep don't venture too far from house and food. Sally yells at hubby all the time to get over and give her more grain ;-) They have him wrapped around their fingers!!! Put nice fresh hay in chickens nests so they will be warm, also the heat lamp really helps for them. Just too cold even with good insulation!

Dogs aren't even very excited about going out in this weather!! Usually they love to run around but look at me like I am nuts. They too have routine of running to check on sheep. If sheep are by fence they both sniff each other back and forth, nose to nose, pretty funny.

Hope everyone is getting well. I know the cold thing is starting to go around here, think I had my share with the other nasty flu, whew!!
Rae

Farm Girl #647

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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lsarah
True Blue Farmgirl

256 Posts

Lori
Greenwood Arkansas
USA
256 Posts

Posted - Jan 03 2010 :  08:51:53 AM  Show Profile
I need some advice. My husband and I have raised beef cattle for years, so we know about raising livestock. We are now beginnig a herd of fiber animals, number one, to support my spinning addiction, and number two, as an addition to the etsy business I am trying to start. We are slowly building up some gorgeous fiber sheep, but now have had an outstanding offer on three alpacas. Two are yearling males one white and one light red, and one is an older white gelding. I have laid hands on them and the fiber on the yearlings is of very good quality, especially the white one, and the gelding is pretty good. We are torn as to whether or not to purchase. The price is unbelieveable and they are from a small alpaca rancher that is very helpful and will offer plenty of support after the sale.

We have two concerns. First, even though the rancher was very helpful and answered lots of our questions, we are worried that these are very "fussy" animals and will require lots of time for not much return. My husband works 12-13 hour days, and I am a teacher and gone from home about 8 hours a day. We are not planning to get into the breeding and will probably geld both of the yearlings so being around when babies are born is not a concern. I also have learned they are very heat intolerant and we live in Arkansas (they now live in southern Missouri), which gets very hot and humid late July and August. I am home during the summer, but...........it would just kill me if they died from the heat.

Second, we are VERY concerned that the alpaca market is as uncertain as the emu market was several years ago. We are not getting into this to make money buying and selling animals, just for the fiber and as pets, as most of our other farm animals are. The price of these animals is not of much consequence since it is so low, but, if we eventually decide to sell them, we live in a mostly alpaca-free state (Arkansas) and may not be able to find a good home for them in the future.

Does anyone have practical experience raising alpacas? Is this going to be a money pit? I love the thought of owning them, but I am really concerned about what we would be getting in to.

She works with eager hands...Proverbs 31:13
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Jan 03 2010 :  09:19:57 AM  Show Profile
Hi Lori

I have raised Alpacas for the past 13 years and sold the last one a year ago. There are many things to take into consideration. Price is not always the issue - I have owners in Colorado who are giving the males away. You need to know the micron count on the fiber - baby fleece is always soft it is what happens down the line that is important. Second the care of the animals to make their fiber worth something is key. You must shear before the heat and have knowledge how to do so otherwise you will be hacking off your profits. Also having a spotless environment will bring the fleece price up - I hate when someone raises these animals and sell fiber that is full of VM and think just because it is alpaca it is worth something. White, gray and black are the top price colors, red brown is the least popular - that is because of dyeing is limited and color is not everyones taste. Staple length is also important - you should have at least 5 inches to a years growth to be in the top money bracket.
Management of the animals will depend on how you run your farm. I can give you more information on that but it is way too long for this forum.

As for the future of the industry - it is struggling because of the economy - they have thought of themselves as a niche market and most folks are working hard to make ends meet so unless you know the fiber market real well and have customers who are lined up for the fiber you will be working hard to add them to the profit side of your business. I have a guy who has been in the business for some 20 years and he gives me 50 fleeces a year for free - so that might tell you something. Also we have such a flood of import alpaca fiber that really it is hard to keep your own - trust me I did not go blind into raising them - I had all males and half where top breeding males so they made the money for everyone but I am glad I no longer maintain that herd. I will gladly answer any questions you ahve and I never tell someone not to do something if they love the animal - sometimes you just have to find a way to make it work but just know it will be work...

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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lsarah
True Blue Farmgirl

256 Posts

Lori
Greenwood Arkansas
USA
256 Posts

Posted - Jan 03 2010 :  09:38:36 AM  Show Profile
Thank you for the honest information. I was searching for input from someone who wasn't trying to sell the animals to me, and even though they are VERY nice people, they are still selling a product! One lady who has raised fiber animals for years recommended I just buy an alpaca fleece or two a year, and I would come out way ahead in the long run. We have a brand new pasture ready, and were trying to decide whether to purchase alpacas or more sheep. I had suspected many of the things you pointed out, and we had already decided to just stick with the sheep, they are so timeless and more folks have experience and knowledge of them, but then she made me such an offer that it made us second guess our decision to pass them by. I really appreciate your response!

She works with eager hands...Proverbs 31:13
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oldfashioned girl
True Blue Farmgirl

2391 Posts

monica
oatman az
USA
2391 Posts

Posted - Jan 03 2010 :  8:19:45 PM  Show Profile
Sheri, I am working on felting handles for them and I found out that the beads I got to use as end caps have holes that are just barely too small for the wire so I have to file them out a tiny bit! I have gotten sidetracked a whole lot yesterday and got into this major "spring cleaning" thing at my house! I started in my bed room and did manage to get everything put away before bed, but then last night I started sorting through my fabric and craft stuff in the front room and the next thing I knew it was 2:30a.m.! Today I started pulling out stuff from the utility room where I had some boxes of stuff to list on craigslist and some containers of fabric and right now those are all over my front room! If you have ever read the poem "If you give a mom a muffin" I must say that I am the mom you just don't give a muffin to because by the time I remember it, either the kids ate it hours ago or it's stale and as hard as a rock! haha!! As soon as I find my front room I am going to finish the handles! I will post a pic when I get one done!

You will LOVE high speed! Hubby was trying to watch a demo video and it would take 45 minutes to download on dial up and once we got high speed it took about 1 1/2 minutes! The demo was only 3 minutes long! High speed is great!!!!!! Kind of like the difference between riding a bike and driving a car!

I am so excited to finally get some sales!!! Thank you for the support! I am thinking about starting my own web page! I found out that you can get one for free through windows live and it is only $14.00 a year to have the url part of it! Might be crazy considering I don't hardly have time to keep up my etsy site! It would be nice to set up my own page though!

Hope everyone stays warm and well tonight!!

Monica
farmgirls rule!

www.justducky48.etsy.com
www.justducky48.blogspot.com
www.duckystreasurechest.etsy.com
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Jan 04 2010 :  9:33:32 PM  Show Profile
Hi ladies here is a odd situation I read on another site. This lady who is new to sheep and goat had a goat born last week. This is not a new nanny but with this little kid she went hog wild licking and then bitting the baby. The owner took out the kid and took it inside, stop the bleeding and got it warm. She then took it back outside and the nanny again started bitting the tail till it was bleeding. I suggested it might be a vitamin or mineral lacking - Any Thoughts????

I have seen this happen with the iodine on the cord. I have not seen this with bitting of tail, ears and back. I did have one sheep that was a licker - may word she kept that baby wet making it more then spotless. She was a first time mother and also a hair sucker of any one who was around her. I finally sprayed hot sauce on the lamb and that cured her.

I would love to hear what you ladies might think of this???

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Jan 06 2010 :  09:08:39 AM  Show Profile
Well, still no babies but a bitter cold and storm is rolling into the farm - maybe that will get those babies coming....

Hope all is well with everyone.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - Jan 06 2010 :  10:31:11 AM  Show Profile
We have the cold but not so bad last night. Was only -8 this morning so a little heat wave but weekend supposed to cool down again. I am thinking your storm Grace is going to go under us, I hope. At least that is the way it looks right now.

Sampson needed lots of petting yesterday when I got home. He just stands as close as he can and lets me rub/scratch by his ears

Rae

Farm Girl #647

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Jan 06 2010 :  10:48:05 AM  Show Profile
Rae the ice is getting so thick I gave up trying to scrape it off the windshield of the truck. I had to take out the big lighter to get the clips on the gates to open. It is going to be a slick on today..

Sounds like you have a big baby in that Sampson - My Chief had a hard weekend with in injuried leg but he is doing much better... Big Baby Boy - he almost knocks me to the ground each time I go out to check on the girls because he wants to be seen first, loved first, hugged first - such a big baby boy...

Well stay warm ladies - I think soup, rolls and homemade goat cheese is on the lunch menu. What will be for supper at your farm??

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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quiltee
True Blue Farmgirl

6417 Posts

Linda
Terrell TX
USA
6417 Posts

Posted - Jan 06 2010 :  2:26:08 PM  Show Profile  Send quiltee a Yahoo! Message
There is bitter cold weather coming to north Texas, too. I don't have animals yet, but I worry about my family and friends who do. My son and his family raise alpacas and other animals. I have made an offer on property in East Texas near theirs - and will have 22.7 acres when the bank accepts the offer. I am looking forward to being in the country.

As I posted in a new thread I started, I am also learning to spin - since I have a ready source of fiber. :-) I bought a used Louet S10 from a member of my weekly spinning group. My daughter-in-law is looking for another used Louet - she tried mine and liked the feel of it. Does anyone happen to know of a used wheel that is available?

Linda
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - Jan 06 2010 :  5:33:44 PM  Show Profile
Grace take care of yourself. That ice is not fun, we have lots under and mixed in the snow we got on Christmas.

For eating tonight had Chinese! My daughter came to visit and brought supper Weekend supposed to be cold though so oven will be going I imagine.

Rae

Farm Girl #647

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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oldfashioned girl
True Blue Farmgirl

2391 Posts

monica
oatman az
USA
2391 Posts

Posted - Jan 06 2010 :  8:32:30 PM  Show Profile
I hope everyone stays nice and warm in this terribly cold weather!

Monica
farmgirls rule!

www.justducky48.etsy.com
www.justducky48.blogspot.com
www.duckystreasurechest.etsy.com
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Jan 07 2010 :  09:04:10 AM  Show Profile
BURRRRRRRRRRRRRRR It is -10 right now but at 2 am on my check it was -32 with the wind chill. You would have thought this would get things going?? I prayed that no little one would peak it's head out in this bitter bitter cold...

This morning while feeding Everyone was shaking - even me... I had to carry hot warm from the house to all the pastures because the pumps where frozen. Boy, I am so glad that I am not working off the farm - I send my prayers to all those who have to. The highways where ice rinks this morning and they where saying to give four times the normal time to get to work - at least it only take me 5 minutes to get to work - O.K. my body is really moving slow today - I only have to walk downstairs but today is might take 5 minutes....

Off to a hot shower and another cup of coffee. Stay warm and safe today - they say this is going to last another day or so....


Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - Jan 07 2010 :  09:24:16 AM  Show Profile
Good Morning. It's cold here too this morning but not in the sub-zeros Thank God. I don't envey you carrying water in those temps. We have a lot of ice here too after rain on top of snow and now the cold. It's tricky by the barn as it's at the bottom of a hill so the water tends to sit in the barnyard. Hopefully they have the hills sanded as I have to go to town for chicken feed etc. You stay warm and safe too,Grace.

Hope everyone has a great day.

Blessings, Sheri

"Work is Love made visible" -Kahlil Gibran
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maggie14
True Blue Farmgirl

6784 Posts

Hannah
Washington
USA
6784 Posts

Posted - Jan 08 2010 :  8:14:40 PM  Show Profile  Send maggie14 a Yahoo! Message
Hello All!! How are things going? Well SadieMae is due in a Month so I am busy getting ready for that! I've also been making cards and dish rags to sell here. I am also busy with school. How are you all doing? The weather here is cold and rainy. I hope it snows some more this winter as it has only snowed once this winter and it melted really fast. Although I don't want it to snow when Sadie has her first kid. Well that is all the is going on here. Have a wonderful night!!
Hugs,
Channah

If you can dream it, and if you are willing to put forth the work and effort, you can have anything you envision.
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Jan 09 2010 :  11:51:19 PM  Show Profile
What a perfect day we had at the Funny Farm. The weather was great - the sun was shining and I spent the better part of the afternoon rubbing big bellies and scratching between horns. What a PERFECT day...

I even managed to fire up the Patrick Green Big Carding Machine and get to work on some batts. Today it was Yearling Mohair and Long Lockets of Wyensdale. I had them at a 50/50 blend and I plan on passing them thru again maybe with some Angora and then some sparkle.

I think if today was my last day on the planet I could honestly say IT WAS PERFECT - O.K. if a baby had shown it's self that would have been the cherry on top but still PERFECT

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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oldfashioned girl
True Blue Farmgirl

2391 Posts

monica
oatman az
USA
2391 Posts

Posted - Jan 10 2010 :  09:09:07 AM  Show Profile
Grace, I am so glad that you had such a wonderful day! Makes me feel much better about the week I had which was anything but perfect!! I am so anxious for a new baby!!!!

Hope everyone is well and warm!!

Monica
farmgirls rule!

www.justducky48.etsy.com
www.justducky48.blogspot.com
www.duckystreasurechest.etsy.com
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Toots
True Blue Farmgirl

68 Posts

Barb
Brussels Ontario
Canada
68 Posts

Posted - Jan 11 2010 :  2:43:59 PM  Show Profile
I am waiting on a baby too! What is it with these moms? Grace, how long does a ewe udder up before she lambs? This ewe has been bagged up for a least 4 weeks and her spin is showing because her cargo is so heavy. Her back end for no better word is enlarged, should it be anytime? My children are splitting at the seams with anticipation as I am. I think the more that we want them to come, the longer they wait! Grace, I am glad that you had a great day yesterday. This morning I went out to the hen house which is in a building we house our heifers in and the water bowl leaked and with it being very cold the water froze infront of the door an inch thick. I had to put hot water on it then chip away the ice to get in. When I opened the door, the hen house also had water in it. What a mess! So I got everything cleaned up and rebedded so now everyone is happy. I will be when my tub is full and I am submerged in a nice hot bubble bath! Have a great day.
Barb
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