Cold Sunday Morning and Lady Madonna

It was cold this morning when I left work.  I noticed the first Trumpeter Swans I have seen this autumn flying over.  I drove home and started the chores.  

On Thursday I had moved the hen and her hay loft chicks into the empty mean rooster pen.  By Friday they had escaped into the chicken pen.  This morning they are out in what we call the pheasant pen (where we used to keep pheasants).  Here they are, growing up:


I moved these guys out of the weasel proof pen to give the peachicks more room to roam.  Here they are this morning with the hen who hatched them.  They are growing up too and starting to get nubbins on the tops of their heads.  


With the frost the squash leaves all wilted.  I harvested the remaining squash and found some more hidden by the leaves.  Here are the spaghetti squash I grabbed.  You can see some more were eaten by rodents again.


I also found some pumpkins, the salvageable ones are on the right.  I did find one more butternut squash this morning too.


The chewed on squash went into the barnyard.  This hen was the first to start eating.


Then Little Man and one of his hens started.


Finally Saphie the goat started eating one too.


In other news, we had to say goodbye to Lady Madonna this morning. She was born to our Miss Lizzie, sired by Lewis, in April 2007.


I sold three lambs (including her) and three goat kids to a man that July.  In February 2013 we had to rescue two of the sheep (her and Ewegenie) from a horrible situation.  We also took back in two of the goats (Gertie and Wiki) we had sold him that had subsequently gone to a goat rescue.  One lamb Shauna and one goat Little Queenie had died in his care.  The photo of Madonna above was cropped from our blog’s banner which sadly showed all three of the lambs that I sold into that horror.  I keep it there as a tribute.  Below is the photo of Ewegenie and Madonna being brought back home.

Ewegenie and Lady Madonna in the trailer0213

Below is Lady Madonna about to be sheared later that month.  I assume that she hadn’t been sheared the whole time she was away (>5 years).  

Madonna before shearing0213

Here she is with her 5 years old wool removed as best I could.

Madonna mostly sheared0213

Here she is three years later hanging with Heidi.  

Heidi and Madonna 122016

Here she is being sheared in 2017.

madonna being sheared 0317

That fleece was combined with three other of our black Shetland fleeces from that year to make this yarn which I love.

2 ply sportweight black Shetland yarn from Hodor, Diddley, Jet & Madonna, ~3 oz, 250 yards, $9 1217

Here is her shearing from 2018.

Madonna 0318

Here she is with her maintenance last year.

Madonna 1119

And here she is being sheared this last spring with her last fleece below that.

Madonna shearing 0320Madonna fleece 0420

She was doing well then, but she has been dwindling over the last 2 months.  She was slightly thin with fall maintenance in September so we were spoiling her with extra feed.  But over the last 2 weeks she was eating less and separating herself from the flock.  I did try antibiotics as these can be symptoms of pneumonia, but it didn’t help.  Here is my last photo of here from 4 days ago.  She was still eating some and getting around, but we found her dead this morning.

old Madonna 1020

Now we only have one animal from that rescue, our Ewegenie. I will miss sweet Madonna. She was a nice sheep who survived a lot and deserved better than she got in her life. But I have tried to make it up to her these last 7 years. Hopefully I did.

PS One of my favorite bloggers had a accident and is in the hospital. I am hoping for the best for The Weaver of Grass.

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These Are Historic Times

we are in.  Here are photos from my drive home the other day via our post office.

I took the photos with my cell phone through the windshield so they didn’t turn out great.  The one above reads God, Guns and Country.

Then these are photos taken driving home from the grocery store in Sedro Woolley with a better camera.

“Keep America Great”

Then I watched the debate last night.  Thanks to the mute button, it was not complete chaos.  You could actually listen to their answers.

This is a song I heard listening to one of my radio shows from Shetland.

I am currently reading All The Light We Cannot See.  It is a great book, and it reminds me that things can be much worse, especially in how people can treat each other.  I am really hoping that things will not deteriorate further.

Posted in Farm, History | 8 Comments

Hunting Widow’s Cooking and Fermentating

Tom was away hunting again, leaving last Friday.  So I took the opportunity to try some recipes that he wouldn’t like.  

Since I am only allowed to drink one glass of wine, I am not able to drink my cocktails.  So I decided to make some non-alcoholic fermented drinks.  They should be more interesting in flavor than water and have some health benefits as well.  

I started Friday with making a Ginger Bug.  I have done this before, but it has been a while.  Here are the ingredients I started with and the bug started.


On Saturday I decided to be adventurous.  I made Provencal-Style Fish Soup with Rouille from Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food.  This was an undertaking.  It started with cutting up a Rock fish.  Here is the head and fins I used to help make the fish broth.

Here is the broth cooking.

I miss sipping a cocktail while cooking.  So I decided to make a Honey Berry Kombucha Smash instead.  I hadn’t made my own Kombucha yet so had to buy some and some ginger beer to make it.  Here are these ingredients.

And here is my drink.  It was fancy like a cocktail, fun to sip on while cooking dinner.

And here is my soup almost ready with the mussels opened up.

And here it is in the bowl with the crouton and rouille.  I was really good and different.  I don’t think I have ever had mussels before.  So an adventure for me.

On Sunday I started my own Kombucha.  Here is the sugar, hot water and tea steeping.

And here is the purchased kombucha I used to make my SCOBY.


On Monday I made cauliflower steaks.  I picked the last of our basil to make the pesto.  Here it is.  I do prefer Salmon Pesto from Alice Bay Cookbook instead.  

Tonight I made Succotash using the last of our zucchini and some of our frozen corn.  It is from Alice Water’s cookbook as well.  I had to use frozen lima beans as I couldn’t find fresh ones.  Here it is all cooked upon.  I had a sausage with it.  It is really good.

So that was my week of cooking and fermenting. Tom came home this evening a little early after he got a four point buck this morning. So now there will be venison on the menu. Although I have already thawed on of the chickens for tomorrow’s dinner.

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