Saturday, March 17, 2012

name game

I have managed, albeit, a little behind schedule, to get all my supers built, and painted with a coat of paint.

I know they are a green. Apple Jack green. Frank told me I wasn't allowed to purchase any paint, and that I had better start using some of the cans up.
 My two choices of outdoor paint were this shade of green or a pink.

When I was 'assembling' my supers, I glued where it needed, and I used 2 1/4 inch galvanized nails. All the holes were pre-drilled.

From everything I have read, you are not suppose to paint the inside of the supers.
But there is a great debate about painting the outside though.
Some say use a latex, others says use an oil based, others say let the supers weather naturally.
Also I have read that traditionally, the hives are white, especially in the southern States-to help keep the hives cooler in the summer. Also, the northern States have a tendency to go a darker green-to help keep the hives warmer in winter. Again, this all might come down to preference. But everyone seems to agree, that you don't paint the inside and you need let it cure before you add the bees.
There isn't to much information for my neck of the woods. So I am  going to wing it!! 

I am going to indulge in my eccentric side, and name my hives.
The boys want me to name the hives 'Super Bee', 'Apple Bee', and 'O Bee One'.
Maddie gave me three ladies names from Shakespeare's plays: 'Ophelia' 'Titania', and 'Cordelia'.

What say all of you?

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Happy St. Paddy's Day!!!


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Friday, March 16, 2012

We must be getting really good at 'altering' things to suit our needs.

'The world is what you make of it, friend. If it doesn't fit, you make alterations." 
 Stella from 'Silverado'

When we were at the Canadian Tire store last weekend in Peace River, I noticed ironing board covers. My cover was in really rough shape and the ironing board use to be my mother's. I remember as a very small child ironing my dolly clothes on this ironing board. How I came to be in possession of said ironing board, I don't recall. When the board came to reside with me, it was even naked. I bought a new cover for it than. Oh so many years ago. Hence, the reason why I was looking at new covers at Canadian Tire. 

Plus I was getting tired of Frank's threats at throwing out my precious ironing board.

I was looking through all the different patterns, widths and lengths offered. I didn't think it was so hard to pick out a new cover. I didn't realise there was so many choices. So, I erred on the side of caution. I grabbed the package that offered the longest cover. Which was 48 inches. It was a Debbie Travis cover for $25. Frank was having a mild kaniption fit over the price.  I noticed brand new ironing boards with a cover for $30. But they were made out of a very light material. I want to say plastic.  The more heavy duty ironing boards were from $60 up towards $90.  

This conversation between Frank, Maddie and I was happening because I wasn't sure if the Debbie Travis cover would fit. Honestly, I thought it would be to big. Plus, really to be honest, I was mulling over the idea of having something brand new. Which in my world, is rare. But I was attached to my very old ironing board from the sixties. Along with the black tape to replace the rubber that was missing on the one leg. My board was full of sentimental value. All those little dresses and outfits I have made on that thing. Plus all those blue jeans that got ironed when they came off of the clothesline when I was a teenager.

 How could I possibly replace old reliable with something that would break in a couple of years? 

Nope. I will just buy a new cover. 

 Than Frank pipes up, 'Why don't you just make one?' 

See ladies this is what happens when you get real good at building, fixing, or re-purposing things. The hubby starts to think you are a super builder or something.

I politely told him 'No. I will buy a new one'.

The next day I measured my ironing board. Guess what? The Debbie Travis cover was six inches to short! The chances being back in Peace River in the next couple of weeks to return the cover were slim to none.

Frank says, 'What about the ironing board that is in the fat man shed? The cover might fit that one.' 

(The fat man shed is dubbly named not by me, but by the kids. This particular shed has an extremely skinny door. Which I can barely fit through. Please, I don't wish anybody out there to get offended. And if you are, I am deeply sorry.)

 Frank brings it in. Guess what? 
Yep. It was exactly the same length as mine. But better condition than mine. Had all four rubber thingies on the legs. Even stood taller than mine. 

'Well,' he said. 'I could cut down the square end, the required amount and than your cover should fit.'
'Ok. But which one would you cut?'
'Which one do you want me to be wreck?'
'Not mine.'

And of course, I didn't think about taking a before photo.

Frank cut off the six inches, and bent the ends in.

The Debbie Travis cover fits well enough.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

getting ready for lambing

For the last few days, I have been getting ready for the up-pending lambing season. This year -fingers crossed-I will be lambing out eleven ewes. Lambing should start about mid-April.

 Maddie has managed to get the weanlings de-wormed. She has also separated the two of them out of the pen with whom they had been sharing with my ewes. Maddie and I also managed to separate Lawrence and moved him in to another pen. We did kick Charlie out with the horses, but Brigan was showing our tiny little stud that he was the dominate one in this herd. So Maddie put Charlie back in with the ewes and Ezio. More so for his own safety and our piece of mind. Charlie is head over heels in love with the buckskin filly. So he will just have to do his visiting through the fence.

Got the lambing jugs cleaned out of all the things Frank was storing in them. Ordered lambing supplies, which have since arrived. Frank has started feeding the ewes some alfalfa hay. Frank and I also built 2-- eight foot by four inches wide, feed bunks for the ewes. I started feeding the ewes grain twice a day.

When it is time to feed the ewes their grain, Ezio and Charlie first have to get put into the barn.

Yesterday, I enlisted the help of family to assist me with the crutching. Hubby gave vitamins A & D to the ewes. I know one day, I will just have to bite the bullet and start giving needles myself. In time. Towards the end of our task, one of my ewes decided she wasn't going to have any part of this crutching thing, and decided to escape. The only problem with that idea was that I was standing in the path that led towards her freedom. I have been around livestock for over twenty years, and this is the first time, I got injured. She rammed my knee. Man did that hurt!!! Needless to say, it has slowed me down. Alot! Good thing it has been snowing all day, today. Can't do much out there now.

Crutching is the trimming away of wool from the crotch area and around the udder of the ewe. The benefits of crutching before lambing it just gives me a better view of the vulva and the udder. It will help me to see which ewe would be the next to lamb. Plus by trimming all of the 'dirty' wool from the butt area, it aids in a cleaner birth, if I have to intervene. Crutching removes the wool tags from around the ewe's udder, and this prevents the lamb from sucking on dirty, possible germ laden tags.

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