Happy Thanksgiving to my readers from the US. I hope you all had a nice day with your loved ones. We had a wonderful day with great food and great fellowship. We follow Thanksgiving day with a tradition we call “Holiday Fun Weekend” where we decorate for Christmas, make Christmas candies, play games, watch movies, start our advent celebration, and just have a laid-back fun time together as a family. We decided not to put up the tree quite yet this year, and since Advent doesn’t start until next weekend we held off on most of the Christmas decorating. But we did put up a few things. And we made some yummy candies and enjoyed games and time together.
It was our first time trying maple sugar candy. We didn’t have any molds to pour into, so we poured into cupcake liners and then broke it into chunks. Not as pretty, but still delicious!
We also made our traditional Old Fashioned Christmas Candy, and some eggnog fudge.
The last of the tomatoes have ripened and been canned this week. Last year my longest keeping variety lasted until Christmas, but this year they didn’t keep quite as long. I have been saving seeds from my Long Keeper variety for a few years now – saving from the ones that lasted the longest each year. But it is clear that they cross pollinated last year, because they are supposed to be a red tomato, and as you can see, they are not.
That might have added to why they didn’t keep as long. So I need to see if I still have seeds from two years ago, before they crossed, and I can start again with those. Or I could keep going with this variety – the color is pretty cool with the yellow and blush stripes – but I think I really want to keep going with more pure strain that keeps longer. I am saving seeds from these anyway, but I am going to mark them as a cross-breed.
I am chugging along on my cardigan. Almost done with the body, then on to the neck and front band, and then the sleeves. I am really happy with it thus far, and I know it will look much better when it is blocked. Can’t wait to finish it!
Mrs. Arabel and her 4 chicks are doing well. We finally got some pictures of them. Two are looking to end up white and one brown and one buff. They are oh-so-cute.
I know this is a terrible picture because it is through the wire, however, the chicks are so cute when they poke their heads out from under their mom and they never do it when the door is open so the only way to see it is through the wire. Can you find all three?
Well, the sheep breeding adventure is definitely turning out to be an interesting learning experience. As I discussed in this previous post, this is our first year using our own ram for breeding, and our ram is just on the edge of being old enough to breed, so we didn’t really know how it would go.
We have been keeping a close eye on the barnyard and the sheep for five weeks now since we put the ram in with the ewes. The first 12 days or so were very uneventful. Then we saw that Agnes was in standing heat. Fergus was trying to breed her, but we didn’t see anything we considered successful breeding. I noted it on the calendar and marked the date she should come back into heat if she wasn’t pregnant. Then we went a couple of weeks with nothing happening at all. Then we saw Toffee in standing heat and saw him again attempting, but it didn’t look successful. We marked it down and marked when her next heat should be. Meanwhile, the last mature ewe, Fiona, at no point showed any signs of heat, despite the fact that we had put the ram in with her for over 4 weeks and a ewe’s heat cycle is approximately 17 days. The two younger ewes shouldn’t be mature enough to breed yet, but we did see him attempting to breed Daffodil, though she wouldn’t stand for him, so I guess we just don’t know.
Last weekend we arrived at what should have been Agnes’ second heat cycle, but she never went back into heat. That was surprising. So it seems that the only thing we can guess from that is that she did get pregnant, even though it didn’t seem like it was successful. We will continue to watch Toffee to see if she comes back into heat or not, she is due to come back in the 3rd. And we are continuing to try to figure out why Fiona hasn’t shown any signs of heat at all.
Hopefully all of them are getting pregnant. Time will tell. We will preg test them all in the next couple of months.
Homesteading is a constant learning process and a constant adventure. 🙂