Friday, December 30, 2011

Belated Christmas Arrival

This part of California has had no rain for all of December, but 17 days of below freezing temperatures.  I was so glad this baby was a good size single from older mama.  I had a feeling Christmas night she was going to lamb, she wanted to stay out in the pasture when the rest of the sheep came in, I had to go out and get her to come on in.  This little guy was checking out the hay first day.  Need to keep a close eye on some of the other Dorpers to see if anyone else is ready to lamb.
Born 12/26/11

I bred the Shetland Sheep later this year than last, hopefully there will be grass by the time they are ready to lamb.  Angora goats are going to need to be watched closely since several of them are getting very rotund, hmmm, better get busy building / expanding / moving their pens.

Happy New Year to all.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Looking a Little Like Christmas

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Healthy Happy
New Year.

Guest Bedroom ... I just found this headboard and footboard on
Craig's List.

Carved wooden Snowman is a thrift store find a few years ago...
price still on the bottom ....$2.75

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Obama Legalizes Horse Slaughter for Human Consumption

Author: madeline bernstein
Published: November 28, 2011 at 2:52 pm
Horse slaughter plants are legal again in the United States. Restrictions on horse meat processing for human consumption have been lifted. courtesy of Google Images
In a bipartisan effort, the House of Representatives and the United States Senate approved the Conference Committee report on spending bill H2112, which among other things, funds the United States Department of Agriculture. On November 18th, as the country was celebrating Thanksgiving, President Obama signed a law, allowing Americans to kill and eat horses. Essentially, one turkey was pardoned in the presence of worldwide media while in the shadows, buried under pages of fiscal regulation, millions of horses were sentenced to death.
Horse slaughter has been prohibited in the United States as funding for inspections of horses in transit and at slaughter houses was non-existent. This worked because the horse meat cannot be sold for human consumption without such inspections. The House version of the bill retained the de-funding language and the Senate version did not. The conference committee charged with reconciling the two opted to not include it. The result is that it is now legal to slaughter horses for humans to eat.
Notwithstanding that 70% of Americans oppose horse slaughter, that President Obama made a campaign promise to permanently ban horse slaughter and exports of horses for human consumption (horses can be sent to Mexico and Canada), that documentation of animal cruelty, slaughterhouse stench, fluid runoff and negative community impact exists, it is taxpayers that will bear the costs!
Wyoming state representative Sue Wallis and her pro-slaughter group estimate that between 120,000 and 200,000 horses will be killed for human consumption per year and that Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Georgia and Missouri, are considering opening slaughter plants.
During these trying times, is the only thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on is that Americans need to eat horses?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wash Board Collection

Love my collection of wash boards.  The one on the right is actually semi circle curve instead of the standard flat.  The second one has been made into a cabinet with a towel bar at the bottom.  The one on the far right actually belonged to my cousins relative.  The small one in the front is the first one I had and used it for note board.  The wood on the two on the right are exactly the same, one only has 2 red lines left on the top rest of identity has washed away.

Open cabinet showing shelf inside.

Inside the cabinet door markings ..
National Washboard Co.
No. National 134
Chicago, Saginaw, Memphis

Outside ..
Universal Soap Saver.

I found this at a thrift store for $25, I think another lady might have been a tad upset, because she came up to the counter and looking at it said it was $45 the week before.  I am sure $25 would have fit her budget.  But it is mine ............

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Subject: Department of Labor Proposes to Stop Youth 16 or Younger from Working With Livestock- How to Offer Comments

My daughter sent me this after I had posted that PETA was happy about a ban on all fur clothing, does that mean soon we will not be able to buy leather coats or shoes?  PETA needs to understand that there are only so many male animals needed per female and something has to be done, they cannot all be pets.  Therefore those animals provide us with meat as well as hides.  So what are we supposed to do with all the rabbit, sheep, goat, and cattle hides, throw them in the dumps.  I can see protecting exotic animals and making their hides illegal for sale, but does that mean you cannot trim your coat with rabbit fur.  Common PETA get real.

and now here is what she sent me ........................

STOP ALREADY WHEN IS ENOUGH - ENOUGH - Department of Labor Proposes to Stop Yout...h 16 or Younger from Working With Livestock.

Subject: Department of Labor Proposes to Stop Youth 16 or Younger from Working With Livestock- How to Offer Comments

We need to get the word out about rule a proposed rule change by the Department of Labor. The proposed changes would make it illegal for farm youth to do most daily activities on a farm or ranch if they are 16 years old or younger. They would not be able to feed livestock, move cattle from horseback, work alongside family members at the chute when vaccinating cattle. They would not be able to help their grandparents with any farm related activity. Additionally, youth under the age of 17 would not be allowed to show or be around boars, studs or bulls over the age of 6 months old.

Horse shows, livestock shows, youth team roping, youth team penning, youth ranch horse shows would all be impacted by this rule as well. Contact your show associations to make sure they are engaged in the discussion as well.

Please take time to read the article and then follow the link to comment on the Department of Labor’s website. The deadline for comments is Dec. 1, 2011.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fall Colors in My Corner of The World

Even though I live in Central California there are some trees that have a nice display of fall foliage.  My neighbors driveway is lined with Chinese Pistache trees.  Too bad they are not Pistachio trees, some of them hang over my fences. 

These trees were planted by a previous owner, driveway must have at least  100 trees lining both sides of the driveway. 

The mountain on the left gets snow occasionally, and behind the clouds you can see the snow in the Sierras on a clear day.  All that grass is on the other side of my fence ....... of course my sheep are not shy about sticking their heads thru and having a bite since there are no animals over there.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

California Draft Horse Sale

Once again the California Draft Horse semi-annual sale in Tulare, California had something for everyone.  Only walked thru the indoor sale barn, wish I had enough light to have taken some pictures.  It's like everyone in California cleaned out there old barn, attic, back 40 and brought it to the auction.  There were also a lot of well trained horses, riding horses, teams pulling wagons, new wagons for sale, new parts to build or repair wagons, old wagon parts and farm equipment.  This is a 3 day event held every November and April at the Tulare County Fairgrounds.

Need a new buggy.......?

Nice team of horses ................................. ?

An old carriage for a wedding .............?

Old wagon, milk can, tractor seat...................?

and many more items, old plows, manure spreader, grinders,
hand tools, bird house, tin bath tub, you name it they have it,
if you don't find it, wait and come back in 6 months and
you can probably fine it.

Only problem is sometimes other items are lumped together,
last year I bought a couple of single trees, and got a cow
stanchion too, guess I will make a hanging planter out
of the cow stanchion.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Finally, got new tires on the stock trailer yesterday, so today was trip to auction day.  I have had 11 of the Dorpers that I decided I did not want to keep for replacements penned and waiting to go to the sale.  At the price of hay I wish they had gone month or two ago.  Although price on sheep was good, goats were selling much higher.  Time to run an ad for Dorper lambs that are ready to wean, and 4 goats, need to make room for next lambing/kidding go round.  After having the Angoras sheared a couple weeks ago, a few does look awfully rotund like maybe they will be kidding before the end of the year.  Since they were with the billy anything is possible.

Rain we had last month was so welcomed, grass sprouted, then nice warm days and grass was looking really good, now between the sheep and the dry weather grass is drying up.  We could really use another good rain.

With Daylight savings time ending I need to get several outside projects finished (I know we will have the same number of hours of daylight but I am not a morning person, lol).  And the days are getting shorter too.

Right now Iron Chef is on TV .................... If I had to eat the things they prepare I would rather starve, chef could not even pronounce one of the items he is serving, and one made sorbet by using liquid nitrogen.  Makes you not ever want to eat in a restaurant.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Paper Coffee Filters

If you use paper coffee filters and put your coffee grounds in the compost pile, save the paper filters, I use them in the bottom of one gallon flower pots to prevent the soil from washing out the bottom. I recycle black and white print newspaper in a couple of layers in larger pots.

Out of Date Milk

When my girls were in 4H Dairy Goat project the leader asked the 4Her's what they did with all their goat milk, since showing dairy goats in milk meant they needed to be milked twice a day. One of the girls admitted she did not like goats milk and just dumped it in their garden. What a waste. BUT, several years later I read that you should rinse out your milk cartons and water your tomatoes with the water. Even better I have since taken out of date milk, I always seems to have a half cup or so left, I would add water to fill the gallon jug and water the garden. Tomatoes love calcuim, and had a nice abundant crop of tomatoes. No tomatoes, then I added it to compost pile.

Old Socks/Sweat Shirt Sleeves

Several years ago I fell for commercial for Swiffer mops, well instead of buying more disposable pads I take old socks that have holes in them (sorry, mom, I remember all the years you spent darning my socks) and cut them long ways. They fit on the mop head, then just tuck into the slots same as Swiffer pads.

Another use for old socks is for baby goats or lambs, use the cuff for the neck, cut a slit on each side of the heal for kid/lamb front legs, then cut from middle of foot to toe open. A large sock will keep a small kid/lamb warm for first couple of days. Long sleeves from sweat shirts can also be used to help keep newborns warm for first few days. I match sock or sleeve to size of newborn, before I begin cutting, then adjust openings for each one specifically.

Monday, October 10, 2011

OUT !!!

Out, just a three letter word, but can be said as out, Out or as in this morning OUT!  I ran out of coffee a couple days ago, but instead of going 15 miles to town for coffee decided on using up some of my many tea bags instead.  But then this morning was an OUT morning, took the dogs out and standing by the garage was one of the heifers OUT of the pasture and in the yard.  Well all 5 were OUT and must have had a nice night playing in the yard, 3 bales of hay had big chunks out.  They decided to check out the patio, flower pots knocked over, but they stayed in the planters and off the patio.  Thank goodness for Dollar, cows did not like angry barking dog and put themselves away.  Note to self make sure gate is tied shut.  I think I over used the word out. By the way looking out the window the sun is going to be out and it's going to be a nice day.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Playing Match Maker

Going to be time to put rams in with the ewes soon.  Instead of breeding the ram I bought with the same 5 ewes this year, I am going to breed one of the ram lambs to 2 of the older ewes.  Since all 5 ewes last year had twins I am thinking of holding off til next year on breeding the ewe lambs.  Then next year I will purchase an outside ram for the 6 yearling ewes, and any new ewe lambs from next crop.

Original ewes purchased from Diana Flowers, Sierra Shetlands,
 whites: l to r, Macey, Flo, Pebble
Blacks: lto r, Ousta, Ollie

Rams, Alan will be bred again to Ousta and Ollie, love the color of their lambs, and one of the white ewes. 

MHF Alan

Buster will be bred to 2 of the white ewes after rechecking pedigrees and background
colors and 2011 lamb colors.
Buster is an Alan/Ousta breeding 2011 lamb.  Love his coloring.

TLL Buster

Check out 6 ewe lambs from 2011 on my Tombstone Livestock Blog.  Love the variety of colors.  There were 7 ewe lambs unfortunately a Moorit lamb caught her leg in a wire feeder and broke the rear leg half way below the hip.  Vet put her in a splint but because the break was so high up she will never be able to support the weight of lambs, hope to find her a pet / fiber home where there is not a ram.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Temperature Changes

The temperature has really changed since last week, today's high was 74, tomorrow's forecast will be high of 64 with rain.  Last week we were in the mid to high 90's and high humidity.  Today's temp is much nicer ... but ............ time to find the cold weather clothes, a drop of 20 degrees in a matter of days, hard to think about the need to bundle up in just a matter of days.  Really going to need blankets tonight.  Finally turned off the ceiling fans for the first time in months and closed the windows tonight.  Looking forward to the cooler weather, just not quite ready.  Large bag of daffodils to plant, as soon as it rains and the ground is soft, will be a good project.  Bought yellow snapdragons and yellow and orange violas for various planters.  Orange violas were planted in wire basket and will look good with a mini pumpkin tucked in too.  Another project in the process is a bottle tree, the rods are in place, some on the bottles too.  Planted day lillies around the base, just need to soak the labels off 3 more of the blue Azul wine bottles, and drink another 2 and half leaves (Perrier bottles .. lol) and then put up divider fence to protect from romping dogs at play.  Maybe with the cooler weather will be more incentive to get outside and work on projects.  Rain tomorrow will help settle the dust, then a couple of days of sunshine and I can sit outside and watch the grass in the pastures turn green again.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Need to Stop

It doesn't really make any sense to go to the Goodwill or Salvation Army with stuff to donate at the back door and then walk in the front and find more stuff that I really don't need.  Took some old curtains that have been in the cabinet for the last  12 years, (previous owners taste) that came with the house, a basket, and a doggy tv remote holder.  Went in the front and came out with a margarita glass, only one, a gravevine heart shaped basket, and a copper pot.  Hmmmm ok, grapevine basket can be outside yard art, the margarita glass is unusal, not the kind with the cactus, but with a man with a sombero sitting against the stem.  Copper pot label said it originally held popourri, but it could be for soaps or other things.  I guess the point is when you get tired of some things you can always find something else to take it's place.  Like the saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasures.

and now there are 13 little ones
 Craigslist is another one I have tried to avoid lately, bookmarked to farm and garden listings, I don't need anymore animals, actually did a headcount last week and need to downsize, seriously downsize since breeding season is now and there will be more new babies to add to the  13 that were born last month.  But then I wander to other listings.  Found a really neat hand made buffet, want to customize a bit, top shelves are open on the back, would look really good with beadboard backing, (road trip to Lowe's).  Of course right next to it was a stacked unit with 5 wicker baskets and it is painted the same color as the hutch.  Hmmm more projects, buffet bottom has lower shelf and only 2 drawers, would look really neat with a gathered skirt under the drawers to hide plastic bins I have wool and soap making supplies stored in.  Have enough of the same fabric to cover a cushion for white wicker chair.  Now I just need to find a spot for the furniture that is taking up my space ............. maybe another donation trip is in order.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Old Rusty Stuff

Love the old rusty stuff that has a story, some of these are finds from wandering
around here looking at the ground, couple old harness hardware pieces from up in the barn,
and old rake heads that can be repurposed for lots of things.
Have a large rake head saving to make a wine glass holder,
just need to find the right base.

Need to get busy painting the wall on the right
since I scraped all the peeling paint off, projects, projects .....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mud Boots .... A Good Thing

I am so tired of wearing my mud boots in the summer, but after mud came foxtails, so boots protected my socks.  Last night I spent an hour chasing Bella around from pasture to pasture trying to bring her in to feed her.  Kinda awkward when you just stuff your toes into old tennis shoes and don't lace them up.  Tonight I decided to be proactive and put her on the porch before she got away.  So I fixed the dog food pans, gave the dogs their food and went to put empty cans in the recycle bin.  Kept hearing a very strange buzzing noise, thought it must be the solar motion center light that did not come on.  No, went and got the flashlight ........ it was a 3 ft + RATTLESNAKE, trying to hold flashlight and shovel and get snake, snake won and got away.  There is only about 20 ft between my back door and the building behind the house, and now there is a RATTLESNAKE loose in the area.  But sure glad I was wearing my mud boots.  The doggy door is now closed and locked and a shovel is right by the back door.  And believe me tomorrow morning when I go out I will be wearing those big clunky mud boots.

at least I can see Bella in the dark

Friday, September 16, 2011

Close to Fall

Much cooler weather this morning, nice light breeze in the air, so much nicer than last few days when it was already hot at chore time.  Heard the familiar honking of Canadian Geese, looked up to see a flock of 7 flying south.  Can't wait to start planting cool weather veggies, lettuce, chard, brocolli, sugar peas and snap peas.  Only problem I had last year with the peas is I never had enough to cook.  Everytime I would go water I would pick them off the vines and eat them right there.  Guess I should plant more vines.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sloppy Concrete Work

When I moved here I noticed some sloppy concrete work in a couple of places.  Now I am thankful for the sloppy concrete and want to add more.  I hate trimming feet on sheep and goats, and if they are kept on soft ground their feet need constant trimming.  The sheep in the pasture with the sloppy concrete never need their feet trimmed.  Previous owner used a concrete culvert pipe about 2 ft tall, filled the center with concrete and made a nice water trough, then dumped left over concrete about 2 ft around the outside of the pipe, leaving a rough surface.  Anytime the sheep go to get water they are wearing their hoofs down on the rough concrete.  This could also be done at gates or alleys where stock moves back and forth.  Ahhhh another project on the to do list.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

%$%^#%^%$^$% SHEEP

 2 new lambs last week, both rams, went out this morning 2 more lambs, both ewes, went out tonight ............lambs everywhere, there are now 7, finally figured out who belongs to who, now I just hope one of the moms figures it out tonight, one was with this mornings lambs and one was way out by the road by itself, it was checking out the roll of wire to see if it was his mother. Checked on them a bit ago and looks like one of the other moms is willing to accept the one I found out by the road. There is one ewe out there that could use a skate board under her, think I will be getting some milk replacer Tuesday morning.

Naming Things

Had to update my blog name here ............ Dropped one of the "D's" since I found an old reprint of the newspaper and it's name was spelled Tidings.  All other postings remain the same.

The reason for the name Tombstone Livestock ........... there was an owner here previous to the one living here when I purchased it whose nephew worked for a cemetery and saved the temporary grave markers.  These markers look like they were made out of a single bag of concrete and have the name of the deceased and the year they were born and the year they died, just the year, no month or day.  There must be 75 or more here somewhere.  A lot of the markers I have found are from the '70's and '80's, however there has to be some here that are a lot older.  There are 16 of them alone that make up the 2 bottom steps before the concrete steps to my front door.  I have also made a patio out of some of them.  And, I used 2 broken ones outside the crawl space door in case anyone ever has the desire or need to crawl in under the house. The apartment out back was build on them instead of a foundation, and one of the barns is built on them.   The apartment was built prior to 1948 because there was a local water color artist that painted a picture of my house from the hill above, and it is published in his book and the painting is dated.  I assure you no one is buried under any of them.

The reason for the name Tombstone Tidings .......... my grandmother used to write articles for a local paper in the early 1900's and as I remember Tidings was part of the name of the paper.

And then there is the reason I named the Border Collie Dollar ........ our first Border Collie was named Penny, the next one cost more so we named her Nickel, well at my age I don't have time to run thru the rest of the pocket change so I skipped right to Dollar.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Trips to the Mailbox

Lately AARP has been sending me a new membership card monthly, I don't reply, so another month goes by and here comes another membership card.  Now I did join AARP long time ago, didn't read their magazine, didn't find any benefits that I just could not live without so I never renewed.  Now why don't they get the idea that I am not interested. 

Another annoying bit of mail was all the address labels I get.  I finally started replying without sending money asking to be taken off their mailing lists.  I have enough return address labels that will last me way beyond my years left here on earth.  I have even used them to identify my books, casserole dishes, anything I need to get back and yet I still have an abundant supply.  I have ones with dogs, cats, snowflakes, lady bugs, frogs, flags, flowers, whales, butterflies and I can't remember the rest.  I sent 23 requests in one month to 23 different charities asking to be taken of their lists.  I think they are finally getting the message.  I will only need more labels should I decide to move and that is not likely.

I take the Sunday paper only, just cause it has the store ads, not that I want to buy anything from them but once in awhile I do.  But then on Tuesday I get a mailbox full of paper that I just drop in the recycle bin, one is CVS Pharmacy, but then I read that one on Sunday, oh and then, all the pizza coupons, from Pizza Parlors that I don't care for their pizzas plus they don't deliver way out here beyond the sidewalk.

Every week I fill a large bag or two of just junk mail or advertisements I don't want.  Now there is a place where we could save a tree or even a forest.

I forgot ... semi monthly I get a card from the Neptune Society for me to set up and appointment to make arrarangement for my cremation.  Do they know something I don't.  Every other month they are pushing me to make that decision.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September has arrived

I can tell by the gunshots, today is opening day of Dove season.  Can't believe it is September already, where has the time gone.  Soon it will be time to carve the pumkins for Halloween, Thanksgiving Turkey dinner, and then comes the Christmas tree and before long everyone will be singing Old Lang Syne.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer Ending

At least I hope summer is ending, although this has been a fairly mild summer in the hot weather department will be glad to see the end of the 100 degrees and the dry brown barren pastures.  Can't wait for the first rain, every year after the first rain and the sun comes out you can actually sit and watch the grass grow.  At first there is a tinge of green on the ground and after a few days of sun there really will be some grass.  Last year was a really  nice year for rainfall and snow pack in the Sierras.  The river is still running bank to bank should keep farmers happy this year.

One of the Dorper ewes lambed last weekend with 2 little ram lambs, didn't she know that 104 degree day is hot?  Several other Dorper ewes are ready to lamb in the next few weeks.  One thing about the Dorpers is they will breed year round.  I leave the Dorpers with a ram year round so there is usually a good supply of lambs.

Wtih the Shetlands being a wool breed I will wait a few more months before letting the ewes join the rams.  Time to shear the Angoras soon, and then the Angoras will be sheared again in early spring along with the Shetland Sheep.
After all the frustrations of creating my first blog I decided to create a new one to update life here with all my critters.  Tombstone Livestock is located on 20 acres in the Sierra Foothills in east Fresno County, CA.  Currently livestock includes Shetland Sheep, and Angora Goats for their wool and mohair.   Also a herd of Dorper Sheep for meat, as well as Boer Goats.  Other critters here are 5 cows, 2 ponies, a donkey, a llama and several dogs and cats.