Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Time Flies....


It's been a busy few weeks, but hopefully things will settle down a bit now. Here is a sort of update....

Two views of my booth...



Marshfield Fiber Fair
As you know Jeff got suddenly sick and died, despite all treatments. This was the week before the fiber fair, and as usual I was running 'last minute' on everything. The extra time I spent trying to nurse Jeff through left me a bit behind, but in spite of myself, I did manage to pull enough together to have a good showing for the fair. None of the roving I had sent to be processed made it back in time, but so it goes. At the last minute I pulled four fleeces from the skirted and bagged ones that were going to the fair. A repeat customer had requested them via the website. I believe I ended up taking six fleeces plus two 'back ups' that had only been skirted once. I sold four of them plus two pounds out of one of the skirted-only-once sacks. It was a merino/dorset cross and the lady wanted it for the heavy lanolin to make pin cushions! I also had some roving in various shades of fawn, plus a little black, and some grey. There were also batting of white merino/dorset--some I had cut into squares and sold according to the ounces. These went pretty well. I sold 64 ounces of roving plus the fleeces and the two silk/wool scarves I had made, making this my best year yet. Had some great neighbors, and lots of good help and company with my family and visiting with sheep and fiber friends.

Tempe was very happy I brought her box back from the fiber fair (I had to use it on the scale to weigh roving...)

Vacation:
At home, the following week I boxed up and sold six fleeces (counting the four I pulled). I think I still have about six or seven more to skirt and get listed. Monday the first day of vacation, I mostly just worried the day away. The little black ram lamb had only one descended testicle and I had scheduled for him to go to the vet's to be operated on. (I hope to post that story later too!) Sheep sometimes do not handle anesthesia very well, and can sometimes just not come out of it. At this point, almost a week later, the little guy seems no worse for wear, and is as friendly as ever. He had a very long day at the vet's but didn't really miss his stride once he got home! Also the week before his surgery I had him and his twin at the vet's ---the vet went ahead and castrated the little grey ram lamb at that time. The next evening I went ahead and banded the other three ram lambs. Jasper (the oldest lamb) and his mom went to their new home the day before. Now we are a ram free zone. Except for rotten Blue.

Two pictures of my 'view' for a day and half. See all that 'treasure'? And note two important items for manning a yard sale--cheez it snacks and a good book to read!


I also was preparing for a yard sale off and on all week. Digging out those treasures (aka junk) I've been hanging on to. It's just ridiculous how much stuff I can accumulate. The yard sale was all day Friday and half day Saturday. Since we live out in the country, there were four different outfits that scheduled the sale for those days, in hopes of drawing a bigger crowd. It seemed to work. I did 'okay' and sold allot of stuff, but seemed like I still had too much left. I've boxed up the books for the library store, and two sacks for goodwill to be dropped off Monday. Not sure what to do with all those VHS tapes! There are a couple things I'll list on Freecycle (recliner, etc). It got terribly hot and humid yesterday and it seems we are in for a stretch of that type weather. In the last few weeks I bet we've had 6 to 7 inches of rain or more. The ground is so saturated that it makes walking around hard! (esp. if you are a sheep in a mucky paddock....) Of course all that rain can really crank out the humidity once it warms up.

High cotton, er, grass for the sheepies

Finally got the ewes turned out on the lower pasture. They are less amused than you might think, since the grass is well over their heads and very wet. They lose each other often (all those bitty lambs) and there is quite a bit of squalling throughout the day. With the intense sudden heat and humidity they are really not happy campers. I sure can understand that....

Just a picture of the light on the leaves of a catalpa tree...

I transplanted some tomatoes outside but they aren't doing well at all. They got quite a beating with rain, and now the sun is intense. I stretched a light weight sheet over them to shelter them a little. I didn't get any of my garden out like I thought I would either....

Jeff's fleece getting stuffed into the tub of rainwater...

I am trying the 'Fermented Suint Method' on Jeff's fleece this year. Usually I just mulch the beautiful thing because of the rammy smell, but this year I thought I'd give this a shot. We shall see. I'll try and remember to give an update. (The FSM is basically filling a container (outside) with soft water--rain water being ideal--putting the fleece in and making sure it's all covered with water, letting it soak for seven days. From what I hear the smell is horrible, but in most cases washes out. This method uses the natural suint in the fleece to clean it and breakdown the vegetable matter. I've also heard it can go horribly wrong...)

The clematis are in full bloom. Very pretty this year. The peonies got beat down by the rain and never got to display their full glory.

It's hard to believe my vacation week is over. I hardly got started.

10 comments:

Michelle said...

Beautiful new header photo! I hope Jeff's fleece cleans up nicely so you can use it; that would be a nice memento of the handsome lad.

Louise said...

My, you have been busy. It will be interesting to see how Jeff's fleece comes out.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I'm really sorry to hear about Jeffrey. A sad note in an otherwise exciting week.

It is interesting to hear you talk about these different fleeces and so forth. Eventually, I will understand most of what you say:)
Marnie

Kati said...

So sorry to read about Jeff's passing. It is sad to hear about his brother's dismay at loss of his brother. Hopefully you will be able to use Jeff's fleece! Cam sends a kiss.

Kathy said...

I love that first photo as well, Tammy. It is worthy of framing. You have a good eye! :)
It sounds as though you have had plenty of things to keep you busy and out of trouble. I hope the dogs and cats snoopervised everything for you.
So, how were your fleece sales? I'm hoping you sold out of everything! :)
And thanks for sharing the catalpa tree. Our trees are just now starting to put out some leaves! I have a feeling it's going to be a cool summer for us here in the mountains. I'll have to grow tomatoes in containers on the deck this year - they'll never make it otherwise.

Kim said...

Me too, love that first photo. It makes me think of a farm scene in old world Europe with the vines, the old walls, etc. It would be a wonderful pic to frame, either in color or b&w!

"Suint"... that's a new one for me. I'll have to check into that. I still have Jeff's fleece from last year, so there's a backup just in case your project goes defunct. I will tell you though that rainwater was the best "cure" for getting fresh skunk spray out of my Golden Retriever's coat on a camping trip years ago. After several baths and swimming in a river, he still reeked. He was banned from our tent in a light misty rain, for about a day and a half. What a difference! So, your bucket trick just might work.

Glad you made it through Jeff, the fair AND the yard sale in one piece. You're due for some R & R!

Vicki Lane said...

Love the header photo and the window in the wall and the catalpa tree! All are beautiful! And I really enjoy hearing how things are going in your little kingdom!

欣怡 said...

卡爾.桑得柏:「除非先有夢,否則一切皆不成。」共勉!.............................................

phylliso said...

I love your new header photo,wish I could figure out how to do it,my photos always come out huge.
I`m sorry to hear about Jeff.I have a pair of twins too,I may have to deal with that on down the road.
Your colored lambs are just beautiful!
The sheep fleece I am spinning does have little bits of black hairs in it,like someones eyebrows got sheared off with the fleece.When I carded it,I noticed how it would make good batting material,maybe I`ll felt some.I am spinning up singles too to dye for wool thread to use to applique. The throw I`m making is beautiful,tho, made with it ,I am tempted to keep it for myself,but I really want the family to have something made from their sheeps wool.
I have your brown fleece all spun up,haven`t made anything yet.I admit sheeps fleece is easier to spin than my goats mohair,however I will mix some wool in to help.
I stopped by your dad`s blog,my goodness he makes beautiful things!Hope you have a restful weekend!
phylliso

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

Yes, you have been busy, me too, plus I can't make myself go in the house until after dark.