Staying cool

Leif is back to his normal, crazy self. He has been spending his afternoons swimming in the lake.

I’m looking forward to my back being healed so I might join him. We don’t have air conditioning at our house, the lake has been our way of keeping cool this summer.

His evenings are spent camping out with dad

This morning he spared an hour of his “survival practice” time to help pick blueberries to freeze and make into jam.

We like to start harvesting berries as soon as they are big and plump. We freeze them for winter snacking and use them to can jams & jellies.

The rest we leave for the bears, because it my personal experience, if you leave fruit for bears, they will leave your animals alone. I’m sure it’s not exactly true for everyone, but on our farm, so far I’ve see plenty of bear scat near where our animals are and yet the bears leave the critters alone.

We have been trying to beat the heat by working in the early mornings and getting chores finished before it gets too hot.

The garden is happy right now, we have been picking plenty of veggies to sell at the farmers market (North Conway Farmers Market if you are up in the White Mountains 😉 )

Sunday while it was still cool out and I had the house to myself, I overdyed some yarn I had dyed a while back.

Some New Zealand wool and Corriedale, while I like the colors somewhat, I wanted something different.

The New Zealand wool still has a spot of orange on it, I’m not sure what I will make with it.

The Corriedale (to me), is simply stunning.

It’s also currently up on the Etsy shop.

I am crossing my fingers we see cooler temperatures soon. It is too hot to spin wool and I’m trying to crochet/knit in the early morning hours and late at night when I can stand to touch yarn.

Stay cool folks! 😎

We cave

Life, no matter how you choose to live it, has its ups and it’s downs, and these last several days have been full of many downs.

Starting with a back injury that has rendered me useless on the farm until everything has been healed, no lifting, and careful movements.

Next three head injuries in two days for the little boy in the house (two minor and one big) thankfully he is okay and only ended up with a goose egg, but still very scary. He has recovered in body and spirit.

The last is losing a beloved pet. Like the rest of the country, we have been hit with a heatwave of temperatures hitting anywhere from 93-100 degrees. Hard on humans and hard on animals.

Sometimes, no matter how much shade, ice water, or frozen water bottles you put in with animals, it doesn’t help.

Heat is especially hard on angora rabbits, sadly Noël passed away. I will probably never own another angora rabbit as long as we live where it gets this hot. She had a haircut in anticipation of the heat, but sadly everything we did just wasn’t enough and that is not okay.

They say things happen in threes, I’d rather they be good things.

Lazy Crazy Hazy Days of Summer!

School is out and just like that I have a 3rd grader and a 7th grade!

Don’t let my girls sign fool you, she’s moving on up. She has had quite the school year and due to her academic achievements, she is bypassing sixth grade completely. However as mom and dad are not big fans of the middle school in our are, she will be homeschooled once again, only this time with the addition of her best friend.

We have received our curriculum

As well as several educational donations from townsfolk. The girls have been asked back by their art teacher to come in and help teach the younger students, we have a lot of community members offering to teach the girls different skills.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, I am so grateful that our little tiny hamlet of a town wants to pitch in.

Speaking of education, I was able to attend the graduation of a niece and nephew

I was glad to be able watch them get their diplomas and get ready to start the next chapter in their lives. They were both born my freshman year of high school, so I only feel slightly old.

The days are so long and warm now, we have been soaking up the sun while we work, play, relax, and visit with family.

Have a great weekend folks!

Sheep and Gardens

Don’t get too excited, it isn’t what you think. Believe me when I say, that I want this title to be about my very own sheep. Alas, the sheep in which my title refers is to all the beautiful sheep that I saw Mother’s Day weekend at the NH Sheep and Wool festival.

I had my mind made up before I left the house, I had a list & knew what I wanted.

And I will tell you friends, that Alpaca was definitely not on my list

But I bought a pound.

Goat was also not on my list…yep, I bought an entire angora goat fleece.

I had considered buying merino again, from a new vendor this time. Alas I found none. Instead I went to the judging barn and fell in love with a beautiful Corriedale fiber. The only thing I got this was actually on my list was Navajo Churro, I am interested to see how that spins up.

Not everything thing has been washed, but I finally got the chance to washed the beautiful Shetland wool that I was gifted last fall. I’ve been using my new combs and combing up a storm at our booth at the farmers market.

I also has some of Noël’s fiber to spin up. She has fought me for so long about getting sheared, last week we had a hot day of 85 and she just sat on my lap with no fuss and allowed me to cut away. She looks like a whole new rabbit!

As much as I love snow, I am glad the heat is here. We have been busy transplanting veggies out into the garden beds. Last week we had the help of my nephew who was up from Georgia!

He helped with the beds and helped us fence off two acres of woods for the pigs

The potatoes are getting bigger every day, we planted thirty pounds this year!

Set up a drip irrigation line in the greenhouse

And finally put the babies out with the big girls.

I have two (yes that’s right) projects finished

This beautiful lap blanket that I had been making for my grandmother, I gave it two her two days before she passed.

The second is the mandala waistcoat I had been working on for my cousins wife. This was a challenging project, but I enjoyed making it.

As we are on our first of many days of rain and it is dreary outside, I will end this with a bit of color. I’ve had a request at the farmers market for colorful wool for felting.

And I delivered!

Have a great week folks!!

A sad goodbye

These last few weeks have been a crazy whirlwind of emotions. Happiness and excitement at the NH Sheep and Wool, were quickly replaced with sadness and heartache.

Yesterday evening, after a long battle with cancer, I lost a big piece of my heart.

This strong beautiful woman helped raise me to be who I am today. I love you Gram.

Warm

The temperature is slowly warming up and everyone is making their way outside.

Though they are now back in the chicken wagon, we fenced off the back end of the greenhouse and let the girls out to stretch and scratch and enjoy the sunshine.

The ducks give us our daily egg hunt, start laying in the duck wagon ladies!

We got five little piggies a week ago, their mom lives at Story land in the summer months, if you see her tell her that her piglets are being spoiled.

We made a four hour round trip to Clinton Maine on Friday, we picked up our order of fruit trees, bought seed potatoes, clover, & trays.

I didn’t want to leave

We had to stop a few adjust the trees (70 mph on a highway for over 100 miles 😳)

We made it home safe and sound, trees unharmed.

Have a great day folks!

New babies

We have been hit with the flu, school has been missed, and house work has been ignored. We’ve spent our time cuddled under blankets with books and “pizza”

Or consuming large amounts of coffee to get us through the day

We won’t let it get us down, there is far to much to do.

Despite the freezing rain coming down outside, we have flowers popping up

We have veggies of all kinds making appearances in our indoor greenhouse

and we have 150 new babies

Making friends with old babies.

My wheel has been fixed and the cake batter romney yarn has been plyed.

Wool combs have arrived

and I can already see a large difference between combing and carding, also carding already combed fiber is softer than regular carded fiber.

The merino for instance. Combed vs carded. Not perfect as I am realizing this merino was picked out when I had no idea how to pick wool and I have a lot of second cuts it appears. I know better now.

Look how nice and clean the romney looks, free of dirt and neps.

Combed and carded together.

My mind is racing with different ideas for this wool. Will I stick it on Etsy, will I dye it and spin it? I’m just not sure. I can say that I am very excited for the fiber festival in a few weeks.

Have a great day folks!