New Friends and Birthdays

Recently Ragnar the Rooster made his way into our flock of chickens, not in the usual way of hatching, arriving as a chick, or being purchased. No, one day he arrived via box left at the end of our property. I have been wanting a new Roo for awhile, a protector for our girls and as it was hard to get new birds this past spring, I wanted to be able to hatch chicks of our own.

Ragnar is incredibly sweet, appears to be a young Easter egger. To whomever dropped him off, thank you. We can hold him without fuss and he is very friendly. This could have gone a different way.

We may have other new friends soon, as we found wild turkey eggs in the middle of our front yard one afternoon, no sign of a wild turkey anywhere. We hunted all around to return these eggs to the nest but had no luck.

Having no idea how to return them to their mother, we have stuck them under our broody Beauty, who yes once again has a desire to become a mother hen. Maybe she will get her wish. Before doing this we checked the laws, I had no desire to get into trouble of wild turkey eggs. However, thankfully no law has been broken and I really did not want to toss the eggs.

We have two birthdays this month, not human form but furbabies.

Ailey is reaching her 9th year. Her birthday is in two days.

This goofy girl will be two on the 29th. Runa has started to hit the “teen years” for sure. Chewing the (electric) chicken fence, digging holes, and ignoring commands. Sigh we will get there, she was far too perfect in behavior and temperament up until now, I should have known 😂

Everyday the garden grows a little more. The rows of potatoes, corn, popcorn, squashes, and root vegetables are looking amazing. Tomatoes this year…well not so much. We are in a drought and have to be careful with watering. Rain appears often in the forecast, but we have seen very little of it this year.

Today however, today looks gloomy. There are dark clouds overhead an the weather app is still showing a storm 🤞 Perfect day to stay inside and work on a project.

Or two, providing my new knitting needles arrive today. While I generally have no issue with these wooden circular knitting needles that came cheap in a bundle, they don’t do so well when more than one strand of yarn is involved 🤷🏻‍♀️

Have a great day folks!

Prejudice is an emotional commitment to ignorance. – Nathan Rutstein

Here and there

We’ve been everywhere.

Enjoying violin lessons, today will be our third lesson. We’ve spent countless hours practicing at home.

We went to my favorite place on earth (well because my sheep aren’t here yet, someday 👏)

I brought home the Christmas version of monopoly and now we all have our own set.

We spent the day at Pine Point in Scarborough Maine last Friday. The water was perfect and the sand just right for building. Our spot on the beach wasn’t overcrowded and the weather was sublime. What felt like an hour was really four and it wasn’t until tummy’s started rumbling for something other than the snacks brought along, did we finally pack up and go in search of dinner…and then ice cream (Bayley’s chocolate raspberry truffle is amazing and highly recommended.)

We’ve been at our own beach where I’ve been working on this ten stitch baby blanket.

For my little nephew due next winter.

And then we have been home

Making chicken sausage from laying hens that went into the freezer last fall, after many failed attempts they were just too hard to eat, so we tried another approach and I must say, they are delicious. I am thankful for this because we had 20+ hens in the freezer and short of feeding them to the dogs, we had no idea what else to do.

Now they will feed us through the winter and continue to keep us from having to rely on the grocery store.

We’ve been in the back pasture moving the 15 remaining laying hens, the rest have found new homes on other farms. We now move our coop on wheels once a week rather than every other day.

What have you been doing to fill your summer days?

Melting

Day by day the snow is quickly leaving.

Birds now go out during the day

While two dogs keep an eye out for winged and four legged predators

Garlic is popping up through the soil

And several rows of potatoes have been planted.

The trampoline has been put up after weeks of begging

Repairs have happened to the out door coop and I will say, it was nerve wracking with high winds, to not only be in it holding on to the roof while the sides were getting screwed in, but also to watch my husband up high during those winds. Though I think the dogs chasing each other while Toph was on the ladder was worst of all, I definitely took a dog head to the knee when I stepped between Runa and the ladder and she ran into me.

I piled my first yarn on my new wheel,

It had been spun up on my Edam, but I was wanting to play on the kiwi. I know awhile back people commented that my older wheel was not a Wernekinck Edam, however a spinning group I am in has confirmed that it is indeed an Edam.

As I am getting ready to sell it I wanted to know for sure.

This isn’t at all the colorway I was going for but it has grown on me and now I’m trying to find the perfect pattern for it.

Late last summer a friend asked me to spin the hair from her doodle, the fibers are short and they shed when spun, but I blended them in with some Romney wool and I wasn’t sure how much yarn I would get from this dog, but I’ve hardly made a dent in the ziplock bag.

Have a great day folks!

A little green

As I sit here and sip warm tea from my mug, enjoying the last of the natural heat coming from the greenhouse on this warm 48 degree day, I am ready to admit that I miss the warm sunshine and the green grass.

Yes, this snow lover is caving. The rain and ice this winter has really gotten me down, too many falls, too many walks to the greenhouse to feed birds and try to collect eggs in freezing rain. I love the beautiful glitter of snow, the smell of it in the air, I love how it perfectly forms to my body when I lay in the front yard for a mid afternoon snow nap.

But I’m ready folks and I’m not alone, so here’s a blast from the past because March always feels like the longest month.

Enjoy!

Always Busy

I wish I could slow down time once in while so I could sit down and update here more often. I’m always on the go, only sitting down for meals, folding laundry, and reading a quick paragraph in a book before I fall asleep at night.

The garden has been keeping me busy, with the harvesting

And the canning

I have pickles, apple sauce, pie filling, stew starters, relish, and pasta sauce.

We’ve been talking about downsizing the garden, because it was really too much to handle and perhaps maybe having a small garden for us and not selling at farmers market is the way we need to do things right now.

We’ve also talked about downsizing on the amount of chickens we have, we sell to many different places but the stress of it all is getting to be a bit much (I displaced a rib last week). Maybe 30 backyard chickens instead of 200+ (anyone interested in buying some organic, pasture raised golden comets that just started laying?)

I am ready for winter, I am ready for slowing down, and I’m ready to spend more time playing with this little ball of fur.

I’m also ready for sheep 😂 I keep hearing my husband tell people that sheep will be next and I did find two FREE Icelandic sheep on Craigslist today.

Time will tell, I have the herding dog, so sheep are the next logical step right?!

Have a great day folks!

SURPRISE!!!

This is the very last thing I expected to see this morning as we gave the roosters the old heave ho a few months ago.

But she waltzed out of a wooden area with her “missing” Rhode Island Red Mother, who is currently sitting on another egg. I wonder how many other babies will join our farm! Naturally this one was has been named…Surprise! Stay dry little one!

(They we’re hiding in the nesting boxes we use in the greenhouse in the winter, we’ve put a metal roof on to protect them from the storm. Mama refused to go into our broody pen with the baby, so we decided to keep them together where they feel at home)

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!!

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!