Saturday, July 11, 2020

So Hot

Heat is much harder on sheep than cold. Yet another reason I know I'm a sheep.  We are all miserable...but hanging in there.




I made the mistake of sharing the following video with Saint Tim and a couple friends.  Now whenever I complain about the heat they all say (very melodramatically) "Oh, it's so hot.  So, so hot."  I'm glad I still think it's funny.  Mostly ;-).

Enjoy :-D

Friday, July 10, 2020


Well, one. One monarch. But more are surely coming!  

How could they resist this buffet :-D. 

Last year I planted milkweed seeds in two of the raised beds and my cousin and I transplanted 10 plants from the back field into the lavender garden.  Nine of the 10 plants came back this year with extras on the side and one of the raised beds is so packed with milkweed plants that I haven't even had to weed it all summer.

I also planted plenty of buckwheat and scattered several packets of seed mixes for butterflies, bees and birds.  There are still a few lavender plants left after three years of way too wet winters and a few volunteer sunflowers have popped up as well.  I'm just now seeing some mixed flowers and I can't wait until the whole garden is blooming!

This picture shows how many milkweeds are packed in the raised bed just outside the lavender, now known as the butterflies, birds and bees garden.

This picture maybe better shows how tall they are.

I tried (once again) to plant some vegetables this spring, Victory Garden style, and (once again) in the event of a zombie apocalypse, we're going to be some of the first folks out.  But, hey, we'll have lots of pretty flowers ;-).

Here's a new puzzle that ought to keep you busy for awhile.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Tour de Fleece Check In

"You still spinning every day?"

I haven't missed a day of the Tour this year.  On a couple days I only spun for 10-15 minutes, but that's better than the zero minutes I was spinning before :-).  

I've got all the Tunis spun and am working on chain plying it.  Chain plying is taking your spun single and making a really long looped crochet stitch with it and then adding your ply twist and winding it on the bobbin.  Make a loop, add twist, wind on the bobbin.  Make a loop, add twist...  You start with one strand of yarn and end up with basically a three ply yarn.

I washed Kaala's fleece yesterday...and my washing machine died on the final rinse (thanks, 2020 :-/).  At least it was the final rinse.  I'm hoping it can be fixed because the newfangled washing machines are not useful for washing wool and the old ones are hard to find.  Kaala should be dry today and I'll start carding it.  I'm planning on spinning six ounces.

The Leicester Longwool curls are also sitting out ready for some attention.  I'm still trying to decide exactly what I want to do with them.  There are four ounces of curls.

There's still a decent risk of a photo finish for the end of the Tour, but I'm hopeful I can complete my challenge before the end.  

Keep spinning!

Monday, July 6, 2020

"Y'all Come!"

Summer is always trying. This summer seems to be trying extra hard.  

The latest trouble, skipping over several things, was a stray dog coming on the farm Saturday.  He made a run at the horses in the morning.  I chased him away.  He appeared back in the evening and came in on the sheep.  We tried to catch him that time, but he got spooked by some fireworks and bolted away.

Without a good guardian like Hank, we are going to have to take extra measures to try to keep our sheep safe until a time when we can find a new dog.  And finding a new dog may be nearly impossible because of a situation with the new house built right on our front field fence line.  I set up a camp.

The first thing we did was lock the sheep up in the secure paddocks near the barn.  A dog or coyote could still get in if they really worked at it, but hopefully it would be too much trouble or at least slow them down enough to give me a chance to intervene.  We put the tent on a clean(ish) patch of level gravel.

Big Moose was immediately involved so we moved the tent back  to straddle the short fence and took two jug panels and built a wall around the front half.

He is so silly.  I just love this sheep :-).

From there it deteriorated, because you can either laugh or cry, and Biscuit is ready to welcome everyone to the Equinox Farm Vacation B&B.  The sunsets over the barn roof are stunning!

You can have an up close and probably personal encounter with Maisie.  What a face, eh?  (Click to biggify)

You can watch the full moon rise and travel over the farm.  Definitely a highlight!

A slightly better picture, but not much.  The moon was so big and so bright.  A cell phone just can't capture it.  I never needed a flashlight and as it reached it's peak height over my tent, maybe 2:00, it was so bright that every time I woke up and looked across the barn lot, I could see everyone and everything.  So much better than fireworks.  

I thought of Hank off and on throughout the night.  He and I would often sit together on the hill and watch the farm on bright nights.  It was one of my very favorite things, even in the winter.  The last picture I took of him was him resting next to me under a bright full moon.  I wish I'd thought to camp out with him all night, even just once.

The next morning I woke to the sound of Petunia's bell and turned over to see the sheep grazing in the arena.  They'd quietly tiptoed past me and let me sleep in.

Good morning! (new puzzle :-)

I watched for the dog on Sunday and did not see him again.  That evening a neighbor found a promising post in the missing pets group on FB.  I contacted the owner to make sure it was indeed the same dog, now safely at home and back in his electric fenced yard.  It had been scared by fireworks.  Fingers crossed we never see him again.

Other than the gorgeous full moon and the fun of sleeping in the sheep yard (which was actually fun even with the bugs and hot weather), the best story from all of this was what Rocky and Jared did to try to protect their flock.  I told it on an IG video post last night.  You should be able to follow along.

Monday, June 29, 2020

The Plan...There's Always A Plan

I am spinning three Shave 'Em to Save 'Em breed wools for my Tour de Fleece challenge this year.  

The Livestock Conservancy has a five breed incentive challenge that I am going to try to complete.  I've covered Jacob and Cotswold.  Kaala, as a Clun Forest, was an obvious next pick.  The Tunis roving came from Woolhalla Tunis and the Leicester Longwool locks came from Flock and Forge, fellow SESE farms I follow on Instagram.

I've started spinning the Tunis and it's lovely.  The Clun Forest needs to be washed and carded before spinning.  The Leicester locks...I'm going to comb some and maybe keep a few set aside to use as an edging or trim.  They are so pretty I'm enjoying just looking at them :-).   

Wool is beautiful.


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