Thursday, May 31, 2007

Yarn Harlot!

Many of you may not know, because it's not something I bring up on here often, but I knit. I love to knit. I am currently embroiled in an insane tribute to knitting known as the 52 Pair Plunge where I and 90-some-odd other knitters try to knit a pair a week for 52 weeks (yeah, I know...I didn't think it all out before I pushed the send button on the sign-up e-mail...) So, when the call came many weeks ago to sign up to see the Yarn Harlot speak in Northampton, I jumped in with both feet.

It was amazing! I was awestruck by the theater filled to overflowing with something over 600 folks, all knitting. And we all were entertained by Ms. Pearl-McPhee (of course) and she inspired us to "come out" as knitters, and to love our stash, so here it is.

I knit.

I own lots of yarn, known to us knitters as "stash".

I also own sheep, which I consider simply an extension of stash, known as "yarn on the hoof".

And I now own a signed copy of Stephanie's latest book:

And Allison and I even brought her a skein of our yarn to add to her stash. I couldn't tell if she was more impressed with the dedicated colorway, or the fact that we printed the label with the yardage in meters. (That should really be "meterage", shouldn't it?)
Now, if only sheep and chickens could read, they'd understand where Mommy was last night until VERY late....

Monday, May 28, 2007

We've got plants!

It's the moment we've been waiting for... plants in the garden. Finally, after nursing seeds and seedlings, and trying to find the time to pull it all together, we have stuff in the garden.Radishes, for starters. No wonder they're recommended for children's gardens, they're up in three or four days...great for those of us with short attention spans.

The garlic is going great - weedy, but no scapes yet. (Hey-weeds are plants, too)

Now we had lots of cucumber babies...has anyone seen the cucumbers?

Who us? We haven't seen any (*burp*) cucmbers...
And in the 1700's garden, the first plant for the medicinal bed is bloodroot. An early remedy for menstrual cramps, this Eastern Woodland plant is also a dye plant. I bought one at a garden club plant sale, and lo and behold, when mowing the camp lawn this weekend, I found another! literally right in front of me...

I'm going to keep this one here, and now that I know camp is the right environment, I'm going to hike around and look for more...
And also this weekend: potatoes (2nd round), raspberries, lettuce, beans, and Madison's garden is in....
Look out summer, here we come!

Friday, May 25, 2007


We interrupt our scheduled program to bring you this commercial message:
I've been tagged.

Lauren, has passed along the "blessing" with the disclaimer that I do not have to participate if I don't want, but I am anal about finishing these kinds of requests, so off I go. The assignment: five random facts about myself.

Now the challenge is, I don't have five interesting facts about myself. I wondered myself to sleep last night trying to think of what they might be. Really. Sure, I can talk my fool head off to anybody, including the strange guy in the line at the market, but as far as offering tidbits that others would find interesting.....duh....I dunno? goes.

1. My dream job would be to run my little farm and somehow make enough money to exist pretty much as we do. I suppose that would mean organic vegetable prices would have to go up, and there would have to be a keen market for registered Shetlands and Pygoras, and the like, but hey, that's why it's call a "dream" job...

2. My favorite book(s) that I wish were real and I would like to be in: Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. If not for all the adventure and good sex, at least for the reunion in the print shop. Love that moment.

3. Of all the famous people in the world (none of whom I have met, BTW) I would like to meet the Dalai Lama. Just want to ask him tons of questions...

4. I collect (although not as passionately as in my youth) glass insulators. You know, the typically blue/green thingys on top of telephone poles (usually ceramic these days) I have close to 75 different ones, and have most of them displayed in our dining room.

5. I give up. You guys will have to ask me what you want to know for the last one...

Oh yeah, and since I don't know five other people with blogs that haven't already been tagged (most of my friends and associates don't even know what a blog is, or what to do with it...) this one will have to end here. Sorry cyber-world.

Monday, May 14, 2007

This n' That

Saturday we went to my alma mater, far above Cayuga's waters, and had a 4-H Fun day. Woo-hoo!

I am planning a dastardly, motherly, not-too subtle attack on my daughter's plans to go to college anywhere other than here by starting early, and showing her all the neat things on campus (excluding the establishments that feature malt beverages, of course) so we lept at the opportunity to visit the vet school and do cool animal things...
Here the kids are attending a seminar on Communicating With Your Dog. (One might surmise by the fact that the dog is facing away from the kids that they failed this course, but the Schnauzer was so damn fast he followed the chosen command and got back to his mistress for the reward snack faster than I could snap the camera...)

This was followed by Rescue Dogs, and Canine Agility, and Travelling with Your Dog, and more stuff I've forgotten...

All in all, a very nice start to my plan. She had a ball.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, every animal that had a cage escaped it, every animal that has a fence found a way around it, and every animal that has any propensity whatsoever to bite, did so to some tender part of my husband. Needless to say, he was not thrilled with farm life when we returned.

Chief chomper:

The bantam rooster, Speedy. (A Mille Fleur/Splash Cochin cross, for anyone who's interested...)

He is 1 and 1/2 pounds, (thinks he's 40 pounds), and latches on to the leg of anyone else but me like a crazed terrier. I'm not sure what he's defending, but he sure acts like its something good.

For me, he lives in with the Pygoras, and comes on walks with us twice a day. Ambling along as nice as you please, grazing just like they do. Chirping the whole time. And the goats seem to accept him as part of the herd. He was an incubating "experiment", when (without much thought as to the outcome), we let our daughter incubate a fertilized egg.

We are trying to be a little more thoughtful this time...

Our Red Cochin hen, Sandy, went broody on us and was actually stealing eggs to sit on. So we got a hold of two Ameracauna eggs (we have an Ameracauna rooster) and gave her those. Along with two Buff Brahma Bantam eggs, which we are only guessing are fertile...

I had to give her a maternity ward of sorts, away from other pestering hens, and here she sits on Day 17. Or 18, we're a little unsure...

Now the "ward" is complete with private room, a view, fresh food and water via daily room service, and must be pretty good digs in the chicken world, 'cause when I went out this morning, two other hens are holed up in the laying boxes, refusing to move, and squawking something about, "Just what does a hen have to do to get some service in here?"

Next post: We have plants!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Has it been that long?

Shame on me! I get so wrapped up in jobs around the farm, and I forget to keep my blog family up to date...

Well, Madison has made real gains with Max, the abandoned kitty. As you can see, he trusts us enough now to eat from a bowl, and he has earned a bed on the front porch, toy included...

We've started with a flea/tick collar, to get him used to that, and to help him with the bugs. I've pulled four ticks off him already, but none since the collar. We can make it a "real" collar if he stays through the summer...

The sheep are on pasture full time. Here they are down by the pond, Hattie (center) and her first twins, Jack and Victoria. All camera hams.

The electronet gets moved several times a day to keep the sheep mowing, and tummies full. And Hattie has dandelion duty - she cruises the lawn and nibbles the yellow flowers off in each new section.

(Wonder what they taste like? Lemon? )

And, we are lighter on the rooster load by one. Ewok, the Ameracuana with attitude, found a new owner at the Fairgrounds Tailgate Poultry sale.

But we are up on the fence count...this one is totally decorative.

Flowers to come...