Monday, December 30, 2013

Bubble Bubble

If I keep a dye pot going in the milk room where my plumbing lives I don't have to keep the little plug- in heater or the oven on.  When I was away for Christmas the plug-in heater was turned over and unplugged somehow (cats? rooster?) and the sink pipes froze.  I fill up all my watering jugs in that sink so we had a problem.  Kitties were sleeping on my last Rambouillet fleece.  I gave them another one and started washing the Rambouillet, also known as the French Merino.  Rambo wool is very short and very fine.  It's murder to pick as everything wants to stick to it and it's so dense that nothing falls away easily.  I'm dyeing it Sunflower Yellow by Jacquard which comes out a darkish golden yellow, very lovely.  Kimmie Cornerstone likes when I make yellow roving as her rug hooking clients scoop up her golden handspun for their projects.  A cold snap is on the way with temps diving and snow every day.  Life in the barn is challenging.  My wood stove has one speed - Fire Breathing Dragon - which heats up this little apartment to an oven.  After suiting up to work in the barn where it's very cold, coming inside is a bit of a shock.  Everything is relative.  When the thermometer says minus 20 F. my stove is a blessing.  Someday I'll trade it for a cute little Jotul that I don't have to stoke twice through the night.  For now, the big monster stays.  On deck for today along with other myriad daily chores - spread out the golden Rambouillet to dry and comb out some angora from my bunnies.  It occured to me that any time I have an angora skein in my hand spun basket at wool shows or the farmer's market it sells right away.  People love it for hats, scarves and mittens.  I've been spinning some clipped angora but it has blunt ends and must be hand carded.  Combed angora is such a blessing.  It can be spun right out of the bag without washing or carding.  The piggies are doing fine.  I saved a half of bucket of warm slop for Lilly, who came running from the back and lapped it all up.  She is a bag of bones and I'm happy to put something she loves in that belly.  I'm ruminating over all the things I have to be thankful for at the end of this year and beginning of another in this barn.  It was not too long ago that I was living in a little tin can outside, and waking up to my hair frozen to the wall next to my cot.  I was taking sink baths in the little bathroom by the auto body shop in my school.  It's a miracle I've made it this far, choring, spinning, knitting and sewing on this little farm.  I wanted my own land and here I am.  It's an uphill struggle but a healthy life, always outside in the fresh air and surrounded by beautiful animals and doing artsy things every day.  Life would be oh, so boring any other way.  

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