Sunday, February 02, 2014

Freshly Squeezed

Still enjoying the grapefruit purchased before Christmas from the Conservation kids at my school.  Loaded with vitamin C and a great appetite suppressant when I want to eat something naughty....which is often.  What is it about cold weather and sustaining my fat layer?   What am I?  An Eskimo?  I'm not alone.  My sheep are hungry all the time.  I forked hay yesterday morning a little later than usual.  The sheep were swarming around the feeders, with the big fat sheep in front, pushing the older and smaller ones away.  I have to be sure to toss some farther out for them.  The little angora goat wethers are good at sneaking in under the sheep to nibble at the hay that falls on the floor.  We counted the bales and figured we have hay until May 1.  Very nice.  I have to get on the phone and get eight more round bales in here to see us through until green grass comes up.  I like the round bales.  It's easier on my elbows and shoulders to fork off the layers around and around the bale instead of lifting, carrying and cutting apart square bales.  And they are cheaper to have made.  It's all about grass, water and hay.   My heart aches for the state of California and the dreadful extreme drought they are experiencing now.  Northern California, that mystical, magical place, is a fiber art mecca.  I can't imagine my sheep and goats lined up at the fence, begging for food, with nothing to give them but sticks.  I've been there, here on the farm, but it was for other reasons.  Two years ago my hillside was dust in August due to lack of rain, but the trusty farmers around here hustled to get a mammoth first cut in early in the season and saved us all.   This past summer saw record rainfall and lush green pastures, and Julia got my round bales done during a rare week of sunshine.  The hay is wonderfully delicious.  You know who loves hay even more than sheep?  My English Angora bunnies.  I have a new litter - five little black babies, safely snuggled together in their nest in the milk room.  I'm still keeping the oven on in there, even though the temps have moderated, my electric bill be damned.  I love the little bunners.  With no lambs coming this spring, the baby bunnies are very much appreciated.  The three does from the first litter are growing fast and I've already had an inquiry about one.  I got a bobbin of white wool spun last night while watching Captain Phillips - good movie - last night, and will ply it with some brushed mohair I got from Betty Todd, my Mohair in Motion friend.   So much fun....

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