Friday, November 30, 2012

Got Soap?

These wonderful blocks are made from the scraps I get when I cut up my big blocks of soap.  I melt the scraps and bars that don't do right when cut. My operation is very basic.  I tried some fancy plexiglass molds once, but got tired of screwing and unscrewing then having to wash the pieces.  I went back to my wax paper milk cartons and a good old kitchen knife.  These bars are considered "milled" as they've been soap and melted down to make soap again.  They contain many different kinds of essential oils along with the olive oil and lovely things that make my soap so nice.  The big chunks are perfect for wet felting.  No need to order fancy Turkish olive oil soap to make felt.  I'll have a nice plate of chunky soap to put out at the Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival tomorrow at the Notthingham High School in East Syracuse on Genesee Street.  I do love this show - the crafts are amazing, there are lots of old hippies - some rich and some poor,  and the party goes on all weekend.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas

The pumpkins are down and the Christmas holiday is coming.  We're having so much fun and I love this class.  I'm amazed at how talented the kids are, and how they work so well together.

Painting a Holiday

I scored some very large cardboard panels from Ken our custodian, perfect for Christmas murals.  We painted a fireplace with a hearth, with Santa coming down the chimney.  The kids are painting their own Christmas tree, as real trees are not allowed in school.  I had no idea this activity would be so much fun with the kids really getting into the holiday spirit.  They are totally absorbed.  At times I have to bite my lip to keep from telling them to do it this way or that way.  I want them to paint it their way. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Annie's Ottoman

Annie asked me to help her make a cover for her ottoman in the family room.  This is what we came up with.  I haven't done upholstery work in a long time.  Considering we were there only 42 hours, and had a Thanksgiving dinner to cook and serve along with seeing Breaking Dawn Part 2, fabric shopping, and making Hannah's curtains, I think I did a pretty good job.   I managed to make a matching pillow before I was pulled out from behind the sewing machine to leave for home.

Luke's Swedish Pancakes

Luke loves my Swedish pancakes.  I make them the way my Swedish grandfather, Knut Birger (pronounced BEER-yer) Alexanderson made them.  Annie and I made a pile of pancakes for the family on Thanksgiving weekend in Maine.  We had tandem cast iron frying pans going - tricky for me at first not having used that classic pan before.  Luke didn't care that some of the pancakes fell apart.  He didn't hesitate to chow down on the eggy, buttery goodness.  When I visit the family on Christmas I'm going to bring a mega-bottle of New York State Maple Syrup to drown the next batch of Opa's Swedish Pancakes in.

Opa's Swedish Pancake Recipe

Ingredients:  one dozen eggs
                    one stick real butter
                    one can evaporated milk
                    one tablespoon cinnamon
                    one teaspoon nutmeg
                    one pinch salt
                    three heaping tablespoons flour

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Melt the stick of butter in the frying pan you are going to use.  Pour the melted butter in the pancake batter.  Blend.  Pour small amounts of the batter in the buttered frying pan.  These pancakes resemble French crepes.  When the edges curl up flip the pancake over and cook until golden brown.  Roll up or flip in half and serve with, yes, more butter and real maple syrup.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

In From Chores...

...a familiar saying in my nightly routine.  Truly, I am thankful for my chores.  My chores keep me doing physical things when I might otherwise sit down and knit or sew for hours.  My chores give structure and purpose to my day.  My chores make me spend time with some of my best friends - my critters.  They are always happy to see me.  I'm not sure if they are happy to see me or the hay and other treats I give to them.  There are a couple of sheep who are genuinely happy to see me - Lilly and Forest.  Lilly is very, very affectionate and runs over to me like a dog when I go into the barn.  Her son Forest inherited her loving nature.  Most sheep are flock creatures and prefer each other's company.  Coming back inside is when I wish I had this scene to greet me - two lovely women in the kitchen taking care of things like meal preparation and clean up.  Men have it made - they go out and bring home the bacon (like me), do chores around the farm (like me), and walk in to have a hot meal presented to them (not like me).  If Mia could visit more often I know she would cook for me.  So will Hannah and Luke someday I'm sure.  Good things come to those who wait.

Baby Booker

Booker has a very lovable baby face, and the Kentucky English Setter is as affectionate and playful as ca be.  Booker traveled to Nevada, California, Texas and now Maine with the family.  We had a lot of fun playing with Booker while relaxing at Eric and Annie's home.  I have some ideas for doggie holiday gifts - like sewing play toys out of fabric and fluff with pieces of beef jerky sewn inside.  With luck and good weather I will be able to deliver the toys to Booker personally this Christmas. 

Sweet Spot

Fergus, the Maggie's Farm barn kitty who went home with Hannah and Luke, has found a favorite spot in the family room behind the wood stove.  Annie recently took a class on the traditional Maine craft rug braiding.  The colorful and durable rug resides in back of the Jotul, a very warm and private place and perfect for a kitty who wants to take a snooze.

Black Friday Shopping

Our Black Friday shopping excursion consisted of a trip to one store in Gorham - Marsden's big lots and overstock store.  Annie wanted to show me some sweet fabric deals.  I came away with some soap wrapping batik fabrics along with a nice green plaid upholstery fabric for bag linings.  Mia scored a lovely pair of black zip up knee boots for work.  Annie bought some pretty sky blue batik fabric for curtains in Hannah's room.  Once home I quickly got to work on the curtains.  I made two pair for Hannah, not realizing there is only one window in her room.  We put all four panels on her single rod, making a very full window treatment.  I'm sure Hannah will think of something to do with the extra curtains. 

Family Thanksgiving

We made our way to Eric and Annie's lovely Maine home on Thanksgiving Day and arrived in time for dinner.  Mia and AJ were not far behind us, driving north from New Jersey.  What a thrill it was for me to have all three siblings, plus Annie, Hannah and Luke, under the same roof.  I last had them all together in front of me at Mia's wedding.  Annie prepared a bountiful table of scrumptious turkey, stuffing, roasted Brussels Sprouts, and yams to which I added a yam, pineapple and marshmallow casserole.  What a feast.  We went around the table and each declared something we are thankful for.  You don't have to guess what my gratitude was for.  We drank wine, cider and ginger ale while chatting about everything under the sun.  Annie made a pumpkin roll, a delicious, light and spicy cake spread with delectably whipped creme cheese frosting and rolled into a spiral roll.  She also made a ginger/pear pie - new to me and very enjoyable.   We later had a tea party in the family room, with a vintage tea set, chamomile tea, with milk and honey.   I slept the sleep of a very happy and contented grandmother, in a new red plaid LL Bean gown and forest green velour robe, gifts from Annie and laid out for me on the bed. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sharing and Caring

I prepared the turkey, stuffing and yam casserole the night before, stashing the food in the oven safe from the dogs and cats.  I bought off the little mouse that lives under the stove with a hefty chunk of cheddar cheese.  I watched through the oven window as she grabbed it and pulled it down into her lair.  It must have worked as the foil cover was not scratched when I got up at 4 am to turn on the oven.  I laid back down and woke to the most lovely aroma filling the house.  I had the best attendance in a while at school.   The kids helped make gravy and carve the turkey.  We gathered around and gave thanks for our bountiful table.  They piled their plates high with food, dropping little bits on the floor as they went to their desks to chow down.  One student took both drumsticks on a mountain of stuffing.  I noticed he wrapped one in foil to take home.  For some this was the only Thanksgiving dinner they would have.  I love this part of teaching.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Patchouli Soap

Patchouli soap making today, along with some Patchouli Shepherd's Friend Hand Creme.  Funny things about Patchouli, the intoxicating, pungent essential oil from India:

Many people have no idea what Patchouli is, or how prohibitively expensive it is.   The India crop failed a couple of years ago and it went up to $200 for a 16 ounce bottle - the size I need for my recipe.  I didn't make Patchouli soap that year.  It's back down to $100.  Still a hefty sum.  I keep the empty jars for sniffing when the going gets rough.
Many people know what it is and hate the smell with a passion.
Many people love Patchouli oil with a passion as intense as the people who hate it.
Most people don't realize it is anti-fungal, antiseptic and a fantastic bug repellent.
I learned the hard way to not wear Patchouli to meetings with administrators in school, if you don't want to hear a chorus of ewwwwwww - what's that smell?!

The hippies are getting too old to remember that Patchouli was the hippie love scent of the 1960's.   They are more cognizant of the happy fog they felt when they smoked the stinky weed that Patchouli was used to disguise.  I don't get a lot of Patchouli sales, but once in a while I hit a festival where the Patchouli flies off the table, especially the 2 ounce $5 size - poor hippies I guess.  Colorscape was one of those festivals.  I still see the anguished look on one old hippie's face when he asked are you really out of the little Patchouli hand cremes?  I asked him to come back next year, if the universal forces allow it, and I will have plenty of Patchouli cremes for him.   I bought some groovy tie-dye print fabric to wrap my Patchouli soap in.  I won't be giving this soap away to just anybody for Christmas.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fawn's Tote

I figured I should teach my Studio Art aide, Fawn, how to sew a tote bag so she could help the kids do it.  Fawn was a terrific student and finished this lovely bag in three days after classes were over.  Fawn is very enthusiastic about sewing now.  I bet she'll have totes for her family and friends whipped up for the holidays.

Kandinsky Murals

We've been painting murals inspired by the Russian artist Kandinsky  in art class.  The kids really took to it and came up with some amazing colors.  These circles are all free hand painted.  One mural got the school's Artist of the Week award.  I'm having so much fun painting with the kids.  I'm teaching them to sew now and will be weaving with them soon.  The kids are fantastic for the most part and we're having a lot of fun.

Studio Art

I'm enjoying my Studio Art classes.  I was a bit nervous about it at first, wondering how I was going to keep the kids happily occupied.   They are doing great things, and I am very gratified.  I'm blown away by their imagination and use of color.  I was thinking I was doing too much painting with them, even though they are very much absorbed in it, so I've started some sewing.  What else?  Tote bags.  One student told me his grandmother's birthday is today, and he had to finish a tote to bring home to her.  Talk about pressure.  He never touched a sewing machine before, but bravely soldiered into it.    At times he got a bit nervous and asked me to hold the fabric while he worked the foot pedal.  I would say forward, go back, etc.  It was a lot of fun.  I felt eyes in back of us and turned around to see the principal watching us.  He was very impressed.  The student took a cute little tote home to Grandma and I was very satisfied. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Snow Today

Lovely, sunny and warmish weather yesterday.  Woke up to thick white snow flakes falling this morning at 4:30.  It was beautiful while it lasted - a hint of what's to come.  The first time I drove to the farm after purchasing it in 2005, we got out of the truck and were hit by such an icy cold blast of wind we jumped back in.  The storms blow in off Lake Ontario and keep us hunkered down inside.  Plenty of firewood, but it's out back and requires much toting and stacking to keep enough inside.  I made it through the winter last year with only wood heat, but that required stoking at midnight and three, then again at six.  Quite frankly, it gets rather tedious, but there is nothing like the intensity of wood heat.  I love it.  Home on the farm taking care of some sheep business.  I HATE to miss work, thinking there is always going to be something awful when I get back.  Don't know how I've accumulated a bunch of sick days, but I have.   I don't take sick days, I take sheep days.  The life of a shepherd I guess.  Waiting for my guys to get over here and help me.  Matt is in Tennessee at the National Dept. of Energy headquarters doing something exciting and staying at a fancy hotel with all the amenities.  That's okay, go party, I've got plenty to do here.  He won't admit that he's having any fun at all but I know better.   Sure wish I had one of those lox bagels Mia served me at her place over the weekend.  Oh, my gosh, it was delicious.  Nobody makes them like the Morristown Deli.  Marc Marowitz, the owner, used to cater hospital parties when I was an employee there.  I like to stop in to the deli whenever I'm in Morristown.  Sorry, New York bagels can't compare.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Buy New Stuff - But Oldies are the Best

I'm very lucky that Mia lets me help decorate her home.  I love bringing her things that I can't use anymore or don't have room for.  This was a Bloomingdale's lamp that I purchased when Mia was a baby.  I gave it to her and  good buddies Kimmie and Bryan rewired it and gave it a new shade.   Mia's place is homey and comfy, with views of Drew University and surrounding mansions.  She can walk into Madison and shop.  I'm looking forward to getting snowed in with Mia and the New York Times.  I might even help her knit this scarf she started with Maggie's Farm hand spun yarn, of course.

New Curtains

We picked out this lovely linen blend fabric online at Fabric Guru dot com.  Shopping for fabric online is always risky.  It may look fantastic but you don't really know what the fabric is going to feel like or how it's going to behave when sewn.  This time we were lucky.  The linen was a dream to sew and did not even need ironing after hanging.  Mia wanted the light to shine through the pretty print so I did not line it.  She's thrilled with the results and so am I.  I made her a tablecloth to cover her desk to use for entertaining.  I saved the rest to cover the pillows on the new sofa she ordered yesterday.  It gives me enormous pleasure to do these little things for Mia.  I can't pay off her student loans, but I can make sure she is always swimming in custom window treatments, pillows and duvet covers!

Dining in Style

Mia had a big wooden table in her large, sunny kitchen.  It would be better served as a desk for her medical papers.  I brought her a round wrought iron patio table with a glass top.  It had been under some stuff in the tractor shed since I moved here and I forgot I even had it.  The glass top table is not cleaned up and painted in Mia's kitchen. It looks very "Anthropologie."   She served me a delicious meal on it last night.  Mia is going to put a plant under the glass - one that thrives on sunshine and neglect - Mia works 14 hours a day.   The wooden table is now in the living room with a table cloth on it that matches the new curtains, and it is covered with medical stuff.

There and Back Again

Matt was willing to watch the farm and the weather was cooperating.  I wanted to check on Mia and bring her more furniture from Chez Tractor Shed.  She had a big bolt of fabric leaning against the wall and bare windows that need covering.  It was more than I could take - so I hooked up my little sheep show trailer and off I went to Morristown and Mia's lovely little third floor apartment - yes, third floor.  That meant six little flights of stairs, with many twists and turns.  Not a problem, we got a trailer load of treasures up the stairs.  I had so much fun I didn't know what to do with myself.  Sewing all day and all night, then into the next day.  No chores to do, with Mia making me delicious little meals to keep me going.  We got curtains made for three rooms, and painted two pieces of furniture.  Two more pieces were in desperate need of scrubbing and polishing with Old English Scratch Cover, my old favorite.  Except for a dash out for curtain rods and paint I pretty much stayed in front of the sewing machine.  Mia took a break to go out sofa shopping with Nurse Practitioner buddy, Kimmie Bohs.   Father Aaron, twin brother, is coming home for Thanksgiving and will need a place to bed down.  I got up at 5 am with Mia this morning and left for the farm when she went to work at the hospital.  Her medical office had been without power for many days and was set up at Morristown Memorial.  Before we parted I poured five gallons of gas into her little car.  Thankfully her commute is all of two miles one way.  I should be so lucky.  On the way home I stopped at a little farm in Gilbertsville and picked up a few bales of hay.  I couldn't pull home an empty trailer without putting something of value in it. 

Thursday, November 08, 2012


Feeling much better about the future of women right now.  The forces of evil and darkness have been defeated in a major battle in the War on Women.  Women came out en masse along with Asians, blacks and Hispanics to make their statements.  We want equal pay, we want access to family planning, we want reasonable immigration reform, and we don't want voter suppression or to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.   More Democratic women have been elected to the Senate and the "rape candidates" are defeated.  The White House cannot be bought with gazillions of dollars from casino magnates or oil men.   I slept like a baby last night - nine hours.  Haven't done that in years.  I made a new delicious after-chore,  week night supper tonight and it was very tasty indeed.  Here it is:

Salmon Patties on Toasted French Peasant Bread


1 14 ounce can of Double Q Wild Alaskan Salmon - $2.75 at my local Dollar General
1 egg
2 tablespoons of light mayonaisse
1/2 cup of bread crumbs (got mine at Frank's Pizzeria in New Berlin)
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon of dill weed
1/2 teaspoon of veggie pepper
1 pinch of lemon curry
1 teaspoon of Grey Poupon mustard
 1 small onion (I used a Bermuda onion)

Mash everything together in a bowl, form patties with your hand, fry in a non-stick pan with butter.
Serve on toasted French Peasant Bread (Heidelberg is good) with spring greens

This quick meal is very satisfying and your house will smell divine.  Life is good.  God Bless America

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

God Bless America

Wanted to vote early but with pulling apart those round bales in the cold and making sure all the moms and lambs were taken care of  taking so long it was impossible to get into Brookfield.  After a crazy day at school, with a car disassembled in auto tech and the kids telling me unless I can come up with $62 in cash for the parts guy I won't have be able to drive out of the parking lot, I finally got to the polls.  Thank goodness for purses with a fortune of quarters and crumbled up dollar bills on the bottom.  Very excited to be part of the process.  Even saw my local goatherd pal, Pam Haendle, in line.  But guess what?  They lost my voter registration.  They asked me if I ever voted in Brookfield before.  WHAT???  I've voted in every election since I moved here six years ago.  Called over an official who questioned me.  I told her look, my sheep farm is three miles down the road.  I'm the one with sheep in the road all the time!  I'm famous!  Well, at least my sheep are.  She called the county.  Yes, we have you on the list.  Your card was returned (no PO box on it) so we assumed you moved away.  Funny - Matt's card was not tossed but then he is a registered Republican.  Hmmmm....I think we had a little voter suppression going on here....but they finally took me into a little room and had me fill out a mail-in ballot.  My vote may be "in the mail" but I am very happy to have taken part in this wonderfully empowered democratic process.  I couldn't get my students to registered to vote - I know they were afraid that if they put their name on a government list they may be punished by having their food stamps taken away, or their trailers yanked out from under them, or their SSI checks stopped.  Poverty and disenfranchisement breeds suspicion.   Little do they know they are much better off this morning with a Democratic President who will support the social programs they need.  I fell asleep on the sofa at nine last night after my darling Mia called to tell me that Election Night reminded her of me.  I was swelled with pride knowing that all three of my children voted yesterday.  I don't care for who I wanted them to be responsible members of a democratic society so hard fought and won for with millions of lives.  Instead of the sinking, sick feeling I had when GWB won last time, I am confident and hopeful.  Last time Matt said America would survive a Bush Presidency - well, we almost didn't, did we?  And they blamed it all on BHO.  History students know better.  It takes more than four years to pull a country out of a recession.  FDR couldn't do it in ten years of New Deal programs.  We are on the way up, not down, and the poor, the immigrants, the "47%" will not be forgotten.    We are a powerful people and can't be bought with big money.  Imagine, all those millions from big donors couldn't buy our Presidency.  God Bless America, and good bye Paul Ryan.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Naughty Bertha

I jump up and run the doggies outside to pee before they have a chance to do it inside.  Cold and wet out there.  Brrrr.   Still training young Bertha, who is now spayed and officially out of puppyhood, but not really.  She discovered she is now big enough to reach up real high and knock the pots off the stove.  The mess on the floor is no problem for her - she gobbles it all up.  My fault.  I made chicken soup from Saturday's roast carcass and picked bones out of it, leaving them in a dish on the stove top.  It was more than Bertha could handle.  I came in from chores last night and the gas burner was on underneath a big pot with a ten pound plastic bag full of rice in it (this is how I protect my rice from the mice).  Spouse was sitting on the sofa and didn't smell or hear a thing.  Bertha had turned on the stove.  This morning I made a soup out of rice and eggs for the barn kitties and Bertha thought I can get this.  Crash boom bang.  I scooped most of it up with my hands while telling Bertha BAD DOG.  She cocked her had back and forth so sweetly I could hardly yell at her.  Now I know I can't leave food on top of the stove.  Maybe this will improve my housekeeping skills.  Not hardly.  I keep everyone fat and happy, hold down a job and a farm,  and they still want a clean house?????    Better get out there.  Matt helped me roll round bales near the hay holes yesterday which makes throwing hay down a little easier.  The sheep love this hay and are eating every blade.  Next year - two cuts and even more bales in the barn.  I will still have to buy hay this year the way they are eating it now, but I'm optimistic for the future.  Farmers - the most optimistic fools that God ever created.  We'll be lying in our graves thinking  "Next Year..."

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Wintery Mixed Feelings

Woke up to a wet snowy and cold morning.  No market today.  Too bad as I would have like to say good bye to my friends.  See them in the spring I hope.  Matt decided to bring gas to Mia in Morristown and check in on his brother in Mountainside.  Have had no contact with Michael since the storm happened.  Mia was on her last fumes of gas and was very appreciative of the fuel.  Her commute is only two miles so it should last until I bring her more.  I'm hoping to get down there to finally make her curtains next weekend when I have Monday off for Vet's Day.   Very sad picture in Mountainside with trees down on power lines everywhere.  Brother met Matt at the door with coat on as there is no heat in their house.  Loretta gives piano lessons for a living but can't do that with no heat or lights.  Matt left them food and gasoline then left for upstate New York where we have everything we need.  Fat and warm.  Snowing intermittently all day.  Made my bi-monthly trip to the Louis Gale Feed Mill and stocked up for two weeks.  Happy sheep and chickens.  Bought a chicken at the Waterville market which was strangely empty, with one lonely cashier to greet me.  I asked where everyone went and she said Wal-Mart.  Was a bit weird going up and down the aisles by my lonesome.  Felt even more weird to pump gas with a cold wind penetrating my stretchy barn pants.  Time for the silkies to come out of hiding.  Came home and roasted the chicken with much Veggie Pepper and Herbs de Provence.  Heated up the apartment nicely and made a lovely aroma.  Doggies and I thought it was very tasty.  I picked a black mohair doe kid fleece while watching a bit of TV.  Don't know how one little critter could pick up so much burdock, but an hour of pinching and pulling gave me fiber that rivals any quiviut or alpaca.  Will card it by  hand blending with a little angora I think.  I need a scarf.  Time to get chores done while it's still light. Feeling a little shaky and that's when I know a ghost will appear and I'll fall down the ladder.  It's a good night to get back inside, get the stove going and hunker down with my doggies.   An extra hour tonight.  What bliss.  I'm achy and tired.  Still haven't recovered from Rhinebeck and with stress at work and now this hurricane business I need a little break.  Will sew tonight as it relaxes me like nothing else, even spinning.  I have such GORGEOUS fabric piled up from my fabulous personal shopper Carol Crayonbox (she loves my Mother Fiber!) and some purchases I made with a little Rhinebeck money, well, I really want to sew some totes.  When life gives you a heavy load sew totes to carry it!   Very much looking forward to Thanksgiving in Maine with Eric, Annie and kids.  Chaplain AJ is flying in from Nevada, Mia is coming from hurricane battered NJ, and hopefully the Parkinsons can make it from Kingston, Ontario  I have one more show, the Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival in Syracuse - a happy, hippie, love fest with some incredibly beautiful crafts in time for holiday shopping.   The spirit of Plowshares is social activism combined with live entertainment all weekend.  I love this show.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Visions of Sugar Plums...

Love to see the lambies safely bedded down in the barn.  Cold drizzle outside but cozy and warm in the barn.  Lambs love tubs and containers to snuggle in.  It's especially helpful when there's a twin to cuddle with.

Big Zack

My Zack is more like a dog than a Border Leicester ram.  Border Leicesters are the "Babe" sheep.  I bought him at Maryland Sheep and Wool two years ago from a 4-H family.  Libby Llop kindly brought him home for me and kept him for a while until she was able to make the trip over to my farm.  Zack has given me some lovely lambs without any planning on my part.  I took him out in plenty of time but he already got his licks in.  Zack has a very thick, dense fleece and a large, boxy body.  I wanted heavier fleeces on my Bluefaced Leicesters while keeping the clean Leicester face and bare legs for ease in shearing.  I never expected to have such a pussycat for a ram.  Zack lives in the back pasture with some angora goat bucks and wethers.  He has a silo room to bed down in with a window partially opened into the barn.  He likes to poke his head in and say hello while I scratch his chin.  Love my Zack. 

Chow Time

Takes me a while to pull the round bales apart, throw the hay down the holes into the bins, climb down the ladder and pack it down (making sure there are no baby goats in the bin - which happened the other day) then dragging the bin over to the feeders to fill them up.  This method requires a few filling of the bins under two different holes, then there are the moms in their pens... The good thing is that there is very little waste this way.  If I rolled a bale out through the mud and let it get rained on while the sheep gathered around and pawed on it, well, much would be tramped into the mud.  This way almost every blade of the sweet grass can be consumed.  The sheep adore this hay.  God willing I will have twice as much next year.  I do so enjoy watching them chow down.  They grab big mouthfuls and relish every bite.  The goats have mastered pulling blades through the wooden stanchions while standing on the other side.  They don't have a chance standing next to the big fat sheep who body block them out of the way.  It's raining, raw and cold outside, but inside my big strong barn my critters are warm, dry and full of sweet green grass.  Life is good.  I think this shepherd is going to put a little viskey in her coffee to celebrate this Friday night.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Festival Babies

I love when people bring their babies to the wool festivals.  The kiddies are fascinated by the sheep, goats and camelids.  The weather was too warm for the little ones to be wearing their cute sweaters and hats, but that's okay.  Everybody had a good time.

Stylin' and Profilin'

NY State Sheep and Wool was only two weeks ago, but it might as well have been two years.  So much has happened since then.  I'm still trying to recreate those two spectacular days of fun and validation at this incredibly wonderful Sheep Show.   Camping in Annie's 1979 VW Westphalia camper was so much fun.  Perdita, Annie's ancient Chihuahua doggie, snuggled with me at night and I could watch my granddaughter Hannah spin wool on her Louet.  Annie made percolator coffee in the morning, and Kim brought Starbucks.  The weather was gorgeous.  The crowds came out in force.  We didn't have a care in the world, except to welcome the customers into our booth.  If only I could transport back to that weekend.