Archive for October, 2009

What a weekend!

October 26, 2009

Well, actually, it started midweek, when friends from N.J. came to visit. We had a great visit; went out for pizza one night and to see “Julia and Julie” (“Julie and Julia?”).  We had seen it before, but found we liked it much better the second time.  Doug liked it so well, he hunted up the recipe for raspberry cream from Julia’s cookbook and will attempt to make it.

They left Friday morning for N.J., and we left Friday afternoon.  Saturday morning we arrived in Fair Haven, for this was the weekend of the closing of my former church in N.J., Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion (always a mouthful on the telephone…)  It was a sad occasion, but a happy one as well.  The bishop did a wonderful job of praising the people for their 125 years of ministry, well done, and of “knowing when to fold ’em”, so to speak. I saw many of the folks who were there during my time…many have died, a few have moved away, but there were many left to catch up on.  It was good that we were there, for us and for them.  John was crucifer, and I participated in the service, reading lessons and “concelebrating”. ..or at least standing up there while the bishop celebrated…(He, like me, thinks concelebration is a little silly, so we didn’t all do the abra cadabra bit.)

We left there about 3:30 on Saturday afternoon and headed home through sometimes torrential rain, arriving at 10:30 or so, and collapsing straight into bed.  Next morning we slept in. (I didn’t get up til 6:20!) I went to get Lizzie at our neighbors’ house, came home and got a phone call from the folks who bought the last four lambs and hadn’t picked them up yet.  (Supposed to be Halloween.)  Peter came and got the ewe lambs, and then, with nothing to stop me (as in, where would I put the ewe lambs?) I spent several hours putting the sheep in breeding groups.  John came out to help with the last step, putting the rams in with their respective girlfriends.  I went out later to see what was up: Gandalf, the jacob ram, had two girlfriends, willing…I saw one bred, the other begging.  But poor Cicero, the very horny coopworth couldn’t interest any of the four ewes he had in his pen, no matter how hard he tried.  Hopefully, later, at least one of them agreed to “make babies.”

I was stiff and achy last night, for sure, but this morning, I am almost back to normal.  Chores to do as soon as it gets light, and then…not sure…maybe to Carol’s to knit, maybe to Sue’s…maybe pick up some fencing…(If I do a little each day, it won’t seem like such a terrible task.)

The sheep will stay in breeding groups til somewhere around the 18th-20th, and then, both rams will go.  I’d like to sell the jacob ram, but doubt I’ll be able to…at this time of year, most people already have their rams!  We shall see.  In any case, I expect to spend the winter with just one group of ewes and some layers…a light and easy set of chores.  New rams next summer/fall.


Show season…

October 9, 2009

Last weekend was the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival, at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds.  It was a marvelous show!  On Saturday, they had the biggest “gate” they’ve ever had!  And it was teeming almost all day!  That meant that only serious fiberholics were there…we did very well…

Monday I took stuff back to Sue’s, then that evening, met my friend, Mary, from N.J. at the train. She had taken the Vermonter up, as she usually does, and as usual, it was late…but quite a bit later than it’s usual lateness…there was a fire on the train in front of them or something…Anyway, Mary and I had a great few days together, catching up on family, doing theology, eating Chinese, driving around looking at leaves, drinking tea, and talking the whole time.  When we lived in N.J., Mary and I got together each week usually to talk, while our children played together…we also exchanged babysitting for each other.  I got the better deal: Valerie was a lot easier than John and Peter.  I have a great poster Mary made for me years ago: a photo she had made of the three kids in one of her trees, blown up to 3 feet by 2 feet.  It’s a great picture.  Mary left yesterday, I came home and made some soup and some stew for dinner.

Today I drove to Sue’s to load up for the New Hampshire Monadnock Region Wool Tour, which is Saturday through Monday, 9-5.  Six women open their farms, invite their friends, have demos of all kinds, and there are lots of fiber, knitted goods, yarns, rovings, and good stuff available to buy.  The Wool Tour is around Hillsboro, NH…if you want to go, go south on 10 from Newport, east on 31, and when you get to Washington, there’ll be a sign indicating a right hand turn, down to Audrey’s farm: alpacas, donkeys, peacock, geese, sheep, and Sue and I, along with several other vendors…you can pick up a tour guide there for the rest of the tour…or go to   Maybe we’ll see you there…if you go, introduce yourself to Sue and to me.  (Sue is the owner of HodgePodge Yarns and Fibers…there’s a link to her blog from mine!)

Next week, starting Monday, the chickens go to Joyce’s to be turned into freezer chickens…I’ll bring her some each day for two or three days, along with a lot of ice, which she needs to cool them down fast.  She’ll give me back chickens in plastic bags…

And sometime next week, I need to load a ram and two ewes into my truck and deliver them to another friend, Mark.  Slowly, slowly, we are getting down to winter population. The seasons pass, one by one, on the farm.