Archive for October, 2010

Breeding season

October 30, 2010

Well, the sheep are in breeding groups. The plan was two groups of jacobs, two coopworths to Gretchen to be bred to her Wensleydale ram, and borrowing Sue’s coopworth ram for the remaining two coopworths. However, one of the jacobs decided to woo one of the coopworths, and there’s very little point to getting the coopworth ram for breeding one ewe: he’ll be miserable, I’ll be miserable, getting him back into the truck will be difficult,…so the coopworths are now in with one of the jacob rams. He immediately started to chase around the other coopworth, who was having none of it. I watched them for awhile. Things are peaceful now (I left to make some creampuffs.); I’m not sure if he gave up, or got what he wanted.   Photos later today, hopefully. Right now,there’s potatoes to be dug, sweet potatoes to be pulled up, marketing to do, turkey to get in the oven for dinner…the list goes on and on.


A Busy Time of Year

October 19, 2010

Well, you may be wondering why you haven’t heard much from me lately.  It’s that time of year when everything needs doing at the same time!  I’ve been digging potatoes, making soup and freezing it,returning to baking bread, knitting like mad for the remaining fall shows, feeding 107 animals every day, starting to take up fencing (I have about 2 miles of it, I think! Maybe I’m exaggerating; perhaps it’s only one mile!), putting up fencing to get sheep in for breeding and to set up winter quarters, cleaning up from other animals (washing out feeding dishes, etc.), cleaning out my bay in the barn, for it is soon time to put the car away each night to avoid having to scrape windows each morning!  Are you getting tired yet? Well, I sure am!To add to this, I’m back to studying Italian, after a summer break which extended into September.  AND, just so I don’t get bored in my spare time, I’ve taken up oil painting. Friend, Dottie, who gave the girls and I an oil painting lesson during Girls’ Week, agreed to teach me, so for seven or eight weeks, I’ve been painting with her once a week. Now,she’s about to head off to Florida for the winter, so I’m on my own, unless I can find someone else as a teacher whom I can afford…tall order!  Meanwhile, I’ve discovered used oil painting books on Amazon,and have several to work my way through all winter, in the absence of a teacher, if it comes to that. So far, mostly, I’ve been copying from books, learning technique.  Saturday, I started my first original painting. (It’s composition which really scares me; I think I could become a pretty good copyist, but getting a bunch of elements onto a canvas in a good, balanced way…I just don’t know.  Anyway, here are a few of my “masterpieces.” (HAH!)

Ah-hah, that time I got it right! Anyway,that’s what I’ve been up to that’s taking up lots of time.  Now, it is light, and 28 degrees out there, but still, all the critters need feeding. I will be happy when Mark comes on Friday with his team and slaughters and dresses out 63 chickens and four turkeys. That will make the morning chores around here a lot easier, and it will fill my freezer with chicken for the year, and his also. Our deal was that I would raise them; he would take them from walking around to freezer bags. Hopefully, it will be a good deal that he’ll want to repeat in the future.

Okay, time for chores…talk to you later…

Busy weekend…

October 2, 2010

It rained from Thursday morning til Friday afternoon, 7 inches here, judging from the water in buckets left around to gauge such things.  Yesterday, I went with Sue to a Beth Brown Reinsel workshop at the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival in Tunbridge on Aran sweaters from the top down, learned some neat new stuff, most impressive of which was a new way to do a neck that is more elastic and nicer looking than traditional cast on/cast off necks…It was a good but tiring six hour workshop.  This morning I leave in a half hour or so for Tunbridge for the two day festival.  Setting up the booth this morning I hope will not be too muddy.  We shall see!

If you are going to the festival, stop in and say hi in the animal barn where Sue and I will have set up shop for the weekend.  We will have fibers and yarns and wearables and a few raw fleeces that are left from spring, though most are gone.  Beth will be teaching courses all weekend, along with many others.  Our new Tunbridge location is great.  Hope to see you there, 10-5 on Saturday, 10-4 on Sunday..(I think til 4…haven’t checked…)