I know, I know, it’s been forever, and it looks like I’ve totally lost interest in blogging and gone elsewhere for fun. Not really. It just seems like we’ve never really caught up after being away 21 days in June, and some things just fell by the wayside. Now, I’m thinking perhaps I ought to be a bit more faithful with blogging.
Last Thursday I bought two Nigerian Dwarf goats. (I know, you’re thinking I’ve been here before. True enough. I did have three Nigerian Dwarf goats a few years ago and gave up, probably way too soon, for I had trouble milking them, and decided I really wasn’t a “milker”. Now, I’m thinking it would be wise to try again.) So, anyway, the woman I bought these goats from told me about something called an EZ milker. One of the frustrations I had milking my last goatie girls was that every pail of milk seemed to get full of dirt from them kicking or my managing somehow to get dirt in them. With this “machine”, that can’t happen, so it eliminates that frustration. AND, Hazel, the older of the new girls, is 3, and was milked all last summer, so at least ONE of us knows what milking is all about. And I’m realizing that they can probably pay for themselves just by selling the kids, so even if I decide I can’t manage to milk them, they can still be a viable part of the sustainable farm here. Annabelle, the younger, is 7 months old. Hazel had triplets last year, and is bred to kid in April. At that point, I can have Annabelle bred to kid in September, so that, if I succeed at milking, I will have one milking while the other dries off., preparatory to breeding. Clever, what?
We’ve been watching “Foyle’s War” episodes from Netflix. They are really extraordinary mystery flicks. I don’t generally like mysteries or detective sort of films, but these are incredibly good. The detective is very gentle, there’s not a lot of blood and gore, and the setting is Hastings, England, during WWII. (Another of the series which seem to have followed the 50th anniversary of WWII in England. We’ve watched several good ones: “Wish Me Luck” about civilians who volunteered to spy in France, “Land Girls” about the Women’s Farm Army–or whatever it was called–the women who volunteered to raise the food for England while the men fought; two series about the occupation of the Channel Islands…and one about the RAF, ah, yes, it was called “Piece of Cake.” All were very well done. And I’ve learned a lot about WWII I never knew.
Three weeks ago we got an ad in the local paper offering a free visit to the local gym. We both went, decided it was a good thing and signed up. I’ve been going for most of the three weeks (yet another activity to fill our days!) and John, who was sick with a long lasting cold, just signed up today. I’ve already seen some results in better range of motion in my neck which had started to stiffen, from old age, I guess. So, driving is safer, because of the gym. Yahoo!
I’ve been knitting socks for the grandkids for Christmas, and found a pattern I wanted to try for myself, the “Einstein Coat” from a book called “The Knit Stitch.” It was a lot of knitting, and I’ve learned a new cast on and now, will weave the pieces together in a new way, so it’s been a good experience all around. There are several other patterns in the book I want to try, and I bought a follow up book, called, obviously, “The Purl Stitch” with more projects. Since I bought six big bags of roving (like I didn’t have enough of my own at home?!) at the New England Fiber Festival in early November, I will have plenty of homespun yarn to work with…as soon as I find time to spin it up. I’m slowly managing to do it. Spun up the hot pink and orange corriedale. Now working on the loden green and rust mohair/wool blend…only four more big bags to go. AND, I have to find time to wash the two jacob fleeces I saved for myself and send them off to Pogo, the miracle working processor in Maine who does such a beautiful job with my jacob.
And speaking of jacob…Since I’d used my ram for two years, it was time to sell him. Instead of waiting til spring, I realized, if I sold both rams NOW, I wouldn’t have to dig out two pens every time it snowed, so I sold the coopworth ram lamb to a friend for meat and the jacob ram, Unzicker Ike, a beautiful ram with gorgeous fleece, I sold back to Royal Unzicker, who saw photos of him and decided he wanted him back. John and I delivered him Tuesday, stayed overnight in Pennsylvania at a place we used to love, Peddlers’ Village in Lahaska, and came back yesterday. Peddlers’ was a great disappointment. We hadn’t been there in about 15 years…or maybe longer. It used to have many really nice shops with beautiful reproductions, country furnishings, clothing, and other lovely things. It’s now filled with shops full of doodads, and over the top expensive tasteless things for people with everything to give to other people with everything. We walked around the grounds, which used to be beautifully decorated, eyeing the bright and garish decorations that have replaced the old ones, saddened by the way the place had changed. Our room at the Inn, called the Golden Plough, however, was beautiful and reasonable. So we enjoyed that part of the trip. And the drive both ways was pretty uneventful. As usual, we listened to Harry Potter tapes. (Love Jim Dale’s interpretation of the books.) This time it was Deathly Hallows. Got about l/3 through them. But more travelling coming up at Christmastime, so we’ll undoubtedly finish that one this year!
Well, I guess that pretty much sums up where we are now. 14 ewes, 13 of them pregnant, 2 goatie girls, one pregnant and about 20 chickens, soon, hopefully, laying lots of eggs, after a nice fall rest. One cat, Eloise, who is a bit lonely since Hector was run over a month ago. Lizzie, the exuberant and willful (but still better than most dogs; Margaret is a hard act to follow, so I have to remind myself that she’s REALLY quite well behaved, even if she isn’t Margaret!) but very sweet (she smiles and waves)…and one husband, aging along with me, but both enjoying generally good health.
I promise myself I will work more consistently on this blog. There are issues to ponder and events to report. And now, it’s time to check for eggs. Later…