Maine Fiber Frolic 2017 Poster
MOFGA Common Ground Fair Poster

Fleeces!

So the past couple of days haven’t been the best weather-wise… grey, drizzily, raw and just generally pretty miserable.  I think this qualifies as one of those 2 steps forward, 1 step back moments.  While I’ve had to abandon the idea of playing outside, I’ve been a busy bee in the barn.  I’ve been working on batching fleeces to go to the mill and I’m so-o-o-o excited!!  Our CSA members are going to have some be-e-ea-u-tiful fiber to play with!  The fleeces are even better than I’d originally thought now that I’m seeing them for a second time and really getting my hands into them! 

In preparation for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, I’m on the prowl for a few fleeces with “the right stuff”…the ones I’ll take to the Fleece Show.  I try to take a couple every year.  We don’t show our sheep (prefer to keep them on the home turf…because of the quarentine thing I’ve talked about in previous post) so showing fleeces at least gets the fiber out into the fiber public’s eye.  Because many of our fleeces are destined to go into roving and yarn for the CSA, I’ll be bringing the show fleeces back home with me. Keeping fingers (& toes!) crossed and I’ll post the results when I get back.

Happier Hens

eggs of many colors

These eggs are pretty and yummy, too!

The chickens are definitely liking the warmer, longer days.  We seem to be getting a few more eggs than we were during the winter.  Some of our hens are “unimproved” breeds so they have a tendency to turn off the egg making gear when the weather is cold and the days are short.  Jim’s been looking around for a battery powered timer that we can use in the mobile henhouse.  Sometimes its just not close enough to a power source to rig up a light.  Anyway, the girls are laying beauties for us and our local friends to enjoy!

No Bugs!

I realized the other day why I was having so much fun outside…aside from the warm sunshine…NO BUGS!  When we’re in full swing with lambs coming along at any time day or night along with all the added chores and I’m also getting ready for Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, I can’t spend alot of time playing around in the garden beds.  I usually end up getting to it after I get back from Maryland.  By that time, the black flies are in your face…literally!  They may not be biting yet but they’re awfully annoying — getting into your eyes, nose, ears…well, just about everywhere…even into your clothes!  At that point, you have a very tiny window of opportunity to get everything done before they really do start to bite.  One year a friend from NJ came to visit in May and ended up in the hospital…bad reaction to the little buggers.  So…there’s another good thing about not having lambs this year!

It Must Be Spring…

Yellow DaffODill Blossoms

Yellow Daffies -- a sure sign of Spring!

We’ve had some lovely weather and the outdoors has become a much nicer place to be…thank goodness!  The sun feels so good and charges our batteries after that very long winter. 

Jim has cleaned up most of the branches that came out of the trees during the numerous storms.  Its still too mushy to use the tractor so the larger ones remain but it’s a start!  I got into the little garden in front of the shop/studio and cleared away all of the leaves and debris that had collected there.  The daylilies are peeking through now and the Lily of the Valley, too. This is a shady spot at this time of year so everything is long in coming there.  On the other side of the house, the daffs are up — a little bright color in the landscape is lovely!

Jim helped me dig out the bamboo that had taken up residence in the studio garden last year.  It’ll be back!  I’m ready for it, though.  I’ve been told it’s not really bamboo but it looks the part.  Apparently, during Victorian times this plant was used to hide homestead dumps and this homestead was no exception!  There was quite a large stand of the stuff beside the summer kitchen when we moved here.  Later, when we excavated for the studio and moved the summer kitchen, we found all sorts of shards of china/pottery, old bottles and even a chamberpot amongst that stand of “bamboo.”  Unfortunately, the excavating “relocated” some of the bamboo and now it shows up annually about this time of year in various places.  I’m working on it.  I’d welcome any ideas on how to get rid of it…aside from using RoundUp. 

The chorus of peepers is loud and strong — love it!  Our duck couple is back on the little pond and is joined from time to time by a pair of Canada geese.  They do a good job of avoiding each other.  The geese actually seem to spend more time marching around in the pasture.  I’m not sure we’re going to be too happy about them being here once the grass is up and going but maybe the appearance of the sheep in the pastures will change their minds about this place…you think?

The sheep are sniffing the breeze…they know the grass is coming along!

Bunny’s Big Day

Even when we’re not having a big family gathering, we like to help the Easter bunny.

Making color and pretty eggs.

Making color and pretty eggs.

We dye at least a dozen eggs and everyone in the family has one specially designed by Jim or me. We started this when the boys were little and its just sort of stuck because we always have so much fun with it.  When it’s just the 2 of us, though, we end up eating alot of eggs!!!