December Second

December 2, rainy, mild, 40s,

In the Barnyard & in the Farmhouse:

Woke up at 6, fed dogs, made coffee, threw laundry in washer, filled tub with scalding water, put mohair to soak.

Went out to barn, brought muppet goats to middle pasture – noted that Thimble moved well, will bring her in every evening to help her with her stiffness.

Indy wasn’t up, Mocha & MacDuff were fine in her stall, but Mocha had pooped nasty, gross manure that I’d stepped in while I was in there trying to get Indy to get up.  Indy spit at me a lot.

Grabbed grain and went to bring Custer & the 3 ewes into the stall so I could refit his harness, with Jim’s help.

The girls and Custer wouldn’t come into the barn, too interested in all the ewes/rams/wethers in the surrounds.

Brought all of the sheep in, that I could, so that Custer wouldn’t be distracted. Jim attempted to place himself behind Custer so that he wouldn’t go the opposite way.  Jim was supposed to run and close the barn door behind him when he finally came in.  Jim was too slow to get the door shut on the first trick.  Second time I got him to come into the barn, Jim shut the door behind him.  Then I held Custer in the stall while Jim re-harnessed him.  HIs harness was totally a necklace that he would trip in over the past few days.  First I shaved some of the outer coating off the marking crayon on the harness so that it would be fresh enough to make a mark.

Put the sheep back out after running fast to the middle of the pasture to get them to follow me.  Jim shut the gate behind us so they wouldn’t get out.

Jim went to work, I finished chores including cleaning Indy’s stall completely so he would have clean bedding.  Called vet’s to come and help me today.  Still waiting on the return call(10:34 now.)

Finished all chores and made pumpkin currant scones with some of the pumpkin I’d roasted/pureed/drained from yesterday.  Washed mohair. Fielded some farm gift inquiries.  Drained mordanted CSA yarn.

washed mohair

Sample dyed 3 bits of the pre-mordanted CSA yarn in the Cranesbill Geranium dyepot from yesterday(strained the dyepot first) and simmered in an aluminum pan on the stove for 30 minutes.** 

Emptied the closet in the front hallway, found lots for the Goodwill, some things for basement, somethings to be re-hung properly, threw out stuff, broken hangers, etc..  Found large tablecloths in heaps on the floor, picked up, folded and hung.  Pulled large stained cloths out for use as dropcloths.  Looked over the flowering blue & orange South African fabric, rehung it.

Got a call from vets, Dr. Kyle would be here in an hour.

washed mohair

Took a bucket and some clippers and walked with the sheep out to the pasture where the flowering plum is growing.  Noticed apples all atop.  A couple were on the ground and Angus and Argyll munched on them noisily.  Never knew that it was an apple tree.  Looked and looked and discovered it is still a flowering plum, but there were also apples growing.  Realized that the two trees are one, and this is the first time I’d ever known it to bear apples. 

Looked for little bits of vegetation I could use for eco-dyeing.  Picked some ranunculus leaves that were bright green and nestled into the ground.  Picked up bunches of oak leaves.  Came back and picked up a bunch of apple leaves near apple trees, then tossed some apples to Peppy.

Picked cranesbill geranium leaves in the front garden to use for ecodyeing, last but not least.  Dr. Kylle pulled up.

Pinched and gently prodded Indy for an hour or more.  Decided to put him down.  Three times Kyle had to inject him in the neck with the anesthesia.  Finally his heart stopped.  It was a long time that Kyle and I sat there with Indy.  We talked a lot.

Kyle helped me move Indy onto the fabric from South Africa.  We lay it vertically along the stall and then rolled Indy over onto it.  Then we folded the fabric over his hind end so that it came together near his face.  We tucked Indy’s legs under him like he was folded and cushed, only he was in a side cush position.  We lay his head and neck, snuggled into his body so it wouldn’t be distended. 

Came in and then finished the dyeing – put the CSA mordanted fiber into the indigo pot, thoroughly rinsed the crocked & over dyed yarn from the previous indigo/walnut bath to get as much dye off of it that was still flaking quite a bit.  Put that into the indigo vat to re-dye. 

Layed out the cranesbill geranium leaves all along the half of mordanted blackberry-dyed silk that I’d prepared.  Filled it in beautifully, then folded half over, and rolled it on a mailing tube.  Wrapped in cellophane-wrap and set out on porch.

Worked on front closet still, 4:12, time to do chores.

Threw out dead flowers by front door, thought it was time.

Did evening chores, brought goats in tonight, it’s too rainy for them.

Waited for Jim to get home to bury Indy.

Went in house and made rice for dinner.

Went back outside and rinsed indigo dyed CSA & indigo over-dyed yarn.

Waited for Jim.  Then we lifted and pulled Indy to the tractor, where we lifted him into the bucket and drove out to the field where we were going to bury him.  Jim used Eric’s backhoe and dug a hole, very deep, and then we lowered the bucket to the ground and Jim and I tried as carefully as we could to lower Indy into the hole.  I threw a few handfuls of soil on top and cried. 

Went into the house and packed the pumpkin into freezer bags and put in the downstairs freezer.  Skimmed fat off turkey broth that I’d been making and packed that into freezer bags and put in the downstairs freezer.  Made two plates of dinner, covered them till JIm got in.  Took a hot shower.  Ate half a plate of dinner and saved the rest for tomorrow.

washed mohair

Indy, in my armsIMG_5154


**re: sample dyeing, note to self, Indy’s color, next week

14 responses to “December Second

  1. Dearest Tammy, I’ve been following you on IG for several months and look for your photos and news with great anticipation each day. Tears are streaming down my face for you and sweet Indy as I read this just now. Hugs to you and Jim as this day closes. Lynette in Oregon

    • Lynette, so kind of you. I’m sorry for your tears, sigh. Jim and I are grateful to you for your kindness, your outreach. I never feel a loss any less, even though a farm life includes losses sometimes more heavily than gains. But I rejoice in the gains, the beauty, and it sustains me through the lows. Thanks for following, hope all is well out there in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

  2. Oh Tammy, I am so very sorry. You are the strongest, greatest, most loving person I know. I want to hug you. I am blessed to be your friend. I love you!!!

    • Thank you, Kathleen – you know about giving good lives to your family and animal friends. I am grateful to you. I felt Indy lose all of his tension, there was a small relief in that. It made me realize how miserable he was.

  3. Dear Tammy
    We are so sorry to hear of Indy’s passing- it’s so hard to lose any of these precious creatures and our hearts and prayers are with you.
    Hugs to you
    Mark and Bonnie kimball

    • Thank you so much, Mark & Bonnie. It is true, it is so hard. I’m grateful to you for your kind words. Hugs back, Tammy

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