December Seventh and Eighth, Ninth and Tenth

December Seventh:

Animals were in super duper shape.  Observed sheep for some time.  Custer is mating with Charlotte and Mary, still, so they must still be in estrus.  He’s a bit at odds because his harness straps are dragging and tripping him a little.  Gotta get that thing off him.

Little Thimble is fine after sleeping out last night.  Since Jim moved the other shed to the pasture, there is enough shelter for all of the goats.  Everyone moved around just fine.

Watched Hayden for awhile.  He was very curious to hang out with me while I was hanging with the goats.

The chickens are happy happy.  Collected 5 eggs.

Filled the tub with water to soak White Shetland before mordanting.

Hung out with lambs and Mocha for awhile, pet Laird and MacDuff for a long while.  Olivia came over to hang out at fenceline when Wasabi came over to  be pet.  Wasabi was all kinds of cuddly and then bit me.

Had yogurt and coffee around 10, inventoried yarn and posted it to computer.

rinsed mohair, set new batch to soak, put some to dry on rack

Packed lichen that Nan sent to me with water & a cup of ammonia into 2-quart pickle jar to make solar dye.

Lupine is yelling all day because she’s in heat.

Mental list of outdoor chores after finishing indoor chores:  muck paddock, reassemble raised bed that Peppy has disassembled, harvest greens for decorating the porch.

Sat on hold for 15 minutes with United Airlines to try to change SJ’s flights for New Years’

Spent all of afternoon labeling fawn shetland which I’d overlooked.  Inventoried the Shetland.

Package came from Mira with Theo’s old baby bottles and receiving blankets to use for lambing season.  Very touched, very impressed.  She just had baby Simone and she’s publishing a book in a month and can get her act together to send me a care package of bottles and blankets?  Amazing.

Went out to do chores at 4:00, spent first fifteen minutes trying to do a little yard work before dark

Brought all of the goats in, supposed to be low 20s, they get cold.

Little Thimble scoots along so well on three strong legs.  It’s more pathetic to watch her than anything. She seems as mighty as always.

Put 2 skeins of Shetland and 2 skeins of Cormo/Mohair into mordant.

washed mohair

put washed mohair to dry – this is Thimble’s fiber now.

Cut and ironed dyed silk for balsam sachets all evening, til about midnight.

December Eighth:

washed mohair, drained mohair and set to dry, took mordanted fiber out of soak, drained, set dyepot of geranium dye to defrost, added mordanted yarn

cleaned middle pasture of alpaca manure, still need to finish, ran out of time

pleased to note Mocha eating hay this morning

Argyll has been loose all morning/day.  Came in the house at one point to cruise through.  Dogs unphased, Nessie a little curious about it all.

Put Argyll back into pasture numerous times, he keeps popping out

de-dog-pooped front yard and the little pooper-scooper thing broke more tines.  Need to get a new one.

Line is frozen out to back/chickens.  Waiting for water to defrost to replenish their buckets

Burned ecodyed silk project.  delayed shower because felt I needed to oversee the microwave just in case 15 minutes was too long.  15 minutes was too long. By burn I mean that the silk blackened/smoked all round the leaves in the center of the project and scorched.

Ironed the prewashed fabric for the silk eco dyed balsam sachets

Actually showered and washed hair and put on fresh clothes

Went to garage to start car to drive to Battenkill Fiber to bring alpaca, mohair and wool to Mary Jeanne for DK yarn.  Car was locked.  Searched house over to find spare key.  Found key.  Drove to Greenwich.

Mary Jeanne was happy with dozen eggs 🙂  She and Karen helped me weigh 50 lbs of alpaca/mohair & wool for yarn order.

Got home and there was a package from Kana.  She sent me sheep socks! SO CUTE!

Made seafood chowder for dinner.  It was delicious, if I say so myself.

Stayed up late sewing.

December Ninth:

Low 40s, overcast.

Sun peeking out, ponies are really frisky.  The grey duckling, Meredith, is definitely a female.  The other ducks want to mate with her.  I still don’t know what breed she is.

Julietta came by early with 4 hens and a rooster to leave for the winter.  She was sad to part with them.  She will try to pick them up in the spring to bring home again.  Her coop is not winter-proof and she has a predator problem.  She has a friend in Germany that really likes to knit so I traded her a hen for a skein and she took home 4 skeins of Shetland yarn.

Finished sewing and stuffing balsam pillows.  Mom came and helped me.

Mom and I spent three hours cleaning the rec room in the basement and transferred all of the yarn and fiber inventory to shelves.  We loaded her car up with bags for Goodwill.  There is much left to do with that project.  Mom was tired, so was I, the weather was brightening and I encouraged mom to head on her way to get home before dark.  Also, she had some stops to make.

Argyll enjoys to go into the paddock with the other sheep at night and eat dinner

I managed to fill another wheelbarrow full of alpaca manure from the middle of the goats’ pasture.

Washed last of Thimble’s mohair.

Stayed up late knitting and sewing.

December Tenth:

Steady rain at 6a.m., low 40s, waited til 7:30 to go out.

Rinsed and washed mohair.

Put a pie in the oven to have for when Erica comes, should she want to come inside for coffee.

Argyll is at the back door.

Custer is still very interested in Mary.

Julietta’s hens and rooster, AJ, are doing well in their new set-up.  The other hens and roosters are curious and can see them but not interact yet.  No eggs.

Mucked in paddock. Erica arrived.

Toured Erica around for a couple of hours.  She was very interested and took many notes, asked many good questions.  She is writing an article about the farm and also took quite a few photographs.  Argyll, Nessie & Cricket accompanied us while touring.  We had coffee in the house afterward and I showed her some of the records from the fleeces over the years, confirmed some dates after consulting my records.

After Erica left I packed and shipped CSA Fiber packages, picked up dog and cat food at Handsome Hound, came home and did chores.  The hay is all in the loft now so I have to crawl up and through to get to the hay on top, pitch it out the window below.  Argyll was below and was quite startled when bales came falling out of the sky.  I didn’t realize he was below or I would’ve warned him.  He did not stay under the window for the 2-7th bales of hay that I tossed.  He was smart to have learned from the one bale.

Took some photos of the beautiful sunset.

Thimble wanted to follow me in, per her usual routine.  It’s supposed to stay above 40 tonight so I let her stay out.  All of the animals were very thirsty.

While I finished chores, Argyll enjoyed the hay-henge very much that I had created with the unused bales.

Made a pot of pasta with Mom’s Garden Special and ground meat and sauteed onion.  Served with parmesan.  Haven’t had that easy and simple meal for a long, long time.  It was just the ticket.

Tonight I finished the hat I’d been knitting for Charlotte. Pleased.  Decided to cast on another hat now, a different pattern.  Simple ribbing around the border and then straight stitching the rest of the way up.  Found the mohair/shetland blend from last shearing that I would use.






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6 responses to “December Seventh and Eighth, Ninth and Tenth

  1. I saw on the fabric you used for the balsam sachet’s the name Schumacher. I smiled to see it. That was my maiden name. You do not see it very often or spelled that exact way.

    • Thank you, Carol! I had that Schumacher fabric from when we used to have a Waverly outlet nearby. It was such a great place to shop for upholstery and drapery fabrics, I really stocked up! I love that print.

    • Thank you, Laura! Glad to hear that it is readable – it’s a bit of a scribble-scrabble, but I’m determined to try to keep at this journaling-thing for the month of December. My writing had gotten away from me, I’m preparing to write more in 2016 and needed to get myself back into the discipline of keeping notes. I forget so much of what I’ve done in a day! It’s amazing how writing it down makes me realize how much I’ve done!

      Be well,

  2. You are amazing! I am inspired by how much you get done. Actually….convicted would be the more appropriate word. Love “seeing” all of your duties and observations in my mind. Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

    • Oh you’re welcome!!!! 😀 You’re so kind to comment, trying to keep up with writing is tricky, but I think it’s important to note when I can because the days just FLY by!!!!! -T

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