March 1

Turned the calendar.

Fed and watered the livestock and sat in the field with the Angora goats for awhile, observing Trillium’s gait.  She had a peculiar, high-stepping game going on as she walked through the field.  After a fashion I decided that I would watch her again at the end of the day to see if there was any change.  I tried to see if her hooves were too long.  It was hard to observe because the mohair on her legs is quite fluffy and long.

I also observed that Sue was miscarrying.  Or so I presume because she had bloody discharge from her vagina.  I think that she is too thin to be pregnant, there was a long, stringy bloody discharge and it was not bright red, it was dark and somewhat drying.  So I thought I would observe her in an hour and see if she was o.k.. She was eating and drinking and her behavior was fine. Sometimes they can miscarry – she would be about 4 weeks along at this point, which wouldn’t be much of a fetus where Angora goats are concerned.  I will observe her again tomorrow.

Pulled apart the two hives that didn’t make it this winter and looked the frames all over to find some honey put up, and capped.  Plowed through the storage house full of lawn furniture and summer harvesting tools and put my hands on the honey extractor.  Cleaned it up and brought it into the house.

Moved the kettles of birch bark, hickory nuts, walnuts, & mordant to the back deck and set up the burners to simmer the birch kettles.

Pulled the lavender tallow soap out of the cardboard-box molds I’d made and sliced them into 1″ squares.  Cleaned the mess I’d made.

Made 5 batches of pie crust dough and refrigerated it.  Roasted a 6-lb turkey, peeled 3 lbs of potatoes, 2 lbs of carrots, a couple of good onions and started preparing turkey pot pies in the afternoon.

Packaged cookies up to send to Jody & SJ, packaged yarn to send to San Francisco, a wool pincushion to send to New York, and 4 pairs of mittens to send to the U.K..

Voted & then went to the post office to mail packages.

Note – there are too many congregating politicians in the parking lot in front of the firehouse when you vote.  It is dangerous to pull in and out because they don’t pay attention to your moving vehicle and it is hard to navigate around them.

My 13-year old helper arrived and wrapped soaps while I finished pot pie-detail and then we headed out to the barn to start chores.

Maggie has been extremely helpful.  She can do many chores on her own now.  I respect her limitations and see that she is learning more and gaining more confidence every week.  She is a pleasure to work alongside and helped me put the finishing touches on mucking after we got everyone fed.  A particularly laborious task was cleaning the bedding out near the doorway for All the Single Ladies so that I could shut their door after feeding them tonight.  Fred DePaul would be coming along to shear this evening so I didn’t want to have to catch them all again.  The door would only open and shut partially until I was able to dredge out a track for it.

Hester was uninterested to join the Cruise Ships in the stall tonight for dinner.  I looked out at her and couldn’t coax her to come in.  I saw her limping a bit.  I put the alpacas in to eat and then went into the paddock to observe her.  She was interested to join the others then so I opened the stall door and put her in.

Later I sat in the stall to watch her move around.  She was favoring her left hind leg.  I touched it to see if it was swollen and she was sensitive and moved away.  I tried again and she moved away again.  I watched her walk and she was less hesitant than she had been outside.  I decided that she would stay in the stall for the evening with the others for companionship and I would reassess in the morning.

Meanwhile, Trillium did not limp any more.

Jim got home from work and mounted the new chalkboard and a corkboard in the aisleway of the barn.  It looks so great.  And then he helped me by hanging the smaller corkboard in the tackroom and rearranged some other things I had hanging in there.

Fred arrived to shear and I finally got into the house around 9pm to find something for dinner.  I had leftover birthday cake and tea.  Tomorrow morning I’ll start afresh with some greens and eggs & coffee & juice.  Tonight, just cake and tea.

I put the carcass from the turkeys into a big stock pot with onions and garlic and herbs and salt and pepper and plenty of water and it is almost ready to turn off the fire and set it out to cool for the night.  It smells heavenly of turkey broth in the kitchen.

I never did get around to mordanting the yarn that I am going to be taking to Burlington with me this weekend.  After chores tomorrow morning, I’ll get to it.


Literally, we have a new Chalkboard on the barn aisleway wall.  It’s a thing of beauty and I will be fussing to fill it in over the next few days.

Jana Sleeman won the LambCam LIVE Chat giveaway, sponsored by Sonya Philip, on Saturday, the 27th (of Feb.) We had a full evening of questions and comments and fun in the stall with Char & friends Tara Lowary, Meleen & John Henry Dupré & Casey Sullivan to help share.

There are just a few days left of Annie Rowden’s (byAnnieClaireEarlyriser KAL on Ravelry.  She’s running a contest to include a prize of our beautiful “Milk” alpaca/mohair/Shetland yarn for the winner of the Knit-along.  The pattern, “Earlyriser”, is a gorgeous cabled hat that she designed for our Winter Burrow Shetland yarn.  It is beautiful and I’ve been plugging away at mine, though I’m not likely to finish it in time.  But it’s o.k.. I don’t think I should win my own prize anyway!

This coming Sunday I will be sharing at nido on College St. in Burlington, Vermont during the first of the series of “Spinning Tales with Vermont Fiber Folk.”  I’m packing my car with pies, fleeces, natural dye samples, lists of resources and more to show and tell about how to get the most from breed specific yarn farming, starting your own dye garden and sustainable wool dye methods.  I’ll be there from 10 – noon and if you are in the area and would like to join in, contact nido to sign up.

On Saturday, March 12, Susi Ryan of The Felted Gnome will be teaching a needlefelting class here at the farm.  “Needle Felting a Bunny” from 1:30 to 5 pm, $45 includes all supplies and you will go home with an adorable Easter bunny to show for it.  Contact me at to register by March 10.

On Sunday, March 13, we will be shearing All the Single Ladies that are due at the beginning of April.  It will have us 3 weeks away from the first due dates and so I’ll be dosing the mamas with their vaccinations and checking their eyelids and their condition to make sure none of them are anemic.  They’ll get manis and pedis while we’re at it and then we’ll set them up with a lambing stall and small runout, separating them from the rest of All the Single Ladies so that no one gets any ideas of lamb-snatching or playing too roughly with the pregnant moms.


We lost Iris’ lamb in February, we castrated all but one ram, and we lost Lavender, our big ole cruise ship.  All in the same week.  And it was sad and hard and the rams are all fine, Hester(Lavender’s daughter) is alright because she hangs out with Peter Pan & Mister K, and Iris is alright because she didn’t develop mastitis like I worried she might and she hangs out with Latte.  Latte is not pregnant, either.

Xenia Marie is not Xenia Marie after all.  She is a he, so if I can train myself, we’re going to call him Xenio Mario.  Or maybe just Mario.  He is our white peacock whom I’d bought in Ohio two years ago under the guise of him being a 4-year old breeder, a female.  Aren’t you the clever breeder that sold him to me that way, you know who you are, you crafty you…(well, you know if you ever read this.)

He displays daily and often and it is quite beautiful.  No wonder Fig never cared for her.  She was not a her, she was a him.  And it all makes sense now.


Susi Ryan, The Felted Gnome, is teaching this bunny at our farm on Saturday, March 12 from 1:30 - 5p.m.

By Annie Claire "Early

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Tallow Soap and Lavender


6 responses to “March 1

  1. OH my goodness do you do a lot. I know you have lots but I’m sure its fun to do all those things too. Soap looks wonderful and I’m sure your pies are awesome as well!!

    • Thank you, Rowena! The pies are quite delicious! A good family friend, whose wife has been out of town, stopped to pick one up for he and his toddlers to have for dinner and they loved it. I was so happy to help them out! The soap is a success! I was keeping my fingers crossed on that one! Thanks for the kind note!

  2. Whew! I’m tired from just reading. Ha. Ha. Seriously, a very interesting read about your March 1. That felted bunny class! Hope it sells out quickly. The soap turned out so beautiful! Thank you for sharing. Love you. Julie

    • thanks, Julie! I’m damned if I do, and I’m damned if I don’t make a list! A serious motivator!!!! I hope that felted bunny class sells, too! It’s going to be so fun! Also, you can’t believe how luxurious that soap is! Oh my gosh, I didn’t believe it was possible! It was so interesting to delve into the world of homemade soap – I even made my own lye with ashes from the fireplace! Getting all Little House On The Prairie-ized over here!!

  3. I had one of those little sewing machines when I was a little girl in Conn. I remember buying it at a jumble sale. I wonder where it is now. I had completely forgotten! Thanks!

    • Neat!!! That is my friend Meleen’s little sewing machine! She got it at an antique store, I think. It is SO cute!

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