Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Catching up on all the details

Okay. I know mea culpa. I've been away for a while. First things first. Lots have been going on/happening around here.

1) I had a birthday that another Shetland shepherd shares with me (hint: he's got a blog with Shetland sheep and his passel of dogs). It wasn't a big milestone birthday, just a normal another year older and hopefully wiser day. Tim got me a kitchen towel weaving kit for my Leclerc Artisat I've had taking up a bit of space upstairs. He's okay about enabling me with my fibery goodness as long as I do at least one thing on it. This is my first thing on my own loom. I took a class where I wove a scarf back about 2 years ago. So far so good. The edges are not even, but for a second time at a loom, it doesn't look too bad. What do you think?

2) A nasty ice storm came through brought a little ice and bit of snow. Even though we had not so much ice around here, we ended up losing our electricity from that Friday morning until close to mid-afternoon on Sunday. Our pellet stove requires electricity, so we were relying on a Mr. Heater that kept the place a balmy 60 degrees. I like it much warmer, so needless to say, I was bundled to the hilt! Tim kept looking every day for a generator, not knowing how much longer we'd be without power and wouldn't you know it, he found one on Sunday and was cresting the slight rise in the road to the house when the power came on. Murphy sure has a sense of humor. We're keeping the generator even so. Never know when we'll need it again. To water the sheep, we had to haul water from a spring house/collection point. Luckily we have a stream that runs by the property and a spring house on our property that are both downhill from the sheep and house. We opted to get water from this one that is right next to the road and on a much flatter surface. The picture was taken while I stood on the road looking at it. The water level is that dark area. The first time we took water from it, I had to break the small layer of ice and dip the water out bucket by bucket. It dropped the level down a bit, but by the next day, the level was back up to it's normal amount.

3) We split up the breeding groups the weekend after the ice storm. Round one done! We'll be using Bergelmir for cleanup around January 10th. Hopefully he'll not be cleaning up anyone, but if so, then so be it. Rams were put together and as Tim always puts it, it smelled like a bordello in there for a while. We do the scent and stuff technique which works for us. Here's a picture of the girls enjoying a sunny day today. All 14 are there. Can you pick them out?

4) We added lights into our chicken coop prior to the ice storm and wouldn't you know it, during the ice storm (when the lights weren't turning on or off) they seemed to kicked it into gear. They started laying much more prolifically and so now we're getting anywhere from 6 to 10 eggs a day. Woo hoo. I am an office supply freak, so I purchased some half dozen cartons and a stamper for the cartons that identifies our farm. No, the cartons aren't exactly office supplies, but you should have seen the stamper they sent with the rubber stamp. It's the biggest one I've ever seen. I can ink the whole stamper at one time. Yes, a bit over the top, but I really like the stamper and envision other uses for it too.

5) The holidays are upon us. So far we've survived Christmas unscathed. We opted to stay home and not travel to either parental unit household. New Year's Day will find us once again on the road to visit my folks.

I think that's all the major details for now. I keep trying to squeeze in some spinning, knitting and dyeing. I finished Tim's Freya mittens, so now he has matching (meaning the same sheep) hat and mittens. I just overdyed some musket roving to a nice blue color. It looks good if I do say so myself!

Take care and talk to you in the new year.