Daisy Hill Fiber Farm

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Treading Water

Posted on September 26, 2011 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (1)

So its happened... I've determined that as much as I tried, I may not be a blogger.  Or at least not a consistant one.  So I'll announce to the world... don't count on new information to be given here.  But, it might happen when you least expect it!  (I suggest you not expect it at all)

If there is anything that is worthy of a headline - I'll send out a blurb to the website followers.  So if you don't want to miss one breathless moment - you might want to sign up as a groupee for this website.  But don't hold your breath - because I don't want to be responsible for you requiring smelling salts.

This past summer has been full of rabbits (and rabbits, and rabbits), sun, heat, and medical issues for both of us.  This fall looks like it will contain rabbits, some downsizing, more medical issues, cooler temperatures.  If you have a desire for a select few fiber animals of the larger variety, some special rabbits (primarily of the woolly variety), or fiber - drop me a note.

If you don't hear from us for a length of time - feel free to rattle my chain.  That includes reminders... and repeated emails if you don't get a reply.  I'd like to think that my mind is improving with age - but I suspect that instead its starting to leak just a little.   Perhaps I can blame my blogging shortcomings on that afliction?!  Yes, I will.  I can't seem to blog because... I can't remember why....

 

 

Catch Up

Posted on July 8, 2010 at 5:37 PM Comments comments (1)

So we have confirmed the fact that not going to work does not mean more blogging.   Or at least not so far.  What can I say... I've been busy.  I couldn't list off what I've been busy doing, though I could give you a partial list of what I've been busy NOT doing -

Not dusting

Not vaccuming

Not gardening

Not cleaning up the front porch

Not accomplishing much of anything so it seems

 

But I have been doing a lot of wondering what I've been doing.  No, I'm still sane, or at least I THINK I'm still sane.  Just having some time management issues.

 

So let me take you on another one of my random photo wanders of the past few weeks.  Keep in mind that I haven't hauled out the camera much in the past few weeks - so there will be some major gaps.  Of course refer to the last paragraph - I'm not sure there was much to photograph anyway.  Stream of consciousness writing... hang in there!

 

 

Our fiber guild had a fiber echange.  In February we provided  6oz. of fiber to a randomly selected spinner.  In April that spinner turned over the spun yarn to a randomly selected finisher.  In June the finished projects were turned over to the original donor.  This is my finished project that I did.  It is camel yarn.  Just camel, nothing else.  I made a felted purse (which can also be worn as a belt bag), change purse and glasses case.  The finishing portion of a fiber exchange always is my biggest challenge.  I was literally (as in most things) was working up to the last minute.

 

 

 

The vast majority of the last part of the month was in preparation for the Washington State Rabbit Convention (or recovering from the said convention).  This year I entered 8 rabbits, but took 8 carriers of rabbits.  Three tables and a box of fiber... and barely fit into the car myself.  Thank goodness for bungee cords!

 

We did good, bad and middlin'...  Satin Angoras did well.  First show on Saturday our boy Logan took best of opposite sex of variety (to the eventual Best of Breed) and our guy Lincoln took Best of Variety and Best of Opposite Sex of the breed.  At the show on Sunday with a different judge the high point was Lincoln coming in at the same spot as he did on Saturday.  And to think he was a last minute addition I made (perhaps I need to listen to that intuition a bit earlier on!).

 

Champagnes were my middlin' group.  Our man Lentil was a bit too young, and got placed near the bottom because of that.  By Sunday Katrina was one cranky hot lady rabbit.  She has one more show to attend and then she'll be retired to the nursery... which she is in the mood to try.  Kilgore, my shinning star, got a bit of an ego blow (as did I) when he placed mid-class on Saturday.  But he recovered and won his class, and also finished his Grand Championship, on Sunday.  He did lose Best of Breed, but we're happy with the class win.  He'll also go in one more show (this Saturday in Sandpoint ID), though he's starting to molt to a summer coat and will be counted down for that.

 

 

But we went, we enjoyed, we survived, and we came back home.  Home to find a surprise.  Chuck (bless his sweet self) had been working while we were away - putting down flooring.  Its been several years since we had flooring in the living room.  As some of my earlier blog photos attested to.  So to have FLOORS again, its heaven. 

 

 

This photo lets you see the sub floor vs. the finished floor.  Now which would you choose?  It has since moved across the living room to a point where he just has about five feet to finish on the other side of the room.  And then we will have floors all over the house.  Simple pleasures!

 

But as is the case in many situations along with the good came the chaos...

 

 

This is what the other side of the room looked like.  And, well, much of it still looks like that (refer to first part of this blog post).  But as soon as things are done... or perhaps sooner, I will find a home for all this homeless clutter.  Soon, or at least eventually.  In the meantime I LOVE my new floors.

 

 

This is Shadow on the porch amongst the hop vines... on the 4th of July.  Isn't it just one of the most obvious photos depicting summer?  It is to me.  A warm dusty cat in the sunshine.  The 4th also saw us fencing off the front portion of the "yard" and letting the woolies in to beat back the grass and underbrush. 

 

 

Good grief, the gate is open!

 

 

And the hungry woolies start working on the green food with gusto.

 

 

Another photo to suggest to Honda... a CRV holding its own against the woolies.

 

 

Or this one of the forest Leicesters Mike and Victor.  Note, Victor needs a larger coat - he shouldn't look like a sausage in a casing.

 

 

Woodland Camelids caught in their natural habitat.

 

 

Or one small sheep bottom disappearing into the underbrush.  They've done their darndest to get this eaten down, and have accomplished much.  Several items that were not "technically" sheep or camelid food disappeared in the process.  But what has been accomplished to the good outweighs the demise of several decorative plants. 

Meander with Me

Posted on May 27, 2010 at 10:56 PM Comments comments (0)

Well on my new resolution of not apologizing... I wouldn't dare suggest that I'm sorry for having let a few of you visit repeatedly with nothing new in the blog.  Even if I was - though I'm not really saying that I am.  Enough of that.  Its time to play a little catch up.  I have some photos... we're just going to wander through them. 

I'd suggest you'd fasten your seat belt, but really we're pretty tame around here... you can even wear open toed shoes for this meander (your word for the week).  Lets start with a quick puzzler.

 

 

What is this mess?  I call it Seasonal 2.  It is the dregs of the frozen water of winter, the sign of a seasonal shift in the rabbitry.  We have a nice week or two between this and the next season which is filled with fans and frozen water bottles (on purpose this time).  And a reminder to myself that I like living in a place with four distinct seasons.  I do.  We opened up the barn and removed the blockades from door ways and the weather promptly dropped 40 degrees.  I love the unpredictability of our springtimes - no, not really. 

 

 

Backtrack to mid-May and the IERBA (Inland Empire Rabbit Breeders Association) Show in Davenport.  This is our little corner of the room.  Minus the garbage cans... they were provided by the fairgrounds.  Do you think they were suggesting something?  We took down 6 carriers.  And 2  tables to park them on, and two chairs to sit on, and several bags of "stuff" that always seems necessary when I'm packing to go.  See, we had no room to bring the garbage cans too.

 

 

This would be my gratuitous shot of the rest of the room.  The host club was a bit surprised at the turn out.  It was cozy.  But really, I've not been to a rabbit show that didn't seem cozy.  Perhaps rabbits and rabbit folk are just very social.  Could that be why there are so many rabbits?

 

 

This is part of the colored Satin Angora competition.  A lovely gathering.  A few of these live here.

 

 

This is the other end of the table, where the white SA's were hanging out.  A couple of those live here too.  Some of these rabbits did very well.  Some were learning experiences.  Life... as we meander through it is always a learning experience.

 

 

This is Kittitas out on the grooming stand where she's just got a fluff and blow (there's got to be a better way to phrase that).  Doesn't she look like she's learning something?  She came home to have a hair cut and get knocked up (ok, change to the sneakers that protect the toes now!).  Actually several furfolks have the same plan.   Even at least one Champagne d'Argent lady - Lottie,  and Lacy the American Chinchilla, had similar plans - minus the hair cut.  In fact I pointed out to Chuck how guiltless and how much spare time I'd have if all we had were short haired rabbits.  Perhaps like Kilgore - who took BOB in Show B.   Not to be outdone by Kadbury (the SA) who took BOB in Show A.  Course Kadbury came home to get a hair cut too.  A summer crew cut seems in order.

 

Last weekend we added a few new woolies to the flock.  I can hear a few of you say "didn't you have enough?"  What is the definition of enough?  Food for thought... all relative, let the question just sit there in your mind for a moment or three.  But this is part of my quest for a llama cria.  The initial equation requires at least a mother and a father.  We have several fatherly types.  Running a bit short on the motherly side.

 

 

Enter Poppy, the lovely llama lady on the left.  Hopefully she'll become interested in one of our manly woolies and make me the wee llama cria I seek.  Oh sure, there are other female llamas here.  And to be honest - Ellie may be in the family way (hard to tell with her girlish figure).  But both Dusty and Peaches seem to have decided that the motherhood ship has sailed long ago for them. 

 

The attractive young man on the right is Ollie.  He's a young gelding and came as a companion to Poppy.  We will be looking for a farm needing a guardian for him.  I suspect he'll charm his new owners as much as he has me.  We also got a llama harness as part of this relocation deal.  So in my "spare time" I can train one of our llamas to pull a cart.  A cart that we'll have to start looking and saving for.

 

Spare time may be approaching sooner than later - as I have been laid off work.  I suspect that the million and one items that already live on my "when I have time" list will flow into that opening and make me wonder how I ever fit it all in before.   I am looking forward to renewing my connectedness to aspects of my deeper self as well. 

 

And who knows... maybe I'll blog a bit more often.  I suspect you'll see a difference.

More Words

Posted on May 18, 2010 at 2:33 PM Comments comments (0)

We are still alive and well.  We are busy.  Busy, busy, busy!  This weeks word is harried.  Though when I look it up on dictionary.com (do we not NEED books anymore?!) it says that I'm pillaging the countryside.  Not really what I had in mind.  Might be fun though.


We have officially gotten to the rabbits coming out of our ears stage.  And with making room for additional cage space, so that pregnant does can have the brood cages...  add in the fact that both of our female dogs are in heat and we don't want to breed them to our one intact male (or ANY male)... add in a rabbit show and a rabbit talk... another dash of spring weather causing the grass to green up and the large woolie crowd to be a bit "perky" with spring fever... throw in the 40 hours + a week we're away from home working for other people -- well we're harried.


I apologize for not having written you sooner.  I seem to apologize alot.  I'm tired of apologizing.  I've decided that is one of my new resolutions (and done on a Tuesday in the middle of May no less... refer to past blog entries to understand the importance of this comment) I will try to limit my apologies.  Your life is busy too.  I know it is, its the way things are these days.  We are all harried.  Not necessarily the pillaging part... but maybe a few of you do that too. 


So this is my way of saying (though as ususal I come at it by way of the scenic route)... I've got some new photos.  I'll post them with comments soon.  Maybe tonight, though maybe tomorrow.  I'm not going to apologize for the delay... I'm not.  Really I'm not....  this new resolution is hard, it requires much more fortitude (another cool word!) than I ever imagined.  Go forth and pillage!  We're all harried, and thats what dictionary.com says we should do.  Mention that to the neighbors as you ravage (one more good word) the countryside.

A collection, random listing or unrelated thoughts.

Posted on May 4, 2010 at 6:29 AM Comments comments (3)

This is just a quick hodgepodge of photos from the last few weeks.  Hodgepodge - when was the last time you heard that word?  It is one of those words that I can put in print, but can't imagine every speaking.  Ranks right up there with Yikes....

 

But onto our hodgepodge.

 

 

After shearing we load up the fleeces (wrapped in those lovely sheets) and stuff them into our small pickup that spends lots of its time, now late in life, being a storage facility.  At some point soon I need to set up a skirting table and start to skirt and sort the fiber.  Its a lovely job, but one that requires the right day and the right mood.  In the meantime the fiber whispers to me.

 

A friend who lives a distance away finally asked me the big question... where do we put all those rabbits?  So I thought I'd give a very quick, down and dirty (you'll see what I mean) tour.  Our small barn is approximately 12X 30.  At one time it held hay and sheep, then hay and rabbits, now just rabbits.  The sheep still remember and tend to stand at the doorways and look a little sad.  Of course they are comfortable in their own additions, but they seem to think that the rabbits have the top real estate.

 

 

This is one aisle in the barn.  We do the deep bedding method, and of course I took photos the day before a seasonal shovel out.  Really... scouts honor.

 

 

This is the large unit in the very front of the barn.  I move litters into this for the few weeks before weaning and seperating into other cages.  This photo has four Satin Angora litters in it.  They have since moved to less populated cages, and the unit has been cleaned, and another four litters moved in. 

 

 

A view across the room.

 

 

This is the other side of the room... with a wall of stacking cages and condos. 

 

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This is a trio of cages on the side of the barn in an enclosed room that the woolies have access to.  Ladies in waiting and youths often overflow to this location.

 

 

This is the Annex next to the shop where we have yet another overflow space.  Many of the "extra" or "backup" bucks hang out here.  Its also the area where the chickens live.  Because of that one set of cages wears a hat, and the other is hanging extra high - to discourage the chickens from trying to get on top of the cages.  Not only does that make for messy rabbits, but can lead to several diseases that chickens carry that can affect rabbits.

 

But this year we've amped up, and our regular overflow just isn't enough.  Note:  we also have a hanging trio up at the house for angoras waiting for the hair dresser and new rabbits in quarrantine.  No photos of that one though.

 

 

So the rabbits have started to take over the garden.  This is what I call the rabbit corridor...  7 cages under a roof extension to the shop on one side with a hutch with two extra large cages on the other. 

 

 

A view from the other side of the large hutch... with the cherry tree in bloom.  Its a scenic spot for young buns.  Once the tree leafs out it should help with shade and protection in the months to come.

 

 

And on the other side of the same tree is the last group of cages... four under cover that will enjoy the same shade.  And yes, I really, REALLY appreciate my husband and his skills and willingness to bring some of my visions to reality.

 

 

So we have a bit of permaculture here.  Rabbits who eat and drop fertilizer to the ground where the chickens till it in.  And our garden has a visitor that comes on a daily basis.  If he wasn't so handsome I'd be less welcoming.  His purpose seems to be to come and preen and stomp on our garlic.

 

 

And on that note I'll stop my hodgepodging here.  Your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to use "hodgepodge" conversationally at least once in the next week.  Yikes!

Bittersweet

Posted on April 6, 2010 at 2:58 AM Comments comments (0)

I know that I have totally flunked being a blogger.  The writing has been on the wall since at least 5th grade.  I was one of those people that WANTED to Journal.  I would buy a new "empty book" or spiral bound notebook or diary every fall and come New Years Eve I would open it with great reverence and write my first entry.  It normally included my New Year's Resolutions, one of which was most often.... Keep up on my Journal.  And like most of the rest of my New Year's Resolutions it would go down in flames within the first week or two of the New Year.  But hope would spring eternal and I would try again the following year.  Now, why I always had to start on New Years Eve?  Why not the 4th of July, or any good Monday in May?  I'm just sorta like that.  I think I have at least three of those empty books on a bookshelf in this very home.  I mean why toss it out when it only has five pages filled?  But here, here I've actually been successful at keeping on some sort of schedule.  So rather than flunked.... I think I'll change my view and say that I get an C+ for marked improvement!  And to think, this is a Monday night, not even the 1st of the month... it has no other significance other than sharing a little of whats happening here with you.

 

So a few things have happened since I last wrote.  One was the Spin In held two weeks (give or take 48 hours or so) ago.  I shared a booth with a few other women.  And so one of my excuses for not being here, writing to you, was that I was somewhere else trying to get some stock pulled together and have some inventory to sell.  I did pretty well, and did clear out alot, if not all of the excess fleece I had in the wool shed.  Since we shear in less than two weeks it was necessary.  I also have carded batts piled up in various places in the house waiting to be finished.... ones that just never quite made it to the end product before the event.  But perhaps, hmm.... I could try doing a few things ahead of time so that the next time I do some vending I'm not doing it on 2 hours sleep.  I might even enjoy the event a bit more.

 

Another big event, though a sad one, was having to let go of our big scruffy dog Otis.  In the end we had to help him leave.... which is always so very hard.  He had a wonderful life.  Full of things and people he enjoyed and loved.  He lived over 13 years, which is a long time for a dog so large.  And if he couldn't live forever, I'm glad he was able to leave with his people holding him and telling him how loved he was until the very end.   *break for tissues*

 

 

We were both much younger once.

 

 

Some day when time has passed and the sadness has too, I will write about some of the important lessons I learned from this lovely dog.  Thank You Otis for sharing your time with me.  *second tissue break*

 

Onto some brighter thoughts.  The Iden and Justus pups turned a year old on Saturday!  While we retained two, so it should seem that much more obvious to us.... it doesn't seem like a year could have passed.  And yet, at the same time it seems like they've always been with us.  So check out the new page to mark the litters Birthday.

 

This weekend I finally got my ducks in a row, or rather my bunnies.... and did an inventory of what we have in the litters.  Currently we have six litters in boxes, six older litters are out, and another six litters due within the next 72 hours.  And to think that last spring I vowed to never have 5 litters at one time.  Who was that woman?!  Due to the large quantity of rabbits available I am not planning on posting individual photos on the website.  Though all declarations are fluid and open to change.   But go to the rabbits for sale page to see whats up for grabs.  If you're interested in any, drop me a note and I'll take photos for you.  They are an awfully attractive mass quantity of rabbits.

 

This past week there was a shift in the power structure of the chicken yard.  Geronimo flexed his larger muscles and took over control of the harem from his smaller counterpart Napoleon.  Blood was shed on both sides.  And a much humbler Banty rooster now plays second fiddle.

 

 

It's good to be King of the Compost Pile!  We're currently brooding in the bathroom 11 new chickens, all hens (we hope).  Which should give the two roosters plenty of women to care for.  A job for everyone I hope. 

 

Here's wishing you a blank page to fill with your own dreams and goals....  and the time to enjoy the chance for new beginnings.

 

 

 

Welcome to 2010

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 6:11 AM Comments comments (0)

I hope your new year is well under way in a positive way!  One of the things we've added to our lives very recently is a router for our two computers.  I have my fingers crossed that it will help me be a bit more successful with blogging and WEBS.  I've been shuttling things back and forth between an older Dell that WEBS doesn't like and a newer Lenovo (which has its own issues).  I still haven't solved the problem of why I can't just block and copy the Holiday letter but I'm blaming that on the version of Word that the new computer has.  But the keyboard for this new machine doesn't like capital letters... and the letter is very long, so I haven't been in a rush to just retype the whole (stink'en) thing. 

 

I realize that I spend a great deal of time recently asking "Where's your Brother?"  This relates primarily to the barn boys.  I see one, and always am asking the question about where the other is lurking about.  I always wonder if the cats don't feel a bit put out about that... like aren't they good enough just in themselves?  Why am I always asking about the guy that's missing?  But the missing bro shows up shortly every time I say that... so its somewhat magic.

 

 

Konrad is the Orange Sherbert guy on the bottom.  Konan, aka Mr. Tree Tops, is the guy in the tuxedo on the top.  The hay shed is part of their playground.  And actually these days every nook and cranny within a 1/4 mile of the barn seems to be their playground.

 

 

And now that we've got some snow... I've discovered that the world has become their litter box too... 

 

Here's a photo of Katie and a cat of a similar color.

 

 

As you can see Katie isn't sure that this is appropriate, but Konrad makes up for it by being SURE that dogs are his friends.  I keep pointing out to the barn boys that there are bad dogs (coyotes and Otis) that aren't their friends.  I hope they're taking notes.

 

Just last weekend the weather was great... a little bit of snow (see photo above) and temperatures moderate enough not to freeze the water dishes.  Which cuts my chore time almost in half.  But it is January, and the likelihood of that being the case all month was slim.  We got dumped on by lots of thick, wet snow... the kind that is like snot falling from the sky (sorry for that visual).  But it tends to collect in blobs that way. 

 

 

 

 

 

The last photo I call Suess Snow because it looks like something out of Whoville.  And yes, I take snow photos at night... adds something don't you think?  Hopefully something good.

 

The snow fell, all wet and clumpy, and now the temps are down near the single digits... so we've got lots of crunchy ice.  And that is my weather report for the week.  More website content to come soon.  Including another entry about our special guy Blue.  Someone who I never have to ask "Where's your Brother?" because he's normally no more than two feet away.

 

 

Note:  Our flooring is still new, because it still sits in its boxes.  It will say new forever this way...

What I did with my weekend

Posted on December 23, 2009 at 11:09 AM Comments comments (0)

So I headed into last weekend with a real mindswimming list of things to get accomplished.  And for the most part, they are all still waiting.  So much for lists!  So if you're one of the folks on my Christmas list, know that I have your gift... it is still unwrapped and unmailed.  Still!  But perhaps we can all consider them to be New Year's gifts.  Oh, and New Year's cards too....

 

This past Saturday we went and picked up our new chickens.  6 lovely hens in a variety of breeds, just as I wanted.  I want to be able to tell my chickens apart.  They get to be a bit more than employees.  And we also brought home a little trio of Old English Bantys that are just the most delicate, finest boned little chickens I've ever seen.  And that little rooster gets so hopping mad when the big hens ignore him... and he has the squeakiest crow.

 

 

 

 

They are all installed in the new chicken/rabbit co-op and have given us a fair number of eggs so far.  We'll probably have to start sharing some with the dogs here soon enough.

 

The chickens were on my list.  All was well.  Until we discovered this....

 

 

This is a photo of a cat up a tree.  He is so far up the tree that he is but a speck in the distance.  This is one of the large pines next to the drive, the one that practically holds hands with the one that got hit by lightening this summer (search back to entries from July to see more photos).  We estimate that Konan (the black & white barn boy) was approximately 40 feet up this tree.  And we left him there hoping he'd come down.

 

But it rained, and it rained, and going on about 48 hours I agreed with Chuck that it was time to try a rescue mission.  I did point out to him that with his mature Santa Claus figure that it wasn't going to be HIM headed up a ladder.  So we called in our rescue man Alberto... a high school senior and member of the Sherriff's Search and Rescue crew.  We thought it might help to have some training. 

 

 

The ladder falls short of the level where Konan is by about 6-10 feet.

 

 

 

Alberto came out and climbed the ladder.  Brave soul that he is...

 

 

Up, up the ladder Alberto climbed.

 

 

Climb, Alberto, Climb.  Did I mention how brave he was?

 

 

 

But the ladder was a bit too short.  Requiring standing near the top rung, clinging to the tree and using whatever was left to reach for the cat.

 

 

Far, far away from the ground was Alberto (and Konan too).

 

 

And despite Konan purring loud enough that I could hear him at the bottom of the tree... it didn't work.  Alberto was just not able to get a good enough hold on the cat and come down the ladder in a way that felt safe to him.  Oh, did I mention that it was raining through all this?!  Icing on the cake as far as I was concerned.

 

So we tried Plan B

 

We attached a quilt to the top of the ladder thinking that the cat might be drawn down to the ladder that way.  Hey!  It sounded like a good idea at the time.  But apparently cold, wet cats high up in trees are not as attracted to quilts as I thought. 

 

So we moved onto Plan C.  Which we have no photos of because it was done in the cover of darkness at this point.  Plan C was Alberto calling another friend, also a member of the S & R group, who in his opinion was a bit more fearless on ladders. I actually thought that Alberto had been darn fearless, but I was willing to give anything a shot at this point.

 

Young man #2 (who's name I never caught) was successful.  Of course, the voice of reason, ME, had left the men to do the rescue work and had gone to take care of things at the barn... figuring that I had been totally unappreciated for shouting things like "don't go any higher, its not safe"... or "don't let go of the limb, its too slippery up there"... I just kept an ear cocked in case my assistance would be needed to dial 911 and say things like "I told you so".  But without me fluttering about they made several attempts at the rescue, and I could hear from off in the Chichen Co-op when they finally snagged hold of Konan and started down the ladder.  Why?  Because Konan stopped purring and started swearing.  He was an ungrateful rescuee, but was so darn happy to be on the ground when he finally made it there.

 

Konrad, Konan's brother was SOOO happy to have his brother back.  I continued to do some cage cleaning and general putter work at the barn and watched the two of them play, and eat, and clean each other and finally settle down in an empty cage (their choice, not mine) wrapped around each other like a Yin Yang symbol... purring in stereo. 

 

And for all my time spent outside at the foot of a large pine tree trying to entice a scared, wet kitten out of a tree, in the rain... I have a wonderous cold now.  But the cats are safe and happy once more.

 

Finally!

Posted on October 28, 2009 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (2)

We live in an area that is beautiful. I can expound on that now because it is autumn, my favorite time of year. A time when the rains have come to remove the fear of wildfires, but the snows have yet to settle in to make driving a risky task. A time when there is a crispness in the air that has a tang to it like a fine Honeycrisp apple. Wood smoke smells good, and doesn't make me worry about how many animals I can stuff into our livestock trailer to evacuate.

 

 

It brings out the hoarder, or squirrel in me. I love to stock up on staples. I really must have spent some time in the days of pioneers, when having a full pantry made a family wealthy. We gather the hay and the firewood and the basics we'll need for the winter, which includes special items that bring out the creative aspects of ourselves. I think we both have romantic notions of holing up in our little home with the wood stove burning, and the wind howling outside and doing hobbies and crafts to entertain ourselves and each other. And it happens, just enough to wet our appetites for more...

 

 

So we've been busy preparing. Gathering and storing, and repairing and building. Two weeks ago I wandered off on a Saturday morning to attend a spinning retreat in the next county. I used the excuse to myself that I was going so that I could take a spinning wheel I have for sale.

 

(She's still available, if you know anyone that would like to have this beautiful wheel!)

 

To get to the event I drove over a small range of mountains to the east. It was a wonderful, quiet morning to soak in the season and the quiet stillness of nature. I came around a corner at one point and saw a blanket of clouds and fog covering the valley below. I had to stop and take a couple photos.

 

 

 

I drove down into the fog and started to enjoy taking “on the fly” photos. Driving through fog at 50 MPH, holding a camera as I drove to try to capture the feeling of disappearing into the mist. It was fun, and of limited success in the photos… but you can get a feel for it.

 

 

 

I had a grand time at the event. A large group of spinners, friendly, enabling, and able to rekindle my obsessions (not that it was very hard!). A good friend, Shannon, was there as well and we had some wonderful talks as I treadled myself into some deep contemplations. While I was away Chuck finished the barn extension. And now the woolies have a wonderful place to get out of the weather, sit and chew their cuds and gossip about life in the corral.

 

 

 

We had several litters of rabbits due last week. Out of three does, we got one litter… cold temperatures and new Moms is just not a good combination. The litter we did get is an American Chinchilla litter that was sired by a buck that was sold and has left the farm. It is nice to know that some of his genetics are still here. Fingers are crossed that they will continue to flourish. In about two weeks we are expecting another 4 litters. 2 new Moms, 2 experienced Moms. Fingers are crossed once more. Chuck has installed the fluorescent lighting in the rabbitry. It is bright and beautiful. And I keep threatening to take my morning coffee down there every day – it seems cozier than ever at the barn. Between the new woolie house, and the improvements to the rabbitry, I think we just might be almost ready for winter down there.

Back on Track

Posted on October 12, 2009 at 9:14 AM Comments comments (1)

Where have I been?  I know a few of you may have asked... well the few that have noticed that I've not been here posting blog entries.  Since my last entry I've had a Mother Visit, a Professional Conference, and Life intruding into prime blogging time.  And I will be the first to admit that personal priorities should be rearranged to make room!  I shall try better in the future.  Promise to try, don't necessarily promise to suceed. 

 

It is my hope that this past weekend marks the beginning of the winter slow downs.  In my personal life at least...  At work things are still ramping up and will continue to reach a frenzied pace by November, and then just stay that way untill spring.  But at home we're working our way through squirrel mode, and then will go into a holding pattern until spring.  Its my pipedream anyway...

 

This past weekend was our yearly trek to the Big Barter Faire.  As usual it was wonderful.  Every little thing you can think of plus more.  We came home with soaps, flutes (his & hers this time!), condiments, potatoes, cheeses, dried fruits, pottery... full tummies.  We didn't remember to get many photos this trip.  But wanted to share a few.

 

 

If you ever get really, REALLY bored you can wander back in the blog archives and find the one from mid October last year.  There is a similar shot.  Chuck enroute to the entrance of the barter faire.  While last year our wagon was actually a basket on wheels - the photo looks very similar.  We upgraded this year to a wagon.  We loved it!  The larger wheels and higher center of gravity made towing it over all the uneven ground so much easier, empty or loaded.  And just to check its helpfulness I tried it out in the rabbitry housekeeping yesterday - see this is a dump wagon!  Way cool... 

 

 

This may seem a strange shot - but this is the parking lot as we were leaving.  (I told you I didn't get many photos!)  Do you see the fine film of dust on the car next door?  How about all of it in the air?  And the layer of smoke hanging on the trees on the hillside across the way?  All signs of Barter Faire.

 

 

I can smell it even now... Woodsmoke and dust. 

More to come, out of time this morning.  I must go deal with frozen water dishes.  Lots and lots of frozen water dishes.  Thankfully it appears that things will warm up and get damp in a day or two and stay that way for awhile. 

Here's wishing you a wonderful start to your week!