Daisy Hill Fiber Farm



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Goodbye Cruel Blog

Posted on December 25, 2011 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (2)

I must admit to feeling way too much guilt over the lack of blogging genes.  So I am throwing in the towel and starting off the New Year on a guilt free bend.  Know that I will post news Flashes from time to time... but we will all refrain from referring to them as a blog.

Got it?  Good!  And now, make sure you check out the 2011 Year in Review page, which is not, I repeat, NOT a blog!

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....



Still Here after all this time!

Posted on March 22, 2011 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (3)

Well, after much time WEBS welcomed me back with some of its old ways... while some things change, some things remain the same it seems.  This is my second time at putting this down on screen.  Apparently the first time was just a warm up.  Grrrr.... 

The good news is that I'm back - and I'll try not to make that sound too scary!  The long abscence was due to human issues, not animal ones.  We're all still here on Daisy Hill, and have even added a few new folks with fur since we last spoke.  I'm looking forward with the start of spring to restart the website and get it up and current again.  So stand by for news! 

And on that very short but sweet note (the first time around it was very much longer, but I'm out of time - darn it!) - Thanks for not forgetting about us completely.  I missed you, and am happy to be back.  - Sue


Quick Update

Posted on July 22, 2010 at 5:13 PM Comments comments (2)

Yes, we are still alive and kicking. 


Yes, we have been home this whole time.  The whole time you've not heard from us.


Yes, we've been busy with summer stuff.  Rabbit shows, rabbit processing, hot afternoon naps.


I'm going to run through this very fast - so pay attention.  Note:  If you're happy with the thought that your meat grows on trees, or in a plastic bin in the back of your local grocery store... you might want to avoid parts of this posting.  I've tried to keep things clean and non-offensive, but I know its hard to read the truth.  By the way, the toothfairy - not really real.  Sorry, but someone needed to break the news.  Now Santa - he really does exist.  He laid more of the flooring in our living room!



Please excuse the photo quality.  I'm using one of the first generation (OK, maybe the early 2nd)  digital cameras.  Sadly being held together by duct tape at this point.  Don't laugh - it still works.  Sorta.  Anyway, the flooring now stretches clear across the living room to just about 5 feet from its ultimate goal.  It is darn lovely.


Of course the chaos is still there, but I'm now just lumping it all together as Clutter.  Yes, it is a huge issue, and it seems to be spreading....  perhaps a few elves could visit from the North Pole and help with some of this Stuff (stuff with a capital S).  I had photos and was going to post them... until I looked at them again.  I decided the only thing that would accomplish is to make you worry about me and my housekeeping skills (or lack thereof).  So I'll keep them to myself. 


A few more photos that didn't make it into the catch up entry... was a few photos of the trio of young rabbits that came home with me from Ellensburg.  I got a New Zealand white doe, now named Lola who will have a date this fall with Kiwi our black New Zealand buck.  She carries the gene for blue... perhaps I should scout around for a red  New Zealand  so we could have red,  white and blue?  Or perhaps black, white and red all over....  Sorry, its a silly rabbit lady's wandering.  We also got a new Champagne buck, now named Layne.  He came all the way from Victoria BC.



I also brought back a young American Chinchilla buck, now named Luke... who is from the Salem Oregon area originally.



They've all been staying up at the house in our quarrantine space off the front deck.


A bit funky perhaps... which just means it fits in around here.


Last week I became a licensed commercial processor of rabbits.  It allows us to sell rabbit meat for human consumption in WA State.  It actually took a fair amount of effort to get the license, and I'm pleased that we met all the requirements and can now move forward.  We processed 40 rabbits in the Mobile Processing Unit.  Without the MPU we wouldn't have passed for our license.  Thank goodness Stevens County is progressive in this fashion!




Thats a friend of mine at the back of the unit.  She did the actual kill, bleed and skin (now I warned you squeamish ones!), then passed them inside to me.  I removed all the "extra" parts, and put them to chill.  Then after they were cooled way down, they were bagged.  Later we weighed and tagged them.





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. 

What I did on my Summer Vacation

Posted on June 16, 2010 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (1)

OK, a little too soon to say for sure in its entirety.... but so far, its rained, alot.  And I've been sick, alot.  Yeah!  I think I remember some summer vacations starting this way in my youth.  The big build up to the last day of the school year, the delicious thoughts of sun and scheduless days... only to be dashed by a nasty summer cold and liquid falling from the sky day after day.  Yep, so far we've had a lot of that.


But what it has done is made our world GREEN.  Spring in my corner of the Universe is always the best season to see us - because as the heat hits the lushness gives way to a dreary brown.  And fire season, but I don't want to go to such thoughts.  But this spring has been life giving in its rain, and the summer has started much of the same way.  We all hope that it will help with the fact that the area didn't get its fair share of snow load this past winter.  During winter that all seems well and good, and sorta nice... but come summer we start to pay for a mild year.


This past weekend found Chuck and I up near the Canadian border (OK, we were practically standing ON the Canadian border) doing a bunny delivery.  I hope the buns are hale and hearty Andrea!  And being the wanderers that we are, we had to take a scenic route home.   One of those... well this road seems to be headed in the right direction sorts of thing.  And I remembered to take the camera along.  So come, enjoy the green.



I love old buildings... so had to capture this one (its there way in the back....).




Can you just feel the green?  And there was a whole lot of sunshine that day too.



One of my postcard shots of the Laurier Valley.



That is the Kettle River way below us, at this point it is flowing south - but the same river on the other side of a small mountain range (the mountains are tall, but the range is small) actually flows north - which messes with a persons sense of reality when you fnally figure out "whats wrong with this picture."



Yes, this is actually a photo of the fence.  I fell in love with what they had done with this fence.  It has slats woven into it.  As a sheep person that looked so helpful!  Sheep are capable of climbing through fences.  This method would not only make it so much more difficult for them, but it would tighten the fence in the process.  Plus, it just looks pretty darn cool wandering down a dirt road.



What sometimes happens when you just start to wander is you find a dead end.  This small homestead at the end of this road that we apparently took the "fork less traveled"... was so appealing.  Of course it was the place with THE fence, which helped.  Chuck was all for checking it out, but it sure looked to me like someone actually enjoyed it full time so we just enjoyed it from afar.  Imagine how this field would be improved if it was full of sheep and llamas!


After going up another fork that narrowed, and narrowed, and went into the National Forest.  We had to manuever and pick our way around a half dozen or so vehicles that were towing downed trees out onto the road to cut up for firewood on a pretty skinny spot... did I mention that the road was narrow (think old driveway that no one uses).  We kept going deeper and deeper into the woods.  Its times like these on the wanders that my faith in my internal directional system starts to falter just a little bit.  Because my personal issue is - I don't ever want to back track, and we'd already hit one dead end.  The only one for the day as far as I was concerned. 


But look what was at the "top" of that long and narrow road.  Summit Lake, appropriate name.



The fish were jumping, though it was all very still in this particular photograph.



Look at the shades of green in the reflection.  I thought they were amazing.



And finally, the gratitious promo shot for the fine, surefooted beast that took us there and back to civilization again.  Our Honda CRV Haley.  Yes, our vehicles have names - don't yours?

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. 




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!

Coming to a Blog near You

Posted on May 3, 2010 at 10:11 AM Comments comments (0)

This isn't fair to those of you that check the Home Page for updates... and only come visit when there is one listed.  My update for today is that there will be an updated blog posted by tomorrow.  I have the photos, I have some thoughts (which is good, don't you think?!).... but I have run out of time.  So standby... for news.  Please don't sue me Paul Harvey's Estate.


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