Showing posts from June, 2010

Crock Pots and Cherries

I love cooking in the crock pot.  It's so easy and it makes the whole house smell good all day. I've got a home raised chicken in the crock pot right now. The aroma of basil and chicken makes me even hungrier. 
I bought a box with two old crock pots in it at the auction a couple weeks ago.  The orange one is the exact same model I received as a wedding gift 35 years ago.  Using it really brings back the memories of that first year learning to cook down in Pipestone, MN.  We rented an old farmstead and got a goat and I gained about 10 pounds.
I bought the old crock pots so that I could dye wool and make soap in them.  I haven't ever tried making the hot process crock pot soap, but I hope to try it soon.  The nice thing about hot process soap is that you can use it right away, it doesn't need to cure for 4 to 8 weeks. I have been using the old crock pots for dyeing felted scarves and my Shetland Mule combed top.  It's so easy!  I just put warm water in, add a little ci…

Breeding to a Standard - is it really a good thing?

Did anyone watch the PBS documentary the other night on the state of pedigree dogs in the UK?

I did and I was disgusted at what the show ring and inbreeding have done to several breeds.  Most shocking to me was that the breeders are so caught up in the sanctity of breeding to the Standard that they don't realize the damage they are inflicting upon their animals in terms of health and future generations. 

The examples cited on the documentary of structural, facial and skull changes over the years were striking.  I was shocked at the footage of the German Shepherds in the show ring -- their back legs out of portion and misaligned, and a breeder saying what a perfect specimen in conformation to the standard the winning dog was.

When one Cavalier breeder tries to do something about a fatal hereditary condition, she was vilified by the rest of the breeders.  The frosting on the cake was when a dog afflicted by that same condition won top honors in a show.  Makes one wonder how these b…

Rambling Update

So many things have been going on here that I haven't even mentioned on the blog.  So here's a quick update.

First off, I think I'll name Lanora's ram Landon. I saw on the news this morning the player who scored the winning goal in the soccer game is named Landon.  I just think he's a gorgeous ram lamb.

I brought home three of our Ile de France sired market lambs yesterday.

 They are only 8-9 weeks old.  I think it's young to be weaning them, but LeeAnne has too many lambs for her resouces so I took the first three and will get the other three in a couple more weeks. The biggest weighed 65 lbs at 8 weeks.  I didn't get him, he went for a wedding this month.  The lamb in side view in the photos is a single out of a Shetland Mule, on the right is a twin  out of a Dorset/Ile de France ewe, and another one of those is in the back.

We're down to 4 hens now.  Only the wisest old girls are left - not the best egg layers, they all got killed by a predator in the …

Fleece Samples Ready to Go

This is a quick post from my old computer.
I scanned my fleece samples before I send them out for micron testing. I got a surprise check in the mail the other day which was prize money for winning 3rd place in the finest fleece contest with Greyson's sample last December. I didn't realize the contest included prize money!  The check will help with the cost of testing this year, so now I've just got to get my samples sent in.

Sorry you can't see the whole staples and how crimpy or wavy they are due to my packaging, but you can get an idea of the length of my flock's wool.  You can click on the photos to biggify.

My blacks are mostly quite short and crimpy.  They are all heavy AI lines.  In fact, all my sheep have AI influence.  Frieda is the shortest stapled and Lana's pretty short too, but I love those girls anyway.  Cleo's fleece is a dream!  Eva is 3/4 Shetland and 1/4 BFL, her fleece is wonderful.

These are my more brown toned samples, except Camille and G…

A New Tent!

Ask and ye shall receive!  Once I decided I absolutely had to have a new tent I started researching the various brands and their pricing. Since I have quit my day job, it's hard to shell out almost $1,000 for a good quality tent even if it is necessary. 
So last week I typed in "canopy" on Craigslist and low and behold, there was a used LightDome available in down in Redwing, MN!  That's 118 miles away, but I talked Stan into going down there with me and we picked it up Saturday morning.  It was a beautiful drive along the river seeing the bluffs and all the spring colors.  The gal who was selling the tent  for her artist dad had a candy store in town.  So we bought some of her artisan candy too.  Yumm!

We set up the tent on Sunday morning and a few hours later we had a good heavy rain.  No leaking!  I love how tall it is in the center compared to the EZUp and I love that every sidewall has a zippered center.  The zippers are much heavier weight than the ones on th…