Busy Summer!

Just a quick update this morning, lots to do before the sun sets tonight.

Merino tencel nuno felt yardage and the cute planter I got at the auction.  Before the hail storm.
The insurance adjuster has come and gone, we had damage to the roof of the house and the entire roof of the pole building.  Now if we have to fix the pole barn roof, I'm thinking we should add at least one lean-to on it to house the sheep.  Actually I'd love to add one on each side.  I've always let the sheep access the barn via the slider, but I hate trying to keep that area clear so the slider is operational.  Anyone have lean-to ideas or plans to share?  I'm thinking if we add 8' on each side, we should put a door in the existing walls so it would be easy to feed the sheep without going outside.

The good news about all the storms and rain this summer is our pond is almost FULL already!  We took this photo last week, it's probably even a little higher now.  Hopefully our hay guy will get his cattle in there soon to make use of all that forage.  While we were there, I checked on my pumpkins, watermelon and cantaloupe plantings in the compost piles.  They were like a jungle covering all three piles.  I made the mistake of picking a watermelon.  It was not ripe yet, but chickens and sheep loved it.  My neighbor says not to pick watermelons until after the first frost.  My mom says they're ripe when the little curly things near the stem dry up.  Does anyone know?  And would the same hold true for the cantaloupe?

It was too hot this summer to mulch my salsa garden and my tomatoes look terrible.  I grow Brandywines and they usually keep vining and producing well into the fall. But this year the plants have blight, it's been so wet.  I'll have plenty make juice and salsa with though - if I get the time!

I am so busy trying to get things ready for the Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producer's booth at the State Fair.  I resisted dyed the scarf above last night.  I'm bringing my stuff down tomorrow and will stick around to help set up the booth.  Then I get to attend the "Sneak Preview" of the Fine Arts Exhibit.  My wet-felted piece, "Portrait of Lena" was accepted into the show.  I can't wait to see it hanging at the State Fair!

"Portrait of Lena", photo by Petronella Ystma
I'll be working 5 days in the MLWP commercial booth at the fair (it's in the dairy building, near the haunted house); I'm just hoping I'll have the stamina to hold up for all 5 days.  I think it will be a great learning experience even if I don't sell all that much stuff.

This morning Stan & I are going to have eye exams and order new glasses.  My poor glasses are totally bent out of shape. I take them off for close up jobs and there were so many times they fell in the hay and got stepped on.  The most memorable was when the first lambs of 2009 were born and they fell into the hay. I was horrified to see Ozzie (the Aussie) take off with them, crunching all the way.  It's time to get new ones and quit trying to reshape the old pair.


  1. I use the thump test on watermelons, just like you do in the store. Cantaloupes are easier; when they are ripe, the stem dries up and pulls away from the melon cleanly and easily. If you check the stem end of cantaloupe in the store, you can tell which ones were picked ripe, because of that!

    Have a great time at the fair; congrats on your portrait being accepted!

  2. Wow...just reading your post takes my breath away. You are really running fast this summer! I hope everything goes great with the booth, and I love the Lena portrait and so neat that it got into the display.

  3. Thanks Michelle, I did thump it and it sounded hollow. But it wasn't red inside yet when I cut it open. It tasted pretty good though.
    Tammy - the booth set up went very smoothly yesterday. Everyone knew what they were doing except me. They gave me some good tips on packaging and pricing and display. Tomorrow is my first day in the trenches, there are lots of thing in the booth that I want to BUY!

  4. Just reading your blog makes me tired. You are amazing!


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