Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy holidays

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays with family and friends and staying warm. The weather here in December has been a challenge for me.  I'm sure tempted to become a snowbird next year. 
The other morning I was trudging out to the pole barn to feed the sheep, the temp was in the double digits below zero.  I was thinking how hard this weather is, the constant shoveling, the vehicles that won't start, the tires that go flat, the latches that won't open, etc., etc.  And I looked up to see my sheep leaping like lambs in the sparking white snow with the sun rising in the background. How could I be unhappy after seeing that?

I'm glad the sheep can handle the cold weather so easily. I am down to just 12 sheep now. I have plenty of shelter for them and I should have enough hay to last me until May, so I can breathe a sigh of relief. 

My Bluefaced Leicester ram lamb, Red Oak Mason, has been staying with my neighbor, but I expect he'll be returning soon and then I'll have two pens of sheep again.
The feral barn cat formerly known as Buddy (my barn Buddy), has been staying in my house and is now named Richard Parker after the tiger in The Life of Pi. He's way too uncivilized to stay in the house, but he's very loving and cute, that's him in the photo at the top of this post. Two days ago I called and made an appointment to have him neutered. I knew he knew I was talking about him.  That night he went outside and hasn't come back since. I can only hope that he doesn't come back and I can save some $. 
I gave these felted slippers to my mom for Christmas but they didn't fit her so my sister-in-law was the lucky recipient. They have rabbit fur cuffs and I coated the bottoms with Plasti-Dip so they won't be as slippery to walk in. 
And this little girl finally has a name, she's Wanda, the Wensleydale/Bluefaced Leicester ewe lamb. She's so small and her wool is so long, I just love her. Of course I love them all, but she's such a cute little thing. She seems to like to stick close to Luna, one of my Bluefaced Leicester ewes. 

One last thing, there are only two spaces left to fill in the teapot class with Pam MacGregor. If you've been considering attending, now is the time to get your deposit in and reserve your spot.  I'm so excited about the felting classes I will be taking and teaching in 2014. Let's hope it's a good year for everyone.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Thanksgiving

Well, another Thanksgiving has come and gone already! I am thankful for my family and my good friends and neighbors. I'm thankful that I have been able to stay in my house and keep my animals so far. I'm not sure how long I will be able to continue this lifestyle.  The high cost of hay and feed makes keeping the animals a lot more challenging. Life goes on and new doors are waiting to be opened.
I am thankful for my healthy sheep flock and for the people who purchased sheep and lambs from me this year. I'm happy to find good homes for them.  I am grateful for my beautiful quartet of Saxony ducks (and all the delicious ducks in the freezer). 
My exhibit at the Cambridge Center for the Arts ended on Nov. 23rd. Thanks everyone who took the time to go and see it. And special thanks to the ladies at CCFA, they were a joy to work with.


I'll be doing some more classes at Anoka Fiber Works, a hat class in December and felted house slippers/boots in January. See their website for specifics and to sign up.

I still have 5 spaces left in the Teapot Class with Pam MacGregor, if you're interested in attending, let me know and I will send you all the details. I've created a page for the class here on the blog so it will be easy to find.

Red Oak Mason, my Bluefaced Leicester ram, came out of the breeding pen yesterday. Lambing will be in April 2014 if all goes as planned. There should be several purebred Bluefaced Leicester lambs, some Shetland Mule lambs (1/2 BFL and 1/2 Shetland), and some 3/4 BFL lambs. 

My sweet little Finn/Shetland lambs got their coats on this weekend. I can't wait to work with their fleeces. But most exciting will be the fleece from this sweet little girl, she's 67% Wensleydale and 33% BFL.