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Archive for September, 2013

Fall Morning

Early morning was simply gorgeous here today. The sun was burning off the dawn mist,

IMG_0001_6and drying the dew on the cosmos.

IMG_0001Emma wasn’t quite awake yet but faithfully followed me around the yard.

IMG_0001_1The sunflower was responding to the sun’s greeting,

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and the critters were enjoying their breakfast.

IMG_0001_3Looks like green beans for supper tonight,

IMG_0001_4and maybe a tomato or two.

IMG_0001_5Hope you all have a great day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Dating Game

I have told you about our adventures with the bull coming to visit the cows.  They have all been very happy to have him around, each taking turns dating.

I thought everything was just fine with the flerd but the other day when I walked Callie and Cotton out to the join the cows in the morning I heard a lot of muttering.  I stopped, turned around and asked “What’s the problem girls?”

They both stopped, looked at each other, and finally Callie spoke up.  “Well, we were just thinking that it isn’t fair that Brandy, Benya, Olivia and Birdie all get to have a gentleman caller and we don’t. We are not little girls any-more, and we would like to date too.”

At first I was shocked…the little lambs had grown up.  Then I realized they were right, and I promised to do what I could about finding them a boyfriend.

It wasn’t many days later that I was out walking in the field when Brother Tom yelled out…”Steve has a ram he wants to sell and he wants to know if you want it?”  I didn’t have to think too long…I yelled back “Yes!”

So yesterday I drove over to Steve’s farm and met the prospective boyfriend.  He is a couple of years older than Callie and Cotton and I think he looks just fine.

IMG_0001What do you think…will Callie and Cotton  be charmed by this fellow?  I have to say at first he looked kind of plain to me…all white, very similar to the girls, quiet and unassuming.  And then he turned and looked at me….

IMG_0001_1Wow!! How is that for a striking face?  Quite dashing and original!  What sheep wouldn’t be charmed by him?

So for now he will stay at Steve’s, but he will be arriving at Morris Brook Farm in a month or so.  That’s how long I have to come up with an appropriate name…

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Last April Callie and Cotton were visited by the New Zealand Sheep Shearer.

IMG_0001_2I ended up with two large bags full of wool.  Wool that had come into contact with hay, shavings, grass, pine needles, mud and all sorts of other good things over the past year.  (use your imagination!).  Needless to say the wool did not look like any wool I would want to knit with or make into a warm quilt for the winter.

Yesterday I opened the bags, did a fair bit of Googling, and began my first attempt at processing raw wool

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This is Cotton.  This is Cotton’s fleece that is.  The first step was to spread it out and pick out as much of the hay, straw, grass etc. as I could.  Then I separated a piece that would fit in my kitchen sink.

IMG_0001_2The Google information was very specific.   Place the wool in the hot water with Dawn dish-washing soap. Do not push the wool into the water, let it soak in by itself.  Do not touch the wool in the water, just let it soak for 20 minutes.  I followed the instructions carefully and after 20 minutes I removed the wool with  a colander. Sure enough it worked.  I told you the wool was dirty!!!

IMG_0001_3Into the rinse water for another gentle soak and then back into another clean sink of water and soap.  Looking better all the time.

IMG_0001_4After the water was staying clear and there was no point soaking any longer it was time to start drying it.  I had bought a herb dryer from Lee Valley Foods that I thought would work just as well as a wool dryer.

Look at that…beautiful white, puffy clouds of wool blowing in the sun and gentle breeze.

IMG_0001_5My Mother used to make wool quilts and she had a pair of hand wool carders.  I didn’t have them and thought they were long gone.  I was so happy to find out that they were not gone…they were in safe-keeping with Brother Bill.  I brought them home in anticipation of carding my own wool. I had to do another Google search for how to use them, but Brother Dan tells me that he used to help Mom card, so I will be enlisting his help in the future.  For today…Google did the job.

I placed some of the clean wool in the carder…
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Slowly carded back and forth, back and forth and before I knew it…
IMG_0001_7I had beautiful, clean strands of wool.  It worked!  Now I just have to figure out what to do with the wool once it’s all washed, dried and carded.  I think it will be a winter project.

So…Baa Baa white sheep, have you any wool…yes sir, yes sir, two bags full!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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