Sunday, July 29, 2007

I've got new socks!

Years ago, I read or heard about this psych professor who would have his students go out and give a try to a list of 'stunts' designed to study social responses blah blah blah. Anyways, my 2 favorites from the list of things to do, were for crowded elevators.

  1. Be the last person to board a crowded elevator. Face the crowd and grin. That's all, just smile. Really big & happy-like. Now, I don't know about you, but that's just disturbing and kinda scary.
  2. Be the last person to board a crowded elvator. (I sense a lack of creativity on the part of the professor.) Face the crowd and announce boldly and with much enthusiasm: "I've got new socks!"
My brother once thought this was absolutely the best hands-down way to greet and freak out complete strangers. He was right. Now, I would like to chime in with him and announce proudly:


Just LOOK at what one of the club members made for ME!! Dudes. I am totally thrilled. As I sat here staring at the 1/4 knit lonely sock cast on in the wee hours more weeks ago than I care to count up, I might have mentioned the lack of hand-knit socks and the irony of it all, what with all the SOCK YARN that goes out the door here. And then these show up on my doorstep. Snug as a bug in a rug are my toes :) A billion thankyouthankyouthankyous to you Pat, thank you.

Please note for the record: The right foot looks a little... well, 'off kilter'. This is because of the 6 or 7 foot surgeries on that foot, it is NOT the socks!! They fit perfect.

Now, just when things couldn't get any better, ON THE SAME DAY, these also arrived:
Let's get a close up, shall we?

Helen has made me 2 of the most lovely potholders I've ever used to pick a pip'in pot off the stove with. They are double-knit, with colors different on each side, wickedly cool. She's a mighty creative gal, thanks Helen - I love them!

My daughter was not quite as pleased that none of the packages had her name on them, but she did enjoy wearing my new socks and using the potholders as blankets for her Barbies that afternoon.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Addendum to the Numbers.

First and foremost, my husband says I am to point out that the picture of the shearer is not of him shearing a sheep, but of the shearer who was also here shearing that weekend. The shearer sheared just over 200 sheep in 2 days, and we're very glad he did!

We caught that racoon the night we purchased the trap and were very pleased with ourselves... And then the next night lost 3 more hens to his big brother. We caught him as well. So far, the trap sits bated but empty and the hen house is down to 11 hens & a rooster. I find myself on the hunt so to speak, for new laying hens to replace the missing crew. No easy task, as folks who have hens for sale seem to want to convince me that the 3 year old scrawny bird sitting sullen in the back of the coop is really a 'good layer'. At that age and condition, the term 'good layer' translates to 'good at laying around all day eating and producing NOTHING'. The search continues.

The 5 little chicks are learning to fly I discovered, as I found mom and chicks roosting last night on the counter of the milk room they are currently staying in. They now share their home with 26 chicks. I'll try to get pics tomorrow of the mob of yellow fluff out there.

Eric has injured his neck leaving me in charge of EVERYTHING. I am exhausted, and pretty darn tired of farm chores (for more on that, see Lisa's latest post here. She came to visit, a wonderful time was had by all but I am to darn tired to go into more detail.

It did finally rain, and everything looks nice & green, but I worry about hay for the winter here. I don't know if we'll get another cutting from our farm. Price of winter could be high, we'll see.

Comments on the comments:

Let me say, I am sorry if I have not replied or responded to questions in the blog. First of all, blogger won't LET me reply directly. Secondly, well, I've been off my game lately (see spring=exhaustion).

So here goes:

Woolgirl: time to knit? time to KNIT?? Uh huh. You mean, like, with needles? I understand 'startitis' but what do you call it when you have so many projects you want to start that you stand in the middle of the fiber room and just stare in a daze with a handful of needles in one hand and an inhaler in the other for the minor panic attack in the other? time to knit she mumbles.

Andrea: Your welcome! The yarn fairy grins with glee :)

Colleen: We *try* to shear the sheep before they lamb. It's easier on everyone, even the lamb because they no longer recognize their mum after she's been sheared, I kid you not. Not to mention trying to sort sheep with lambs in the pens. No way to find the pair & keep them together through the whole day/ordeal. And, for the wool, it's better because lambing can cause a 'break' in the fleece (where the wool stops and starts growing again literally making a break or weak spot in that section of the wool fiber/strand). Very good question.

Jo at Celtic Memory, how'd that Imbas sock turn out?? and did I hear you mention Slytherin for House Socks? You should check out the House colors here...

Colleen: Rental Sheep have had lambs (a good portion of them anyways). Pictures were delayed due to well... more than 340 ewes giving birth and only 2 shepherds. I'm working on them, and the fleece from the rentals! Don't despair :)

Sorry, not much in the way of pictures. I'll leave you with this: Anyone want to guess what this is?

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's all about the Numbers.

Hi, remember me? Here's a quick, brief run-down (run into the ground, run-down) of what we've been up to around here. There's way more by the way, these were just the highlights of spring and lambing.

More than 200 sheep sheared in 2 days.... and 5 stitches for spouse in a shearing accident.

More than 80 fleeces to skirt - this is just a few of them...

The rest went into the wool-pool bags.

More than 280 lambs (we were just to tired to keep counting by that time).

More than 16 bottle lambs total, with 7 still on the bottle (not bad considering the total lambs born is probably about 350-375-ish).

11 lambs who would have been bottle lambs grafted onto other mothers. (major happy about that one!!)

2 emergency c-sections to save the lambs.

7 animals treated for fly-strike (you do NOT want details on that)

8 new pigs on the farm.

1 steer off to butcher.

What felt like a bazillion-teen skeins of yarn for Cookie's Garden, the spring sock kit for the club.

1 set of double rainbows.

Deja-vu with another astronomical number of skeins of yarn for The Summer sock kit for the club... (pick your own 3 out of 5 ice cream flavors - what was I thinking??)

10 broiler chicks (round 1 - round 2 would be 25 to be delivered next week)

21 hens laying an amazing number of eggs (quiche, anyone?) , down to 13 - see the next 'number'.

1 raccoon who lightened the hen-pen by 8 hens in 4 days... followed by the purchase of a trap.

200 bales of hay at about 600lbs each (that's 1/2 of what we need for the coming winter, folks).

2 1/2 inches of rain in almost 6 weeks (very bad).
5 brand new baby chicks with mommy-hen (2 peeking out here).