Saturday, February 28, 2015

Trading Places

I am home again.  I have been in Ohio with John's Mom.  She is now home, at her home, after being at hospital (that is the way foreigners say it), and rehab for 49 days.  John's siblings have been taking turns    hanging out,  helping with home tasks.

When John's turn came, we decided it might be better for me to go first since the farm was in the path of a big snow storm and we didn't think it fair to ask our farm sitter to plow and shovel to get to the animals.  So, I left between storms, John stayed to wait, plow a foot of snow, shovel paths for the animals, shovel a path to the wood pile, and then, he traded caring for 9 sheep and 2 geese in our snow, for hanging out with his mom in her snow (about the same amount).

When I was giving John's mom a pedicure a few days ago, I told her I wish my sheep would put their hoofs in warm water and feel pampered instead of flipping out about hoof trimming.  It is always enjoyable doing anything for someone appreciative and positive.  Maybe I should send the sheep and geese to Ohio to hang out and take notes.

I guess the animals here just have a different way of showing appreciation.  The sheep did come down to the gate to greet me when I came home (and they had been fed only a couple of hours earlier).  The geese made a huge racket welcoming me and Cirrus didn't hiss.

Trading places, is an important adventure.  It gives one a different perspective on life.  It is kind of like the practice of walking in someone else's shoes.

Another kind of trading places, I have always wanted to try, is trading homes with someone across the world.  Just for a week or month.  I might have to start looking into that, but not too sure if anyone would want to trade for a farm and care for 9 sheep and 2 geese in snow and cold.  Better to wait until it warms up a bit, I think.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Spectacular Day with a Brilliant Sky

The perfect snow greeted us this morning.  More powder like yesterday and only around 6".  When I reached the barnyard the sheep greeted me, and they had already done their snow clearing.  When I let Sal and Cirrus out this morning Sal hesitated for just a few seconds to take it all in and then went off to join the sheep.  The geese have the perfect feet to walk on snow and will go through anything and then they stop and lay in the snow.

 The sky was AMAZINGLY blue and the water in the trough, crystal clear.

 There had been more than an inch of ice on most of the water, yesterday but the insulation from the snow melted it all.  The temperature was 14 degrees.

 Which of these beautiful sheep did the artistic loop I wonder.
 What is it about snow that cleans the water this clean?

So much to ponder on this Spectacular Day.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sheep are no Whimps

Well, the snow finally arrived.  The forecast is for 12"-18" by morning.  Nothing like New England, but still could be significant.  The sheep seem to like the snow and the geese look like they like it better than cold ground.

When the ground is cold the geese stand on one foot at a time a lot.  Today, they were laying in the snow.  Good insulation.  Here is Greta looking at the camera.

Zorra looks like a white sheep, accept for her head.

The snow today was some of the finest powder I have ever seen.

I swept a path to the barnyard and then around the barnyard.  I picked up the sheep feed bowls because when it snows a lot they get covered and we, most me, trips on them.  When I was picking up the bowls and putting them in a pile the sheep thought I was going to give them some grain. I figured they deserved a treat so I gave them a little.  I have to make a mental note-- next time I want snow cleared I just have to walk around with some grain and the sheep will do all the clearing.  

Might not work in the morning if the snow gets as deep as predicted, though.

We have been having trouble with the cold tripping the electric outlet at the water trough but with the snow, I don't have to worry, they all love to eat the snow.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Beautiful New Cabinet

I have been cleaning the fiber studio on days that the weather will allow.  I am always amazed at how much space there is in this small building when it is clean and organized.

One of the things that allows me to be more organized is the beautiful new cabinet that John built for me.  It is pine with cedar doors.  The doors will help to keep the stink bugs out and the cedar will help with the moths.  I have put the yarn from our sheep in the cabinet and balls of roving and rolled up batts from the Finns.  It actually already has more in it than when I took the picture.

 In the picture below you can see how nice and deep it is too.  I will still have to find more storage space for things that are finished and ready to be sold.  I guess I can now say, "we are open", though some people want to see more product.  John and I were talking about this today.  He wants to build some things and I want knit, weave, and felt some thing.  Neither of us want to market anything, so I guess that means things will accumulate and need to be stored somewhere, though it seems like every time we make something, someone comes along to give it to, so maybe it won't be a problem.    I told John that at least we can be busy doing what we like.

I finished John's hat.   I should knit a few more hats but I have some mittens I want to knit with the Mira/Charlotte yarn I have, to see how they come out.
This is the yarn I want to make the mittens from.  The yarn I used for John's hat is all hand spun but this is some of the yarn we sent off to the small mill to spin.  I like the way it came out and I love the color.

It is clear that there is more cleaning to be done but I need to keep creating while I am on a roll.  

Monday, February 9, 2015

Appreciating the Weather One Has

I don't think the animals particularly appreciate that it has been so nice the past two days.  It was 60 degrees and amazing yesterday.

Cirrus appreciated that the ice was gone in both the puddle pond and their tub.  He was in and out of water all day.  I think the sheep appreciate that the ground is not so hard and rutty as it has been, but I don't think they care if it is cloudy or cold.  What they do probably appreciate, is that I have been in a much better mood the last couple of days.

I am pretty particular about what I like when it comes to weather.  I don't like temperatures between 17-42 degrees if it is cloudy and/or windy.  I like 12 degrees or even below if it is sunny and still, I like the upper 40's and rain.  I love snow and even blizzards but what can you do with 20's, 30's and 40's with gray skies and wind.

 I feel guilty and spoiled that we had a 60 degree day yesterday when much of New England and northern states, where family and friends live, are still under a couple of feet of snow.  I have missed not having any real accumulation of snow yet this winter but I would probably be griping if we had a lot also.  It is definitely more difficult taking care of the animals with heavy snow.

I have decided I should just be happy with whatever we get and do things accordingly.  I need to dress for wind and wear brighter colors on the gray days and go out and play.

I vow to take my lead from the animals at Cabin Spring Farm and appreciate every day and get in the lea if the wind gets too bad.