…But Will I Have Time To Read It?

Hobby Farm Mistake #346: Thinking you will ever have time to shower, maintain a blog, or keep up with your magazine subscriptions once you have livestock.

Did that knowledge keep me from clapping my hands gleefully, and resubscribing, when I saw that this was starting up again?

It did not.

If what I did for the past two weeks involved anything besides manure, I’d have a photo for you.

[Cue crickets chirping.]

Well, maybe there is something I can show…

I was sent a pic of a beautiful spindle utilizing a double-sided mandala from Nepal as the whorl, and of course I couldn’t resist it.

You’ll never guess who made this… unless you were to spin on it, and then you’d know for sure!

I also ordered a Golding Lazy Kate I, which is beautiful and works wonderfully.

Besides goat poop, my current interests (as seen here) are reading about farmgirl pursuits like those in Maryjane Butters’ books; knitting some baby socks for our friends’ new little boy, Donovan, from some lovely Rowan yarn; finishing spindling the Ashford Club’s Shrek Rogue Merino fiber; and assembling my new dog/goat cart (which I won on Ebay for much less than list price).

I tried knitting one baby sock from the top down and didn’t like the traditional heel, so I made a pair from my toe-up formula instead, along with a little hat to match (top-down – I’m such a rebel). This is the most knitting I’ve done in months, as is evidenced by my foul mood of late. I’m now trying to finish up a “have to” project (a Lopi-style sweater for Jeff, knit with Blackberry Ridge’s yummy, sproingy natural yarns) so that I can get on to something fun, portable, light, and mindless, as my dad’s in the hospital and I’ve a bit on my mind.

My beautiful girl Emma celebrated her first birthday with a grilled leg of organic Jacob lamb, marinated in garlic and lemon juice. YUM!

As you can see, she is taking her puppy-owning duties very seriously, being ever vigilant, and brining up Molly properly. Valentine just rolls his eyes…

Molly is growing like a weed. We’re having her DNA tested so that we know what to expect from her, size-wise and health-wise, in the future. The results haven’t come back yet, but we think she’s partly collie, partly Lab, partly German shepherd dog, and partly wolverine – and you’d agree with that assumption if you ever got to hear her crazy voice. She sounds like a Ninja – it’s indescribable. There’s a reason her middle name is “Pipsqueak.”

Molly’s latest favorite hobby is digging for grubs, roots, and other buried treasures. The girl is tenacious as a Tasmanian devil, fearless when it comes to baiting Emma for a game of chase. Oftentimes I will hear wild noises and come into the living room to find Emma on her back on the futon, Molly sitting on top of her chest and barking furiously because she can’t get a bit of paper towel tube that Emma’s holding in her teeth, just out of reach.

The end of May brought shearing day. An event eagerly anticipated by handspinners becomes one of emotional trauma when you own your first sheep. I mean, look at the size of those clipper teeth! What would pass for a nick at a sheep-n-wool fest instead appears as a gash requiring a trip to the veterinary ER. I had to turn away…

That brings us to Hobby Farm Mistake #347 – thinking you are going to save money by growing your own spinning fiber. According to my calculations, these six fleeces have an average cost of $1,685 per pound. I hope Matt and Jamie at Wooly Knob Fiber Mill are insured, as UPS delivered it to them on Tuesday.

Speaking of fiber expenses, have I introduced you to our blue-eyed Angora doe, Arwen? She comes to us from Tall Grass Farm. If you’re in southern Wisconsin in April or October, their Fiber Jubilee is a really great event.

Arwen is warming up to us a bit and will now eat from my hand (unlike the other goats who will bowl me over to get a bit of grain, or nibble on my ears when I put down a water bucket.)

Speaking of water buckets, thank goodness we ordered this portable fountain to go with our portable pasture fencing. Pippin and Merry enjoy the fresh, cool water.

The neighbors probably think we’re nuts, but goats and sheep do in fact need shade when out to pasture. Since we rotate our grazing area to maximize pasture and minimize parasites, and since there aren’t shady trees available everywhere, we had to make a run to Wal-Mart, which had this goatie gazebo on sale last week. Works great for afternoon naptime.

Gorgonzola was seriously embarrassed after being shorn.

But it wasn’t long before everyone was sportin’ a new do and heading out to pasture.

They complained a bit about the breeze…

… but soon forgot all about Mr. Edward Scissorhands and his evil ways. (That huge tree is a cottonwood – I love it! Wonder if the white, fuzzy sheddings are spinnable… they’re all over the driveway now.)

For the goats, the day was just business as usual, so we found them up to their regular tricks.

Blogger is currently being crabby, so the rest of the pictures will have to wait until tomorrow. Hope these weren’t too many to bore you! Have a great day.



Filed under animals, farm, farm knit, farm mistakes, fiberarts, flowers, pets

9 responses to “…But Will I Have Time To Read It?

  1. Denise in Kent, WA

    OMG, what a spectacular spindle! Lucky you. I can’t wait to see it irl. (You maybe had better check my bags when I leave. LOL)Is it wrong to be jealous of a dog? Sounds like Ms. Emma had a wonderful birthday. I <>love<> the pic of the three dogs together.I hope your goatie gazebo is firmly anchored – those things catch the wind something awful. Too bad I’m not driving out this summer, or I’d bring you one of our awning / gazebo thingies.P.S. You can <>never<> have too many pictures! The compound curve of the barn roof is really neat, and the naked sheep pics are funny. They <>do<> look embarrassed, don’t they? 🙂

  2. Denise in Kent, WA

    Almost forgot!Thanks (she says sarcastically) for mentioning that Victoria magazine. I think I’m about to subscribe. And when I accumulate a stack of issues that I haven’t had time to read, I’ll mail you a picture so you can look at it and feel guilty. Mwahahaha…

  3. keri

    Oh my goodness you’ve been busy, I’m tired just reading all about it, wow!

  4. Judy H.

    I was just thinking last night that it’d been a while since you’d blogged! Good to ‘see’ you again.I’ve been to a shearing where I had the definite impression the sheep knew they were nekkid. 🙂

  5. Kary

    OMG!! I haven’t gotten beyond the fact the “VICTORIA” is starting again … YiPpEE! Thank goodness I am sipping wine! Wait?? Am I hallucinating?? ggg

  6. quiltparalegal

    Oh that Mandala spindle looks gorgeous – were you just sent a picture or did you get to test drive this one as well? Cute picture of the goat with Jeff!Hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather!

  7. Elisa

    Cottonwood tree…Oh how I wish I could collect enough to spin! It blows too much here in Omaha to collect enough fluff. But yes, you can spin it! Good luck, and post a picture! You can never have too many

  8. acrylik

    Great to catch up with you and see how all is going on the farm. I always enjoy reading your latest news.

  9. jessie

    Given that I was just carrying around a baggie of goat poop this very day (for testing at the vet’s, not just for pleasure), this was an interesting post.Love your animals!

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