22 November 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope that there is much in your life to give you a feeling of gratitude today - no matter where in the world you live.

I am very grateful for my super online friends, as well as the new friends I've made since we moved to the Eau Claire, WI, area. People here are just great and have been very kind to us.

It is very cold, but sunny here today - I'm thankful for that, as well as the wonderful animals for which we have the privilege of caring.

Next entry: Donkey Care 101 for Jessie, starring Eli.

I'm grateful for our 7 lb., organic, heritage Bourbon Red turkey raised by our good friends, Julie and Vince. (Visit their site to get info on how to brine a turkey for the juciest Thanksgiving feast ever, and to find out how to order this great goatsmilk soap as a holiday gift for your knitting pals! Hey, Dixie, I think you should carry this in your shop!)

I'm thankful that Jeff's knee surgery went well, that he's healing quickly. Having him home and underfoot for a week while I have to care for the animals on my own was driving me nuts, so we made a quick trip to Yellow Dog Knitting and Dixie and Cindi got him all set up.

Day One

Day Two

He's making good progres on his Rowan Harris Tweed scarf - and that's not the easiest yarn with which to learn to knit! N.B. - this yarn is from my stash. Dixie set him up with some lovely, beginner-friendly Drops Alaska, but Jeff decided he wanted to make a scarf instead of a hat as soon as he got home, and there wasn't enough Alaska for Mr. Change His Mind. So it's his own fault he's experiencing some sticks and splits and breaks every once in a while, but at least he's learning patience.

Jeff now says things like, "When I get to the end of this row," when I ask him to come and eat, or how he "tinked back a row to fix a mistake." I can't help but chuckle.

However, I'm sincerely worried that he'll soon surpass my feeble skills and be off and running on Dale of Norway sweaters in a month or two.

As usual, Max and Emma are not impressed.

They are, however, thankful for a warm place to snooze.

May your day be full of furry and fibery blessings, too.

P.S. If you're on Ravelry, you can find me as StasiaSpins.

13 November 2007

Going Out In A Blaze Of Glory

Jeff walking Molly back up from the mailbox.

Oak tree.

Chicken brooder house.

Another view of the chicken coop.

Mini donkeys Eli and Jazz.

Our road curving away to the south, by the birch copse.

Hermione and Dexter's kids, Sitka and Sequoia, now one month old.

Dexter arrived at our farm yesterday, along with Flower's daughter, Pansy, and we're glad to have them reunited with their families. They're all Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats (not pygmy goats, which are a meat breed).

The kids venturing out into the "Big Goats' Pasture" for the first time.

The Jacob sheep aren't lambs any longer - one and a half years old now. They'll probably be bred next year if Jeff can find a six-horned ram.

Jeff playing with Bordeaux (half Boer, half Alpine) and Frodo (mini-Nubian).

Jeff in conversation with one of our Quail Belgian D'Anver (or Antwerp Belgian) chickens.

Jeff has spent the last two months installing fencing around the five-acre sheep and donkey pasture. Thanks for the help, James!

Jeff is scheduled for knee surgery this Wednesday and was just diagnosed with sacroiliitis today. Good thing we went ahead and had that extra yard hydrant installed down by the sheep, because I'll have water duty for a while. Moral of the story: just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it... especially if you are nearing 40.

The old "long barn" - it used to house pigs and hens on the lower level, which is lovely inside and has lots of light and separate rooms. The pigs used to come out little "dog doors" into a cement yard that has since crumbled.

Sadly, the foundation has gone and the building won't be around much longer. A friend may "rescue" the top half for his own farm. Right now, it houses my wool stash, my looms, and my goat cart/sleigh. It was built sometime in the 40s.

Maple tree.

Max and AnnieYoda keeping warm. They have become great pals. Bottle-baby Yoda gets along with everyone. She can frequently be found riding on our shoulders like an owl. Speaking of owls...

Screech owl taking up winter residence in a hollow tree near the house.

The first snow of 2007.

AnnieYoda, cozy by the fire.

Current knitting: Malabrigo Pop-Top Mittens and matching scarf designed by Cindi Moist of Yellow Dog Knitting.

I think I'll be needing these soon.

Sorry about the formatting being all askew; I don't understand "floats" and I'm going to re-format for my next post (I hope).