Friday, November 18, 2011

Writer's Block ...................

When your imaginary friends won't talk to you.

I think Annette is in the hog lot again. 


Sunday, November 6, 2011


I guess cutting down the maple tree didn't go quite as well as we planned.

Friday, November 4, 2011

How to host a hen party!

It is heading toward winter.  The frost has been on the pumpkin.  My flowers are dead.  And canning season has been deemed ... over.  The "slow time" has arrived on the farm.

It is time to socialize with those friends who have also been much too busy to breath, let alone sit down and have a cup of tea. 

Yea ... it is time to P-A-R-T-E-E!

Photo courtesy of the Radish Magazine

A party???  Did I hear something about a party???

No. Not you, Edith.  You can hear your cackle all the way to Sheepie Neighbor's house!

First thing you do ..... you invite the girls.

Photo courtesy of the Radish Magazine

I tell ya!  I am so happy to get out of here.  I have cooped up here on the farm all summer!!

No, Agnes.  You are not coming!  Tamara will say something shocking and you will lay an egg!

After giving the coop a good dusting, you begin to prepare a pretty table.  After all, it is going to be a feed.

You make a new tablecloth out of homespun cotton fabric.

You pull out just the perfect dishes for such an occasion.

And yes ... my latest, greatest, on-the-cheap-use-what-you-own serving piece ........ a galvanized chicken feeder as a plate stand.  (Just a note ... this is 48" long ... if anyone has a 36" long one that they would like to part with ... I would love it!!!)

Wanna see another pic of it???

 I'm pretty certain Nate Berkus or HGTV wouldn't approve of my use of livestock accessories as stylish decor ... but he lives in New York city and HGTV has a much bigger decorating than I do.  And I did thoroughly scrubbed and bleached it!
And then --- you continue to work.

Susan worked on a sweater and a couple of pairs of socks.  She always has lots of projects.

Pam crocheted on an afghan.

Tamara, Susan and Cynthia.  Cynthia worked on a pair of alpaca socks from her own fleece that she spun.

Brenda worked on a pair of socks.  I worked on a cowl.  And Kaleigh and Emma learned the long-tail cast-on and how to purl.

And finally, you count your blessings for wonderful friends that understand that the work never ends on a farm.  It may be the "slow time" but there is always something that needs to be done.

We have chosen a HomeGrown and HandMade lifestyle.  (Hey .. this is a blatant plug for my friend and co-instructor for the Homesteading Seminar at Illinois Valley Community College for March 17, 2012!  Deborah will also be in the QCA on March10th, hosting a dairy class ... details will follow.)

So we join together .... an old mother hen like me, a couple of young chicks like Kaleigh and Emma .... for a few hours of laughter.  A little tea.  A cookie or ten. :) 

And a sense of accomplishment.  Yea .... we did accomplish something.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Rip it! Rip it! Rip it!

OK -- just one quick update.  I might be making progress with the insurance company.  Maybe.  Sort of.  I will let you know.  Things are definitely looking up.  :)

But now on to fun, exciting, interesting stuff!!!

I have been trying to fill the Summer Kitchen with some new merchandise. OK -- fuzzy things.  Yea .. its winter and those incredibly buff fingers of mine have been doing some intense aerobic workouts.

I've been knitting again.

OK .... let me put that a different way.  The more politically correct way. I think every piece of yarn I have touched has been knitted at least twice! Yes ... it has been "knit 1, rip 2"!

When you knit from your stash .... finishing up bits and pieces of yarn .... you may have an issue or two.

Look! Hat, scarf and fingerless mitts ... they all blend!!!

 This hat, for example.  I had a small amount of gold, yellow, orange, and green hand dyed sock yarn.  So I thought ... I will knit a gold band and then blend the two yarns together so the slouchy part would be multicolored.  That plan worked great ... until I ran out of sock yarn.  So I frogged the project .... and flipped the areas around .... and now, I still have a bit of the sock yarn left!  

That, of course, I can not part with cuz that's what knitting is all about. 

It's not the projects, the pleasure or even the patience you learn while knitting.

Its keeping every last bit of yarn!

You need to be able to feel this luscious yarn.  Sooo soft!
This beautiful soft hand spun (Strawberry and Cream fleece from Hedgeapple Farm) was to be a ruffled or potato chip scarf.  I started the project .... said it should work with worsted weight ... but it wasn't ruffly!  So it became a reversible cabled scarf.  Absolutely yummy!!!!  But not what I had seen in my mind.

Don't you love the vintage wooden buttons???

The next frogged project was this adorable slouchy hat with Shetland yarn from Sheepie Neighbor.

It first said it wanted to be a reversible cabled cowl.  'Cept it was so heavy it wouldn't drape!!  Gauge was right ... but it didn't drape.  Frog it!!!!

The key to frogging .... I think .... is not to frog it in tadpole stage.  No, you have to let it grow ... get legs ... and then, after you have spent.... say, 136 hours on it (!!!!) .... you decide to frog it!

So tomorrow ... I have invited my peeps to come for a knitting day.  Kneedles gone Knuts! 

And I am taking bets.

Am I knitting???

Or am I swimming with the amphibians again???