Tuesday, November 15, 2011


A windy, fast weekend!  Saturday was especially productive - I drove to the feed mill, drove north to VT, dropped feed off with M, drove home.  Then I finished deconstructing the lattice house (it got a little dicey there, with all that wind any my teeter-y ladder).  M and her husband drove down to drop off some lumber they are donating to my building project and gave me a hand moving the two long walls to the building site.  Out came the level, measuring tape and cordless drill/screwdriver and a half-hour later I had this:

The sun was not in the greatest position when I took this, but I was there, it was light, I had my camera.  When finished, it will measure 8x10 feet, have a shed roof and a half-wall in front for more protection.  I plan on building a half-door so I can trap them in there keep them secure and have an easier go of it when I need to check them over, administer shots, etc.  That is Freyda, Flora's 2y/o in the forefront.  She is a bossy-pants, but has her mother's amazing fleece.  I have decided to sell Cocoa - even though she also has amazing fleece, she is a pain in my side and turns every worming/health check event into a rodeo.  This is not helpful when you're working alone.  I don't think I should have a problem finding a buyer - she is a beautiful moorit and is a registered Icelandic. 

On an alarming note, my friend and neighbor, Kay, took quite a spill on Saturday and ended up fracturing her thumb and opening a gash that took a number of stitches to close.  This is not a good injury for anyone, but especially someone who is a knitter, spinner, livestock owner.  While they were in the Emergency Room, I zipped over to throw hay at her bunch and let the geese and goat does out.  There, to my horror, was one of her bucks - on the WRONG side of the fence.  He wouldn't let me anywhere near him and then discovered that the does were out in their pasture.  I figured he wouldn't roam far, as he was glued to the fence making ridiculous faces when I left.  By the time Kay got home, he had managed to get back in.  Goats!

Our little craft fair on Sunday was successful.  There were only six tables and Sylvia practically sold out, I sold a lot, and a woman who is a highly talented jewelry maker/designer had a very good afternoon.  Her jewelry is silver-based and beautifully designed.  It was also very fairly priced.  Want to see my new earrings??  Even after the earring purchase, I cleared a nice sum.  And I finished knitting a pair of soakers for a neighbor's new baby while I was there.

I got my laundry done - it was still plenty windy yesterday - although my sheets now carry an ever-so-slight whiff of eau d' manure.  My property is bordered by a leased field and they chose this weekend to spray the field with liquid manure.  That stuff is potent!  I was so unhappy Sunday morning to walk out at 8:30a to one truck after another, that I called the farm an left a message asking for the favor of no trucks on Sunday.  I mean, I have to endure endless dump trucks M-F, with a fair number on Saturday.  I need one day of peace.  I was careful to be polite and reasonable, because I don't mind having farmers for neighbors one little bit.  It's just the Sunday/truck thing.  Then I escaped to the craft fair.  Imagine my surprise when I got home to find a message from the farmer apologizing and saying that he was pulling the trucks right then!  Geez.  I called this morning to thank them.  It's been a terrible year for farming - we've recorded 13" of rain over the norm! - so I know they were just trying to catch up.  I sure appreciate their thoughtfulness.

p.s.  Sylvia has started a blog!  After years of her very popular Gray Zone newsletter, we have convinced her to take it up a step.  Stop over, enjoy her style and say hello!


  1. Oh, how I remember those days when the fields got manured. Peee yewwww. Good for you getting such a quick response from the farmer. You're indeed fortunate to have an understanding neighbor. Shows that a kind word gets more than pitching a fit (something I'M guilty of)

  2. What? No goat wrangling? I am shocked. Sounded like fun...not!

    Hope your friend heals up well. We all need good neighbors like you and the farmer who is so obliging!

  3. I vividly remember this spring when our neighbor spread manure. Oosh. But, I guess I do prefer it to the chemical fertilizer. How nice that your farmer neighbor was so accommodating about the trucks and what a good friend you are.

  4. Sounds like you and the farmer are both good neighbors. :) Hope Kay heals quickly.

  5. We have an organic walnut farmer one field over from where we live. Summer before last, he "stored" load after load of poultry manure at the end of each load for almost the whole summer before he spread it onto the trees. Stinky doesn't begin to describe that summer!

  6. Ouch-ooh-owie! Sorry to hear of your friend Kay's injury. A hand injury sure serves to make thing difficult!

    Thanks for the link to your other friend Sylvia's blog. I shall be following her!

    Yes, we do want to see your new earrings? Where are they?

  7. Yes, where are the new earrings? You should know better than to brag about new dangly ear fashions and NOT post pics.

    I know you have an Etsy shop, but would you like me to put a link under my small but still visible "Support a Small Business" on my blog sidebar? Just let me know the http: thingy and what you want me to call it.

  8. Earrings? I don't see any earrings!! Pictures please! :)
    Glad you had a productive weekend! Tell your friend Kay we are all sending her good thoughts for a quick recovery!

  9. I would like to point out that the sheep in that photo is very slim and trim.

    And it never fails the day I hang out laundry is the day that they come to clean the barn, spread manure, and/or bale hay. So you never know what mystery smell will be on the towels when you take them out of the closet. Funny thing is I dont really smell manure anymore. That can be a bad thing.

  10. Sue - I tend to get myself all worked up, too. But this particular farming family is just so nice that I couldn't yell at them. Besides, unless they are clairvoyant, they wouldn't have known that I would mind so much.

    APG - No goat wrangling. They're too fast for me, the little dumplings.

    Judy - My farmer neighbors are the best! They almost make up for the rest of the awful ones.

    Tina - I am very lucky - and glad that I finally got to help Kay out. She's usually the one on the giving end.

    Lori - Ack! Poultry manure is the WORST! I think it's worse than pig manure!

    Mama Pea - Kay had surgery this morning to re-attach a nerve and tendon. It's going to be a looong healing process. I think you will enjoy Sylvie's writing. She is a very thoughtful and though-provoking writer. I'll take a picture of my new earrings - promise!

    CR - Yes, yes. I know I am bad. I will take a picture (it's hard to do one of your own ear, you know). Thank you for offering to link my Etsy site! I'll send you the link (more pictures must be taken...)

    Candy - Oh, me and my big mouth! Pics are forthcoming! I'll pass on your nice comments to Kay. I'm sure she could use them about now.

    Jane - I KNOW! That's just all fluff - that huge pool of white around her...hehehe. I have to admit that I can't smell manure either. And it definitely IS a bad thing, depending on the circumstances.

  11. Congratulations on a successful craft fair! And for being so productive. Now, I'm on my way over to visit your friend's new blog.

  12. They used to use manure on the LAWNS in the Middle East - in chunks! - but the only things I ever really minded was the bazillion flies that used to hatch out of the stuff. UGH!

  13. Leigh - Nothing like a deadline to get one motivated! I am behind on my apron (gasp) so I better get hopping.

    Jenyfer - Oh, yes, the flies in summer are gawd-awful. My actual farmer neighbor just shoots his manure right off the spreader. I find it's less offensive than this farmer's - it's a watery slurry that has been festering away somewhere. Gak.

  14. well,you sound very busy indeed . I had a idea pop in my head to do a mini apron and surprise everyone [plus show off my darling granddaughter,but it looks like I won't be finishing it [ it wasn't homemade anyway-but a re-do thing] but hospice is telling us that my sister-in law won't make it to the next week. I will stop by and take a peek at everyone's creations,I'm sure they will all out do themselves

  15. Good for you on the Sunday thing, you deserve one day of fresh air and fresh laundry LOL! The structure sounds great, can't wait to see it. We had that wind too, very crazy all weekend!