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Showing posts from December, 2011

Our First Shearing Day

was yesterday.  It was exciting, interesting, and fun.  Mostly though it was a learning experience. As you can imagine, we had friends and family here to watch.

Our shearer, Frank Schwartz, set up his equipment in the goat shed (hawk hut, right now) and we brought them in one at a time.  Tiny was first.  She set a good example for the others to follow.

It's funny how they give up and just lay there after putting up a fight to come in.

Frank shaved off the fleeces in one piece.  There is an art to this, I'm thinking.  He told us that he went to
shearing school in New Zealand and used to, when he did this
full time, shear close to 20,000 sheep a year.

The wool seemed to grow as it came off of the sheep!  We couldn't believe how much of it there was.

Look how black that black is! 

We separated the fleeces in bags and labeled them by the sheep's name.  A few of them, he said were really nice and would be good for spinning.  I'm glad because I have my first lesson on Tuesday …

Pink Skies

A warm front moved in yesterday and brought with it magnificent colors.  The sunset was just stunning!

And then this morning there was a glorious sunrise as an encore. The sheep said they had never seen such a pink sky.

The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftmanship.  Day and night they keep on telling about God.  Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world. Psalm 19:1-3 , The Living Bible

Lost Wilbur

I like happy posts, fun posts, inspiring posts. But life on a farm is not always happy, fun, or inspiring. Somedays, life on a farm is hard. 

Yesterday was one of those days. During the afternoon feeding, we discovered one of Jonah's pigs was injured.  He was laying down unable to get up.  Off to the vet we took him. But apparently once a pig is "down" it won't ever get back up. 
It was the little one that we callled Wilbur.  Although he was from the same litter as the others, he has always been smaller.  I suspect that he ended up on the bottom of the pig pile or they were playing too rough.   There was just no way to save him.
Wilbur was a feeder hog not a pet.  But the investment of time and money in animals, even those that will end up as meat, makes this a considerable loss for Jonah. Plus, we all liked the little guy.

Spinning

My head is spinning with sheep stuff!  Our first shearing day is on Saturday.  We are excited and anxious because once again this is new ground for us.  Remember, two years ago we had two dogs and now we have 80 animals on the farm!  It's all a learning process and right now we are learning about sheep.

We are really enjoying our Jacob Sheep.  They are just pretty!  I wonder how they will look after shearing with their big fat pregnant bellies. It should be fun to find out.

And then there is the question of what to do with the fleeces.  There's so much to learn in that area! 
Skirting Roving Carding Picking All this terminology I don't know.
But there is one thing that has always intrigued me ~ Spinning!
The closer we get to shearing the more I want to figure it all out and do it myself rather than sell the fleeces or send it off to be made into yarn.  I know it won't all be good.  Actually, I look at them with all the hay (vegetable matter ~ yes, I have that new term down) in…

Wishing you a blessed Christmas!

The boots are by the stove.


The wreaths are hung.

The presents are wrapped.

The tree is trimmed.


The house is in lights.

All in celebration of the Savior's birth!

from: the Little Red Farmhouse

Easy Christmas Cookies

Let's face it, preparing for Christmas isn't always easy. And as we approach Christmas Eve, there is one thing we need ~ Cookies!

We're gonna make these easy though by using a mix. {Shhh! don't tell} Actually, I use these all the time.
I know, you expected more; afterall I make pancakes and biscuits and bread from scratch. But let's not make this into a big deal. Betty's got it all figured out.

All you need is a couple of bags of her sugar cookie mixes, two sticks of butter, and two eggs. The rest you probably have in your pantry. So let's bake!
First, I have to tell you~ there are two tools that I use to make my cookies look perfect~ a cookie scoop and parchment paper.  Girl, if you aren't using parchment paper to bake with, well, you are just working too hard!

Ok, now let's bake.
Mix up both bags of cookie mix being sure to used softened butter and eggs straight from the coop if you've got them. Divide in half.  Melt 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips in a bowl and …

The pecan grove

on a neighbor's ranch is one of my new favorite places.

If Jake is going there to hunt with his hawk, I try to tag along.


It's a place that seems to say, "Slow down.  What's your hurry?"


It's a place to stroll, hear the crunch of leaves under your feet, & enjoy the wonder of God's creation.

And the photo ops ~ well, you can't beat them.

It's peaceful and quiet

and perfectly lovely

even in winter.


Seven crows til Christmas