Friday, April 29, 2011

There Has Been a Delay

Shearing has been postponed until Monday.

While mudwrestling a sheep kinda sounds like fun (I once played on a mud volleyball team) it would surely make processing the wool a tad more difficult. But Monday? Monday I’m shearing rain or shine, come Hell or high water.

Anyone that wants to come over and help just let me know. I might even upgrade from bologna to ham.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wanna Shear Some Sheep?

I need a sucker volunteer to come over Friday and assist me as spotter while I shear the sheep. The spotter’s duties would be to distract the others while I select my victim client. The spotter will also stand opposite the shearing stand from me to insure the victim client doesn’t leap to their death. The spotter should also be prepared to call 911 in case the sheep remember their haircuts from last year.


In return for your assistance you will receive a bologna sandwich gourmet lunch and a dozen farm-fresh eggs.


Monday, April 25, 2011

The Abominable Swamp Monster



Figured out Willa keeps her front legs clean by standing inside the stock tank when she gets a drink. Otherwise she would be entirely mud colored except her head.

At least she is enjoying the rainy season. What a goofball.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Ebbs and Flows of Homesteading Progress

Historically homesteaders and farmers have always had good years and bad years in terms of making progress in building up their operation. We are no different. We’ve had a lot of luck in the last few years of making additions to the old farmstead. Although it is only April, I think I’m going to go ahead and chalk this year up as a maintenance year.

We have a large sink hole at the edge of our property. It has increased in size considerably since we first noticed it a couple of years ago. Bodies could be lost inside it at this point.

It is taking awhile to find what we assume must be a broken drainage tile. That hole is now about 8 foot deep and 20 or so feet long. And the Invisible Fence dog fence was in there somewhere. Oops.

We needed new gravel spread on our driveway so we had the same guy widen it a bit so we could move the camper over and out of the way.  Now was the time to do it while all the equipment was already here.  The old camper itself  just returned home from a trip to the spa where it got a bit of a facelift.  Hopefully now it will provide hours of quality entertainment for years to come.

We also had to replace our water softener this week. It is one piece of equipment you don’t want to do without here given the quality of our well water. I’m not going down to take a picture of it for you because like everyone else in Indiana today we have some water in the basement. A foot or so of rain will do that.

Then The Engineer had a flat on the way home the other night. All new tires were put on the car this morning. It was time.

The last thing, I guess, technically could fall into both the maintenance and progress categories depending on how you look at it. I don’t’ know what possessed me to believe that I could muck out the entire sheep barn by hand with a pitch fork? The Engineer did manage to get it finished by hand, but we now own a fancy new tractor. The sticker shock still hasn’t worn off.  They did give me a “free” hat.  I think I should get a complete wardrobe. Oh, and a personal thank you note from the Governor for the sales tax he collected.

After a week like this we’ve decided it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start playing the lottery. Can’t win if you don’t play, right?



Sunday, April 17, 2011

From Sheep to Shawl in Pictures

Step 1: Grow itDSC_6024

Step 2: Shear it


Step 3: Wash it


Step 4: Comb it


Step 5: Spin it


Step 6: Knit it


Step 7: Block it

The only thing left is to wear it. I don’t know that I could have created a more authentic Civil War sontag than this.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A True Story

She escapes the coop and spends her days alone wandering the backyard.


After her ongoing torrid affair with Blackbeard, Hester Prynne (the chicken formerly known as Jasmine) has been shunned by both our chicken societies. Old One-Eyed Calico Jack always accepts her back with open arms, er open wings, but the ladies of his society want nothing to do with Hester.

Blackbeard would welcome her into his society as well, but his band of merry wenches will not allow it and to be perfectly honest he knows he already has his hands full.

So Hester hops the fence and spends her days alone. She desperately wants a child, even going so far as to hide eggs in the old gas acetylene generator. But knowing she cannot survive outside alone she must abandon her egg and return to the coop each night after Jack and his ladies have gone to bed.


She is destined to become an old maid. I feel compelled to make her a little chicken apron with a fancy scarlet “A” embroidered onto it.


Friday, April 1, 2011

A Hitch in the Getup

I feel bad for city folks. Folks who can’t spend time on a rainy day pondering what must have happened during the making of the weird eggs that come from their chickens.

Did it get stuck in the machine, like a package at the post office?

It’s incredible, this edible egg. I’m glad I get to experience the production of it even when there’s a problem with quality control.