Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sister Visits

When I looked at my blog today I noticed I had a draft of one I never published. Don't ask me why, because I don't remember. This was around the first part of summer.

We are still bottle feeding calves. It is so funny to watch these calves come running to their bottles. They will jockey for position at the gate and butt their behinds into a calf that they feel like is invading their space. When Spunky, who is the youngest, gets done with her bottle, she will suck on anything else she can get in her mouth. It's usually one of the other calves ears, but sometimes its my shirttail! They are so funny and sweet!

My sister, Sandra, who lives in Orange County California, came to visit with her son Colton. Here is my beautiful sister styling and profiling in my mucking boots.

Colton got a lesson in tractor driving by Uncle Randy, and they both got a taste of bottle-feeding calves.

The Story of Wool

Hey there! Long time no see! :-) I know, I know, I haven't blogged in a while. I've just been so busy. What with the garden, and incubating chickens and quail. Also lot's and lot's of family get-togethers, canning and processing, and of course, spinning and knitting.
Speaking of spinning (glad you brought that up :-)) I'm starting a new spinning project. Today I opened up a new bag of wool, and it is gorgeous. I haven't ventured into the world of raising my own sheep, shearing and processing it from start to finish. I can usually find a good deal on eBay for some that is ready to start spinning.

This is what I opened up today.

This is some gorgeous superwash merino with about 30% silk. It is deliciously soft and I have a pound of it. :-)

Poor Ginger, she thought this might be nice to nap in, but she was denied. Sorry Gingin.

First I divide it up into eight equal piles.

Then rolled them up into easily managed balls.

Now I'm ready to start spinning. 

Before I do that let me real quickly show you what I just finished. This was a pound of 100% Shetland wool which looked pretty much like the merino superwash above before I spun it up. And this is what it looked like after I spun it. Believe me, it IS as soft as it looks.

This was of course before I dyed it.

This was after I dyed it a soft red. 

Brittney once wrote a two part story about the memaw who loves red. :-) 

And now I shall start spinning so, to be continued...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Say Cheese

We have been very busy around here lately. This is why... calves. Bottle calves to be more exact. They are a lot of work, and a little heartbreaking too. Poor little orphans. We are working so hard to keep these little guys alive, but we have lost two already. I'll try to keep up to date on their progress. The brown calf, which we named Swiss, has pneumonia so we are treating him with penicillin right now. Hopefully we can pull him out of it.

Stephanie and I spent a day this week making cheese. We made homemade cottage cheese, feta cheese, and ricotta. Soon we want to make mozerella. It was a lot of work, and I haven't seen so many dirty dishes in my kitchen in a long while, but it was worth it. That night we had grilled hamburgers with homemade cottage cheese. I really enjoyed this day. It was fun to see milk turn into cheese, but the best part was spending the day with my daughter, Stephanie. She is a very special young lady, and very talented in the kitchen. Which she didn't learn from me. 
Literally cutting the cheese :-)
Stirring the cheese

Straining the cheese

My niece, Raven, is having a baby girl so I am knitting a wee little baby cardigan for her. I love this pattern called Baby Ruched.
I'm about three-fourths done with it now. I'm using Bernat Softee Baby yarn in a soft cream color so it will go with more outfits.

So lots of things going on around here... what's happening in your neck of the woods?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Remembering Dixie

Today is a very sad day for our family. Dixie, our beloved white Lab died sometime in the night. I say our because I always called her my grand-dog. She was Stephanie's family dog, and she will be very much missed. She has actually been in the family since before Gabriel was born. Here are some favorite pictures of her.

Dixie was such a good natured dog, and she loved to mother everything. It didn't matter whether it was chickens, rabbits, cats, and Buddy when he joined the family. She was very patient, as seen by this video.

The kids have done various writings about her, but this poem written by Gabriel happen's to be on the front of my fridge.

Dixie is a dog of little brains,
Who doesn't like it when it rains.

When the wind blows her hair away,
She is having a bad hair day.

She is getting old,
And does't like to be cold.

She loves to dig holes,
And she has a lot of belly rolls.

She'd rather be dirty than clean,
We take her for walks, but she never gets lean.

But Dixie is faithful, the much is true,
Good ol' Dizzy dog, we sure do love you.

Brittney wrote a poem about her yesterday. This morning after they found Dixie dead, she wrote this at the end of the poem...

Faithful Girlie
We'll never forget 
The joy you brought

Rest in peace Dixie doo, you will never be forgotten, and you will always be loved. Good-bye old girl...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

I know, I know, I haven't written in a while. But in my defense I really have been very busy. I get so busy living, that I forget to write about it.

We have been putting in a garden, and it's sprouting up like crazy. I'll show you...




This is just a few of the things we have planted.
I say we, and I did help, but Randy is really the one with the green thumb in this household. He's been a farmer since he was just a boy at home.

Randy tilling up the garden - he loves being on a tractor!
I just stand there looking silly taking pictures.
I did try to make a scarecrow. It was a hilarious sight to see. It was around Easter time and it looked like I had a crucifixion going on at the garden area.

Funny Scarecrow
I finally had mercy on him and removed him from his perch. I know that everybody driving by probably got a good laugh from him though. And I have to say, there weren't any invaders in the garden while he was standing watch!

We just celebrated Mother's Day, and we had a family dinner at the house. 
Randy's Mom


Weston and Stephanie (and Gabriel hiding behind)

It was a good day to be with family, and celebrate the mother's. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

More Time Than Money?

I was at Walmart the other day, because that's just the first place you go when you need anything, right? Anyway, I went the other day and I was heading for the pharmacy. As I got closer to the pharmacy line, there was another lady coming from the other direction, and I could just tell that she was heading for the same spot I was. We both met there at about the same time, and she said, " Oh you go ahead, I'm not in any hurry, I have more time than money." 

I thanked her, of course, and stood in line waiting with those words going round and round in my head. Did she have more time than money, do I, does anyone? 

James 4:13-15 says, "Go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and contiue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."

I used to always hear my grandmother say, "If the good Lord's willing..." before she announced any of her plans. I didn't really know what that meant while she was alive, but now I know that she was a wise woman. 

None of us really know how much time we have. We may not have very much money, but we may very well have more money than time, we just don't know. Which is why we should all use our time wisely. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Conduit

This morning I was studying God's Word - which I am ever so thankful for- and I got to thinking...

Wait a minute, first of all, let me just say this. Usually when I "get to thinking" I just keep it to myself because I am not a person who can put my thoughts into beautiful words that make any sense. I usually trip over my tongue or lose my train of thought, and I just end up sounding like a scatterbrain. Maybe I will make more sense if I write it down. We shall see :-)

I was reading this morning in 1 Corinthians 15, and verses 9 and 10 say,

  • King James Version
For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 

  • New International Version
For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them - yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 
 This is Paul speaking here, and I started thinking about how he said he worked harder than all of them, then he corrected, and said it wasn't actually him working hard, but the grace of God that was working with him.

In other words, he was saying that he was a conduit through which God was working.

  • conduit
:a pipe or tube through which something (such as water or wire) passes
:someone or something that is used as a way of sending something (such as information or money) from one place or person to another
I was thinking about electricity - which I am also thankful for- and about how it gets to our house where we can use it.

You know you can build the most beautiful home, or building, with beautiful light fixtures, and the most high tech, modern appliances and they serve no purpose if there is no electricity going to them. Also you can have the electricity turned on, but if there is a break in the wiring it still can't get to the lights or appliances. Now the wiring is not put on the outside of the walls where it can be seen, but it is inside the walls out of sight because lets face it, they aren't exactly pretty, but they are necessary.

I was thinking about the awesome power of God, and how it needs to get to the lost people of this world. How did God decide to get the power where it needs to be? Through mortal man. We are the conduits that God chose to use. Now I know that my life was not very pretty before God made me what I am now, it was mired in sin, and "his grace to me was not without effect" also, it washed me clean. I know I am not a finished work yet, as that old song says, "He's still workin on me".

My prayer today is that I can stay close to the Power Source, God, and that he can work through me to touch someone who needs him. If there is a problem with any of my wiring I want to fix it. Certainly not for my glory, I would rather stay hidden, like the wires in the wall, but for God's glory, and so that his kingdom can grow.

Now I know that this is a simple thought, and I am not the first one to think of it, but it's on my mind today. This world is in trouble, and most people know it, but instead of complaining, let's try to get the Power where it needs to be. I know I'm checking my "wiring" and I want any breaks or shorts to be fixed so I can get a good flow of the Power through me!

Change of subject here. I have been busy working on several projects, and I finished one last night. I promised Chloe a new blankie, and she didn't let me forget it either. So here is the finished product, and it is already in her hands. May it keep her warm for many years...

And while I'm on the subject of Chloe, let me share a precious picture here. The last time she spent the night with me, she wanted to try her hand at knitting, like Aiden did, and here she is trying. Isn't this cute?

 I haven't gone out to visit my goats for a few days because it has been so cold and icy here. Randy said that he is really starting to be able to tell that Valentine is pregnant now, so we will probably have a new baby sometime this month or next.

The snow is very beautiful as it falls, but when you step outside, it feels like you have just walked into a freezer. The crazy thing is that tomorrow it may be 60 degrees!

All this snow has made me want to do a lot of spinning lately. Having my hands on nice, fluffy wool just warms me up! This fiber that I am working on now is Shetland wool, and when I spin it up, it feels smooshy. I don't know if that's a real word, but there it is, smooshy Shetland wool. I haven't decided if I want to leave it natural, or dye it. I can't think about that right now, I'll think about that tomorrow!


Friday, January 24, 2014

I'm Sad

I'm sad!

Ask me what I created today, and I'll tell you this... I created a mess, that's what I created today. While rearranging my kitchen cabinets, I forgot that the cabinet I was rearranging opens on both sides. So this happened...

and now I'm sad. I really like these little dessert plates. I picked them up at a resale shop, so they weren't expensive or anything, but they were all just a little bit different and unique, and I liked them. Now I only have 5 left. What do you do with an odd number like that? Guess I'll have to keep my eyes open for some replacements. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rooster's Little Ladies

Our rooster is not lonely anymore! He has seven new lady friends, and here they are.

While they are busy getting to know each other, Randy and I were busy in the kitchen. Randy stirred up some of his wonderful gumbo, and I whipped up some pumpkin bread. Our house sure smells good today! We are going to have some kids and grandkids over to share our supper tonight. Stephanie always says she can smell from her house when her daddy is making a pot of gumbo. We know better than to try to have it without her and her kiddo's here. Daniel and his family love it too. Imagine this with a big ol' slab of cornbread beside it...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

All Better Now

These last few days have been very busy, but then all of my days seem to be busy. Honestly, does anyone know where the time goes these days? Seems like I get up in the morning, and before I know it, it's time to start cooking supper. Anyone else have that problem? If I had to work outside of my home, I don't know where the time would come from to do so.

Randy is working on our chicken yard. We got some little Silky chickens and they were very cute. They looked like they had hair instead of feathers. I thought I took some pictures of them, but if I did, I can't find them. Anyway, Randy decided he wants some regular chickens that lay normal size eggs, so he sold them to his sister, Tammy, who likes all kinds of animals. Right now we just have one lonely rooster. He seems content to wait for his little lady friends to arrive, but he isn't laying very many eggs! =) Handsome little guy, isn't he?

Randy sold the two horses we had, and is now looking for a dairy cow. We want to make our own butter, and cheeses.  Though I don't really know where the time is going to come from to do so =) We still have our dairy goats, but we aren't getting milk right now. We are giving Valentine a little milking break before her new kid comes into the world.

Valentine - Alpine/Nubian Mix
Surprise - La Mancha

Also been busy knitting and spinning of course. I have started knitting Randy's big thick hat. He wanted it in green of course, him being a John Deere type of guy. The pattern is on the Lionbrand website, and it's free. Here is the link if anyone wants to try it, it's a quick and easy knit. Simple Knit Crimson Hat 

I need to hurry this along, as it is freezing outside while my poor hubby is working on the chicken yard. 

I also started knitting a couple of things for myself too. The first is called Vertex Vest from Brooklyn Tweed. I will be working on this for a while, as it is made from lace weight yarn. I am using linen though, so it will be fine to wear in the summer too. I actually knitted a swatch for this one, because I wanted to know how the linen would look after it was washed and dried. Blocking it makes the yarn fluff up a little and even out a lot. It's also pretty and drapey. Can't wait to finish this one, but it will take a while to knit.

The second thing is cute little vest in Knit Simple's Knit's Plus magazine. It's called the Camel Cardigan, however I am not doing it in a camel color. I am making it with Bernat Satin yarn, and the color is rouge.

 This one won't take as long to knit since it is a worsted weight yarn. Yummy! I guess nobody could possibly tell what my favorite color is, right?

That's all for now folks!

Three Free Patterns

New Free Patterns on Expression Fiber Arts Website. They will only be free for a limited time. First up is the Peach Sorbet Crochet Tee ...