Saturday, December 26, 2009

Did You Have a Merry Christmas?

Now that the cookies are all baked and to the rightful homes, all the left overs are wrapped and placed into the freezer, the wrapping paper is shredded and into the compost bins - I can sit down and catch you all up...

It has been more then busy around here. With several big storms, temps reaching -28 below, wind that ripped off my lighten rod cables and a furance that sent a fire ball into my face burning off my eyebrows and eyelashes not to mention my bangs. I can say I have been running around trying to just keep on top of things. It all was not bad news - I was blessed with many large yarn and fiber orders, my shop in town to off like gang busters and I managed to regain order in my house and shop. That always puts a huge smile of my face.

We did have some horrible news here shortly after I posted the story about my deer. Late in the night I heard shots ring out - I ran to the windows, turn on all the outside lights and tried to see what was going on. I quickly got dressed and went out side with the flood light but could not see anything. Next morning I had about a dozen large birds out in a group which spells trouble. I got on my work clothes and went to see what was wrong. My billies where standing in the pasture like they where frozen with fear. The closer I came the more I realized I should not have come this far without a weapon in my hand. As I walked closer the birds they took flight but I could see something laying close to the ground. The light was blinding off the snow and my morning eyes are not always clear. Suddenly up from the snow stood a huge coyote. He showed his blood covered teeth to me and gave me a look as to say "Don't take one more step"... Quickly, I raised my hands and yelled at him with all my might. He paused for just a moment and then took off running to the forest. As I walked slowly to where he had just been I noticed a hind leg of a deer laying in the snow. Inches away from that was some ribs and hide. I picked up the pieces and started to walk back to the house. As I passed the pens with my goats they lowered their heads as if to say "Prayers to our fallen friend".. Upon reaching the house I looked over the piece and found a bullet hole on the back hind leg. That was what I heard last night. I then found knife cuts to the parts which means someone shot this poor thing, cut it apart, took the pieces it wanted and left the rest. I went in the house and got some protection and tracked back the prints to see what happened. I then called the police to report the killing... My heart sunk because for the past week I have not been able to find the baby - the size of the hind leg was about the size of my newest offspring. Each day I watch to see if my family returns but with the bad storms and wind I know if they are safe they are laying low. I pray each night that they are safe and sound...

So that is all the news up to now but I will be posting more adventures very soon.
BABIES are soon to be here - I am so excited - it never gets old to me..
Start thinking of names - we are going to have contests again.. I have a great alpaca hat, glove and scarf set that is going to be in a contest very soon. I also will be having some great fiber arts books going to new homes in the New Year. So put on those thinking caps!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Look Who Is Back

My sweet little orphan doe has brought her mate back to the farm driveway. It was such a treat to see them. I had worried if they would make it thru the hunting season around here but all my prayers where answered. What I could not get a picture of is under the scrub oak bush was their little offspring. Hiding in the branches I could see those sweet eyes and big ears but I did not dare go too close. I want them to feel that this place is safe - so I tried to take some pictures but the camera just could not get that far away a good shot. Sorry. I will keep my eyes open to see if I can at some point get a picture of that sweet little one but for now it remains hidden. My Christmas present came early - I am so dearly blessed.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Monarch Metamorphosis Necklace

I wised I could figure out how to show you a picture of what this talented lady did with one of my silk cocoons - so you will have to go to her site and take a peak!! listing.php?listing id=35465171

The wonderful artist is Mary who is the owners of Fuzzyfunnystew - you will love her avatar too - sweet bunny with a rifle....

Please take a look it is well worth the time..

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Is Your Momma a Llama - Mine IS !!!

The yarn above come from one of my oldest and best Llama Momma's "Rosebud". She produces creamy white fiber with a softness not found in most llama fiber. I took then some great bombyx silk and had the local mill produce a yarn to my spec's. When I got the yarn home I started the dye pots up and this is what I created "Soft Cherry"

I had twenty skeins of this yarn but now there is only one skein left. You can purchase it at my Etsy shop - perfect for that winter project. Lip Smaking Good!

Got Tofu?? How About Soy Silk

It has been abit since I have tempted you with some new yarns - here is some Soy Silk Yarn that I spun on my sweet old faithful Ashford Joy Wheel. The sheen and great handle of this yarn with the fact that it is the waste by product from making Tofu just tickles my heart. I loved spinning the skeins and I only have two left but what fun I had making them for you.

Perfect during this holiday time - just the perfect touch to any handmade project. Heck, I saved a bit for me and used it on some special holiday packages as ribbon.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Einstein = New Age Rick Rack

Wouldn't you know a sweet little goat would be involved in this incredible fun yarn. Einstein is Eva's baby from this year and boy what a boy he is. After giving him his first hair combing about a month ago I washed it in my organic soap that I make here.. Well, I must say I sure raise so fantastic goats. His fiber is so luscious and creamy to the touch. I admit it - I LOVE MY GOATS. Well then I went to work in blending his fiber with Mary's fiber - a little Merino lamb from my girl friends flock. Spun it into a varied spaced yarn and finished it off with plying it with some of my mill spun Mohair Boulce from my goats. The final result is my way of looking at rick rack - another item I love to work with.

So what do you think of my New Age Rick Rack??? I would love to hear or read your thoughts. You also can get yourself some of this dreamy yarn at my Etsy shop... Shameless plug but Einstein would appreciate your support - he is a growing and eating boy...

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Friday Night at the Funny Farm

What does a Wild West Women do on a Friday Night?

Well, hold onto your hats - it is Popcorn Night and me sitting down to watch Ghost Whisper and Medium. Once that is done it is moving into the busy party time of the evening.. I gather myself up and dance up the stairs to my computer room - are you keeping up?? Then I sit and answer the emails from distant friends, answer questions from customers and forum folks, clean out files, print off orders to get ready for the morning mail, do a bit of research on many topics and last but not least attempt to sound interesting on my blog!!!

O.K. we all now this is not the Wild Friday you all thought you where going to read about but that is what happens on the Funny Farm.. Oh, I forgot to mention while doing my computer work I am watching or should I say listening to a movie - tonights selections are "Gosford Park" followed by "Lost in Space". Since I do not do dish, cable or even Net Flick I have a collection of movies (more then half on VCR tapes)that I watch/listen to while working. I hear you giggling out there but it works for me. Yes, I too understand that "Lost in Space" is lame but what the heck it is better then what is on TV right now..

So once this thrilling night is coming to a close I will make one last check on the animals in the cold, dark, and windy dark. If all is O.K. then it is into my PJ's and climb into bed with a mediation tape playing me to sleep. Boy, I bet you are wishing you lived such a WILD LIFE!!! Get a good night's sleep because I will be awake at around 2 am because the dogs will be barking non-stop. Those wild creatures in the forest just wont go away and my dogs wont let me forget it. So up I go ready to start my day. What do you mean you want more sleep - get up and get moving. Did I mention Saturday is the real PARTY HARDY day around here???

Living in Blue Jeans

For those of us who live in our Jeans I have been hiding a little secret - reclaimed organic denim fibers. Yes, you read that right - a company I found is now using only US organic cotton and natural dyes to make a line a jeans. Now they are also using the salvage to make fiber pencil rovings. For a year now I have been playing with it and just love it. Today I finally placed a bit of it in my Etsy store. It has so many ways you can use it and it is being kind to our planet. Win - Win.

Nose to the grind stone

While this little elf has been busy in her own world I have lost track of time again. I have been also dealing with a very sick dog "Kasha" and then my 21 year old angora goat girl "Masquerade" was so very close to death that I spent two days living in the barn with her in my lap praying for her to make it thru another hour. I am so happy to report that Kasha is up and chasing foxes this morning and Masquerade is standing on her own and pooping - that is a good thing....

Life is not always what we plan but it does give us reminders of what we hold dear. The joy of seeing my sweet four legged children up and doing well is worth all the sore body parts, lack or sleep and worry lines that are now a part of my face everyday. It is hard to share sometimes the "Normal" daily work I do here because I feel it is not that interesting and who wants to know that stuff??? So I hope I do not bore you with this gals lack of communication at times - just know I am thinking of you even if I have not shared in awhile...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Last night as I looked out my kitchen window this is what I saw - JUST AMAZING

I stopped doing the dishes, dried off my hands, ran for the camera and out I went onto the back deck. Everytime I see the moon in such a state it takes my breath away. I feel so small in such an amazing universe - makes you think about what we spend so much time on - worries, pain, sorrow, bills, petty day to day drama - then I see this marvel and I realize you have this moment only - BE AMAZED


I am all melted out from the big snow storm - over 3 feet of snow fell not counting the drifts. Please do not let this be what my whole winter will be like. I really do not mind the snow, cold and such but that was a ton in a short period of time. Now that the farm is melting I am up to my ears in mud!! I took some great pictures of the storm but now my computer is not wanting to cough them up... O.K. enought of the whinning....

It has been sometime since I have had a chance to write - Nothing earth shaking just been so busy trying to get everything done. I seem to be in some sort of weird time thing.. I get up before the chickens go to bed long after the howling coyotes go to sleep yet I feel like I have not gotten a thing done. Not true but it feels that way. I have been busy painting all the windows in the house before I put up the winter plastic. I am trying it this year to see if it helps. I did recaulk all the windows outside and in but I thought I would also try the plastic film. It works - even with the heavy snow I still have not turned on the furance. It got down into the single digits and still I was toasty. I had to spend a couple of days redesigning the shop so it would be workable for winter. That means moving all the products far away from the big double doors because when the wind is howling and the snow blowing you open that door and it can follow you inside. Also, with Kasha (my oldest Great Pry) having reached that age where she is spending some time inside and it is like having a bull in a china shop. She does not realize that with a swipe of her tail she can take a whole display down and did many times.

I also have been sewing, designing, dyeing, crafting big time and just doing my thing. You know how it goes - you get an idea in your head, start working on the design, then putting the work in to create it and before you know it a day has passed. I also spent time revamping my shop in town. That was a bunch of work but I hope it will pay off. That gallery has been experiencing a slump in sales but with the holidays are coming up and I am hoping it will pick up.

I have also been thinking of new ways to spice up the blog site - now if I just would have about four more hours in a day. Since I am not the most techno progressive person it is last on my list but I hope you will all stick with me while I work on it. Boy could I use a few elves around here !

Now that you are caught up on my last couple of weeks I hope to get some goodies up on the site and some contests too. I have pulled some great prizes aside while redesigning the shop and I know some folks will enjoy them - so please stay tuned

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sweets for the Sweet

Peppermint Ice Cream is my Favorite and it only comes around during this time of year so I thought why not find a way to have it all year round...

I just placed on my Etsy shop this offering - I have 14 skeins available. I am planning my Holiday Decorations on this colorway and I think it will be a sweet addition. Don't let this offering melt thru you fingers - the holidays are coming quickly..

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


The sun is out today and the wind has settled - WOW, I am doing a happy DANCE! This is some of my yarn (Little Miss Sunshine) which gave me the idea. I thought I would spread the sun shine and give you folks a DEAL....

When placing a order in my Etys Shop - October 14 thru the 18th you will receive FREE SHIPPING on any orders over $20.00.
Just type in the word "SUNSHINE" in the "Message to Seller" and I will refund the shipping to your PayPal account immediately. If you are not using PayPal then convo me with your order and I will make you a revised invoice.

So now is the time to make hay while the Sun Shines!! Enjoy

Saturday, October 10, 2009


We all could use some FORGIVENESS now and then - I asked for that to my sweet violet plant that this yarn was designed after. I had not realized that when I last cleaned the kitchen window ledge I forgot to move the violet away from the window glass. This log home has crappy windows and so with our new bitter snap my sweet little violet paid the price for my mistake. I each morning have been asking forgiveness for letting one of my charges pay the price. It is trying to recover as it sits in my bedroom soaking up the warmth. I have even place a skein of this yarn I made next to it to remind it of what it will be again.

FORGIVENESS - I think it is a perfect yarn and a great intention to hold in your heart at all times.

Autumn in Manhattan

One of the projects I completed while crawling in and out of my bed during that horrible stomach bug was to get the dye pots going - heating up the log home as the temp outside was getting colder by the day and it also did not require much effort on my part. This kid fleece does not come from a baby here but does come from my blood lines. This little goat girl "Autumn" gave her fleece as particle payment for the mother I sold this farm several years ago. She has great handle (softness) and a sheen that is like so many of my sweet girls here at the farm. I will get two more shearings from this girl as payment but there is only one baby fleece and this is it. If you are looking for something incredible this fleece is it. You can purchase what is left at my Etsy Shop - the first pound went to a local fiber artist who is spinning it up to make a shawl. Don't delay because this is a great buy and great fiber.

Some BAD news blew in

Last week the farm was hit with several days of horrible winds. Nothing new but when I finally had a moment to go out and check on things I found that one of my Black Star Hens did not return to the coop... Most animals are smart enough to know that in bad weather you just hunker down and wait it out. So I started checking every inch of the farm while trying hard to stay on the ground. The winds picked back up so bad I could not even see a foot in front of me so I went back into the shop to wait it out. Three hours later the winds calmed down and now the sky was turning dark. I went back out with lights and started the search all over again. No luck at all. I had to close up the coop for the night but turned on all the outside lights hoping she would find her way back. The next morning I took my best dog Kasha out with me to search the forest and then the far pastures. No feathers, no body, NO HEN!!! I searched for most of the day and again at night but still not sign.. I spoke to a couple of folks that said those wind cells where so bad that it could have even picked her up and took her elsewhere.

Well, my prayer is that where ever my sweet black hen is she is safe, sound and doing well. The hen house for days was buzzing and the girls where upset. I watched them like a hawk just in case a hawk had grabbed their sister. One thing that never gets easier is when you lose an animal. I know some folks would say - "It is just a chicken, we eat chickens" but NOT my girls. I never eat those I raise and each two or four legged here is a family member who is missed when they are gone.

So if you would say a prayer tonight for my lost little hen - she is missed!

Life getting in the way blogging

This incredible yarn is called "Desert Day Dream" 100% Silk Flat Chennile Yarn. I loved creating this colorway because so often folks just do not look hard enought to see the colors that hide in the desert - so I thought I would put them in one spot - this silk yarn.

Now for those who wondered did I fall off the planet - YES I did but not by choice. I have been battling a stomach bug that has kept me anything but functional. Then if you miss a day around here it is like you have been dropped into a black hole. The lists get longer, the chores get harder and the weather seems to want to screw you over at every turn.

Well, I am back and playing catch up but trust me I have missed you all.....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Farmers Market Bounty

With the horrible weather I had here at the farm I now have to rely on the farmers market to get organic, local produce. I went last weekend and scored some great heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, yellow squash, onions, garlic and celery so today I finally had enough strength (had a bad stomach bug that kept me in bed for several days) to start cooking. Mind you my stomach is not feeling the best so I am still only eating a poached egg a day but I needed to get to these vegies before they passed their prime. I just realized the pictures are out of order but I am sure you guessed that - the first picture should be the last and so on.

So with the snow blowing outside I turned on the oven and made my base to a fresh lazagna. Combining all the veggies along with olive oil, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and some carrot juice I let the veggies roast slowly in the oven for about 2 hours. The house was filled with the wonderful smell of the bounty. I let it cool and placed in the frig for in the next day or two. I will make my homemade noodles, make the rest of the filling and bake. I sure hope my tummy is better by then otherwise the bounty will be cut, packaged and frozen for another snowy day.

I had to pass on the Italian Plum Cake until I can get the plums seeded - I just ran out of steam today. So it is Mint tea and Honey for me tonight and a hot pad...


Now where was I???

Animals - Well, that brings me to the Dating Game on the farm. Remember that show? Oh my I am getting old... It is that time again to select the top guy and send him on his dating world wind with the girls. Just like the show each guy has to prove why he is the best date. The winner for this year was "Monty" He is a perfect male - tall, straight of line, great fiber, super personality, great condition - just the perfect selection.

I went outside ready to move all the two year olds and grab me "Monty" but as I reached the gate I notice he was limbing on his back right leg. Oh No!! So I tried to get him to let me take a look at it but he was having none of that - this big guy was not in the mood for me picking up a leg and all the boys where willing to take me on to protect their buddy. Now I am not stupid, (o.k. let's put it this way - not when it comes to billies) there was no need in both of us being hurt. I gave him a couple of days but he still was stepping lite on the leg. Now for those who do not know you need two good back legs to do the deed. So I looked over my bunch of great guys and decided to go with Sherlock - yeap, my sweet bottle boy is now all grown up and is the top guy. He keeps everyone in check and still loves to come and give me kisses. So I asked him to come thru the gate and off we went to the girls pasture. At least that is what happened for the first 20 yards. Then he froze. I spent three hours scratching his head, giving him words of encouragement and he would take two steps and freeze. Not sure what the issue was but this shy guy was not moving. So this smart gal decided to get the girls to get him moving. Great Plan but the girls have been trained not to go past the back yard so we had about 100 yards of No Goat Land!!

Then I went and got Mishka - my other sweet bottle kid. She follows me like a dog. I asked her to assist me in my shy guy problem and off we went. She walked up to him and we both scratched his neck, talked softly and he then followed right behind me all the way into the new barn and pastures. After I closed the gates he walked the full length of the fence with me on my way back to the house crying "Mommy Please don't leave me - these girls are scarey"... It took two days for that sweet boy to gather up his desires and start the breeding program. He reminds me so much of his father Thor.. He was a champion billy and the sweetest guy. Even while in breeding rut he would sit nicely with me or the boys and lick your neck. I would leave him while the babies where being born because Thorn always would assist with the birthing, cleaning and even babysitting. He was a one of a kind guy and I sure hope his last male offspring will follow in his hook steps.

So while Sherlock is doing his thing I have 19 other boys who are peeing and crying all day and night - SUCKS not to be picked. Be as you well know there is nothing ever dull around here...

I've been a bad blogger

I just don't get it where does the time fly??

In my case I worry that I am having early senior moments. I swear that I just posted a day ago but my son pointed out today that it has been two weeks. Honest, I have been busy!

Just to get you all up to speed - I finally got the weather God to give me two days in a row to get my decks restained and boy was that alot of fun!

Then I have been working like a dog moving rocks from all over the farm to fill in the huge holes in my driveway and then pushing wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow full of dirt that I have been digging up all over the farm to cover the rocks. I am about half way thru but it still will be a big project to finish before the big snow comes.

Next when the arms where too tired from the driveway work I set about caulking all the windows and doors in my log home. One thing I always laugh about (I guess it is not funny) is I never have to worry about carbon monoxide getting me - there are way too many drafts - Good Thing / Bad Thing.

Then there was the four days that every animal on this farm went a bit NUTS. No Kidding! I spent about three hours chasing one of my hens around the farm - she had grab up a mouse in the coup (Yeppy) but the silly girl did not want the rest to get any so she tried to swallow it whole. Yes you read that right and this mouse was not small itty bitty. Well, she was in trouble but instead of letting me deal with it she figured we needed to run for hours like "A Chicken with a Mouse Stuck in her Throat" around the whole blessed farm. Now sometimes you just want to throw up your hands and say I give up but not this stubborn gal - so around and around the farm we went. Finally, I caught up with her and grabbed her by the tail feathers. Once I had her still I grabbed the tail and back leg of the mouse and pulled (hope you not eating while reading this) out came the mouse and there I went running to the house for a baggie. Now that was a first for even me, but I guess in life some folks just bit off too much...

On the story line of nutty animals then there is my sweet, hard working, Great Pry named Kasha. This gal has hit my last never this week. In the space of two weeks she has broken five cables (which are said to be unbreakable according to their packaging) and keep me running for those same two weeks. Now I am not sure what has gotten her in such a mood but I sure hope it is not the bear. We still are having sightings and a horse was attacked last weekend so that might just be the issue but I sure do not want her tangling with a bear... Well, I got part of my answer on Friday morning. I awoke to a bone chilling sound. I sprang from my bed at 4 in the am and ran onto the front deck. I thought by the sound of it - it must be one of my billies being attacked. Instead, once outside I could get a clear listen - it was a Bull Elk in my forest. He was going to town making his love call. Normally this does not get the attention of Kasha but I think she is on such an alert status that any creature in the forest is reason to break a cable and run. Last night I just covered everything in the shop with plastic and brought her in for the night. We have been having snow, YES SNOW and she was soaked to the bone. Normally she fusses all night, barks and knocks things over but last night she slept thru the night without a peep.

So I will give you a breather and be back to catch you up on all the news - got to visit the little girls room. Be back in a flash and a flush...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bag full Of Funny Farm Nuts

It is that time of year again - all the creatures in the forest are getting ready for winter. Gathering Nuts and putting on that winter fat. Now I am not going to be adding a fat roll to this body but I am creating some of the best NUTS around. Mother Nature does not have these in her stash but you can get them only at the Funny Farm.

I have a great new lady at
who provided this years Acorn Caps. If you have a chance visit her shop you are sure to find some wonders.

Then I take my hand dyed silk cocoons and start the process of going thru hundreds of cocoons and caps to find a match. Since no two cocoons or caps are the same I have to do this sorting process with each nut. Then I put them together and Puff - magical Acorns!!!

Now don't wait to long to gather your nuts - there are many hungry critters out there. I will be posting many more of these mouth watering nuggets but don't be left with nothing but a fat layer this winter....

You ever feel like someone is watching you??

You all know by now how much I LOVEhorror movies and the one that really scared me when I was little was - "THE BIRDS". Now vampires, monsters or aliens could never hold a candle to those evil killers on the wing. While I was outside Sunday deciding what project I should tackle next a strange feeling came over me. No dogs where barking, the sun was shining - I was just tired. Then the as the air seem to stand still and the hair on the back of my neck started to rise I turned and saw nothing. Silly Grace!! I went back to thinking which also takes great effort sometimes for me when all of a sudden I saw all the goat boys staring up past me.. I thought to myself, that's strange! So as
I slowly turned and placed my eyes up to the clouds I saw them - over a hundred birds staring down at me from the electrical wires. Just like the movie. Now, I said to myself - "Don't Run, that is what they want." So I slowly walked to the back deck, gently I stepped one step at a time to reach the landing, calmly I opened the back door and shut it. "I am safe" Wait didn't they come thru the windows and heck my back door is covered with plastic over the stain glass that was broken in the last couple of hail storms. "They can still get in"...

Once I recentered myself I grabbed the camera.. With all the nerve I could get I slowly stepped onto the back deck and tried to capture their mass on the wire. Now with my slow, loud camera the first picture was blurry but the sound scared them away. I waited and in just a few mintues some where back and these where the kind that where standing their ground. So I clicked away.

So when you get those little hairs moving on your neck - SLOWLY turn and see what demon is waiting for you - mine are BIRDS!! What are yours???

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wednesday - Square Dance for all the Critters

What a DAY!!! This was the first year that I had to move all the animals without the aid of my sons or anyone else. All weekend I worked it out in my head and worked it out on paper to make sure this plan was going to work and I was not going to get hurt. The biggest issue was moving the two and three year old male goats to the farthest pasture away from the goat girls. Yes, it is breeding season here and every goat is in full hormonal rage. That makes these big guys very unpredictable and on the dangerous side if you do not know what you are doing. This is also why billied get a bad rap because those who do not know what they are doing try to just bully them into do what the two legged owner wants. Now over the years my sons would try to bully them - you know raging teenager male hormones and raging billy hormons - not a great combination. There would be cuts, black and blue marks and a ton of four letter words being shouted out in the pastures. No matter how many times I would tell them not to do that - they would and the battle would begin. This year I had to do it without all the drama and no injuries to me or my animals. So pen and paper and using my little gray cells - heck I am smarter then a Goat.

There are six pastures and eight gates to get them thru. Not only that, all the feed and water gear has to go with them because they do not like to share. You know we all have our favorite coffee cup.. Everything was going perfectly until the goat girls saw their Prince Charmings where leaving. The girls ran from their hilltop pastures to the fenceline where the Billies had been living. Then they started sticking their butts thru the fence and screaming - calling the boys back. Well, how am I to compete with that? I mean my goat boys love me but not in that way. So I had to trick the girls into their big barn and shut all the doors. They are not stupid just horney, they understood what I was up too. Back to the boys, with those butts in the barn I had their full attention and like wonderful gentlemen they walked right thru all the gates, pasted up their great pastures and made it to their new digs. My bottle boys who are now well over 200 pounds and sport a three foot horn span are the top guys in that herd group - they came to the gate, gave me a kiss on the face and wanted their necks scratched. Now, trust me that is not how most billies act and I sure would not tell folks to expect that out of their guys. So much for that part of the operation, now comes the boys who where born this year. That is like taking a bunch of ADHD preschool kids to the park and keeping track of everyone as they run wild. But never fear my plan was on paper and I was going to get this done TODAY! The only hiccup I had was trying to get the three youngest boys who where not weaned yet to do what was being asked of them. They did not want to leave their mothers and after going round and around for close to an hour in that three acre pasture with them I finally got them to listen and walk. Once we left that pasture they walked in single file into their new barn and pasture - that was six gates and five pastures over - not bad for a bunch of preschoolers.

Once all the gates where closed, tied so no one would try to wiggle thru and everyone had their water and a treat I went in the house for a well deserved shower and nap. I am going to put this written plan in my notebook for next year - I was so amazed it really worked. As the sun was going down then the boys had to decide on the sleeping order. The quite of the evening breeze was interrupted by the sounds of horns banging, grunts and calls from every corner of the farm. After about 30 minutes of this pillow fighting the farm was quite again and visions of Square Dancing danced in their heads.

The Dance is over for this breeding season but until all the girls are bred their calls of desire, head butting and horn fighting will continue but at least at a distance. That saves wear and tear on the fence lines, gates and each other. I guess this is why so many folks never wish to have a billy on their property. I have 19 intact breeding males - that sure is a bunch of hormones but each and every guy here has a bit of my heart so I forgive their seasonal misbehaving because without them I would not be blessed with such wonderful babies and such fantastic fiber.

If your dance card is needing a partner let me know I just might have the right Prince Charming for your farm.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bewitched Acorns

These bewitching bejeweled acorns where found deep in my forest by the glow of the rising moon. There are many incredible things that one can find in my forest but these are gifts from my forest Trolls. Those playful Trolls have given their tender care to the plants and animals who live on this farm but never have they given me such a treasure. Now I am sharing a few of these incredible acorns with you. Do not wait too long because once these are gone there will be no more this season.

Monday, August 31, 2009

This is the BEST, BEST, BEST!!!!

OH MY - this is the best thing I have eaten in years - I am not kidding!!!

From my sacks full of books and magazines I brought home from the library I found this recipe in the Martha Stewart Living Magazine dated May 2009. It is called
"Cherry Clafouti" It takes only 45 minutes to make, serves 4 but I managed to eat it in two days without sharing.

2 large eggs, l large egg yolk, 1/3 cup all purpose flour, 3/4 cup creme fraiche, plus more for serving, 3/4 cup whole milk, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for the dish, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 12 ounces cherries, halved and pitted, Confectioners' sugar for dusting.

Preheat oven to 375. Butter a 9 inch baking dish, 1 1/4 inches deep. Coat with granulated sugar; tap out excess. Whisk eggs, yolk, and flour in a medium bowl: whisk in creme fraiche, milk, granulated sugar, vanila and salt.
Arrange cherries in prepared dish. Strain batter over cherries. Bake until browned around edges and set in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. let cool slightly. Dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve warm with a dollop of creme fraiche.

Trust me - this was so great I had to call my Mother to tell her about it and I NEVER do that just for food. I have made several copies of this and put them into the mail for those who love something really great to eat. Now comes the taste test - YES it is best the first day, but I managed to refrigerate some (it was hard to not eat the whole thing) and tested it for the next day. Do not heat in the micro wave but rather just let it come to room temp and it still is amazing. The third day it is a tiny bit rubbery but the taste is still wonderful. Now my brain is thinking of what other fruits would do well with this - I am thinking for fall gatherings maybe a well ripened fig, what would be your fruit selection???

Try this and I am sure you will be sending this recipe out to all those who really love to eat something wonderful. ENJOY, I know I did...

What's for Lunch??

With the change in the weather "SOUP" sounds like a winner for today's menu. A hot bowl of "Roasted Tomato Soup" with my homemade crackers. The crackers are really simple and you control what is on them. The base is just wonton wrapers - a blank slate. This batch I brushed on melted butter, a lite sprinkle of coarse salt (very little), fresh ground lemon pepper, garlic powder and a very well aged cheese. Then pop then into the over at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes - watch closely. Once golden remove from baking sheet and eat or let cool completely and store in a glass container.

As for the soup this is another easy recipe. Take fresh tomatoes - your choice and either roast in the oven or over a flame. Peel blacken spots off and remove all skin. Place in a pot with chopped onions, garlic and either leeks or red peppers. You can use both but I found the taste gets a bit too much. Let the veggies start to cook and when the onions get golden then take a potato masher and go to town. Season to taste with salt, pepper, fresh basil and a splash of Maggi and then taste. Adjust seasonings to your taste. Then if you wish you can run it in a food processor or manual seive. Then return to the pot and add a bit of heavy cream to just enrich the soup. This really is an easy soup, you can do the same with canned Fire Roasted Tomatoes when you are in the middle of winter. This is far better then the Yucky canned soups we all grew up on. It is the kind of soup that has you licking the bowl - I know not in front of company but a piece of bread will do if you are eating in front of others.


In honor of my new house guest

I know most folks do not have or would want to have BATS in there house such as my sweet little one but I must say I found a way for you to play with my version of BAT WINGS. After my new house guest took a fly by turn of my kitchen and livingroom I thought what fun to have those wonderful wings. The motionless glide they can achieve without a bit of effort. Mother Nature has such a creative spirit and with that notion I went to my dye pots. The silk rods where dyed to look like those thin wings that flap in the night air - Hope I did Mother Nature Proud.


Along with all the new creatures who have shown up at the farm lately I was surprised when the other night I had a bat fly into my kitchen. Yep, a sweet little bat.. Now I know most wave their arms, scream like they are going to drink your blood and run in towards the nearest exit. My forest has many bats and I love the hard work they do in keeping the bug population to a liveable limit but this is a first. This sweet little thing for what ever reason has decided to work near the house and make him or her self right at home on my home. A log home gives many creatures the idea that they are in the forest and not on a man made structure and this sweet one is no different. It has decided to go way back into the corner outside my kitchen window and pearch. Now many folks would say "Kill it" or "Chase it away" I say what a perfect little house guest. Besides - one less Halloween decoration to put out and what a great conversation piece for that outdoor dinning experience. I must say it sure has gotten me into the holiday season - scarey movies, bat's in the house - What is next - Alien crop circles or maybe a witch running around in my forest making strange noises and leaving rocks outside my tent????

Only the Shadow Knows

Saturday was Cooking Day at the Farm

Doesn't that look Yummy???

Well, looks are not all that go into a good muffin. I tried a new recipe from a book I took out of the library - a High Altitude Baking book. I had such high hopes but I must admit this muffin was Bland, Boring and needing much revamping. The texture was good but the taste flat so I will try again with my tweaks and later this week post my version. I had two and gave the rest to the chickens - they have lower standards then I - they gave it a three out of five - what do they know they eat bugs...

Where does TIME GO???

I do not know if it is just me but I seem to be lossing more time then ever before. You know when you where a kid that time seemed to drag on when you where in school and how the summer just flew by within a blink of the eye - well for me I seem to be in FAST mode all the time. I swear I have no idea where this last week went..

All I know is that I must find a flow that works better for me - I feel guilty when I am not doing it all but it just is NOT WORK???

On a HIGH NOTE - while having to go into town Friday I treated myself to a movie. I went to see HALLOWEEN II - Yes, I am a freak about horror and sci fi... I am the one who never jumps, that is very hard to scare and knows the plot line in the first two mintues. I agree plot lines are thin in a Halloween movie but still I have to be the first to see it. I must admit there is nothing like the first of any horror series but I have every Halloween movie and I watch them over and over - I know, this from a down to earth farm gal but it is true I always have been a horror nut since I was a little girl and I am sure I will be one till my dying days. So keep those "B" horror movies coming - this farmgal loves every moment of it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Callling on Sewing Gals

Remember I told you I went to my STASH the other day - I really was shocked - those crafty stacks of fabric have been busy multipling and I could not believe my eyes. Rows and Rows, Shelves and Shelves, Boxes and Boxes of wonderful fabric. My thoughts went wild, plans, patterns and creations all flooded my brain. Where to begin, what to make, when to find the time - what a great bunch of problems to have.

So here is where I am asking for your help. I unearthed a ton of flannel - lovely patterns, all girly girl flannel left over from my sewing business some 23 years ago. Well, I need your help

What is you favorite PJ or Nightgown pattern that would work well with flannel???
I do not need fancy but rather something quick to sew, something that would keep this body warm during the cold nights of winter, something that would work for this farm gal who is known for running out in the middle of the night to check on a expecting animal or chase a predator away while only wearing her nightgown and muck boots. You know Farm Gal Style. I sure would appreciate your assistance. Just leave your suggestions in the comment section if you would - the help is greatly appreciated.

On with the Cleaning

Well, the cleaning fool is back into full swing - now the sewing/crafting room and then on to the altered art room. O.K. I understand that most folks do not have whole rooms just for their passions but I do and boy does it get out of hand sometimes. Now I dont know about you but all my creative spirit goes right out the window when there is chaos and mess.. I am not one of those artists who can work with millions of things laying around unlabeled, unmeasured, stacked in piles and with inches of dust covering the collections of goodies... I have to have order or my thoughts go flying out the window never to be seen again - trust me I have looked for them and they are no where to be found.

Even I was amazed and I must say a bit ashamed at the sheer tonage of products I have at this place. However, it is also great when the creative spirit hits and I never have to leave the farm to make that special project that is just screaming to be created. After three days or full tilt hard work I now have everything in the right rooms, labeled, stored, classified, cleaned and ready for those little gray cells to start the creative process. After great reflection I have decided I will also be placing some of my extra goodies on Etsy so I can to find them new homes because I really do have too much and never enough time to do it all.

Do you have something in particular you are looking for - ask and who knows I may have it and it may just be finding it's way to you very soon for you to reorganize, label, store and create something that has been living in your little gray cells....

Company came without invitation

After a good night sleep from all the reorganization, cleaning and sewing I awoke to renewed energy. The night before I sat and hand picked a wonderful Kid Mohair Fleece that had finally finsihed drying. I had planned to work on it this day in my newly reorganized fiber production room. As I was going down the stairs to put a pot of coffee on and to make me something wonderful from the fresh eggs my hens have layed when out of the corner of my blurry eyes I saw something moving in the basket of my lovely picked Mohair ringlets that was sitting nn the livingroom floor. I admit it I love to have the doors open in my house for the night breeze to move it's way thru the rooms and fill the with the cool breeze and sweet smells of Mother Nature. Unlike my city friends I do not worry about a stranger of the two legged kind walking into my house but I guess I should consider a four legged visitor more likely.. Now folks around here are dealing with the bears and mountain lions while I get a Mink's!! He was curled up sleeping in a blanket of every so soft Mohair - Who wouldn't want a bed of that but this is not what I expected to find as I came downstairs. I found out several years ago that we had them on the farm but they have always been very shy and run in the opposite direction from humans. I even have a all white one which comes into the goat barn during the worst storms of winter. Now I love animals but a MINK in the house, a Mink in the house and in my fiber is a big NO NO.. A VERY BIG NO NO... As I was trying to remain calm I went about making a clear path for me to run him out - Yup that was the plan..

Three hours later he is still in the livingroom running and hiding under the furniture. So Plan B - I start over turning all the leather chairs and couch. Just then he ran out onto the front porch. As I ran after him he stopped on the door mat and stared at me. Just then I notice the poor sweet thing had a huge gash on his left side of his head and his eye was blind. My heart broke. For a moment I thought how could I help??? He looked at me like "Can't you see I am in need"? Again my heart broke... Then I came to my senses and clapped my hands and he ran down the stairs and off onto the driveway. I shut the door and started my breakfast. Just a typical start to Grace's day - doesn't everyone have a MINK for company??

The very next morning this little guy brought into my house his wife. This girl I managed to get a picture of as she and her guy ran around the livingroom. Now you might ask "Didn't she learn to shut the door" answer, YES, I may be slow but I am not stupid... One of the problems with log homes is small animals use the logs as ladders and this clever little couple climbed up the logs and made it thru my upstairs window which has no screen. O.K. now you are saying "Could she not have figured that out before she went to bed"? Well, yes but I thought that the little guy was scared enough to stay away - who would have believe he would bring his wife the very next day??? Honestly WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT??

So this time Plan B was moved to Plan A and they both left the house as the last chair was turned. So now I have a sweet Mink family trying to become houseguest at Funny Farm Hotel for Lost Souls. Today I found the little guy picking off a green midget tomatoe that was trying to grow on my front porch - I really don't mind sharing as long as we keep it outside. I guess in my spare time (I have tons of that) I will have to read up on Mink - no I am not going to trap them and skin them but rather to give them a better option to make a home other then living in mine.

Anyone out there have experience with Mink???

I have been hopping

My new bunny family and I have been hopping around working our little tails off. It has been a spell since I have checked in last with you all and I am sorry for that but this gal has learned when I get the steam going DO NOT STOP!

It all started with just a little bit of reorganization in my walk in food pantry and before I could stop myself it consumed me. I admit I get a Wild Hare or Hair going when it comes to my cleaning/organization and my all around "Monk Behavior" gets a hold of me. However, now the pantry is all cleaned, restructed and alphabetized - you read that right - I told you I can get COMPULSIVE... I have been known to measure the distance of things when reorganizing things but doesn't everyone? With that being done I realized my kitchen had been in a mess since the shelving came tumbling down - so you guessed it - why not get that in order while I still had steam. Now we are talking about 1:30 in the morning but heck since I am up why not!!!

The next morning while enjoying my clean kitchen and eating my well deserved breakfast I could see from my chair the fiber production room. The weather guessers were saying a bad storm was moving in so I thought "No outside work today why not get cracking on the fiber room"? Bad Idea - three days later and still no end in sight.... Just when all hope was fading I finished but like with all things "GRACE" I decided you know what this room is crying out for - Drapes... The last set was shot and so I am off to the basement to see what I have in the fabric stash - HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS, I am entering the STASH. Land where weaker women then me have been lost forever....This is not your normal stash this is a basement full - a store in and of itself. I admit I have a weakness or some might say sickness for fabric but who doesn't??? I ask you, it is not normal to desire yardage of wonderful colored, textured and all be it every pattern known to man fabric - Right maybe not every pattern but I am not nuts you know - I can quite - Honest.

Well, I found just the right material - seven unopened packages of queen size flat sheets - Why would I have those??? Because 13 years ago I purchased them when a store went out of business and planned to make drapes for the game room at the old house. So I went to work and a day later I constructed wonderful drapes, a table cloth for the packing table, curtains for the laundry room and enough leftovers to construct three new nightgowns. All in All a great purchase and a great day of sewing.. Now I have a fiber production room that makes my heart sing when I enter it and does not blind me while I work at the Carding and Picking machines - you know what that means - FIBER GOODIES are soon on their way

Monday, August 10, 2009

Love is in the air

This morning I awoke to Llama Boy's Alarm Call!!! I sprang from my bed and down the stairs I flew and out the front door - as I struggled to get my eye's to focus - what do I see but my little orphan doe with her new love interest......

He is a sweet and perfect mate - so gentle as he walk thru the grass as if not to distrub a single blade. He glances at me like he has heard all about me and knows that he is welcome...

Llama boy on the other hand is like the judgemental uncle who is not approving and is trying everything in his power to scare the young suiter away. It is a well known fact that no one is good enough for our little gal but I at least hope for the best pairing and some companionship for my lost one. If he will watch over her when I can not - what more could ont ask for???

Oh, Young Love!