This is our first Christmas at our new farm. We saw this place just a few days shy of a year ago. It was completely covered with snow and it was BEAUTIFUL. I knew at that moment that this was the land I had been dreaming of for years. I have been hoping for a white Christmas this year. I wanted to see my beloved farm under snow on Christmas, just as I had first seen it. I was losing hope, but Christmas Eve morning we woke up and we already had a couple of inches. By noon we had about 5 inches or so. It is just breathtaking! And I feel so blessed. Here's our Christmas tree. It's a bit of a Charlie Brown tree because we had to trim it down so much to fit it into the space! It may not be traditional, but we just dragged a cedar down from the back forty! We are happy with it because it came off our place and we have hung all our special ornaments on it that we'd collected from all over the world. It's the first time in years we've had those ornaments out of their box in storage, or even put up a tree for that matter. Sheba has decided that under the Christmas tree is her new bed. The puppies have been really good about not bothering the ornaments, although Sheba did knock a couple off when she would stand up under there! No worries, I just moved those few up higher. I did do a lot of baking and candy making this year. That's also something I hadn't done much of for several years. I decided to write a song about it and have been posting daily phrases on facebook! I wrote the song as if Greg were writing it to me! It should be sung to the tune of "The 12 Days of Christmas". This is the posting from the last day, Christmas day. Greg's Christmas Song: On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love made for me, Lots of festive food, Joy's pecan pie, rustic apple pie, pastry for those pies, yummy apple butter, Peanut Butter Blossoms, pretzels with a kiss, CIN-NA-MON CAN-DY, A pound of chocolate fudge, Grandma's sugar cookies, some puppy chow, and a batch of party mix, you see! It sounds like a lot of treats, but, believe it or not, it isn't near as much as I used to make when the kids were at home. This will be our first year of having Christmas without a single one of our kids here. Since our first Christmas, that is. But even then I was already expecting our first baby! Since we won't have any kids to celebrate with this year, we went out and got a new puppy! He is a male Old English Sheepdog, and he is to be the mate to our two females. His name is "Signor Giacomo di Cavalli." We call him "Jock". He's adorable and the girls love him. Especially Milly. She is very motherly to him. Here is a video of Milly and Jock playing together. I want to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas. May your homes and hearts be filled with all the love and joy they can hold. God bless you all and those you love in the new year.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
I have been skirting fleeces lately. I was happily surprised at how clean the first one was. I really was expecting a lot more VM (vegetable matter)and BM (poo). But there was very little BM...almost none (I guess cleaning the sheep's sleeping areas nearly on a daily basis really pays off in the end), and except for a few clumps of throw-away where the burrs had got matted in, there wasn't a lot of VM either. Even some of the matted spots came out fairly easily. I found it better to pull the wool apart and out of the burrs than to try to pull the burrs out of the wool. If that makes sense. I love the feel and smell of the wool. It amazes me how much less lanolin there is in the Icelandic wool than there is in the wool of other breeds.
You can see that Zinnia's locks are about 8 inches long. Her whole fleece, after skirting but before washing, fills a king-sized pillow case!
I am working on little Cookie's virgin fleece now. It is so soft, but has much more VM and BM than the five I had here had. Not huge amounts of BM but a lot of VM. I can only guess that she was being kept on hay for awhile before she was sent up to me. Her raw fleece looks like dredlocks! I love that crimp she has at the ends of her locks.
Even though she was just born in the spring, her locks are already 6 inches long.
Her fleece will fit in a much smaller pillow case, though!