Tuesday, April 28, 2009

the garden

This morning I woke up early and got 40 (yes, I counted them) more tomato plants in the ground. Then I had a conversation with the peppers and remaining tomatoes about being patient and not dying before I planted them. My carrots and radishes are looking good, my cabbage and brussle sprouts and other spring goodies are coming along nicely, and I am getting ready to plant another round of peas. I realized last year that If I plant the peas on the other side of the house and I keep planting in sucsession that I can have peas all summer long even though they don't like the heat. The beds that I have at the back of the house get shade for most of the day and it stays cool enough that even my lettuce doesn't really bolt over there. I've been sprouting morning glory seeds for the last few days and they are just about ready to plant. I never had much luck with morning glories until a friend told me how to sprout them and now I have the most amazing display every summer when I wake up in the morning. To get big healthy morning glories the best way is to ignore the directions on the seed packet and get a damp paper towel. Spread the seeds out on the paper towel, fold it up and put it in a ziplock bag. Label the bag and forget about it for between 3-6 days and then when you remember and open up the bag you will have morning glory seedlings ready to go in the ground. Mine are just about ready and that means that tonight I will have to get out there and get the sunflowers planted so that I can put the morning glories at thier feet. Oh well, it is time for me to shower and head off to my friend Anne's house for a day of spinning and fun!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

They did it!!

Well today, because it's hot and I had nothing better to do in the heat I decided to try to breed my new French buck with my Satin doe. They did it so I should be expecting a litter next month. Then, just for the heck of it I decided to put my Satin buck (the one who just won't do it) in with my new French doe and who would have guessed, he did it too! So now I am expecting two litters! I really did not expect Mr. to ever be interested in a girl, it's been over a year of trying but I guess love was in the air today. I am so happy! I have been shoveling compost for days now and have gotten lots of stuff in the ground. When it cools off tonight I might try to get some more tomatoes in, they are ready and I need to get it done. I am now on to planting flowers, melons, herbs that didn't make it through the winter, and extra this and that. I am so happy though, my mint, chocolate mint, lemon balm, tyme, and sage all made it through and are starting to go nutts. My rosemary looks like it is considering coming back to life, the pumpkins are sprouting in thier usual spot though I have no idea how I get pumpkins that I didn't plant in the same spot every year. I swear I picked every single one of them last fall. I also have tomatoes on the side of the house that come back every year, though they always come up late. I have tons of weeding to do in the flower beds and tons more compost to shovel and disperse. I wanted to add another raised bed behind the house and fill it with hollyhocks and other misc. but I am running out of time and It's hard to get it all done with phinneas getting into everything. The weather has been hot and I need to go get all the fans out so that I don't roast. Morning sickness has me on the couch quite a bit lately but I have been tearing through books like I used to before the kids so it's not a total waste of time. There's yet another cat that someone moved away and left behind so I am planning another trip up to get animals fixed. It will have to wait though, this spring has not been kind to the unowned kitties and so far we have had one get snakebit and almost die and then this newest one had a disagreement with someone and has horrible gashes around his eye and one that is in the inner corner. I am putting stuff on it and it looks as good as can be expected but he's lucky, just a hair to the right and he would have lost his eye. This year only brought in a few cats, each year it is less which makes me happy because I know that it is due to me and of course www.barcstl.org I could never have done any of this without them. When we moved out here there were at least 30 cats that lived in or around the dumpster. Thier spay/nueter program has reduced that # greatly as I have gotten them fixed through them and then paid their shots and other things on my own and found most of them good homes. This year we have had three tom cats and a single female kitten found. One of the Tom's and the little girl I already found homes for but need to get fixed and the other two boys will get fixed and then probably just stay with me, They are the ones that have been injured and I don't see them ever being content as being indoor housepets. Then of course there's Opus who didn't come from the neighborhood but found me all the same. It is hot and much easier to sit at the computer and type than it is to venture out and try to work. The heat makes me sick and lazy and the kids are restless. Maybe we will go outside and see if we can arrange the sprinkler in a way that it doesn't soak the laundry on the line.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Another day of excitement

Well, first here is a picture of my new girl, a lovely little lilac tort. French doe from Celtic Hare Rabbitry. Her name is Megan May and she is a sweetheart! I am so happy with the buns that I got from her, if you are in the Ohio area and looking for french I would suggest getting ahold of Vici.

Yesterday I went to visit my friend Kati, she has new angora buckling and the most adorable little shetland cross lamb that I have ever seen. He is more puppy than lamb, I just wish I would have thought to take pictures while I was there! We got to spin together and catch up and she let me borrow one of her drum carders! I made my first batt today, well actually half of my first batt. I wanted to see how a color/fiber combo would work it's two different shades of firestar, blueish silk, white angora, purpleish cotswald, and purple, blue, and white superwash. I love it so much that I decide to wash up some white alpaca from a friend and as soon as it is dry I plan to recard and add a bunch of it in and it will be the first of a bunch of really awesome yarns that I am spinning for them. I am so proud of myself! I picked up the drum carding pretty quickly with no mishaps or issues so far. AND I searched last night about cleaning it and saw that someone is using a shop vac to clean thiers so I am going to try it when I am done, I would be thrilled if it realy is that easy. I plan to add more silk and more sparklies to the batt when I add in the alpaca but I am really pleased with how it is turning out! I will post pictures as soon as the alpaca is dry and I get to card it in.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sheepy goodness

On Thurday we went to visit my friend Debbie at Redbud Lane Farm. We took on of our French babies out for her and got to see her lambs. She raises the most wonderful Shetland sheep and a bunch of other critters too. I don't get out there very often to see her, they are about 3 hours from me but everytime I go I am struck by how horrible it is that all of my favorite people live so far away from me! Seriously, if I lived closer she wouldn't be able to get rid of me. Of course I got some scrumptious fleeces while I was there too, If you are looking for Shetlands in the Missouri area she is the person to go to, her sheep are loved and it shows. They all come running when "mom" calls, they are friendly and tame and as a handspinner the fleeces are to die for. I can't wait until we have the space to bring one or two home. It was a really great day and I was so glad to have made it out there, I can't wait to go back and visit again and hopefully I can convince the husband into it sometime this summer. By then I will have gotten a chance to spin up some of those awesome fleeces and there will hopefully be a new baby donkey to ooh and aah over.

Too good not to post!

While digging in the garden this afternoon I noticed that my green onions were doing really well so I yanked a bunch up, enough to share with the neighbors and have plenty for myself. sitting there looking at my bunch of rather large, delicious looking little onions I decided to go in search of a recipe that would show them off and found this one. We had it for dinner tonight and I didn't think to take pictures but it was wonderful. Everyone loved it and I was so happy to use my onions! One thing though, before you add cream and 2nd cup of mushrooms the soup should be strained through a colander to get out any stringy onion bits that didn't get pureed enough. Other than that it was a perfect seasonal recipe and I am very very happy with it.

4 tablespoons butter
6 bunches green onions
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
5 cups vegetable broth
2 cups small mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup heavy cream

1. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, melt the butter and add the green onions, along with salt and pepper to taste. Saute for a few minutes, until the onions are softened, then add broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Add 1 cup of the mushrooms. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth, then put the soup back in the pot, add the cream and the remaining mushrooms, and heat gently (do not boil) until the mushrooms are tender.
3. Serve warm.
Serves 4

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our little vacation

As I said before, I am catching up so posts are just a little bit out of order. On the 7th we loaded up the van and left for Ohio. We visited family, hit some local attractions, and of course picked up a few new buns. It was a really awesome trip. The first picture is my new boy, His name is Bluman and he is from Celtic Hare Rabbitry, I also brought home a pretty little tort. doe but I don't have pictures of her yet. Both of them are super sweet and just beautiful. We went to the Cleveland Zoo and they have the most awesome rainforest area, we saw Lake Erie and Amish Country and picked up some maple sugar candy for me. We also had a very unfortunate wrong turn onto the Ohio turnpike, which resulted in our being lost for hours. I wish we would have had more time but we did have alot of fun and by the 12th I was ready to get home so we loaded back up into the van and started our 9 hour drive. We got home around 4 in the morning and I was so relieved to be home in my own bed. Next year I am thinking maybe Florida, But it depends at least a little bit on the buns that I can find along the way.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Shearing day

Okay, obviously I have fallen behind so my next few post will possibly be a bit out of order. So much has happened and I have horrible violent morning sickness so it's hard to get much done. On Tuesday we went to shearing at Big River Alpacas, Mariposa Farms Alpacas and some others were also there. We had so much fun! My husband got to play photographer and I got up close and personal with the alpacas and loved every minute of it. The shearer was so efficient, finishing an animal in about five minutes, at first I was stunned. It all went so quickly, everyone worked together and really it went so much more smoothly than I had imagined. It was a great day, alpacas are usually a bit standoffish and I really got to touch them and examine fleeces and I feel like I learned alot. The babies were my favorite though, after shearing they are so tiny!I brought home fleeces that I saw come off and couldn't keep my hands off of and I learned that alpaca spit smells like poo. I have tons of spinning work to do and have already started washing fleeces. It was the most awesome day and I hope that I get invited back next year!

Friday, April 3, 2009

I caught it

Well, it's happened again. We've caught babies. I am thrilled, though maybe a bit surprised. Vince of course is hoping for another boy, I think I would be happy with either, though I do still have tons of super cute girly stuff. I can't wait until all of this horrible morning sickness stuff is over and the nesting kicks in. I get so much done when I am pregnant, I don't even need the coffee because hormones take care of it for me!
On another note, I got some new stuff posted to the shop today, stuff I was working on the other day. We got Vince's aunt to take the kids Wednesday night and headed off to the lake house for a day to ourselves, It's been a long time since we got to do much of anything just the two of us and it was nice to reconnect and just spend all day together. It rained on and off and I opened up the sliding glass doors so that we could listen to the rain and the birds and we curled up and watched the squirrels chase each other all over the place. I guess I really do need to take more time here and there for that kind of thing, it's not often that I slow down long enough to relax like that. I have also been working on a little sweater that I found a pattern for, it will be the first real thing that I have knit from a pattern and though I am only 40 rows in it is looking good so far.
Today I have a list of things to do, I have been shopping online for a new van, we are planning to buy one before Monday and I am so anxious to have a vehicle that will fit all of us again. The house has gotten messy again and I am working on it in between other stuff, trying to pack because we are heading up to Ohio to see family for a while. Hoping to leave on the 7th because I want to be able to make it to the Farmers Market meeting that night. I need to be better organized. I say this every day, yet it just doesn't ever seem to come together quite the way that I had planned. Guess that I have rambled on enough for the day, I am going to try to get everything done so that I can work on some experimental yarn that I had an idea for.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Catching up

Well I've been so busy that I have been a bit neglectful of the blog. So this post is going to be all about good news. First the phat fiber boxes went out, I got one and blogged about it because it was awesome and here are some links to people who got a box with some of my samples in it and liked them! Farm Girl Chic , Marcie's Variety , and Black Tie Fiber Arts . Next comes a link to a blog, she was my 100th customer so of course I sent her some extra goodies, now I find myself reading her blog regularly, I think we would like each other quite a bit if we lived closer. Electric Tree. Also I am going to be participating in the new local Farmer's Market! Our opening day is May 9th and I can't wait! They are using pictures of my yarn and buns on the flyer and I should be added to the blog soon too! I am so excited at the prospect of meeting local knitters and fiber people! So anyway, life is good. Phinny seems to be doing fine, though we still have a few appointments with specialists left to go. We are going to be making a trip to Ohio in April and I am gearing up for that and trying to get over the anxiety that leaving my buns for a week involves. I know that they will be in good hands, my neighbor is going to be taking care of them for me and she has helped out enough to know what she is doing. Today I am washing wool, so far I have a cheviot fleece soaking in the tub and I am working on a cotswald in the sink. Maybe i'll get the dye pots going too. I am thinking of destashing some special project angora but I am not sure how to price it yet. I have been saving it forever but I just don't think that I have the time or ideas to make it into something awesome. Hope to post pictures of my wool progress tomorrow.