Settlers’ Farm

On Monday, Jennifer (Whirled Yarn–and a Yarn School teacher) let me come snoop around her place to see her animal set-up. The sheep and goats were all freshly shorn and naked and adorable. And her animals are so tame, and completely unbothered by her dogs. One of the big concerns with sheep out in the country is dogs–not wild dogs, just regular pet dogs, who tend to run loose, and who can chase the sheep for fun until the poor sheep just drop dead of exhaustion. But when your sheep are indifferent to barking dogs, they don’t panic and run like mad and die of exploding hearts (okay, not literally exploding, but you know what I mean). So if you take out the domestic dog element, then you’re just worrying about coyotes, which it seems are a little more predictable and probably a little easier to defend against with good fencing and practices. Another good argument for keeping doggies!

Anyway, her sheep are total teddy bears, and I couldn’t believe how gorgeous and black Daisy was sheared! And you should see her fleece! Long and dark and wavy, with a pretty sheen. I’m very excited to get her sister’s fleece pretty soon. Jennifer said she’s not as dark, but even the ballpark will be dandy. (Daisy & her sister, Chocolate Drop aka Fatty Pants, are from Ewephoria Farm.)

I got to check out her sheep barn and the big old barnyard they use in the winter, and the pastures they use in the summer. I got to ask all manner of stupid questions (my specialty). Aside from her friendly sheep and greedy goats, they also have a horse, a pony, several gorgeous adult chickens, 2 fabulous dogs, 3 energetic human children, and a bin of homely, awkward teenage chicks that are in that mangy quail phase (blogged here). It was very helpful to see how a smaller operation works. Tina’s setup is big and professional, and the Howes’ is downright ritzy, so getting a taste of a family hobby arrangement on acreage on par with ours was very heartening.

As we drove away, I realized I had my camera in the car (for a Slice of Kansas) and I hadn’t taken a single picture! Hopefully Jennifer will post fleece and more naked sheep pictures pretty soon. In the meantime, I’m cribbing one of her nekked sheep:

The Cuckoo for Cuckoobatts club batts are going out late again. I’m resolving to nip this habit in the bud and make April’s batt plenty early. It needs to be plenty early, or it will butt into Yarn School, which I definitely don’t want.

Speaking of Yarn School, I’m getting my house in order. Last week, assisted by hours and hours of entertainment of back episodes of the geek.farm.life podcast (my iPod boom box is the only think keeping my organizing on track), I finally tackled the Home Ec Room. And while it’s not Martha Stewart organized, it is Nikol organized and more or less ready to go. Here’s hoping I don’t fuck it up in the meantime.

I’m also working on January from One Year to an Organized Life (people who know me well are laughing and laughing right now). I’m 2 months behind, not because I’m sooooo slow, but because I didn’t get the book until this month. January is about the kitchen, and last week I moved my pantry into a lateral file with slide-out shelf-drawers, which makes for a rocking pantry, relatively mouse-proof and crammable, since you can see everything on the shelf from above. I’m about to start Week 4, the first really nuts-and-bolts assignment, the firm organization of the kitchen. I need to pain my cupboards before I can really reorganize everything, so I’ll probably tackle the cupboards this week and the main assignment at the end of the weekend. Wish me luck.

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