I have always had a dream of living out in the deep woods, in a cozy log cabin.
You know, wood stove for heat and making meals, minimal possessions, a good dog no internet, no tv, no noise and a like minded person to share it all with.
Really ... this has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. But, it is just that, a dream ...
Last week, when hubby and I were walking the dogs down back, my dream was jogged to the forefront of my thoughts. I was reminded just how very tranquil the woods are.
The sound of the water falling over the rocks, the crunch of the dried leaves left over from fall, broken tree limbs, that snap from the weight of a trespasser ...
The dogs run, just as they would in my dream, chasing after a squirrel, and each other. I see things that should not be there, but yet they are. Clumps of daffodils, thick screens of tall wispy bamboo plants. And a huge pine tree not native to Kentucky. I feel comfortable here, like I am familiar with all that surrounds me ...
I love walking along and picking out the different woodland wild flowers. Kentucky has more than 2000 of them! Even though I was not born in Kentucky, I feel very fortunate that I was led here, by a need to be closer to what is important to me.
As I write this I ponder where my love of flowers, nature and animals, and my need to be distant form the world came from. Was it from my Italian Grandmother, who made her own pasta, grew all her own food. And of course, her grapes, for her wine. They grew on an arbor that was the size of a huge room. Her wood cook stove underneath the grape laden arbor where she used to cook in the summer and can her gardens bounty.
Or maybe it is from my Native American Grandmother ... A very wise woman, who lived on reservations and worked for local farmers doing odd jobs and raising a large family of 13. She was a very petite woman, who was know by all as Big Ma. She always wore dresses and her long gray hair in a single braid. And a wonderful native American blanket always around her shoulders. She always had odd sayings, that at the time made no sense. Like "she will blow her nose and throw it at you and call you the snotbox ... Meaning "she" thinks she is better than you. She had her own ways.
I do know that where ever it comes from, I have a fondness for nature, the woods, and all wild things. I feel blessed that here on the farm I am very close to all that is wild around me.
This time of year the turkeys come up almost daily.
Love the woods, if you look down, there is so much to see, like the wild violets. And this yellow Trillium ...
out in my back yard ... yep that is water.
Violet Wood Sorrel ...
Well, the second wave of lambs has started, I projected the 15th and the first set of twins came on the 18th ... so gearing up for round two of lambs ... Have a great week and thanks for stopping by the farm.
When I started this blog almost 7 years ago, I thought I knew where I was wanting to go with it. And for a shot time I did go where I wanted. And all was well. And then I was told that I should, or I needed, or I had to do a certain thing in order to keep sales going in Etsy.
As I think back to the start, I remember how very easy this blogging thing came for me. I loved to take photos (and still do) I love to talk about my farm, my way of life, what is important to me, what I like and so on down the line. Never getting into anything political or to religious. Not because I am not, just that, what I believe in, and how I think about our government is really crossing a line, that I choose not to cross. I am very passionate about things that I believe in.
And over the course of 7 years I have met "virtually" a ton of very nice folks, who have made comments, shared their knowledge, and their life with me as well. I feel very blessed that I still communicate with several of them, almost on a daily basis.
On the other side of that coin, I have met and heard from and been blasted by some not so nice demanding, rude people who think the world owes them everything. The "entitlement" group. The ones that feel the need to demand and not request, the ones who do not read, and then complain, not knowing what they are complaining about. The ones who think that when they are given free stuff, they do not have to express gratitude of any kind for getting it.
Yes, in 7 short years life has changed. I have changed, the world we live in has changed. And some have changed with it, embracing the PC progressive movement.
I have chosen to not ride that train down the tracks to the so called modern world. Where everyone is a winner, and nobody cares about others, just themselves. And we can no longer put labels on people. And I don't mean bad labels, I mean ANY label. Like I should just remove the Mrs. from my title ... And instead of being called a female, I can now call myself a Unicorn ... because female may be offensive ... It is going to be a bumpy ride on those tracks ... And what are we teaching the future generations ... Is not what is important to survival in this crazy, consumed world.
Again, I choose not to ride that train ...
And my life here on the farm reflects that very sentiment.
At 60, I feel that I am very capable of most anything, I still want to do. However, I may do them a bit slower, and it may take me a bit longer. Anyone who is my age or older can agree.
When we moved to KY. back in 2004 to start a new life, a warmer, slower life, we had a few culture shocks, and adjustments to make. Some of them I have shared here over the years. Some I still shake my head about.
We both got permanent jobs, within 6 months of arriving. A lot has changed for me in the past 11+ years. I won't go into each and every thing that has changed, as if I did I would be in my 70's by the time I could get it all out and down.
Since I left my job of 11 years back in November 2015, my life is now my own, my time is my own. And after being in the work force for about 47 years, I did not think that it would take so long to get use to ... but it has. And still after 4 months of not having to get up at O' dark 30, I still do. That is when I seem to do my best writing and work. My alone time, all is quiet and my brain is clear, no fog of work or what I have to get done or do, the go, go, go mentality is gone! .
Seems as though I have spent the last 4 months thinking about what I want to do with my future, knowing that a 10 year plan my not be the best option ...
However, I still have dreams and goals that I do want to achieve.
I have not been one who has always wanted to go travel to .... fill in the blank. I have not wanted to spend my time or my money going to see places that were not in this country. Why? Well for me, as a pre-teen and teen my family traveled across this country, and by the time I was a teen, I had seen and been to almost every state in this country. As a younger adult I did quite a bit of traveling as well.
And though it was fun, it was always nice to be home. So for me, there really is no place like home.
I am for the most part a homebody, I like my home, who is there, what is there, and how I feel when I am there.
People say that having a farm and livestock will tie you down ... Yes, that it does ... But, let me just say those are ties I don't mind at all ... I don't mind my days starting at 5 a.m. and enjoying the peacefulness of it. Where I can sit and have my morning cup of coffee, and watch the beautiful sun rise over the ridge in the morning ..., it is quite special to watch as the fog rolls from the bottom to the top of the ridge and then just disappears ... I get the pleasure of welcoming in each season, as it arrives and then fades into the next ... Like in early spring, on a nice day, the smell is just delicious! The colors are magical, and remind me the primary colors of crayons ... bright green of the grass coming to life, the purple of the red buds in bloom, the bluest of blue skies, and of course the yellow of the daffodils.
And then the soft tiny little lambs that arrive, in the wee and late hours of the quiet spring mornings and late evenings ... It is like a cute little surprise package, just waiting for me to dry it off, and check to see and announce to Mama sheep, that she has two of the cutest little girls ... And before you know it, that cool spring breeze has turned warmer, now is the time to shear the sheep for the hot weather that is nipping at my heels ... and just like the fast growth of the summer grass, and the sheep's wool the longer days usher in all of the hot summer weather ... you know the days, where you can go into the garden, and pick the bounty for supper at night. And who doesn't love the lazy summer days. And the nights, watching the fireflies dance, and billions and millions of stars so bright ... A season of campfires and roasting marshmallows.
Early mornings are a blessing. That is when I get up and go very early to beat the heat ... taking nice long breaks with ice cold water, and walking down to the pond and letting the dogs cool off. And then before you know it, you feel the land change, you see more and more grasshoppers, and the grass slows a bit, you see a red leaf, hit or miss along the wood line, and the night air changes just slightly.
Now is the time, to put back the last of the tomatoes, into pizza sauce, tomato juice and stewed tomatoes for those hearty winter soups. And the winter squash, gourds, and pumpkin vines, now fill in any empty space that is left in the garden. I am surrounded by all of natures beauty, and as she blows the cool fall air in, she brings with her that wonderful earthy smell, and more colors, than you can distinguish.
Harvest season, time to ready for winter, wood for our heat, hay for the sheep, clean barns, clean wood stoves and chimneys, top dress garden, and cutting back dead limbs and getting ready for the cold winds that will blow.
And then it happens, one morning you wake up, and a cold chill is in the farmhouse.
It comes without warning this time of year, the cool nights.
The Marigolds, are still showing their sunny warm colors, The Autumn Joy sedum heads are getting darker, even the Boston fern has not given in to the night cold just yet. As the sun comes up just over the ridge in the early morning, I know it will warm the land and those long lasting Marigolds that hang on for as long as they can. The trees are all but leafless now, as they ready themselves for a long earned winter's rest. All that is left
are some of the oak leaves, that remain on their host, and will most of the winter.
More birds have come to visit for their morning breakfast, and perch on the branches of the all but barren Hydrangea bush, waiting for their turn to eat. Just the winter birds now, the Robins, Bluebirds, and the Finches are gone, and have been replaced by the Bluejays, Chickadee, and the Cardinals.
The wood cook stove is going, and it is now time to fill the kettle and making ready for the season of giving thanks, I give thanks for this season of down time, for my cupboard full with my garden's bounty.
However, much I love my farm and caring for it and everything that lives here, I still welcome the time of year when there is no pasture maintenance. No mowing, no rotating of flocks, no worries of heat stress, no lambs, just sheep. A most wonderful time of year is now fast approaching ...
Pine boughs, bright red winter berry and pine cones are the theme for the next few months, and now we get ready for a long winter.
The quietness of it, the beauty that surrounds me on the outside. I feel very blessed that I have had the opportunity to live here. And to follow my passion for keeping sheep and spinning their wool and creating with it through weaving, knitting and crocheting.
I have never considered myself to be a selfish person at all, I am by all means the exact polar opposite. I am guilty of giving to a fault. And anyone who knows me knows this to be true. I have always put others needs or wants in front of my own.
These past few weeks I have had more than a few folks tell me how much they miss my weekly blog post and my blog ...
And I have to say, that while I do post on FB, I find it hard to write there. I don't know why. I really did enjoy my blog in the past. But now, as I said over a year ago, it is now nothing more than a clickable link to free stuff ... Now, don't get me wrong, free is good, sometimes.
However, I feel that I did make a mistake with my giving so much away. I did learn my lesson, in human nature ... One that I will not repeat again. And that is why I will be taking back my blog. I will no longer be doing any more tutorials, all patterns and tutorials will remain on my site until the end of May, 2016 but will be removed thereafter. Also, NO product that you make from my patterns can be sold at any time.
So here's the deal ... My blog now will return to it's original roots. It will now continue to be about my farm, the farm's by products such as dried everlastings, live plants, my sheep, wool and wool by products.What it started out as, it now will return to.
I know this will make a lot of people angry, but that is how it has to be.
I hope you all will enjoy my farm posts as much as I enjoy my farm life. Have a great week and as always thanks for stopping by the farm.
Back about a month ago, way before I started my last shawl, I sat down and spun up 2 skeins of this gradient yarn. I call it Ocean Dreams ... I have one more skein to spin for a total yardage of about 525 yards. I have had this shawl in my head for quite some time.
You can't really see the gradient change in this photo but it goes from almost white to turquoise, if I am able to play with the yarn and weave this right it will come out as planned ... This shawl will be over 6 feet when complete.
I am pretty happy with the weave so far ... 100% wool. Have a great week and as always, thank for stopping by the farm.
When I left my job back in November, and before that, my goal was to use my wool in a way that was unique and different ... For the past few months I have been spinning wool for what I hope will be my line of products. Sheep to Shawl.
But, I don't want my product to be a run of the mill of the rack shawl, I want mine to be OOAK shawls. One of a Kind, with beautiful colors and texture. A wearable piece of art ...
So this is the first in what I hope will be the start of many,
many more wearable art shawls.
Let me know what your thought are on this shawl, and thanks for stopping by the farm.
The first lamb of 2016 was born on Friday, just 2 days before last years lambing. And the winner on this years first is Becky! She had a beautiful ewe lamb, which I have named Kali ... Although I was a little shocked by just the one lamb, she is healthy and big. But just in case I checked the pasture for another ... nope, she had just the one.
For those of you who do not know my naming system, it is simple and two fold ... I started naming my lambs with the letter A, reasoning was I would know how hold they are, and just how many years I have been breeding. This is Jenny, one of Becky's ewe lambs from last spring ... Kali's big sister.
So with this being my 11th lambing season, and next to last ... I will now be keeping the remainder of Becky's ewe lambs going forward. Fall of 2016 will be my last breeding for good. I will after lambing of 2017 be downsizing to just a few ewes for my own personal wool stash. Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by the farm.
Now that I am no longer working away from home. I am able to spend more time at the things that I love. And this time of year with all the cold, I love to knit. Last week I wanted to take a break from weaving and knitting, so I sat down a spun up come of my Cheviot wool for knitting.
I like to wind my center pull balls right off of the bobbin, that why when I am done I can start knitting. I started this hat yesterday, and will finish it this morning ... and then give it a soak and block.