Let’s see…what’s been happening? Susie and Anna’s fleeces from the spring shearing got 2nd and 3rd place in the fleece competition at the Tunbridge World’s Fair. I spent a couple of glorious days spinning away in the sheep barn, telling anyone who would listen of the joys of handspinning. Beats working any day.
Then I was blessed with Bethel’s most awesome work crew…the Munyon/Reisterer/Smith clan all came over on Saturday. The boys replaced the posts on my pole barn, where the wood and the tractor and snowblower live, so it won’t collapse under the weight of all the snow. I’m hopeful that since that actually got done, we’ll have a low snow winter 🙂
We all took turns at the wood splitter, and split up all the rest of that butternut tree, along with some logs that Alex had generously brought over from clearing their house site. Most of that got stacked even. The great news…I think there’s more than enough to get thru this winter, so I won’t have to buy any more wood!
I hope everyone had a great summer, and is enjoying the Labor Day weekend.
I, for one, am happy to see this summer go. I haven’t been blogging much, there has been so much happening, and not all of it good, I just haven’t had the words or the heart to write about it here. I continue to be amazed by the support of so many wonderful people, both here in my immediate community, and out there in the virtual community. Without all of you I don’t know how I would have gotten through it all. I’m going to give an abridged version of it here….there is more detail in the threads in my ravelry group http://www.ravelry.com/groups/gilead-fiber-farm.
First, my farm had a barberpole worm infestation. I lost Nola to it first, on July 31st, and then one of her kids, Hope, succumbed on Aug. 15th. RIP my beautiful girls. This is a new problem to us in VT, though folks down south have been dealing with it for years. The answer was to move the flock to new pasture, so that I could clean up where the parasites are, and disinfect the barn etc. No problem, I have lots of land, and plenty of net fence, but I had no more shelters, since the buck and ram were in the new shed. Angel number one showed up in the form of a ravelry friend, Gail, who very, very generously bought the farm 3 calf hutches! Actually, now there are 4, as another very generoug ravelry friend, Judy (angel #2), got us another one after Hope passed. I will never be able to thank these 2 women enough, their gifts have enabled me to keep the animals off the nasty infested pasture for most of the summer.
Angel #3 showed up in the form of my dear friend Krysta, who volunteered to come farm sit so I could take a few days off and go to RI to see family and friends, and get a swim in the ocean. She was here, holding Hope when she passed, and saved Lorelei from bloat while I was away. She’s a true hero, not many lambs recover from bloat, but due to her vigilance, sharp eye and willingness to give up her sleep even, Lorelei was nursed back to health, and is doing great. Definitely not the idyllic farm stay that she had envisioned, bottle feeding the orphaned Persy, and massaging sheep bellies, while thrusting nasty goop down her throat was certainly not in her plan. But, she persevered, and is the big hero of the farm, for sure.
As you can imagine, I have been hyper vigilant about checking for anemia, scours, or any other signs of off behaviour. Fortunately, the rest of the flock appear to be well, and recovering from the barberpole and anemia. Lorelei and Persy are back out to pasture with the rest of the gang, and doing great, though Persy still doesn’t like the bottle.
There has been so much destruction, and devastation all over VT that it is shocking, my mind reels, and I weep as I travel around (as much as you can travel, many roads and bridges are gone). But the indomitable Yankee spirit, and sense of community all around VT has been something to behold. People really pull together and help each other out. Our road is passable, and we have electricity thanks to local guys who have heavy equipment, who got out there right away, and have been working non stop since Monday rebuilding the road, and bridges, to enable the utility and phone crews to get up here. The volunteer effort has been phenomenal, though there is still much rebuilding to be done before snow flies.
If you are able to donate even a little the following organizations coud really use your help:
the VT Food Bank http://www.vtfoodbank.org/
NOFA VT Farmer Emergency Fund: http://nofavt.org/
On the kid front, all the kids are doing great! This shot of Promise captures a rare moment of inactivity. They are tough to photograph as they are so so fast, all my pics come out blurry. But, I can report that they have all had their first hoof trimmings, FAMACHA checks (all 5s still, yay!) and Persy’s boy bits have fallen off (he was banded a few weeks ago) so he’s officially a wether now. Hope and Persy have been being fed well and they are just about as big as Promise now, go Nola! They are all growing strong, swift and unbelievably cute. It’s a wonder I can get anything done around here at all.
Other very exciting news is that my house got a redo! My dear friends Kirah, Kathleen and Eileen came up for a girls weekend at the end of June, for what I thought was a weekend of thrift store shopping, cooking and wine drinking, and they totally surprised me by making over my house. I met them in Boston on a Wednesday for a Red Sox game, then we went up to Rockport for a lobster dinner. We came back up to VT on Thursday, and I had to work on Friday. While I was at work, they got to work. They took every single thing out of my kitchen, cleaned the floor, walls, shelves, cabinets, appliances, everything. Then they painted all my cupboards, and washed the windows. When I got home from work, it was like a new kitchen! They reorganized my pantry and cupboards, it was amazing to come home to that. Then they continued all weekend, for 3 full days, they steam cleaned, they rearranged furniture, washed walls and windows, rehung my artwork, a total redo. They inspired my neighbor Aaron to finally come fix my dishwasher too, I’ve been waiting for that for over a year. They even manifested a new red couch!
This was a huge, huge, huge gift! My kitchen is tiny, and it was gross, filthy, greasy, mismatched cabinets, ugly, ugly wallpaper. Now it’s clean and bright and cheery, and it helps me be motivated enough to cook decent meals for myself, which is big stuff for me. I can’t thank you ladies enough!
Lastly, the Tour de Fleece started last weekend. The TDF is a spin along that goes along with the Tour de France bike race….spinners from all over form teams and spin every day that the bikers race, that’s 21 days of spinning. Over on ravelry, the Gilead Fiber Farm group has formed Team Tallulah, and we’re all spinning like mad. I managed to spin up 16 ounces of fiber during the first week, in between working, and caring for animals 🙂
I’ll continue to spin daily and hope to burn thru some of my ginormous fiber stash. Daily updates are on ravelry for those of you who are interested.
Overall, things are moving along in a positive direction here at Gilead Fiber Farm. I have amazing friends and support from all over, and that’s what keeps me going. Well, that and the amazing flock of cuties that live out in my pastures, I love my critters like children. Now, I’m off to find that short in my fenceline and enjoy some sunshine.