Sunday, April 23, 2017

Helpxers

I am so thankful that I got introduced to the help exchange network!  Thank-you Heidi!  We have four young people from Australia here now.  They are such nice people and very good workers.  I no longer have to walk through the muck and mud in the alleyway between pens, they made a nice rock and sand path for me, wide enough for the wheelbarrow, and smooth enough the hay doesn't bounce out.  They are also getting all the little piles of poles up on the hill down into a couple of big piles in a more level place so we can the get ATV up there to haul them all down to the flat and cut it all up into firewood.   It is so nice to have young, energetic, cheerful people with a good work ethic helping get things done around here!  I highly recommend anyone who needs help around their place, whether you live in town, or out on a farm, sign up for that.  There are hosts, and helpers.  Most of the helpers are younger, although I have seen all ages on there.  I've had two people older than me come for a few days and help.  Some of them even come with their own lodging!  These four are in a camper van, so all we are providing is a shower and dinner, and they are quite happy with that.

I am working on a commission of a camel for a woman on the other side of the state.  Camels are interestingly built creatures!  It's a bit of a challenge to get everything just right, but I'm getting it done, slowly but surely.  Now I'm waiting till I can connect with a friend who raises alpacas and get some camel colored alpaca from her to finish it.

It keeps raining off and on.  Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, today it's back to clouds and showers, with an occasional bit of sun.  At least we aren't getting torrential rains, just showers.  It's all good.

I am ready to do another round of decluttering in here.  Actually all over the whole place!  We have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years, a lot of which we don't even use anymore, it's just taking up valuable space.  It's spring, time to do some serious cleaning around here. :-)

I hope you are having/had, or will have, a great day!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Birthdays

Now that I am another year older, and this is supposed to be a big energy shift day with the full moon in Libra and a pink one at that, I am ready for all things positive!  I'm also at a significant age according to astrology where big shifts occur.  So, I'm ready! :-)

I am at a turning point in my business, one where I think everything is going to fall into place finally.  I'm learning a whole lot about marketing, which I will be implementing over the next month or so.  There is so much to learn!  It's an adventure, that's for sure.

Yesterday I got a new keyboard and mouse for this computer, and wow, what a difference!  I should've got this weeks ago.  It's interesting how as things slowly wear out, we don't change anything till the last possible moment, when if it would have happened a bit earlier, life would be much easier.  Change is a good thing, even though sometimes it doesn't seem like it at the moment.  As I look back over the years, I've come to realize everything does happen for a reason, and nothing changes for the worse, only better, even though sometimes it doesn't seem like the change could have any good to it at all.  But, there is a silver lining in everything, sometimes we just have to look deeply to find it.  Life is journey, with every twist and turn a new opportunity for learning and growing.

I am hoping today Lily, my Alpine dairy goat, will have her babies.  I have been waiting for 15 years for a kid to be born on my birthday.  So far it hasn't happened.  Close, but not on the day.  Once was at 10:30 pm on the 10th, but that's as close as it's been.  It's not looking too promising for today, either. One of these years.....

We woke up to a dusting of snow this morning, but it's all gone, the sun is shining, and I just might get out into the flower beds and get them cleaned up today!  Also have 3 goats left to comb, then the harvest will be over for this year.  I'm down to the best of the best now, and this year I'm downsizing even more, so there are some great goats going up for sale here in the next month or so.  I'm getting way down in numbers for a few years so I can get another facet of this business going, then I might build back up, depending on what's happening in the cashmere world.  I'm keeping a couple of the bucks and a handful of the does, and a couple of the wethers and sticking with that for a while.  As some of my friends have said to me, "there is more to life than goats".  I'm not entirely sure about that, but we will see. :-)   I love my goats and can't imagine not having any, so I will always keep them around.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Needle Felting Photos

 This is "Bear #399" in the Grand Tetons.  She was all over the internet last year when she had a cub at her advanced age of 20.  Then the cub got hit and killed by a car, which was quite sad.  I decided to to a sculpture of her.  My photo taking isn't all that good, but I'm improving.  Funny how I can take really good action shots of my goats, and scenery, but can't get a really good "product" photo of any of my creations!  I must practice, practice, practice!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
This bear and cub sculpture was really fun to make!  I sold this yesterday, too.  I think I'll make another one somewhat like this one.  No two are the same, though.  My creations are really one of a kind.  I was commissioned to make two copies of a pair of dogs, and even though I had the pictures, and the one set, I couldn't get them exactly alike.  So each animal I make is a truly one-of-a-kind creation!  
These two little bear cubs are cute.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring!!

On Friday there was a foot of snow covering my flower bed out in front of the house.  Today the crocuses in there are blooming!  The snow melted a lot around here over the weekend.
There is still a lot to go, but progress was made!

I went to Coeur d' Alene on Friday and came back last night.  The Log Cabin Spin In was there.  That was the first time I've gone to it.  I'll be going again, that was fun!  Lots of vendors with all kinds of fibery goodness, and a couple of big spinning circles.  Raffles, demos and a couple of workshops, too.  It was well run and organized, and it looked like everyone was having a good time.  I restrained myself to only buying 5 braids of roving to spin.  There was so much more! :-)   Next year I might take more money and get more, enough to keep me busy for a month at least.  I'm already done with one of the braids.  These won't last long.

Sure is a lot of water everywhere!  There were a few mud slides along the way, too.  One of them had the main hwy 95 closed for a while by Bonners Ferry.  I was stuck in that line for almost an hour.  They got the hwy opened to one lane finally.  Glad I wasn't going through there when the hill slid down!  That would have been scary!

I'm down to just a dozen goats left to comb.  Only a couple of them are letting loose of their fiber now.  I will comb them in the next day or two.  I am glad they don't all shed at the same time, I wouldn't be able to keep up with them, and I'd loose too much fiber.

I sold both the bears on stumps and log sculptures last week.  I saw them sitting on the buyer's fireplace mantle and they looked really good there!   Now I will make some more.  I like making the sculptured ones with more than just the animal on them.  It's fun and I can let my imagination take over for a bit.  Who knows what I'll come up with next. ☺

Today we had a beautiful sunny day.  A nice change from the rain and clouds of last week.  It would be nice if we had a whole week of sun and mild temps.  I'm sure winter isn't over just yet.  There will be at least one more snowfall before it gives up till next year.

Happy Spring!!




Saturday, March 4, 2017

Is it Spring yet?


Here are my latest creations.  I sure do enjoy making these and bringing a moment of happiness and relaxation to someone who looks at one of these sitting on their shelf or desk.  They can daydream for a minute about a future vacation out in the wilderness, or just connect with nature for a moment while sitting at a desk in an office, far, far away from the wilderness.  I am on a creative streak right now, so more are on their way to my website where they are for sale!

There are tiny signs of Spring finally!  The temperatures have warmed up to slightly above freezing, and the wind is blowing more. That will cause the snow to melt at a slower rate, avoiding a major flood, hopefully.  At least up where we are, if we are flooded , there had better be an Ark somewhere, cause the whole world would be flooded.

The goat pens are going to be a mucky mess when it does melt.  I hope I get a lot of helpxers this year, so we can get caught up with things around here.  There are a lot of projects to do this year.  I am getting anxious for the snow to be gone so I can get to work.  I'm going out shortly and start combing the goats again.  More are letting loose of their fiber now.  I am grateful they don't all go at once, or I would lose a lot of it.  Thankfully only 4 or 5 at a time are ready to comb.

Have a great day, or evening, depending on when you are reading this!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Well, Bummer!

Monday was not a good day around here.  Fern, one of the dairy doelings jumped the fence into the adult does pen, must have got her leg hung up in the fence, but got it loose.  I went out to feed and here she was with a completely broken right back leg.  Everything was shattered, it was just hanging by the skin.  So, I did her in and spent a couple of hours processing her into the freezer.  Since she was only 10 months old, there wasn't a whole lot of meat on her, but there is about 10 lbs.  That was sad!  I was looking forward to her as a milk goat next year.  She was a nice size, had nice long teats, and was looking like she would be a very good milker.  Why couldn't it have been her brother, who is destined for the freezer anyway?  Dang.  Life on the farm I guess.

The snow has melted a bit.  Last Sunday the neighbors and I went out with our ATVs and snowblower and made some turnouts on the upper part, the last mile in here.  It's always the deepest snow, and the narrowest part of the whole road.  Now it's a bit wider, and there are a few turnouts so one doesn't have to back up for miles to get out of the way when meeting someone.  The lower part of the road is still pretty narrow, but the snow isn't as deep and the one neighbor with the plow could go out and make some turnouts if he really wanted to.  So far, that hasn't happened.  He is very annoying.

I crocheted a baby blanket for a great-nephew that is due to make an appearance in March.  I used to really like crocheting, but now I'm liking needle felting a lot better.  I used commercial yarn in the blanket.  It's been a long time since I did that.  I couldn't find the end in the center, so I had to go from the outside on every skein but one.  That was a pain.  Those ends were hidden quite well!

Well, that's all that has happened around here lately.  I will be so glad when this winter is over and done.  We aren't having it as bad as some other parts of the country, but it's been a long one.  I think we will still have snow on the ground through April.  I have an idea the Kila wetlands are going to be totally flooded this year, like they were back in 2012.  There was a big lake stretching from the highway to the side of the mountain for a good two or three miles.  We were calling it the ocean. :-)

Hope everyone is surviving winter okay!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Not so bad

Well, the storm wasn't nearly as bad as predicted, although we got quite a bit.  We didn't get snowed in, although it was close.  The road is a very narrow one lane with no turnouts for the entire length, so it's interesting traveling it.  Had quite a time the other day coming home, when the neighbor ended up coming down at the same time as I was going up.  Trying to get around each other, we both ended up stuck, I had to pull her out twice.  I ended up putting on one chain on the front tire to get a grip on the ice, and then things got way better.  I did end up backing up for over half a mile till I got to a spot that wasn't quite as narrow with less snow than the rest of the road.  She barely got around me, and I barely got out of that snow bank. but I did and made it home finally.  This weekend we are going to all get together and widen the road and make some turnouts.  At least that's the plan.  We have had a major warm up and about half the snow has melted, so it should make it easier to widen the road.  It rained on top of the snow, so now the road is an ice skating rink on a hill.  Glad we have the truck and chains!  I haven't been out since Wednesday, and won't be going anywhere till Tuesday.

I'm back to combing goats.  Four more are done now.  They aren't all shedding yet, so I'm out there plucking at their sides as they walk by checking to see who's ready to be combed.  That isn't going over too well with most of them. :-)

I'm crocheting a baby blanket for a great-nephew who is due to arrive into the world in March.  I haven't done much crocheting lately.  Mostly needle felting is all I've been doing since last fall.  I did make a cowl and a scarf, but that's it.  I haven't spun anything for a long time!  Time to get back to that pretty soon.  So many things to do....