Sunday, August 13, 2017

A little Rain finally!

We are finally getting some much needed rain, the first since June 15th!  So far it isn't much, but it's better than nothing, and it smells so good!

I am having fun doing the Glacier Farmer/Crafters Market up in West Glacier.  Started out slow, but the last two weeks have been good!  It's a bit of a drive to get up there, about an hour and a half from here, but it's a pretty drive and I like my fellow vendors, so it's worth it.  In July, there were 1 million! people that went through Glacier National Park.  A fraction of those came to the market, but the ones that did spent some money there.

The Hipcamp thing is going well.  There is another group coming in tonight.  I have two separate sites listed on there now.  Now that we have the infrastructure up, it's pretty easy to take care of things around the sites.  We will continue to make a few improvements this year to make things even nicer for the campers that come next.

I'm making cheese again now.  I'm also starting to process the meat chickens we grew.  I'm about half way done now.  These chickens have had the best life a chicken can ask for.  Organic food, free ranging, living the great chicken life.  I always thank each one as I carry them up to the cone for feeding me and I tell them they are going to chicken heaven now.  These birds don't have the leg problems that most of them do.  They don't get overfed, they are able to run around all over the place, and they are fed organic layer mash, not the really high protein feed recommended.  That seems to keep them very healthy and active up to the end.

The goats are all well.  I am down to 38 total now.  I haven't had that few in quite a few years!  I have three varieties now.  The cashmere herd, a small meat herd, and the dairy girls.  I'm getting into the Kiko goats a bit.  One purebred buckling, and a purebred doe and her daughter.  They seem to have cashmere on them, so we'll see next spring if they really do!

There are some fires in the area, but we are safe for now.  It's been pretty smokey, but this rain has cleared the air.  I can see the mountains again!  I"m sure once it's over, the smoke will be back.  I hope they can get the fires out soon.

Well, that's it for this installment.  Hope you are having a great day or evening!

  

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Surprise kid!

Ivory had a kid on the 13th!  I didn't think she was pregnant, since she was actually due back in April and nothing happened.  Her udder got milk in it back then, but she didn't have a baby.  Then when I went out to feed the morning of the 13th of this month, I heard a little kid crying.  It sounded too young to be one of Louise's, so I looked around and found this tiny little doeling curled up behind the water tub in Ali's pen.  Then I thought to check Ivory, and sure enough, she had had a kid.  So, after 8 months a kid popped out!  Normal gestation is 5 months.  The little girl is cute as can be.  Lively, too.  I named her Miracle, for obvious reasons.  These two pictures were taken when she was just a day old.  Her one folded ear has now straightened out and looks like the other one.  She is a bouncy little kid!  I almost sold Ivory the night before she had her kid,too.  Glad I didn't!!  Little Miracle looks like she is going to have a lot of wonderful cashmere on her.  Ivory has some wonderful fleece, so I'm expecting Miracle will also have that.  She's pretty curly/wavy, which usually turns into a lot of fleece as they get older.

  The Hipcamp thing is working out pretty good!
So far we've had the field scout with her group,  one other camper a few nights later, and there is one heading our way right now for 3 nights!  They've all been very neat and tidy, leaving the campsite clean like they found it.  I like doing this.  It's not very labor intensive at all, and the extra money I make with it will come in very handy around here!  Plus, I get to meet more people from different walks of life.    We are fixing up the main site more, and we've added another campsite up the hill.  Both are private, yet accessible by vehicle.
  Well, that's it for now.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Summertime and Hipcamp

Summer has arrived after a long up and down winter and spring. It's hot out, although to most it's probably not all that hot.  For me, anything above 75° is too hot, and it's in the mid 80's now.  There is a slight breeze which makes it nicer.  A good day to hang clothes out on the line to dry!

The babies are all growing. Louise's are a week old today.  They almost didn't get back in last night.  I let the goats out into the pasture and Louise took her kids out.  They got worn out and curled up together out in the forest and didn't wake up when everyone went in for the night.  They were sound asleep.  I couldn't find them right away, but eventually found them next to a tree down towards the bottom of our land.  They barely woke up when I picked them up to carry them up to their mom.  Louise was very glad to see them!  She had been standing up in the pen calling for them for quite a while.  I am so glad I found them!  The dogs weren't much help.  They came out with me, but didn't even go near where the kids were, they were too busy going after the ground squirrels that are taking over the place since we thinned it out. 

I have come to the conclusion that the ravens tell other animals when something is good.  Like telling the ground squirrels there is open ground up here now.  We didn't have very many at all before the thinning, and now there are probably over a hundred out there.  I guess we will start trapping them.  Good thing I don't have a horse anymore, it would get a broken leg stepping in one of the many holes out there.  

Yesterday I adopted a new kitten.  She's sleeping and purring in my lap right now.  After hiding out all afternoon and night yesterday when I brought her home, she's come out to play today.  John is gone, so she came out.  When he's home she stays hidden. I didn't know kittens could still purr when they are sound asleep.  I'll post a picture soon.  She's been moving around so much I can't get a good photo, and now I don't have my camera or phone anywhere near me while she's still.  I named her Tabitha.  It was Sneakers, but that name makes me think of smelly gym shoes, so I changed her name. ☺

The big thing of the week is I signed up with a website called "Hipcamp".  They get landowners to rent out camping spots on their properties.  Like Airbnb for campers.  They handle all the bookings, payments, etc.  We made the round pen area into a nice camping spot.  Turned the shed part of the woodshed down there into a little restroom with a composting toilet, built a shower stall for a solar shower, and I am going to build a covered kitchen area very soon.  There is a fire pit, a grill to go over it, and a good amount of firewood all ready to go. We provide water, too. I flagged the trail up to the "Rocks" better so anyone can follow it.  The field scout and three of her friends came up and camped Wednesday night.  She wrote a good review, and they enjoyed camping, even though the weather wasn't all that great.  We kept getting short showers off and on.  The kind that is just enough to get you nice and wet, then it quits, the sun comes out, and then it rains briefly again.  They still managed to have a campfire, play some games, and hike around a bit.  They got to hold the baby goats and see everything around here.  Here's the link to our campsite. https://www.hipcamp.com/montana/pine-needle-farm-cashmeres/pine-needle-farm-cashmeres.  Hope this link works...

We are only an hour and a half away from Glacier National Park, so if you want to see the park without staying in a crowded campground, it's a good day trip up there from here.  We've done that many times over the years.  It's a long day, but quite do-able.  




Friday, June 16, 2017

Baby Goats, Helpxers

 Wildflowers are blooming all over the forest now.  This was taken up on the "Rocks" behind our place, with Haskill mountain in the background.
 The two oldest chicks hatched so far.  5 and counting.  There should be some more on Monday!
 Carl, one of the cashmere boys.  I think he's "buck quality"!  His coat is softer than the others, and he's a good looking boy.  We'll see how he looks in a few weeks, but I'm thinking he'll be a great buck.  He will also be for sale come September.

We had a great couple from Missouri here for 10 days a week or so ago.  They helped us a lot while they were here.  I also gave them spinning lessons, both making a respectable yarn first time ever spinning.

The wood stove is going, has been for two days again.  It's a cool, damp June, which is normal. The flowers sure are blooming well this year!  All the rain we had earlier and now some more, and they are going great.

I'm going to have a booth at the Glacier Farmers Market in West Glacier starting a week from today!  It is Fridays from 3 to 6 pm in the town of West Glacier, right outside Glacier National Park.  It runs till September 8th.  Should be fun.  There were some neat booths there last year.  Both food and lots of crafts.  Some of the best pies around are there too!  If you are in the area, come check it out.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Blessed

  I am so blessed.  Bluebirds have moved in again, I'm almost positive it's the same pair that were here in 2012, which means they are pretty old for wild birds.  But, they are nesting in the same place, Mrs Bluebird is acting the same way as in the past, checking herself out in all the windows.  Although, she isn't bashing into the windows like last time, so maybe it isn't the same pair, either that or she got smarter.  Who knows.  It is fun listening to them talking as they are bustling around setting up house in the corner of the eve of our house.  Not all Bluebirds need a real "bluebird" house it seems.  These two are making a home on a couple of boards nailed up to the rafters that are 24 inches apart.  So they have a very wide space to build in.  The babies will have a nice "patio" in which to hang out on while they get their wings operational.
  There are a lot of song birds up here this year.  Way more than in the past.  It's so nice when I go outside to hear them all talking away.  Since my cat Reggie died a couple of weeks ago, there won't be a cat stalking and killing birds anymore.  He did in quite a few Junkos earlier this spring.  I think I'm going to stay away from cats for a while.  The neighbors' cats come around at night, so they can get the mice and other rodents that are out then.
  Two cashmere babies are born now.  Cedric on the 10th, and Ace on the 14th.  Both are doing well.  On my Instagram page "cashmereannie", you can see lots of pictures of these two, and most of what is happening around here.  

  The last couple of days have been beautiful summer days.  The garden is starting to come up.  I see some peas emerging.  John is in charge of all the gardening, except the flowers, this year, so I'm not sure what all he has planted, or in what beds.  I know another greenhouse in is the works.  Too bad I don't eat what comes out of them.  Peppers, tomatoes and eggplants are not high on my list of foods I like.  They are way at the bottom, or not even on it.
  I've been getting a few commissions for needle felted animals.  2 skunks, a camel, a couple of bears, a white buffalo, and a dog.  Just have a skunk left to do.  I have some other animals for sale on my website, please check them out.
  Time to get back to working on the skunk....

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Kidding time

 Cedric was born May 10th at about 11 pm.  A beautiful full moon was shining and it was relatively warm out.  He had a sister, but she was stillborn, so he's all by himself.  There are two more does due this month, so he'll have some playmates pretty soon.  He's so tiny that he will need to grow some before being able to play with bigger kids.  He is smaller than his sister was.  I'm thinking he will be about the same size as the next ones when they are born.  Celeste always throws smaller kids, but they are nice and healthy with a precocious attitude.  Cedric already has the look about him. :-)

Melody and Dove, the dairy girls, are a month old already!  They are a couple of good looking kids.  Better than last years by far, out of the same mom.  Lily's udder is doing better this year, too.  I had to milk her for a couple of weeks before the kids were born so it didn't get mastitis, and gave her lots of garlic and vitamin C.  She's got a good udder now, nice and soft and plenty of milk for these two, and a little left over for me.  I keep the kids on their moms till they are three months old, then wean them and get all the milk myself.  Dam raised kids seem to be stronger and healthier than bottle babies.
The weather finally warmed up for a few days and we got some much needed sunshine, but now it's chilly again, cloudy, breezy and rainy.  There were even a few snowflakes earlier.  Now it's not doing anything, so I think I will go out and do some yard work.  The grass and weeds are growing fast now!  Gotta spend some time with the kids, too. :-)

Monday, May 1, 2017

All New Website!

I now have a totally newly designed website, thanks to Bronwyn and Courtney.  They spent hours on it, and it looks way more professional and organized than what I had.  Thanks, you two!!  Please check it out and let me know what you think.  www.pnfcashmeres.com  Feedback is most welcome.

It was great having the Aussies here. Despite the rainy/snowy weather they got quite a bit done.  I have a new computer desk thanks to them!  Two of them built it while I was in town with the other two.  John got his new greenhouse spot dug out, too.  Plus they made a nice rock and sand path through the muck to the gates of the goat pens.  Brought in a good amount of firewood, finished the new goat stand I was gifted, and probably a few other things that I can't think of right now.
This is a picture of our place from the drone they have, too. Cashmere pens on the left, dairy goats on the right.  Pretty cool, I'm going to have to save up and get one, that would be handy to find the goats when they are out in the big world, and check out this area up here from the air.  I could have lots of fun with it!!  As you can see, we have a lot of roofs with many colors.  It was free and since we can't see all the colors from down here, that's okay. :-)  It keeps things fairly dry and that's what matters.  Plus, it kept it out of the landfill.  Recycling is a good thing.

We are getting a lot of rain/snow!  Over 4 inches above normal precipitation already for the year.  Guess we don't have to deal with drought conditions this year.  Today started out somewhat sunny, but it's totally cloudy again now and lightly raining, which since I'm about to go out and feed, is not a good thing.  Oh well, if it would warm up a bit the grass would really grow!

Well, time to go feed.  Let me know what you think of the new website please! Thanks...

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....

Saturday, February 4, 2017

It keeps snowing...

I think we could end up snowed in by Monday evening.  We are pretty close to being there now.  John drove the truck today to work so he could make it home.  The neighbor isn't keeping up with the plowing so there was 7 inches of new snow to go through.  The forecast is for up to 2 feet of snow by Monday night!  We will be snowed in then.  Good thing John has Monday and Tuesday off.
 We are seriously running out of room to put the snow up here in our part of the driveway.  It's getting pretty small.  I am filling in around the loop at the bottom of our hill now.  I'll leave just enough room to get to the canopy holder for the pickup so I can take that off when I get hay, and the rest will end up filled in.  A snowblower is really what we need.  Seriously what we need.

I have 6 goats combed now.  I've stopped for a few days now, waiting for it to quit snowing and get back up into the 20s.  So far the cashmere is looking really nice this year.  No dandruff, lice or anything besides some hay bits.

   This is Shadow after and before combing.  She shrank quite a bit! :-)  Beautiful soft fleece.  With the combing instead of shearing, they still have their guard hair to keep them warm, so they are all doing fine without their cashmere.  I think once it starts letting loose, it doesn't give them the warmth it did when it was still growing and attached to their skin, so it feels good to them to get it off.
  Well, that's it for now.  Back to shoveling trails and plowing. :-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New things!

 Our new bathroom!  After having carpet in there forever, the new floor is rather cold.  I am getting, or maybe making a rug for in front of the toilet.  I like the floor, though.  It looks pretty nice compared to what used to be in there.  The new vanity is really nice.  The first couple of days I kept thinking I was in a hotel when using it, it's so much nicer than the funky homemade one we've had up until now.  :-)  We've decided to do the kitchen floor in the same stuff, we like it so well.  It should look nice with our rustic wood cabinets and the wood cookstove.
 This is a needle felted horse I made for a friend of mine.  It's in the likeness of her horse "Sly Enterprise" her reining horse.  It's a pretty close resemblance.  I couldn't match the colors exactly, but it's all pretty close. I got the marking on her forehead right, so that counts. :-)

I'm glad it's warmed up into the 20's during the day and the teens at night.  That arctic air was just too much.  We didn't get as cold as other places around here.  We seem to be at the right elevation and in our little bowl that keeps us warmer than down lower, or up by Marion.  The coldest we got was around -12, and up by Marion it was down to -38!  The Valley got colder, too.  Last week when the valley was in an inversion for days and all cloudy and cold, we were basking in the sun and above freezing temperatures.  Life is good! :-)

I'm going slowly on the combing of the goats.  I don't like to take off their cashmere when it's cold, but they are letting loose of it, so I must.  They still have their guard hairs and some of the cashmere.  The one I've done so far is doing just fine and she's just a kid still.  For such a little goat, she had a lot of cashmere to give me!  It's got a nice fine crimp, too.  I'm glad I kept her!

Boy, the country sure is having some wild weather!  The tornadoes in the south, the warmer temps in the north, it's very interesting.  My prayers go out to the people affected by the tornadoes.  The animals, too.

Stay safe everyone!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Doing some remodeling

After living in this house for almost 20 years now, (where did that time go??), we are remodeling the bathroom some.  We bought a vanity and new toilet, and also a new floor!  It's a slow process getting everything just right, but it's coming along.  I am really excited about the new floor.  It's a floating snap together walnut looking one.  I think it will be nice once I get it done.

We've had a few really nice, but cold, days now.  Sunny every day.  The snow is still light and fluffy, which is nice when shoveling things out.  The goats have adjusted to the cold temps, so they are all doing fine.  I'm going through more hay than usual.  Eating hay keeps their digestive tracts working, which creates heat in them.  So, I have a bunch of chubby goats now.  Better they have some extra weight than be too thin in this cold weather.  They are starting to really let loose of their cashmere now.  I'm hesitant to comb them, I don't want them too cold, but I also don't want to lose the fiber.  They will still have their outer guard hairs, so it won't be like I sheared them anyway.  It's supposed to warm up later this week, so maybe I'll start combing the ones who are the most ready.

Next post I'll have some pictures to show.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Winter business

I think I am ready for spring now, and it's only the beginning of January!  We have quite a bit of snow, and the temperatures are colder on a more consistent basis than the last few years.  I seem to spend a lot of time shoveling snow lately! :-)   Our road is getting very narrow already.  We have the neighbors plow this weekend, so we are going to widen the road and get some turn outs on it.  For some reason, he only went up and down it once, even though we got 7.5 inches of new snow.   Right now it is almost 4 miles of narrow one lane with no turn outs!  We're out of luck if someone else is on the road!  Someone is going to get stuck.  So, I am going to widen the road and make some turn outs on it so we can get around each other.  I think it's time we bit the bullet and got our own plowing equipment and stop depending on other people to do it.  Now I just have to convince the husband. :-)

I've spent the last couple of days re-working my website and closing my Square store.  Now I have set-up PayPal buttons on my website so one can buy directly from my site.  One doesn't have to have an account with PayPal, either.  There are two easy options to follow.  I think I've been too scattered over the internet lately, so I consolidated and focused on my website.

I've been spinning more lately, too.   I have a stash of fibers other than cashmere, so I decided to work my way through them and see what I end up with.  I'm doing some needle felting, too.

The goats are doing well.  I have six girls bred for this year.  Babies will be due in April and May.  They aren't too happy with all the cold and snow.  There are little trails leading from their houses to the feeding areas with vast expanses of untouched snow everywhere else in their pens.  The bucks really haven't gone out into their pens at all.  A little trail to their water bucket and back to their house is all the area they go in.

That's all that is happening around here for now.  Hope everyone is safe and warm!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year!

 Winter 2017, more of a "normal" Montana winter than the last few years.  We still have milder winters than, say, Chicago, or Minnesota, or even the New England states.  At least Western Montana does.  The goats are full of cashmere and some are starting to let loose of it.  I will wait till it warms up a bit before starting the combing.  Below zero temps are too cold to loose one's winter coat just yet!
 Rocky the Turkish Akbash looking out over the snow.  Him and his sister Cloud are very good livestock guardians.  Rocky takes his job too seriously sometimes.  He gets a bit nasty with his sister whenever anything is going on with the goats.
 One of the buck pens.  You can tell he doesn't like to go out much when the snow is deep.  His private parts could get froze off!  The indents you see are from the dogs going out there before the last storm we had.  Jimmy hasn't gone past his water bucket all winter.  Below is the sunset tonight.  It wasn't spectacular, but it was pretty.
May 2017 be a great year for everyone!