Tuesday, July 31, 2012


   Boy, summer is going by fast!  It's been an interesting one so far.  The weather has been pretty good.  No real problems, all the big thunder storms have gone around us, for which I'm very grateful!  We get rain from them, but no close lightning or anything.
  I've sold all the dairy kids for this year.  Sweetpea and company went to a great home.  She is being treated like the princess she thinks she is.  The other four have it pretty good, too.  I'm happy.  Now I just need to sell 10 more and I'll be set for numbers for this year.   
  I've got my hay all lined up for the coming year, so that is a big relief!  I haven't been able to take the goats out to browse very many times this week.  There is a mountain  lion in the area and the goats are very nervous when we go out.  I'd decided to give the lion a few days to move on to the rest of it's territory.  I think it has moved on now.  I took the goats out yesterday, and they were their normal selves.  Before they would stay in the open meadows in a pretty tight bunch, but yesterday they were a little more spread out and back into the trees again.

   I've started a fund raising campaign on Indiegogo.com.  Pine Needle Farm Fiber Arts Retreat Center.  I want to build a retreat center for fiber artists to come and relax, learn some new techniques from well-known teachers, and hang out with like-minded people for a week-end or a week-long workshop.  There will be informal spin-ins and other gatherings, too.  It's going to be a great place when I'm all done building it.  There will be six guest cabins that sleep 6 people each, with each one made out of a different "green" building  material, a main classroom, dining building, and a big gazebo in the middle of the complex for evening gatherings and get togethers.  There will also be a few spots to camp at, too.  There will be walking/hiking trails all over the property, with lots of natural dye materials to search for.  It will be a good place to re-connect with Nature, relax, and have a great time with other like-minded people, enjoying all that Mother Nature has to offer.
  I did kind of goof when I was writing up the campaign.  I didn't read the fine print soon enough and put a big amount to raise, thinking I could use some of it to buy the piece of property next to us to build the Center on.  I guess you are not supposed to use money raised to buy real property, so I only need about half of what I'm asking for to get this up and going.  My goal is to have the Center open and going on June 15, 2014.  A lot has to happen between now and then, and most of it costs money, so if you or anyone you know would like to contribute, I would hugely appreciate it!  Please pass the word on to all of your "fibery" friends.  Thanks!!

   I've got quite a few helpers lined up for the month of August.  I got a camper!!!  Now they can stay in that instead of in the house, and everyone can have some privacy and their "own space"  It will be much better than having people staying in here on the couch.   I am so excited to have the camper.  That opens up a whole new world for me.  I can go to fiber festivals and stay in that instead of hotels, saving me a lot of money.  I can buy more fiber! :-)  Not that I need more, I have enough going on with the cashmere, but I can't resist all the colorful rovings and new fibers out there just waiting to be spun.   There is some pretty cool stuff out there!
  Well, I hope everyone is having a good summer, despite all the wacky weather.  It seems that you are either drowning or burning.  Not much in the "just right" category this year.  

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cool rainy day

  Today was a nice cool rainy day.  A nice break from the sun and heat.  Even though we haven't had that much sun and heat, after a few days of it, I'm ready for some clouds.
  A deer got into the garden last night and ate the broccoli that was just starting to grow well.  It also ate the tips of most of the peas, the carrot tops and even had the nerve to walk up by the front porch and eat the pansies that are in the wheelbarrow planter!  There is so much food out in the woods there is no reason at all for it to come in here.  The goats get full after an hour and a half out there.  They come in looking like they are about to pop!  Oreo was actually waddling. :-)  She's an "easy keeper" anyway, so when she gets out into the good food, she really expands.  She's as wide as she is tall.

  I sold the dairy cross kids, including Sweetpea.  That was sad selling her, but she will be going to a good home where she will be treated like a little princess, which she thinks she is anyway.  I'm delivering them this week sometime.   They've already been paid for, but the people had to build some fencing before they were ready for the goats.  I'm starting to wonder, though.  When I tried to call her tonight, I got a recording that said that number was no longer in service.  Rather strange.  Hope nothing is wrong!

   I got a couple more boomerang goats back this last week.  Out of the 4 wethers I sold two years ago, they have all now come back here.    Alex and Andy are back, and now Nicolas and Maxwell are back.  Alex and Andy have really nice cashmere, I was kind of glad to get them back.  I don't remember what Nicolas and Maxwell's cashmere is like.  If it's not really nice, they are nice big goats, so they can go in the freezer with no problem.  They are also rather wild and can't be caught too easily.  Not sure what all happened to them when they weren't here, but whatever it was didn't tame them down any.  It's funny, they won't let me touch them, but they are the first ones in when I call them all in from eating out in the woods.

   I've decided to sell Speckles, one of the milk goats.  She's the nicest of the three, doesn't have any horns, and is giving me a good amount of milk.  I'm getting way too much milk, so I came to the conclusion that I really don't need three of them.  She's only 5 years old, births out her kids easily, and takes her milking job seriously.  Jumps right up on the stand and eats her grain calmly while I milk her.

   I'm debating on whether or not to sell a bunch of the cashmere goats.   I'm not selling as much cashmere as I need to and I have bills that need paying, so I'm thinking about selling a bunch.  But, I also keep getting a strong feeling that I'm going to need every hair of cashmere I can get next year, so I'm hesitant to sell very many goats. It's a delimma!
    I do have a buckling that I'm going to sell pretty soon. Flash.   He's a beautiful shade of light brown with a stout build.  I'll put his picture on here one of these days.  I'm 99.9% sure he's going to have outstanding fleece, his parents both do, and he's looking like he is going to, too.  He has a nice square build also.

 There is a bear or two out there.  I saw one as I was coming home mid-morning one day last week.  Then when I've been taking the goats out to browse, I'm seeing shredded logs and stumps all over the place.  Overturned rocks, too.  The dogs have been barking a lot at night lately.  I'm glad we have the perimeter completely fenced.  It won't keep out a serious predator, but it keeps out the curious and lazy ones.  Between the fence and Nellie, the animals are rather safe here.

  Well, that's it for now.  Have a good summer!