Monday, December 31, 2018

December On The Farm



December on the farm has been so busy. It started out with our Christmas On The Farm Gathering at our shop and it was one of the best we've had. It was so heart warming and fun. Then in the middle of the month Duke came. Our new little Corgi. We say he's our unplanned pregnancy. We love him so much. I hope to train him to be a good little herder like our Gracie was. Christmas Eve Mass was so special. We saw our godson and his brother help bring up the manger and I received a very special gift from their dad right in church. It was a vintage ornament with sheep on it. Our trees were very different this year ~ one with the grand's ornaments on it with a Santa theme and the other a sheep tree with all the sheep ornaments that have been given to us over the years.
 It was so enjoyable to bring our sheep special treats on Christmas.
The preparations for Christmas took me a little longer than usual. We found out in the Fall that my blood problem returned but no one would have known because farmer Dave helped me sooooo much. Farmer Dave whipped up a birch yule log for our table. We recycled our Advent candles and wreath over and over. We have a formal dinner on Christmas day ~ two stuffed turkeys and all the trimmings. It's so special and we love carrying on the tradition of my childhood days. Dave carried on his family tradition of Oplatki. We hosted our immediate family here the day after Christmas and started a few new traditions. The grandkids helped me build the manger and we measure their height every year marking it on our chalkboard.  It was so beautiful out that tractor rides were in order. It was "different" watching my son give his son his first tractor ride ~ where did the years go? I took a little break from social media to immerse myself into my family. I did miss everyone but it was refreshing and might just do that occasionally. I received my favorite local chocolate and another special gift that I'll share later. My daughter Marissa with her husband and two children stayed over the holidays and it was pure joy. My daughter treated me and her daughter to the movies. We saw Mary Poppins and it was one of my favorites growing up. They live 2 hours away so it's a real treat for us girls to go out together. I tried to be in the present without taking too many pictures. One of my favorite pictures is my daughter in law taking a picture of my son and their baby on the tractor. I love shadows. Now the decorations are coming down but the memories remain. It was on of the best Christmas's ever! I'm gifted with much love.  


This wreath is from our shop's wreath making workshop that we used on the Walker Farmhouse to my Advent wreath to my wreath on our garage door!


Oh and I forgot ~ We are  all going to Disneyland!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Sheep Breeds and the Best of my Life

Most of my life is behind me ~ so I wonder ~
could the best of my life be before me.
  Years ago we went down the road, picked a few sheep out and brought them home. I didn't know a thing about animal husbandry or breeds. We brought home the most beautiful full bred Suffolks! I was so excited!! 
Stanley (Stuch) was so handsome and he threw the best looking lambs. Our vet said he was his favorite looking Suffolk ram ever.

And if you know me there was a rescue in there at some point. Fluffy was headed for auction. She came home and lived her days out here. The picture below is Fluffy on the right and she was born deformed but she was the gentlest of any sheep we've had.
Farmer Dave and I said this time around we will take our time and pick out the breed we want. We had naturals too. We had three pastures ~ two breeds and were very careful to keep every one where they were supposed to be!
We sold Frank's wool real fast! Frank was not like a normal ram. He followed me like a dog.

In the past year we've travelled thinking about breeds ~ we've been to fiber fairs in 3 states, agricultural fairs, farm shows and sheep farms.  We both love history and preservation so we were thinking Leicester Longwools ...we've been offered to rescue a few....That's probably a yes for me. But what do we do???!!!
This past March we take a short drive down the road and bring home 3 sheep from the original farm where we  started from. Two Dorset and a Suffolk Hampshire mix. WHAT?! That wasn't planned. But look, they are the best! Pictured are
Colleen ~ Anne ~ Brigid
 I loved my Suffolks. I don't think I can live with out them. With getting Leicester Longwools, maybe a few more Dorsets, I know it means more pastures, more rams, more play....I just don't think I can live without my Suffolks. I told a fiber artist I was getting Suffolk again and she snubbed her nose at me. Oh they aren't a Leicester wool, I get it. But my Suffolk were the best moms, the best personalities and very striking. I actually learned to spin on Suffolk wool and I love their wool for felting. So perhaps we will have Suffolk, Dorset and Leicester Longwools. I have to honestly say I love all breeds and do not discriminate any breed. They all are beautiful!!!  I love sheep. Period. And with sheep


Friday, October 12, 2018

Happy National Farmer's Day!

We were dating and as I drove up the driveway I couldn't believe 
so much ground plowed up.
What was Dave doing? He ruined the front lawn for sure. I was a town girl.  As I mentioned it to a neighbor she told me the neighbors were so excited...
Dave was planting again. 
 Dave's first wife passed away and so did the his dreams of planting and farming. He started to raise two little girls on his own. He worked in the local steel mill and
plowed away at life not at the ground. 

 he's an artist ~ he's a welder 
he's a good husband ~ father ~ provider
he's a good Christian man
farming is his passion

After we married he wanted to get beef cows again and I felt intimidated by large animals.
My neighbor the Steele's are sheep farmers and so we settled on sheep.
We raised sheep together.
 My son helped with fencing and round up the sheep when needed.
My daughter Sarah stood in the corner of the barn reading out loud my "sheep book" with directions as I swung our lamb Betsy Ross (born on Flag day) in the barn with centrifugal force because the turkey baster was not working to clear Betsy's pathways.

Years have passed and I understand why the ground was plowed
My children understand about plowing ~ all three have it in their spirit
plowing is moving through
plowing is hard
plowing is fortitude
plowing reaps good things sown
We have plowed through many life experiences together
And I am grateful for all the farmers in my life!


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Mother's Day & May Musings

Happy Mother's Day! It's been about 7 months ago that we blogged so I had to think how to blog again...really. Looking over the last blog I thought I would update you with my blood problem. I was at the doc's a few weeks ago and my blood count was the best it's been in TEN years. I came home on cloud nine but the farmer knew I was better already. I wasn't "stopping for nothing." Thank you for all your concerns and love for us during that time.
I love the month of May and Mother's Day. Childhood memories bring me back to the lilacs always blooming in May. Every year we cut a bouquet of lilacs from a lilac tree in our back yard that stood not far from my dad's outdoor fireplace that he proudly built.  Wrapped up in wet paper towels then put into a plastic bag and off to grandma's house. It was a yearly tradition. To this day I love to give lilacs on Mother's Day, gifting them to someone special. Being a mom has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. The picture below is a little blurry with the sun but I love all the smiles on their faces. I love my family ~
When the farmer and I were first married the very first Spring together we planted 7 lilac trees. We have at least four varieties. More have been added since then. This morning was a wonderful morning to cut and make bouquets. I have bouquets in our farmhouse and the Walker Farmhouse. They are everywhere!
I don't mind doing dishes with lilacs right beside me.

We decided to close our shop for the summer. We actually wrestled with the idea but decided to put our energies into a few projects we want to finish. We realize we love this new rhythm on the farm. We love workshops, a few events and the here and the whenever.  We are having fun getting ready for a show we are doing this summer. Janice  from The Garden Shed is planning pop up workshops and our Lavender Day will be July 28th. Without constantly being open we have time for each other, the grandchildren, our new dye garden, our lavender and herb garden and some traveling in there too.  Farmer Dave has been out birding and seeing many species. He has a lot of projects planned for the and of course...the farm news!!!

The farmer and I are proud parents again of little lambs and more will be coming to the

Happy Mother's Day! To all moms and to my shepherdess friends!
                                                Love, Audrey Ann