Sunday, October 30, 2011

All Hallows Eve and more...

Meant to post this a while ago...
Tomorrow is the big day around here. Halloween, perhaps more importantly, Beggar's Night :-). My kids are all very excited about tomorrow. Gage is going to be a "Team Rocket Grunt", which is a member of the Pokemon "Bad Guys" Crew, Drake is going to be Hareta, a Pokemon Trainer (so they are on opposite teams!) and Miss Cora is going to be a Cheetah. We have all the supplies, I just need to finish making a few of the costumes "extras". Today, we carve pumpkins...I'm excited about this! The carved pumpkins will look amazing on our porch.
Yesterday was a busy day for our family, as are most days. We went into Dayton (about an hour from here) to donate blood. Since we were in the area, we decided to go to where our oldest daughter works to grab a bite to eat and visit with one of my friends from high school (someone I haven't seen in...Ahem...20 years). Afterward we let the kids go to spend a little of their hard earned cash/birthday money. Cora got her ears pierced (she got them done a couple years ago, but had some issues with them), now they are re-pierced...I'm hoping that she'll be able to get them to heal up - she is so excited about them. We also went to the book store and looked through the books, always a favorite for our family. The other night in Tractor Supply, Cora fell in love with a bunny. We encouraged her to wait, although we knew that the addition of a bunny to our family was inevitable. Yesterday, we found the CUTEST black, dwarf, lion-head rabbit. Midnight is now a proud member of Fresh Eggs Farm.
The other day, Mark and I researched more into our barn/pasture space. Since the property doesn't have this set up, we are pretty much have a blank slate for our projects. We just need to be mindful of everything we need to set up and how each project best suites the needs of our family and how to best accommodate the garden/animals/bees/trees etc. that we want on the property. When building our fence, we originally thought we'd have lots of angles and corners to go around gardens and trees and still allow the animals lots of space. Then we realized the cost of each corner (because of the posts and corner braces) we decided to try to make the pasture as square as possible and move some of the gardens around, the manual labor of moving things around is cheaper than buying more posts to put in. I am researching which plants we can leave in and which plants we are going to HAVE to transplant, since they might be toxic to the goats/sheep. I've decided to create work plans and supply lists for our projects. Then, we'll know just how much of everything we'll need and the approximate costs - that way, when we have extra money, we can just grab a little at a time. I think we need to get our barn built and pasture ready for our animals and then the rest will fall into place.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fiber, Fiber, Fiber

Last weekend was a biggie. I had an event on Saturday for work - it was very successful and I'm very happy with it. Then, we drove 3 hours to a farm in NW Ohio, near Edon. The owners of Spruce Hill Fiber Farm, Will and Lisa, invited us to come, visit their animals and learn about the differences between the different fibers and help us decide what animals we'd like to have on our little farm. We were even able to help do farm chores with them. Cora help shovel the horse poo. The boys and Mark helped put out feed. I talked and learned. They have about 60-70 angora goats, 5 sheep (shetland and CVM) and a bunch of alpacas. It was...incredible. We've decided that we need goats (dairy and fiber), sheep...I'd like to have an alpaca, I think. But I know Mark has no desire to have one at this point.
For now, we are trying to figure out what order to put in our farm projects. I think the barn for the animals, in combination with the coop for the chickens, along with the fencing to keep everyone safe are in the lead for our next BIG dollar/time project.
For now, we have enough black walnut shucking/drying/cracking to keep us busy for a bit. crochet..or to just leave it alone?

So here is the dilemma...I created a sweater for Cora that was a mix of knit and crochet. It is purple and blue and very pretty. So pretty that Mark's 96 year old grandmother loves it and can't stop talking about it. She is telling her friends about it. She keeps mentioning it. So where's the dilemma...right? Well, I've been debating attempting to make a pretty blue sweater for Mark's grandmother for Christmas...have I mentioned that Mark's grandmother can be a little...judgemental, better yet...very vocal about her judgementalness? What if I pick out the wrong pattern, the wrong color, if it's a touch too small or a touch too large, or too heavy or too light? I'm not sure what I'll do.