Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Moving forward

(Rainy days are adding green to our world)
 The farm is waking up these days, even without the presence of my precious baby lambs in the barn and pastures.  The ewes are happy that we have green grass and if we could just get the temperature to moderate a little, it would be so great.  I've planted a few things out in the garden, which have promptly been eaten by what I'm guessing is a rabbit.  Without our dear Holly here to patrol, the night creatures have moved right in.  I guess we are going to need to drag the electric fence out early and maybe put row covers over things in order to harvest fresh greens anytime soon.  I sure hope rabbits don't like asparagus because it should be coming up soon and it will break my heart to not enjoy our yearly asparagus bounty.

The morning that Holly died was also alpaca and llama shearing day.  The alpaca boys, along with Strawberry and Pippi got to ride over to Seldom Scene Farm for their yearly do.  It's always a big relief to have all the shearing over with for the year.  I've been trying to decide whether I'm going to keep the alpaca boys or sell them.  One day I think keep and the next day I think sell.  I'm trying hard to simplify the routine around here and having multiple species always makes things a little more complicated.  On the other hand, I do love having those alpaca fleeces to blend with my sheep fleeces.  So, back and forth I go.  No matter what, Strawberry and Pippi (the llamas) will stay because they get along beautifully with the sheep and are used to being part of the ewe flock.

I've been working along preparing for the natural dye workshop to be held here at the farm next week.  I'm really excited about hosting this event.  Dagmar is so knowledgeable and having three full days of hands-on instruction is going to teach us all so much.  At the conclusion of the workshop, each participant will go home with 75 (!) mini-skeins that we will have dyed during the three days.  Each of those mini-skeins will be tagged with the "recipe" for recreating the color and will be a resource we can use forever.

Of course, because it's spring time on the farm, I'll probably be out mowing until hours before the start of the workshop.  Fast growing green grass is a blessing and a curse in the spring.  By the time I finish mowing a round, it's time to start all over again!  We've had some wonderful sunny days this week and now the rain has arrived again.  I swear I can see things growing right before my eyes.  There is something wonderful about the arrival of a new season.  For me, it's a sign of new opportunity combined with the comfort of tried and true activities.  I love autumn best of all, but spring might be next.  I love planting the garden (though I'm not so crazy about tending to it in the heat of July and August) and shedding the coats, boots and woolen hats. I enjoy bringing the pots out of the greenhouse and putting them back around the koi pond on the terrace and eating dinner on the screened porch.  These are all things that happen year after year, but somehow seem new and exciting at the change of the season.

And speaking of new and exciting, we've had a new addition to the MacDonald clan this week.  Just yesterday afternoon,  Mike's son, Taylor and his wife, Crimson welcomed their son, Atticus Euclid MacDonald, into the world.  We're so excited about having a new baby in the family.  Though Mike has been more than willing to embrace my eight grandchildren as his own, this is his first official grandchild ..... and the one who will carry on the MacDonald name.  We can't wait to start teaching him about life on the farm!


  1. Keep the alpaca boys, keep the alpaca boys!! That blend yarn is too nice to get rid of them and not have access to any more.

    Delores and I were out in Woodford Co. yesterday (though not in your part) running an errand for her and kept remarking how all the (freshly-mown) grass looked like green velvet!

    Congrats on your new little MacDonald! Atticus ('little cuss' for a nickname? ;-) is cool, but where did they get Euclid as a middle name?

    1. I think they are planning on calling him Gus and I have no idea about his middle name. Unfortunately, because I've got a rotten cold, I haven't had the chance to see him in person.

  2. So wonderful to have some good news. The sadness of Holly has lingered with me and it felt like there might be an empty space. But the arrival of a new life brings with it such happiness and hope. I am sure this little person will be the best dressed little guy with sweaters, hats and whatnots. Congratulations and enjoy the new beginnings.
    Wish I could come to the dye workshop, or the Fiber Festival for that matter. Looking forward to enjoying them vicariously!

  3. Multiple species does get tricky. Luckily you have a vet in the family! Our grass is so slow to grow. Today was the first warm day although it is supposed to get a little cooler tomorrow. Good luck w/ the workshop.

  4. I so love that alpaca blend...keep the boys, please?
    Aren't new grandbabies just the very best!
    Happy Spring.

  5. I'm sure all the participants will have a great time at the workshop with Dagmar. She's a great person as well as teacher.

  6. So sorry to hear about Holly. Congrats on the arrival of your grandson! I will miss not being at the festival this year, but hope it s a great one!