Life Goes On: New Arrivals

On New Years  Day, we received a phone call from Sweetwater Farm that our lambs had arrived. We were both excited and nervous because we were not expecting them until March. The barn was not ready for them. Then we found out our lambs were already eight weeks old; they were born in November.  And what a surprise!  We made plans to bring them home the week of the March snowstorm. Of course our area received nine inches of snow, so their arrival was delayed. Our lambs finally came home on Good Friday.

Introducing Poppy and Leo: Olde English Babydoll Southdowns

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Reflections

Originally, this post was going to be titled Grieving Lessons; however, with the recent passing of a dear friend, I decided to focus on honoring those who have passed on.

This past winter was a devastating time for us. We said goodbye to Sam, our Soay wether  and  Rita our Australorp who died of ovarian cancer. Rather than go into great detail about their passing, I would like to say they made a lasting impact on our lives.  Sam was the leader of the flock; he had a beautiful fleece that I am going to process, spin and enter into Maryland Sheep & Wool for 2018 in his honor. His sibling Olympic is now the leader of the flock. Rita was a ninja chicken; no worm was safe when Rita was around; she was so beautiful when she became broody. I wish I had a picture to share.

We truly miss them everyday. Our pasture looks empty without Sam and the chickens are lonely without Rita.

Through all of the sadness, I tried to focus on what my dear husband always says to me…

“Are you better for knowing them” and of course I always say, Yes.

 

Sam and Olympic

Sam and Olympic

Rita

Rita

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A Shepherd’s View: Book Recommendation

Whether you own sheep, spin, weave, knit or do anything fiber related, James Rebanks’ latest book “A Shepherd’s View: Modern Photographs from an Ancient Landscape” is worth a read. Rebanks disperses beautiful photographs throughout his collection of essays. He lives in Matterdale located in the English Lake District where he raises Herdwick sheep.

Here’s a peek into the daily life of James Rebanks:

 

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Happy St. Distaff Day!

St. Distaff Day

It’s time to get spinning! Since January 7th is the first day after the twelve days of Christmas, it is known as St. Distaff Day or Rock Day. In Medieval times, this was the day when women returned to household chores including spinning. A distaff is a tool used to hold flax or wool while spinning. Happy Spinning!

St. Distaff’s Day; Or, the Morrow after Twelfth-day

Partly work and partly play
You must on St. Distaffs Day:
From the plough soon free your team;
Then cane home and fother them:
If the maids a-spinning go,
Burn the flax and fire the tow.
Bring in pails of water then,
Let the maids bewash the men.
Give St. Distaff’ all the right:
Then bid Christmas sport good night,
And next morrow every one
To his own vocation.’

Robert Herrick

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

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Homespun: A Treasure Rediscovered

 

In the Winter 2017 Spin Off, I found an article called “Homespun Heritage”. The article highlighted the 1975 documentary film “Homespun” by Sharon and Tom Hudgins; they  filmed local folks from the southern Appalachian Mountains shearing sheep, washing, carding spinning, dyeing and weaving wool. Now, thanks to the  National Archives , the film is available via YouTube.  Take a look!

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Winnie Enjoying Our Hay!

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Winnie (Shetland Sheep)

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