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  • Evidently I can’t write cohesive posts anymore (as my unfinished drafts seem to indicate) so I’m back to my favored form of blogging
  • In farm news, we have new poultry much to the amusement and disdain of the USPS.
  • They came in waves
  • First the French Guinea keets that were met with coos and smiles
  • Then the Khaki Campbell ducks that convinced the well-meaning postal workers that they needed water so that I ended up wearing water/duck poo soaked shorts home from picking them up at the post office.
  • And then the Novogen chickens which brought the ire of the postal worker/armchair animal husbandry expert that felt the need to lecture me on the cruelties of sending chickens via post.  Whatevs lady… I don’t recall asking for your input.
  • All the new acquisitions are doing very well and are growing by leaps and bounds.
  • It’s been a while since we’ve had ducklings and we all managed to forget how excessively messy they are.
  • They are super cute tho…. so that helps
  • In other news… It’s been too hot to do much with the horses.
  • The heat has been brutal!!!
  • So it was probably a good thing that I decided to go ahead and have the lipomas on my forehead removed.
  • Surgery was a beast.
  • Post op was a solitary nightmare.
  • I don’t even wish to relive it to blog about
  • in a nutshell…
  • facial surgery is painful (all them nerves gotta be feeling things!)
  • I reacted poorly to the anesthesia (hello panic attacks and hot flashes for 2 weeks!)
  • my family and friends UTTERLY ABANDONED ME for the duration (Love you guys soooo much!)
  • but on the plus side… tumors were lipomas (non cancerous) and I’m rocking some pretty bad ass scars… on my face.  GRRR!
  • I’m in the process of opening an Etsy shop… maybe.
  • I’ve been making lots of jewelry and happily people are responding very positively to what I’ve made.
  • I’m thinking of making a whole separate blog for that as I don’t necessarily want that traffic over here.
  • The boys are still avid cyclists.
  • J and B are planning several rides this fall… mini “tours” so to speak
  • Aside… Froome won the Tour de France so there is happiness in my house
  • He is B’s favorite cyclist
  • Along with Peter Sagan who is becoming X’s new favorite as X is becoming interested in cycling as well… particularly sprinting.
  • I think that X has always liked the cycling thing he just didn’t think his build was conducive to it, until I pointed out that Sagan is built like a tank (compared to Froome) and he’s a very accomplished sprinter.
  • I am coming to a place of peace with cycling.
  • We will see how this tentative peace holds once the weather turns and we are all vying for ride time.
  • I am feeling optimistic
  • School is in session for us and has been since the week after the Fourth of July
  • With the exceptionally unrelenting heat we’ve been having I felt that it was in the best interest of all parties to just go ahead and start now so that we could enjoy a few Fall breaks instead.
  • It’s going well.
  • X and I are avidly reading right now.
  • He’s reading Harry Potter (his first time through the series)
  • I’m reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth.
  • I thought the first two in the series were pretty good, but half way through this one and I’m starting to lose my immersion in the story.  At this point I just want whatever is going to happen to just happen already.
  • I hate when a novel turns that way for me.
  • J bought me a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which I will be delving into once I’m finished with Tris and Four.
  • I almost forgot about Luna!
  • We have a new dog!
  • She’s a Lab/Staffie/Bully mix (I hate using the word Pit)
  • She’s adorkable (typo intended)
  • She loves me and is a big 40lb teddy bear already and will probably get even bigger!
  • She’s about 4 months old now and is all-elbows and knees and goofy gawkiness.
  • I love her immensely and Joop tolerates his “little sister” better than he would like me to believe.
  • The gardens are doing well
  • We desperately need to put up more pickles as B has eaten all of ours.
  • All of them
  • As in there are no more
  • We are getting really creative with zucchini and squash
  • We have a deer problem this year which is annoying.
  • X and B have been huge helps to M.
  • X has done much of the plowing and B is a pro at picking both vegetables and bugs!
  • I’m certain that I’m leaving something out but for now that’s it… hopefully there will be a new proper update (sans bullet post) soon!
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Aren’t my guys too cute sporting their turkey handprint shirts especially for Thanksgiving?  Sophie’s even matches her skirt… how’s that for planning? 🙂  Seriously though the kid’s loved their shirts and they were super cute!  I opted for glued on googly eyes and waddles which of course were promptly plucked off, but were cute while they lasted!!

Thanksgiving dinner (or more acurately supper by the time we got everything done) was a big hit.  We didn’t make a whole turkey this year, opting for just a half of a turkey breast.  It was delicious and made an excellent pan gravy. 

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Sophie especially liked the gravy….

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And apparently so did Kyle!

KKEPSM are here for Thanksgiving weekend and since we didn’t do any shopping today we just hung out around the house.  M made gingerbread cookies with the kids and then ended up swindling them into racking leaves (the woman’s tricky I tell you!).  I made MiBo and potstickers for supper which was excellent and very filling and very unTurkey, so much appreciated 🙂 

After supper we were sort of at a loss for what to do so while looking for something else I happened upon my face paints and much hilarity ensued!

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Here’s everybody on the couch.

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Spencer was so cooperative until right at the end… he made an excellent super hero!  Beckett has a thing for cat-faces so it was no shock that he wanted to be a cheetah/jaguar/leopard!

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Peter wanted something simple so a pirate was right up his alley!  Xander wanted to be a knight… and a prince… I think he ended up looking a little more like the man in the iron mask though.

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Elizabeth’s Ice Fairy turned out so great and I’m still struggling with Sophie’s butterfly… but it’s still cute.

I even did Kelly, but I don’t have a pic of that on my camera… she’ll have to send me her copy!

We rounded out the fun by having popcorn and hot chocolate.  It was a great evening and we were all a little sad when bath time rolled around and all the face paints went down the drain! 

Currently I’m trying to convince Sophie and Beckett that going to sleep is a good idea… Beckett’s made himself a nice little nest on my couch (complete with ‘Hog, Turtle and Puppy) and Sophie’s winding down with a couple battles on Eternal Sonata (her game Jim, not yours… I checked).  Xander’s sleeping with M and Peter tonight so I imagine he’s already off to dreamland!

I’ve been spinning a good bit here lately.  I spun up both the Whorling Tides braids and the PetuniaLu braid as well.  It took me a few minutes to transition from spinning Shetland to spinning Merino but I think the WT braids turned out fabulously!

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I tend to double ply everything, just because I like it.

Initially I didn’t think I was going to like the PetuniaLu Madder-dyed BFL as it seemed a little stiff but honestly it spun up like a dream and I love it!  I think I’m going to be ordering some more of her wool!

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It looks quite orange in this photo, but it’s not quite so lightbulb orange in person!

I’ve started on the batts that I got from WT, but I haven’t made appreciable progress on those… I’ll have photos eventually.

So being all inspired by woolie endeavors, I thought I’d try my hand a dyeing wool.  So… I dug out a pack of Merino/Silk that I had bought ages ago from Little Barn and divided it in two.  I only have 2 acid dyes:  Christmas Red and Christmas Green that I had bought at SAFF sometime back.  Ages ago we bought a crock pot for the single purpose of dyeing wool (we never use crock pots for actual cooking!) so I dusted it off and you know what?  Dyeing wool is fun!  Stinky… but exciting!  I wasn’t sure the red was going to actually be RED as it looked icky burgundy in the water but then it miraculously turned bright Christmas red and it’s so pretty now!

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The red is actually much redder and spins up like a peppermint candy.  The green if very soft and glowy what with all the silk in it.  I ended up making 3 batts of each on the drum carder last night with the help of both Sophie and Dandy.  Beckett only wanted to turn the handle the wrong way so he didn’t get to “help” much.  Sophie was fascinated with taking the batt off the drum carder and actually was very helpful.

We were having so much fun with all the carding that we decided to do a little of our Shetland too.

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The Shetland is at the very top.  I’m still working on getting more of the VM out of the black wool… I was distressed by how much was in it when it came back from the mills.

So anyway… I’m resisting the urge to spin the wool I dyed.  M wants to use some of it for a felting project… but that red just spins so nicely and looks so very Christmasy…

On Saturday we went up to Asheville to check out SAFF (Southeastern America Fiber Festival).  As usual, it was great fun although this year it seemed extremely crowded (so much so that I didn’t even see some of our usual fiber friends/vendors!). 

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First I stopped by PetuniaLu and snagged a lovely persimmony orange braid of roving. 

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Then I headed just across the booth to WhorlingTides to purchase a lovely girlie-girl pink merino/bamboo braid and an equally dreamy blue of the same blend.  I’m reknowned for plundering booths, and happened to find a couple green/blue/gold/white multi-fiber batts at Whorling Tides that were just too cool to pass up!

I really enjoyed meeting both vendors as both are quite passionate about their work.  I think it was great to have them both in one tent (they are friends) as both had excellent examples of natural and acid dyes. 

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(Pardon the quality of this pic, it was taken with a mobile phone camera)

The bulk of my purchasing was in the animal barn as I found two lovely little Cotswold ewe lambs that need to be in our flock!  We’re going to pick them up today (hopefully!). 

All in all we had a good time.  I had meant to pick up some circular needles and a natural dye kit and maybe a print from this local-to-me artist (if you’re into sheep you will be amused!) but I didn’t make it back on to the main floor as we were pushed for time (Jim and M both worked Saturday night so we had to be home BEFORE 6 so they could get ready).  Due to a SNAFU with our horse trailer we were unable to return to pick up our ewes (and therefore get in a little more shopping) yesterday.

Sigh.

I’m still mad about it, but c’est la vie!

So today we’re planning to run up to the farm to pick up our little ewes and bring them home.  I’ll post pictures of the arrangement we’re having to endure to get them home.  It should be hilarious!  And all my other shopping can just as easily be done online… just without the instant gratification 😉

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