Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Blogging is not my thing

I guess I'm not much of a blogger like Skip.  It kind of makes me feel like I'm back in College and I have a paper due.  I would put it off until the last minute.  It wasn't that I didn't plan on writing it, I just had better more interesting things to do with my life.  Since I couldn't make up my mind what I wanted to do when I grew up, I spent many years in 3 different schools and was glad to be done with all that crap.  So that's my excuse for not blogging regularly.  You can give me a failing grade, I guess I deserve it.  Lots of new stuff going on here at the farm.  Most of it I've been posting on face book.  We've been noticing that Rosie our mini donkey was getting really chunky.  All she was getting to eat was hay, that's what the breeder  told us to do.  It wasn't until my neighbor stopped by and asked if our donkey was pregnant that it even crossed my mind, especially since we don't have a male.  Why would the breeder sell us a pregnant donkey?  I texted him and asked if it was possible that Rosie was with foal.  His answer was, I only put her with the jack for a week, didn't think it took.  Guess he was wrong.  It takes over a year and he mated her in the spring.  That doesn't leave much time.  We called in a vet from Oakencroft and gave her all the vaccines needed so the foal has the best chance.  We started her on special food and we are hoping for the best.  I'll put my insomnia to good use.  I'll check on her throughout the night.  Could be any day now, I'm excited.  Didn't want another donkey but that will be the first live birth on this farm and she's staying.
The pond is finally free of ice and our injured goose Gladys was set free to live in the wild again.  She will have a safe place from predators on the pond.  She took a bath and was off and running.  Hope she is having fun and comes back home soon.  Last year we lost our sheep Herbie, he was 14 years old, died of old age.  We miss him and Norton our other merino is in need of a sheepy friend.  I've been spinning lots of different fiber to see what type of sheep I would like to get.  I decided that I love Cotswold, Wensleydale and Teeswater.  I have 2 lambs promised to me.  A bottle fed Cotswold and either a Wensleydale or Teeswater not sure which and I don't care.  They should be ready for pickup in June.  I don't want anymore animals after that.  Josh our barn cleaner is starting to give me the evil eye.  Each time I tell him that we are getting a new animal, he says that's just great more poop to clean.  He only comes weekly, we have to clean that poop too so I can sympathize with him.  I don't know what the hell is wrong with me, I'm suppose to be simplifying my life.  The end of this month I am taking a two day course with Cindy Brody on animal communication.  If I'm going to live with all these creatures I figure it would be nice to know what is going on in their heads.  Should be a fun course, can't wait.  Then in August I will take my last class for reiki and become a reiki master.  Maybe I can heal my animals and save on vet bills, wouldn't that be nice.
The last biggie thing going on here is that we ordered our new building.  A 12x16 cottage with a front porch.  We plan on giving classes on different things like spinning, stained glass, learning how to process fiber.  We will offer the cottage to 2  
people at a time to experience the farm and learn something while they're here.  Or just for an artist to come and stay for a few days to get away from the city life and paint or draw surrounded  by our animals.  We'll put the building in front of the pond, it will be peaceful.  
I've done some spinning and fiber processing but not too much. I discovered that some of  the garlic that I planted in the fall  popped out of the ground and rotted.  Now I have to get more garlic, put it in the fridge for a bit and replant.  By now my garlic should have started growing but I made up my mind, I'm not stressing over it.  This is going to be my year.  I've waited long enough and I've made up my mind, it's my year.  So the hell with the rotted garlic and the weeds.   I'm putting tarps on all the walkways in my veggie garden and no stinkin' weed is going to piss me off this year.  IT'S MY YEAR.  Maybe if I say it enough times, well, you know what I mean.

Allie and Max she's kissing him

reiki for putty

usually she would run

I wonder what they feel when I give them reiki

I made new curtains, the lace

love Joanns 50% off coupons

cotswold raw

getting a bath

dirty sheep

icelandic/shetland mix

dyeing in microwave

I did't cover her up, she's taken over the guest room

out of the ball jars 
lock spun romney / border leister cross

hand  painted and steamed

bathroom door makes a great drying spot

chester hitched a ride, found him waiting for me in the driveway when I got home

the end of the day today, no ice

Monday, March 24, 2014

One more reiki to go

Spent 2 days in Woodstock to finish my reiki 2 class.  By August I will be enrolled in the final class for reiki master.  I'm really psyched about my reiki training and  I have homework to do.  I have to perform reiki many many times before I can continue in August to complete my final class to become a reiki master.  Look out, my  hot hands will be searching for willing bodies.  I'll be healing anything that needs healing that will include my plants, my farm store, all animals on this farm and anything else I can get my hands on.  My hands are on fire.  Since Skip is the closest breathing being, he will be first on my list.  I don't think he will be complaining about it.  Usually my hands are cold as ice, it will be a pleasant change for him and he needs as much healing as possible.  I'm also going to send reiki out into the world, so friends, if you suddenly feel warm and happy for no reason at all, that is probably me sending my love.  However, I take no responsibility for hot flashes due to a lack of hormones, that wasn't me.
I had a pretty productive day today.  Next weekend is the Hudson Valley Yarn Crawl.  We are on the map this year.   I was able to make up 10 art boxes for the shop.  I filled them with an assortment of blue face, merino, angora, romney, top, alpaca, icelandic/shetland, mohair locks, art rolags, sari silk, sequin thread, fringe yarn and angelina, 5 ounces of fiber in each box plus a drop spindle that Skip made.  The cost is $20 per box.  Also if you spend a total of $25 you will get a free mini drop spindle key chain that I made.  I am bringing the electric carder and blending board into the shop and anyone who buys any fiber can use the carder or blending board to make their own art batts or rolags.  CaseyMae likes to come with me to the shop, it's her job.  Casey has a few jobs so she feels wanted.  SnavelyMill didn't get to come with me and she was annoyed and letting me know it.  Every where I went she was there poking me in the behind.  Anyone who knows Snavely, knows how she takes her pointy long nose and pokes you with it and not gently.  I was getting poked all afternoon.  I tried giving her biscuits and letting her out on the deck but no matter what I did, she wasn't happy.  She was giving me fish eye all day.  Fish eye is hard to take so I had to stop what I was doing and let her and Casey out into the small pasture to run.  I knew all along that she was pissed at me for taking Casey to the shop and leaving her behind.  She's not content to run and play while I'm in the warm house, no, I have to stand there and watch the whole thing freezing my behind off.  She needs to be told, run Snavely, run, and that's exactly what I did, run Snavely run.  Five minutes of this was about all I could take, no hat or gloves, eyes were running and my feet were frozen,  and I said to myself, Vicki your an idiot get those dogs and get back in the house.  The fire was going, the cats were sitting in front of it, my dogs were content, they ate and exercised, the chickens got a treat of bread dropped off by a friend, the donkeys and alpacas were chomping on fresh hay and it's 7:30 and we haven't eaten yet.  You know who rates in this house.
SnavelyMill under the covers, see that nose, it's a weapon

contents of one art box, all are different

art box

SnavelyMill and CaseyMae, run Snavely, run

10 completed art boxes

5 really soft huacaya alpaca "Luke"

Thursday, March 20, 2014

second post for today

It's 1am and I'm sitting at my computer trying to write a second blog for today.  I do most of my work at night.  Tonight, however I am a little sleepy.  I was hoping for a more productive day but the time seemed to creep away from me and it's 1am and here I am trying to write about a boring  and unproductive day.  It was another unsuccessful diet day.  I was unmotivated to cook so we ate out again and my choice of food was poor as usual.  I ate fried Calamari and cream of mushroom soup.  "Bertha"  that's my belly,( most things in my life have a name) is not pleased with my choice of food.  I don't really blame her, I'm not pleased either.   I will need to double my dose of prilosec and raise up those pillows.  I don't know how some one as stubborn and tough as I am can't have more will power and say no to poor food choices.  I always go in with good intentions.  I scan the menu and look at the better choices.  Salads are a good choice.  However I only like salads if they are loaded up with dressing and it must have real fat or I just won't like it.  Fat free is not on the pyramid.  If I'm not going to like it, why bother with the salad.  If' I'm going to add the fat to the salad, I would rather get my fat from the fried calamari.  I do think that the cream of mushroom soup was a better choice than the BLT with the 7 slices of bacon  and the added mayo which was my first choice of a main course.  Tomorrow will be a better day for sure.  I am working really hard on my fiber for the yarn crawl.  I'm putting together a box of different fibers for art bats.  If anyone wants to use my electric carder to make a bat they will be welcome to come into the house to use it.  I also made up a bunch of mini drop spindle key chains that has my hand spun bunny wrapped on it, they are really cute.  I would love to be done with all this stuff soon.  I have my reiki 2 class this weekend and the following weekend is the yarn crawl.  There are only two of us from Greene county.  The other farm I believe is in Medusa about 15 minutes from us.  My kitchen has fiber from one end to the other.  I have to make sure I put it all away at night because the cats think I left them a new bed to sleep in.  It's hard to believe that Spring is here.  The snow piles are still here and we went through 4 tons of wood pellets in the fireplace and will probably have to buy more.  We had to order extra hay and we're going through that rather quickly too.  The only good thing about a really cold winter is that the ticks are good and dead.  Our cats got very used to sleeping up in our room this winter but their days are numbered.  As soon as the ticks are up and moving the cats are back in the living room.  I border on neurotic when it comes to ticks.  Both Skip and I both have Lymes and I don't want it again.  We do tick checks every night and if anything looks like it has the potential to have legs, I whip out my jewelers eye and inspect.  It's crazy but it has to be done.  I can't believe how neurotic I've become and I can't believe that in a few weeks I will turn 58.  I don't feel 58 except for the little hard hair that grows on my chin and neck.  It takes me an extra half hour every day to pluck those little buggers.   I was told that I could wax them and it wouldn't take me as long.  I tried that and took half my skin along with the hair.  So I take the extra half hour and if I don't have the time to pluck in the morning,  I try not to visit people with good eye site.  Most people I know see as well as I do or have their own little hairs on their chin and wouldn't dare say anything about mine.
more rolags

drop spindles that we make I stained and put on semi gloss finish

mini drop spindles that I made

buds on our bradford pear tree

icelandic and shetland cross lamb fiber from Washington county sheep and wool, award winning fleece going into art box

caught in the fiber

one of two blog posts today

I will have two blog posts today.  This one is a special one for the animals of Ulster County SPCA.
I am sending this link to Cindy Brody.  Cindy is an animal communicator that works out of Woodstock, NY.  I've had to use Cindy to help CaseyMae get over some emotional problems.  You know how it is with artists, they can be very temperamental and emotional.   Especially artists as special as CaseyMae that paint with their tail.  Cindy fixed her up and her painting has never been better.  Cindy will be putting a link on her face book page to help Casey sell her picture.  Cindy is very involved with helping animals of all kinds and she helps raise money for Ulster County SPCA as well.  You will be getting Caseys painting that is done on 300 lb acid free Arches paper and is hand matted by me.  There will be a full size picture of Casey along with her business card attached to the back of the picture.  Casey is asking that the donation be $30 or more and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to Ulster County SPCA which is a no kill shelter that does wonderful work.  Please help Casey help her buddies that are not as fortunate as she is.

CaseyMaes masterpiece

All artists should have a business card, so I made up one for Casey

since I paint with my tail I would prefer to stick to watercolors, they wash off easily

Monday, March 17, 2014

back to me

Well it's been a few days since I wrote a blog.  I had some kind of flu,  not a bad one, just enough to keep me in bed.  Funny thing, I stopped taking the flu shot because the last two times I got one I came down with a horrible flu.  That was over 20 years ago.  That was enough for me and I haven't one since.  I  kept my immune system in check and toughed it out.  This year my dear friend Robyn called me and practically begged me to get the flu shot.  She's an RN that works the ICU in Georgia and she told me that young people were coming in almost dead from the H1N1 virus and after a few days did die.  I spoke to Marty our small town pharmacist and he assured me that I would not get the flu from the vaccine so I stuck my arm out and let him stick me.  He was right I didn't get the flu from the shot but my neurotic hand washing routine must have missed a germ or two.  I had 101 fever and had to stay in bed.  The first day was a blur I just slept for hours at a time. By the second day I could concentrate on TV and for the next 2 days I watched 20  episodes of Seventh Heaven  and half as many of the Waltons. Two days of UP TV was enough to get me up and out of bed.  I'm behind with my work but I'm just grateful that Skip took care of things while I was down.  I never really take anything I have for granted, but when you're not feeling well and you can crawl into a warm and cozy bed and feel safe and comfy it really makes you think about all the people that don't have that luxury.  I am truly blessed in every possible way and thanks to all my friends for the well wishes, I'm blessed in that way too.  I'm really excited because I got an email from the woman that runs the Hudson Valley Yarn Crawl.  She was able to get the farm on the map in time for the crawl.  I finally finished processing over two years of fiber and we're finally ready for the crawl..I'm working on some art rolags and I'm putting together art boxes with different types of fibers so visitors can purchase something at a reasonable price.  We'll have a drop spindle to go with each box.  Also  giving away  a mini drop spindle key chain that I am making If you spend $25 or more.  If the weather is dry we will make a fire  and hang up my new enamel cauldron  and serve warm spiced apple cider and cookies and I think I'll bring the popcorn machine to the shop porch.  This is going to be a great way to get our name out there.  We have such a great shop and it's such a fun place to visit with all the animals to see.  Our donkeys are cute as hell, check out Rosie and Allie playing together.  I'll be busy this week getting ready, also have reiki 2 this weekend.  I am helping to raise money and collecting towels, sheets, dog or cat toys, covers anything that an animal shelter can use.  Ulster county SPCA is a no kill shelter that does fantastic work.  Please help and drop off any of those things to the farm and I will bring them there.  I'm  also trying to sell CaseyMaes water color which is matted and ready for a frame.  100% of the proceeds will go to that shelter.  If you're interested in buying her art let me know.  She's a talented artist and very approachable, her picture might be worth money some day.  I'll pay for shipping if you're not local.

the artist

for sale 100% of proceeds to Ulster County no Kill SPCA

beans and peas getting ready to climb

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

No curtains today

I got up really early today which is quite unusual for me since I'm up until the wee hours trying to fall asleep.  My hormones left town never to be seen again.  Not that I miss them so much but it would be nice to be able to sleep through the night.  So I got up early but decided that nothing on my list of chores was worth getting out of bed for and I was so right.  One of our friends called and asked for a ride to Catskill to pick up her car so I didn't want to start anything until I got back.  Not to waste the trip we stopped at our all time favorite store, Lowes.  It was at Lowes when I discovered that I reached that dreadful time in a woman's life when they become their mother.  Whenever I would take my mother to Lowes or any store that carries plants, I would leave her in that department and make an excuse like, I forgot something in the other isle Ma.  The reason for this escape was that she would clip pieces of plants and stuff them in her bag so she could take them home to root them.  That way she didn't have to buy the plant.  This horrified me.  I was sure that one day they would catch her in the act and cart her away.  I can never leave Lowes without a trip to the plant department and it was there that   I spotted this really cool hanging plant that I  wanted to buy..  I picked it up 3 times to put it in my cart but kept putting it back.  That's when it happened,  it was like I had no control of myself.  I clipped a sample and stuffed it in my pocket.  What could I say, it was bound to happen sooner or later, I was hoping for later.  So we got everything we came for,  it was past 5:30 and I was sure that the chicken in the sink defrosting was still defrosting and by the time I put it in the oven we would be eating by 9.  I had good intentions, I took out the chicken, I was really planning on cooking it but Pomodoros was right next door and pizza is my favorite food.  I knew Skip wouldn't argue so I said let's go get a couple of slices.  He did more than not argue.  He said, it would be cheaper if we just bought a whole pie.  I wasn't in my usual argumentative mood and said, ok.  My pants are getting tighter by the day and if I don't get off my lazy butt and start cooking healthy non fattening food I will have to go to shelf number two in my closet where I keep the next size jeans.  I promised myself that shelf number two was forbidden and there were many times that I almost donated shelf number 
two.  I am admitting right here on this blog that I have no self control, I'm weak. So I ate my pizza, all four slices of it and headed home to make curtains.  Skip helped me stretch out the fabric and right in the center was a very large hole.  So the only thing left to do today was finish up my mini paintings and solder them together.  I finished them and below are the pictures.  When I went downstairs to my glass studio I found that Skip has taken over the exercise area with his kickstarter project.  There's a 2x6 x8 pine board on my bow flex .  I guess I won't be able to exercise until he decides to move it.   Like I said earlier, I'm not in an argumentative mood today so, take your time Skip, I'll exercise when ever you decide to move it.

my peas are growing

beans are just starting to pop

meet Vincent, my violet plant.  I'm experimenting with him.  I'm being extra loving to see if  he'll grow, haven't been able to grow a violet since I left Jersey

my glass studio in the basement

Skips board on my bow flex 

encased in glass I did some fancy soldering so it looks like a frame

same type of soldering

all finished

all set to be shipped out, Mr bunny has quite the attitude

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mondays, my favorite day, acupuncture day.

I was trying to come up with a blog yesterday but it was a boring day.  Nothing very interesting happened.  I woke up tired because of the time change, didn't feel like cooking and went to Topps market to buy some chicken wings.  I was really looking forward to the wings that I couldn't get last week because it was too late and they turned off the deep fryer.  Can you believe they had no wings?  I was disgusted and bought some fried chicken and macaroni and cheese that was on special.  I knew I shouldn't be eating it but I was annoyed about the wings and just grabbed what was there.  So my day consisted of being sleepy, being bored and ended with severe indigestion from the bargain dinner.  Today was better, had my acupuncture and did our Albany errands, Fromm dog food from Bensons, our usual Lowes visit and a stop at Joann's fabrics.  I wanted to make new curtains for the living room.  I always need to spruce up after a long winter.  On our last visit to Stockbridge at the Red Lion Inn I noticed that I was in love with the lace curtains with the little cotton ball thingies on the edges.  I looked everywhere for curtains like that but couldn't find anything like them.  I had my Joannes coupons tucked away in the car so I thought it was a good time to shop for lace fabric which costs a fortune.  I'll take pictures of the finished curtains that I plan on working on tomorrow.  Oh yeah, I did do some drawing at 4am yesterday because I couldn't sleep on account of the indigestion.  I was too lazy to go to my studio so I stayed in bed quietly and with the light from my iPhone so I wouldn't disturb Skip, I did some sketching in the dark.  Then last night I redid them and added some watercolor paint and a mat.  They are mini art only 3inches by 3 inches and one that is 3inches by 4 inches.  I'm going to encase them in glass and will show you the finished product when I'm done.  I also washed some sheep locks that I want to spin.  My peas started to sprout and it was starting to feel like spring until I looked at the weather channel on my phone and saw that little red exclamation point.  I was afraid to look, that's never a good punctuation mark when it comes to the weather.  No sense to not looking it won't go away and if it's bad news I will need to call Wayne to get more square bales of hay.  I tapped the little red mark, said a dirty word, and called Wayne.  This will have to be the last snow storm because Wayne is out of hay, he has about 5 bales left and they're not second cutting. Rosebud could stand to lose a few pounds anyway, she is a little chunky monkey, eating all this second cutting hay.   I snapped some pictures for your viewing pleasure.
washed sheep locks waiting to be spun

ducks love puddles

the snow mountains are getting smaller

starting to see water in the pond

Rosebud up front Max and Allie behind

the finished picture painted by CaseyMaes tail our very own puppy Picasso

Rosebud again

she's just so cute and lovable 

Allie, Max and Bolero

deer at my neighbors waiting to cross

they crossed one at a time

sketching in the dark

more sketching
SnavelyMills favorite activity

poor Casey, shame on SnavelyMill

Lace material I bought for my curtains

Love these little balls

SnavelyMill found the cow ears we bought her

hiding in our bed eating her cow ear (don't look at the dust on the blinds)

getting closer to completion

this little bunny  has attitude

added a matt the picture is 3inches by 4 inches

this one is 3 inches by 3 inches