The Mia sized version of the Boudreaux sized blog. This is mostly a BACK UP BLOG and a smaller version for smaller screens if the main blog is too hard to navigate. For complete posts, giveaways, corrected grammar and punctuation, the "rest of the story" and any additional posts that might not make it over here for some reason, please check the BOUDREAUX SIZED BLOG :-).


Sunday, July 14, 2019

It's Important To Cook Both Sides

That's actually Mini Moose, sleeping with Big Moose's mom.  She's a sweet old ewe :-). 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Shouldn't You Be Spinning?

Yes.  Yes I should.  I'll get right on that, ma'am.

The Tour de Fleece continues.  I have 12 ounces spun so far.  I'm hoping to hit the one pound mark this evening.  

I'm not sure why Maisie was the only sheep up and moving around when I peeked into the barn a few minutes ago.  Everyone else is miserable and cashed out.  The weather is hotter than H-E-double hockey sticks.  Oh, yeah, now I get it... ;-D.

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Other Frog Pond

For the last maybe 12 years now (?) I've had a small swimming pool in the orchard.  I may have mentioned before how much I hate summer?  Yeah... Well, the pool really helped...until the last two years.  

As the orchard grew and the trees got taller, the pool became more and more shaded.  Shaded to the point that the pool didn't heat up enough during the day to be comfortable enough to jump in at will.  Sure, you could 'woman up' and get in and then it did cool you down, but it wasn't always easy to talk myself into it.

At the end of the summer last year I decided the pool dream was officially over.  Even a solar cover didn't help enough to justify the work and expense of a pool that I only used for a couple super hot days here and there.  I'd turn it over to the frogs.

Fast forward to the brutally hot summer we are having this year.  In an effort to stay out of the papers...and prison...I decided I'd try one last pool.  If I switched the deeper pool for a shallower pool, there'd be less water to heat up each day.  Maybe that would work?

In the meantime, the old pool was now full of tadpoles.  It wasn't their fault that I'd changed my mind.  I toyed with scooping them out and taking them out to the farm ponds, but I love my yard frogs.  Maybe I could create a little habitat for them and they could safely stay?

All of our sheep (except Ewen McTeagle...who knows...) seem to prefer to drink from a galvanized tank, so I had an extra 50 gallon water Rubbermaid tank with shade cover stored at the barn. I hauled it down, added some sand and pond/pool water, some leaves and tree limbs and then scooped out and relocated as many tadpoles and water bugs as I could.

I have thoroughly enjoyed sitting out there watching them and listening to them as I go to sleep at night.  I cover them up during the heat of the day, because yes, a short tank will heat up much faster than a deep tank ;-).  

I forgot to uncover them last night, but remembered as I was listening to them calling.  I walked out in the bright moonlight to set the top aside and everyone got very quiet.  I hoped they'd eventually start back up, but..."crickets".  

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I'd recorded a short video just a few minutes earlier, so I played it back to them and soon all was back well and loud in frog land and I drifted off to sleep.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Busy As A Butterfly

My Tour de Fleece spinning the first four days was...a bit disappointing. I did spin every day, but not the two ounces I'd "budgeted" for each day and I was slipping way behind.  After some encouragement from the Wool House Crafters last night, I put my "butt in seat" this afternoon and got quite a bit done.  The "butt in seat" principle may apply to other aspects of life, but I haven't fully researched that ;-).

As I worked, I watched a beautiful butterfly working the Blanket Flowers outside the front windows. I now know it's a Red Admiral.  I've seen one Monarch so far, but haven't started looking for eggs and caterpillars.  I've also seen a couple Swallowtails.  I planted parsley and dill to encourage more of them and milkweed for the Monarchs.  

Click to biggify this picture :-).

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Start Of The 2019 Tour De Fleece

As I posted last week, our team captain this year is Maisie.  She's let it go to her head just a little, but so far, so good...unless something has happened late today and I haven't heard yet.  I happen to have a small sheep in my "inside flock" that reminds me of Maisie, so I've picked her to be my spinning mascot.

She's wearing a warm jacket because I have turned the air conditioner in the Wool House on high :-o.

I'm spinning something pretty neat this year.  17 years ago, when I was just getting started with our wool flock, we were gifted five Jacob sheep from a kind shepherdess in Indiana.  I really didn't know what to do with So Much Wool (hahahahaha), so I had some processed into roving and some into quilt batts.  

I think I must have divided up the black and white wools because I remember having some light gray batts and one dark one that I kept for myself in hopes I could find someone to make a real quilt from our barn quilt. Sigh...

You know...I thought this spring...rather than just sitting in the loft, that dark batt could be re-run as roving.  Roving from our very first five Jacob sheep.  Wouldn't that be neat?  Like an historical do-over now that I'm a better spinner...and those sheep are no longer with us.

This year for the Tour I'm spinning Elizabeth, Esther, Jester, Joshua and Jacob :-).  There are 2.5 pounds of dark gray roving.  I'd like to spin all of that, but I'm off to a slow start, so I may not be able to reach that goal...but I'm going to try.

So what is Mini Maisie looking at in the picture above?

The legacy of those five Jacobs :-).

And we're off!

Friday, July 5, 2019

The Post You've Been Waiting For

Yes, Big Moose and Mini Moose now live with us :-).  Also Big Moose's mom and one of her friends.  We are still playing around with names for everyone.  Big Moose probably works, but Mini Moose seems like a name you wouldn't want to live with for the rest of your life.  

Big Moose

I was worried that he wouldn't "tame" down very well as he's always been a bit bug eyed and flighty, but he was the first to succumb to cookies and scratches :-).

Big Moose's mom.  Also known as the "smiley ewe" from a post from last year.  She and I partnered up last year after I took her picture out in the field.  Interestingly, I have a file picture of her saved from 2014 so I must have always liked her.  I need to pull out an old Lamb Camp calendar and see if she was featured in there.

The two boys are best buds.  That's Big Moose on the left and Mini Moose on the right.  I love that he still has his distinct stripe.

We have had just miserable hot and humid weather for over a week now.  Just. Miserable.  In order to quarantine the new sheep, we had to put them in Del Boca Vista...which is really nice in the winter...and miserably hot in the summer.  I try to never put sheep in there when it's hot.

The two tents set up between the DBV shed and the barn are an attempt to add some shade for them.  The front gets blazing sun in the morning and the back/side gets cooked in the afternoon.  Everyone seems to be getting along okay, but we all wish the weather would break :-(.

Mini Moose.  I love his coloring.  It's almost like he waded in a black stream that came up to his belly while his top coloring is silvery light gray.  Both boys have lovely fleeces :-).

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Yarn Along - A Barnyard Scarf

One of my favorite things to do is to sit down and spin yarn from our flock.  I have a big plan for the Tour de Fleece this year involving spinning enough yarn for a sweater, but mostly I only get allow myself an hour or so here and there and then I end up with baskets full of small amounts of yarn...that just sit there.  

I do enjoy the baskets of yarn.  There's something joyful about all the different colors, textures, weights and especially all the individual sheep tucked in there, but I've been trying to think of something special to make that would utilize those small skeins.

I decided to try weaving a multi-yarn scarf.  I used my handspun bits and bobs for the warp (the up and down threads) and some Nistock Farms Golden Fleece Cotswold singles for the weft (the side to side threads).  

Since the warp threads were all different thicknesses, I used a reed that would accommodate the thickest yarns.  Actually, I started with a 6 dent reed (6 ends per inch) but didn't like it and, you know, ripped it out ;-).  The 8 dent reed worked reasonably well, but a 10 would have been better.

I wanted to showcase the individual handspun yarns rather than the solid color weft, so I worked for a warp faced weave (more warp showing than weft).  I know who most of the yarns are.  The white Cotswold is Keebler, the warm brown is Petunia, the thinner white is Peabody, the too thick for the 10 dent reed gray is Rebecca Boone, the medium weight gray is probably Jester...

And it's too hot to even ask 20 to model it, so I hung it on the barn ladder.  Next to the fire extinguisher.  

Some day it will cool down enough to wear.

Regarding books...I have lost the energy to listen to "grown up" books and after thoroughly enjoying the Terry Prachett young adult books last year, decided to delve into the Newbery Medal Winners list this year.  I may just stay there.  I've listened to The Girl Who Drank the Moon, The One and Only Ivan, Moon Over Manifest, Walk Two Moons and Bridge to Terabithia.  

I highly recommend them all :-).