We took advantage of the three day weekend to get some winterizing and cleaning done.
Paul worked on painting the deck while I got the pantry and kitchen cabinets cleaned out and organized.
The fence surrounding the small paddock got a coat of black paint, and I dug up all the sweet potatoes.
It was the worst, most pathetic harvest ever.
I am a failure as a potato farmer. Out of 30 plants, this is all there was. Most were undersized; a lot had some sort of pest damage in them. I think a combination of crappy soil and the rainiest season this side of the Amazon had parts to play, but it’s hard not to feel completely inept when faced with the outcome of your hard work and investment. All I know is, thank goodness we can still hunt and gather at Trader Joe’s, because if I had to feed my family from the gardens, we’d starve. The pigs, on the other hand, were thrilled with the treat of broken and damaged sweet potatoes.
After bemoaning my lack of luscious tubers I cleaned out one chicken coop, treated for lice and mites, and put in fresh bedding.
They seemed to appreciate it.
It’ll be filthy again by mid-week.
Meanwhile the indoor animals are honing their napping all day skills. Generally in whatever sunny spot they can find, though a quiet bedroom is always a sure bet, too.
With the time change I’ve been getting up much earlier than I had been; it’s so much brighter in the mornings now! It’s becoming a favorite ritual to be up before anyone else and out in the frosty air to feed and check on everyone outside before heading back into a still, quiet house for a cup of coffee. I even change back into my pajamas and no one even knows I’ve been out when they come down later, rubbing sleep from their eyes. I think we’d all like to join the cats and indoor dogs and curl up for the season.
I can’t get Churchill his breakfast fast enough.
At this point, the sheep have realized what trickery is afoot. I used feeding time to pen them into the small paddock to wait for Dr. Grover to come take some blood for routine testing.
Suspicious Alabama is suspicious.
Angry Bertie. She is not a fan of being handled. Or having blood drawn. Or the further injustice of getting a dose of wormer.
Aside from the bloodwork (to test for fairly common goat and sheep viruses) the flock has a clean bill of health. That’s enough for a happy Friday!
Well that was a pointless interlude – Paul came home, took one look at my computer, rebooted it, and it was good to go. No data loss, nothing.
This is why I never, ever try to fix anything without first asking.
Here’s how my Shepherd Sweater is coming along!
It looks so cozy and comforting, like a hot bowl of your favorite oatmeal on a cold winter morning.
I am so glad I chose to knit the Shepherd version (besides the fact that being a shepherd made me feel like it was necessary); the cables have been so much fun and not too fiddly at all. I did go down several needle sizes – to size 5′s – but I am using completely different yarn than the pattern calls for (I am using wool that came off the very backs of the animals I’ve been caring for) and my gauge is still a tad larger than it should be. I went down a sweater size to accommodate the difference and it seems to be working splendidly!
I may even knit this again in another color.
It’s that good.
I had planned a knitting-filled blogpost with picture updates of my Shepherd Sweater, and then my computer crashed. This post is brought to you via my iPad, which, trust me, is terrible to blog from.
I am a little worried because it looks like my backup drive may not have been doing its job since mid-Octobwhen and I’ve uploaded nearly 1,000 pictures since then.
But, I probably can’t complain too much. After all, since I’ve been using a Mac I have only had this problem once, and I switched over from PC a few years ago.
About my sweater : I’m about 10″ in, and still going strong. The cables have been a lot of fun and it’s keeping my interest. I even managed to knit a bit while getting caught up on The Walking Dead.
We are still working on getting everything winter-ready as well. The flock is in their smaller paddock for the winter, the ducks are in a new little house, the porch railings have been painted. Everyone is getting wormed this week – the flock, the chickens, ducks and goose, even the dogs. The vet is coming Friday to check everyone out one last time before he retires from farm animal medicine.
It’s a busy time, so the fact that I have managed so much knitting is nothing short of a miracle. I may even try to get around to dyeing some sock yarn tomorrow!
Because even pigs like fall – themed treats!
What happens when two talented cooks/restauranteurs throw a 5th birthday bash for their son?
A fantastic party with amazing food on a beautiful fall Sunday.
My friend Lisa and Will had us (plus many, many, many) other people to celebrate Alston’s big day. Oona fairly wore herself out playing in the leaves and chasing ducks and dogs and other kids around while Maddie acted as official baby-watcher for darling little Marie.
Just look at that baby!
Tree stump chairs by the fire and food.
Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I know, you’re jealous. Yes, they were every bit as amazing as they sound.
I mentioned the food, right? Aside from the fall-themed appetizer spread there was pulled pork and coleslaw. And it was YUM.
Maddie and Emily and I drank gallons of the hot apple cider (and I may have sampled some of the hard cider as well……)
The little man of the hour!
Will by the fire, which was perfect: not too hot for such a sunny day, but just warm enough for the chill in the air.
Fall parties like this are my favorite kind. The bugs are mostly gone, the leaves are stunning, the campfire isn’t sweltering, the food is warming.
It’s one of the best ways to turn 5!