Productive Holiday Weekend

I just love weekends when we can get plenty accomplished – even if it’s not remotely close to our entire list!

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First campfire of the year? Check! As you can tell from Oona’s face, marshmallows were most certainly toasted and enjoyed.

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Saturday was a whirlwind of gardening, rock moving, cleaning, egg-coloring, and watching The Great British Bake-Off.

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I’m rather happy about how the new duck enclosure is coming along. We’ve got their house in the corner of the front garden, with room on the one side waiting for their little pool to be placed in. I started bringing rocks up from the back field to surround the pool and give them a bit of a ramp to get in it. Once they are feathered out and ready to go out there I’ll cover the entire top of the pen with bird netting for some extra protection. Foxes here seem to prefer duck dinner to anything else, and they’re certainly not deterred by the presence of dogs.

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As for the duckies themselves, I swear they are 5 times bigger every ten minutes. Their tails are starting to feather, and I hope the rest is soon to follow; I’m going to need that big tub in a few weeks when the chicks get here!

 

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Spring Farm Update

It’s the busiest time of year here, farming-wise. We still have school full-time, and on top of that seedlings have been started and need tending-to, garden beds are needing turning and deep-mulching, hooves need trimming, coops need freshening, fences need mending.

Plus we got a few ducklings! And 18 chicks will be delivered in April!

Somewhere in between all that I’m trying (and usually failing) to keep the house clean, keep everyone fed, and knit.

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We also just celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary. We woke up to rainbow garlands all over the house, along with little paper pots of gold, and a banner covered with shamrocks (we got married on St. Patrick’s Day).  We have the best kids.  Our friend Kim came for dinner, Maddie made festive cupcakes, and we had a wonderful evening.

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We’ve called them Bourbon, Waddles, Dipper, and Flapjack.

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I even got my Cormo/Mohair skeins dyed pink.  They came out perfect, I think. There’s some subtle variegation going on that doesn’t really come across in the photos, but it’s going to make a lovely throw blanket.

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Little miss Poppet likes it, too. She kept trying to roll in it and steal it.

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Last but certainly not least, we got a nice, fresh delivery of hay! It might be expensive, but it makes me feel so happy to see so much put aside for the flock. This should get us through until fall.

Today I’ll be cleaning all day, and tomorrow we’ll be spending outside getting the gardens finished for seeding before we color our eggs. Much to be done!

A First Finished Object

I’m proud to say my Oona has finished her very first knitting project!

Our friend Kris had sent some lovely yarn down for us, and Oona chose the multi-color Noro to cast on for a scarf.

It took her all of two days.

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This is why loving the yarn you are using is important – it ensures you keep at it!

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And keep at it she did! She was so determined, in fact, that those aren’t knitting needles in her hands; I didn’t have any spare at the moment and she didn’t want to wait for me to dig for some.  She went up to her room and grabbed two pick-up sticks from her game.

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They worked perfectly, and she is very, very proud of her scarf. In fact, she immediately cast on for a second.

Warming Trend

I really, really don’t want to give in and turn on the air conditioning. It’s only March, and I can’t bring myself to be okay with it before May. However, the temperatures have been climbing into the upper 70’s and even 80 this week. It’s gotten a bit warm in the house, even with all the windows open and the fans going. The cats have been spending their days stretched out on the floors, away from the sun spots they so avidly followed all winter. With no significant cooling in the near future forecast, we have to wonder, “is this it?” Is spring here to stay?

It’s hard not to be completely ready for it. It’s been nice to go outside and feed in a tee shirt. The fresh air has been nice. The flowers coming up are nice, and the anticipation of fresh garden fruit is quite wonderful (I really, really hope my strawberry bed comes back strong this year).

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There’s been a definite increase in volume and type of birds at our feeders. The cats aren’t complaining.

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With the warmer temperatures Cini has been happy to spend longer hours outside with the flock.

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We’ll be shearing the flock in May, so they still have some time in their wool.

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Little tiny bird nest in the rose bush branches.

This weekend I’ll be shoring up the wire fencing around the front garden and putting a small pool in for ducks. They’ll live in the garden with the raspberry bushes the year, and we will hope they’ll stay put and not become some predator’s meal. This morning we lost a free-ranging chicken to either a fox or coyote. It was pretty darn big, and got right up next to the fence with the dogs. Unfortunately, the dogs aren’t free-roaming anymore to chase them off.

I’ll also be getting the seeds started in the greenhouse this weekend and getting the gardens ready.

So much to do!

 

Blanket Project

I really, really do NOT need to cast on any new knitting projects until I finish my Chimney Fire Sweater (which is going swimmingly, by the way!).

BUT.

I really want to make this in the nice dark grey Findley I have:

(photo by our friend Joel Eagle!)

My sister currently owns this one, and can’t stop raving about how comfortable it is. I’d love my own for summer.

In addition, I’d been thinking about how much I’d love a blush-colored, cabled throw for my bed. I was surfing Ravelry looking at patterns and thinking about how on earth I could make it happen with what I have in my stash, when I remembered!

I have several undyed skeins of Cormo/Mohair and a whole box of dyes.

AbracaDUH!

Bet you can’t figure out what I’m doing this weekend.