Saturday, May 29, 2010

A garden, piglet update

First the garden: I got the squash, pumpkins, some beans, corn, collards, peppers, watermelon, onion sets, half of the onion plants, and all of the flowers in.  I am nicely burnt.  The kids helped with quite of bit of this stuff.  I still have the rest of the onion plants, some herbs, the tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, celery, turnips, parsnips, radishes....and I think that is it, to get in.  I have help coming on Monday for all of that.  I have so much out there that I had to expand the garden. 
I also decided to try the 3 sisters thing.  I planted some beans with the corn and the buttercup squash on the edge of the corn so it will grow into the corn and shield the ground from the sun and reduce weeds.
I also have to begin mulching everything so the weeds stay under control.
Some of my potatoes are up already.  I love that. 

Now for the three little piggies:  Peanut, Butter and Jelly are all doing well.  they have adjusted to life in the outdoors and love munching the grass and "rooting" around.  They also are such wonderful little piggies that I give them their grain mixed with milk.  They are so happy to be here.  I think they forgot about the over crowded, stinky barn they came from.

I was not able to work on sorting any of the fleece.  I will have to reserve some time tomorrow to go through 2 of them.  I will finish the gardening on Monday.  School is done on the 3rd so I will be able to do a lot more work outside.  Phew....

Friday, May 28, 2010

Peanut, Butter, & Jelly

We normally raise about 10 hogs a year for selling and our own use.  This year, however, they were too expensive for us to buy feeders ($80+ versus $20).  We were fortunate enough to be given 3 runts.  So, her are Peanut, Butter, and Jelly:

Just sheared

We were able to get our sheep sheared.  I have lots of fleece sorting to do the next couple of weeks so I can send off the fleece orders I have and get the rest ready for sale.  So far, all of the colored fleece and one white one is sold.  There are 7 other white ones and one suffolk hamp cross to sell.  The white merinos will be micron tested and sold for $27 a pound (sorted into locks, not just skirted) and the suffolk is $5 a pound (as pictured, just skirted).  Suffolk is a downy, medium wool.  It works great as quilt batts.  I have 3 suffolkX that I am sending to be turned into batts for either comforters or quilts. The quilt batts should run:
crib $10
twin $15
Queen $30
King $45
Comforter batts will be double that price because they have double the wool.

The suffolkX for sale has a very long staple and many colors.  I will post pictures of the other fleece, but here is the suffolkX and the 3 batts (the rolled ones) I am sending for processing.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Article from JAMA

Intellectualization of Drug Abuse
Here, I draw on my experience as a drug abuser who for years maintained a relatively successful career as a basic biomedical scientist studying the neuroscience of addiction and compulsion to present a cautionary tale regarding the extreme dangers of intellectualizing drug use. No matter how well versed one may be in pharmacology or the addictive process, the fact remains that severe problems due to drug abuse can arise almost instantly, and no matter how in control one may believe himself to be, these problems can lead to tragic and irreversibly life-altering consequences.

In my case, this intellectualization occurred on three main levels. The first related to my drug use patterns. I was a daily user of cannabis for most of the past decade, and an intermittent user of opioids, primarily via the intravenous route, for approximately three years. This use occurred while I pursued a career in basic science research, with a heavy focus on addiction. Consequently, I was intimately familiar with the drug abuse literature and psychiatric diagnostic manuals such as the DSM-IV. I was able to finish my doctorate and conduct research at a high level at the same time I was a regular drug user.

This is just a snippet from the article, the rest is equally interesting.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Garden count, so far

300 feet of peas and 400 feet of potatoes
300 feet of sugar snap peas should yeild close to 60 lbs
400 feet of potatoes will yeild what they yeild.  I am guessing about 500lbs.
I did not do it alone, I had 3 helpers.

My hands are dry and I am I going to soak in the tub as long as everyone is at Taekwondo.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Indiski times 2

I am working on a traditional Russian shawl.  These shawls are supposed to be so fine that you can pull them through a woman's ring.  They are also knit on both sides, so they are reversible.  I decided to do two at a time because working with the cashmere in cobweb weight yarn was very difficult.  The pattern is not readily seen while you are knitting unless you pin it out as I have here.  Mistakes can happen easily, so I wanted to make sure I was familiar with the pattern.  I decided to use some hand spun merino, from my flock, in a light fingering weight.  So far, I love working on the merino and I may turn it into a large blanket for my bed.  The cashmere has not been enjoyable at all, but I look at it as an exercise in patience.  I hope no one ever asks me to knit them a veil, or if they do, they give me 10 years to complete it.  This is brutal.  I know I want to have this as an accomplishment of mine and that is why I am working on it.  Age will not make this any easier.  Still, it is beautiful.
I have looked at this book and they have some good patterns for this type of lacework.  The pattern I am knitting from comes from Piecework.  This magazine is nice to look at, but I rarely find things I want to do.  I picked mine up at the library and the pattern says you can photocopy the charts, so I did.  The library is one of my favorite resources for patterns and ideas, second to Ravelry.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rosebud's sleeveless Owls

I took the standard "owls" pattern and omitted all of the decreases and increases and short rows.  I cast on for the arm holes and left off the arms.  She loves it.  It is done in Blue Sky Dyed Organic Cotton.

The kids took pictures

Rosebud took a picture of my "forget me nots."
and one of my prickly bushes that have great color and a name that slips my mind at the moment
little man captured the black locust trees

and a magnolia that came from a rare tree my mother bougt me years ago, it's name is "Pinky".
Rosebud got the best picture of Edith.
The little man got a great picture of the Oak tree in the front yard.
and I wish I had a better zoom on my camera so I could do our pelicans justice.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I should get a cd of his music, maybe this one:

Walter and an Igor update

The little dear was out taking photos and he snapped a few of Walter for me.
Igor is doing well.  He has a little buddy to run around with named Tae (as in Taekwondo).  I tried to get a good picture of him, but he was not cooperating, maybe later.

Do you see it?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Knitting Problems and New Books

Some people have problems with cats playing with their yarn while they knit.  Not I.  I have sheepy problems.  His name is Walter.

I ordered a book from amazon in January and the publisher is finally done with it and I should have it in a week!  I have one other stitionary from them and I really like it and since I like knitting lace I decided I wanted this one too. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"The Spider and the Fly" by Mary Howitt

From the middle child's literature class

Monday, May 3, 2010

Silly lambs

We were gone all day yesterday and when we got home our 2 bottle lambs were waiting for us.  They were so ready to eat that they followed us up the stairs and in the house.  We were carying things so we could not stop them.

I wonder where they learned that trick from?


A nostepinne is an old tool used to wind balls of yarn into center pull balls.  They cost around $20 and up.  A wooden spoon is a common household item that can be used as a great substitute.  I got this idea from a You Tube video, but for some reason I can not get the code from that video to load here.

Here are the results of my nostepinne:

a little more than 850 yards, 165g, 5.8oz of handspun, 2 ply, merino from my flock. 
I think the spoon worked well, slow, but well.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Women's rights

The country that rapes their women before they execute them (they will not execute a virgin) and also places "tanned" women in prison was just elected to the Counsel on Women's Rights for the UN.  The US was silent, they did not protest.

In case you do not know, it was Iran.  Yup, Iran is in the top 3 countries that come to mind when I think about killing women's rights. 

Politics over, back to happy things next post.