Rain

We have had 3.5 inches per Grampa’s rain gauge in the last 4 days.  So much rain that this morning there was a heron in the sheep’s pasture.  That is a first, usually they hang out on the wetter back of our property.

Yesterday morning Maddie was shivering but since has been OK.  The fields are so wet that I combined the sheep and goats so they all can have a little dry ground.

In other news, the chicks are doing well with their rabbit hutch.  Tom worked on weasel-proofing the chick pen today but ran out of hardware cloth.

And Izzy, our “barn” cat who no longer lives in the barn, hunted in our soaked orchard today.  Tom got this great photo.  She looks like a jungle cat.

It only rained and hailed briefly today.  Hopefully our ground will start drying out.

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Weather and Wool

The weather today was atrocious.  It rained all day, and the high temperature was 44 degrees.  I was trying desperately to make sure all the animals had shelter and food, which is difficult since we are out of hay and do not have a barn large enough for everyone.  Like Tom said, “we do not have an ark”.  After struggling through the mud all morning, I went to the warm trailer and judged wool in the afternoon.  I do not know if the warmth from the wood stove got to me, but I fell in love with these fleeces.

The first one belonged to Wendel.  I am completely enamored.  It is huge and has classic Shetland primitive characteristics.  Check out the britch:

wendel britch

wendel britch

And the neck:

wendel neck

wendel neck

And here is the whole fleece:

wendel fleece

wendel fleece

Check out the difference in the locks in the different areas of the fleece:

wendel locks

wendel locks

And here is the sheared surface:

wendel cut

wendel cut

I only lightly skirted it to preserve its overall structure.  It is huge, soft, and weathered.  It has a low amount of VM and DC and has a lovely golden color.  It weighs 4# 11 oz, but I am in love with it.  My dream would be to hand process each portion of this fleece separately and make a giant cardigan sweater with the neck portions on top and the coarse portions on the bottom.  I do not have the time for this though.  But I think I will keep it and maybe show it off at the Fall Shetland Retreat.  And I can keep my dream alive.

Next I judged my two mioget katmoget Shetland fleeces.  I am guessing this is a rare color, and I love it.  When it is processed, it is a lovely cream.  First was Ewegenie.

ewegenie fleece

ewegenie fleece

ewegenie locks

ewegenie locks

ewegenie cut

ewegenie cut

ewegenie crimp

ewegenie crimp

Isn’t it pretty?  It is weathered and a little dirty, but it is soft.  It has a small amount of VM and DC.  I did a moderate amount of skirting for consistency.  It weighs 1# 12 oz and is for sale for $21.

Then I did her younger sister Jemima.  They look almost identical.  The only way I can tell them apart is from the bump on Jemima’s nose.  Here is her pretty fleece:

jemima fleece

jemima fleece

jemima locks

jemima locks

jemima crimp

jemima crimp

jemima cut

jemima cut

It is also weathered and a little dirty and underwent moderate skirting.  It has nice crimp, and feels like a cloud.  It has low VM and DC. It is so pretty, her mama Jenny would be proud.  It weighs 3# 6 oz and is available for $40.

Next came Lady Madonna’s fleece.  Honestly I was not expecting much as she is getting older and had to be rescued with Ewegenie 5 years ago from a horrible animal abuse situation.  But her health and wool have come back nicely.

madonna fleece

madonna fleece

madonna locks

madonna locks

madonna cut

madonna cut

It is soft and short with low VM and DC.  It required minimal skirting but is somewhat jumbled.  It is small and despite the flash photos very black in color with brown tips.  It weighs 1# 8oz and is available for $18

Next I checked out Diddley’s fleece.  It is getting nicer every year.  I decided to keep this year’s fleece for myself.  Do not tell the other sheep, but he is my favorite>  And if something happens to him, I want a garment made from his wool to remember him by.

diddley cut

diddley cut

Next came Hodor’s huge fleece.  It reminds me of a bear skin.

hodor fleece

hodor fleece

It took up the whole 9 x 3 foot hog panel I was using to skirt on.  It has small VM and was only lightly skirting.  It weighs 4# 13 oz.  I am considering making a felted rug with it.

Doing the fleece work really hurts my back.  There is a lot of bending forward which just kills me.  So afterward I took a bath with a homemade grapefruit bath bomb with multicolored butterfly sprinkles and pink glitter.  And then I busted into a bottle of homemade plum wine bottled exactly 6 months ago today.  A little reminder of summer on a dreary, grey, rainy, cold, miserable day.

 

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Slow Cooker Cuban Pork and Jamaican Rice and Beans

So we had a truly amazing dinner tonight.  This morning I started the Cuban Pork in my vintage slow cooker.  By this afternoon it was smelling so good.  I used our shoulder roast for this.  Here is Tom shredding it with the claws my mother bought him.  The recipe is at NYT Cooking.

I have been trying to find a recipe to match the Pico con Gallo I had in Belize nearly 30 years ago.  This is not it, but it was still amazing.  The thyme was from our farm, but that is it.  It is coconuty and warm.  It worked well with the pork.  This recipe is here.

Here is the delicious plate.img_3377.jpg

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