Sunday, January 25, 2015

Thank You and Some Unrelated Sunday Ramblings

Thanks so much everyone for the book orders. This week I received a note on a book order from Marianne. She wrote "I hope that your book is a success and that the knitters and crafters have been able to help you, The Farmer, and Julia to maintain the farm and your lovely, colorful country home." This note really hit home with me this week as I packed orders. It actually made me cry. I reached out to you all and so many readers have ordered books. I think this is one of the most wonderful things that has come of the internet for our family. I have watched Kickstarter campaigns, and other crowd-funding campaigns and contributed to some that I truly believed in. I guess this was my own version of a Kickstarter and I am so thankful for all the orders. I know that the economy isn't great yet for most of us (will it ever be?) and that you could have just as easily ordered from somewhere else so Thank You!

I have processed all books ordered received on or before the 18th (last Sunday) and they will be going to the Post Office tomorrow. Jim, the Postmaster, has me in come during his lunchtime so that I do not hold up other customers - gotta love a small town! I have another shipment of books coming tomorrow evening (fingers crossed they get here before the storm) which will cover all orders in house with extra for any incoming orders. There is still time to order and receive the freebies that I am including. Check it out here.  

Here are some interesting things I have found this week.
• My friend and fellow author and blogger Jane Brocket, is offering Free PDF downloads of her Grand Provincial Tour Series. Jane is the author of many, many books. She had plans to go the self-publishing route with a travel series called "Brocket in My Pocket". After some problems which she outlines in this blog post, she has decided to give away the first 3 for free. They are guides of UK cities from her perspective - which is smart, literary, homey, crafty, quilty, and design based. Check them out on her blog here.

Photo Rikki Snyder
•When I designed our kitchen here at the farm, there were 2 pieces of furniture that had to be used. One of them was my grandmother's Seller's Cabinet. I painted it bright orange. It has a flour bin and I store baking supplies and other things in it. This week on the Houzz.com website, they featured a photo of Gram's cabinet and profile these very American hardworking pieces of furniture. Check it out here

Inside the left hand door, there is a flour bin that I still use.

Photo Rikki Snyder
Tucked on the inside of the door is a little tool for the housewife - a shopping list called "Daily Reminders." These were the days of calling the market and home delivery was an option. Very cool that this paper has survived. Does anyone else have one of these cabinets? I love mine to death and I am sure Gram would be happy it is still being used.


The rolled portion of my cabinet is broken. I have never had the patience to take it apart and fix it. Instead, I made curtains out of some antique embroidered sleeves from a man's garment and hung them on a curtain rod. 

Photo Rikki Snyder
• I listen to a lot of podcasts while I am working. Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge does a great one. She has just put a round-up of all her 100 episodes splitting them into categories. For those of you who enjoy podcasts but not be totally designed obsessed, this break down will make it easier to pick and choose which to listen to. Check it out here.

There is a blizzard warning. This afternoon they are predicting 12 to 24" of snow. UGH is all I can say. I'm bringing in wood like crazy. The Farmer is prepping the barns and making sure there is plenty of hay ready for the sheep. Julia is looking forward to time off school. Have a great Sunday everyone.

Friday, January 23, 2015

From the Barns

We have heat lamps in some of the pens where the lambs are a bit weak and not ready to be out with the rest of the flock. Frequently there will be lambs laying on both sides of the fences, sharing the heat from the lamps. We buy the lamps from Premier Sheep Supplies. They aren't cheap but the cages on the bottom of them keep the lambs away from the light bulbs. Sheep are rough creatures and even with this system, the bulbs still break. You can also use them for brooding chicks (although I just use 100 watt bulbs for the chicks). 


When a lamb is really down and out, but not bad enough to bring back to the house, we will have a heating under the lamb so they are getting heat on both sides. A little heat often brings back a weak lamb.

Here are some cute close-ups of some of the lambs that are between a day and a week old. 



Can you tell the difference in the breeds of the lambs? Look carefully at their faces and ears. This year we used the following ram breeds: Polypay, Dorset, Cheviot, Dorper and a cross bred ram of our own breeding. The ewe flock is primarily Romney and Border Leicesters crossed over the years with the ram breeds above. 



When people ask me about sheep farming, I frequently tell them that it is science. Working with nature, animals, food, and the environment produces good healthy lambs. There is a huge learning curve even 30 years in. Julia and I call The Farmer our "sheep geek" because he is obsessed with researching and learning more and more about sheep and trying new techniques. 

This lamb is probably about a month old. He and a couple ewes are eating snow. 


This lamb with the big ears is a Dorset cross. We used a ram from Pennsylvania whose sire was from Australia. The farm which we bought the ram from imported the semen from Australia and use AI (artificial insemination) to breed their flock. High tech sheep breeding. So that ram's progeny have an Australian grandpa. Cool huh? I love the big long ears. The lambs this year are his first and we will see how they do on our land.


On the book front, I am receiving a large shipment of books from the warehouse this evening so I will be packing and shipping on Monday and all next week. If I can do it, I should have all orders out next week. Fingers crossed. Thank you so much for all the orders everyone.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lambing is Full Speed Ahead + Thank You!

I'll do the thank you first. You guys are fabulous. Thank you for all the Crafting a Colorful Home book orders. Today was the first day I was allowed to ship the books (it is release day). I have been packing books for days. I am shipping the books in the order that they arrived. Right now I am waiting on some more books coming in from the warehouse - so please be patient! And know how much you all have helped us here by buying signed books from me and my family. Seriously, so many thanks. Keep the orders coming because I have lots more of Crafting A Colorful Home on the way to me for shipping to you. Here is the link for ordering directly from me. And here is the link to the article I wrote about how a book is made. Thank you all! My readers are the best!

Lamb photos tonight for you all. The babies are literally popping out - about 5 a day but one day there were 20 born! This usually happens the third week after the first lambs begin arriving. We put the rams in with the ewe flocks August 1st and so technically, babies should have begun arriving January 1st (gestation is 5 months). But as with any birth, some babies arrived ahead of schedule. 


The cold and snow and ice has made it very difficult for The Farmer and the helpers. I particularly do not like walking on ice and the "cramp-ons" I got for my boots do not fit my super warm boots. Have not had any time to find larger ones so I wait until sand and salt has been put down to walk on the ice. 

This lamb is part Cheviot -I can tell by the ears.
We have a young woman interning with us this lambing season. Elissa works on a veggie farm in the summer and she wanted to learn about livestock farming. I think she is getting quite the education. Our friend Terri is also helping out but she is down with a nasty cold now. It is a long stretch of ups and downs but that is what farming (and life) is. 

Lambs frequently snuggle together to keep warm.
All three of these Mamas lambed within an hour of each other. The last one to lamb was trying to steal one of the babies from another mother. 



These two are twins from a black mama. Aren't their markings sweet? We aren't having many black lambs this year. Color is a genetic thing so it must be that the rams we are using now do not have the colored gene.


I'll post more tomorrow if time allows. And again -- thank you for the book orders. 

If you have any questions about lambing, feel free to leave them in the comments and I will try to answer them.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday What's Up


Popping in on a Saturday to share a few things..... Things never stop for weekends on a farm. Lambing is in full swing - 20 born on Thursday alone. I'll add some more photos of lambs at the end of this post.

I'm on the latest Webs Podcast being interviewed by Kathy Elkins. You can listen to it here. Thank you Webs for helping me get the word out about my new book Crafting a Colorful Home. Check out my website for ordering with free freight and a specially designed bookplate.

Craftsy has launched a Flash Sale until Sunday Evening 1/18. Get up to 50% off all classes over at Craftsy - including my Stitch It With Wool: Crewel Embroidery. Use this link - http://www.craftsy.com/ext/KristinNicholas_holiday to claim your discount. There are over 35 new classes including a new one by Myra Wood on Embroidery with Beads.

Speaking of Craftsy, my friend Marly Bird interviewed John Levisay, the CEO of Craftsy on her YarnThing Podcast on Thursday. Interesting interview with a visionary guy. I know I loved taping the Stitch It With Wool: Crewel Embroidery Class I did for them. All their classes are fantastically produced and you own them for life. Look - I even figured out how to embed the interview here! Wow.

Listen to internet radio with MarlyBird on BlogTalkRadio


To finish for today, here are some more photos from the lambing barns. Have a great weekend everyone!




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mad for Plaid - Vogue Knitting Winter 2014/15 Shawl Design

Thanks everyone for all the book love! I have such fantastic readers. It is amazing to see orders come in from names I remember from past orders. Truly - you all are the best. I'm still hoping for more.

Here is a bit of color for you all today on this winter day. I designed this easy to knit plaid shawl for the folks at Vogue Knitting. It is in their new Winter 2014/15 issue. Here's a close-up of it before I sent it out. (Obviously, I didn't realize I was going to post this on the blog, otherwise I would have tried a little harder with the styling.)



It is knit of my favorite mohair La Gran from Classic Elite Yarns. When the VK editors asked me to do a plaid, I wanted to make it relatively easy to knit with not too many bobbins - it is done in the intarsia technique because Fair Isle doesn't work for plaid designs. The slim vertical lines are worked after knitting in chain stitch. The nice thing about this project is that it is very lightweight and the finished shawl just floats in the air. The gauge is 3 1/2 sts per inch (I think? - sorry - do not have a copy of the mag handy) and the shawl could be cut down in width to make a scarf. Here are their photos on a beautiful red headed model. Love these pics. You can see a preview of the other projects here on their site.


It is being featured on their European COVER of their magazine which is called Designer Knitting. It is called this in Europe because they do not have the worldwide rights to
the "Vogue" name.



Speaking of Vogue Knitting, their big VKLive shindig is coming up in NYC in a couple weeks - January 16 to 18. I cannot go and teach because we will be knee deep in lambs but I will be there in spirit!  Have a great day everyone!

Friday, January 09, 2015

How A Book is Made + How You Can Help My Family

Yesterday I announced that I will be selling signed copies of my new book Crafting a Colorful Home: A Room by Room Guide to Personalizing Your Space with Color on my website and shared how the book came about. I am selling books along with offering FREE SHIPPING, an illustrated BOOKPLATE and a set of 5 assorted POSTCARDS to all those who order books from me. I love to sell signed copies of books because it helps me generate some money to help support our family and farm. (Click here to order.) I promised an explanation of why it helps when readers buy directly from me so here goes.....


Writing station in the kitchen ©Rikki Snyder
Writing a book is a real labor of love. You put your heart and soul into it, give your life away to it, and then you just hope people will read it and buy it. I'm sure some of you would like to know how writing a book works. Recently there has been some good discussion about this on the internet by other authors and I feel that it is time for me to share my experiences - as an author and illustrator of eleven needlework and craft books. 

For me, it goes like this. I work on a book proposal and talk it over with my agent Linda to see if she thinks any publisher might be interested. (I have not always had an agent but in 2012, I decided that I needed help in placing my books with different publishers and I also needed to know that I was not "screwing myself" by signing a bad deal. It was a really grown up moment for me when I realized this. Yes - I was 54 years old but some of us are slow learners.) My agent Linda looks over the proposal and gives me advice on what to change, how to make it more appealing, finding a different direction or telling me that the idea is basically not salable. I find the Book Proposal stage of any book incredibly helpful. By the time I am done with the proposal, I can tell if I am even going to want to write the book.

I set the proposal up in Adobe Indesign, adding my own photos and illustrations so that it looks appealing to a publisher. Once the proposal is ready, Linda sends it out into the publishing world and then she waits to see if any publisher is interested. Sometimes my proposals bomb. Sometimes they morph into a different project, and sometimes a publisher will take the book just as I have thought it through. Linda negotiates a contract and an advance for me. I sign, they sign, and then I get to work with an editor. My advances have been anywhere between $3,500 and $15,000. I'm thinking some of you might be a bit surprised by this amount considering the long period of time that it takes to write a book. Authoring is not the road to riches but it has its own rewards. I really wish advances were more but for me, they haven't been.


My past books Photo by Rikki Snyder
Upon signing the contract, a check for HALF the advance is sent to Linda. She takes a 15% commission and sends me the remainder of the advance. With that money, I have to fund all the projects, make them, write the book and instructions, pay taxes, live, and send in the completed manuscript on time. The time frame is anywhere between six months and a year and sometimes longer, depending on what season the book is going to be published in. I always try extremely hard to make my delivery deadlines to maintain my reputation with publishers.

After the editor goes through the manuscript, there are always changes, re-writes, tweaks, additions, subtractions, etc. There is a lot of work with an editor and assistant editor and a lot of reading and re-reading and re-writing. A photography date is chosen. Photography is so important for the visually centered books I do. I usually am able to request the photographer I would like to work with although they are not always accepted. For Crafting a Colorful Home, I chose Rikki Snyder, the photographer who introduced me and my home to the Houzz.com world in September of 2012. The next photo is Rikki during the shoot. She is tiny but a powerful, creative, and talented force and I LOVE working with her! 


For Crafting A Colorful Home, Rikki and I planned two different shoots of 4 days each in September and October of 2013 (yes, that long ago - I told you books take a long time!). Before each shoot, I had to clean like a mad woman and get the house ready for its big moment. Our shoot days are long - from very early morning to sundown. They are creative days, full of moving furniture, objects, looking at computer and camera screens, cooking and baking for the photographer and whoever else comes to help - sometimes I ask a friend to come, sometimes the photographer brings an assistant.  (We were lucky to have Sarah Zimmerman come for one of the shoot weeks. Sarah is also a photographer and the woman who introduced me to Rikki.)

The photos are edited and processed by the photographer and go to the editor. (I do not pay for the photography - the publisher does although on some book deals the photography cost is the responsibility of the author). The pages start to get designed and laid out by a Book Designer. A Copy Editor goes through the manuscript and I have to respond to all the queries and do more re-writes. The lay-outs and designs are finalized (I get to see them and put in my 2 cents although there is no guarantee the publisher includes my thoughts in changes.) 

In the midst of this, the cover is designed with the photos that have been sent to the publisher. I have nothing to do with that and only get to see the final pick that the publisher has made. I always cross my fingers that I will like it. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Covers are a very big deal and publishers with their sales teams and marketing departments obsess over the right look for the book. After all, it is the cover that makes you pick up the book in a bookstore or perhaps purchase it on-line, right? What do you think about the cover of Crafting A Colorful Home?

 

While this other stuff is going on, I am working on the illustrations for the book. These are my responsibility and I do not get paid extra to do them usually although sometimes I am lucky and there is extra money in the book budget to pay me. (I have illustrated other books for flat fees for other publishers too - I love that kind of work!). First, I do rough illos (that is what they are called in bookland) and then once the editor okays them, I fix and change anything that needs to be done. I transfer the line drawings to paper and paint them in gouache. Then I scan them to my computer and send the digital files to the editor. 

Kristin Nicholas Drawing Photo ©Rikki Snyder
The book is then laid out by the book designer. That must be like a giant jigsaw puzzle - picking the photos, matching them to the relevant type, cropping the photos, fitting in with the page count which has been established in the beginning so the publisher knows how much it all is going to cost to print. You probably have not ever thought about the size of pages, weight of paper, number of pages, book dust jacket (or none which seems to be the way it is going these days) which all determine the shipping and selling costs. 

The pages are printed out in black and white and sent to me along with a color PDF. I have to re-read and make any corrections to the manuscript. At this point, I can only make minimal corrections. This is the last time I see the book. (For Crafting A Colorful Home, it was the beginning of April 2014.)

After this step, I really do not hear much from the publisher at all. Sometimes I will be asked to help look for people I know and admire to supply "cover quotes" for the book. Some publishers send marketing questionnaires to help their publicity departments market the book better. It is a whole lot of dead time and gives me time to plan future projects and try to catch up on all the other stuff that has fallen by the wayside.

After the final read-through, my agent will put in for the second half of the advance although sometimes it is done sooner. That is usually the last money I will see for any book because I usually do not earn any more money past my advance. (The only book I have earned past my advance is Color By Kristin although I know the folks at Classic Elite probably are still collecting royalties on the first books I wrote while I worked there - Knitting the New Classics and Knitting Today's Classics). As you can see, craft book publishing is not the road to riches. I clearly need to find other ways to make a living!


Bookshelves in my kitchen. Pillows by me and patterns available on my website. Photo by Rikki Snyder

Many years ago, I saw a television interview with the author Janet Evanovich. I had never heard of her before but because it was on network t.v. and she was a big time best-selling author, I paid attention. I was impressed with Janet's story because she had her entire family working for her, selling signed copies of her books, building a website, packing them in her basement, etc. These were the days before Amazon and on-line shopping was not very common. I decided I would copy her and have a website built so that I could sell my books too. 

Because craft book writing is not the smartest way to try to make a living, I thought I should try to supplement my advance by reselling the books and earning the spread between wholesale and retail. For my first few books, this plan worked great and I was able to sell a few hundred extra books which turned into a nice chunk of change which was very helpful for our family. My direct sales of my books has dropped off significantly since 2009 because buyers are now more comfortable with ordering from Amazon - clicking a few buttons and done - voila. (I also have not had a lot of books coming out.) That customer comfort with Amazon is also the reason so many bookstores are going out.

Jon Katz, the "dog and animal" author frequently writes about how publishing is changing and how he is trying to find new ways to make money writing. I gather that at one time he made a very nice living writing books about dogs. I have followed his blog for many years. He has a subscription on his blog and is publishing ebooks.  He also works with a local bookseller in his tiny town of Cambridge, NY and they have been selling thousands of his latest book. I think he is single handedly keeping that little bookshop alive. What a story! 

I love what Jon is doing, but for me, because craft books do not sell nearly as many copies as dog books, I have to try to generate the book sales for myself. What does that mean to me and my family financially? Here's the thing - like I said before, I have not earned any royalties past my advance on any of the books I have authored except one. Chances of me earning any more money past my advance on Crafting a Colorful Home are slim - although as always, I am really hopeful. What's an author to do? Sell them herself. Sign them, wrap them, pack them, address the packages, and take them to the post office to send to you! I have a chance of making a little less than 40% of the retail regular cost of each book sold at regular price and the money will go directly into my family's income. Pretty much a no-brainer. 

That is where you guys come in. Order a book from me and know that you are helping me keep doing what you come here for - farming, photography, cooking, authoring, crafting, colorizing, inspiration, stories and more.

I am sure some of you are thinking the question - "What happens when I buy from Amazon or some other bookseller?" The answer is that those sales go towards my advance. I have to pay off my advance before I see anymore money from the publisher. I will earn about 25 cents per book towards paying off the advance on each book that gets sold by another bookseller. Also, most bookstores purchase books and have the option to return them forever. It doesn't seem to matter how many years ago they were published - the publishers still take the books back and that offsets in the negative any advance. I know because I have books that are out of print and I still see those negative amounts on my royalty statements that come in twice a year.  

For those of you looking to delve more into this subject, here are some good articles. Diane Gilleland's article from her Craftypod blog is entitled Is it Worth It To Write a Craft Book? You can read it here. Abby Glassenberg has an excellent series on Publishing Craft Books on her blog While She Naps. Read them here.

Bottom line is - I want to sell a lot of these books. Can you help me/us out? Click here to order from me - free shipping $27.95
OR
Click here to order from Amazon for $20.88, you add on the freight, and I will receive a few cents via my afffiliate link. 

Thank you friends! Leave questions in the comments and I will try to answer them. If you know of anyone who might be interested in buying Crafting a Colorful Home or learning more about how authoring works, please pass on this article. Feel free to share the article on your Facebook page too. You can click the little widget below. Every little bit and all links will help.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Crafting a Colorful Home is Coming Soon + A Special Offer for You - My Blog Readers!

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that over the past couple years I have been working on a book called Crafting A Colorful Home: A Room-by-Room Guide to Personalizing Your Space with Color. It is being published by Roost Books on January 20, 2015 - twelve days from now. I have been anticipating seeing it and crossing my fingers it looks good. I know that this may sound odd but seeing the words, images and ideas I toiled over for a very long time actually in book format is a bit unsettling. I always have all kinds of doubts --- about myself, my taste, my projects and designs, my words - you know - basically everything. Yes - I had an editor and a copy editor and a publishing board - but still - what if everyone hates it? You'd think I would be used to this - but I'm not and I suppose even authors with one hundred books in print still have these doubts.


This book is different than any of my other knitting and stitching books. It is about building a home around color, art, creativity, a lot of paint, yarn, thread, fabric, collections, animals, and family. It is designed to be a guide for any crafter/DIY-er/maker/textile lover, etc. to make their own home or apartment into a colorful, warm, and cozy space.  

Crafting a Colorful Home happened as a result of the Houzz.com feature from September of 2012. Houzz is a website for homeowners, decorators, architects, remodelers and anyone interested in houses and living spaces. You can see our Home Tour here which was photographed by the extremely talented Rikki Snyder. The Houzz feature - called An Antique Cape Cod House Explodes with Color -  went kind of nutty - with over 294 comments - many of them not particularly nice. It was Number 6 Overall Most Popular House Tour in 2012. Considering it was not published until September, not bad.

I was dumbfounded by many of the comments - many reflecting a lack of confidence and fear of using color in their home. Many were worried about resale value of their homes if they used any color in their home. Some commenters just plain thought me nuts - one even worrying about my sanity. I told my literary agent Linda about the feature and she shared the article with Jenn Urban-Brown, an Editor at Roost Books

Before I knew it, I was signed on to write a book about our colorful home, how I decorate it and how others can learn to have confidence when decorating and making colorful things for their homes. I was able to get Rikki Snyder the photography gig for the book - which made me very happy because it was her first book job and after all - she had approached me about the Houzz article and photographed it. Crafting A Colorful Home took me a little over 1 1/2 years. 

And then the waiting started. Books take a very long time to come back to the author in book form and be released into the world. All kinds of copy editing, book design, layouts, page proofs, and more happen - some the author is involved in, some not. And then as an author, you hit your deadlines and your job is over. You keep your fingers crossed that you will like what they do to your work. I'm used to this now, many books in. My book becomes the publisher's book and they do what they have to to make the book sell.

The night before the Yankee Magazine shoot just before Christmas, I received an advance copy of Crafting A Colorful Home straight from the warehouse so that it could be photographed for the article. I held my breath as I opened the book. Supper had to wait - I had to look through it and see what it looked like. I exhaled as I examined it all - it was good. Phew! 

So this is what I would like to offer you all - my dear blog readers..... For the month of January, I will sell and ship you a signed copy of Crafting a Colorful Home free of any shipping charges. And I have some goodies for you too! I will enclose an exclusive Kristin Nicholas Bookplate for you to mount inside the book (or in another book).  You have two Bookplate Designs to choose from - FLOWERS or HOUSE. I will also include a set of 5 assorted Kristin Nicholas photo postcards. I bet Amazon won't do this for you!


The books will begin shipping January 20th which is the on-sale date. Order now or before the end of January to receive this special offer. (NOTE: Your Paypal account will be charged upon ordering.)

I thank you for ordering from me. Tomorrow I will share with you how this helps me and my family because this post has gotten way too long. 

Hop on over to my website to place your order. If you want the book signed to you or someone in particular, don't forget to add a note - otherwise I will sign it generically. Don't forget to choose your Bookplate Choice - FLOWER or HOUSE - and leave that in the comments too. 

If you prefer to order an unsigned book from Amazon, here is the link.  But of course, I appreciate you ordering signed books from me. Direct sales from the author to the reader really help us (and any other author).

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Beginning Again


We had a relaxing, restorative holiday season here at the farm. Lots of movie watching, nice stews, soups, a roast duck from our friends Laura and Rob at Sweet Morning Farm, and lots of glittery lights and tinsel decorations. The decorations are not coming down anytime soon because frankly, they make getting through winter much easier! Walking in from the cold to see twinkling decorations makes me smile. 


This week, it is unbearably cold. It is an extra job to keep the furnace stoked with wood and even then, the old farmhouse is still chilly and we are piling on the wool sweaters and blankets. Thank goodness for wool. 

The Farmer with his buddy Tommie getting rested up for lambing season

The last batch of kittens have all moved on to their new homes. It is quiet without them, I must say. No scurrying around underfoot, no pom poms being torn to shreds. Cats are fine and we love ours - but that kitten energy is so much fun. 



And then, they sleep and sleep hard.


It's about to get rather gray, white, and muck brown around this blog. Every year, when I look back on the past year's posts and my photos, I realize how "neutral" all the January through March photos are. That is because outside in western Massachusetts, it is stark, cold, gray, tan, and white. Added on to all these neutrals is the upcoming onslaught of lamb and sheep photos - off white, shades of brown, hay, and muck. For all you neutral lovers, this is your season on the "Getting Stitched on the Farm" blog! 

The sheep have started lambing. This week is proving very difficult with an ice storm and now everything is frozen. Walking around is a challenge - even with those metal track things that wrap around boots. We can't put down enough sand and salt. The Farmer took a spill the other day and he is hurting but cannot stop working because the animals are depending on him. (I seriously worry and wonder about how many more years he can keep up his pace.) There are a lot of mouths to feed and mothers to look after with babies coming daily. I help and we have an intern learning about lambing a few mornings a week. Our friend Terri, a delivery room nurse, is going to help some too.  I realize now why farm families had a lot of children - it would be very helpful to have some extra hands. Here are some previews of photos to come.




Stay warm everyone!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

2015 Arrives

Wishing all your dreams come true for 2015 my dear friends. We've had a few quiet days here at the farm, enjoying the time off and chance to be together. Here are some photos from the last couple weeks that feel wintery and holiday-ish. I hope you all have enjoyed the short days and the holiday season. If you are lucky to have extra time off with your family, make the most of it!


 












Happy 2015 everyone!