to celebrate the publication of my new book


Our colorful 1751 farmhouse will be open to the public. On view will be many of the projects that are featured in Crafting A Pattern Home along with many other things I have made over the years.

This event will be a celebration of the handmade. I hope the day will inspire you to add some pattern and color to your home.

The event is FREE. Books will be available along with some other things I have made. For more information and directions, see the EVENTBRITE PAGE HERE. Although tickets are not mandatory, it will help me get a count to know what to expect. Hope to see you here in western Massachusetts in May.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Cora and Julia

Last year we had a couple bottle lambs Julia named Cora and Elise. Instead of keeping them at our house, we fed them at the barn so that they would know they were sheep and when they grew and no longer needed milk, they would easily assimilate into the flock. We had learned to do this from past year's experience. The year before last, we kept four lambs here and they decided they didn't want to be sheep. All summer, two in particular kept running into the house whenever the door was open. They kept trying to escape the electric fence and baaahed incessantly whenever they were "punished" by being put with the flock. We eventually had to find other homes for them. Since then, I have gotten a screen door but The Farmer and I decided that raising bottle lambs with the rest of the flock is best for all - sheep, us, and the house.

One of the bottle lambs from last year was named Cora and she was always a little different. She was very friendly and would run up to us whenever we arrived at the barn - feeding time or not. This isn't unusual for a bottle lamb since they count on their person for their food and "motherly" interactions. She would hang around, even after her bottle was finished. She especially liked Julia and any other small children who came to visit. As she grew, she became a sheep and grazed with the flock and did all that a sheep is supposed to do.

Sunday, during our extended stay at the barn, Cora started hanging around us again. She remembered Julia. It was so incredibly cute. I took these photos of the two of them - happy as any re-united friends.

Friends Forever?

Thanks for all the astute observations about the lamb in the house number! You guys are actually reading this thing! As some of you surmised, the little lamb from last week wasn't claimed by anyone. He came up here and had two rough days where he was very weak. The Farmer didn't think he would make it - but he did pull through. He figured out how to suck on a bottle and after a few more days of TLC, he was looking sprite. I woke up a few times in the night to hear the little pitter-patter or clumpety-clump (depending on how you hear it) of his hooves running around the living room.

This morning, on his way back to the farm to become a real sheep, I took the bottle lamb to school to share with the kids. I do what I can to spread the farming word. Julia is the only child in the entire school who has farm animals and lives on a bonafide farm. I feel it is my duty to teach the kids that their food doesn't come from plastic wrapped packages. It's a tough battle but some of them get it and are interested. Others could care less.

Lamb Count - 49 (it was a very busy day at the barn but at least it was warm!)
Lambs in the House - 0


anmiryam said...

Glad the little guy made it through.

How do sheep know how to smile. Cora looks like she's grinning, if a bit cross-eyed in that last photo.

marit said...

What a nice photo of Julia and Cora! And I think it is great that you brought the bottle lamb to school!
Does your sheep normally get two lambs each? If so, you should have nearly 150 more?

TerriMoran said...

I so enjoy reading your posts. Your world is so different from our urban Phoenix one. We have a dog that looks like a sheep. She's lounging in the courtyard near the lemon trees now. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us.

Kathleen C. said...

I'm so glad the lamb pulled through! I thought that was probably who you meant. So he'll live in the barn now, but you'll still have to bottle feed him?
And I remember last year with the sheep in the house. Sheep, guinea hens, cats... quite interesting house guests you have!

Anonymous said...

I love the pictures of Julia and Cora. They really do appear to be good friends! Also, I think it's great that you took the bottle lamb to school. I'm a city girl, but when I was growing up, every year we went to a family reunion held at my great-grandmother's farm. I saw pigs, cows, chickens, and bee hives (at a distance). I remember feeding a bottle lamb there once. I learned a lot from my farm relatives about how the animals and crops to feed them were raised. And they served the best fried chicken I have ever eaten.

Mountain Dweller said...

What a good idea to take the lamb to school - the kids must have loved him!

knittingiris said...

These are such sweet pictures, filled with warmth and wooly goodness, both Cora in her own coat and Julia in her handknits.

mary said...

Those are the CUTEST pictures! And I love Julia's knits.

I raised a turkey in the house for a week once...

Nik said...

I was just thinking about how cool it would be to have sheep just walking into my house all willy-nilly.

I wish that I had a farm, or at least acres of land so that my doggie could run and be free.

meliabella said...

I do believe that Cora is smiling in that last picture!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful posts! What great photos of Julia and the lambs!

-- Grace in MA

Calling on Kahlo said...

The sheep is smiling in the last photo, what a great photo!

I am happy to hear the lamb is doing better.

knititch said...

i love your posts too. and your little girl with the sheep cora is incredibly cute.

Gammy aka Peggy said...

The picture of Julia and Cora nose to nose is one of the cutest things I've ever seen.