Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm Overwhelmed.....

I want to thank everyone for entering the Sock Yarn Giveaway. There's still time if you haven't -- until noon Friday. I also want to thank some bloggers for recent links and welcome some new readers. Thanks to Tip-Nut, Domestik Goddess, CraftStylish, and the lovely Susan B. Anderson (who continually sends readers here!). I'm not a big blog reader (dial-up) so I wasn't even aware of the first three blogs. Wow - what wonderful resources.

I write this blog by myself - I never know if what I am writing is resonating with anyone. Comments are few and far between - it's like I am writing in a vacuum or something. That's okay with me - I'm making it my own bit of entertainment. Blogging is cheap and as long as it doesn't cut too much into my work, it's a good thing. "Getting Stitched on the Farm" has been fun for my family to see our farm life documented. Looking back, year after year, season after season - seeing the colors in the photos change - and sharing what we do is valuable to us. But let me say, after reading all of your comments yesterday and today, I feel certain that it is also valuable to others.

My family and I thank you all for all the well wishes about Cora. She was killed a few weeks ago and so I have made my peace with it. I waited to tell Julia about Cora to be absolutely sure it was her that was the pile of black fleece I found on the ground. I so wanted it to be a different, nameless black sheep - not quirky Cora.

Living on a farm makes me so aware of nature. I really relish it. I look forward to the changing seasons - from the ice and snow and cold sub-zero temperatures of winter... to the brown overtones of everything during mud season in March and April.... to the fresh chartreuses of spring leaves budding on the trees in May... to the planting of the sunflower seeds and garden vegetables in early summer.... all the way through the harvest of our fruits and vegetables and the incredible autumn oranges, golds, reds, and browns.

Farming is full of successes and failures -- most have nothing to do with our human doings. We can coax nature along by tilling the earth, by planting different varieties of plants and flowers, by weeding and composting, by buying a certain ram and keeping the ewes healthy and well fed - not too fat, not too thin - so that they can be bred and produce our lamb crop. We can read all the farming books we want, do everything just so.... but nature always intervenes.

That is just one of the lessons I have learned living here on this farm. Nature is bigger than anyone or thing. Those darn coyotes are just a part of the natural ecosystem that is this place. They are one of the nuisances that we have to put up with and deal with. They are just one part of farm life that continues to be a challenge. Every year, The Farmer and I learn so many new things. We've had our sheep for almost thirty years now. You would think that we have seen it all. But we haven't. There's always a new disease to try to figure out. Like the lamb that went blind this summer - we had never seen that before. But we learned that it was a mineral deficiency she had - only too late to treat her. There's always a new farming idea to try. And always, the coyotes are there - they don't go away. You just have to try to live with them even if it isn't easy nor pleasant.

This has been a good week here on the farm. Julia learned a little more about life and death although it wasn't an easy lesson for her. On Tuesday she reminded her dad, The Farmer, that in deed it was Tuesday. She wanted to make sure he knew it was Tuesday -- because Tuesday is auction day. "Daddy, you should go and buy me a new lamb." I thought this was quite bright of her. Who knew she has actually been paying attention to Tuesday being auction day?

We didn't go and buy her a new lamb. We told her that she would have to wait until January when we were sure we would have a new bottle lamb for her to care for.

If you have time or the interest, you might want to scroll down through the comments section of the Sock Yarn Giveaway post. The notes are lovely. Especially sweet and super clever is the comment by Rane and her four kids and husband (1:00 a.m.). They sent us a hilarious and clever list of ideas for coyote protection. Read it if you can.

Thank you all. Sock yarn winner tomorrow afternoon, I promise.


Rane said...

We love the photo of Julia here.
It looks like the little lamb is
tring to get her attention and
she already is busy with 2 others.
Or it is making a snack out of her
nice coat.
We are honored that you liked out
little list. The kids had a blast
making it! They did take it very
serious though. And have a new list
that they wrote down, I will have
to look at the lists now and make
sense of them because of their
handwriting. As soon as I get
everyone onto the bus. And have a
talk with the 3 year old on what
he thinks. He always has the best
Ideas. Because of him we had a
picnic at the mall. He wanted to
watch people. Yep. We made a lunch
took it to the mall and watched
people for dinner. The kids had
a blast. Then we came home. The did
not want to look or buy anything
just look at people. I have a
funny group. But it gave me a
chance to talk about different
people and how we all make up
this melting pot here in the U.S.A.
And that they are all part of it.
My 3 yo. just asked me what I am
typing and I told him and he says
you should try it. But dont for
get desert like I did, *I forgot
the desert on the table...sorry
buddy* he is still miffed at me.
Ok I got to get everyone up and
out then I will comeback with a
new list.
Thank you again, you are so sweet!
Rane and baby eating the mouse.

KPiep said...

I was raised on a farm - a small, hobby-sized farm to be sure - but a working farm nonetheless. Both parents were raised on the type of farms that supported their entire families, so we are well versed in what it's really like to live that way. My own lesson came when I was 8 and we sold my beloved show cow, Laura, because she couldn't conceive. My parents knew well enough to not keep the meat for ourselves, but we did get a letter from the people who bought her, telling me how yummy she was! It was harsh, but it's the way life works - and I'm grateful now that I was raised that way.

Hilary said...

Kristin, I love your blog. I look forward to reading it every day - not just for the knitting and crafting stuff but for the insights into your amazing life. Thank you for doing it - I know it's not always easy to keep up with, but I, for one, love it. :-)

Hilary in Michigan

Lynn said...

Kristin, I love your blog and read it always. Just because we lurkers don't always comment doesn't mean we're not reading and enjoying!

Kim said...

I am another faithful reader/seldom commenter. The envious farm life and knittign inspiration keep me coming back. I don't have words to describe the horror I felt after reading your post about the meeting with Julia's teachers. I live in a suburb that not so very long ago was in the country with corn and soybean fields and horse farms all within walking distance. In fact when my son was a baby, our daily routine included a walk to see the horses after naptime. Anyway, the horses are gone and the fields are being eaten up by homes put up too close together. Sad. And then the homeowners get wound up about the coyotes. I saw a coyote on the side of the road this morning that had been hit by a car. I felt sorry for the coyote. NO point to my story, I guess. Just to let you know you are not the only one who apperciates her individual lifestyle and wants to protect it.

caroline said...

de-lurking to say how much I love your blog, Kristin. I've always thought that given how many subscribe to your blog, you'd be overwhelmed by comments and so probably haven't commented as much as I could. Thanks for letting us know that's not the case! I, too, live in a very rural area (town pop. 200) and though I don't farm or ranch, most of my neighbors do. Out here (Boulder, Utah) the coyotes and mountain lions take pets often if the local trappers don't catch our dogs' legs. One little girl's dog had a leg amputated yesterday due to traps. So, yeah, nature (and human) red in tooth and claw is very real here. Anyway, thanks for all that you write.

Mary Lou said...

i laughed very hard at the coyote comment list. We have some coyotes right in the city in St. Paul and folks are concerned for their pets. Maybe I'll share the list from Rane's family with the neighbors.

Rane said...

Mary Lou~
If it is ok with Kristin it is
fine with me. My kids will feel
that they are changing the world
one list at a time.
You are very sweet. And they are

Rane said...

Just realized I misspelled
"dessert" oh well I am a
very bad speller there are
morethan likely other misspelled
LOL! Can't dress me up and can't
take me anywhere!~LOL!

Penny said...

Kristen: I read every post and have for quite some time, probably one of your first posts, but rarely know what words to use to respond. So I try to give my food money to local businesses and farms when I can, and my fibrey friends as well. I don't always succeed as the temptation of cheap and easy and fast (aka chain stores) is often tempting, but I'm trying to do better especially in these "new economic times". I didn't grow *up* on a farm, but near one and worked at the farm stand for a part of a summer or two (mum did three summers). it was not easy and i learned a considerable amount and give my respect with that experience... {hugs}
(the words of people involved with julia's education are still irking me)

kay said...

I'm more of a lurker but please know I enjoy your blog so much. I enjoy reading about your family and the farm. And I like seeing knitting from your perspective as a designer. Thanks for putting it out there.

Rane said...

I love the photo of Julia
hugging her sheep, and all of
the other sheep waiting their
What to do about coyotes?
3 year old says:
give them hambugers, they taste
gooder...*we had sheep once,it was
at a friends house and we did not
know until we were eating it!
But he did not like it.*
Give them a bus ticket.
*I am not sure about this answer*
Give them take out menus...
*yeah he is a city kid...*sigh*
Tell their mammas on them,
*sorry buddy I think their
mamma's know.*
Feed them rice.
*He loves rice, after he eats
it he does not want to eat anything
Give them a time out...
*I don't think that even works
on you little buddy.*
Give them torkey...then they
will sweep.
*yeah he talks like that. And
he remembers thanksgiving.*
Go out at night see them,
then read them a story and tell
dem that they can go home and
eat in da morning.
*hehehe.... that is too funny.
At night he always asks for food
when I wont let him stay up...*
He told me these today and
I wrote them down so I would
not forget. He got into legos
after this and I did not get
any other ideas out of him.
I love how innocent he is.
Take care,
Rane and a teething baby.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and all that you have to say. I am a women of little words and so I really admire people like you who can express themselves so well this way.
Glad you are not following the advise of your daughters teachers when it comes to the way she dresses. That just really erked me when I heard that. I mean unless she is dressing inappropriately and is distracting to the other students visually then I cannot understand why they would suggest this. It's the cookie cutter world we live in I guess.
Anyway, I will be back to read more of your clever posts.:)
Take care,

Pat B said...

I too read your blog all the time and don't often comment because I don't want to take up your precious time. I absolutely love your gorgeous photos of and thoughtful comments on your life and location - so different from mine.
RE: coyotes - even in my uber urban neighborhood on Capitol Hill in Seattle we have a coyote problem. There's a greenbelt park two blocks from my house where they apparantly hang out and they have been spotted on the streets and alleys and in between our closely spaced houses and are suspected of having nabbed several cats in the neighborhood.