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.