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!


Kathryn Vercillo said...

Those kitties are the cutest :) I'd stay in all winter just watching them!

Unknown said...

Remembering those icy footings being from N. IL. The reason we finally moved to a warmer setting. Just love your blog and hubby asks about the farm and Winston every now and then, too. God Bless and keep you, Sandie Poe

Lindsay said...

Looking forward to the lambing pictures- I love watching that lifecycle from my windowless office!! Thanks for sharing Kristin!

penny said...

stay warm & safe! good thoughts for the Farmer to have a speedy & complete healing after the spill.

Laura Timmerman said...

I am glad you are having a peaceful holiday and winter, Kristen. It feels good over here in the center of town as well. Although I could do without that icy walk to feed the chickens and ducks! Tomorrow I plan on staying inside as much as possible, feeding the fire, and making lasagna. Brr...

I love the lambing pictures and stories on your blog. Good luck with lambing!

Debknitter said...

Stay warm. I wanted to tell you I purchased your new book this fall, and after Christmas I have been practicing the embroidery stitches on a small piece of plaid wool. I am having so much fun - your concepts have really encouraged me to venture into being more creative!

Auntie Shan said...

yeah, that ice "storm" wasn't so helpful up here in the "city" either. Had about 8-inches of "Baked Alaska" on our driveway the other day! A quarter inch of ice-crust coating frozen SLUSH. Thankfully one of my SNOWBLOWER-Neighbours did most of my "slab" & the several feet of PLOW-POOP "Barrier". Next day, the temps totally nose-dived! It's -37C [-35F] windchills at the moment. For the first time in years the "normal" *frigid* temps are BACK! -- That said, I certainly DON'T envy your "farm" Life at the moment!
Anyhoo, stay WARM and keep THE FARMER *healthy*! [We all worry about Him too!] - Start popping the Vitamin D!
[woolly-warm *HUGS*!!]

Auntie Shan said...

I've just scanned up my Blog-reading-list... Between the Posts of EVERYONE freezing their "twitters" off, "MARTHA" is apparently in PALM BEACH!

Anonymous said...

Stay warm, Kristin. I know--farming is hard work, can't imagine how hard you guys have to work. It is very cold in Central Maine too--wind chill of -35 tonight. But I do have parsley growing in a kitchen pot and am about to watch "The French Connection." Will be nice to see neighbors in 4 months or so:) Everybody here seems to keep up Christmas light for same reason as you!
Ann from Maine

Adaliza said...

Sending my best wishes for your lambing season - it's such a hard time on the farm. Do you have 'internships' over there? A young person who works and learns 'on the job' for a minimal wage, supplemented by a government scheme. Lots of businesses like yours over here benefit so much from their youth, energy and work contribution. It would be wonderful experience for a young person who wants to be a farmer, vet or work with animals. Keep warm and love to you all. Az x

Vermont Grand View Farm said...

I too began to feel the gray of winter until my daughter, who is now living in Mainz, Germany, sent me photographs of what she sees each day as she walks to class. She had told me that it is more gray there than in VT but I did not believe her until seeing her pictures! Indeed-there is a place that looks more gray than New England. They have no snow there and so everything is truly gray. It is amazing how the snow adds to the color scheme-I am now seeing not jut gray, but blues, browns, and pinks on my landscape.

Wishing your ewes and lambs well as they lamb in this bitter cold.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is my favorite! I wish we could keep our Christmas up longer, but we are weird here in AZ for doing as much as we do! We do keep it up until Twelfth Night though. I love to wake up to the lights, too.
Stay warm and healthy, Kristin.
janie horn

Yola's Lamb and Zucchini Koftas (Meatballs) with Za'atar Yogurt Sauce

It's been a while since I've shared any new lamb recipes. A couple of weeks ago, our friends Yola and George visited and she shared ...