Stories from the Farm

 

 

 

 

DECEMBER  2017  

Well… what can I say it has been a busy year.  We added a new adopted sheep, Matilda.  She is Columbia/rambouillet cross and stands over the rest of the flock.  She settled in nicely, keeps an eye out for all.

My husband Bob took some time off this year to help out with the chores while I have a knee replacement done.   No big deal, in and out within a day.  But, hobbled around for a couple of weeks.  He didn’t want me near the horses since my response time was not the usually just in case.  Took a bit till I was able to work the peddles on the tractor to do my work,  but that has lone pasted.

Several great shows”  the Farm Tour in the East Mtns, Spring Fiber at Golondrinas, The Heart of NM Fiber Gathering, and Fall Fiesta at Santa Fe, and wrapping up this next week will be the final Open  Barn Fiber & Yarn Sale here at the Wool
Shed.  

The  New digs for the Wool Shed are working out well.  Lost of space to get everything out and on display,  and move around.  (the dogs insist on helping me most days, and George, the house cat seems to find me when I am out there working.

Many thanks go to the gal that stepped in for September while Bob & I celebrated our 30th Wedding Anniversary in Hawaii.  Kauai, & Hawaii,  a must visit, just beautiful!  Miss the ocean so much… it was great just to play in the surf!  Been trying to get there since I was 15…so it was appreciated even more.

MAY

AND WE ARE OFF TO ANOTHER GREAT YEAR!  The first lambs have already found new homes.  Keeping my bottle babies and “Bear” a furry little darling, surprise!  Daddy had some Churro in his background somewhere.   Everyone is out on the new pasture, Hank (the horse) still gets his kicks by stirring up the flock.

We acquired a used RV of sorts.  It has been stripped out, and re-done inside.  The outside is being re-faced for a “Western” look.  This will be my studio and new storage.  Everything almost in once place.  For its age it seem to have been remarkably strong,  “back in the day”, when they really made things “real”.

Getting ready for the first 3 Events in June.  Two at Golondrinas Rancho, and the East Mountain Farm Tour we take part in.  Busy,  Busy!

February 2017  Catching up

It has been a real busy New Year.  Doesn’t seem possible we are already in another!

Thank goodness, I get another one!!  Anyway.  So it has been busy,  just finished the Shearing for the new year.  All the prospective Mothers are clean and ready.

IMG_20170204_132901Pat M our great shearer did a wonderful job as usual.  He shears all over the South West.  If you need a great shearer I would be happy to pass on his number.  But he is a busy man.  It is so nice not to have my Rambouillets  get cut.  Like Merinos, and I have one, they have tremendous neck folds and get can tricky to shear.

I have picked out several fleeces to go to the NM State Fair which I missed last year.  Looking forward to those winning ribbons again!

Made the Event Calendar for the year.   You can find it listed on that page.  There may be some changes as planned,   life often changes ours.  Right!

Because it  is so warm I am working on the garden beds, going to plant peas soon.  The new green house (very Small) thanks to  my Bob is working out.  Tomatoes are started.  Petunias made it thru the winter, & blooming, have broccoli half grown, and lettuce.  Still have to repair the snake netting around everything, it works so well. (bird netting).

The new baby chickens are getting big and out of danger from said snakes which love little guys.  No baby rabbits this year as I have 8 angora rabbits that are in need constant grooming,  plenty of work there.

Lambs are due any time now.  Several ladies can hardly walk.  So it is back to the nightly “barn check”.  I try to do every 2-3 hours,  and still sometimes they don’t wait for me to show up!

Getting some dying done, lots of spinning of white wool so I have plenty on hand if needed to dye.  Working on the Mohair/Wool fiber I just got back from Frankenmuth Mill.  Just beautiful, and hop to have some ready for sale soon.

 

OCTOBER!!!  2016

Here it is already!!  Lots of things happen since August!

The Fiber Gathering at the Rescue Park in Edgewood had a great turnout , thanks so much to all.  See you there next year!  I hear more events are planned so stay tuned. Labor Day weekend 2017.

Then there was the Renaissance Fair at Golondrinas!  Goodness what fun!  My first, so I got a costume and joined in the abundance.lord

Lots of different genera represented.  Great fun, my shawls were a hit that went well with the time period.  Again Thanks!

Harvest Festival is coming up there Oct 1 & 2  so stay  here for results…always a great Festival!

 

JULY  & AUGUST

Beginning July, will be open to visitors to the “Shed” by Request.  Just call /Text ahead.  A day before would be great, even I have to go out for Dr.s, or food!

July & August are busy.  I am spinning, spinning, spinning,! These are great months for  dying wool and making art batts.  Trying to get restocked for the Fall Season.  My spinning wheels that I have here are on clearance (see home page)  of course you can still  ordered for direct ship from the companies.   I just need the space!

So don’t miss the Fall events here (Christmas Open House) and before that others in our Santa Fe Area.  See EVENTS !

 

June  2016

A busy beginning of the summer season.  The Spring Fiber Festival at Rancho de las Golondrias in Santa Fe was a great success.  Well organized this year which made it a pleasure for vendors.   The Wool Shed did well. I will be there for the Renaissance Fair  in Sept and then again in Oct for the Harvest Festival.

The East Mountain Farm Tour of which we take part in June 11 & 12 was the 13th annual happening of this and again,  was a wonderful time.  Lots of folks took advantage of all the local farms and studios participating.  Many thanks to all that attendants.

Special  acknowledgement to the winner of the $25 gift certificate that I raffled off:     Winner was:  Donna Dixon..                Congrats!  ( I had pick another name but was unable to reach that person by phone or email for a bit)  Did finally..Lorran L. from Roswell, NM  So  both got a Gift Certificate!

We also welcomed a new baby lamb the day before and have 2 more ewes expected at any time. Not something that was planned, (we lamb in Feb & March).  But……

Extreme sadness as our Handicap Ewe Poky had to be put down.  She was one of the 3 the escaped ram got pregnant.  This was never planned.  She was raised by me since her birth and the loss is extremely disheartening to me.  Unfortunately we lost her and he lamb both due to complications,  a decision that is always the hardest to make but she had a good long life and was babied the whole time.  Love you baby girl!

 

May 2016

May tends to a busy time here at Maple Winds Farm.  Lambs have just been separated from their Moms.  The noise resulting is a times ear shattering.   The Gardens are being planted.  Pasture is going green,  and the neighbors cows are out in the pasture next to us.  I always enjoy that!  Hummingbirds are back, and the flies are awake, not so welcome.

I am spinning my butt off.  (Don’t I wish!!)  Spring Fiber Festival is an annual event at Rancho de las Golandrias in Santa Fe.  June 2 &3.   This is always a treat, and such fun.  All the Fiber folks look forward to this each year.

Also,  the East Mountain Fiber & Studio Tour, June 11 & 12, of which I take part in.  Local fiber producers open their ranches and farms to the public.  Everyone likes seeing how we do things, and get to see the source of the fiber.

I have just got my wool back from Mora Spinning Mill.  They just clean and card my wool, I do all the spinning.  Although I am hand washing and carding a Brown Merino fleece that is just outstanding, (should have gone to the Fair ,  but just had to get it done!

Below are some pics of the Lambs.

Annabelle Lee

Tunis Ram Lamb

neighbors cows

 

April  2016

In like a lion out like a lamb??  Really!.. not 2016.  March finish here in New Mexico like a lion!  Cold, some snow in areas.  It was just real unpleasant for the new babies in the barn.

Currently I am spinning yarn for dying trying to prepare for the Fiber Shows that will be coming up this season.  Making throws on the loom.  That all has to be spun.  I use handspun for my warp as well and it can be extensive.  whew!!

Garden is ready for planting.  Peas have been started in the house along with my tomatoes,  they are a priority this year.

The horses are all wound up with Spring in the air.  Extra work with them to bring back the thinking side of the brain!  Hank the Trotter sometimes thinks to much!!

Lost a bee hive this winter.  Replacements just arrived. Got 2 new packages of bees.   This year from Nobel,  excellent condition, best I have gotten from any supplier!

This is always a stressful morning.  Getting them into their new home and settled.  Looking forward to lots of honey this year.  My old hive has grown well over the winter and may have to be divided.

Next month will share some pictures of the new lambs.  The only different ones this year were a set of twin ewes,  black and white.  One looks like a Holstein.  She became very attached to me, yep, probably isn’t going anywhere.  Smart girl!

March 2016

Usually March is a happy month as we wait for lambs to arrive. But this year it is overshadowed by the lost of a great Sheep Dog, loyal friend and devoted sidekick.

march1

The whole gang last year. SkyHawk Bernice Mountain Dog.
Here with Sherlock and young Samantha, still on patrol; but missing “the Big Guy”. I have been fortunate to have some great companions over the years, but …this one was the Best of the Best!!

march2


a1February 2016

It is time to shear sheep. This is a picture of my Ram Tristen…a most handsome and sweet gentleman. He always comes up to me in the morning for kisses!a2

 

 

 

This is the after……but he is still my sweet boy! Lambs coming! There is fleece for sale until it goes to Mora Mill.

 

 


January 2016

Spinning Wool

Spinning Wool

A new year has begun and a new crop of projects await. Seen in the picture here is indigo wool being spun into yarn. This Month through March the EVFAC Center in Espanola is featuring “Blues”. So I am making my contribution to that event. If you have a chance please support them and check it out. Of course you can order here!

All my yarns are handspun right here in my living room. Nothing is ever sent out to be commercially done. The exception to that before I spin I have the fiber cleaned and carded.

The colors are dyed here also using Australian Gaywool Dyes. Know for great color and permanence . I either leave then solid color in skeins or make art batts and art yarn from them.

I am hoping next month to add shawls to the web site. I have found it difficult to show them well thru the computer screen, but will attempt.

The other big project : The “David” by Louet

yarn


 

December 2015

pokeyDuring the Holidays we are thankful for all that we have. Family, health and a warm place to lay our head each night. On the Farm we are grateful for our surroundings that also include our animals which are part of the family we love.

Meet Poky; visitors always ask what happen to her? Just fate I guess. She was born back in NH on a Feb night that was -10 degrees. I have a 2 hr check protocol during lambing. I found her frozen to the ground next to her mom and twin, who was fine. Even in the barn it is very cold. I brought her in, placed her in a sink of warm water and she was good. She then became a pampers house baby. Soon I discover why mother had ignored her. He front leg tendons were short and she could not stand. I tried all sorts of things after the Vet said there was no hope. Hanging slings, even baby strollers that would allow her to walk on all 4’s. She should have been put down but of course, by the time everything was tried..not going to happen.

She soon adapted to life in the flock. Her spirit is strong and often gets her in places she should not be, like the pasture in Fall. She runs into the middle of the flock so I can’t get to her, and out she goes. With all the good grass gone and hard ground I like to keep her in the barn. Being spoiled she gets sweet grain and a bit of alfalfa along with grass hay. She knows this responding to being called back a little later when the thrill is gone. We love her dearly, and grateful she loves us back.


October 15 2015

Further explanation and Plea to see your Doctor when you should. Colon Cancer is a silent killer. Get checked at age 50 or sooner. It will save your life, as it did mine!

But just to add a little color to this decision story previously, here is what happened while we were waiting for me to recover from that major surgery.

Just as we found a place in NM I was diagnosed with cancer. This delayed us a year. Weeks in hospital, and recovery. 2 Weeks a home before I even went out of the house. Total of 9 months of recovery.

I got to the barn, to see , “my therapist who lives in the barn” as he does. Seeing my sheep again made me cry, but seeing my boy, and the smell of horse…..well you horse people know.

I had got a horse after 40 years when I retired. There was time then. And, yes the hardest thing about learning to ride again, is the ground!! anyway…..

Of course I was doing horse poop patrol and things I was not allowed to do while recovering, then, One morning, I had let the crew out to the pastures. First pasture across a stream by the barn was large, and a lower pasture that was down the mountain connected by a cleared pathway. Suddenly I heard hoof beats like from a Western movie (like they film here in NM) my horse come galloping across the upper pasture and down into the barn. Snorting and stomping, something was wrong. Where are the sheep?

I grabbed a tree branch for a cane and walked up to the first pasture. Then headed down the path to the lower, sheep just clearing the crest of that hill, scattered into the woods to their rear gate for the barn. Then.. a 300 lb black bear tearing up the hill appears after them. He was huffing and puffing, scary… ok.

I ran towards him waving my stick and doing a Tarzan yell. He took the hint and high tailed it back into the woods in the opposite direction. I have had many encounters with bears thru the years, that was the first and last that actually threatened my livestock.

I understand from my daughter, he took up residence when we left our farm in NH,  in the lower pasture in the tall grass. One of the last times I was back, there were also 3 turkeys and a deer by the back door. Life goes on, nature will always bring things back to their natural state.


 

October 1 2015

One of the questions everyone asks is: why did you move to New Mexico from New Hampshire?

My heart breaks when I think of the home and my mountain that took me 30 years to make my own back in New Hampshire. But as wiser people than me say, we are just visitors here, it is not ours. I lived in a beautiful mixed forest, on a mountain top. Moose, bears, and fisher cats!

This involved plowing a mile of snow off the drive to get to work etc., and we are talking months of snow that could go 1 to 2 feet at a time, that adds up. It causes ice and related problems. Ice storms that bent trees over the drive so bad you could not walk under them. One time it snowed so much, my husband had to walk the drive in snowshoes to beat a path down for the snowmobile.

And yes, for many years in winter snowmobile was the means of transport up and down the driveway as we were building it. Food, grain for animals, and even furniture went up in the sled behind it.

When you get older you have to a realest. Making better, smarter choices than when you were younger.
The discussion was long and difficult , then, decision.

I still laugh when there is an inch of snow here  in NM and panic ensues. I am used to -20’temps day after day and if it goes below 40 it is cause for alarm. I guess that is why us Yankees are a tough breed.


 

September 21 2015

This is a new addition to our web page. I have had so many inquiries from customers and friends about the everyday happenings, they suggested I share some.

So, I am glad to do so. Old ones when I can remember them,(not always easy!) and new when I can. Apology now if anything offends anyone as life on the “farm” and prairie, is different.

Cat and Yarn

This is Thomas who had already used up one of “her” nine lives before her eyes opened.

I went into the barn to check on lambs and kittens this past April at 10pm. ( The Mother, who is at least 10yrs old, having returned home after more than a year pregnant and missing part of her tail) she lost one of the kittens, and I found this one alone in the nest she had made in the Ram pen. She was behind a carrier I had placed hoping she would use it. She looked “funny” but kitten was ok so I left them alone.

Morning came, no mother, kitten cold and crying. Later seeing Mom, I took the kitten, having been warmed up and fed with an eye dropper, back to the barn. Just as I was going to place it back in the hay nest I saw movement. It turned out to be a 6′ plus rattler.

It must have been to cold, as it had not eaten the kitten the previous night, but had bitten the Mom. I place the kitten in some fleece, and dispatched the snake to snake haven. Mom was treated with large dose of penicillin and survived. Oh, did she ever!

Thomas came into the house and is in the terrible teenage years! Mom went right out again and had 3 more kittens! A visit to Vet followed. One new Kitten to a new home, the 2 remaining are now in the Barn Crew and doing great.

Sleeping Cat

Thomas most favorite place to take naps?  In any basked of wool he can find!

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