Thursday, January 31, 2013

That Sheep Will be The Death of Me Yet

Brontë's got it in for me. One day you'll find me face down in the pasture with just one small cloven hoof print on my back.

Brontë is my Icelandic sheep. She's really more like a goat with wool. She's the most inquisitive, the most pushy, and the most adventurous of all the sheep. When I brought her little self home as a lamb (and when I say lamb let's just be clear that she wasn't all that little at the time - see above) she leaped out of the back of my trusty RAV4 and clocked me under the chin with the top of her hard little head almost knocking out all my teeth. (And so started the migraines I suffer from today.)

I'm not positive it was her, mind you, but the other day I was walking ahead of the sheep with extra hay to put into the mangers and going through the gate someone flattened me from behind. I went down like a ton of bricks and all I saw was a blurry sheep face. But when I gingerly picked myself up off the ice there were only two sheep in the pen: Siobhán and Brontë. And Siobhán is too much of a lady to flatten me.

So there you have it. Accident? I think not. I was lame for a couple days but no permanent damage. This time. Yesterday, after I put the animals into the pasture Brontë walked back to the gate and stood looking up at me (it's sort of a Brontë pose . . . as you can see) as if to shoot the breeze for awhile, maybe inquire after my injuries, assess the damage, survey her handiwork. She assured herself I was still mobile, seemed satisfied, and returned to the flock with a gleam in her eye. Plotting, I imagine, for her next opportunity.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Time to Milk The Almonds

My favorite milk = water, almonds, Vitamix.
Almond milk hot chocolate: almond milk + maple syrup + cocoa = Mmmmmmmm.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Inventory - To Dye or Not to Dye, That is The Question

Working on inventory today to take with me to the upcoming fiber retreat where I'll be teaching and vending. (More details about that later.) This is 140 yards of smooshy fibery lusciousness made from a combination of mohair and angora. I love everything about the character of this yarn. When I get a few skeins done I'm going to dye some and see what happens. What color would you dye this yarn???

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

One Thing is Clear . . .

 . . . I need more cast iron pots. It's -2 and supper is started. On the woodstove. In the dutch oven we have what will be chicken soup (for the carnivores in the family. I think I'll have kelp noodles today), in the garlic roaster we have garlic. Roasting. For the garlic and asiago rolls, and in the front pot we have blueberries for the blueberry pie because I just found out it's national pie day and we should really take time to celebrate these kinds of things. Shouldn't we? What kind of pie are you having today?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Better Late Than Never?

So this is me, or it would be if I ever had a chance to sit down for five seconds. My life was supposed to get easier and slower once I finished the book I was writing. Except that I forgot to take into account that the State of Vermont wants my Sales and Use Tax this week and because I was so busy writing the book I didn't record a single receipt, check, etc. So essentially I have to prepare my taxes like NOW instead of getting to wait until April like everyone else in order to get them the information - and money - they want.

Sooooooo.....I have a giveaway to do but I don't have time even to take pictures for it. And I wanted to do it yesterday. Because yesterday was a very important day. It marked the 4th year Reindeer Station Farm has been in existence. At least as an idea. On this day (yesterday) 4 years ago I sat spinning by my wood stove on a drop spindle with some 10 year old wool. It was nasty stuff, but I fell in love and decided I wanted my own sheep. The rest is history. But we're here and every day I get to play with my animals (or at least feed them and take care of them.) And that's a big accomplishment for me. Making art with their fiber is just a bonus (but a really great one.)

Bear with me, I AM trying. I have such big news (someone is coming to a fiber retreat near you, hint, hint.) Awesome new projects (scrimshaw even!) Cutie pix of animals. Wisdom from Hamish. News about Fergal. A new site to launch. But right now I am wrestling with deadline dragons. Hopefully I will vanquish them soon. I could use the break.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Merry (Belated) Christmas from Reindeer Station Farm

Hamish had some big bunny slippers to fill to do this year's promotional photo shoot but he bunnied up and was a sport about it. He was actually a bit of a natural although I heard him complain that the whole process was just one step above breading. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year from all the critters here at Reindeer Station Farm. Best wishes for health, happiness, and creativity in the year(s) to come!

Mama Céleste's Cure For Feeling Puny

When I edited Listen Magazine, our art director, Bill Kirstein, used to call having a cold "feeling puny." Since this is the time of year when many of us are feeling "puny" I thought I'd share my cure: Garlic Soup. I just made some of this for my MIL who is sick and it smelled so good I made another batch for my own lunch. I'm not feeling puny but it doesn't hurt to be prepared. Whopping cough is going around these parts. This recipe is pretty flexible. Add what you want and take out what you don't like. But the part that needs to stay the same is you use an entire head of garlic. You heard me. Man up. A whole head. Tip: to make it easier to peel the garlic, put the head of garlic in a towel. Gather it up so you have the garlic contained in the bottom as if you're carrying it in a bag and thump it on the counter a few times. That will peel some of the cloves for you and loosen up the skin on the others. You're welcome. So here you go . . . not only will this scare away cold germs but no one else will want to be around you either so don't indulge before a date.

Garlic Soup

2 cups of water
1 head of garlic, cloves sliced into this rounds
Chunk of vegetable bouillon the size of a pea
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
Generous pinch of sea salt
1 tsp - 1 Tbs red pepper flakes (optional but great)
1 scallion, chopped (optional but also nice)
Noodles from one packet of Ramen (optional but if you're squeamish about the garlic or want more of a meal soup rather than a broth these are nice. Discard the flavor packet. Or use a different kind of noodle.)
1 Tbs miso (any kind)

Boil everything but the noodles and miso until the garlic is tender. Add more water if you need to. Add noodles and cook until done. Remove from heat and add miso. Ta-da! Run, run, little cold germs. The garlic is coming to get you. Bwahaha . . .

In other news I'm struggling to get my life back under control after turning in the book the day before the deadline (yay!). There should soon be news of animals and new projects and Etsy listings (yay!). But please bear with me; I've been letting everything not essential slide while I worked on the book and it's going to take me awhile to whip it back into shape. An important event is happening in 12 days though . . . do you remember what? Am crossing my fingers for a sale or giveaway or some such to celebrate.

* Bowl by Patty Herzfeld (it's my favorite!)