Friday, September 23, 2011

Farmday Friday!! Yaaay!

Welcome to another installment of Farmday Friday!  Yaaaaaay!

Why do I always 'yaaaaay!' at the end?

Because I love everything farmy.  I am happiest when I am being farmy.  Farmy is my favorite.

So it's worth yaying about!

I thought I'd share some recent projects with you.  Lately I've been knitting like nothin' else.  Trying to get some WIP's out of the way so I can start on Christmas knitting, GAH! Christmas knitting!  Oh boy.  I'd better get moving.




I started these sock last year and finally finished them the other night! Yay!  They are so cozy and all mine.


Finished socks go immediately on my feet.  They striped up so nicely.  The next pair I'm making stripey stockings out of.  What fun!

I think these (below) are one of the more exciting things I've ever made.  They were supposed to be stockings but I ran out of yarn and had to make them in to quite long socks.  They are Suri Alpaca which is amazingly soft!  


When completed, they'll have a ribbon at the top to tie on your calf and I'll put them up for sale on Etsy.  I'm working on the second one right now!


Happy Knitting if you're a knitter and if not.  Why not?  It's so gratifying to make beautiful things, maybe someday I'll make you a convert.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Melancholia

It's not typically a good idea to mingle in melancholy.  I know this, but I also know that letting yourself do something, as long as you can pull away from it, helps build self-discipline.

So once in a while I let myself fall in to a bit of melancholy.  It's not serious.  It's usually hormonal.  And it's often not a time to have deep conversations because my efforts at communication are hijacked by the inability of my brain to communicate to my mouth exactly what I am trying to say.

In short, it's a good time for silence.  For turning off, tuning out and just waiting until it blows over.  Which it does, eventually.

So I was a bit mired in melancholy this past weekend and my method of turning off was to watch a couple movies.  One of which was absolutely perfect for what I was feeling.

Jane Eyre


Was stunning.  Enthralling, beautiful and passionate and melancholy all in one.

This is the best version I've ever seen at portraying the darkness that was felt in reading the book.  The ending was superb and I could watch it over and over and over except.....

it facilitates the melancholy so I won't.  I will take it back to the video store like a good girl and instead try to actually accomplish something.

But if you are looking for an amazing story, something to capture you and keep you until the very end, then I highly suggest this

Just remember to wake up from the ethereal nature of it when it is all over!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fiberaholics Anonymous

Hello my name is Fearless Farmgirl and I'm a Fiberaholic.

It all started innocently enough when my friend gave me my first large bag of alpaca fiber she'd found at a yard sale three years ago.

But that was just 'the thin end of the wedge' as they say and now the wedge is permanently, irrevocably inserted in between my eyes and it says 'FIBER' in bold print, because I simply can't say 'no'.

Case in point:
No this is not an enormous hair ball from a previous shower.  This is from a large, very dirty, bag I got from a friend of Suri Alpaca a few days ago that needed to be washed.  Note to self: don't ever dump the entirety of a big bag of fleece in the bath tub. ever. again.  Dumb-ee.


 And as for my addiction, it's so bad, that I don't care if my neighbors walking by, seeing this, (what looks like some slayed animal, lying out on the lawn) think I am very strange.



Because the finished product as seen here.......is totally worth it.


This is one addiction I don't plan on giving up anytime soon.

In the mean time I will paraphrase Tracey Ullman from her book Knit 2 Together:

"I was so excited I wasn't sure whether I should knit it or snort it!"

Amen to that.  Here's to fabulous fiber and never running out of it.

I think I need an intervention.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Won! Passing it On.

Recently MamaTea of A Farmish Kinda Life awarded me the Liebster Blog Award (THANKS MAMA!):

"Liebster" is a German word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kindly, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.
The Liebster is awarded to spotlight up and coming bloggers who currently have less than 200 followers.


I was thrilled and honored and honored and thrilled.  No one has ever given me an award before and you know, blogging can be hard work!!


I enjoy it for sure but there's a certain state of mind I have to be in or the words just don't flow and I end up with a post that it hurts my eyes to read.  I save them as drafts,  hoping that the writing karma will come back, it usually does!


As part of this award I also have to choose 5 blogs to showcase.  Blogs with less than 200 followers.  That shouldn't be too hard.  There are so many good blogs out there and I tend to shy away from the ones with tons and tons of followers.


I've always rooted for the underdog




So let's get going shall we?

Now besides bowing low, curtsying and accepting this lovely award, I also have to:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you. CHECK

2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog. CHECK

3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.  CHECK

4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers. DOUBLE CHECK

5. And most of all - have fun! CHECK CHECK CHECKITYCHECK

Top Fivers herewego:

Kristina from Pioneer Woman at Heart is a woman after my own heart!  Her heartwarming stories and updates on her farm are food for the soul.  I'm pretty sure we're cut from the same cloth and she's not afraid of a challenge.  Gotta love that!  She's a bit o' Fearless herself!

Lissa B. at Fabulous Farmgirl  Well her name practically says it all.  I just love her writing style.  She's pretty chipper about most everything she talks about and who doesn't need a bit of chipper once in a while?  I loved her post about the crayons. That's the kind of resourcefulness that makes a Farmgirl!

Forrester Farm's blog A Sprig of Lavender....one word FLOWERS.  The need to see pretty flowers is always fulfilled in this blog.  The owners make and sell things in nearby Michigan and I'm a sucker for lavender justaboutanything.  Go check them out!  Oh and who wouldn't want a chicken coop like this?  Awesome.

Let's not forget K. The Littlest Crafter!  K is sweet and one of my cheerleaders.  She stumbled upon me way back and since then we've been following each other's crafting ups and downs.  Her stained glass series was fun to watch, I've always wanted to try that, maybe some day!

And finally A Country Renaissance!  This woman wants to learn everything!  She's going at it like nobody's business too.  People so often look at me funny because of all the things I've learned on my own but I think KT on this blog understands that "learning something new is really about paying very close attention".

Congrats winners!  Spread the love, choose five blogs you love and pass it along, hope you like your award and have a splendiferous day.

xoxoxoxxo
FF

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Farmgirl to the Animal Rescue! (Part 3)

Our third and final installment of the strange, animal occurrences in my neighborhood.....and the most recent happening!

Last weekend my neighbor tapped at my door and asked me if I would please come take a look at this cat because it was walking funny.  I said sure, went out the patio screen door and started walking down the road with him.

I had a moment of worry when I realized that this might be too much for Sam.  He's ok apart from me if it's in an environment he's familiar with, the crate or the car work best, he can't seem to handle being out in the house, he get's too stressed.

Not a moment after I had those thoughts I heard something coming up behind me FAST! I turned around and here comes Sam, barrel-assing down the road right at me.  I wanted to laugh so hard but first I had to stop him.

I held up my hand and stood right in front of his path and yelled STOP!  And being the good, well trained doggie he is, he stopped and sat down right in front of me.  Good boy.  Dang proud I am.

My neighbor took Sam back for me and put him in the car while I continued on to the cat.

When I got there, she was laying low to the ground and pedaling her back legs, displaying her, um, nether regions and obviously in heat.

I almost laughed.  I forget that not many people have seen a cat in heat because you can have them spayed/neutered when they are quite young, before they've ever displayed the behavior that goes with it.

The cat was gorgeous.  A Tortie/Tabby mix, probably about 6-8 mos old and pretty friendly.  I held her on the ground by the scruff of  her neck so she wouldn't go any where while we decided what to do.  The little girl that lives on my street walked up and thankfully, she knew who the cat belonged to.

She knocked on the door of the owner and they came out to get her.  It was a girl who picked her up, she was maybe 12 or so and she had a look of such uncaring in her eyes I couldn't help but say "Keep this cat inside so she doesn't get hit" and "Get her some tags" to which this uncaring girl barely nodded.

I have a suspicion she put the cat out because it was acting funny and often when cats are in heat they will yowl like nobody's business.

I can't save them all, I can't save them all, I can't save them all, I can't save them all.....but if it were at least allowed to physically throttle their owners, I would feel better, it's just inhumane to not allow those of us who care that compensation.

Maybe I'll write my congressman.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Farmday Friday!!! A Farmgirl's Library

I've written before about our library.  It's growing by leaps and bounds.  Any time we see a book that might help us with the farm we buy it. 

Ok so we haven't been so great about reading these books (ugh, so busy!) but we have them at least.  

The library on our soon to be farm will be so big we'll have to house it on the ground floor.....lest the shelves come crashing through to the ground floor due to their weight, as if to say,
"See, we belonged down here anyway"

For today's post, I thought it might be fun to show you a small, very small, exceeding tiny minuscule glimpse of what our library contains....with appropriate commentary of course.

This is for the days I worry too much about getting the farm

This is an essential Farmgirl book, it reminds me why I want to start a farm
We won't be going for the whole organic thing so we can market it that way but because we imagine, we won't have the money to spend on expensive chemicals....it's strictly utilitarian.

This one weighs a ton!  Full of useful tips, again we imagine not having the money (gladly) to solve all our problems by going out and buying something.
This one needs no explanation surely?  "Open me up for a taste of Nostalgia"

Awesome book.  Stories with recipes.  True Farmgirl

This is my most recent addition, recipes for everything from brains (I know some people who should try it) to wine and tips on removing stains etc.
And finally, the bear of very little brains who somehow manages to get it all spot on, maybe I should retract my earlier book caption, maybe brains aren't 'all that'.

I hope you enjoyed this little jaunt through our library....Farmgirl Style.  I'd be happy to pass along ISBN numbers on those that have them (the Marion Harland's book was published in 1906 so no hope there) and look things up for you if you're looking for something in particular.

Oh, and if you want a Pooh story read to you, I'm good for that as well.  "Oh Bother!"




Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Farmgirl to the Animal Rescue!! (Part 2)

I'm continuing the stories of how, for some reason, my neighbors have designated me as the person to go to when an animal is in need of help.  

I'm awfully flattered by this and it definitely strokes my Farmgirl ego but I'm not really sure how it came about.  You know half of knowing what you are talking about is acting like you know what you are talking about.

But honestly, you can make so many assumptions based on paying close attention and drawing logical conclusions.  That's all I try to do.

Take the next case:  Old Man

A couple weeks ago our building was visited by Old Man.  A old and gray Golden Lab who had obviously been trained well enough but had somehow decided to roam around.

I had seen him before and come to find out, so had my neighbors.  Last I'd seen him, he had hip displaysia (hip joints gone bad basically so his back legs looked bow-legged and his gait was uneven, drunken looking), a shaven spot on him and he was breathing like he'd just run a 20k race.

I gave him some food, which he ate readily, but being late at night there wasn't much else I could do so I prayed he'd be ok and find his way home then went inside.  Sam did not approve of course and whined at Old Man, obviously wanting to say hi but I felt that was a bad idea.

And then, two weeks ago, Old Man was back and seemed much the worse for wear.

My neighbors had knocked on my door and apologetically explained that since I seemed to know how to deal with dogs (no doubt I can thank Sam for that compliment) would I come see this dog and figure out what to do?

So there was Old Man again, haggard, breathing very very heavily and restless, like he couldn't stand to sit still for even a moment.  I thought he might die right here on our doorstep.

We brought him food, water, a fan to cool him off and I grabbed Sam's leash and collar and we kept Old Man from wandering off to buy us time to decide what to do.

Finally, after much discussion, it was decided we had to call Animal Control.

I know I know, Animal Control gets a bad rap but they truly do care about the animals and oftentimes they have after hours access to the local shelter to keep animals from getting hit on the road etc.

My neighbors wanted reassurances that nothing bad would happen to him and I had to be honest with them. While the local shelter is a no kill, their overflow goes to a different shelter that will euthanize animals but folks, I'm sorry, this Old Man was ready to go.

It's hard to accept death is part of life but this dog had already accepted it, we could learn from these pets of ours.  I truly believe he was actually looking for a place to die and that was what had taken him out on a nightly prowl.

I thought to myself that if he was euthanized he would have a safe, noble death rather than be hit by a car.  His owners didn't have tags on him and he wandered so much that it made me wonder how much they truly cared about him.

Sam has gotten loose many times.  He's chipped and I've trained him to a crate so he will never get out when I don't want him to and put himself and others in danger.

The Animal Control officer was a nice man and he lifted Old Man up in to a small cubby in his truck and drove him away.  In the morning, the shelter would have checked him for a microchip and he would have been held there for at least a week if no one called about him.

I think this was the happiest kind of ending that was possible in this case and while it is sad if he was put to sleep, I'm pretty sure that's what he would have wanted.  

Animals don't romanticize death, they don't try to beat it, cheat it, ignore it or even acknowledge it when it is their time.  
They don't even accept it.  It just is.

I could definitely learn a thing or three from that Old Man.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Follower Love

I just surpassed 30 Followers!!!
Yaaaaaay!!

Thanks y'all.  You made my day.

And another thanks to MamaTea for giving my blog a nice push by giving me an award!
Visit her blog FMI.
<3<3<3<3<3

Farmgirl to the Animal Rescue!! (Part 1)

I'm not sure how it happened but I seem to have gotten a reputation around here.  One that I'm kind of proud of actually.  When there's an animal in distress, my neighbors come and find me.
As in most neighborhoods, we have our share of stray dogs and cats.  Last year, my neighbor asked me what we should do about a New Arrival kitty he had noticed hanging around.  

She was very small, extremely friendly and totally black.  I met her one day and was smitten, and noticed she had a shaved spot like she'd just had surgery.  Not something you usually see on a stray.  I started feeding her until I could decide what to do.

I found out she was dumped by my neighbor and asked around to see what I could do about it.  The shelter told me it was an offense to dump an animal and that if I wanted to, I could turn the Schmuck in.  So I did.

The cops knocked on his door and he promised he'd take her in and do right by her rather than leaving her to fend for herself.  My other neighbor, Nice Girl, knew about the New Arrival little black kitty and had been visiting with her as I was, petting her and loving on her.

I talked with this Nice Girl who, once I told her the situation, started to consider adopting New Arrival kitty.  When her decision was made she knocked on the door of the Schmuck who dumped the sweet kitty and made a deal with him, if he would get her wormed and in good shape by taking her to the vet, Nice Girl would adopt her.

No cops on his doorstep.  Nice Girl and nice girl's husband get a new friend.  Everyone wins.

Oh and Schmuck?  He was working at a vet's office at the time.  What a Schmuck!  But it all worked out and New Arrival is now named Trixie and when I visit her at Nice Girl's place, she seems very happy and settled in. 

Don't you love happy endings?


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Today

It would be very easy to get wrapped up in what today signifies.  It's all over the news.  The public radio station has been broadcasting about it all day.  And if, by the end of all this, I start to feel low, anxious and a little out of sorts, I actually have to stop and ask myself why?

Maybe I'm dehydrated.

So now I'm sitting here with a big glass of water.  

But no, I'm overdosing on the emotion of today's date and it's not doing anyone any good, least of all me.  Me getting overly emotional won't take back what happened 10 years ago.

I detest the way something like September 11th is taken from us and turned in to a circus by the media.  I don't need them to tell me how to grieve, or even if I should be grieving still.  I do, but not for the reasons you might think and I won't share them, sorry, there are some things that can't be helped.

So to all those who think that we shouldn't remember them only on the date of the anniversary I say this to you:

We don't.  Every time I get checked at the airport more stringently than I used to be, I remember.

Every time my request for a small loan is denied because of the Patriot Act (yes, the loan officer said this to me), I remember.

Every time I use my cell phone and feel leery about saying anything negative about our government, I remember.

I remember that so many of the people who died that day probably didn't think that their deaths would mean that we would lose our freedoms and every single citizen would suddenly become a suspect. 

And I am angry.  Because people died needlessly and because the world was not made a better place from any kind of lesson learned, it was made worse, an illusion of safety at the cost of freedom.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."  ~Benjamin Franklin: The Most Dangerous Man in America
~~Amen

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Breathing is Good

Ugh.  So I'm thinking about joining a gym again.  Not for long, maybe a month or so but lately, my stress levels are off the charts and I'm finally learning that the stress can't stay inside.

Nope, it works its way out.  How?

I have to nibble on something, I fidget a lot, sometimes I just sit down and do an all over body shiver, I gnaw on the inside of my mouth and other times I catch myself holding my breath.  I kid you not.  

Stress is a killer and it's time to take it in hand.

I try very hard to remind myself of what matters.  Usually the things causing me stress don't matter at all.  They are a drop in the bucket.  It's the urgency of those around me who keep trying to make me think they matter.  Does that make sense?

You know them.  They are the control freaks in life.  They rush about from one urgent thing to the next and try to get you to do the same because they have absolutely no control over you and they know it....but there's that illusion.

Ah...to leave this situation and start living in the next one......while it won't be stress free, it will be chosen by me.  Who are we if we aren't comprised somewhat of the decisions we make. 

This week I am deciding to do things differently.  The seasons are changing and so will I.  I've decided to: not absorb others' stress like I'm a sponge, not let my stress translate in to bad eating, bad thinking and holding my breath.

Peace
In the end it really is about the decisions I make.  I have no control over the decisions of others.