Monday, October 19, 2015

Here we are in the last half of October.  The weather continues to play the hot/cold game.  We have had a hard frost just a couple of days ago and winter is breathing down our necks.  Normally, I look forward to winter, but this year, I am dreading it.  I don't like being cold and last winter I don't think I was ever warm except when I went to someone's home that had a woodstove.

My home needs insulation in the worse way, but when I got a quote on the insulation necessary to stop the scratching in the walls, I about fell out of my chair.  $6,000 for the spray in foam insulation that eliminates bugs and all.  The problem is that because I'm in an existing home, the dry wall will need to be removed.  So I'm thinking that $6,000 will be more like $10,000.  I don't have either amount so I've dismissed that idea and will just need to keep knitting, baking, and snuggling under the covers with layers of dog and cat.

I so need more time before winter gets here.  I've got to get a shelter of some sort put up for my alpaca girls.  I have some lumber, but have no clue what to do with it.  Where do I go from here?

I need to get started relocating stock tanks and running extension cords for the tank de-icers so that I'm not doing it in the freezing cold.  From the looks of the weather projection, next week looks like a great week to do that.

Well, I need to get off here as I have to get ready for work.  Tomorrow I work an 8 hour shift.  That will be awesome as I could sure use the extra income even though it will only be $40 more.  Until next time....Bye!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Dog Days of Summer

It was bound to happen and I don't like it one bit! The Dog Days of Summer! Hot! Hot! Hot!  I want to go see War Room at the theater, but it is so hot out that just going to the car and being in the heat is too much to even think about!  I don't do heat and it looks like the 90's are here until at least Wednesday.  I just took a look at the projected temperatures for today and it looks like it will be 97 by 4pm.  I know that those of you in the West think that 97 is nothing, but the humidity of 60%+ makes it feel like 115 or more.  All the creatures on the farm are in the shade lazing around.  I'm in the A/C trying to spin and decide whether to go see the movie today or Monday.  It doesn't matter.  Looks like Monday's forecast is a duplicate of today.

I bought a webcam to use with my laptop so that I can video knitting lessons for The International School of Beijing since knitting instructors don't exist there.  However, I can't get it to come on.  I've installed the software, but it won't let me click on anything.  I'm kicking myself for not using computers as much after I retired as what I did when I was working full-time.  It's like there is a disconnect in my brain and I can't comprehend what the problem is.  I used to be a great trouble shooter.  Now, I'm in the dark.  Can anyone send me an email and tell me what I'm doing wrong?  It is a Logitech c615 HD Webcam if that helps any.

Well, I think I will clean up and go see the movie.  I will let you know what I think when I get back.  War Room  has 5 stars and I've seen previews.  Until later (I want to catch the 3:00 movie!).....

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Woo-Hoo! I got a trailer!

While it may not be much of a challenge to many of you, I found a horse trailer for $900 and they will let me pay on it each month while using it!  This is a big feat for me as I have struggled to load lambs and sheep in the back of the truck.  Now if I was a big hefty guy, that might not be to hard, but considering that I'm 4 feet 9 inches tall, it is a major task for me.  Of course, it is rusty and needs work, but it is usable and that was the biggest requirement!

Oops! I didn't get a picture! Here it is dark and late.  I will have to get a picture in the morning before I go to the hardware store for some clamps to hold my ductwork in place under the house so that my air conditioner doesn't have to struggle to keep up with the heat.  Duct tape for now, but this isn't the first time the ductwork has fallen down.  Hose clamps should keep that from happening...I hope.

Did you go to the Indiana State Fair this year?  If so, did you go on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and go through the Family, Home, and Arts building?  You may have seen me sitting there spinning yarn like crazy.  It is more than a hobby for me.  It is a way to raise money to feed my animals.  With hay now at a stable $5 a bale and me going through about 500 bales a year on a retirement check, my animals need to feed themselves.  It is the only way that I can feed them is if I spin their fibers, sell their fibers and yarn that I spin, and sell the lambs produced each year.

Speaking of which, I still have Barney, the 2-year old Angora billy goat for sale.  He is a big pet and shares "the compound" with Snow Prince the alpaca.  It is the only pen that has a wall tall enough that Snow Prince can't jump it.

If you think you might need some yarn a certain color and have a swatch of fabric that you would like the yarn to match, I can do it.  I've been doing it for a couple of years now for a friend and enjoy tampering with the dyes to get just the right color.  A pinch of this, a dash of that, and a smidgen of something else.  It all blends together and changes the depth, hue, and intensity of the color that way.
Well, it is time to sign off.  I hope all are enjoying the summer weather.  Until next post...bye!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Whew! Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival is a year away!

Whew! While I look forward to Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival each year, I'm glad that it is over for this year.  Vending at HHFF is a lot of work.  It takes months preparation and many trips to the fairgrounds to get everything into the Prius and placed in my booth, even the sheep get first class accommodations riding in the back of an air conditioned Prius, even though they are in a dog kennel.

I want to take this time to thank each and everyone of my readers who made it to Hoosier Hills and helped make this event a success and ensure the future of WindSong Fibers Farm.  While I am only a small cog in a big wheel that helps insure that HHFF happens each year, without YOU, the consumer of fibers and fine crafts, the event would not succeed.

Vending fibers, yarns and other items helps me feed the animals on the farm.  The money goes to buy hay and grain to keep everyone fat and happy so that they produce luxurious fibers for the next event.  Once again, without YOU, I could not continue raising luxurious fibers and sell lambs to others interested in raising fiber animals.  I love my lifestyle of going to the barn, watching the life cycle of new lambs, goats, and other animals give birth and care for their young.  I love my animals calling to me when they see me outside.  I love them running up to me, although sometimes a bit rambunctious and overly eager almost knocking me off my feet, when I walk down to check that all is well.

But most of all, I love my customers! They share with me the projects they hope to make using my yarns and rovings and top (if you didn't get an ounce or two of the Cormo/Alpaca top I had at HHFF, you missed it! It sold like hotcakes!).  I try my best to provide what I think will make you happy knitting or spinning.  Sometimes, I don't like what I get back from the mill.  It doesn't always turn out as I imagined it. So I sell that item at reduced rates.  There is always someone who loves what I don't.  Isn't that the nice thing about everyone?

Well, once again, thank you for making HHFF successful for the vendors and the board of directors as well.  As a "not-for-profit" entity, HHFF will be able to afford another event next year.  I hope to see everyone then!  Thank you!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

2015 Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival - A Carnival of Fibers!

Here it is that time of year again - it is time for Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival!  I have made two trips hauling 4 lambs in a dog kennel in the back of my Prius to Franklin getting ready for the festival tomorrow.  I should have made a third trip, but didn't because my booth is such disarray.  I could barely stay awake coming back from the second trip and after sitting on the sofa to put my shoes on and dozing off, I decided it was time to stay home.  That means I have to get up at 5 in the morning to milk the goat and feed everyone before heading off to spend the day at HHFF.

I am excited! This year, we have an ice cream vendor!!!! I've been harping for nigh on 7 years that we needed someone to dispense ice cream. Now we have one!  I love ice cream, especially if it is Blue Bell, which means I haven't had a lot of ice cream lately.  I sure do miss Blue Bell ice cream!

Back to HHFF.  I'm in Fitzpatrick Hall at the Johnson County Fairgrounds.  I have 4 lambs.  I didn't even realize until I made the second trip to drop 2 captives off that 3 of my lambs this year are natural colored.  Two of them are black and white and marked like Pandas.  One is solid color except for light white streak on the forehead.  No pictures available at this time as I have spent 3 days getting ready for this and all of today just hauling lambs or helpers.

I do have some really nice dark brown top for sale this year.  It is from Charlie, my Cormo ram, and Jeanne, my almost black alpaca.  It is very soft and feels like velvet.  I also have slate colored mohair for sale this year in roving form.  It will be the last year I have this as Bacardi, the provider, is no longer with me.

Well, no time to post more.  I need to go milk and deliver eggs.  I hope to see many of my readers at the festival!  Bring the kids, pet a sheep, check out all the gorgeous color ways of yarns, rovings, etc.  I am lacking in color this year, but hope to remedy that for next year.  Stop by and say "Hi" so that I know you've read my blog.  See you at the HHFF!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Camaj Fiberarts Spinning Box

Have you heard of Camaj Fiber Arts?  They can be found here:
Last month they started selling "Spinning Box[es]" that contain a myriad of fibers!about/cjg9.  It is like a surprise every month with fabulous fibers to touch and feel.  This is also an awesome company to do business with as it is working with small farms such as mine to help us get the word out that we have fibers too, made right here in America!

This month, March 2015, WindSong Fibers has corroborated with Camaj to include 1 ounce of awesome alpaca fiber.  The fiber is from Svetlana and it feels like velvet.  Be sure to check out the two links I've included.  This is an awesome source for fibers to spin!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Is Winter Over Yet?

Once again, the weatherman has it wrong.  I woke to a blanket of 4-5 inches of snow on the ground this morning.  Not the wet heavy stuff mind you, but the light fluffy stuff that can easily be swept from the porch with a broom.  Just the same, it feel on top of what was already on the ground and now I'm beginning to feel as if spring will never come.

Remember my post stating that I would start having specials? Well, I will post later today on the sales page some fibers that need to go.  I am also eradicating fibers (God knows I'm loaded down with fibers having 22 sheep, 11 alpacas, and 6 Angora goats!), by contributing to the Spinning Box sold by Camaj Fiber Arts.  If you type in "Spinning Box" in the search engine, it will pop up.  With shearing happening the week, I have to get some fibers out of here.  I'm overloaded.  My loss is your gain.

Anyway, I have to go round up some fibers to place on the for sale page.  Be sure to check it out.  It will be worth it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

BRRRR! Shoot the Ground Hog!

I don't know about anyone else, but I am freezing! My house runs cold in the winter and hot in the summer in spite of a 12 year old heating and cooling unit.  It is the house.  Just two days ago, the strip on the bottom of the door fell off.  Now I have to put something up against the bottom of the door or the air blows across the floor.  In spite of great padding underneath the laminate flooring, the floors are cold.  If one's feet are touching the floor while sitting on the sofa or chair, it takes little time for the feet to become very cold.  I wear wool socks, but it is to a point they aren't helping either.  I'm calling REMC to get an energy audit so that I know what I need to do to avoid another freezing cold winter in my house.

Beginning with next week, I am going to start offering monthly specials on fibers, yarns, etc. or whatever strikes my fancy.  There will be limited quantities of the offers, but I feel I shouldn't hog my precious fibers any more.  I will soon have more fleeces on the shelf as Shearing is March 5th and if anyone needs something to do that day, be here by 9 a.m. as I need all the help I can get.  Fleeces will also be offered in the specials.

Can you believe that we are already into February of 2015?  I don't know where time is going, but it is now flying by so quickly!  Anyway, I have to stay on my toes to keep the listings for each month. Occasionally, I will have two offerings a month, but not every month.  As spring evolves, my computer time diminishes as lambs should be hitting the ground almost any day now.  That means a lamb watch will soon ensue.  I hope the girls don't string it out for 2 months like they did last year.