Well here I am starting our New Year! Not bad..only 11 or so days into the year. Guess the way 2010 ended for us makes this acceptable.
You know I read a lot of different Blogs every week. Some of those that I really like are listed in my sidebar (need to update). Many of those Blogs are about the day to day on the farm. Some are farm stories. I have a passion for anything vintage, so I do follow many of these Blogs too. I wish I had more time to read but fortunately, I am too busy!
I did, however, notice on one Blog that I follow that the writer shares with her readers “things you don’t know about her” and I find that I like that idea a lot. So, I thought I’d give it a try myself and share 5 things that you don’t know about me.
1. I am a very kind and giving person. Sometimes to the point that I give and have it taken.
2. I love to read..no matter the subject. Classics, reference, trash romance, picture books, magazines, everything.
3. I like Farmer’s and farm business owners who are real, not frauds. People who really do their own work and get their hands dirty, who honestly do spend the night in a freezing cold barn with a sick animal – not those who use the one time isolated event as a photo/story op.
5. Cooking is my heart and soul. From the time I was old enough to stand on a stool and reach my hands into fruitcake batter that my Grandmother was making, I’ve loved to cook. It is the most relaxing thing that I do. After 32 years of marriage, I still cook dinner almost every night for my hubby and me. Apparently he still likes it because he still comes in at night and asks “what’s for dinner” and he doesn’t run away when I tell him!!
Of course there are so many more other things you don’t know about me but I have an idea…why don’t you share something that people don’t know about you? It would be fun getting to know each other better. Don’t you agree?
To all who were following my Blog, please accept my sincere apology for being gone for so long. So many things have happened since my last post in May but mostly it has all been about my Mother. As so many of you already know from following Breeze Hill Farm in other places, I lost my Mom on Monday, November 22,2010. Allow me to take this time to write about her a bit.
My Mom and I had a great life together..she was Mom but she was also the best friend any girl/woman could have ever asked for. Shortly after my life began, November 23, 1956, it was just Mom and me. My father, who I refer to as “the sperm donor” left us when I was only 6 months old and was never part of my life, so it was just Mom and me. She worked hard all of her life..first to give me all that I needed as a child and then after because all she ever knew was to work hard. She never had a date when I was a child..no revolving door men for me to get use to. She said, “let me raise my child first..there will be plenty of time for men later”. The day I had my first date..she had hers. When I was 18, she finally remarried, a man that was evident, the love of her life. During her life she told her Father goodbye and her Mother, her Aunts and Uncles, and many of her Cousins. The greatest loss though was her husband. You see she waited for all those years..raising me..and was only fortunate to have him for 13 years. But in those 13 years they lived and loved like it had been just them forever. She was only 54, but there was never another to take his place.
Mom was a generous and giving person. If she had it, it was yours. Many times I found myself a little jealous at just how selfless she was and she tried as hard as she could to teach me to be the same (didn’t work out all that well, as she was also teaching me to be independent and to stand my ground).
After becoming an adult, I began to realize what a truly amazing woman she was. She would work, cook, clean, read me stories, let me read stories to her, took me shopping, played basketball with me, taught me to ride a bike, issued firm warnings about my behavior..even spanked me 3 whole times in my entire life (I more than deserved each one!), held my hair back when I drank too much the first time, held me in her arms the first time my heart was broken, supported me in everything I’ve ever done in my life, loved me whole total and unconditional always. My Mother never said she was disappointed in me ever. In the years since my Step-Father’s passing, she and I became tried and true friends. We went to the grocery store together on Friday evenings but always started our evening with dinner out. We talked on the phone daily. Sometimes serious but mostly just chatting.
When we bought our farm, she loved to come out for the weekend..she loved animals and wanted to be around them as much as possible (something I never knew). When I’d take her home on Sunday’s she would cry as we pulled out of the driveway. I always made her a part of our farm..naming animals, making additions, losses, every part of our farm life was shared with her. When other Mom’s were buying their daughters pretty things for themselves and their homes..Mom was combing the pages of the NASCO, Tractor Supply and L.L. Bean catalogs for my gifts. One day she asked me..not that long ago if I even had a dress for her funeral. I don’t remember my answer at the time but sadly, the day she died I had to go to a department store and buy a suit.
I cannot believe how much I miss her. I miss our daily talks and I miss the light in her eye when I would talk about the farm. So many times I’ve picked up the phone, dialed her number and hung up. If it is ever possible to be too close to your Mom, I’m afraid I was. When sadness becomes so very overwhelming it’s odd but our animals seem to know. The dogs are all over me all the time, the sheep and goats seem to just want to hang (not that crazed, Oh she has a bucket), our pig and llama seem to be saying..it’s OK we’re here. I love the warmth and love they have in their eyes..unconditional love.
So many people have said how horrible it was to loose Mom the day before my birthday. My response to that is, I was the recipient of her one last selfless act..How a great a gift to be given than to see the end to the suffering that had become her life. She had been so sick and miserable..her once vibrant life had become nothing but her illness. There was no amount or wishing or praying on my part that could turn the page and make her better. She had fulfilled her time here on earth..she was tired and it was time for her to go.
Mama was an angel here on earth and because of my upbringing I can only believe she is an angel gracing the halls of heaven.
I love you Mama.
Had a good day yesterday. The Events Coordinator at the facility where my Mother is right now, got wind (wonder how that happened) of the fact that I am a handspinner and asked if I would like to do a demonstration for the residents. While I am typically use to doing this for Womens Clubs, Garden Clubs and childrens groups, I wondered how well this would work out at a Rehabilitation and Nursing facility. To my surprise, it was wonderful. I had to keep it interesting, with a little detail but not too much information and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. The men asked a lot of questions about how the wheel worked and about shearing. The women loved the beautiful colors of the hand dyed yarns, the softness of the fiber and the fact that I was the one spinning..not them! Overall I would dub this one a success.
I never realized, until yesterday, how badly the folks that are in a facility like this one, crave mental stimulation. People that I have seen when visiting Mom, that had never even said hello, were laughing and talking..asking questions and seemed to be loving it. To anyone who has a talent and would like to share, keep the retirement and rehab community in mind. Their days can be very long and lonely and they tend to retreat to within themselves as a result. Give them a reason to smile!
I haven’t posted much recently because it’s been quite busy here. By the time I’m ready to think about the Blog..it’s hours past bedtime and you wouldn’t want to read what I’d probably write anyway.
This is a picture of the field that just a month or so ago was covered in snow..just look at how much it’s come out for Spring.
With all of the snow and rain we’ve had so far this year..it’s starting to look like a mini jungle around here. Can’t believe all of the different flowers and new weeds there are that we’ve never seen before. It really is a beautiful and bountiful Spring!
This has been a burning question for days now. Every time we turn on the news, we see reports about flooding..every time we look out our door, we see flooding. There has to be a point where enough is enough. Our pastures are on the way to lush and green but any grass growth that happens to be under the taller stuff is rotting. Our garden spot is standing in water, not because the drainage is bad but because there is so much water it has no where to go. The sheep and goats are both looking for elevated surfaces to stand on..s.o.p. for a goat but sheep are typically ground dwellers.
On the plus side though, all of this moisture is making for an absolutely beautiful Spring. The herbs are growing by leaps and anything that could bloom, is blooming. There are many new Irises showing this year that we’ve never seen before..can’t wait to see what colors they are. For years we have only had one or two little Lilly of The Valley pop up and bloom. The year I’ve counted 68 individual plants coming up. So from the floral garden standpoint..the rains (and snows) have created a beautiful display.
Talked to my shearer yesterday and we’re scheduled for shearing in two weeks. I know my girls will be happy when that’s done. Two of my smaller (more Romney) girls were actually walking on their side fleece, so this weekend I trimmed up their sides..the fleeces are really nice. I still think that I’m going to do a “pool it all together” processing this year. Since the Alpaca fleeces that I have are so plentiful and our girls fleeces are looking so great, a blended fiber will be nice and something very different. The end result should give me a lot of fiber to dye, over-dye and leave natural, so keep a look out for those to be listed around May or June. I have several people on a waiting list to get samples and if any of our readers are interested in samples too, just email me or leave a comment. When they’re ready, I’ll email you to get your address.
While on the subject of fleeces, all of my little goat crosses (Angora x Alpine) blew their fleeces almost a month early. I wasn’t able to salvage any of it. The fleece that they produce is the equivalent of Cashmere with the luster of Mohair. It’s really pretty, takes dye very well and I love to blend it with my white sheep wool..but not this year.
Soap update..it’s curing nicely and I should be getting it out to my customers very soon. I have cut back on the variety of fragrances for the time being (until I get orders caught up) and am going to start a Garden Collection of fragrances later in the season. I am still experiencing a hold up on the lotions and butters but hope to get started on those soon.
Have a wonderful day and safe day!