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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in a preponderance of punctuation marks' LiveJournal:

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    Wednesday, January 1st, 2014
    11:20 am
    Sunday, July 6th, 2014
    1:16 pm
    State of the goats in summer
    The farm looks pretty good so far this summer. maintenance and pastureCollapse )

    Ari is looking good this summer, and if he keeps this form, he is definitely going back to the shows in the fall. His kids are doing well, too. Viola isn't as big as I'd like, and she is a bit of a whiner, but she is awfully pretty. Diego-baby is getting big and fluffy. I didn't have him shorn in June, so with his full coat he looks as big as Lily (smallest of my yearlings). The redhead yearling cabal (Fiona, Taffy, Lily) are all quite striking. The outbreeding difference for using Kid Hollow's O.R. as a sire really shows with the first two, and Lily is assuredly a Gipsy Ridge girl. In comparison to the delicate and sweet redheads, big grey hornless Kezzi is a monster. She may be just a yearling, but she is rapidly catching up to her mom Anna in size. Her hair has far better curl than her mom, too.

    I'm starting to consider a "scratch and dent" sale pen at the show this fall. I would probably put in Pan, Alys (keep Fiona as the replacement), and Zoe. While cute and sweet, Zoe is definitely not a keeper for me; she is too small to breed as an Angora. I need to start advertising with the pygora folks for her. I think that I'm also going to offer up Madeline and Kezzi for sale, too. While I'd like to keep Madeline's bloodline going, I still have her aunt Dahlia. And after seeing what Dahlia and Ari can do (Diego), I think I know where I'm going next in that lineage. So Madeline isn't really needed anymore.
    Monday, June 30th, 2014
    8:27 pm
    Always wear closed-toe shoes on a farm

    There are three main reasons to always wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes while working around farm animals.

    1. Shoes protect your feet from accidents (from dropped or forgotten items, nails sticking out, hay poking at you, etc.).
    2. Shoes protect your feet from being stepped on by animals who don't notice or care that your feet are underneath them.
    2. Shoes protect your feet from animals taking offense or being frightened.

    ... Hopefully I'll remember to never gather eggs while wearing sandals again...

    Read more...Collapse )

    7:58 pm
    Six cucumbers = nine pounds

    We picked six cucumbers. I weighed them, and they came to over nine pounds. One of them had hit the edge of the raised bed, so is bent at a right angle.

    Read more...Collapse )

    Saturday, June 28th, 2014
    2:33 pm
    I'm too sexy for this... farm.
    Cookie-goat has been limping heavily these last few days. I'm not surprised. He has a tendency for foot problems, and we have had a very wet spring.

    This afternoon, I caught him (he can't run; he can barely walk), gave him a piece of bread, haltered him, and tied his head to the fence. I then cleaned out between his toes, trimmed his toenails, and put medication between his toes to help with the icky infection part.

    One broken halter, a scrub brush, a bucket of water, and a large mess later, and we were done. I now am covered with goat-shit-and-water blend. As soon as I finish my big glass of water, I'm headed for a long cold shower. That is, if I can get out from under the cats. They think I smell wonderful. The dog is beyond awe that I taste so good.

    Thursday, June 26th, 2014
    10:02 am
    Beautiful to see, not to touch

    I like to park on the edge of the parking lot with the car nose tucked under the trees. The world is green and lush right now, and seeing the deep green leaves makes me happy... until I look too closely.

    Read more...Collapse )

    Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
    4:28 pm
    Happy anniversary to Mars Rover Curiosity!
    Curiosity has been on the ground on Mars for one complete Martian year — or 687 Earth days - and is still on the job. Here's the NASA press release, complete with a self portrait of the robot.
    12:02 pm
    Double-yolk chicken eggs (four so far)
    I gathered up my 4th double-yolk chicken egg this morning. (6/3, 6/6, 6/21, 6/24) Apparently, a chicken who lays double-yolks is usually genetically gifted for ovulating too rapidly (sending a new yolk into the oviduct to soon after the previous), on the large side for the breed, and very well fed. and so onCollapse )
    11:10 am
    Yarn order submitted (finally)
    In the beginning of May, I took the best of three seasons of fleeces to Maryland Sheep and Wool for dropoff with Still River Mill. SRMill called me a week ago to say that it was already my turn, and that they still needed my final order request. I got the inventory list and what I'd like made from it out to them, and now I'm in that Christmas-is-coming anticipation phase.

    I've asked for a bunch of special blends this time. I know that SRMill can do fantastic work with odd fibers. So this time around, along with the mohair and the llama, I sent them yak, silk noil in various colors, alpaca, and cashmere. I asked SRMill to blend the llama with black silk, though now I'm second-guessing myself because the alpaca/bamboo yarn was luscious.
    Sunday, June 22nd, 2014
    9:20 pm
    Theater: Lion King
    I really wanted to see this musical to see the puppetry and the staging, not for the plot or the music. To quote Mom: you can't call it "great theater" but the costuming and the staging was nothing I've ever seen.

    As advertised, this was very different - and sometimes amazing - puppetry and presentation. At times, I was reminded a tiny bit of the "making of" shows I saw of Jim Henson productions. The people were everything from giraffes to flocks of birds. The opening Pride Rock "Circle of Life" scene had a leopard, a rhinoceros, and even an elephant walking down the aisles onto the stage. The puppetry, the physicality, and the minimalist set with fabulous set-work were fantastic to see from up close where we sat. The details were astounding. moreCollapse )
    Saturday, June 21st, 2014
    10:22 pm
    Books: Night Owls, by Lauren Roy
    Night Owls, by Lauren M. Roy. Urban Fantasy. Paperback, 296 pages. First in the series. Giveawaybox.

    A stereotypically rebellious modern vampire (who is avoiding nightmares about a trope-humoring-horrible fight with the usual bad guys) runs a stereotypically outré bookstore in a college town with her trope-requisite loyal-and-mouthy human sidekick. Their quiet life is interrupted when a set of bad guys chases a spunky loner girl into the house of a formerly active, all-knowing professor...

    Yeah. It was a book of grafted characters and tropes, all of which I've read before. In the end, this book spent so much time establishing far to many characters' backstoies and motivations that the plot got squashed flat and kicked aside. The most interesting characters were the succubi, but they weren't given enough screen time.

    Roy is a reasonable author, and has some talent for dialog. So if I hadn't already read so many books with the same setup, I would probably have enjoyed this book more. I wish she had picked a slightly less generic plot through which to channel her talent. If I see another book with her name on it, I will probably try it out just to see if she gets tighter and stronger in her storytelling.

    I got this in a box of beach bag books. I really can't recommend it on its own, but only as a gateway to a new series.

    Books for 2014
    12:53 pm
    Third double-yolk egg
    Apparently one of my Leghorn chickens has decided that this is a weekly sport. The eggs are yummy enough, but I don't have good storage for them. So - such a pity - I just have to eat them.
    Monday, June 16th, 2014
    4:10 pm
    Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
    5:36 pm
    Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
    9:28 pm
    Books: Blood Red, by Mercedes Lackey
    Blood Red, by Mercedes Lackey. Fantasy, hardback, 312 pages. Book 9 (really 10) in the Elemental Masters series.

    This is Little Red Riding Hood all grown up, hunting werewolves and vampires across middle Europe. It was predictable and formulaic in the series requirements. The male characters were actually more fun than I expected.

    Not the best, by far not the worst. Just brain candy.
    Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
    7:29 am
    Today's mutant chicken egg

    When I pulled the eggs out of the coop, I thought that I had another tiny egg and a regular sized egg. What I had was a regular egg and a monster, I-wanna-be-a-goose egg.

    Read more...Collapse )

    Friday, May 30th, 2014
    10:59 pm
    I finally broke my movie drought to go out with AmazonMink to see Angelina Jolie emote on screen for an hour and a half. I was not disappointed. It was a good movie with plenty of character development (Maleficent's and King Stephan's). I do have some complaints, but they are minor.

    I'm pleased to have gone.

    Edited to add: I had a good conversation about the acting. One point that we discussed was that, with only minor adjustments to a few scenes, this entire movie could have been done without any dialog. The visual richness of the scenery and the precision of the actors really delivered the plot.

    more commentsCollapse )
    Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
    11:28 am
    Tuesday, May 20th, 2014
    5:34 pm
    Something productive today: new business cards & yarn tags
    My yarn line has expanded and my web site has changed, so I ordered new yarn tags and new business cards today. (I like Vistaprint for doing things my way. I uploaded a .pub file that I had already designed, and said "go," and the cards were ready for checkout.)

    I plan to have roving, yarn, and rug yarn for the fall selling season. I have one fiber order placed and one almost composed. I've ventured beyond my simple 80/20 mohair/merino yarn blends, so I have ordered the new tags to match. The tags are modeled in spirit after the Loop batt labels, with little lines next to the fiber names so that I can either check them off or put in percentages. I even remembered to put "other" on the new cards!

    Some of the new yarns will be kid mohair and white cashmere, kid mohair and brown yak, and kid mohair and dyed silk noil (blue, crimson, pink). I'm getting more rug yarn and more 3-ply natural brindle, which are both going to be carried by Cutthroat Yarns in Leesburg. That is also where you can purchase my mohair/alpaca/merino Autumn line now. I'm quite thrilled by the new partnership.

    It's fiberlicious around here!
    Thursday, May 15th, 2014
    7:33 pm
    RIP Mary Stewart
    Mary Stewart, known to me as the author of the Arthurian series The Crystal Cave, has departed this earth at the ripe young age of 97.
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