Keeping busy…and getting "off the farm"

We had a pleasantly busy weekend preparing for the winter and Christmas.

Oldest daughter and I started working on my birthday present.  We took an old felted wool sweater, felted it some more in the washer and dryer, and then cut out some mittens.  My daughter then felted on these designs with a felting needle.  The yarn used to make the white of the sheep bodies is what we spun when we took a spinning lesson at the Fiber Studio in Stonington a couple of weeks ago.  Aren’t they adorable?  They just need stitched together!

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Roy and the boys finished up making our newfangled hay feeders for the winter and we put them to use out in the pastures.  Here is one almost complete – just needs the side covered and a tin roof.  This keeps the hay dry and off the ground.  The sheep pull it out from the sides (there is a v-shaped bin open on either side.  It can be loaded from open end on the high side of the roof.

 

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Major hat tip to fellow Icelandic-lover Karen at Birchtree Farm for posting a picture of her version of these, which was our inpsiration.  I literally printed out the picture from her website and carried it down to the barn for Roy to work from!  You can see Icelandic sheep feeding from hers at this link.

 

As for the sheep, Monty took Bindi as his wife last weekend.  This weekend he had his eyes on Millie.  Boomer also tried to woo Molly.  Still waiting for Monty to take a shine to Matilda and for Drover to take notice of Roxanne.  

 

While the boys were setting things up for the winter outside, the girls and I got a head start on our Christmas baking…

 

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We had a marvelous Thanksgiving Dinner, complete with squash and sweet potatoes from our garden and mashed potatoes from Stonyledge Farm.

 

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We had lots of pleasant weather.  This morning started out incredibly foggy, but that quickly cleared away.

 

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We took advantage of the fair weather to get off the farm and take a couple of hikes.

 

We hiked the Bicentennial Trail in North Stonington after our Thanksgiving Dinner.   There is a very old cemetary (Old Plains) at the start of this trail, and this time when we visited we brought paper and crayons so we could do some tombstone rubbing.

ADDENDUM:  Just learned that tombstone rubbing is NOT the right thing to do!  These stones are old and the action of the crayon, though not in direct contact with the stone, can cause the stone to wear away faster!  Sorry!!

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And today we actually went to the beach – yep – imagine that – the beach for Thanksgiving weekend!  And yes, the younger kids were wading in the surf!  We went to our favorite beach, Napatree Point, in Watch Hill, RI for about a 3 mile walk.

 

The view when you come up over the dune.

 

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Looking out toward Watch Hill and the lighthouse…

 

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A rockier part of the peninsula.

 

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This poor duck didn’t make it to see another spring…It was beautiful, though!  We looked it up when we got home and learned that it is a long-tailed duck, also called an oldsquaw.  This is the male’s winter plumage.

 

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And our goal today was to find Ft. Mansfield, which we did!  It is a fortress built at the end of the 1800’s.  Here is an underground room – one of many in the different parts of the fort.

 

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Anyway – back to the grind tomorrow, with lots of fun weekend memories on board!

 

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