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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - May 11 2009 :  11:57:01 AM  Show Profile
Sarita it sounds like you had a busy weekend. I am relieved to see this post as you were under tornado warnings when last we spoke so I was concerned that you'd taken a hit. From other posts on the forum I know Kentucky took a bad one.

Raining again today so I am washing wool in my kitchen. Hope the wedding goes smoothly.

Sheri
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - May 12 2009 :  11:11:03 AM  Show Profile
We were in the warnings but just got heavy winds and rains. The sun is shining today and I am at work worrying about this fox that crosses our pastures...like he is lerking around. He crosses in front of me or my husband as we are coming home every day. Then out we go with our guns. No luck so far but his days are limited. I will be getting my guard dogs in July or early August but they won't be old enough to take care of the flock...next year should be lots better. (You have seen those pick ups with a gun rack in the back window...hee hee... that may be me if this old fox keeps rattling my cage!) Anyone need a new fox fur collar????

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Contentment is the crown jewel of a happy life.
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - May 12 2009 :  12:39:44 PM  Show Profile
Its really windy, cloudy rain, a bit of hail etc. off and on today. But this wind up to 30+ mph today. There is a hard freeze warning for tonight too so I have to try to cover some of my tender perennials or they will take a hit. My sheep even hang out in the barn when it gets like this. Hope you get that fox.

Sheri
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - May 12 2009 :  4:01:21 PM  Show Profile
Sarita - you know the saying "Sly like a fox" well I think you will out smart him and make yourself a nice hand muff. I have two Artic White Fox Pelts that I just love to sit and pet. They are about double the size of our foxes - just snow white and so soft. They also do not bother my flock - hehe...

I even have two wonderful coyote pelts one even has the toenails still on the pads. I get my pelts from an American Indian Tribe who do their hunting for food and also sell the pelts. I also have a Eskimo family that I purchase from (there is where the fox came from along with Artic Reindeer pelts)and that is there only income. I also have mink, beaver, badger and muskrat for sale. I know some do not like fur but they do not just kill everything in sight and it is for food and income. If ever someone is in need of wonderful fur just let me know...

Well, I am jumping in a shower now - black as dirt I am. I shorn to of my angora old men (17 years old) and dug up the planting bed on the side of the small barn. Looks more like I rolled in the bed then dug it up. Stay busy and keep those fingernails dirty.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - May 13 2009 :  06:44:01 AM  Show Profile
Grace, you amaze me ...in a very good way. You are just so knowledgeable about so many things and I guess I also can relate to your interest. My mother is always asking me what else are you going to get into, or why do you even want to do that? She would really quiz you!
I am glad I planted a few things in March and they are up because my garden is too wet to get into since. The skies are very dark, raining, thundering and lightening this morning. Sheri, I am so glad that the ice and snow is behind us. Bless your heart!
I still have 1 ewe to lamb...I ask her if she had offended the rams for some reason..she will probably be starting to have her lamb Saturday morning when I need to be heading out the door for Ang's wedding in Hannibal Mo. Her timing hasn't been good so far so I might as well count on it and get a friend on stand by for me.
Have a great day sheepy friends.
Sarita in Mo.



www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Contentment is the crown jewel of a happy life.
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Jami
True Blue Farmgirl

1238 Posts

Jami
Ellensburg WA
USA
1238 Posts

Posted - May 13 2009 :  07:08:47 AM  Show Profile
Sarita, you made me smile because my mom and dad always just shake their head when I show them the "latest" concoction I've come up with. My parents are big-time consumers...children of the great depression and the "boom" so they think I'm goofy but they love me anyhow!

Well girls, I use Country Classics dyes that I get from Paradise Fibers in Spokane. Free shipping if I order enough and I ordered last over 2 years ago. They are acid dyes and take supposedly only 30 minutes to exhaust but it takes me longer for some reason. The Texel fleece really takes the dye well...wowza.

This time I used Persimmon and Spring Green and since I'm doing batts, I mixed up the dye bath beforehand but then also sprinkle some on top once I put the fleece in and swish it around (Texel will not felt) and get a variation of the theme...it's nice for a carded batt. The resulting yarn has an ever so slight tweedy type of result with the different hues of each color in variation.

Sheri, wind here too!

Sarita, I had no idea the wedding was so close! How exciting. How's the dress project coming along? No wonder you're not washing fleece!

Grace, I have never heard of a goat that old. Amazing.

I'm off to work so ya'll have happy trails today. Still have not carded the Texel fleece. Had to bring it inside the garage yesterday due to wind...still not quite dry in the cold dark garage.

Jami in WA

Farmgirl Sister #266
http://cookecreeksheep.blogspot.com
http://cookecreekwool.etsy.com
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - May 13 2009 :  07:11:54 AM  Show Profile
I have come to the conclusion that being a weather person is a pretty cushy job - you can be wrong 85% of the time and still keep your job. I shut down my sprinkler system for the "hard freeze warning" only to find it was 40 when I got up. Well at least my plants are ok. Still have lots of fleeces to clean but it should be good on the weekend. Now they are saying 70's (that's if they are accurate). Have a good day everyone.

Sheri
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Jami
True Blue Farmgirl

1238 Posts

Jami
Ellensburg WA
USA
1238 Posts

Posted - May 13 2009 :  07:17:00 AM  Show Profile
Yup, Sheri, I held off planting my tomato and pepper plants I started inside because hubby told me it was going to be cold this week (he watches the weather news--obsessed.) Usually plant those on Mother's Day but held off. So far it has stayed above freezing. Think I'm going to have to bit the bullet and see how they fare.

Jami in WA

Farmgirl Sister #266
http://cookecreeksheep.blogspot.com
http://cookecreekwool.etsy.com
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - May 13 2009 :  09:32:30 AM  Show Profile
Jami, daughter decided to purchase the dress, the wedding is at this Victorian mansion/ b&b at Hannibal Mo, they take care of the cake, minister, etc...life is good! My other children and families will be coming to our house Friday...can't wait! We will probably ride the river boat and see Mark Twain's home after the wedding ceremony, if the weather cooperates.

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Contentment is the crown jewel of a happy life.
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - May 13 2009 :  10:20:22 AM  Show Profile
Jami around here if you plant anything tender before June 1st you are a gambling gal. I cheated one year and planted Memorial weekend and the next day I got hit by a tornado (very rare indeed) and my poor tomatoes looked like beaten down palm trees! Not to mention losing about 5 acres of nice timber. The ground here isn't warm enough to plant and too wet to till. Hopefully it will dry out enough by friday so I can get my beans etc. in. Supposed to be warmer.

Sarita - life is good. I got out of making 5 dresses for this wedding - she found some she liked. I am still working on the wedding dress - got the lining sewed down and the corselette yesterday so I am down to hems. I still have 2 flower girl dresses and 2 jr. bridesmaid dresses to do and time seems to be speeding up...
Hope you have a great time this weekend.

Sheri
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - May 13 2009 :  1:04:20 PM  Show Profile
I am laughng Sheri because I have for the past two days been making paper punch flowers for my sons wedding in July. The flowers are seven layers of punched petal layers, then put together to create Gerber daisies which will be placed on the boxes with the Gerber Daisy seeds. I am also doing the flower arrangements for the wedding.

I know about the plant issues. My son purchased some tomatoe plants for me for Mothers day and they look horrible after my wind desided to kick up - in 5 minutes it looked like I had put them in a shredder. TLC will be in order. I have a neighbor who every year gets his garden to almost harvest and then he is hit with horrible hail which beats it into the ground. I had that with roses out here. Every year the blooms would show that day we got hit by hail. My Lilacs are hit with frost each year - I think I have only had two years out of 13 with flowers. Got to love Mother Nature.

I love working with Country Classic Dyes - but over the years I have designed some great recipes with them and the combination of plants and natural colored fleeces to come up with amazing colorways. I would love to see the outcome of your dyeing Jami.

As for my goat which is 17 he has his brother here too. Also, I have Mishka's mom who is older then that and Eboney who is 16 and both girls are still having healthy babies. Everyday when I go outside and see they are still standing, healthy and greeting me with a kiss I consider myself so blessed. My heart will break when they are no longer with me. I know it is coming but I am not looking foreword to that day so for now I love them and count my blessings.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - May 13 2009 :  6:36:56 PM  Show Profile
Grace,
What is the lifespan of sheep?
Rae

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - May 14 2009 :  06:47:57 AM  Show Profile
Hi Rae

Well, I think the average is around 10 years but again I am the weird one. Most folks I know who are in the sheep business never keeps a sheep for more then 4 to 5 years before they off them or sell them at a sale barn. I had ewes producing into 15 years and when I sold my flock those girls are still going so that would make them 17 years old. Also I have found the more genetic tweeking not (the hertiage breeds) the shorter the life and productive life. I would be interested to hear what other breeders feel are normal life spans.

On an interesting note the Camelids who are living on our American Dieat of grains (which they never receive in their native land) have been experiencing shorter life spans by about 5 years. Also they are having many more reproductive issues and heart issues... Interesting!
I think this issue is the same for the other animals that we have made grain eating machines.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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QueenofQuiteAlot
True Blue Farmgirl

865 Posts

Dalyn
Milk 'n Honey Ranch Central, WA
USA
865 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  10:11:09 AM  Show Profile
I just gotmy first lamb! I got a ewe lamb for breeding meat for my family. She's a 3/4Finnsheep and 1/4 Polypay...I know nothing about sheep! I breed goats. I'm going to have to go over this list to get a bit of info *U*

Dalyn

~Hick Chicks Soap Barn ~
www.hickchickssoapbarn.com


Homespun Raw Goat Milk Soaps 'n More


http://muckbootsnaprons.blogspot.com/
http://proverbs31nubians.blogspot.com/

Muckboots 'N Aprons at Home Chapter
http://yakimafarmgirls.blogspot.com/
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  10:39:14 AM  Show Profile
Dalyn
You will find this site WONDERFUL!!! I am learning so much. I will have our first sheep very soon here and am so excited. If only we didn't have to work as it really gets in the way of getting our farm going :-) Hopefully though if all works out that will be all we have to worry about.
Rae

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  12:00:50 PM  Show Profile
Grace and others,
Another one of my questions I have read articles where people have soaked fleece in top loaders and rinsed and the such. Can this be done in a side loader on a delicate or gentle cycle? Just wondering for future here so is it best to do by hand kind of thing??
Rae

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  2:58:28 PM  Show Profile
Hi Rae

Well, I have a top load washer that I purchased in 1982 and is still working like a charm so I would not place fiber in it to wash. I have felted projects in the washer but you are sitting right there with it and you are not washing dirty fleeces. As for the side load everyone I have talked to has complained that it has gummed up their machines and in one case cost her a arm and a leg to get it repaired after she washed a llama fleece in it - they have no lanolin so I can not image what a fleece would do.

Honestly, washing fleece by other methods are not that hard but that is just me. I wash a hundred or more a year and that is done on the stove and sink.

I would love to hear what others like..

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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QueenofQuiteAlot
True Blue Farmgirl

865 Posts

Dalyn
Milk 'n Honey Ranch Central, WA
USA
865 Posts

Posted - May 18 2009 :  3:30:29 PM  Show Profile
Rae,
thanks! I'm sorry work gets in the way *U* I'm a homebody and stay home with my kids and homeschool them, but even that keeps me pretty busy. I find it's easy to run outside really quick for this or that though...the barn calls!

Dalyn

~Hick Chicks Soap Barn ~
www.hickchickssoapbarn.com


Homespun Raw Goat Milk Soaps 'n More


http://muckbootsnaprons.blogspot.com/
http://proverbs31nubians.blogspot.com/

Muckboots 'N Aprons at Home Chapter
http://yakimafarmgirls.blogspot.com/
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - May 19 2009 :  07:11:51 AM  Show Profile
Just finished reading your blog Dalyn - love it and great pear muffins and cheese. Now I am going to have to step up my game and paint my toenails - don't want to be the farmgal letting down the standard. I forget about those things....



Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - May 19 2009 :  07:38:37 AM  Show Profile
Ladies, I live in an old farmhouse that is over 100 yrs old and so is the plumbing. I always start my fleece washing outside in 5 gal buckets and get the primary dirt out of the way and dump all the oil, dirt,and lanolin outside. I gave a detailed description of how I wash my wool earlier in this topic. I use the lingerie bags to keep the wool out of my washer filters and some of the parts of the washer. The wool will wrap around the mechanics of some washers. (I know this...I had to replace my washer and that is why I have an older one just to spin my wool and why I went to the lingerie bags. I also had stopped up plumbing that cost me a fortune and lots of grief.)
Wahooooooo! Lambing is over! The lambs are growing so fast. The wedding is over, 2 1/2 days of school left....washing wool is the next priority in my life. Angie will be moving her things out of the upstairs and I will again be working on my weaving, carding, and sheep. Ang is on her honeymoon and I am already missing her...she is a great daughter and a great helper on the farm.
Danny and I both felt so lost the day after the kids and their families left on Sunday...it was a boowhoo day for me. All the programs and events at the end of school is keeping me busy right now.
I am behind, so I will read and catch up with you all later.
Beautiful Sunny Day in Mo.
Sarita

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Contentment is the crown jewel of a happy life.
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Jami
True Blue Farmgirl

1238 Posts

Jami
Ellensburg WA
USA
1238 Posts

Posted - May 19 2009 :  07:38:49 AM  Show Profile
Interesting cross you got, Dalyn. Welcome to the world of sheep!

Rae, the front load washer does not work for wool or for felting either for that matter-in my experience anyhow. I got one last year and yes, it saves lots of water and electricity and that is good but changed the way I wash fleeces. I was a washer girl before but now I'm a bucket girl. Seems to work just fine. I use buckets so I can keep the mess outside.

Ages of ewes in our flock varies. Most are under 6 years old. I either sell them for breeding ewes or cull for health issues when necessary but mostly we are replacing older bloodlines with new improved quality about every 2 years on a rotating basis. Of course I have a few favorites but still I like to keep the flock in their "prime" for production and easy-keeping attributes. I used to try to reward older ewes by retiring them but that lasted about a year as it wasn't practical.

Jami in WA

Farmgirl Sister #266
http://cookecreeksheep.blogspot.com
http://cookecreekwool.etsy.com
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - May 19 2009 :  09:15:27 AM  Show Profile
Boy is it windy here today - 30+ mph sustained. So much for working on fleeces today. I have been washing my wool in the kitchen sink because of weather issues on the days I had time. I have an old screen door that has a wood frame so I have it sitting on 5 gal buckets in my spare room and have been laying the wool out to dry on that. It's working pretty well but not what I would optimally choose. Long weekend working in the garden - weeding out my strawberry bed took almost 9 hrs. of "bent back" labor but they are finally neat and tidy. Had put in 200 plants last spring so they are looking nice and robust this year. It slammed down hot this weekend (almost 80) so garden work was the order of the weekend. It's hard to go from highs in the upper 40's and low 50's to 80 in a day - welcome to Eastern WA. My whole front porch is covered in cold crop bedding plants hardening off and the wind is having it's way with them this morning.

Glad the wedding went off ok, Sarita. I've still got a lot of work ahead of me before my son's on Labor day weekend. Is your weather finally mellowing out, Grace? I know it sure has been a strange spring here. You getting these high winds over there Jami?

Hope everyone has a glorious day.

Sheri
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - May 19 2009 :  09:53:23 AM  Show Profile
We are to have 92 degree today - way too hot for me so it is work on the concert floor with my bare feet. We get high winds too with this heat so it sucks the life out of you....

I am glad the wedding went well and keeping yourself busy is a great way to deal but tears are welcomed too.

My son's wedding is continually changing and they are not making up their minds on things. It can be mind blowing because I am one who is doing the flowers, jewelry and favor's and still decor and such is changing. It was 26 years ago since my wedding and boy have things changed.

Glad to hear all the birthing is done and everyone is growing like weeds. Shearing for the little one's will soon be around the corner and with this weather it may be sooner then normally. I just love getting my fingers in those wonderful locks and butter creamy fiber. Hope everyone's washing goes well, I have every drying rack full right now so soon another round will be happening at the funny farm.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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Jami
True Blue Farmgirl

1238 Posts

Jami
Ellensburg WA
USA
1238 Posts

Posted - May 19 2009 :  10:51:00 AM  Show Profile
Sheri, you got it, girl. If the answer is blowing in the wind...someone southeast of us has all of the information! I have dried fleeces inside very similar to your setup Sheri. It works just fine but just doesn't dry as fast. I too am torturing hardening off my plant starts. I got anxious with the hot weather over the weekend and now we're back to wind so they are going to have to live or die.

Sarita, great to hear you're all finished lambing and kids are married and tears are overwith. Bittersweet marrying off a daughter.

I have been in sewing mode so fleeces sit and wait for me to get motivated. I am not into knitting at all right now either. Sew, sew, sew.

Jami in WA

Farmgirl Sister #266
http://cookecreeksheep.blogspot.com
http://cookecreekwool.etsy.com
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - May 19 2009 :  12:11:52 PM  Show Profile
What are you sewing Jami? Motivate me! I am thinking about redecorating my studio and the bedroom that Angie used...That will make me sew.
Sheri,sorry to hear that you are having the wind today. I like to hang my little lingerie bags of clean wool out to dry on a nice windy day...drys fast, ready to card that evening.
Grace, sure glad you are the one that is doing all the favors and flowers, etc. As I get older, I don't make the changes as well as I did earlier in life. Grace, how long does it take you to card a fleece? or do you have the larger equipment to card a bunch all at once?
Sheri, glad you got your strawberry patch weeded. Our old patch was 7 years old and only got 19 gallon off of it last year so got in a big toot to plant a new patch...the ground is so wet that it will be July before it drys out. Kirksville Missouri is about 20 miles from us and they were hit by a tornado last Thursday, we got the rain,and again on Friday, it rained all day...to a tune of 3 1/2 inches, just a few miles north of us got 6 inches but it ran down on us, roads were closed and flooded. Hubby thinks the temps will shoot up to 90 and 100 and the ground will be like a big brick. Plants are harden, blown, rough around the edges and ready to die and call it fall.
Dalyn, you will have some beautiful wool, I love to work with Finn, so soft, great to make baby booties. I have polypays and I like their wool too. When you lamb, you will probably have litters with that cross. Both are known for their multiple births.
Rae, hope you get your sheep soon. Your side loaded washer won't do you much good for washing wool. Really buckets works well, mess is outside. You will have to give yourself some trials and errors when you first start washing wool but it does not take long to get your system set up.

It is so nice here today...sun with a light breeze...wish you were here!
Sarita

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Contentment is the crown jewel of a happy life.
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