Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Swishing my way out West

When Hank and I first started planning our vacation out West, it was clear that we had very different approaches to the 3000-mile trip out to Yellowstone and back.  He immediately pulled up Google maps, started plotting cities, researched attractions and calculated mileage.  I casually thumbed through my sewing patterns.  Hank anxiously gave the 1950 Chevy a thorough run-through, hoping she'd hold up for just one more roadtrip.  He changed the oil, checked the brakes, checked the suspension, double-checked his emergency toolbox and, just because he's that cautious sort, signed up for AAA.  I thrilled at finding the perfect piece of summer-weight wool.  Priorities, you know. 


When I think of Summer vacation , I immediately picture billowing, cotton sundresses and snappy playsuits in novelty prints.  But when I combine that image with Summer traveling, I cringe at the thought of ironing said cotton dresses with teeny hotel irons and flimsy boards (should you be *lucky* enough to even have one).  Such was my dilemma.  The South Dakota Badlands in August were sure to be hot, but once again, I opted for wool.  Hank looked up from under the hood of the Chevy just long enough to raise his greasy eyebrow at that decision, but I sewed on.   Ultimately I decided on two staple pieces on which to build my wardrobe:  an A-line skirt and a pair of pants. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Schimstock Family Vacation



Last month we took a much needed break from the farm.  We packed the Chevy and headed west on I-90.  It was a round trip tour through five states that took us nine days and required only 143 stops of getting in and out of the car (but who's counting?). So settle back, and I'll regale you with a smattering of our vacation photos (in no particular order).

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Retro Restyle: This tater sack's a humdinger!


Over a year ago I made up my mind to make something out of burlap.  There are so many fabulous potato sacks out there with catchy slogans and vintage graphics, and they all can't be made into tote bags.  At first I was thinking corset or vest, paired with gingham perhaps, but this particular sack wouldn't lend itself to cutting.

what I started with
what I ended up with



















Thursday, May 15, 2014

And we christened him, Melvin


Oh my!  It's been nearly a week already since Melvin was born, and I totally forgot to post pics! I did get these up on my facebook page because we all know that nothing happens until you post it on fb (sad commentary on our world today).  But then I selfishly skipped my way back out to the barn and plopped down in the hay to spend hours enjoying this little guy.  

Monday, May 5, 2014

the Spring Thaw

We live alongside a small creek, and every Spring I marvel at the amount of water that flows past our house.  Back in April the water was rising faster and higher than we've ever seen it.  While the sheep tiptoed back towards the barn, the geese were in Heaven!  We crossed our fingers that the fence line wouldn't float away.

 


Oh, what the difference one month can make.  Today, the water is back within its banks, and the sheep are grateful for the return of their pasture, though soggy it may be.  I'm just glad the grey days are finally being replaced by sunnier ones. 



And while it's still a bit too waterlogged to be digging in the garden, the promise of budding flowers keeps me heading outside every day.  Well, that and the prospect of more lambs!  Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Derby Jr is born


We had our first lamb on Sunday!  Typical scenario for our farm...go out to do chores and there's one extra mouth to feed.  This is Flopsy's first year as a mother, and she did splendidly.  I was not expecting lambs this early, but I should have known; first-time mothers tend to deliver sooner rather than later.  We promptly moved the pair indoors as we're in the middle of a week-long rainstorm (not to mention 45 degree temps and a steady wind).  Mama and baby are doing just fine.

Little Lamb is a spitting image of his daddy, Derby.  Sadly Derby passed away this winter from natural causes.  He was truly the gentlest ram I've ever seen, and he shed his wool each Spring.  He would stand quietly for me while I pulled handful after handful from his back and belly, the most beautiful chocolate brown wool.  I wonder if Junior here will be the same.


Now that Spring has sprung, so to speak, I'm anxiously trotting out to the barn several times a day to check our other ewe, another first-timer.  More lamby photos to come!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Our Easter Tribble

While this Easter season finds most families searching out fuzzy, yellow chicks or long-eared rabbits, we've opted for a tribble.* 

Serious discussion regarding new animals to our Homestead began several months ago.  My daughter has been championing for a horse for the past six years, but my son would prefer a squirrel.  My husband, Hank, tends to lean towards the more exotic fish and reptiles.  I have always maintained furry and cuddly as my highest priorities (and yes, sheep qualify).   So imagine my surprise when Hank walked through the door last night with this little guy, quietly nestled in the crook of his arm.  "I went to the pet store looking for a beta!" were the first words out of his mouth.