Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hay, sheep and yarn...oh my!

24 January 2010

Lazy Sunday. I did the morning routine and ate breakfast with Angelika and Axel. Axel told me a story at breakfast about a neighbor who brought over some eggs her mother duck was sitting on before being killed by a fox the night before, not sure what to do to save them. To solve this problem, Axel put the eggs under one of his mother hens who took them as her own and didn’t seem too concerned when she hatched ducklings instead of chicks. The only time Mama Hen became upset, he explained, was when the wee ducklings took off for a swim in the pond he made for them, leaving Mama high and dry, without the proper equipment for extended floating. The ducks spent their duckling-hood at the farm, but eventually they heard a flock of ducks flying overhead and flew up to join their own kind, never to return. Poor Mama Hen, but what a good story. I’ll probably have collected a good number of barnyard animal stories by the time I leave, so whoever spends time with me next may have to shut me up about them.

After breakfast I got to climb up the massive piles of hay bales (from their own hay) in the eaves of the sheep barn to throw down the bales from the very top to Angelika for the sheep. This was sort of like a big kid playground for me and I’m pretty sure I’d be content climbing around the hay for at least a couple hours, but eventually the sheep came back in, having caught on to my field day in their food supply, so we had to close up lest they eat their next couple weeks’ meals in advance.

Climbing to get hay bales in the eaves, it's higher than it looks!

After that we mostly lounged around. Angelika copied my recipe for vegan pumpkin bread and I tore up an old Czech book I found on the streets of Prague to make stationary and envelopes, wrote some more letters and prepared a package to be sent home so I can lighten my load a bit.

25 January 2010

Finished washing all of the terracotta pots that will be used for burying next to the summer tomato plants so that the water can get right to their roots! After dinner we mulled some of the apple wine with spices and their apple juice and drank it while Angelika showed me pictures from the past several years of the farm in all different seasons. Finally got to see the picture of the little ram with splints.

The little ram with splints on his front two legs (a picture of a picture)!

26 January 2010

Finished Borderliners by Peter Høeg and started The Woman who Walked Into Doors by Roddy Doyle. I’ll never look at time the same way again after Borderliners, but it was a very good book. After dinner Axel taught me how to spin yarn with some of their sheeps’ wool and a spindle made from two small even branches cut and from one of their hazelnut bushes. Basically you make an “X” with the small brances, wrap some ready-made yarn with an unfinished edge around it, fasten it in place with a toothpick or needle and spin it while feeding in more rough yarn while also pulling it so that it’s about the same thickness. Sort of tricky at first, but once I got the hang of it I had a lot of fun and my yarn so far is looking pretty good! Next…the spinning wheel!

Axel showing Angelika how to spin yarn.

She was a bit skeptical.

No sheep were harmed in the process, even if this picture looks rather questionable.

Spinning!
27 January 2010
Last full day here! Saaaaad. Went into Bremdervörde with Angelika and mailed a package of some of my stuff back to the American version of myself. Also sent some letters, spent way too many euros for that because one was too big and one was too small. Ah well. Made more hummus. Re-filled chickens’ food barrel. I cut the tip of my thumb and some of my nail off while trying to divide the last piece of pumpkin bread evenly between the three of us with one of their really sharp knives. Bled all over myself, teared up and then as soon as I got a band-aid on myself the cat, Tinker, immediately threw up. I'm just happy I didn't too, exciting night! If anyone asks, I'll make up a more bad-ass story. Like that I got mauled by a sheep in the thumb. Or something.

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