Shop at Spinner's End Farm

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Strike of the Drum

Yesterday at school, the children prepared a Thanksgiving feast for themselves, their families and members of the Bay Mills Indian Community (our Chartering agent). See that little pilgrim and his father in the background?

From the Marquette News station: "Students at the brand new Three Lakes Academy Charter School were offered a rare class lesson today: a drumming presentation from the Bay Mills Indian Community - the party responsible for chartering the school - to kick off the Thanksgiving holiday.
"We brought the drum today. His name is Aabizii. We refer to the drum as a grandfather because of the teachings the drum also shares with us," says Mike Willis of the Bay Mills Indian Community.
Every strike of the drum represents a heartbeat - life - to the Indian community."

Go here to read the entire story and view an awesome video of their stirring performance. The kids (and adults) were entranced by their gracious performance and explanation of what Thanksgiving means to the Anishinabe people.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Amourous Sheep

I bought a fifty pound bag of carrots yesterday to try out on the sheep...the price was right at $4.5o so figured I didn't have much to lose. Turns out that the sheep will eat them IF you are holding the carrot, and then they ALL want to take a bite out of that particular carrot. Petrucio, the mature shetland wether was being a bit of a butthead to Deja in particular and ramming her as she was trying to get a bite of carrot. I pitched a couple of the big honking orange beasts at him (they are carrot culls of course and HUGE), but my aim was bad and they just went bouncing around the pasture. Finally I gave up and went in to deal with Mr.Cranky Pants.

He just wouldn't leave poor Deja alone! Followed her around, rammed her, sniffing her backside....oooooh, I get it now. But wait- he is, to put it delicately, not correctly anatomized anymore...he does have a bit of sac left from what I assumed wasn't the worlds best banding job (or he was neutered another way perhaps) but I THINK all the parts are gone. Right? Then Will told me he saw him mounting some of the girls...

He didn't behave this way last fall with the other three girls, is Deja just a particularly hot sheep? Does anyone else have this going on in their flock?

Monday, November 9, 2009

What would we do without you?

Heartfelt thanks to old friends and new- we couldn't have done it without you- Slainte!
(I didn't get photos of everyone here either!)

Constructing Walls and Top beams

The Second Bent goes up
The Fourth Bent arises...there was a third, but I missed my photo op.

Hey, not bad! "Does anybody want to put on the top beam?"
"YEAH!" was the resounding answer.

The First Bent

Drilling holes for pegs

Prepping the first bent

Up She goes!!

Leveling the post

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pegs, tenons, and mortises

Important steps to raising a post and beam barn....
Making pegs


Tom H.


Pegs are made from hardwood and most are 1 x 12 inches long. They are split by hand and pounded through a metal pipe using a sledgehammer. They are used to join the beams and posts and corner braces together. There will be no nails in the barn frame.

Doug measuring and marking tenon

Keith and Doug cutting Tenon

Tom W. above and Bonnie W. below cleaning out mortises on the sill
Some of the pre-work was done using power tools- cutting beams to length, starting tenons and roughing in mortises. Most of the "finish" work was done by hand.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

School Pictures

Miss Lila Dreolan- Third Grade

Sam Fin- First Grade

Duncan William- Kindergarten

Click on any of them and they will biggify. We are delighted at how well the photos turned out this year- it is always a bit of a gamble! One of our summer community members augmented everyones picture package with extras- the combined portraits above were extra in our package and we are so thankful to them. People that couldn't afford to buy ANY photos of their children were gifted with portraits from these kind people. They live here in the summer and downstate in the winter and evidently were so excited for our community to have our school back in the form of a charter that they did this kind and generous deed.
Saturday we will be having a barn raising party! The posts and beams for the frame are all tenoned and mortised and ready to assemble. Will is busy making 1x12 inch pegs to pin it all together. I will take photos and post them asap.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wee Beasties

The Whole Motley Crew- the township halloween party was cancelled due to flu so we went trick-or-treating starting in the wee town of Curtis and ending up at Doug and Ruthette's house for the end of the day tricks or treats- beer for Mummy and Daddy (and chocolate for the kiddies).

Getting kitty whiskers

Do you think he is smiling behind the mask?

Look! I have wings!
We had a great halloween. Even though the school party was put off until monday everyone survived and there was adequate candy to go around even for Duncan.


Lila's Jack-O-Lantern

Sam's Jack-O-Lantern (note flared nostrils)

Duncan's Evil Pumpkin