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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

En Francais?

As I sit at the dining room table at Grammy Jo's house, contemplating making a breakfast frittata from Aunt Ann's fresh eggs, summer squash, zucchini, onion and red pepper from the garden; I've been mullling over incidents from our trip east.

No, not just the 21 hour drive from Michigan to New Hampshire which seemed longer than usual due to bickering male siblings in the way back of the van.  Nor the lack of air conditioning; a pricey repair on a decade old vehicle that may be worth less than the price of said repair and insurance paid on the vehicle.  Not even the fact that Duncan left his new Land's end sandals under the picnic table in Mattawa (Note to self: call the Ontario Ministry of Transportation today).  What I've been mulling over was prompted by our passage through Montreal, Quebec (and it wasn't the horrid stop and go traffic at the hottest part of the day either). 

Someone had to pee (someone always does) so we stopped at the Quebec welcome center just over the border of Ontario.  It was a lovely place full of all sorts of informational brochures en Anglais et en Francais.  I was the first person through the door (everyone else was still using the toilette) and was greated by a lovely twentysomething young lady, en Francais....which after the "Bonjour" was lost on me and I had to, apologetically in low tones, speak Anglais.

What I realized was, thinking about this on the rest of the ride, how I failed myself miserably.  I took four years of high school french, compulsively translated "things" into french for decades, and was going to be a French major in college.  I grew up with a Grandmere who was from a long line of French-Canadian ancestry (whose family did not want to speak French because they were "Americans") so the words she spoke were those mysteriously tame swear words and phrases of a lady born in 1904.  However, by the end of the ride I decided to cut myself some slack since I realized I'd been out of high school for 26 years, I can still read all the signs en Francais after a fashion (and still have that French-English dictionary from way back when),  I chose a college degree that actually landed me a career (BS in Resource Ecology and MS in Conservation Biology), that I like the mysterious phraseology from my Grandmother and maybe it should always be a mystery, and I really am not too old to learn conversational French....if I want to.  I just don't have anyone to converse with at home!

Johnny and Will are now sitting across the table from me both on a 'pewter.  Coffee has been made (by the boys after some hilarious antics which had them giggling) and the veggies are awaiting slicing and a quick pan fry before sliding into some silken golden eggs.  Bon matin!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Some Eweper Fiber Fair Fotos

The 2012 Eweper Fiber Fair was a success!  We had a few more vendors and would have been full except for two last minute cancellations.  Hopefully next year we'll be crammed to the walls! Having variety and many things to look at and touch is key to a good event.

I'm hoping that folks in the rest of our crew had their cameras out because I didn't get many photos of the Fair this year.  Lila had the camera while I was doing the Spinning a Rabbit demonstration so there are a few more of those...

Yarn bowls, hand knit shawls, bobbin lace bookmarks and handspun yarn.

Hand woven baskets (I coveted many of them, but took my money home to buy hay instead).

Susan, the basket weaver, is working on piecing together a hand knit cable cardigan.

Hand woven shawls and hand made beaded shawl pins.

More hand woven goodies (dishtowels!), felting kits, and fiber.  There were many spinners demonstrating.

Handmade quilts, locker hooked rugs and supplies.

Alpaca fleece, roving and yarn!
That is my handspun on the far right front...I forgot to take a picture of my own table.

Spinning a rabbit.  This had a few folks confused (and some concerned)!

Buffy (the Were-rabbit slayer) sat nicely in my lap the entire half hour.
It was a long half hour!

Because all of those things happen to you when you are under pressure and slightly claustrophobic and answering know, breaking your yarn, coming undone from your leader etc... everything but a rabbit peeing on you. (phew).

The learning demonstrations were the best of all.
Hopefully, there are more photos!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bunny Snorgeling

Early Morning Bunny Snorgeling for Duncan.
Duncan is the early riser (after me) in the household.

Mystery color agouti kit tummy

More tummy...cute toes and nose too!

Side view in the sunshine.  His/her fiber looks ticked to me.
This litter of four is very active and bouncing around in their nest box.  Poor Nuala look dismayed to find one of them wandering out into her private space yesterday.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Angora Kit Color development

The wee bunnies have opened their eyes and coat color continues to develop.  I didn't realize how fuzzy this picture was so forgive me!

I've convinced myself the dark kit is a chestnut agouti and the lighter one likely a chocolate (sometimes called cinnamon) agouti.  The other two kits from this litter are indeed Blue-eyed Whites.

Bunny face washing is my favorite activity to witness.

The other litters (Esmerelda and Blackberry) white bunnies are Ruby-eyed whites!  Those are the first born here at the farm.  They are quite cute.

The nest of barn swallows fledged just in time....

...for this stuff to start arriving.  We put 425 bales into the barn this week.  Nice hay from a new source.  My hands are still sore...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Angora Kits

I may have mentioned I didn't think I'd breed the bunnies again.  I considered long and hard about what my options would be for the future, and bred two of last years kits to preserve those options.  I've decided to be much more picky about the folks I'm willing to sell bunnies to (Spinners who are interested in the wool are much more likely to take care of their animals than those interested in an unusual pet) and am excited to have a few spinning homes lined up already.

Esmerelda (Esme) and Blackberry Jellybean paired up for this litter:
 Esme is Chocolate tort: aa bb C_ D_ ee Vv
Blackberry is a black: aa Bb C_ D_ Ee Vv

Three torts and three whites.

I think there is a black tort, a chocolate tort, and a blue (or lilac) tort?
If that kit in the middle is a dilute tort than they both carry d as well.  Not sure if the whites are BEW at this point or REW...will know for sure when their eyes are open and then we can fill in those c's maybe.  The dilute tort has a vienna mark on it's head.

Aren't those teeth just precious?

Nuala and Bigwig paired up and made these four kits:
Nuala is a lilac: aa bb C_ dd E_ V_
Bigwig is a chestnut agouti: Aa Bb C_ D_ E_ Vv

I thought what we had first was an agouti, two whites (BEW or REW?) and a chocolate, but looking closer I realized the brown kit was also agouti.

...and lightening up a bit as the hair grows.  This kit is 7 days old in this photo.  I don't know if it is chocolate or lynx (or something else?)! 

I also started imagining that this kit was rather dark for a chestnut agouti, but that could be my imagination.  A chinchilla would be nice, but the coloring is rather brown.  Very sweet.

This kit also has a rather whitish foot that I'm wondering if it is a vienna mark.

 Here are the two agouti siblings side by side in the sunlight. 

Annette and Lisa???