Open and Ready For Business

We are pleased to announce the grand opening of the Wolowikranch Little Free Library!

Staff members will be on hand to shake hands and kiss babies as well as make reading recommendations and take in donations.

Our thanks go out to Up North Papa for making us this one of kind treasure and we hope our neighbors and community love it as much as we do.

As Dr. Seuss says “Be Awesome! Be a Book Nut!”

Let the reading begin!

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Posted in Around the House | 2 Comments

Wool-A Make Over Story

**Note to reader…this is an epic blog post….get a cup of coffee…then come back**

As you all know, I have have deep love affair with wool.  But with all love affairs, I realize there are parts of wool that I truly love…and parts I now know I have no desire to have darken my door step.

The number one thing I have no desire to do, is wash and process raw wool.

Why you ask? As a wool luvvah shouldn’t I want to know and become ingrained in the WHOLE process…from beginning to end? Shouldn’t I want a relationship with the dear sheep that suddenly felt a distinct chill one day when the previous day it was wooly and warm?

Well, once upon a time, yes I did.  I did want all of that and more.

And then the entire process was laid before me and I was like ‘um, no’. And for no other reason than ‘who the he** has time for this’?

Will I take the time to hand dye, spin and knit up my woolens? By god yes (and I realize that many of you out there think I and others are bonkers for doing this) but that is the part of the process that I truly love. The science of the dying….the hypnotic nature of spinning….the thrill of the perfect pattern…the accomplishment of the final product….

So now that you know what I love and what I loath….here is where the real story begins.

So I travel out on the weekend to my favorite fiber shop. The owner has been my spinning mentor and was my instructor this past winter.  We have gradually formed a friendship and I enjoy driving out to gab with her.  Our conversations wax and wane over many many topics and it isn’t unheard of for me to spend a few hours. This particular day I asked her to go through the classes at an upcoming festival and see if she knew any of the instructors.  This proceeded to curve into ‘oh, if you are going to be there on Saturday….why don’t you come and demonstrate some dying techniques to this group I am leading. In fact, let me give you some of my sheep’s fiber for you to practice and play with, then you can tell me if you are interested.’

Interested?  You just told me you are giving me free fiber and you want me to talk to people about my new found favorite thing in the world to do.  Where do I sign up?

‘Great’, she says.  Here is bag of the fiber.  ‘Oh, sorry it isn’t washed or cleaned so you will have to do that…then you can dye it up.’

<Insert your choice of bad word right here as I said them all in my head…>

OK, here is what I realized as I was driving back home with a bag of filthy wool in my car.

What I really detest most about this process is…………………..

THE SMELL!

Holy he** I thought a sheep curled up and died in my car…

I mean , I come from WI where most of the time you are driving in the country and the various animal aromas that you encounter along the way are part of the charm….you kinda get used to it and even look forward to it. I have a friend with sheep and I pet them and have never ever ever encountered a smell like this before….

But this….this was soooooo much worse.

I got home and immediately got some water going on the stove as I knew that I needed it hot to cut through everything.

Then I put the fiber in and moved it outside. I took one look at the festering groddy water and texted the proprietor of said shop and said ‘Um, should I put some soap in the water?’

She responded back ‘on washings 1 &2, no…but on washings 3, 4 and 5…YES!’

Did she just say 5 washings??

Next up on my list of things I don’t like….5 washings!!

Then she replied “Smells bad doesn’t it?” (Ok, so at least I’m  not the only one)

Here is what it looked like on washing number 1.

I mean…Ew!

It is like you walked into a barn filled with sheep that had some sort of intestinal disorder…

…and you said…let’s bottle this smell and make tea

washing numero uno

washing numero uno

Washing 2 was more of the same

Washing 3, 4 and 5 at least there was the sweet scent of Dawn hanging in the air…..

And the water didn’t look like it needed a contaminated warning.

photoThen I laid the <MUCH CLEANER> locks out to dry

photo 5It took me 4 days to get to this step…but I am finally here and get to have some FUN dying these blankety blank locks!

Stay tuned for the exciting finale…which will be titled “Having fun dying blankety blank locks!”

 

Posted in Around the House, Knit me some happy | 2 Comments

And the winner is……

I know you have all been waiting with baited breath….
And Big Mama and I would like to announce that….
My WI sissy is the winner! (And she eats an egg every day!)
The ladies have laid 865 eggs!
Thanks for playing!

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Posted in Here chicky chicky | 2 Comments

A Contest You Say??

Greetings friends and Happy Friday!

We have had the lovely ladies in our yard for a few years now and I can say with all honesty, I never grow tired of the daily surprise in finding out how many eggs they have laid. Everyday when I get home from work I greet the family, change my shoes and instantly go outside to greet my girls and check on the eggs.

Most of the time they are done laying by the afternoon, but every so often there is a late layer….. (She may have given me the ole stink eye when I opened the coop and told me to buzz off..or maybe it was chicken swearing…)

Amelia...wanting some alone time

Amelia…wanting some alone time

And it is always comforting to know that on the nights that you really just can’t bring yourself to plan and execute a decent dinner……

There are always eggs and toast…..

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Since our first group of ladies I have always kept track of the number of eggs we collect and keep a running total…..Which brings me to the…..

FIRST EVER ‘GUESS HOW MANY EGGS THE GIRLS HAVE LAID SO FAR’ WOLOWIKRANCH CONTEST!

Here’s what you need to do…..

Leave a comment on the blog page with your guess on how many eggs our current batch of ladies have laid.  Here are your only clues:

  • they started laying last September
  • there are four hens

If you are local, the winner will receive a ‘wolowikranch’ dozen of eggs (which is 11…not 12…cause that’s the way we roll….and we tend to run one egg short of a dozen round these parts)

If you are not local, I’ll send you something from the ranch.  If you are a knitter…it may be some handspun yums yums.  If you’re not a knitter….well….there may be something a little bit wrong with you…..but you will get something equally cool from the ranch in the mail.

Let the guessing begin! I’ll post the winner on Monday!

 

Posted in Here chicky chicky | 5 Comments

Admitting it is the first step, right?

I may have a problem……………….

 

…as in an addiction….

 

 

 …to my spinning wheel……

 

But the yum yums that I make……oh there is no turning back now…..

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Yummmmmmmmm

 

 

 

Posted in Spin me baby | 2 Comments

Painting

Greeting from seriously the most gorgeous July on record.  Again, we have been blessed with mid 70’s breezy beautiful days that it just puts such a zip in my step.  I mean seriously…the 4th of July was in the low 70’s……..my makeup didn’t melt off my face for the first time in YEARS!

Now, if someone could maybe do something about the abominable mosquitoes in our yard…..jeez they are just thick this year.

The kiddos have been thankfully quite busy thus far this summer.  They did their yearly camping trip with the hubby and it was so much fun to hear them re-tell their tales when they returned.  Someday I will hopefully be able to coax the man into guest blogging about their trips….

Then the kiddos went and spent a week with the grandparents in the southern part of the state.  They had a ball and got lots and lots of attention and again had stories galore of all their fun.  In a few weeks they head to grandma and papa’s up north where no doubt they will be busy busy busy.

So when we finally found ourselves with an afternoon at home, I got the ‘we’re so bored’ blah blah blah

So I had to come up with a plan to find myself some sanity….and get the kids out of my hair….

And boy did I hatch a plan…..

“How about you paint a mural on the side of the storage shed?” I asked them.

*****SILENCE*****CRICKETS********

“Um, really??” they replied.

“Yes, absolutely!”

No one sees this side of the shed except for us and I thought it would be fun for them to plan out and paint, and would give us some color during the ucky winter months.

The great thing about paint these days is you can go to the hardware store and for a few bucks they will mix up tester pots of any color you want…..so we were off to the races……and some poor high school kid got to mix up a lot of paint…..

The girl planned everything out…..photo 1.

Then the fun began….

photo 2

And of course everyone decided they needed to get on on the action…

Check out the tooties on this pretty lady

Check out the tooties on this pretty lady

 

And WOW! Now we have water front property…with a VIEW!

photo 4photo 3Hope there have been lots of sunsets to your days as well!

 

Posted in Around the House, Family Time | 3 Comments

For the Love of June

I think I have decided that June is officially my favorite month. Who doesn’t love a nice sunny, breezy 70-ish day?  I feel like I have boundless energy and so much finally gets done in June.  In WI we have had some extreme weather as of late but really what it has equated to is rain, then sunshine….rain, then sunshine….which means the garden is exploding with life and growth!

Here is a recap in pictures of what we have been into the past month.

This is one of the garden boxes that we put in a month ago on Mother’s Day….

IMG_0365And here it is now:

IMG_0402Here are the tomatoes on the day we put them in:

IMG_0366One month later:

IMG_0407All I can say is…chicken sh*^ compost is worth its weight in gold when it comes to the garden!

Here is a peek at my favorite corner on the deck….it just makes me so darn happy

IMG_0399This tuberous begonia is one of the most spectacular flowers I have ever had

IMG_0396The boy and I set up a ‘keep out the chickens’ area in the backyard as they just scratch the poor hostas into the ground….and they love to fling mulch with wild abandon which drives me batty.

IMG_0412In addition to spending lots of time in the garden, the boy, girl and I participated in the Race for the Cure a few weeks ago.

The girl joined the girls running club at her school and they trained to complete this race…which she did!  The boy and I walked with my work team and really had a great time.

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Then a few weeks later, the girl graduated from 5th grade and is now officially in MIDDLE SCHOOL!

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Then onto this past weekend’s extravaganza……the Summer Solstice Celebration.  How we have lived on the east side of Madison for 11 years and never attended this is beyond me as it fully encompasses all the wonderful quirkiness of our dear city.

The celebration begins with a ‘procession of the species’ which of course is lead by none other than Charles Darwin.

IMG_1661IMG_1662IMG_1658IMG_1652The evening was spent with friends and a lovely picnic and then rounded out with a HUGE bonfire all while drumming and dancing.  I can think of no better way to usher in summer!

And then Sunday we took things down a notch and spent the afternoon fishin and knittin

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And it is with a sigh and yawn that we tumble into Monday……

Hope you are all finding June as magical as we are

 

Posted in Around the House, Family Time, Victory Garden | 2 Comments