Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It was a day like no other.

Ok, it's a usual day here at the farm. Chores are done, animals are fed, and knitting is commencing while I start working on a few things.

I've been working on extending my family tree a bit more. Whatever I had done was left pretty much in the air about 8 years ago. We had a years' subscription to Ancestry, but couldn't afford to keep it. Now, there are a bit more free sites that will help you without having to pay up $70 to see them.

The two parts of my tree that were stuck were on my Mother's side. The Laws' side was stuck in Kentucky at the start of the 1900's. Now this might be fine for some, but come on! I've gotten one part of my tree back to the 1500's.  So I started searching, using the LDS website. Back when I started, the only persons in their database were ones 'sealed' to their faith. It's a part of their religion: If you become a Mormon, all your ancestors were 'sealed in the faith' -or baptised in Mormon. Many took offense to that because it is a very personal choice whether or not to be baptised in one faith or another. I'm guessing with the immense database they have now, that this is not the practice.

My Great-Great-Great Grandfather Wenzel Hrobsky. Born in Bavaria, emigrated to America before the great Immigration and landed in Baltimore. He and his wife Anna moved to Watertown WI and had their kids. Their daughter married Alex Sr. and had many sons, one of which was my great grandfather.   I've managed to get wonderful information about the Hrobsky's via a Czech website..which was translated. YAY!~

And I've tracked the Laws' to 1700's England. This does not bode well for the claim that we're Irish on that side but what can ya do? I'm glad to be able to find them at all.

So ah..yeah. It's all very boring stuff with a lot of paperwork but when you get to extend your line a bit...you do the touchdown dance.

Now onto knitting:
Five new hats are done; 3 of which will go to charity, the two alpaca ones will stay here. It's not like I don't have like 20 hats already, It is time to donate them. I will be giving them to a local Men's shelter because they are often overlooked and overshadowed by the local Women's shelter.

Handspun Alpaca with a darker stripe. I'm trying to use up scraps that are all over the place. I actually frogged a Rikke hat for the darker alpaca since it was ridiculously oversized.

The amount of yarn I got from that will cover at least 2 hats, and I'll give the 2nd one to Alex. We'll live in luxury while the others get the wool hats...LOL...like they're not warm or anything.

Well they are nice though. The pattern I use is the simple one by Patons called Basic Beanies:

http://www.yarnspirations.com/patterns/basic-beanies.html

 I really really really like Paton's Kroy sock yarn for these hats because it is a tad thicker than your usual sock yarn which makes for a warmer hat. This one is the slouchy version which I knit up if I have enough yarn. The person can either wear it slouchy or flip up the ribbing to keep their ears warmer.

Gray marle is a good colorway for guys.  These are really handy to keep in the car too, in case you need to keep warmer for some reason. I found two of them in my school backpack.



 Clover colors are always nice

And the alpaca one for Dave is really warm and soft.

I found a bunch of skeins of Paton's Kroy on clearance at Hobby Lobby and snapped them up for $3.50 a piece. Heck, you can't even BUY a good hat for that at the store, and the ones at the store will be some icky acrylic or cotton.

Wool ones keep you warmer even if they get wet. This yarn has enough nylon in it to also make them machine-washable, which is also helpful.



Cascade color is the last one.  They start out on size 3 circular needles, then after the ribbing, I transfer to a size 5 needle to knit the rest until the last bit which is done on double pointed needles.

Each one takes me about 2 nights of knitting to work up. I knit while I read books on my ipad. The hardest part is trying to turn pages while knitting, I've tried using my elbow. but that does not work.

I found more yarn on clearance at Hobby Lobby, so I have some that will be done with Red Heart's Heart and Sole sock yarn. It's thinner, but I think the hats will be fine.

They work well under hoodies for added warmth in the winter without a lot of bulk.

And then there's the prayer shawl for another person battling cancer. More on that later.

All I can say is that when I was knitting this up, I really missed my friend Kevin a lot.


Last but not least. Mary has hatched out a baby last night! I'm excited for her. Of all my female geese, she is one of the most maternal. She's fostered goslings before, but this is her first brood.  I'm giving her a lot of space because she knows what she's doing and is VERY protective of her baby.

I saw this little one this morning and burst into tears. I'm happy for my Mary-belle. She's going to be a great Mom!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

You are Here - Celebrate!

I've been hearing a lot of whining from people these days about this or that offending them. Here's the deal; your offensiveness is yours. No one needs to change to keep your petty little sensibilities from being nicked. YOU are stronger than that!

After you read this, go look at yourself in a mirror for a while. Heck use your cell phone if you have to, but LOOK at yourself. YOU are the result of thousands of years of survival.  Your ancestral parents have survived many things for YOU to be where you are.

There were three pandemics in the world over the last 700 years. One wiped out about 50 -80% of the world's population. No, I didn't say just *one* area...THE WORLD LOST UP TO 80% OF THE PEOPLE.  Had one of those  people been your ancestral parent before you were born? You wouldn't be here.

But the Bubonic Plague reared it's ugly head a few more times over the millenia. In the 1600's it hit England again, decimating 30% of the population. Yet, your ancestral parents survived to give your ancestral parents life. THEY SURVIVED!

The Spanish Influenza of the early 1910's killed roughly 1/2 the population - again- worldwide. Yet, your great-great-great granparents survived.

In the mean times, your ancestors either raped and pillaged, or WERE raped and pillaged. Yet they survived and reproduced.

Before antibiotics, 50% of the kids a Mom would give birth to would die before their 5th birthday, most within the first year. Yet, your ancestors survived.

I'm betting at one time or another, one of your ancestors was enslaved. They were probably refugees at one time, or forced to flee their homes due to a pestilence or conquering army. Yet, they survived.

And here you are, the result of all that hardship, whining about something stupid that made you feel bad. Pick yourself up there, buddy. You're made of much sterner stuff than that. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

hi

That's Nellie trying to get straw for her nest. Yes, I've got a channel on Youtube. It has some of the best videos from the farm on there. I've been on vacation for a few days, kayaking on the Wisconsin River. It was nice.

But it's time to get back to the farm. More later!