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  1. Today
  2. Your papers please! Just wait for more gun bans when they come a knock'n Glad I moved out of NY!
  3. Chemung County DPW 2017 Public Works Projects Announced

    So what you're saying is that the squeaky wheel gets the oil & stone
  4. Yesterday
  5. The Chemung County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the larceny of a debit card which occurred at the Arnot Mall on March 24, 2017 between 5:00 and 10:00 p.m. That same day, a black male subject was captured using the card at business in Elmira. The Chemung County Sheriff’s Office is asking that anyone with information into the identity of the black male subject wearing the red sweatshirt and hat contact the Criminal Investigation Division at 737-2933. Anonymous tips can be sent to sheriff@co.chemung.ny.us
  6. The Chemung County Sheriff’s Office announces the arrest of 27 year-old Michael Rodabaugh of Pine City for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, a class A Misdemeanor. On April 21st, members of the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office responded to Rodabaugh's residence following a tip that he was in possession of an unregistered pistol. As a result of the investigation, a .40 caliber Glock pistol was recovered from the residence. Rodabaugh is scheduled to appear in the Town of Southport Court on a later date to answer the charge.
  7. On April 24, 2017 the Health and Human Services Committee of the Chemung County Legislature recommended approval for the BOCES Adult Dental Assistant Program to move into the Chemung County Health Department dental clinic area. The BOCES Dental Assistant Program will utilize the dental clinic space for classroom instruction, clinical training using existing equipment, and administrative office space. There will be no cost to the County. One of the dental clinic rooms will be converted to a classroom, and two of the clinic rooms will be used for hands-on training. One clinic room will remain under Health Department operation one day a week to provide dental services to the Nursing Facility and County Jail, but no services would be provided to the public. BOCES would like to start the adult Dental Assistant Program on June 5. No renovations or construction will be necessary. The full Legislature is expected to approve the resolution along with a new affiliation agreement with BOCES at its May 8 meeting. An expanded affiliation agreement to add the dental program to existing LPN and Nurse Aide training programs at the Health Center has been drafted and is awaiting review and approval by the County Attorney and County Executive once Legislature authorization has been granted. The County’s dental clinic has been closed since August 2015, after its dentist and hygienist retired. The County’s clinic, which was one of the last such clinics in New York State, was losing more than $300,000 a year, primarily due to inadequate reimbursements rates under Medicaid. Efforts to transfer operation of the dental clinic to a federally qualified health center were not feasible due to extensive construction requirements and space limitations for a new clinic at this location.
  8. Clayton Gets Life Without Parole

    Good old Pete Bradstreet! I helped him with his first Judgeship campaign ~15 years ago! Actually it might have been longer than that...
  9. Last week
  10. Chemung County DPW 2017 Public Works Projects Announced

    About time they get to Federal Rd. I think the town has been after them for better than a year to do something about it.
  11. Clayton Gets Life Without Parole

    See more at http://www.weny.com/news/All/thomas-clayton-sentenced-042417?utm_medium=social&utm_source=WENY_TV_News
  12. Arrest Reports

    Chemung County Sheriff's Dept. Thomas J. Swinko, 28, of Elmira was arrested on 04/21/17 for Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 4th Degree, a Class A Misdemeanor, after a complaint was made in the Town of Southport. SWINKO was issued an appearance ticket to appear at the Southport Town Court on 05/18/17 and turned over to the Broome County Sheriff’s Office for outstanding warrants he has in Vestal. Danielle M. Firestein, 19, of Sayre, PA was arrested on 04/21/17 for an outstanding warrant from 07/22/16 for failure to appear at the Big Flats Town Court on Petit Larceny charges. FIRESTEIN was issued an appearance ticket to appear at the Big Flats Town Court on 04/27/17. Alexandria C. Degraw, 22, of Horseheads, was arrested on 04/21/17 for Petit Larceny, a Class A Misdemeanor, for stealing from Walmart in the Town of Horseheads. DEGRAW was issued an appearance ticket to appear at the Horseheads Town Court on 05/25/17 and then turned over to the NYSP for an outstanding warrant. Shania F. Kelly, 19, of Southport, was arrested on 04/21/17 for Petit Larceny, a Class A Misdemeanor, for stealing from Burlington Coat Factory at the Arnot Mall in the Town of Big Flats. KELLY was issued an appearance ticket to appear at the Big Flats Town Court on 05/25/17. A 17 year old female of Lowman, was arrested on 04/21/17 for Unlawful Possession of Marihuana after a traffic stop in the Town of Southport. She was issued an appearance ticket to appear at the Southport Town Court on 05/25/17. Kaitlyn M. Burdick, 19, of Elmira Heights, was arrested on 04/22/17 for Unlawful Possession of Marihuana after a traffic stop in the Town of Big Flats. BURDICK was issued an appearance ticket to appear at the Big Flats Town Court on 05/25/17. Travis A. Pond, 20, of Waverly, was arrested on 04/22/17 for Unlawful Possession of Marihuana after a traffic stop in the Town of Big Flats. POND was issued an appearance ticket to appear at the Southport Town Court on 05/25/17. Dakota C. Walker, 19, of Horseheads, NY was arrested on 04/22/17 for Harassment in the 2rd Degree, after a disturbance at Paramount Bowling Lanes in Horseheads. WALKER was issued an appearance ticket to appear at the Horseheads Town Court on 05/25/17. Lester T. Owens, 26, of Elmira, was arrested on 04/22/17 for Unlawful Possession of Marihuana after an investigation into property damage from a motor vehicle accident in the Town of Erin. OWENS was issued an appearance ticket to appear at the Erin Town Court on 05/21/17. Nathan C. Crapo, 20, of Elmira was arrested on 04/23/17 for Driving While Ability Impaired after a motor vehicle accident which occurred on 01/15/17. CRAPO was issued an appearance ticket to appear at the Horseheads Town Court on 06/08/17. Elmira Police Dept. Zackary T Ross, 26, of Elmira, was arrested on 4/22/17 at approximately 2:20 a.m., for Harassment 2ndl. Zackary had called a cab and tried to pay with another person’s credit card. When he was denied, Zackary spit on the driver. Joseph L Crane, 25, of Odessa, was arrested on 4/22/17, at approximately 2:50 a.m., for Aggravated DWI, Leandra’s Law, for having a child in the car. Joseph was stopped for crossing the double yellow line on College Av. During this stop it was determined that Joseph was under the influence of marihuana and had a child in the vehicle. Joseph was also found to be in possession of marihuana as well. Joseph was also charged with DWAI Drugs, Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Criminal Possession of Marihuana 5th. Tarell L Calafell, 26, of Elmira, was arrested on 4/22/17, at approximately 6:10 p.m., for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 2nd. Tarell was stopped for operating a motor vehicle that the owner loaned out, but was not returned. During this traffic stop it was found that Tarell’s privileges to operate a motor vehicle in New York are currently suspended. Geneva M Morrell, 22, of Elmira, was arrested on 4/22/17, at approximately 10:00 p.m. for Criminal Mischief 4th. On 4/21/17, Geneva did kick in a door at a residence on W. Chemung Pl., causing damage to the door frame. Nicole M. Facey, 25, of Horseheads, was arrested on 4/23/17 at approx. 1:22 am for Disorderly Conduct after she engaged in a physical altercation with a 28 year old female outside of the Field House, 470 Mt. Zoar Street. Mary P. McCallister, 28, of Elmira, was arrested on 4/23/17 at approx. 1:22 am for Disorderly Conduct after she engaged in a physical altercation with a 25 year old female outside of the Field House, 470 Mt. Zoar Street. Traci L. Jones, 31, of Elmira, was arrested on 4/23/17 at approx. 3:55 am for Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest in relation to an unwanted guest complaint on Pomeroy Place. Officers attempted to have Jones leave the area when she was no longer welcome inside a residence on Pomeroy. Jones refused and became loud and belligerent. Her actions created an offensive condition and she was placed under arrest in an attempt to restore peace to the neighborhood. Once she was advised that she was under arrest, Jones attacked the arresting officer by pushing him in the chest in an attempt to elude arrest. Michael E. Mood, 47, of Elmira, was arrested on 4/23/17 at 1:25 pm for Disorderly Conduct after he was found to be dancing in the intersection of Clemens Center Parkway and E. Thurston Street, impeding vehicular traffic.
  13. Childrens' Book Week Event - Van Etten Library

  14. Talks And Treks: Woodcock Walk - Candor

    TALKS & TREKS: EVENING WOODCOCK WALK LOCATION Logan Hill Nature Preserve - town of Candor 6:30 – 8:30 PM – Meet at the United Health Services parking lot at 54 Main St. in Candor (see directions). REGISTRATION Please call (607) 275-9487 or email info@fllt.org to register. Evenings in the spring bring ample opportunity to witness the stunning breeding display of the American Woodcock. To attract the attention of a female, the male performs a series of upward spirals to reach a height of 200-350 feet in the air, producing a harmonious twittering sound as he goes. He zigzags down, chirping all the way, and then lands silently —hopefully, next to a female. Join us at the Logan Hill Preserve, just outside the village of Candor, for this special birding trip led by Nature Preserve Manager Jason Gorman and long-time volunteer and naturalist Betsy Darlington in search of this spectacular bird. Please dress for the weather and bring a flashlight or headlamp, as it will be dark when we return to our cars. This trip will be rescheduled for the following day —Sunday, April 30— in the case of pouring rain, but not light rain. Also, watch this American Woodcock video by Lang Elliott, in preparation for this event. DIRECTIONS Directions: From Ithaca, take Rt. 96B south towards Danby and drive approximately 18 miles to Candor. At the first gas station in Candor, turn right on Mill St., cross the creek, and turn left at the T intersection onto Rt. 96 – Main St. After passing Candor Central School on the left, turn left into the United Health Services parking lot at 54 Main St. Land Trust volunteers will determine, based on the number of attendees, if a carpool to the preserve is necessary. The parking area of the preserve cannot accommodate more than ten cars.
  15. Elmira 4th District Neighborhood Meeting

  16. REMINDER: There is no bulk pickup of yard debris in the Spring. Bagged leaves, grass, and other yard wastes must be composted on site, or taken to a local compost facility. BAGGED LEAF PICKUP DISCONTINUED: It is now a state violation for most landfills in New York to accept yard waste, including bagged leaves and grass. The Chemung County Landfill is subject to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) fines and penalties for accepting this material. A waste hauler may be fined by the landfill and/or have their contract suspended. Because of this NYSDEC decision, the City of Elmira can no longer pickup bagged yard waste, and will leave it at the curb. Please do not mow or blow grass clippings into the street, as they can clog street drains. All clippings should be removed or mulched in place. This applies to residents and contractors. OPTIONS: 1) CITY OF ELMIRA COMPOST PROGRAM: a) The current compost facility is located at the City Yards, Department of Public Works, south staging area. The City is considering relocating this facility due to persistent illegal dumping. b Any City resident can drop off at the facility at no cost. c) Bags MUST be EMPTIED at the site. d) Hours for leaf drop-off are Dawn to Dusk every day. e) Contractors cannot drop off material at the facility. 2) RESIDENTIAL COMPOSTING: a) Residential Composting: http://www.chemungcounty.com/index.asp?pageId=453 b General Composting: http://www.chemungcounty.com/usr/Stormwater/Compost%20Resource%20Sheet%20page%202.jpg 3) DIAL-A-TRUCK: a) This program allows City residents to pay a $40 fee to have a City 6-wheel dump truck delivered to the front of their house. Residents can fill the truck’s bed with yard waste; the City will pick up the waste and compost the material. b For more information, please see http://www.cityofelmira.net/dial-a-truck
  17. The Chemung County Department of Public Works is pleased to announce its 2017 work program. This year’s program makes use of County forces, contracted labor, and shared services, having a total value of approximately $5,500,000 (excluding the funding for the federally aided or Bridge-NY special projects.) Work includes bridge and culvert replacements and rehabilitations, drainage projects, general maintenance, oil and stone projects, paving projects, and full depth reclamation projects. Funding comes from a variety of sources, including New York State (Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, PAVE NY, Extreme Weather Recovery (EWR), and Marchiselli Program), the federal government (Federal Highway Administration), and Chemung County. Mill and Fill road projects remove the top 2-3 inches of asphalt and replace it with a new asphalt wearing course. Mill and Fill roads have 10 years added to their life with routine maintenance. Asphalt Overlay projects add a new wearing surface to the road, providing improved vehicular traction, safety, and a smoother ride, while extending the life of the roadway up to 7 years. Full Depth Reclamation (FDR) road projects involve a process of grinding and reclaiming the old road surface, injecting an asphalt emulsion and recompacting it in place to serve as a new sub-base. The roads are then overlaid with hot-mix asphalt or layers of oil and stone, depending on the traffic volumes. This process adds 12-15 years of life with routine maintenance. Surface treatments such as oil and stone rejuvenate the roadway with new asphalt emulsion and a layer of stone, sealing the surface against water intrusion, and adding some structural life to the road. Oil and stone treatments add 4-7 years of life to the roadway. Slurry Seal roads are first repaired in failure areas, and then coated with a slurry seal, a product made up of asphalt emulsion, Portland cement, fly-ash, and small aggregate. Slurry Seal serves to seal the roadway against water intrusion and extends the life by 3-4 years. Micro-paving is a latex-modified overlay composed of selected mineral aggregates, latex-modified asphalt emulsions, mineral fillers, set control additives and water. Micro-paving provides additional skid-resistance and seals the roadway against water intrusion, providing an additional 4-5 years of life. Work is already underway at several locations. Chemung County’s Department of Public Works also plans to complete patching and repairs of other roadways throughout the County. Our planned work is subject to change based on weather, equipment, and funding. We will also review budgets and conditions during the construction season to determine if extra work is feasible. The EWR funds may be able to help with additional projects. As always, please drive carefully through work zones, and allow extra time to reach your destination. Please call the DPW at (607) 739-3896 with any questions. 2017 Chemung County DPW Work Program Bridge and Culvert Capital Improvements Program 2269090 – Pine Hills Drive (Southport) – Project to begin mid Summer 3330850 – CR01 Church Street – (Breesport) – Project underway 3331750 – Jenkins Road Bridge (N) (Town of Elmira) – Bridge Replacement - Completed and turned over to Town for paving and future maintenance. 3357800 – Pine Valley Road (Catlin) – Bridge Replacement - Project to begin late summer Surface Treatments (Oil and Stone, Slurry Seal, Crack Seal, or Micropaving) CR06a – Millport Hill Road – SR14 to End (O&S) – Project to begin early to mid Summer CR12 – Johnson Hollow Road – SR14 to Schuyler County Line (O&S) - Early to mid Summer CR15 – E. Sullivanville Road – SR13 to Schuyler County Line (O&S) - Early to mid Summer CR16 – Jackson Creek Road – Sandbank Road to End (O&S) - Early to mid Summer CR33 – West Hill Road – Harris Hill Road to City of Elmira (SS) - Early to mid Summer CR35 – Chambers Road – Arnot Mall to Colonial Drive (Crack Seal) - Late Spring CR35 – Chambers Road – SR414 to Murphy Hill Road (O&S) - Early to mid Summer CR41 – Federal Road – CR01 to CR04 (O&S) - Early to mid Summer CR69 – Pennsylvania Avenue – CR79 to City of Elmira (MP) - Project top begin late Spring CR76 – Park Station Road – CR38 to Austin Hill Road (O&S) - Early to mid Summer Highway Paving and Resurfacing Program (Full Depth Reclamation, Hot Mix, Mill & Fill) These projects will occur during the spring and summer. CR55 – Harris Hill Road – CR64 to CR33 (FDR + Hot Mix Asphalt Surfacing) CR38 – Laurel Hill Road – SR223 to Park Station Drive (FDR + Hot Mix Asphalt Surfacing) CR16 – Jackson Creek Road – SR223 to Sand Bank Road (FDR + O&S) CR74 – Colonial Drive – Chambers Road to Sing Sing Road (M/F) CR16 – Jackson Creek Road – Halloran to End of County Road (FDR + O&S) Drainage Projects CR01 – Church Street – Breesport – Project Underway CR55 – Harris Hill Road – CR64 to CR33 – Project to begin early Summer Special Projects CR08 Bridge Federal Aid Project (Lowman Crossover Superstructure) – DESIGN ONLY in 2017 HOST Connector Road Federal Aid Project – DESIGN ONLY in 2017/2018 CR61 Coleman Avenue Federal Aid Project – DESIGN ONLY in 2017/2018 CR35 Bridge Replacement - Bridge-NY Project (south of Tompkins Corners) – DESIGN ONLY in 2017 CR35 Bridge Replacement - Bridge-NY Project (north of Tompkins Corners) – DESIGN ONLY in 2017
  18. Shearing the Flock

    Tho the books are geared to a younger audience, you won't regret the read, Chris!
  19. Nuts. ( And if you're allergic, too bad. )
  20. I remember when grocery stores would discover cans with a missing labels....and sell the "mystery food" for real cheap. Can you imagine the legal consequences if they did that now?
  21. A guy I know posts some of the best stories from the restaurant he works at. Here's ine that I immediately thought of :
  22. Over react much ? Urging people to throw it away ? Christ, if you're not some delicate allergic to the world flower, just eat it.
  23. Fresh Air And Imagination

    Whats the old saying, the peepers have to stop singing three times before the danger of frost is over ? Pretty sure they were silent last night so that's one. Fortunately the frost didn't get our peach trees which are blossomed nicely. And the ticks...ugh. I just pulled one off of me last night. It was my first ever though, so I guess thats not bad considering how much time I spend in "their house".
  24. Shearing the Flock

    I've never read the books, but have meant to. I'll add 'em to the list.
  25. http://fox13now.com/2017/04/23/campbell-recalls-thousands-of-cans-over-soup-switcheroo/ Am I the only one who thinks the warning and wording are wee bit strong here? I'm thinking if you have an allergy that is acute enough to "cause serious, adverse health consequences or death"...and smart enough not to purchase a product due to that allergy, then you are probably alert enough that you won't eat mistakenly go ahead and eat Italian Wedding Spinach & Sausage assuming it's really Chicken & Pasta like the label says.
  26. Arrest Reports

    Elmira Police Dept. Rodney A Dove, 26, of Elmira, was arrested on 4/21/17 at approximately 1:30 a.m., for DWAI by drugs and alcohol. Rodney was observed passing a stop sign and was stopped for this violation. During the traffic stop Rodney was found to be intoxicated by a combination of drugs and alcohol. Rodney was also found to be an unlicensed driver.. Philip C Whitehead, 38, of Elmira, was arrested on 4/21/17, at approximately 5:35 p.m., for Petit Larceny. Philip did steal a fried chicken, hair pins and a Mountain Dew from Top’s Markets on S. Main St. Perry W Campbell, 37, of Elmira, was arrested on 4/21/17, at approximately 9:40 p.m. for Harassment 2nd. Perry was involved in an altercation with another person. Perry then shoved that person off of a porch. Chynna LC Lynch, 27, of Elmira, was arrested on 4/21/17, at approximately 9:30 p.m., for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation 2nd. Chynna was stopped for failing to stop at a stop sign. During the traffic stop it was found that Chynna’s privileges to operate a motor vehicle in New York are currently suspended. Taveon I Jenkins, 23, of Elmira, was arrested on 4/21/17, at approximately 9:30 p.m. for Unlawful Possession of Marihuana. Taveon was a passenger in a vehicle during a traffic stop and was found to be in possession of marihuana. Jason S. Bresette, 21, of Gillette, PA, was arrested on 4/20/17 at approx. 1:00 pm for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd following a traffic stop on Linden Place. Danielle M. Wood, 22, of Elmira, was arrested on 4/20/17 at approx. 1:56 pm for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle 3rd following a motor vehicle accident investigation on E. 2nd Street. Chemung County Sheriff's Dept. Cassie R. Durgala, 32, of Binghamton, was arrested on 04/20/17 for an outstanding Family Court warrant from 04/12/17 for failure to appear. DURGALA was arraigned by the Chemung County Court and released. Alyssa K. Houck, 25, of Elmira, was arrested on 04/20/17 for Petit Larceny, a Class A Misdemeanor, for stealing from Walmart in the Town of Horseheads on 04/19/17. HOUCK was issued an appearance ticket to appear at the Horseheads Town Court on 05/16/17.
  27. Elmira Police Warn Of Fake Currency

    I once learned conversational Russian and was pretty sure of the translation - but looked it up to be certain. Here's a handy online Cyrillic keyboard translator: http://gate2home.com/Russian-Keyboard/Translate
  28. Shearing the Flock

    Spring is my favorite season, and the best time for the annual shearing of the homestead’s flock of sheep. Having never observed this being done, I spoke with Trish and Steve Barrows in Candor who raise Jacob sheep. Steve prefers late April to shear their sheep, but said that many prefer to shear a bit sooner. He learned to shear sheep with a few nicks and blood along the way – mostly on the sheep, not unusual. He showed me his vet kit with all the accoutrements to sew up any cut made by the shears, pointing out that dental floss makes the best suture material because of its strength. They have a set of old-fashioned hand shears, but it is obviously easier to use power tools. Steve also said that “because of the dense lanolin in their wool, each of the Jacob sheep clogs up one set of blades while being shorn.” Trish shared her book with me on raising sheep, Your Sheep, A Kid’s Guide to Raising and Showing, by Paula Simmons and Darrell L. Salsbury, DVM. I found it a helpful read, wishing I’d had a book like that as a teen to raise my lamb. I also noted with interest in Your Sheep (pg. 52) that among the various reasons we fought for our independence from Great Britain in 1776 was the fact that King George had banned the colonists from buying wool-spinning machinery or sheep from Europe. So, with typical American ingenuity and pride, we entrepreneurs got going and built our own cottage industries which led to the eventual industrial revolution. But, back to our task at hand - shearing a sheep. Specific holding positions are key to reduced struggling and, thus, less injury to the sheep and the shearer. To begin shearing, position the sheep in front of you in the seated position. To get a sheep sitting, not its preferred position, put your thumb into its mouth behind the teeth, bend the head to the right and across its back, lowering the sheep to the ground. With the sheep resting in a sitting position, hold its upper body between your legs. Shearing position: As you bend over your sheep, shear the belly, crotch and legs first. Then, laying the sheep on its right side with your right knee at its brisket (chest), shear the wool from the rear leg, up across its side toward the ears. Next, move its head back as you shear the neck and under the jaw. Continue to shear up its back toward the head as you reposition the sheep between your legs and start to shear the remaining side. It is also helpful to shear as close as possible in specific patterns for each area until all wool is removed. Second cuts (going over the same area twice) are discouraged as they leave short pieces of virtually useless wool in the fleece. A good source for a pattern of shearing cuts is found online here. Shearing time is also a good time to check the health of each sheep. By taking time to trim the hooves, give vaccinations (not available on the colonists’ farms), worm them, and check for external parasites or any skin infections, you will shepherd a flock of healthy sheep with valuable wool. Once the fleece is off your sheep, you need to “skirt” it by spreading it out on a table made of wire racks. This process is to remove debris (i.e. vegetative matter, or VMs as is the common term), such as burdocks or other weeds, bits of hay embedded in the wool, etc. Next, washing the fleece is vital, either by sending it to a mill for the complete process, or by doing this yourself. Soak the wool for about 20-30 minutes in very hot soapy water several times to remove dirt and melt off the lanolin. Trish warns, “Do NOT pour the lanolin-rich water down your drain - you will clog up your sewer system over time.” Do not agitate the wool at this stage. When done soaking, gently squeeze out excess water and repeat a few more times. With today’s modern technology, Trish Barrows said she puts the fleece into a pillowcase to wring the water out in the washing machine. After the soaking/washing process, rinse the wool a few more times to remove the last vestiges of dirt, grime and soap that might still be embedded in the wool. Finally, lay the fleece out on wire racks to dry where it will have good air circulation. Dyeing the dry wool can be done several ways. I was surprised to read in Your Sheep that you can use Kool-Aid to dye the wool, but also bright-colored crepe paper in rolls (not streamers), dyes from craft shops, and Rit or Tintex commercial fabric dyes. Trish showed me her binder from classes she had taken which displays her dyed wool with coloring based on various flowers and other items used in the dyeing process. In fact, Trish told me, “It took about a large garbage bag full of Black-eyed Susan flowers and stems to dye ten small skeins various shades of yellows and browns!” Other natural items for dyes include black walnut and butternut hulls, sumac for gray coloring, avocado pits for reds, while vinegar or other additives help vary the shading – for example, copper can give a greenish tinge. “Basically, the more plant materials you have, the deeper the dyes,” Trish added. Different sheep breeds also have different types of wool. Some have a scratchy fleece, best for rugs, like the Scottish Black Face. The softest wool, like Merino, is excellent for delicate clothing items, while a medium coarseness is good for those cozy-warm sweaters. Trish stated, “There is a purpose for every type of wool. Each sheep is even individual in coloring. Our Jacob sheep have a medium wool, good for sweaters, hats and socks or mittens.” Once the wool is dried after washing and dyeing, it’s a good idea to pick through it again. “It seems you never get all the bits out of a fleece,” Trish added. “When that’s done, you need to get the wool ready for spinning. You can use hand cards which look like cat/dog slicker brushes. They even out the wool into fluffy rolls called rolags. [A rolag or roileag is a Scottish/Gaelic term referring to a roll of wool fiber which is used to spin into yarn.] Wool fibers are then pulled from the ends of these rolags and spun into yarn on bobbins (which look like big spools) by using a spinning wheel. The yarn can then be wound into balls for knitting, or onto smaller bobbins for weaving.” Small upright spinner: Antique wool spinning wheel, also called a great wheel or walking wheel: A great reference for life on the homestead which Trish recommended is Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” book series, particularly “Farmer Boy.” How well I remember reading this series and the TV show. I retrieved my copy from the bookshelf to reread about the old days and old ways, including weaving. And it all brought back memories of going to DeSmet, South Dakota while helping our daughter, Emily, move to Brookings, S.D. for grad school. The Ingalls homestead It was exciting to have the opportunity to see the prairie land of the Ingalls’ original family homestead, visit their homes in DeSmet, and see photos and learn more of their history.We saw how they would have planted a garden, saw the field of wheat partly destroyed by the previous day’s hailstorm just like what the Ingalls dealt with, a soddy built into the bank, the group of trees which had surrounded their original house, watched a very young foal running and kicking up its heels with great gusto all around its Mama, and a replica of the house Pa built. On the way back from the one-room schoolhouse, I even had the opportunity to take the reins on the mixed team of a black Percheron and a golden-brown Belgian. Granted, they knew their way back to the homestead, but I thoroughly enjoyed driving them as I lay the reins on their necks to ease them through curves on the beaten path! Prairie house. But not a "soddie" !
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