Sunday, November 30, 2008

Popcorn PeePee Pants


I've been asked about the name Popcorn PeePee Pants. You can't have a name like that without a good story.



Iris LOVES to have her picture taken. This photo always makes me laugh. PPPP is playing on a ramp we had for another really old collie - before Boo.

PeePee was a sweet little Border Cheviot bottle lamb that came to us from a farm in neighboring Bourbon County. She was born early in January and her momma didn't like her. It was too cold to put her out in the barn (of course ;-), so she moved into our kitchen.



She was just as pretty as a Pearl, so we gave her that name.



In the beginning.

It stayed cold and she stayed in the kitchen. Anyone who's been around baby lambs knows how cute they are running and jumping around, popping up in the air like popcorn. So, as the days went on, she became Popcorn.



As the weeks rolled by (it was a cold winter for a little lamb all by herself), you can just imagine how she grew into Popcorn PeePee Pants (note the stack of clean up towels in the picture above).



Aside from sleeping on my lap, her favorite activity was riding on the ATV. I started that to keep her out from under the wheels while I was doing chores. To this day she still wants to climb on and take a ride.



Here she is all grown up. Her cousin Peabody is behind her.


It's not snowing here yet, but we might see some tonight.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Crazy Turkey Lady?

I spent the most enjoyable day clerking (marking the judge's scores and comments) at a stock dog trial today and what do I have to show you? Fabulous pictures of really neat dogs? Ewen McTeagle's cousins trying to outsmart them?

Nope.

I present to you...Mr. Simmons.



Safely through another Thanksgiving!

Isn't he just a hoot? Or I guess, rather, a gobble ;-).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving


We all have so much to be thankful for. Sometimes it's nice to sit and list the top 10 (or 100) things or what's most important... Sometimes I can't put my finger on exactly what these things are.

Now just because I may not be able to come up with a politically correct list, doesn't mean I'm not thankful. I was put on the spot the other day and kind of panicked. What was I going to say? I decided the best way to describe what I feel is to compare it to, say music. What exactly about music do I like? Why do I like it? I don't know. I do know though that, to use a musical term, whatever it is seems to resonate through me. Is part of me.

That's how I feel on a daily basis. The crisp walk to the barn in the morning, the sound of the sheep calling for breakfast, a soft muzzle against my cheek or the way those crazy chickens run around looking for bugs.

The quiet of the afternoon, knowing Saint Tim is on his way home, peeking in on Boo in his warm house before turning off the porch lights and telling all the critters to take care of each other. It all resonates.

And I kind of like that.







And we all eat pretty good around here. Because every day is Thanksgiving.

Everyone take care of each other.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"This Time,...

I walked up to the barn this afternoon. As I tip-toed down the aisleway I could see the sheep napping out back.



(Peabody, Allie, Caspar Belly and Emily, Jester, Popcorn PeePee Pants)

Miss Emily and her daughter Caspar Belly (aka Spooky Tooth) were so cute sleeping together that I ran back to the house for the camera.



I am sure there are many lessons we can learn from our sheep, but probably the best one would be to enjoy a warm, sunny winter day.



(Miss Ewenice, Billy Belly, Ford, Buddy, Joshua, Woolliam)



(Buddy, Ford, Joshua, Woolliam, Crazy Esther)

...like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Come En Atcha

Some friends and I decided to take advantage of the (finally) break in the freezing weather and headed to "the reservoir" this afternoon. This is an area that was supposed to become the Eagle Creek Reservoir, but for some reason the project has been on hold for years and in the meantime has become a great place to take your horse to ride.



This was Attie's first trail ride. Her first ride in a group of horses. Her first deer. Her first climb over a dirt berm (her eyes were as big as saucers I was told :-D). She had great baby-sitters in Lucky, Chief and Opie, but just the same we decided to stay on one of the main roads and save bushwhacking for another day.



What a nice day. Thanks everyone...especially Attie. You did a good job.

Photos courtesy Julie Siegel

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's A Blur

Petunia was so cute eating her hay the other night that I snapped a couple pictures of her, remembering her super cute picture eating clovers when she was a baby.



When I reviewed the pictures though I was disappointed - they were all blurred. How did that happen? That camera always does such a good job. Then I noticed that the pictures weren't blurry, just her mouth.

That sounds about right.



She might not be the "Gerber Baby" anymore, but she's still pretty darn cute.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Job Security

Be irreplaceable.



I guess it would be pretty hard to find too many other cats willing to be a dog pillow.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Come And Get It!

Here's a short video of the sheep coming up for dinner this evening. I had gone to a lot of trouble to try to trick them into waiting out in the barn lot until I had all the hay piles set out, but I don't seem to be any more adept at tricking sheep than I do chickens. Luckily Saint Tim came home early to get the tractor stuck in creek, so I had him open the gate first.

I had left the big gate open and thought at the time that no good could come from that, but I was hurrying... However, if you watch closely, you'll get to see cheeky little Sunshine boldly tootle out the gate by herself and head into the barn looking for cookies. Saint Tim sent her back out (he probably gave her a couple cookies first ;-) and you can see her run back to the group (isn't she cute :-).




So, on rare occasions, some good can come from not latching the gate. Currently I can't think of any others...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Can Photoshop Help?

I wanted to post an embarrassing picture of our resident punk, Comby, but instead it is probably a more embarrassing tale of poor housekeeping.

From the front porch of the cat condo, Comby can look directly into the kitchen.



Saint Tim noticed his face lined up perfectly with the Christmas heart I hung up three or four years ago and liked so well that I never took down.



Or dusted.

Yikes!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Won't You Take Me To...Punk-ytown



Eli



Clair Bear



Brushy

Why aren't they sleeping in the new cat condo? With the heated beds?



Comby.

All the rooms are his.



Even Boo's if he chooses.

No other cats allowed. Even if it's raining, windy and cold.

Can you believe Saint Tim is actually going to build another cat condo this weekend?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Well, Well, Well...

What do we have here?



We've been wondering what the Adventure Chickens have been up to. We were getting three eggs, then two eggs, then one egg and now no eggs. Seemed odd that they'd already stopped laying for the year. Even I had to agree that chicken feed has gotten pretty expensive for NO RETURN ON INVESTMENT!



I found this amazing stash buried in the hay stack. They've obviously been tucking them in here for quite a while, so when they started, they must have been burrowing deep into a narrow path between several bales of hay. There were 20 eggs total. Sigh. Well, at least I know where to start looking for them.

Of course, now that they've been found out, they'll probably go find a new spot. However, the Kentucky Girls sent me some very realistic fake eggs several months ago and I stashed a few in there hoping to trick them into thinking their nest was still secure.

This is what's it's come down to - trying to outsmart a chicken.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Seventh Anniversary

Is wool! Or copper, but who cares about stupid ole boring copper. Saint Tim knows that around here, every anniversary is wool ;-).



This handsome couple (curls courtesy of Miss Ewenice, who is enjoying not having to walk as far to find green grass today) is headed out this afternoon as an anniversary gift.

Since it's looking like everyone is ordering sheep in pairs this fall, I no longer feel any guilt about bringing home two lambs that first trip to NY. Well, I didn't really anyway...and can you believe how "skinny" Boudreaux was? I was going to dress him up as a table for Halloween this year, but ran out of time. Yikes!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Turns Out...

The grass IS greener on the other side of the fence.



That's Miss Henri peaking in on the bottom of the picture and the boys out back. Yes, one has on a rain coat.

After two drought years in a row, our pastures are not in top condition heading into winter. We haven't even had enough rain to think about planting a winter cover crop. At least this year we were able to bring in enough hay (we hope, although the pessimist in me is thinking I should stuff as much more into the loft as I can).

To ease the load on the existing fields, I spent much of the day building a portable electric fenced paddock back in the pond field. Whereas last year I just let the hoodlums run free back there, I promised our pine trees (that got stripped as high as the sheep could reach) that I would not let that happen again.

I find I enjoy playing with electricity. I like configuring gates and corners. I was a bit worried about teaching sheep with big woolly coats to respect the electric, but set them up with some strategically placed grain where their noses would most likely end up eventually touching something hot (sorry sheeps :-/) and everybody seems to be getting along just fine.



I do worry though when I see a group of thugs - I mean Jacobs - standing around one nerdy Cotswold. And what about the Adventure Chicken up on the fence? It's definitely the funny farm around here some days.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

First Socks



I can't remember when I started these. It was this year sometime, but that gives you a general idea of how long they've been hanging around. I was determined to finish them...of course...and was hoping the idea of knitting socks would grow on me, but, well, you see, they, um, fit and all, but, well..........the Iris (Border Collie) in me is yelling "WHY DON'T THEY MATCH?!?"

Monday, November 10, 2008

Be-Witched

Today at Equinox Farm we are dealing with trying to find a water leak. Well, we've been trying to find it for over a week, but since it's supposed to start raining tomorrow, the pressure is really on.

We've narrowed it down to being between the meter and the house, but there are two or three water lines running through the front field, so really, we haven't narrowed in down much. We've checked with the previous owners and they have hopefully gotten us in the ballpark, but nothing definitive. What we really needed it turns out, is Stella's son Wyatt.

Using a basic wire coat hanger from our closet, he was able to divine or "witch" the water lines for us. He starts out with the two bent wires balanced in his hands facing away from him. He slowly walks across the field and when he gets over the top of a water line, the wires spin (on their own) to cross in front of him.



I tried it and yes, the wires do spin on their own. I was not able to divine with any accuracy though, so it is definitely a rare talent.



So, having a good idea where to start looking, Saint Tim and Water Witch Wyatt are going into the ditch digging business this afternoon. Thank goodness for good neighbors!



I have something important to be working on in the house, I'm pretty sure ;-).

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Fiery Reminder




As I came through our front gate this afternoon I noticed not only the huge burning bush (how had I not previously noticed the burning bush?!?), but the fallen leaves of said bush.



And I thought to myself, "These leaves look amazingly like the colors of the magnolia throw".

That is still on my big loom.

Uh oh.

Not only is this appalling in it's own right, but also a brutal reminder that the two Christmas gifts I wanted to weave on this loom can't possibly be woven without finishing the spring (egad!) throw.

So, how many folks out there have already finished their Christmas fiber gifts? How many haven't yet started?

Just so you know, there are 46 days until Christmas...if you count today and don't open gifts until the 25th.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Movin' On Up

Everyone and everything on a farm has to be willing to multi-task. Even a dog house/cat condo. Saint Tim put the finishing touches on Boo's fancy dog house over the weekend, moved the cats into their "deluxe apartment(s) in the sky" and I promptly put it to work as a drying rack.



Those are Master Woolliam's pretty curls drying in the sunshine.



So why isn't Boo sleeping in his new house?



You can't beat an afternoon nap in the warm fall sun. See his eyes closed? (You can click to biggify the picture.)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fibertarians Unite*

Tomorrow is a very important day. For all of us. I'm not going to stand on my soap box and tell you who I think you should vote for. I will get up here though and tell you to Go Vote!

Even with all the hard times of late, we are still a nation of great wealth and opportunity. We should never forget that. And never forget the women who lived before a time when they could vote. Or African-Americans. Or those who have died defending our rights. All of them.

And it's not just enough to go place your vote, but please vote responsibly. Vote educated. Do your homework. Don't make a decision based solely on newspaper, radio, tv or internet propaganda. Keep your antennae up.

We don't think twice about researching a spinning technique or how to wash wool, or what might be wrong with a sick lamb or a lame horse. We don't go out and choose a breed of sheep or chickens or skein of yarn just on one person's opinion. We would never open a hive of bees without some learnin' (and a veil ;-).

Read.

Listen.

Learn.



Think.

*For a little levity...

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