Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Why This Is The Best Christmas Gift Ever

Yesterday...


While mud is ugly to look at and irritating to slip and slide through, this is the real reason we are putting done so much fresh gravel.


There is probably a proper term for this, but I call them mud clods.  The sheep walk through mud, it sticks in between their two "toes", dries into a rock hard and usually sharp clod and then is very painful to walk with.


I picked these from Beanie Baby's hooves last night.

If this happens to the front foot of a friendly sheep who will let me just walk up to them and pick out the clod, it's not a big deal.  If it happens to a sheep who's not willing to be field caught, I have to bring them into a confined area in the barn to catch them.  That's too is not a big deal and I can't stress enough how important it is to have a catch pen area so you aren't having to chase your sheep down to catch them.

Picking clods from front feet is an easy job.  Picking clods from the back feet is a challenge even with a friendly "pet".  Liddy had mud clods in both back feet the other day.  I had to set her down on her fat butt (like for shearing) to reach them and pick them out.  This is has become a daily job lately and I had to catch, set down and pick clods from eight sheep's feet last night.  

Since it doesn't seem like it's ever going to dry out...  Wait, I didn't say that.  I'd always rather deal with mud than a drought :-o.  


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

And To All A Good Night!

This is the 15th year I've painted an Equinox Farm Christmas card.  We've been caroling and decorating, skating and sledding, sleigh riding, snowman building, snowball fighting, cookie baking, sweater knitting, card sending, eating Christmas dinner and even putting on a live nativity.  

As I was out of winter activity ideas for future cards, I decided 15 would be a good stopping point...and I wanted to do something different.  No light blue sky and bright white snow.  Nothing that couldn't actually be happening...except maybe that snowball fight ;-).

Once I got over feeling self-conscious about my goofy hillbilly voice and started actually enjoying doing live barn tours in the evenings on Instagram over the summer and fall, I knew what my card design for the final year would be.  

 


Here's where it gets a little crazy crazier.  Remember those adorable stamps with the sheep and horses last year?


Best. Christmas. Stamps. Ever.  

I knew the post office had some left over...I stewed on them all summer...and then bought enough for this year...and next year.  And then when I needed to add a little extra postage to two envelopes and the post office wouldn't sell me individual sheep stamps...and I saw there were only five books left in the drawer...I bought them all.

The moral of this story?  If something happens to me, would someone please remind Saint Tim that there is probably $200 worth of postage tucked away in the office (insert that funny grimace face emoticon from my phone). 

Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 8, 2018

You're Going To Have To Work For It

This ought to keep you off the streets and out of trouble ;-).  But if you do feel like hitting the streets and come out to the farm this afternoon, we'll give you a real one!


Not to worry if you aren't a puzzle worker.  I'll do a full reveal on Monday.

Have some fun this weekend!


Friday, December 7, 2018

The Week In Review...Because It's Been A Busy One

Don't get excited.  There wasn't any knitting.  I had great hopes for posting with the monthly Yarn Along on Wednesday and even took some pictures of my current (sadly idle) project.......  Maybe today.

So, let's see...

The 2018 Christmas card is finished and printed.  Not stuffed and mailed, but they are painted, printed and on the dining room table.  Whew!!!  I'll post a puzzle version this weekend for anyone who'd like a sneak peak and I'll also have some at the Wool House tomorrow.  Not for sale (until next year), but if you come out to the farm (open this Saturday from 1:00-4:30), I'll give you one :-).  



If you didn't follow along with the Wovember Instagram photo challenge by daughterofashepherd last month, I encourage you to go check it out. There were so many interesting prompts and excellent posts from all over the world.  What a fun way to really focus on sheep and wool.  One of my posts was selected for the top ten!  :-D

The sold out calendars are back in stock.  Tim brought home some more Lamb Camp calendars last night, so everything still here on hold will ship out today.  Thank you so much for your patience...and all the orders.  Your support, on all levels, really means so much.


There are still three 2018 Equinox Farm fleeces left (Baaxter, Liddy and B. Willard) and several Tring Farm fleeces (lovely Maybelline and a few other white, gray and black), in case anyone is looking for a fun winter project.  Rebecca Boone was so dirty and greasy I offered to wash her fleece before shipping, so that was my fun project for yesterday.  Look at that shine!  Some is from the grease, some just because it's fun, shiny Cotswold.


I divided her into two parts so there'd be plenty of room in the washer to loosen up all the dirt.  Before washing on the left.  Washed on the right.


Washing wool in the winter is like an all day spa treatment.  The room gets warmer and steamier as the day progresses and it smells like heaven, not "smelly animal fur".  If you aren't aware of the Duluth "issue", here is one article that addresses it.  Clara Parkes always says it best.  


All washed and set out to dry.


Isn't she pretty?

So back to the picture of the yarn and project at the top.  That's Rebecca Boone!  I spun that yarn several years ago and had never found the perfect project for it.  Isabell Kraemer's Indigo Frost capelet kept showing up in my favorites and it (finally) dawned on me that the design shape looks just like Rebecca Boone's cool dreadlocks...and if I dyed some of the yarn, I could match her colors in the color patterning.  So I did!  


I overdyed her light gray to get a darker gray like her nose and legs and a reddish/brown to match her sunbleached locks.  I then spun some Woolliam for her white nose.  I wasn't thinking and didn't wash her yarn before I put it in the dye pot and the remaining fabric softener made the dye take up unevenly and I love the effect.  

I'm now ready to start the colorwork section and I can't wait.  Maybe today!


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Since None Of Us Has Any Sun...Again...

How about a sweet picture of Biscuit enjoying the fleeting sun from the other day.  He's looking over at all of the rest of his buddies...on the other side of the fence.  Sometimes it's complicated being Biscuit ;-).  

I'd suggest "putting yourself in the photo, sitting in the sun up on the hill", but you'd end up with muddy pants.  Sigh...


Might as well just torture yourself with  a new puzzle!



Sunday, December 2, 2018

Saturday, December 1, 2018

This Rainy Day Thing...

...is starting to be a bit ridiculous.


So how about a new puzzle!

If you are looking for something else to do indoors today, I posted Maisie's birthday party in two parts on YouTube.  This is the footage from the live Instagram video...but the live comments and questions didn't transfer over, so it just sounds like I'm talking to myself.  Only a little bit crazier than normal ;-).




I'm working on the new Christmas card today.  Plenty to keep me busy indoors :-o.


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Today Is Mah Birthday!


"Believe it or not, I've managed to live to six years old without killing myself...even though I've sure tried over the years ;-).  Mom's going to make me a birthday "cake" this afternoon and is going to try to broadcast my party live on Instagram at 3:00 EST*.  This oughta be exciting :-D."

I think you'll need an Instagram account, but maybe not.  And I think you'll have to follow me, but maybe not.  I think if you have Instagram open at 3:00 and you follow me, when I "go live" you should get a notice telling you that and then you'll tap on a link or something and should be able to see and hear all the craziness festivities.

If you aren't free at that time, the recorded video should stay available for 24 hours and you can watch it later.  When you open to your feed/account/homepage/whatever it's called, look for one of the circles near the top and you should see an icon of 20 with a blue background.  You may need to scroll through the circles to the right.

I'm not super social media savvy so if this doesn't seem right or is confusing, either go to the Instagram site and look for help or, better yet, find a teenager ;-).  

*This is a plan.  It is only a plan.  If something happens and I can't pull it off at 3:00, I will try again at 4:00.  If I can't pull it off at 4:00...well, that's just Maisie...and we are just going to roll with it ;-).


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

[Sheep] Business Saturday


Because shopping with Maisie is way more
...um...interesting than going to the mall!



We are developing an exciting new program here in the commonwealth (Kentucky is a commonwealth, not a state), The Kentucky Fiber Trail.  Kentucky is already well known for it's Bluegrass Trail (horse farms) and Bourbon Trail.  Now you can discover fiber farms throughout the state as well!  


Okay, so let's set up an event and give this a try!  Our farm shop (and barnyard) will be open this Saturday from 1:00-4:30 for Small Business Saturday.  We'll call it Sheep Business Saturday :-D.  

We'll have calendars, fleeces, roving, spindle kits, Christmas cards and ornaments, wool sheep pins, a few wool wreaths, maybe some felted sheep and for fun, let's make Maisie Orneries!  I'll have a basket of "Ornery"  supplies set out and teach you how to make your own wool roving wrapped ornament.  

So, come hide out (bring your wheel! :-) on the farm with us this Saturday and take care of all your sheep and fiber-y gift giving needs.  We promise you won't be mobbed by fellow shoppers...unless you have cookies ;-).  If you need directions, just drop me an email.  


Monday, November 19, 2018

The 2019 Calendars

How on earth can it be almost 2019?!?  I remember back in grade school being asked to figure out how old we'd be in 2000.  It was a legitimate math problem!  Boy, 2000 seemed so far away.  2000 stills seems so far away...but in the other direction :-o. When I added the page for the upcoming 2020 year...I don't know...that was a shock.



If you are crabby about the cold and snow, you can have a laugh being crabby with Baaxter...who really doesn't mind the cold...he just likes looking crabby ;-).


As always, lots of little pictures.


And dear old friends.


Large and small.




The Lamb Camp calendars have...lots of lambs :-).


Favorite lambs.


Bewildered lambs.


Chocolate lambs.


And angelic lambs :-).

Hopefully there are still a few folks out there who haven't already bought a 2019 calendar.  Sorry to be slow getting these posted.  I appreciate the kind folks who have emailed asking about them and we surely appreciate the support.  Each calendar pays for at least two bales of hay for the winter...and the sheep surely appreciate that!  Saint Tim's back...maybe not so much ;-).

Prices are still $12.50 for the farm calendar and $10 for the Lamb Camp calendar.  If you'd like to purchase, please shoot me an email and tell me what you'd like to order and where you'd like it shipped.  Looks like postage is going to run around $7.25 for a flat rate padded mailer.  

If you are local, or somewhat local, (or looking for a fun road trip :-) and are interested in coming out to the farm to do some holiday shopping, we are hosting a Small Business Saturday event...this Saturday...from 1:00 to 4:30.  I'll share more about that tomorrow.


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Sheep To Shawl

Oops, I'd forgotten we'd taken these pictures at the end of October :-o.  Probably better to show them for Wovember anyway.  That would be rationalized procrastination ;-).


"Hey, Baba?  Would you mind if we took some pictures of you and the shawl I spun and wove from your fleece?"


"I've got cookies :-)."


"Those are pretty good cookies, so...sure."

This would be a perfect shot...if she wasn't chewing :-o.


"You made this from my wool?"

"Yep."


"That's actually pretty cool!"


It's very cool!

I always love to see what kbdoolin has made, especially when it comes from our flock. Just beautiful, Karen! 


Saturday, November 17, 2018

A Few More


Early in the summer I started taking pictures from the porch swing as I ate breakfast each morning.  They became the #porchpicturedujour on Instagram.  I worried the pictures were too repetitive, but they were hugely popular and I even had several folks ask if they could go sit on the porch when they were here for the Hug A Sheep Day farm party.  I love that :-).  

With the days being short, it's too dark to sit outside and eat breakfast, unless I sleep in, so now I'm trying a #barnshotoftheday.  Again, really repetitive, but if you watch for the subtle differences, it's kind of fun :-).  


The bright green is where the underground spring(s?) lives.  I keep contemplating the size of the area.  I thought I knew where the spring ran...but this is a big area, seemingly far enough away that it should be snow covered.  Wouldn't still warm(ish) ground be a better insulated than water logged ground?  What does this mean?  Those sorts of thoughts...which are not nearly as interesting as the sunrise on Hank's face. 


Liddy is as wide as she is long...and am I'm not sure that's all wool :-o.


This would seem to be just a picture of a sheep and his guardian dog, but here is "the rest of the story."  Rocky and Jared had been breeding rams for 10 years.  They'd lived together, but separated from their main flocks except for six weeks or so during breeding season each year, until they moved here.  

They had their own routine that didn't always mesh with the rest of our flock.  In the heat of summer, our main flock would go out in the early morning and again in the cool of the evening.  Rocky and Jared thought that was silly and they'd come and go all day long.  They didn't mind leaving the flock.  They'd spent their whole lives away from the flock.

I'm not sure if Hank hated that they didn't stay with everyone else or maybe they reminded him or Hickory and T-Bone (who he really hated) grazing out front together and then coming back to the barn, too close to his sheep, or maybe he just flat out hated Rocky and Jared on general purposes (they did try to steal his food once).  

Regardless, there were two or three months of high discord around here.  Rocky and Jared would go out to eat, they'd try to come back to the barn, I would try to watch for them and escort them past Hank, but if I wasn't around to do that, Hank would see them coming and lose his ever loving mind, then I'd lose my ever loving mind...all the while thinking "I am starting to hate a dog I thought the world of" and that was one more loss of a good friend this summer that I just couldn't bear.

I'm not sure why things finally settled down, but they finally did.  I do know Hank stopped to stand there next to Jared yesterday.  Jared looked up for a second, but wasn't concerned and went back to eating.  Were they just greeting each other?  Reminding each other of their places?  Or just randomly stopped.  I don't know, but I thought enough about it all summer that I'm just going to go back to thinking about the green grass over the spring...


...while "old" Hank continues on his rounds, taking good care of all of his sheep.

Here's a new puzzle for you.  

Enjoy :-)


Friday, November 16, 2018

Fall Snow

For anyone keeping score at home, this is actually the second snow.  Neither has been very "big", but if it snows enough that I'm excited about it, I'm counting it as a snow!  Maybe these were mildly foggy mornings back in August ;-).

I was walking around the barn trying to figure out a way to take a cell phone picture that really showed how pretty it was this morning, not having any luck, grumbling to myself, "This is one of the many bad things about not blogging enough - no good camera pictures anymore."

...um...

...hel-lo!  If you took 14 steps to the right, you could go pick up your very lonely camera from the Wool House...

...oh...yeah... (insert eye rolling emoticon)


Burrnie looks like he has a posse!


Spud in the foreground, Jared and Tavia, one of his many "girlfriends", on the left.  Jared is still quite the ladies man even after being 'tutered this summer.


From a slightly different angle.


A new favorite picture (and puzzle :-).  I couldn't have captured the colors this well with my phone, hel-LO!  Sigh... 


I took about 20 pictures of Muffin eating a leaf.  Want to see them?  Oh, Muuufffiin ;-).


"Muffin, Muffin, Muffin.  Who wants to see a billion pictures of Muffin eating a stupid leaf!"


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