Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Playground Brawl

The boys having a little fun.

Boudreaux (the brown sheep) and Ewen (the tall sheep) love to mix it up, especially on a sunny winter day. Buddy (the curly sheep) is like the small, nerdy kid who, afraid to fight because he might break his glasses, is happy to cheer on the contenders.

Miss Ewenice (Mrs. Cleaver on the hill) watches with motherly disapproval. She loves her boys.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Hills Are Alive

...with the the sound of sheep. Normally we don't allow our sheep out in the "park" of the pond field, but due to the drought, their usual fields are thin this winter, and like every animal in Kentucky, they are scrounging wherever they can.

Interestingly though, Jacobs are not strangers to living in "parks". Now, I am no historian, so if you'd like the full and researched story, I recommend A History Of The Jacob Sheep by Araminta Aldington. What I'll provide is a quote from a 1911 letter reprinted in said book.

ahem "It has been a common practice among many landowners to keep in their parks various breeds of sheep which are not generally known to those who keep sheep for profit only (WHAT?!? there are people who make a profit with their sheep?!?...sorry, back to the letter). Some of these little flocks are of very old standing and have been more or less carefully attended to by their Owners.,...valued as much for their ornamental qualities as for the wool and mutton they produce...a most important [feature] is their ability to live like deer, on grass alone without the daily attention of a shepherd."

Whoa whoa whoa, back up. Live on grass alone?!? So, what's with being forced (at horn point) to feed not only hay, but pelleted food and COOKIES?!? It's looking like the only resemblance to true "park" sheep is the ornamental qualities part. I guess they DO look pretty good out there in the "park".

Here is Iris bringing them up for the evening. Notice Ewen's head in the foreground and her looking back at him. She's always so hopeful that he'll do what he's supposed to. Poor Iris.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Buffet

A picture of Woodstock and some of his peeps at the feeder this morning. :-D

Don't forget to put out extra food while it's so cold and think about installing a heater in your bird bath. No trouble at all and the birds will thank you.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dryer Broke. Send Sun.

I held off washing my last few fleeces over the summer because of the drought and water restrictions... With the warm weather we've had the last couple of days though, I decided a little winter washing might be just the thing - I love the smell of wet wool. Of course, about as soon as I started, it decided to cloud up and rain again. Now I have wool drying indoors on the floor instead of outside on the porch. This is just a couple hours away from being the perfect cat bed!

Oh, and as a correction from yesterday's post, turns out Jeff never figured out how to send me the photos. That would be Thank You Jan! Sigh. Boys.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

And Yet More Christmas

Here are a couple shots of the table runner I wove as a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law. We've been waiting for these pictures for several weeks now. I should have taken my camera with me, but Tim's brother is a camera-aholic, so I assumed he could handle it. In the words of his wife...well, that should probably stay in the family.

So, this is an overshot pattern called Star Of Bethlehem. I tried to research it's history and origin, but couldn't find much other than it dated back to at least the 1800's and was most likely an American pattern. This runner was designed to be used when the table leaves were folded down, but Jeff rightly extended them for the picture. Thanks Jeff :-).

Monday, January 7, 2008

Night Lights

You probably can't really see this (maybe if you click it to view a bigger version), but this is a picture of our Christmas reindeer still shining bright out in the orchard tonight as being viewed through our open bedroom door. That's been open all day. That we might be able to sleep with it open all night. Yikes!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Like I Don't Have Enough To Worry About

Iris, Tilly and I walked out this afternoon to see what 'the boys' were up to out back. Due to the past year's drought, our normal pastures are not going to take us through winter, nor are our hay reserves, which we started feeding months before we usually do. To supplement everyone's diet, I decided to open up the pond field during the day.

I had been putting this off because I knew that while native plants are pretty to look at, their seeds are not fun to pick out of fleeces. I hate to see any animal standing in mud though, which was probably going to happen before winter was over if we didn't do something, and no one ever goes hungry on this farm, so I opened the gate.

The Jacobs go out and eat in the morning, come back up to the barn for a nap and then head back out in the afternoon to eat some more. Ewenice, Ewen, Boudreaux and Buddy? They just eat pretty much all day long.

As I approached the frozen Frog Pond, I saw tracks on the snowy ice at the edge.

My first thought (as I am not used to thinking about sheep being out there) was deer. Then it hit me. Those were sheep clodhopper tracks. Now I've heard that wool will repel water, but I doubt it's going to help you if you fall through the soft ice. Thankfully it's warming up rapidly and that ice will be gone by tomorrow. Until then, back to the barn.

"I said get your butt back to the barn, Boudreaux!"

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Day

"Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual." Mark Twain

I always have the best of intentions, but find that changing much about myself is almost impossible. I think it's mostly just plain laziness (and I'm going to work on it!), but I don't think I'm riding solo on this either; everyone laughs about not keeping their resolutions. So, my thinking is this. If we can't change ourselves, maybe we could just try to change the world around us. I'm know for a fact that it is much easier to be nice to the cashier at the grocery than it is to walk a mile or do 50 sit-ups :-).

Having trouble clearing clutter from your house? Think of that family that needs those coats and shoes much more than you do. Don't want to eat so much junk food? Buy locally grown produce and help a farmer. Putting too much money into your gas tank? Combine trips to town and walk to the end of your driveway to get your mail. Watching too much tv? Visit your local library. Discouraged with the political situation? Get informed and go vote. Starving kids in Africa (or America)? Cut out one bad vice and redirect that money to help.

It's endless the little things we can do to change things for others. Interestingly though, in doing so, we've actually changed things for ourselves. We've become more organized, saved some money, eaten healthier, gotten more exercise, breathed cleaner air... and kept some of those old resolutions.

Happy New Year!


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