Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Day In The Life...Of Eli

9:00 a.m. Headed out the door.

3:30 p.m.


"Have you been there ALL DAY?!?"


"Do you not feel stupid with wool hanging off your ear?"


Monday, April 28, 2008

Big News

Meet Hank.

Hank is a 17'3 hand thoroughbred. "Hand" is the measurement system for horses, each hand equalling 4 inches, so Hank is 17 x 4" + 3" = 71" or almost 6' tall. That's big. He is a gentle giant though and I am so excited to have him. Even Saint Tim thinks he's pretty cool.

Hank's had a nice show career (here he is with his previous mom, Seana) and is looking to slow down a little, and in riding horses, slow is just where I want to be. You won't catch me in the picture above, but if I could learn to do half that, I'd be thrilled.

Welcome Hank. And don't feel bad, we're a little afraid of those sheep too ;-).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Busy As...

...well, you know... bees!

One of my bee friends, who's way more experienced with bees than I, came out yesterday to see how my bees were faring. After having the hive rolled during the tornado, there was really no telling what we might find. Stella and I donned our protective bee gear while Les fired up the bee smoker and in we went.

Look at all the bees! Both the top and bottom hive bodies were completely full. We nosed around for a few minutes trying to find the queen and looking for any sign of trouble (parasites, disease... all clean) and then he dusted the hive with powdered sugar.

Huh? Aren't there enough sweets in there already? Turns out, if you dust them with powdered sugar, as they clean it off themselves and each other, if there are any mites on them, they'll get picked off with the sugar dust. No chemicals - I like it! So, for the first time in my short beekeeping career, I was able to install a honey super (the small box on the top).

If all goes well, we'll harvest honey this year. Yippee!

Now, for some real fun, visit the bee fields at . We should all do our part to help the bees, and if that means we have to eat a lot of ice cream? Well, so bee it ;-).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

Go outside and enjoy the natural world around you. Even in a city you'd be surprised what beauty you will find. You will most likely also find some ugly, so let's make every day Earth Day!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Holy Cow

...spring is beautiful around here! I took some pictures of a felted sheep heading to Pennsylvania and was blown away by the background.

Not that I wasn't already aware of the beauty of this place, but sometimes a different perspective really smacks you with "Wow". Even better to think about this as where I was sitting, with this backdrop, while I made him. Is there any nicer place to "work"?

If you'd like to use this red bud picture as a screen saver to brighten up your inside office computer, you are welcome. If you need a different version, email me at thecrazysheeplady at gmail dot com (replace symbols).

Happy Spring!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hey Ewen McTeagle!

What are you doing on the wrong side of the fence?

So, how exactly did you get over there?


I have a bird nest update. When Saint Tim got home that night, I excitedly showed him the new nest and he said "That looks like the one I put on the shelf in the garage for you a couple weeks ago." I obviously never noticed, so it took matters in its own hands and threw itself to the ground where I couldn't help but see it :-). Luckily it was a nest under construction on top of the Christmas wreath we'd hung over the garage that fell when Tim took the wreath down. So, sad that they had gone to so much effort for nothing, but happy that no baby birds or eggs were harmed in the process.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Christmas And My Birthday All Rolled Together

Look what I found on the floor of the garage today. My new favorite! Well, actually I tell each one they are my favorite - shhh. Not sure why it was on the floor, but possibly due to a stray cat that's been hanging around out there :-(.

I was tempted to put a grandparent's number of pictures up so you could see just how cool this particular nest is, but I've restrained myself. You'll just have to look carefully to see the wool and something green (maybe 4 leaf clovers!) lining the bottom, the horse hair, some moss, tiny twigs, roots, a couple of strings from a woven plastic feed sack, something else green that I haven't figured out yet, and the funniest thing - a black twisty tie that Stella and I must have dropped putting up the Christmas lights this past winter.

Here's another funny nest out in the orchard. I saw this messy house the other day and thought, now there's a bird after my own heart. Upon closer inspection though, I'm not sure this is sloppy housekeeping, but actually the bird equivalent of hanging a wreath on the door. First of all because this haystring appears to be tied in a bow, and second, with as busy as the birds have all been these last few days, if they didn't want it there, someone would have moved it in or out by now. So, definitely a bird after my own heart.

Shhhh - you are my favorite.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring Weaving

I bought this yarn back in the middle of winter because it looked like springtime. The finished project is a blanket and what you can see is the left side. I'll weave two of these sections, sew them together and then brush all the curls into a soft fuzz. It's a kit from Halcyon Yarn. There is just about nothing better than opening the mailbox and finding one of their catalogs.

Sadly, I lolly-gagged getting it on the loom and have only gotten a little woven so far, but look again - it sure does say springtime, and right outside the window! If it wasn't springtime and all the fun/work that comes with it, maybe I could get it finished in time to take it outside for a picture before all the magnolia blooms are gone. Right after I get done mowing, weed eating, washing wool, gardening...

Speaking of gardening, we hopefully have had our last hard freeze. Saint Tim covered all our fruit trees again last night and it looks like everyone came through just fine.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Well, I AM A Very Grateful Person...

Here's a little sillyness for you. The blogthings site is pretty funny. You can not only find out what flower you are, but what kind of donut you would be and even your vampire name. That would surely come in handy sometime, don't you think ;-).

I do have a pretty flower and weaving picture to post, but I should really be WORKING instead of finding out what punctuation sign I am. Get Busy!

What An Iris Says About You

You are incredibly hopeful and courageous.

Even when you've been challenged in life, you have faith that everything will work out.

Your feelings run deep, and you are a very grateful person.

Friday, April 11, 2008

More Spring

Since the Forsythia's don't last forever, I enjoy them while I can. So does Boo.

We had a beautiful day yesterday and I set up my "outdoor office" and got a good jump on skirting this year's wool. Like having the corner office...but better.

Iris and Weaslie helped, but you can see Iris' attention was mostly on those stupid sheep and why. are. they. out. in. the. horse. field?!? Being the police and all, she's not so jazzed on this idea.

It's raining here today so I'm getting some inside work caught up, making a felted sheep for a new friend in PA, and doing a little spinning. I was playing with the Supercard and blended three colors of gray from Baby Belly's 2007 fleece - a Jacob sheep version of neopolitan ice cream.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Inside: my favorite office companion, an Apostle Plant. Each flower only lasts one day, so if you aren't paying attention, you'll miss it.

And Outside: my overwintered herb barrel with "Pugsly" in front. Wish we could remember that artist's name. I bet he could make a really cool sheep!

Everything is starting to bloom and I'm getting nervous about the cold that is heading our way this weekend. Remember last year?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The One I Was Looking For

The last one! Scrub Brush Ford before...

Scrub Brush Ford after (remember the sweater?)...

The new clippers were awesome - Premier's 4000S. I sheared 5 yesterday and the last 8 today, all by myself. I got better as I went and I really enjoyed getting to spend some up close, quality time with my sheep. Everyone tolerated the sheering stand quite well except Crazy Esther. Even at her age she kicked my butt. Of course we don't call her Crazy Esther for nothing.

Perhaps the "most funnest" thing though was asking Miss Aria, my old Quarter Horse, to help round up the sheep this morning. I was trying to run them into the barn by myself and they definitely had the upper hand. Rather than get them (or me) too worked up, I jumped on Miss Aria. She might be old, but she's still got it. It took two tries and about 3 minutes and all the sheep were in the barn. Where was someone with a camera when you needed it.

My next post should be "the barn before..." and "the barn after..." Yikes, that's a mess!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

My Lucky Day

The first four leaf clover of the year! Propped here in a tiny horse hair bird nest that blew out of a tree during our last storm - luckily before it was finished and full of baby birds. I collect bird nests and especially love to find them constructed with our wool or horse's hair.

Tim found this bat hanging under the eaves right outside one of our windows. This is an odd picture angle - I was looking up at him from the ground.

I went back out and watched it as it woke up this evening. First it stretched a little, did some grooming,

and then, as I looked down for just a second to change the setting on my camera to take multiple pictures so I'd be ready when he flew away...he was gone. I love bats and have wondered where our few bats hang out during the day. Hopefully he'll be back tomorrow. Maybe he'll bring some friends.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I've Got Worms!

In the garden. What were you thinking? ;-)

I couldn't believe how many worms I found as I started turning over the raised beds this afternoon. Big worms, little worms, red worms, fat worms, skinny worms... That's got to be a good sign for the upcoming season.

A worm super highway.

Friday, April 4, 2008


We don't have any. In fact, it's rained so much that many schools and roads are closed. Here is a picture of Wiwi in a better time...two days ago.

Don't you just want to curl up next to her and take a nap?

And NO, I am not posting a picture of Ewen with his really awful haircut. In fact, I feel so bad about it (even though he doesn't seem too concerned) that I just ordered a real set of sheep shears so I could fix it. Three days ain't gonna' help this one.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

That Time Of The Year

Well, I had this brilliant idea that I would shear all the sheep myself this year. I've done that in the past...when I had 11. It about killed me. What was I thinking with 19! Sigh. I have five done.

The first four look pretty good, but Ewen McTeagle (the fifth one) looks like I put a bowl on his head. And the bowl was crooked. His wool was so thick I couldn't get the shears into it. It was like I was shearing him with cuticle scissors. I was so discouraged that I decided that, in the immortal words of Brett Favre, I should probably "take two weeks off and then quit."

Well, the sun came out this morning, the wind wasn't nearly as miserable and I decided to wash Ewen's fleece. I'd have to be in a pretty bad mood if washing a fleece didn't restore some hope. Then, I took a few minutes this afternoon to play with my new toy, I mean tool, a Patrick Green Supercard.

This is some of Ewen's (Hampshire/Suffolk) lamb fleece blended with Buddy's (Cotswold) lamb fleece.

Okay, maybe I'll stick with it.


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