Monday, September 29, 2008

Clown Car

Today I went to pick up all our processed wool from Ohio Valley Natural Fibers. I knew what to expect with the roving, but had never seen our wool as quilt batting (and let me tell you, now I know why I've had people requesting it) so I was excited to make the trip.

I packed a lunch, a good book on tape, left Miss Weaslie at home because I suspected I was going to be short on room, checked the map and hit the road. I just LOVE to cross the river via the ferry in Augusta, so I chose that route. In my next life I might just have to be a ferry operator. I felt just like Huck Finn. It was a beautiful day to be out on the river.

Now, remember I said I didn't pack Weaslie... Here's where it got interesting. When I got to OVNF, they took one look at my car and then started looking at each other, sort of half laughing. "You need a bigger car." I'm not sure how she did it - I know I sure didn't think it would work - but it did all just fit. I think she's done that before!

Back on the road, back across the river via ferry, back home. Now here's where it got funny. All I could think of was a clown car, where way too many clowns get out of a tiny car at the circus. I figure it's frequently a circus at Equinox Farm anyway, so here goes...

Stella just came over and we peeked into some of those boxes. If you are in the area (northern Kentucky) this weekend, you should come out to the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Festival in Falmouth, Kentucky (next to Kincaid Lake State Park) and take a peek yourself :-).

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Breakfast Club

The sheep were out grazing in the arena this morning when I went up to feed. I like to try to sneak up and watch them quietly for a few minutes, hidden inside the barn.

Heidi is always on guard though and she and BIG Sunshine quickly arrived for breakfast. Sunshine still has to be washed every day, but she's the silliest of all the silly sheep and we just love her.

Everyone else figured out what was going on and ran around to their side of the barn.

Except Buddy. I'm not sure how he got left behind. I'm not sure Buddy knows how he got left behind. Only one of the reasons why we really love him too.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Feature - Summer Is Over

Yesterday we had a last blast of summer sun and heat. I knew it was probably my last chance to jump in the pool...and I blew it. I am so busy getting everything ready for the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Festival next month that I put it off and put it off and put it off and then the day was done. Lesson learned. Again. Life is short. Go jump in the pool.

I did snack on some of the last of the concord grapes just a little while ago though. Once again they've outdone themselves. While out there I was struck by how the wind today seemed different from the wind yesterday somehow. The dry leaves rattling in the trees, no longer gently rustling. The birds seemed busy - working, not playing. And no bees to keep me company.

I sheared Buddy yesterday. He was hanging out inside the barn this morning, looking for some cookies to warm him up. Ewenice and Woolliam are not quite ready for their fall buzz cuts. Lucky for them, we can look forward to an Indian Summer. Right?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I think...

There's not much better than a barn full of hay and straw.

Saint Tim thinks there's not much better than a barn full of hay and straw that he didn't have to throw up in the loft this time.

The Adventure Chickens think there's not much better than the fresh hay chaff to scratch around in.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Tale Of Two Paddocks

At least that's what it looks like this morning. Actually, Attie and Aria are in the same paddock and only 50 or so yards apart. Attie is on the hillside nearer the sunrise and Aria is down in the 'holler', across the little creek.

In case you are wondering about the dead tree, that is T-Bone's handiwork from several years ago. Plenty of grass to eat and he's munching on their only shade tree. We should have realized it earlier and fenced it off, but Handy and Aria wouldn't dream of eating a tree (or playing with winter blankets hung over the fence to dry, pulling the hose out of the water tank, starting the tractor and driving to town...). There are many things we can no longer do since T-Bone moved in. So, in the aftermath, this is a scratching post. Maybe that was his original plan.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name...

Remember my birthday rose? It's still blooming! If anyone out there knows what kind of rose this might be, let me know.

I do nothing to care for it. Nothing. It starts blooming in the spring and blooms off and on until fall.

Just a hint of pink and a light, but beautiful fragrance. The gift that keeps on giving.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Feature - Chicken Run

Well, more just chickens eating, but if you like claymation or Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run is a great movie. My "movies", on the other hand....not so great. Maybe Santa will bring me a real movie camera, but in the meantime, my tiny Sony cyber-shot is doing its very best.

That's Miss Aria peeking out in the background.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Gone To The Frogs

When we first moved to our farm there were two ponds out back - the big pond and a tiny waterhole that the person doing our dirt work wanted to fill in as if it didn't matter to anyone. I knew different and took it under my "wing" and Saint Tim named it The Frog Pond, in honor of all the frogs who were quite happy to call it home and had for many years.

We raised the dam side, embraced the existing native plants and flowers and added more to the collection, installed a comfy bench and now it's one of my favorite spots on the farm.

The Frog Pond is not the only spot claimed by the frogs around here. It's been so hot and dry lately that the big pond has gotten so scummy that it's starting to rival its kid sister for frog habitat.

All the black dots? Frogs. Hundreds of frogs.

And look who we caught peeping in our window tonight!

We can't say for sure, but think it's a Cope's gray treefrog or Hyla chrysoscelis. We've had some interesting visitors to Equinox Farm, but he (or she) might just be our far.

Thanks Easter Bunny!

The Americauna pullets have started laying - beautiful blue/green eggs. The dark brown speckled eggs are the Welsommers and I don't know which chickens lay the light brown and which lay the off white eggs.

All I can tell you is there is going to be an Adventure Chicken meeting in the hen house tonight. While we love their fresh eggs, they need to stay on their side of the fence and out of the gardens!

Monday, September 15, 2008

To Do List

1. Dump and scrub out horse water tank
2. Mow front field
3. Pick up downed limbs from yesterday
4. Clean up wind ravaged porch
5. Get more cookies for Sunshine
6. Give Boo a bath
7. Call contractor about a new sheep shed

8. OH GOOD GRIEF! - Give Buddy a hair cut!!!

I took this picture last night when I went up to put everyone to bed. I was trying to get a picture of Miss Ewenice and her boys all sleeping together behind the barn (they are still such a cute little family), but Buddy thought I was getting cookies instead of the camera and jumped up. I would say he jumped up and ruined everything, but how could you be mad at this face...even if you can't see it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Feature - Thursday Evening

More porch sitting! We are so happy it's cooled off enough to eat dinner outside. Now if we could just figure out a way to eat dinner outside...alone.

Eli doesn't give you the time of day until you sit down to eat and then he just must sit on your lap. Iris, Weaslie (Miss Tilly) and Boo, while well mannered (mostly - right Weaslie?), stare holes through you trying to will a table scrap to magically hit the floor. Comby is good for awhile but then thinks things are too quiet and decides to pick on someone - which is funny when it's Weaslie (poor Weaslie). Brushy shows up and Iris has to pin him to the floor to wash his ears, but then Boo wanders over and gets too close and she has to snarl at him. Comby really gets into the mix then and slaps Claire Bear. Which scares Weaslie, so she tries to run away and runs into Iris. Claire Bear doesn't take any gruff from Comby and retaliates. Eli thinks maybe it's time to hit his porch roof condo and thecrazysheeplady loses her temper and runs everyone off the porch.

Saint Tim goes back in the house for more wine. Dinner continues. And as evening falls, we listen to the last of the summer cicadas and the birds wind things up for the night and watch the sheep emerge from the barn, saunter out to get a drink and then head out to graze in the cool of the evening.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sit And Spin

My wish for today is that everyone has been able to enjoy some beautiful near-fall weather. And even though we are all far too busy, have taken just a few minutes to sit on the porch and do something special and fun, even if it's just sitting.

I chose a few minutes of spinning. I have really enjoyed this Golding drop spindle and I'm spinning some llama fiber from a good friend's guardian llama, Andy. Just in time for Christmas - oh yes, it's that time again :-O. We'd all better get busy!

Andy, keeping one ear on me on a beautiful winter day last year.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday Feature - Rainy Days And Fridays...

Why is this noteworthy? Because we haven't seen rain in far too long. While the bushes in the background still look green, nothing else does. I hope the rain lasts for more than one minute, but at this point we'll take whatever we can get.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Five Hundred And Fourteen - her magnum opus

"I don't know what a magnum opus is," said Wilbur.

"That's Latin," explained Charlotte. "It means 'great work.' This egg sac is my great work-the finest thing I have ever made."

"What's inside it?" asked Wilbur. "Eggs?"

"Five hundred and fourteen of them," she replied.

Except from Charlotte's Web by E.B. White.

This is outside our door, just off the porch.

I've been watching this spider for days. In fact, she was there for the party, but I doubt anyone who came to the house noticed her. I saw the egg sac this evening and immediately thought of Templeton the rat having to climb up into the rafters to bring the real Charlotte's egg sac to Wilbur so he could take it back to the farm at the end of the county fair. Wasn't that just the greatest story? Don't forget to visit What Book Got You Hooked?

Upon magnified inspection, it looks like a million guy wires holding everything secure, but by my naked eye I'm concerned that the spot this Charlotte has chosen will not winter well. What do you think? Should I play Templeton and move it to a safer location?

Maybe I'll just watch and if things start looking too tattered make my decision then. Remember the ice droplet from last winter?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

More Double Trouble

I have a flock of (needle felted) sheep headed to the Artisan Center in Berea, Kentucky, this week. Here is one of my new favorites.

Every sheep I make has his or her own unique personality, just like our real life sheep. In fact, I've had custom orders for a particular sheep in a particular pose and as I start working I've been told "I'm not hungry. I want to look at something over there!" And, try as I will, their heads will not stay down grazing, but in fact end up looking up, right where they want.

You can also guess that once they are given babies, they are not to be separated. This momma does look a little frazzled, but you know there is no way she'd ever let those babies out of her sight ;-).


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