Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sunshine's Sick

Really sick. If you pray or light candles or can just send healing thoughts her way, we really need your help.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Fixin' To Get In Trouble

Someone's mom better get down here to pick up her new ram ;-)...

(Icelandic Ram - his wool felted beautifully, by the way.)

...because there have only been two sheep on this farm you could trust loose in the yard (Miss Ewenice and Henrietta), and this one, eyeing the daffodils, doesn't appear to be one of them.

"Who me?"

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Sheep

Hmmm...and how does this differ from the other days of the week?

By the way, all they need to do is walk around the corner to get with the rest of the flock. I think Rebecca Boone's idea of chewing her way out a little extreme.

Friday, March 27, 2009

There's Always A Plan

And while it might take until the last day of construction to actually see it, nailed to the wall, we know that there's always a plan.

The new shed. Not the way we'd originally envisioned it - I won't bore you with that long story (you can find excerpts in my twitters ;-) - but a very long, very functional, very nice shed that we are very happy with.

The sheep have already issued their approval by using the far end as a spillover from their big stall on the other side of the black wall. The close end will be finished out for storage. The middle will be gated off so that the sheep have access to any or all four of the remaining six bents, in whichever configuration we need at the time.

If you are not familiar with tobacco barns, each post delineates a "bent". When they are converted into horse barns, for example, each bent becomes a stall. These first two bents are the two that are going to be enclosed for storage. The ultimate plan is to convert one of the other outbuildings into an on-farm shop and studio.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's Spring Inside As Well!

This is my favorite houseplant. Her common name is an Apostle Plant (we refer to her as The Apostle Plant) because she sends out an iris type bloom only after she's produced 12 leaves. Each bloom lasts one day and one day only.

Today there are three and my whole office smells fantastic!

Okay, I'm Not Still Mad

It helps to remember that the same rain that washes out freshly seeded ground is the same rain that makes the flowers bloom.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fresh Paint

I was just trying to take a couple pictures of the fences all black and the sheds painted, but as always, upon review I found some other 'prizes.

If you look closely (click to biggify), you'll see a Cotswold sandwich - and no, not the kind you eat! At first I thought it was just Buddy and Woolliam hanging out together - they're great buds - but then I noticed a gray shadow between them. It's nice to see the boys being kind to their little sister for a change. Well, Buddy's always nice, but Woolliam is just a brat. That boy has no clue that the entire universe doesn't revolve solely around him.

And here is a sweet picture of Emily letting granddaughter Clover Belly itch her face on one of her upright horns. That's her daughter Spooky Tooth (Caspar Belly) laying next to her. A very close knit family. Both of those lambs have beautiful fleeces by the way - I can't wait to shear them.

And just in case you were concerned that the cats weren't getting enough rest...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

If You Are Looking For A Cozy Place For A Nap...

...follow a cat.

More seedling shots from my greenhouse hideout.

Back to work - another busy day on the farm. Doubly so though as I try to catch up for not being as busy as I should have been yesterday!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Whereas I Was Supposed To Be Cleaning The House And Getting Ready To Go To A Wedding

I am nothing if not a weekend goof off. Well, usually I can pull it together and work hard through Saturday, but by Sunday, playing the piano at church is about as much as you can count on out of me. Apparently today it's even less.

Now, to be fair (and list my excuses), I didn't get as much sleep as I'd have liked last night. Because all the fences but one were still tacky with black paint yesterday and I didn't want to risk any "war paint" on my ready to be shorn fleeces, we left the sheep out in the unpainted front field.

This field is not fenced with diamond mesh (tightly woven wire that we hope keeps dogs and such away from our sheep), so is not a super safe place for them to spend the night. We don't have a guardian dog, so I decided to play the part.

Now this would have been pretty darn fun a few nights ago, but it was 29 last night. I do have decent camping gear, but found 29 in an open sided shed to be much colder than 29 in a cozy backpacking tent. However, after getting up around midnight to procure a second sleeping bag, I was fine. Saint Tim had decided to camp with me (which was sweet), but got to snoring in the cold air so much that the sheep were complaining about not being to sleep (what do sheep count to try to sleep?) so I suggested maybe he should go back to the house. I do have to admit I was a little jealous.

However, this morning as I peeked out of my bag to watch the sun rise and the sheep rise and listen to the chickens rise, it was all worth it. And to leave you with a final vision of camping in the barn - after all the sheep were up, I turned to see that they were all standing together staring at me. On a funny note, Ewen was scared. He came as close as he could talk himself into, but I think he was worried that something (my sleeping bag) had eaten me.

So, back to what I was doing instead of cleaning the house...

I've borrowed a Patrick Green Triple Picker from a friend and have been trying to get the rest of the Wensleydale/Cotswold fleece finished up as a test. In my defense, the wool is all over the floor and really does need to be cleaned up. That's how it started - with cleaning! Then I thought "I'll sit down and spin for just a wee bit (quick "fix")". So I did.

And then I thought, sitting next to the pile of picked wool with still some locks showing, "wonder what it would look like if I spun some of that and plied it with the first bit of spinning." So I did.

And this is what it looks like.

And, if you look very closely, you'll notice that I have at least set out Saint Tim's jacket for the evening.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Fun

A neighbor hauled in a couple loads of topsoil for us so we can try once again to fix the grading along the little creek that has never gotten established (see previous entry re: grass). I moved the sheep out to the creek field to keep them away from the shed construction on the other side of the barn. Put the two together?

(Click to biggify)

Ewen McTeagle joins in. You know you're in trouble, Rebecca Boone, when the sheep lumbering up the hill below you is still taller than you ;-). Remember, you can click the label "Ewen McTeagle" below and see pictures from when he was small enough to be carried around.

Sunshine makes a run at the reigning Queen of the Hill.

And sends everyone packing.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Like It Could Get Any Better Than Sheep AND Christmas Lights

Here's a gift from a comment on yesterday's post. I almost had a computer/coffee incident watching this...

Thanks Julene!!!

And while I'm letting the intertubes write my blog for me today, I'll share this as well.

funny pictures of cats with captions

If you are not familiar with the lolcats icanhascheezburger site you really must go check it out.

Have fun out there today :-D.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stay Off My Grass

I may be the crazy sheep lady, but I'm the psycho lawn lady. In fact, it's really so embarrassing that I'm just not going to say any more about it and I don't even want to know what Saint Tim was thinking about when he got home the other night and saw this.

There's always an exception (usually involving little old ladies) to the laundry list of yard rules...and yes, it's a laundry list. There are rules about trucks, cars, tractors, ATVs, limbs down, fertilizer, chemicals (NONE!), how long a corn hole game can stay in one place, chickens, sheep, mowing patterns (a whole sub category!), lawn clippings.........).

This is my favorite lawn picture. Miss Ewenice (another cute little old lady) from a few years ago.

And doesn't that lawn look luscious? ;-)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Location, Location, Location

Or how I noticed we cheat spring just a bit.

I've been watching (and photographing) the pussy willow and forsythia blooming off the corner of the back porch.

Didn't really think too much about it until yesterday, when I noticed none of the other forsythia is blooming yet.

The blooming bush is located in a sheltered corner next to the greenhouse. The dryer also vents out next to it, but I'm pretty sure I don't do enough laundry for that to make a difference ;-).

Comby and Brushy look pretty happy with their location this morning, too.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Day In The Life...

...of a sunflower sprout in the greenhouse.

And not just any day, guessed it...FRIDAY!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

La La La

It ain't Friday yet...

It is kind of funny...


Friday Funny

I used to love reading the comics in the Sunday paper. Our small town paper does not carry comics, so I enjoyed receiving this one in the mail from a friend.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It Really Wouldn't Be That Hard

There is a bird hopping around the porch railing eating cat food. I've tried to take a picture or, even better, a video, because it's really quite entertaining, but he/she's a very nervous bird that flies off at even a hint of movement from me behind the closed kitchen doors. This is probably because it knows it's treading on shaky ground with all the cats so close by...

...or not.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Bee Happy

Spring is here!

I almost hate to point this out, but I think it's kind of funny. Look closely. Wool blowing on the upper branch. It's everywhere!

Click to biggify. There's always more to the picture than initially "meets the eye".

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Progression Of The Wensleydale/Cotswold Fleece

...or how you can tell I'm getting excited about the spring shearing.

A properly shorn fleece will come off in one piece - similar to, but much nicer than a pelt. This was obviously a professional job. I can't shear each sheep fast enough to risk keeping them upside down for so long, so I've learned to shear them standing up. I make one pass down the center and work down from there on each side. The best I can hope for is a two piece fleece.

So, after it's rolled out - I usually use a skirting table rather than the porch - it's skirted (all the cruddy stuff removed) and washed.

I hand pick, or fluff it, as it dries. Mostly to make sure there is as little vegetable matter in it as possible.

Even though I had plenty of other things I needed to be doing today, I then carded (all the tangles combed/brushed out) up a small sample.

An spun it using one of my kit spindles. I can't believe I can make something that spins yarn. And spins well.

I then wound it off into a center pull ball so that I could use both ends to make a two ply yarn.

Look at the combination of beautiful colors and textures. (Definitely click to biggify.)

Now isn't this fun?

Friday, March 6, 2009


Eli doesn't get too much press around here. He's likes it that way I believe.

I snapped this picture last night because I liked the light behind him. As frequently happens though I ended up seeing something I hadn't really noticed. A hint of green grass!

Eli is Saint Tim's cat. Eli likes to eat, sleep, hang out at the creek and fish. And not necessarily in that order. He also likes to be carried back from the barn at night when the chores are done. He's a bit shy and doesn't ask for this special treatment, but if Saint Tim calls to him and asks him if he'd like a ride, he happily comes running.

We aim to please around here ;-).

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Slumcat Millionaire

I don't believe Comby would trade his low rent digs for a million dollars!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Egg Sighting

So I go out to collect eggs the other day - the ones I can find that is (crazy adventure chickens - grumble grumble... ) - and I found an egg the size of a duck egg! This morning I found a teeny tiny one. I'll let Stella display them for you, because when you find something like that, you've got to call your neighbor.

And here they are with a "normal" sized blue egg for perspective and one of the fat Welsommer eggs, just because I love their color.

We cracked them open and here's what we got.

My first double yolker! And look at the tiny egg. Isn't it just the cutest? I scrambled them up and they made a fabulous egg sandwich for my lunch.

I'm headed out to play with one of the green broke "ponies". It's gorgeous here - blue skies and sunshine. I smelled dirt last night, so spring has got to be close at hand. I just hope I'm not getting ready to smell dirt up close ;-).

Enjoy your day!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin