Thursday, April 30, 2009

With Great Care

When I rescued Punkin from the stockyards all those years ago, one of the ladies I worked with told me I needed to take him to Dr. Cleveland in nearby Georgetown, Kentucky. "He grew up raising sheep. He knows all about sheep."

So I called Dr. Cleveland, told him what I'd done and he waited until I could get there after work. He gave Punkin some shots that he thought he'd need, told me what to feed him, took care of his tail, told me some good sheep stories and sent me on my way. That was not my last trip.

Due to his horrible start in life, Punkin was a sick little lamb. Each time I took him in, Dr. Cleveland would try something else and tell me he was going to be just fine. And he eventually was. And when I took him in for some booster shots several months later, Dr. Cleveland looked at him and said "Well, Punkin, I really didn't think I'd see you get this big."

What? I guess he figured a little positive thinking (on my behalf at least) wouldn't hurt.

Flash forward 17 or 18 years. Keebler is a pretty healthy, uncomplicated lamb - they're not always like that, eh Ewen McTeagle? I needed to pick up some Probios paste (a must have for any bottle baby) the other day and Keebler insisted on riding along. He'd been hanging out with Iris and Weaslie all morning and needed some mama time and a lap nap. Plus, I knew everyone would like to see him (everyone likes to see him ;-).

Our favorite vet tech, Lou Ann.

The "new" vet Dr. Barron. I've been saying for years that when Dr. Cleveland retires that I'm getting out of the sheep business. I no longer feel that way. We'll all be in good hands.

Doing a little shopping (don't read those labels, Keebs :-/).

Thanks Lou Ann for the pictures. And thanks to everyone over there for everything you all do for me. You have no idea how much I appreciate it all.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hoppin' Mad

Well, not really, but pretty darn hoppy! You know how when you give your dog a bath and they are finally finished, how they like to race around the house or yard? I guess to celebrate living through it? Turns out, sheep do the same thing.

I decided to give Keebler a bath today. He'd gotten rained on, didn't smell as "sweet" as baby lambs do, and since he was already wet...

Why did you do that to me?


Since we're all about the fiber here (never for meat!), let's take a closer look (as always, click to biggify).

Pretty yummy, eh?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Our Little Honor Student

"Lambs should start ruminating (chewing cud) around three weeks old." Keebler won't be three weeks until Wednesday and he's been doing this for several days already! We're so proud. But not too surprised. We're all a bunch of good eaters around here ;-).

So what exactly is chewing his cud? Well, first he eats some grass. If you listen closely you can hear him...between bird calls.

He can even eat laying down, half asleep.

Then, if you watch closely you can see him burp up some half chewed grass and chew on it some more. In his sleep. With his cute little ears hanging down in "sleep mode". With his trusty Border Collie.

It's super hot here and sitting under a shade tree with Keebler is not a bad place to be this afternoon.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Stills

I'm joining the Sunday Stills Photography Challenge. This Sunday we are to "look beyond the typical barn shot, if possible get inside, get different angles, things in barns etc…"

Being in Kentucky I felt almost obligated to feature horses or tobacco. As there are horse barns all over the country and many of the horse barns in Kentucky started out as tobacco barns, it was an easy decision.

I'm going to start out with two favorite photographs from my archives, just to set the scene. These were taken last summer and are of a friend's barn just up the road. Not only can you see the traditional styling of the barn, but also tobacco hanging to cure.

I can smell the tobacco in this picture. Hard to describe - the smell and the fact that I can smell it by "sight". Through the barn, some of her cows in the background. Note also the basketball hoop. I don't believe I've seen a barn in Kentucky without that requisite garnish.

These pictures are inside our barn - once a tobacco barn, converted to horses and now for sheep. The stalks of tobacco in the first two pictures are speared onto a tobacco stick and those sticks are then hung (by hand) all the way to the top of these barns, resting between two "stringers" - the long square boards running throughout the barn. This time of year, all the tobacco barns are this empty as the tobacco has been stripped, baled and sold.

This is the top end of the back of our barn. Our barn dates back to at least 1922, when it was moved to this farm from a neighboring farm. All of the wood has been replaced at least once I'm sure, but I'm not sure that this last remaining bit isn't still original. The lace work of the boards reminds me of a church window.

A question - can someone tell me how to retake this picture and remove the glare?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Keebler, Ya Feeling Lucky?


"Seriously. "

Actually, all the cats and dogs have been very kind to Keebler. Even Eli. Iris is a bit miffed because she has yet another sheep that won't do what she says, but, well, that's just another day at the office for her.

A cute Keebler fact - his ears droop when he's sleeping.


I've emailed the first draw from the Clover Contest. Will post the answer as soon as they confirm the location :-).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

'Night Momma

Ready for bed. Soft blankies, alfalfa hay, fresh dandelions - the important stuff.

A couple of cute fun facts: there's nothing cuter than his big yawn and he "talks" in his sleep when he's dreaming.

I hope he's having sweet dreams.

Do You Feel Lucky? Well, Do Ya?

I've found several four leaf clovers (there's a cute Ewen baby pic in that link too) this spring.

I found a five leaf yesterday.

In this area of the yard. (Click to biggify)

Can you see it?

If you can, leave a comment of "Found it!" (but don't say where ;-) and a way to reach you and at the end of the day Saturday, I'll have Saint Tim draw a lucky number and if you can tell me which quadrant it's in, I'll send you a set of vol. 1 and vol. 2 Equinox Farm note cards.

Have fun!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Family Circus

Spring is truly here and the green is so green and lush that some of our sheep are starting to look like walruses. Seriously. Not healthy. Starting yesterday I've been limiting them to two hours of free grazing in the morning and two hours grazing in the evening (someone needs to do this to me!). They are not happy about this and here's what we have to show for it this afternoon.

Who did this?

"Not me." (Remember that ghost from the Family Circus cartoon?)

"I'd never break a door (and part of a wall) down."

Your pretty much daily dose of Keebler cuteness ;-).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm On It!

Several years ago I sold my Ashford Table Loom on eBay. I should never have done that, but I was trying to finance an eight harness Baby Mac and thought that was the logical thing to do. I miss that loom :-(. Little did I know as we were trying to arrange the shipping (she lives in Alaska!) that she would become one of my favorite people and here we are again, now shipping a spinning wheel back and forth. She has asked me to paint all sorts of fiber animals around the wheel and treadle of her Ashford Traditional.

Okay, sounds fun.

"I'll trade you native Alaska qiviut blended with silk."

I'm on it!

Let me just tell you, this stuff is so soft that you can't really even feel it when you touch it. It feels like air...but softer.

It's even softer than the boy wonder.

But he's cuter ;-).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Barber Shop

Keebler goes everywhere with me. He would stay with his momma in "real" life, so I figure he should stay with his adopted mom as well. We go out and play several times a day, take naps together (especially if it's raining and cold and there's a good movie on tv on a Sunday afternoon ;-), go out to graze and learn how to eat sticks and stuff (Weaslie's in charge of that part of the program) and we even do chores together.

Friday we gave Miss Ewenice her spring haircut. Keebler helped by finding stuff to do around the barn for awhile and then things got quiet and I knew he'd lain down for a nap. As I led Ewenice off the stand I looked around to see where he'd ended up.

Right by my side.

Pretty comfy bed, eh?

Not quite. Here's a funny fact about Keebler. He hates stuff touching him. He hates wet grass, hates when he accidentaly touches dandelions gone to seed, isn't jazzed about being toweled off if he gets rained on...

Silly little baby.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Going To Town

Keebler and I demonstrated spinning at the Raggedy Ann Festival in our small town today. It was a beautiful spring day, my company just the cutest and I got to actually sit down and spin for awhile.

A perfect day!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Working Hardly

I had decided Miss Ewenice was too old and fat to be shorn the other day when the shearer was here, so Keebler and I played beauty parlor with her (standing up) after lunch today. There are some super cute pictures coming - thank goodness I had my camera with me - but I need to be doing a little more workin' and a little less playin' this afternoon...

Keebler and I try to balance out all our hard work with some good napping though, so after we got done shearing, we headed to his favorite tree for a snooze. The bees above us were exceptionally happy this afternoon and I believe if I'd had the video camera with me you'd have easily been able to hear their busy buzzing.

Definitely click to biggify to, at very least, see the orange pollen they are collecting on their legs. Aren't they just fascinating?

Keebler was completely oblivious, pollen or not. In fact, after several days of sleeping to the sound of my Haagen-Daz bee screen saver, he probably figured he was inside.

Don't you just hate when someone catches you sleeping with your mouth open :-).

By the way, I don't mind at all if you use any of my pictures as a personal screen saver. I trust you'll be kind. Enjoy!

Coffee Klatsch

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Uncommonly Good

Well, we're still in gloomy weather mode here and Keebler has decided he'd rather. just. play. in. the. kitchen. This is going to be problematic come winter, eh? He stands on the bottom step and looks at the cold, wet grass, looks at me trying to coax him into the yard, looks at the cold, wet grass and turns around and hops back up the stairs to the kitchen door. If I "make" him go out, he walks, picking his feet up really high, and just looks pitiful. Hopefully the sun will come out this afternoon. In the meantime, I'll catch up with some questions.

Keebler was born last Wednesday, so he's 8 days old.

Remember the pretty Wensleydale/Cotswold fleece from a few weeks ago? That was his daddy's. His momma is a Texel or Texel cross, I think (I need to find out for sure).

He's living in the kitchen so he doesn't get too lonely and can have lots of attention. It's also easier to feed him here rather then trekking up to the barn every time. We just keep plenty of clean up towels handy. Our kitchen has a perfect set up with linoleum flooring, one door leading out to the porch and the other has a permanent baby gate blocking the rest of the carpeted house. Sometimes he sleeps in his house and sometimes he sleeps on a dog bed. He gets to choose.

He eats every 3 hours right now, but he goes 4 hours between his night feedings.

He came with the name Keebler. His Auntie (name withheld because she thinks she's flying under the radar as a crazy sheep lady - yeah, um, right ;-) tagged him with his "elfin magic face" and immediately came up with Keebler. Perfect!

He was one of a set of triplets. The farm he came from always pulls a triplet so that the mommas don't have more than two babies to raise. This is a common practice with larger flocks.

Anything else?

Here's a ba-ba video from last night. Those are my favorite jeans, by the way, so don't be hatin' me for my high style ;-).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Blankets And Pillows

Another cruddy weather day. We've been out playing a little in the soggy yard, but it's not just wet, it's cold! Ugh. This is a day better spent taking some naps.

Weaslie's not looking too happy about the new sleeping arrangements.

This was a nice nap, too, as I got to join in. There is nothing better than being a lamb pillow. (Taken with the camera phone...obviously :-/.)

Speaking of pillows, I'm almost too embarrassed to post this picture. Yeesh, Claire Bear. Hopefully it's just an unflattering camera angle.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fried Egg Surprise

We've lived here for almost six years. We figured we knew our farm pretty well - what kind of rain it takes to flood the barn (none now :-), which way the wind tends to blow, where to find the hidden rocks, even the location of a patch of wild asparagus out back.

Look closely.

Where did this come from, tucked under a tree in our front yard? Daffodils (and the "fried eggs" are among my favorites) are bulbs, correct? Not a seed a bird would plant, right? Did someone plant this a long time ago and it's just been hibernating? Regardless, we are happy to see you pretty flower. Welcome.

Next question - does anyone have any thoughts on my lack-of-flowering quince? I'm sure this bush is very old. Maybe it's all bloomed out? Maybe it just needs a good pruning?

And a little lamb candy - Keebler loves the dog beds. They are his choice spot to sleep when it's too rainy to go outside. Here you can see his one gray/brown/black leg and the spot on his front knee as well.

He's had some fun today weeding the flower beds (in between rain showers) and playing on the jungle gyms, aka the raised beds. If you tell him to stay out of the asparagus bed, you better believe that's going to be the first place he's running to!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Of Little Lambs And Bees

Another big day. As soon as the sun peaked out, Keebler and I headed outside. He's living in the kitchen right now, but likes to take naps on the couch, bed and dog beds, too ;-).

He had some fun running around.

Eating some grass in the orchard.

Eating some stuff he probably really shouldn't.

Taking another nap. (It's hard to take a picture with a camera in one hand and a sleeping baby in the other!)

He slept and slept and I thankfully had taken a good book out with me, Beeing, by Rosanne Daryl Thomas. I had started reading it yesterday while I had Keebler outside and I'm glad I had an "excuse" to sit down and read for awhile again today, because it was a thoroughly enjoyable story of a new beekeeper's experiences with her first hives of bees.

She ends her book by saying, "...but I would ask that you take at least a moment to appreciate them in the open air the next time you spy a bee at work in a flower." And I looked up and realized that as the air had warmed, I was surrounded by hundreds of busy bees.

(Click to biggify and see some bees.)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Elfin Magic

Happy Easter!

This is Keebler. With a cute, sleepy elf face. He was a gift from a couple crazy sheep ladies - see, I am not the only one ;-).

Keebler spent his day going to church this morning for a blessing of the animals, getting really good on the bottle, playing with Weaslie and Iris outside in the sunshine and taking some really good naps.


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