Sunday, November 29, 2009

How To Ruin A Perfectly Good LGD

I had a "brilliant" idea to make cut out sheep decorations to put out in front of the wool house to decorate for Christmas this year - like the reindeer you frequently see. I've learned though that no good flock of sheep should be without a guard dog, so made a Hank cut out as well.

It took me most of the day to cut, paint and assemble them and it was near dark as we set them out. I still needed to add everyone's ears, so I turned the porch lights on so I wasn't playing pin the ears on the...

"Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof!"

CSL: What on earth is he so upset about?

"Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof!"

ST: I think Hank's barking at Hank!

I went around the corner to look and sure enough he was looking across the driveway, right at the white intruder.

"Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof!"

I walked over and stood by it, tapped on it, patted it...anything I could think of to convince Hank it was okay. He was unconvinced.

I finally had to put him on a leash and let him go check everything out.

I don't even want to know what he was thinking.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Crazy Town

Forsythia - still blooming.

Petunias - still blooming. Pugsly looks a bit appalled as well.

Can't remember what these are, but they're still blooming too.

It's November 28th. And I approve this message.

Friday, November 27, 2009

100 Iris Lane

I spent most of the day at Vergil and Annemarie Holland's, clerking for their Thanksgiving sheep dog trial. I had so much fun doing that last year that I've made that my new annual tradition. I have no interest in trialing myself, but I sure enjoy watching everyone else. Being able to scribe - mark scores for the judge - is a great way to learn and get some insight into the magic of a true working dog.

I do have to give Iris credit for the good work she does here, being the police and all. She's also very sweet and welcoming to guests, enjoys visiting residents of some local nursing homes, takes special good care of Stella and did a good job cleaning up some leftovers yesterday. Honestly though, her biggest mark on the world, is, well, a mark.

Truly a permanent path - now dubbed Iris Lane, thanks to her Aunt Debbie - running from the road, past the house, right alongside the wool house, straight to the barn. And back. And forth. And back...depending on what she thinks is going on around the neighborhood.

Weaslie doesn't know much, but she knows Iris will always take this path, so when she gets tired, she just waits and intercepts her on a return trip. Hard work and hardly working.

It's a good thing they're cute ;-).

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Every Day

I guess I could have glued on some traditional construction paper tail feathers, but I think this pumpkin bears an uncanny resemblance to someone else...

And Comby bears an uncanny resemblance to a pumpkin (and I ain't talkin' about the color ;-)!

We all hope that everyone - woolly, furry or not - has a great Thanksgiving.

Every day.

And Go Packers!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Sunday Stills Do Over

I wanted some pictures of Brushy and Gato as I have a funny story to tell about them. I ended up with Handy and Comby.

Can I have a "do over" for my Sunday Stills last week?

Before you go thinking I'm some sort of photographic genius (because I knew that was what you were thinking ;-), it was purely an accident. I was out in bright light trying to take some smarty pants pictures to make fun of Handy's zebra stripes and he was in a dark stall.

Handy always gets the last laugh.

And for everyone who's been staying up at night worrying about Comby's comfort with the cold, rainy weather moving in...the lovely plastic is back up.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Bright Spot

Actually, one of many in an otherwise gloomy sort of day.

This cute new addition to the farm is an asian pear tree - a gift for Saint Tim from some good friends.

Boo loved to walk around the orchard. His morning constitutional. He frequently awoke before me and I enjoyed spying on him from my cozy bed. I miss that. We knew when he passed that we would bury him in his orchard.

I always plant something over their graves. Punkin is covered by asparagus, Sunshine has a sweet shrub, Sam has a dogwood... I wanted an asian pear for Boo.

Spring flew by in a blur though and I didn't get it done. Fall approached and I again was too disorganized. This birthday pear was a perfect gift. Exactly what Saint Tim wanted and exactly what we needed.

I like when things work out like that.

Thank you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Stills - Horses

Being in the heart of horse country, I felt like I should use this challenge to work outside my own "box" and try for some interesting shots of other horses.

Thoroughbred Park, near the center of downtown Lexington. During the summer months, it's back lit with beautiful fountains and I was hoping the water was still running since it's been so warm. Unfortunately the only things running were the fabulous bronzes. Still worth the trip.

This was my attempt to get a night shot with blurred car headlights. Sigh. WildBlack? Possible tutorial? :-)

The detail on these statues is just incredible. I still find myself reaching out to touch the material, leather, hair...

Another current horse scene around town is Keeneland's November Breeding Stock Sale. As a sort of funny aside, this pretty broodmare may not be as big as she looks. One of the most important qualifications to "show" sale horses to potential bidders is being short. Cute and blond doesn't hurt either ;-).

I love the layers of this shot. Barn after barn after barn.

Even though I got a nice dinner out of my night photo shoot and the weather was perfect for spending some time at the sales the next day, I have to admit my favorite horses to shoot are still our own. This is Aria and Handy, the old couple.

And T-Bone and Gato, the odd couple. I was excited to see the sun beams/fence shadows here. Thanks Ed for a fun challenge!

For more Sunday Stills...

Friday, November 20, 2009

More Of My Sheep, Larger Than Life

Last NAILE post and this surprise wasn't a complete surprise. I have to admit though, seeing something I painted blown up taller than me was still a bit surprising even though already I knew it was there.

I'm helping organize the new Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival which will be held next spring, for the first time, during the Bluegrass Classic Stockdog Trial in Lexington, Kentucky. Stay tuned! This is going to be an actual full blown fiber festival, all to itself, not a side tent in a large craft festival.

With sponsors including the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association, Lexington Parks and Recreation, Lexington Lions Club, The Bluegrass Classic Stockdog Association, Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office, Kentucky Proud, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, UK Cooperative Extension Service, Fayette County FFA... you can believe we are all really excited.

I don't really remember how it came about that we are using my artwork (or actually how I got talked into all those meetings...either, now that I think about it ;-) as a backdrop for post cards, posters, bumper stickers, the website and whatever you'd call this super tall display, but everyone seems to like it and I truly am happy to be able to help.

For inquiring minds, the sheep (left to right) are Punkin, Buddy, Boudreaux, Ewen McTeagle, Miss Ewenice and Henrietta. I apparently have lost quite a bit of weight in my old age (the beauty of painting yourself) and I'm happy my hair has finally gone completely gray, rather than my current Bride of Frankenstein stripe. And yes, Saint Tim, you can click to biggify to check the print quality ;-).

So why did I paint a picture of myself as an old woman? Well, besides the obvious of how I feel some mornings when I crawl out of bed... Over the years I have received forwarded emails of Jenny Joseph's "When I am an old woman" poem. I have received "When I am an old dog woman", "When I am an old cat woman", "When I am an old horse woman"... Never a "When I am an old sheep woman". I decided I would try to fix that.

My original idea was to put it together in such a way as to forward it to my friends and they could forward to their friends and so on, like the other poems. I wondered how far it might go. How long it would stay in circulation. If five years from now, someone might see it and think "I know just who would enjoy reading this" and send it back to me. In the end though, I couldn't figure out exactly how to do that, so Saint Tim printed them on paper for me and I've just sent them out the old fashion way.

Which is nicer anyway.

So, for all the old sheep women out there (and those of us that just feel old)....Enjoy :-).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wait A Minute...Those Are MY Sheep!

Even though we were only at the NAILE to look at sheep, we felt it would be rude to not at least take a peak at the vendor area. Don't ask us how we knew exactly which booth we wanted to find - the one with all the cute sheep stuff and Woolrich clothes ;-).

I grabbed a sheep turtleneck I just had to have, a sheep coat hook for the wool house and rounded the next set of shelves and was stopped dead in my tracks.

S: Hey, those are my sheep!

D: Yeah, they do look like sheep you would have.

S: No, seriously, those are my sheep. That's P.P. and Beverly.

A couple years ago an artist emailed to ask permission to paint from a couple pictures on my website. I don't really mind if someone wants to do something like that as long as they ask permission and are doing something creative like sketching, painting, rug hooking...or just need a peaceful screen saver for their computer at work. I don't mind spotting my sheep in a specialty shop, but sure don't want to see them at "the Wal-Marts" with a "made in China" tag on the back. You understand.

Bonnie Mohr was very kind and I was flattered she liked my sheep shots. She is a fabulous artist and of course offered to sell the original oil painting to us (which we would love to have, but haven't won the lotto yet ;-). I'm hoping she'll eventually offer it as a print. Go check her out!

So where did she find the picture of Popcorn PeePee Pants? From my very first blog post.

Guess what today is.

My 500th anniversary!

I didn't even know what a blog was when I started all this. I remember having to ask my IT person what one was, how you started one... Now, it's one of my favorite parts of the day. What a great chronicle of our life on (and sometimes off) the farm.

And while mostly it's just to record our memories, I realize (and am humbled) that it's often a bright spot in other people's days as well. And I am happy too that sometimes more than that, that our blog does good for folks that have never even heard of Equinox Farm, Boudreaux the Biter, Hank the Wonder Dog or Popcorn PeePee Pants.

Last year, when I heard about Holiday Mail for Heroes, I gladly added extra cards to my mail list and posted a link to spread the word. Somehow through the "magic" of computers, they picked that up and sent us a thank you. (See, politeness really counts ;-). This year they emailed to ask if I would do the same.


And, since this is an extra special post (500? Really?!?), let's make it even more fun. Follow this link for Holiday Mail for Heroes. Follow their directions - watch the deadline! Send at least 5 (up to 15) cards for soldiers and their families. Come back here and leave me a comment (like KatieB's) (on the honor system because I know no one would lie about doing something for our troops) and on December 1st (updated 12/4 to December 7th), I'll draw 5 names and send you a box of Equinox Farm (your choice) Christmas cards.

Even better, forward the HMFH info to anyone else who might help and they too can leave a comment here and join in for the drawing. Don't worry about lessening your chances of winning. If we end up making a huge sheep splash, Saint Tim says he'll donate more cards for prizes.

And hey...thanks :-).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sheep, Sheep And More Sheep

Dianne and I made a run for it took (part of) a day off yesterday to go to the North American International Livestock Exhibition in Louisville, Kentucky. You would think after a morning of feeding, cleaning up after, arguing with, doctoring on, calling people about...sheep, the last thing we'd want to do was go look at more...sheep. Is there a cure for this craziness?

I apologize - this post is picture heavy, but you don't go to the North American and see a few sheep. You see a LOT of sheep.

There were sheep getting spiffed up for the show ring.

I love this picture. Click to biggify and zoom in on the eye and the quick moving shears. And the lady with her hand up. I don't have any sheep who'd listen to that, but I don't believe this was this sheep's "first county fair" (or national exposition ;-).

There were tired sheep.

And really tired sheep.

Sheep with their own stock dogs.

Sheep working hard on PR (or looking for a handout).

Sheep who liked having their picture taken.

Sheep with big horns (and pretty fleeces).

And sheep with even bigger horns.

Sheep with hangy down ears (I really want a Tunis. Really. Santa? You out there? ;-).

Sheep with sticky out ears (and really cute faces).

And sheep with pointy up ears.

Sheep painted gray? What's up with that? Maybe someone out there who shows could explain?

There were pen after pen full of beautiful sheep. Not as many breeds represented as I'd hoped (and traditionally seen) though and the fleece show was very, very light. :-/ The fleece show several years ago was how I got interested in Cotswolds. I saw several fleeces there and knew that's what I wanted, searched online and found a breeder I liked...

Regardless, it was a great trip. There was also a surprise waiting for me in the vendor area and another near the show ring.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fall Fiber Art

First some festive foliage from two days ago. We sure have enjoyed some great color this fall.

The same bush this morning. Is this web functional or is there an artist spider out there enjoying the beautiful fall as well?

This was definitely a dinner score.

And this tiny web? Yep, click to biggify.

Remember the tinsel? Still here and now decorated with some special spider garland. Just in time to remind us how close we are to the holidays.


I'd better get connected with some fall fiber art.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Stills - Fins, Feathers And Fur

A fun one!

Well, anything involving fins by default sends us to the river. I felt pretty confident about feathers as well. Fur? Well, we'll take Weaslie along and maybe she can look cute watching Saint Tim reel in the big one. The best laid plans...

Yeah, she's cute, but she's not seeing much fish action.

Yep, there's the reliable Great Blue Heron. You'll have to click to biggify or take my word for it. I like the subtle light and color of this shot.

Same bird, just a few seconds later as he continued down river. Completely different picture, eh? Light is fun.

And what do we have here? No need for Weaslie after all. Not necessarily an uncommon thought about Weaslie - just kidding! ;-).

"Ai! What are you all doing out here?"

"You kids stay back there. These boat people have some sort of fluorescent weasel with them."

I know otters are a mixed blessing, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching them (and wishing I had a 300mm lens - we'll see if Santa is still reading my blog ;-)

And this is the only fish I saw this morning. Do you see it?

Wait a minute! Well, well, well... (Definitely click to biggify, as always.) A furry otter, eating a finned fish, under the watchful eye of a feathered Heron.


For more furry, finny and feathery finds...


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