Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's All Gouda

Well, technically it's the milk moon, but it sure is orange tonight and cheese is made from milk...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Life Is Good

Recently A while back, Denise gave me a Life Is Good award. Things were so crazy busy (not sure if that's "good") and have stayed that way (pretty sure that's not "good" - we are worn plumb out) that I almost forgot. But it's a beautiful button and the questions are fun and when my summer wardrobe showed up via UPS yesterday, I remembered. And it made me smile. Which was probably the intent of the award anyway :-).

1. What would your prefect day consist of?

Well, it would probably not consist of 12 back breaking hours of yard work... I'm voting for washing a beautiful fleece and in between soaks, being able to sit down and spin, knit or weave something or read a good book.

2. How would you describe yourself if you were an item of clothing?

Ratty old faded, knees ripped out blue jeans (he sure was a cutie, eh?) with the bottoms frayed out. Come on - think about it - this is not a bad thing.

3. What hobbies are you currently working on?

Since I don't consider yard work a hobby, I guess I'm not working on anything. Sigh.

4. Walking in the woods in wellies or bare foot on the beach?

Too close to call. I LOVE both.

5. Have you ever hugged or sang to a tree?

I have not hugged a tree, nor sung to one, but I do talk to them and frequently give them a pat as I pass by.

6. Growing your own veggies or nipping to the supermarket.

Trying to grow our own, but wish the gardening fairy would just leave a basket of fresh food (and some EGGS - stupid Adventure Chickens) outside our door every day ;-).

7. Have you found anyone exciting in your family tree?

Interesting surely, but exciting? Hmmm - I don't know.

8. Slap up meal in a posh restaurant or fish ‘n’ chips from the wrapper

Definitely fish 'n' chips from the wrapper - preferably with a vegetarian option ;-).

9. Which element do you most resonate with, Earth, Air, Fire or water?

Can't decide - maybe a swirl of all?

10. Do you believe in fairies?

If they'd show up with the basket of veggies...

I think most of us, deep down, agree that life is good, so I'm passing this award on to anyone who'd like to join in. If you don't have a blog, answer the questions in the comments. I am going to single out The Skoog Farm Journal, Life on a Colorado Farm, and Front Porch Indiana as blogs that I recommend if you need a good dose of Life Is Good.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Know You Are, But What Am I?

Meet RooRoo.

We tried several different names for her - Gretta, Gretel, Gretchen... Nothing.

She says "Roo roo roo rooooo" to me all the time though, so I called her RooRoo back yesterday and that got her attention. So, little dog, you can be RooRoo while you are here. Sometime I'll have to tell you the funny story about how Gato got his name.

RooRoo is a 5 (we think) year old miniature Schnauzer. She's 21 pounds and stands about 12 inches tall at her back. She was left tied to the door of a nearby vet clinic, having just weaned a litter of puppies and already pregnant again.

The rescue in that area is run by a friend of ours and she was in a panic as all her foster homes were full. With our big fenced in yard and (mostly) friendly and welcoming dogs, this is not the first time we've been asked to foster. It's a hard job though and mostly I try to fly under the radar.

This foster however has been almost no trouble. They spayed her, gave her a dental check, pulled one of her teeth and tried to treat her horribly infected ears. They were so swollen inside that you couldn't even wash them out. Ugh. Keeping up with her meds has been the only "inconvenience".

This is one of the nicest dogs I've ever been around. She's leash trained, house trained, crate trained, perfect in the car. Good with cats, other dogs, chickens, little kids. Lets me open her mouth to stuff her antibiotics down her throat - because she caught onto the bread/cheese trick after her first dose - and doesn't fight having her ears doctored.

Other than mouthin' off when she gets excited about going to the barn or back to the house or going for a car ride and doing the roo roo roooo thing, you don't hear a peep out of her. She went to church with me Sunday and sat quietly under the piano while I played, talked to everyone after the service and wasn't bothered by even the big dogs that towered over her.

She mostly wanted to hide in her crate for the first couple of days - no wonder. However, if you could talk her into coming out, she was very happy to run around the yard. After the initial shock wore off some, she started coming out on her own, too curious to stay away. I would have to imagine this is a pretty fun place for a dog (unless you are jealous of the newcomer ;-) and she's adapted well.

Anyway, RooRoo is a very nice little dog, looking for a very good home. Any local folks, if you could forward her info to anyone you think might be interested...

If you have any questions, drop me an email at thecrazysheeplady at myfavoritesheep dot com.

Thank you!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Not Stills

It's been a long week and I wasn't sure I could come up with something original enough for this week's Sunday Stills "Landscapes" assignment. Landscapes, no. Lawn ornaments, yes.

At least every now and then they do something entertaining. Here everyone is worried about something up the road. T-Bone - you gotta love him - fearlessly mugging for the camera.

"Run away!"

"Follow Aria - she'll save us!"

Of course they spend the rest of the time picking on her. Boys.

Swinging back around.

And around. She's stepping out pretty good for an old lady and looking good for 28.

Down across the creek...

Showing some nice form there, T-Bone!

Well, until the landing...on all four feet at one time. Ouch!

And moving on to greener pastures.

That's the purpose for the black muzzles on the three boys. Too much lush, green grass. The muzzles limit (there is a hole in the bottom which slows them down) their grazing to a safe level so they don't over eat in the spring, founder and suffer a horrible death.

They make these in all sizes, including for miniature horses. I'm seriously thinking about trying one on Buddy and Woolliam. They are so fat I'm worried they might founder. Green grass is pretty, but...

Anyone out there with horribly fat sheep? Any suggestions?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Arthur "Two MORE Sheds" Jackson

Remember the story of Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson? I guess Saint Tim will have to be "Two More Sheds" because I can't figure out if he was already "Four Sheds" or if the big side shed made him "Five Sheds"... It's an epidemic.

Now that Hank's on the job, we feel much more confident putting the sheep into more remote paddocks during the day. This is beneficial not only for grass grazing, but also aids in the reduction of parasites by always giving us a "clean" field to rotate into.

Hmmm - looking at how fat some of our sheep are, maybe we need to re-think that and start feeding them some worms...

This cute little shed is for Crazy Esther and Elizabeth - the old ladies. While Elizabeth likes to eat cereal in the morning and would be happy to be able to have free choice "cookies" all day long, she is probably not going to like moving into the retirement home. Cookies vs. Freedom? She's a Jacob sheep. Always pick freedom.

Esther will be fine. She's become too feeble to go out with everyone and mostly stays up at the barn trying to talk someone into coming back in to stay with her. That will be Elizabeth's job.

Miss Ewenice has sent her application in three times already - on nice handmade straw based paper, professionally typeset, thank you note after each interview...

Sorry sweetie, that last thing you need is unlimited amounts of cookies ;-).

Friday, May 21, 2010

We've Got Mail

Or at least a neat box in which to receive it.

Cecil Aguilar, who created the stonework under and around the wool house, built this for us.

I told him I wanted to put flowers on top so he hollowed out the middle and added a box with drainage.

Before you go thinking I'm some sort of flower arranging genius, I just bought an already assembled basket from a local flower shop, took it out of the pot and planted it ;-).

Our little country road.

On a sad/disturbing note, I wrote Cecil a check. Just like I'd write to anyone. He took it to our bank to cash it and they wouldn't until they'd "verified my signature". The same signature I use to write checks every day - and I've written checks to some pretty shady looking characters around here...with anglo names.

When I answered the call I was at first happy they were "looking out for me". I'm a bit slow and (try to) always think the best of people and thanked them for their excellent service and we rang off. It then dawned on me what had happened and I was mortified. I believe they had "profiled" one of only four certified Journeyman Stonemasons in the United States. A clean cut, well spoken, legal US citizen who happens to have an accent and a "funny" name.

I'm sorry. On several levels.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Like A Diamond In The Sky

After a cool, rainy night, the greenhouse sparkles in the morning light.

Droplets of condensation hang like Christmas ornaments from the tomato plants.

And sit like diamonds on leaves all over the yard.

I should look for a four leaf clover next dewy morning. Wouldn't that be neat!

The iris' have been just beautiful this spring. Blooming and blooming.

Singing a happy spring song.

These peonies were here when we moved in. They happen to grow just inside where we had to place the fence in the front field. The stupid horses either eat them or trample them, so each year we haul cattle panels out to protect them. Small price to pay for such lovely friends. I can smell them all the way to the house.

These peonies were stolen from a neighbor and friend from long ago. Tilly (Miss Tilly's namesake) had passed away and I somehow heard they were getting ready to bulldoze everything. I snuck over that night and dug a few. She'd be happy to know I'd saved some and thrilled I'd "stolen" them ;-).

I've had some great neighbors.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Boy And His Dog

Remember how Boo and Comby were such good friends? And how we were all worried about Comby when Boo died? Well, not only has he finally buddied up with Eli and has a cat friend, but I've also noticed him hanging out with Hank.

Hoping for a little creek action.

"Hank, I think she's out here with that stupid camera again."

"Let's get out of here."

"Okay, Comby, whatever you say."

We Will Soon Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Program

I was hoping to take and post some nice photos of Woolliam, Boudreaux and Rebecca Boone stuffing grass in their mouths as fast as they could grazing, happy to be home after a long, but fun, weekend at the festival. Maybe a shot of the wool house all put back to an orderly "normal". The garden all weeded. Flowers set out in the new stone mailbox...

This was all mostly to cover up the horrifying fact that I did not take any pictures all weekend. No pictures of the sheep manning the Punkin's Patch booth (aka Boudreaux trying to steal things off anywhere he could reach his 'biter'), the booth itself, any of the 62 really good vendors there, the big crowd on Saturday, the one dog I got to watch run on Sunday... Nothing.


So, for those of you not able to be there, the festival was wonderful. We had a great group of people. The quality was outstanding. The weather on Saturday was perfect. Everyone walking around with big smiles on their faces. Exactly what we wanted, especially as this was our first year. Big round of applause for everyone involved!

For those of you who were there, it was so nice to meet most of you. And so sad to not meet the rest of you who came by during one of the many times I was called to other places :-(.

One of the times I was gone, I was actually doing something fun and exciting. I was given the excellent opportunity to shadow the judge as she critiqued and placed the fleece competition. Letty Klein was so kind and helpful and happy to teach and I tried my best to remember between phone calls.

So, back to why there are no pictures? It's. Still. Raining. Outside AND inside. Saint Tim's upstairs neighbor (a dentist office) had a major water leak and water flooded into his print shop. Just as he was headed out of town. I went in to help, came home to try to do some mowing during a break in the rain (our farm looked abandoned), started unpacking, more rain...

This morning the sun peaked out. The sheep were out grazing. Now that's more like it. I grabbed my camera...and got rained on as I walked to the barn. It's starting to feel like the movie Groundhog Day here.

Seriously, could we please return to our regularly scheduled programming?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

By Light Of Day

So I headed to bed last night dog tired and frustrated...and wishing I were the captain of a river ferry, not trying to get ready for the first big sheep and fiber festival in Kentucky.

I'd worked all day trying to update our farm brochure and I just couldn't get a design that looked right. ALL DAY. Probably NINE HOURS total. Yeesh. Fortunately several of those hours were spent at Ohio Valley Natural Fibers, multi-tasking. They kindly ran a few fleeces for me while I waited so we'd have a good selection this weekend.

This brings me to my second grrrrr. I'd gone to the trouble of cutting the sunbleached tips off half of Boudreaux's black fleece. The other half I left as-is so I could see if it was worth the time to trim each lock. A LOT OF TIME.

We don't coat our sheep, so I spend a fair amount of time nitpicking small bits of VM (vegetable matter) out of each washed fleece before they are processed. Somehow, out of 36 fleeces, I missed Boudreaux's. As I watched it come off the machine - with bits of hay and straw marring it's black perfection - I felt sick. I didn't even open the bags when I got home.

I went to bed. Dreaming of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.

We catched fish and talked, and we took a swim now and then to keep off sleepiness. It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big, still river, laying on our backs looking up at the stars, and we didn't ever feel like talking loud...

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
This morning the curiosity got to me. I love wool after all and am drawn to it like, well, Tom and Huck to the river. As Saint Tim always tells me "90% of the things you worry about (I'm a good worrier) happen 10% of the time." He was right. It really doesn't look so bad.

Black Boudreaux and cinnamon oatmeal Petunia.

Beanie Baby's core roving - dark gray inside, white wrapped around the outside.

Keebler's dad, Henry (Wensleydale/Cotswold cross). Very soft, beautiful pewter gray. He may be moving over here, but that's another story for another day.

And I liked packing up these colorful spindles.

Okay, everything seems a bit brighter.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

If I Weren't A Crazy Sheep Lady

I think I'd be the crazy ferry lady! Actually, because I almost look more forward to the ferry ride across the river than the processed roving I'm picking up, I may already be the crazy ferry lady.

Here's what the gps shows when you are halfway across. Just a little arrow, floating in a "sea" of blue. Pretty cool, eh?

A huge barge heading our way.

Yep, that's a HUGE barge.

Okay, here's a quick peak. Lookin' good, Buddy!

You can come "pet" Buddy this weekend. You can actually pet Woolliam, Rebecca Boone and Boudreaux. Yes, they are coming to the festival with me. Buddy's going to stay home and take care of Miss Ewenice ;-).


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