Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sunday Stills - Cats

On a Tuesday...because cats never do what you want them to do.

I thought this challenge would be a gimme. I could practically phone it in. (Insert hysterical laughter :-).

For more Sunday Stills...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Meanwhile Back At The Olympic Village...Hey, Where Did Everybody Go?

The Olympics can't be over. I still have hours of unwatched coverage on our DVR! Sigh.

At this point the only thing Olympic about the Jester sweater is that I refuse to give up. To be beaten by knitting smarter than me. Trying to figure out my own patterning that fits into the maths of stitch counts, decreases, length... Sigh.

Then, the sleeves that were supposed to be hemmed picot (like the Crazy Esther cowl) but looked so nice before hemming that I decided to leave them as they are and, boy, wouldn't the bottom look cute like that too? Yep, just because the sleeves didn't roll...well, you know how this sentence ends.

Blocking will only help a little. Or maybe I should say temporarily. I'm wondering if I can pick up some stitches underneath and hide row or two of garter stitch to hold it flat. Any thoughts?

Basically it's a miracle I've gotten this far. I stewed and stewed and read and read and stewed some more and finally said, for Jester's sake, just. put. some. stitches. on. Knit on with confidence... And un-knit when it didn't look good, re-knit, un-knit when the sleeves got too long, re-knit, un-knit, re-knit, un-knite, re-knit...

I like the patterning now and the length isn't too, too long, but one sleeve is slightly tighter than the other one. I'm pretty much the only one who'd ever notice, especially after blocking so I'm trying to "let it go."

Because at this point I've put poor Clair Bear to sleep. And we know how much cats hate to sleep all afternoon day ;-).

But spending hours and hours on the porch isn't completely without it's perks. I got those nice hummingbird pictures one day, the butterflies have been fun to watch and those pictures of Comby were nice.

Sadly the pictures of Hank sitting out with his "kids" are just reminiscent of greener pastures. We are toasted brown here again. And still way too hot. And way too sweaty. And the flies are awful and I'm going to shut up now, because I'm putting myself to sleep with all the complaining.

Actually, doesn't a nap sound really good right now ;-).

P.S. I'm ready to start the yoke patterning. Don't be looking for any further updates anytime soon. Sigh.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Two Tired Bees picked #12, KatieB :-).

The Too Busy Bees are thinking about a name change!

Stella and I harvested, spun out and bottled 120 jars of honey over the last two days. And we are both feeling every last bottle. Whew!

The honey is all the same color. It just looks different in the pictures due to how the sun was hitting it... So pretty.

Stella went with me to pick up my first swarm four or five years ago. After a couple of these adventures (and picking up swarms is always an adventure, usually good) she said she thought she'd like to set one up at her house.

In August that year she got a call from a friend with a swarm just around the corner. That became "the Audrey hive" and that hive that, on paper, should never have survived (too late in the year, too small, headed into winter with questionable food stores...) became the foundation for all of her hives.

Those bee's daughters, granddaughters, great granddaughters and great great granddaughters produced this honey. They are an important part of Stella's extended family and her great care has seen them through years where most beekeepers lost over 30-50% of their hives. I think they know that and work extra hard for her.

I love how good honey sparkles inside and out.

As we were bottling, I "accidentally" touched the cap on this jar so had to set it aside ;-).

We left quite a bit of honey in the hives. Not only are the two deep boxes on each hive heavy with honey, we didn't take every last drop from the honey supers either. After spinning the frames we did take, we set them back in the boxes so they could clean them up and re-store every last drop. Anything they make from here on out will either be fed back to them this fall or frozen for emergency feeding.

Would you like a jar? Leave the Two Too Tired from Bee-ing Too Busy Bees a comment and we'll draw a winner on Sunday :-).

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Living Vicariously

I always say that if I were ever to embark on an epic tour, I'd go to Scotland or Ireland. Doesn't someplace like that seem like a perfect destination for a crazy sheep lady?

Actually, I have a childhood friend now living in France who spends quite a bit of time in Switzerland who sends me the very best sheep pictures. That she takes while out walking/hiking/climbing/skiing in breathtakingly beautiful places. And sends me in emails titled "To add to the collection." :-)

Look! It's Boudreaux! Well, except for the fact that this big black and brown sheep seems to have climbed a rather large, um, hill...and Boudreaux needs to climb some really big hills ;-). Poor Boudreaux.

So, where would you go for a sheepy vacation?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Story Hour

Doesn't it look like Ewen McTeagle's telling everyone a story? :-)

Back row: Beanie Baby, Ford, Rebecca Boone
Middle row: Allie, Ewen, Blizzard
Front row: Buddy, one of the crazy Adventure Chickens, Boudreaux

Yes, Rebecca Boone and Blizzard are sleeping in the old hay feeders. The sheep love them! Even Ewen will squeeze himself in one sometimes :-D.

Actually, doesn't this look like an old yearbook photo? :-D

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Stills - Something Bizarre

From the back porch the other morning.

My first thought was a plastic bag had blown into the yard.

Nope, a cool huge spider web.

Love me some spider webs ;-).

Down the spider hole. But couldn't see the artist.

For more Bizarre Sunday Stills...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Holding Down The Porch

And practicing some cat contortionism.

Hopefully it will cool down enough today that Comby won't have to belly up to a cool flower pot. I think we are all more than ready for summer to be over.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sweet Sherman

The relief of Marcel getting better was quickly dampened by Sherman having trouble. We treated him as aggressively as we could, but ended up having him put down this morning. Such a sweet, sweet boy.

They are not sure if it's residual damage from the drought (mild nitrate poisoning can apparently mimic a phosphorus/calcium imbalance and other nutritional abnormalities and would be common during and after a drought because the plants in the field are stressed and do not chemically act right), a supplemented mineral issue, something completely unrelated or just general bad luck to have two sheep in less than two weeks with similar problems after years of none. We sent him for a necropsy in case there was anything to learn.

Making a call to end an animal's life, especially a dear friend, is tough. Seldom are you 100% sure you are doing the right thing. You frequently struggle with worrying that you didn't give them quite enough time (or too much time), maybe the meds would eventually help, maybe the animal themselves isn't ready. Sherman was ready.

As I was scrolling back looking at pictures I found this series. These might be my favorite pictures of one of my favorite sheep.

He was a good sheep. Even Comby would agree.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Stills - Summertime

What says summer to you?

Most of what says summer to me is not fit for a "family" blog, but one thing I do like about summer is hearing the hummingbirds buzz in and watching them work the flowers around the porch.

For more Summery Sunday Stills...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Names Changed To Protect The Innocent

Well, except Graham Lamb because we all know he's never innocent ;-).

I've taken some heat over the years for "being a little too hard on the boy." Graham's "just misunderstood." "Oh, he's not that bad."

In scrolling back through all the blog posts trying to pick the best one to illustrate Graham's "special skills" I could not decide on just one. I could pick any number of shearing posts. The Grahaminator 2000 is always a good choice. Maybe that time he tried to eat a $60,000 camera. Or steal a sharp knife. Or knock over Saint Tim's ladder (boy there are some cute Sherman and Willard pics on that one :-). What about the night he got his face painted? I could go on, but without further ado...

We frequently welcome guests on the farm (always with appointments of course ;-). This morning a good friend brought a family of young children out to meet the sheep. Another mutual friend joined the group with her two small boys. After many sheep were petted and cookies consumed, we headed around front to meet the horses.

The sheep all had full tummies and quickly settled in for their mid morning naps...except Graham. As we visited with Handy and fed Hickory some cookies (that boy will eat anything), Graham nonchalantly wandered out from around the back end of the barn.

"Oh look, isn't he cute. He wants another cookie!"

I was in Handy's stall, letting a couple kids pet him, with my back to Graham. I heard a scream, quickly glanced over to see him jumping on my friend with the cookies. She's been around here enough so I think she's okay, just startled...but then I see it. Her skirt.

In jumping up, Graham catches the bottom edge of her skirt with his hoof...and pulls it to the ground. Yes, all the way to the ground. The mother and I quickly avert our eyes to give our friend a second to put herself back together.

I glance back and the skirt is still on the ground. She's obviously trying to pull it up... The mother and I again avert our eyes and stay focused on the kids and horse. What else are you going to do in a situation like that?

Oh, you could do like the other friend, one of the cookie friend's best friends. She comes around the front of the barn upon hearing all the commotion, takes one look at cookie friend with a huge sheep STANDING ON HER SHORT RUNNING SKIRT and screams in laughter. I'd been dying to do the same and cut loose. The mother? She was more worried cookie friend might be hurt. She's obviously new around here ;-).

Sadly no one thought to grab a camera, but we will never again have to struggle to pick the very best Bad Graham story ever.


I should probably never say never in regards to Graham.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Wood Working Olympics

This may not be of any interest to anyone but me, but as someone who's spent almost all of her horse life living out of her horse trailer or beat up tack trunks in front of rented stalls, this is a highlight.

We knew when we moved here that the workshop/tack room had potential, but like things happen, it fell pretty far down the list of priorities...and nine years later... I wish I'd taken some pictures of "the hole" before we started.

It did have a concrete floor. Sort of. The concrete had been poured by hand years ago and was rough and sloped as this part of the barn was then used for hogs. It fell below grade, water ran through it, tack molded. If you left the doors open to ventilate, the stupid Adventure Chickens came in and threw wild parties. The ceiling sagged, the lights didn't work, you get the picture.

New concrete. New ceiling. New/checked wiring. New insulation. New lights. New paneling. Saint Tim did all that with some help from 20's Uncle John. I did some of the trim work, stained, varnished, complained about the heat, sweating, being thirsty... ;-)

I also designed and built two free standing saddle racks and a whip holder.

Four wall mounted saddle racks.

I had to be talked into this bareback pad and Miss G was right - it's awesome :-).

A bridle rack.

Got carried away and built a rolling tack cleaning cabinet thingy.

These tack hooks have been with me for years. Two work well for cleaning harness.

And finished off (for now ;-) with a cooler/blanket rack. That's supposed to be Handy on this end and Hickory is on the other.

The Trunk Fantastic. This was a neat project. John designed it from looking at several examples on the internet and some input from me. As best I could tell, he did it all in his head. Even the maths. With fractions. He let me hang out and "help" and taught me all sorts of neat wood working tricks that I wished I'd known before I hacked my way through the above projects.

Regardless, I love my tack room :-D.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I Guess You Could Be *This* Cute

Back in the good ole days when the grass was green, sometimes too cool to sit on for very long and Blossom was just a wee lambie, I was sitting out in the yard with her, catching up on some stockpiled magazines. This was pre-cot days, so she had to curl up on the spring issue of Handwoven magazine ;-).

I snapped a picture with my iPhone and posted it on one of their forums. They included it in their current issue :-).

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How Much Cuter Do I Have To Be???

I don't even want to know how he knows I forgot to include his picture yesterday.

Monday, August 6, 2012


These long hot afternoons... The temperature is down a bit today, but the humidity is way high and just wearing me down. I've been a pretty darn good sport about it all for weeks and weeks and weeks. I can't promise how much longer that will last :-o.

To top it all off, something's wrong with Marcel :-/. Something urinary, but his ultrasound and urine smear showed only minor crystals, no stones. Bladder stones are almost always a death sentence, so that was a bit of good news...except that leaves us with what really is the problem??? We are treating for stones (just in case they are just starting) and a UTI (only other possibility we can come up with). Any thoughts?

So, while it would be nice to be sitting inside in the AC watching the Olympics and knitting on the Jester sweater, I'm sitting out in the sheep shed, watching. At least I'm in good company. Even if they are all asleep ;-).

The Keebster.

The Hankster. There's a funny Twitter picture of him from earlier today.

Lila. She has developed the funniest tuft of hair smack on the top of her head. You might be able to see it if you biggify. Gives her a bit of a Flintstones look. Would it be mean to take a picture of that? Like maybe if we all promised not to laugh? Too loudly?

Marcel, finally laying down to take a nap with his buds. I'm hoping this is a good sign - as opposed to mostly standing up and hiding away by himself. Poor Marcel :-(. Him leaning on my leg as I rub his ears trying to make him feel a little better is breaking my heart. Such a sweet guy.

Keebs, Sherman and B. Willard. Almost like Neapolitan ice cream. This shot is focused on Willard in the back, with my aperture set to blur out the front.

And vice versa.

Which do you like better?

"She's never going to get my sweater finished at this rate."

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sunday Stills - Sports

In honor of the Olympics, lets try for some sports shots. You may be able to find some sporting activities in your own backyard (I’ve seen some epic battles at the hummingbird feeder), but it might be fun to grab your camera and head to a community park and look for a softball game, swim meet, bike race, horse shoe tournament, etc. Take your kids, grandkids, family dog…

Saint Tim has been competing in the Elkhorn Creek Kayak Fishing Series this summer.

The Elkhorn is a pretty creek, just shy of being long enough to be a river.

An enjoyable day even if you don't win a gold medal.

For more Sunday Stills...


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