Saturday, August 31, 2013

Good Morning!


This was actually yesterday morning.  It had cooled way down during the night and the fog was thick.  Last night it didn't cool down and the air was hot and heavy.  Miserable.  Now it's raining.  If I can hold on for a couple more days, the worst of summer will be behind me.  I hope ;-).

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Cookie Bandits

After Maisie got her trim, Bill offered to fix my shearing job clean up around Hershey's "unmentionables".  I thought the easiest thing would be to just let all the boys into the barn, assuming the other three would explore, raid the hay stall, knock stuff over...for the minute Hershey would be in the barber chair.  Not ones to miss any tricks, as soon as Bill grabbed Hershey, they all headed back to the front of the barn where they just happened to remember seeing a box of cookies sitting out. 

Stella headed down to intervene.

And pick everything up.

And, excuse me?!?  Give them cookies???

All I can say is the next time a certain someone tries to say I'm "spoiling these sheep", she'd better remember when one finger is pointed at someone else, there are THREE POINTED BACK AT YOU!  ;-)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back To School Haircuts

Bill Haudenschield was here Tuesday to shear the longwools (Buddy, Woolliam, B. Willard, Rebecca Boone and Keebs). I had him give Maisie a little trim too.

I'm sad this is blurry.   Doesn't she take the funniest pictures? :-D

Since Maisie was born at an odd time of year  (the end of November) I didn't want to shear her with everyone else back in March and have to throw away her lamb fleece because it would have been too short.  I'd like to wait until next spring to shear her with the rest of the "lambs" (that were born in April) but I was worried with the extra few months of growth that she was hot.  

In addition, besides Cheerios, Maisie's favorite thing is getting tummy rubs.  I started doing that when she was a wee baby with tummy troubles and it seemed to make her feel better, sort of like burping a baby.  Turns out all lambs like that, even the "normal" ones, so now every night they all line up for tummy rubs.  Hershey gets the best one because he's nekkid.  The wool gets in the way ;-).

Since the belly wool is always tossed anyway, I decided that a partial clip would free up Maisie's tummy rub spots and give her some late summer ventilation.  I warned Bill that she was an extra sassy little lamb and he'd have his work cut out for him.  She of course proved me wrong.  Kids... ;-).

"You're gonna do what to me?"

"Oh my.  This is odd."

"I'm just gonna close my eyes and hope it'll be over soon."

"He shaved my unmentionables!"

"I did a good job?  That's all there is to it?"

Turns out that wasn't all wool under there.  Look at that tummy! :-o

"You okay?  What'dya mean they shaved your unmentionables?"

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Yarn Along - Week Two

The idea of the Small Things Yarn Along is to share what we are knitting or crocheting and what we are reading right now.  I can't seem to find the time to do both along with farm work and all the hours I spend cooking and, okay, so mostly just farm work ;-)...but I will share that I'm "connecting with" knitting on Elizabeth's sweater and being mighty distracted by the latest issue of Spin-off, which I think may be the best issue I've ever read glanced through in the almost 10 years I've subscribed.  

I can't wait for lunch.  I can eat with one hand and turn pages with the other - a win/win.  I could knit and eat at the same time...but that's not worked out so well for me in the past.  How people read and knit at the same time...

A couple close ups.

The corgi photo bomb.

The longwools all got their "ears lowered" yesterday and Miss Maisie got a little trim too.  Pictures tomorrow :-).

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Sunrise

Good morning!

I had fun letting my camera meter the light off different areas.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Spinning Thick And Thin - Spider Style

Cute cat picture at the end if you can hang in there ;-). 

Hand spinners control the thickness of their yarn by how much fiber they feed out as they spin.  If you are wanting a super fine lace weight yarn, you might only  allow a few strands of wool/hair at a time.  For a chunky yarn, well, I guess there could be hundreds of strands depending on how fine the fibers are.  A Merino sheep has much finer wool than, say, a Cotswold.

I was out early this morning taking some more pretty August foggy sunrise shots and remembered, finally, that I wanted to try to get some family photos of our garage spider collection.  The light is good there in the morning and I was hoping the dew would help showcase their beautiful webs.  Yesterday I noticed a web stretching from the roof down to the ground.  That's a big web, even by my standards.

You know I love my spiders, especially the writing spiders.  I've read Charlotte's Web several times, even as an adult.  The side of our garage is home to many, many spiders throughout the summer, in all sizes/ages from tiny babies to mongo grandparents and I like to think they are all related.  They probably are, but I don't guess I can say for sure.  In my world though, they're one big family.

This is the spider with the big web.  She is a big spider, one of the biggest I've seen of this variety.  That's a big shadow too and that was my original thought - to take an interesting picture with the spider and her shadow.   I noticed that the spider was behaving oddly though and stopped to watch.  She's writing!

You may/should want to click to biggify. 

This is where it starts to get messy.  I'm not sure why, but I thinking she's probably saying "That's enough  pictures of my butt!" 

See that mosquito?  He won't be biting anyone this evening! Be kind to spiders.

Isn't this a gorgeous web?  Spinning, thick and thin.

Wikipedia has a great article on Writing Spiders

"That is one big dang spider!"

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What The What?!?

"They cut off all my hair!"

The gratuitous "before" shot.

Hershey has had a lot of wool.  It's been an unusually cool summer, so up to this point I didn't feel like he was terribly stressed and thought he could hold out for the fall shearing.  The other night though, when I was playing Chase Me with the boys and he didn't want to run and jump as much as the others, I decided he was headed to buzz cut city.

Chase Me is a great game.  Similar to racing around with Hank when the weather turns cool, you just gotta get 'em started and the next thing you know they are boing boing boing-ing all over, racing back and forth, running into each other, Daniel can jump over the top of any of them, Bitey Whitey had a wipe out the other night and ended up with green knees...  Good times :-).

"Oh, man, that's one sweet mullet!"

"What's a mullet?"

"Blossom said I was cute!  She really did!"

"Dude, you look ridiculous."

Don't listen to them Hershey.  I think you're very handsome!  They're just mad they didn't get a haircut and now you are going to be able to run just as fast as they do ;-).

And don't worry boys.  Bill will be here in another week or so. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Yarn Along!

Every Wednesday I see my friends joining the Small Things Yarn Along and my first thought is always "Holy Moly, is it really Wednesday again already?!?"  Finally, I'm here!

I'm undertaking another epic spinning and knitting challenge.  Well, any time I'm actually knitting is pretty epic...  Anyway, I've been saying for a couple years now that I sure wish I'd have gotten Elizabeth's sweater done before something happened to her.  She's a very integral part of the farm - the queen! - and to be able to have a picture of us together, dressed alike would be a huge honor. 

We were sure she'd not make it through this past cold, wet spring, but she's a tough old bird and again proved us wrong, a popular Jacob trait ;-).  A couple weeks ago I said once again that I was sad I hadn't knitted anything for her...and duh, what was stopping me???

She's having a pretty good summer and after finally accepting that I wasn't a complete moron and that maybe living in a retirement facility with lots of grass and no steps to negotiate was actually a pretty good deal, there's not much reason to think this will be an impossible task.

My plan for yesterday was to spend my birthday hanging out in the barn with the sheep.  I didn't spend the whole day out there, but did get to eat oats(meal ;-) for breakfast, gave Maisie extra tummy rubs, Hershey a hair cut and found a shady corner to sit and knit with Elizabeth.  Saint Tim fed the cookies and snuck in a couple pictures.  It was a good day :-).

Okay, to catch up, here are/was 26 ounces of Elizabeth singles.

1400 yards of finished two ply.

The pattern I've picked.

And with a little help from Petunia, I am underway. 

Oops, almost forgot to include what I'm reading these days.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Probably Not A Good Sign

When buzzards show up on your birthday :-o.

Yeah, that's right.  Keep flying!


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