Friday, November 29, 2013

Another Sunrise

Actually, this is the same sunrise from yesterday, just a few minutes later.   I love how light hits one thing and then another and then the sun rises.  See the fence out back?

Little gifts. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Not A Creature Was Stirring...

Wait...wrong holiday.  It's just really cold here this morning and everyone is sleeping in ;-).

Happy Thanksgiving!  

Every day.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanks Everybody

"I had a great birthday :-).  Mom says we helped fill a bunch of backpacks!"

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Maisie!

I tried to pick my favorite baby Maisie picture for today, but I just couldn't.  It's fun to scroll back through them all.  Here are a couple you may not have seen - from her actual birth day. 

Tucked in Annmarie's coveralls.  Loved from the start :-).

Her first bottle.  She'd been tube fed all day, but figured out that bottle in no time ;-).

Maisie's always been a good eater.  She knows more than most how important it is for kids to get the good food they need.  For lambs in the past we've done Happy Birthdays that have benefited Best Friends and the local humane societies.  For Maisie's birthday, we'd like to feed some hungry children.

I learned about the Feeding America BackPack Program as an outreach from the Bluegrass Beekeepers club.  I'd never even dreamed that there were kids in America who didn't have enough to eat.  It's true, and right in our own backyards :-/.  

"There are children in America that rely on resources such as free or reduced-priced school lunch during the school year. The BackPack Program is designed to meet the needs of hungry children at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations."

  • Backpacks are filled with food that children take home on weekends.

  • All of the food is child-friendly, nonperishable, easily consumed and vitamin fortified. 

  • Backpacks are discreetly distributed to children on the last day before the weekend or vacation

  • In addition to providing nutritious food to school children in need, some BackPack Programs provide extra food for younger siblings at home. Others operate during the summer when children are out of school and have limited access to free or reduced-priced lunches.

  • The BackPack Program became a pilot program in 1995. Feeding America approved the BackPack Program as an official national program of the network in 2006.

  • More than 145 Feeding America members operate more than 3,600 BackPack Programs and collectively serve more than 190,000 children each year.

  • In FY 2011, God’s Pantry Food Bank  (our local food bank) worked with 12 BackPack partner schools, distributing more than 15,700 packs to children in need.  

"I could fill a back pack!"

"I'd put in some Cheerios and some cookies and dog biscuits."

"And hay too, 'cause it's nutritious and yummy." 

What's actually the most helpful is money.  That way your food bank can buy in bulk and get exactly what they need throughout the year.  We can all do that.  Even a little bit can help.  Today, for everyone who leaves a comment wishing her a happy birthday, we'll donate a dollar to Maisie's local BackPack Program

 Happy Birthday, Maisie!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Stills - One Picture Of Your Favorite Subject

I've missed participating in Sunday Stills. What a crazy year. I couldn't pass up this challenge though.  Thanks, Ed!

Simple yet challenging, find the ONE pic that shows your favorite subject to photograph. 

Remember a week or so ago when I was sitting out with the sheep and the sun was shining warm and it wasn't 13 degrees?  Yeah...a perfect day :-).  When Hershey got up, the first thing he did was go over and see what Hank was up to.  He was taking a nap.  Trying to take a nap. 

"Whatchu doin', Hank?"

"Takin' a nap."

"Whatchu doin', Hank?"

"Taking a nap!!!"

"Whatchu doin', Hank?"

And this is where Hank finally had enough and reached up and let Hershey know he was TAKING A NAP!!! 

This was a couple of seconds before that.  Hank is covering his face, hoping Hershey will go away.  We've all been there with Hershey on occasion ;-).  It's a simple photo, not super interesting to anyone but probably me.  However, it has one of my favorite sheep, one of my favorite dogs, on one of my favorite farms, at one of my favorite times of the day, during one of my favorite times of the year and it tells me one of my favorite stories - friendship.  It would be hard to pick my favorite, favorite subject...but this gets it pretty close ;-).

For more Sunday Stills...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Sneak Peak

Maisie's birthday is Monday! We have something special planned, so make sure you check in that day, especially if you are an "email subscriber" as I think your posts show up a day late. Here is a sneak peak, behind the scenes.  Thanks, Uncle John.  You captured a little bit of all sorts of silly fun and friends :-).

A couple things to note, Maisie is perfectly happy to wear a PINK backpack.  If we'd have just made her a pink wizard costume for Halloween...

Watch Chocula climbing up on the gate in the background.  That's his special talent and is going to show up again somewhere else I'm pretty sure ;-).

Have a great weekend :-D

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sunny With A Side Of Fall Flowers

Obviously not today's forecast...

And Comby really doesn't sleep all the time ;-).

Thursday, November 21, 2013

All Grown Up

While the chickens were busy out front the other morning, here's what was happening on the other side of the barn.  What happens every morning on the other side of the barn ;-).  Coincidentally, a couple of these nappers have had their baby pictures featured in the last few posts.  I've had fun looking back through those old photographs.

Wouldn't it be fun to do a then and now feature for all our lambs? Would you believe Ewen McTeagle was a speckled lambie? That B. Willard was solid black? And of course there's Keebs, who even I might have to admit was possibly the cutest lamb in the entire world.  It's worth scrolling way back through his (all the lamb's) labeled posts (on the right side of the blog).  What a little turkey ;-). If I'd known a little lot more about photography then...

Keebler 2009

In the meantime, here are some recently featured lambs (and Woolliam ;-), all grown up.

PPPP (Popcorn Pee Pee Pants) chewing cud in her sleep :-).

Emily and Casper Belly

Woolliam, President of the Cool Hair Club

"Hey, how come you don't have any lamb pictures of me?"

"I'm still a lamb, right?"

Yes, Maisie, you still are for a couple more days....but you'll always be my baby girl :-).

* * * * * * * *

Ack!!!  Baby pics of Woolliam - just sent from his birth farm!  Thanks Sheepmom :-D. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Silly Kids

I saw a flash of brown and white out the front and then side windows of the Wool House yesterday afternoon.  Since I didn't hear Hank barking, I knew nothing was wrong and that it was probably some silly lambs racing around, playing :-).  I quickly stepped out to watch.

Early evening is the time things start ramping up around here.  All the early morning, mid-morning, late morning, noon, early afternoon, mid-afternoon and late afternoon napping and snacking is over and it's time to start thinking about dinner...and settling into bed.  

Buddy and Elizabeth always sound the dinner "bell" just in case there's a chance I might forget.  If it's not too hot, Hank starts bouncing around some, hoping someone will play chase with him.  And yesterday, Hershey, Chocula, Daniel and Maisie got wound up and put on quite a show.

I wish I'd caught the whole thing on video.  Even Renny and Willard were running and jumping around in the beginning.  I stood there and laughed and laughed...and then thought to turn on the camera.  Here is a short clip of things winding down.  I love that Maisie was in the mix, playing with her "little" brothers. 

Speaking of Maisie, can you believe it's almost her first birthday?!?

We have something special planned :-D.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Blast From The Past

I needed to find a high resolution photograph of Sunshine. I knew which photo I wanted, but hmmm...when was she born? I looked her up on the blog - July 2008. Yikes. 2008? Where on earth would those pictures be?  My photo organizing skills rank right up there with my pantry organization skills.  As in, we could starve to death in this house...with a pantry full of food...that we can't find...

This is a picture of Heidi and Sunshine I copied over from an old blog post.  I re-size all my pictures to a lower resolution before I post them to make them easier for folks with slow internet connections to load them.  I'd like to find this in its original form, but that's a job for another day.  I did find the following photos though (and the one I was looking for, so there! ;-) and while they aren't great pictures, it was sure fun to look back at them and I'm so glad I have them...somewhere.

Emily and Casper Belly

Another one.

A group shot.  I'd forgotten that Clover Belly was that much older then Sunshine and Casper Belly.

Sunshine, for all her problems, lived her life to the fullest.  Frequently just a blur :-).

And cheeky from Day One.  Clover Belly looks like she's not quite sure how to take her!

This all seems like a hundred years ago sometimes.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Best Part Of The Day

After everyone's been "checked in" and the morning chores are done. The sheep start to settle in for their (first) morning nap. In the summer Hank finds a cool, shady spot to take a nap. This time of year he flops down right in the middle of the barn lot. Maisie and Daniel stand next to me, one on each side, wanting a little extra attention...and their faces rubbed. Henri paws my knee cap so I won't forget her back scratches, too. Once my hands are free I grab what's left of my coffee and go sit on the Grahaminator.  And think about staying there all day :-).

Some scratch for the chickens...and the birds.

They all eat together for a bit.

And then the Welsommers head around back to the sheep stalls.

The Americaunas clean up anything remaining and Hickory thinks about taking a nap.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Who IS That Cute Lambie?

I stuck a bookmark in with each calendar and have received several "Which lamb is that?" emails.  That's Popcorn Pee Pee Pants :-D.  She was our first Equinox Farm bottle lamb, almost 10 (!) years ago.  Punkin was my very first bottle lamb, 21 (!) years ago.  

Pee Pee was supposed to be Pearl.  She was born in January on a nearby friend's farm.  It was a brutally cold winter and since we didn't have any other lambs to buddy her up with out in the barn, we decided she could stay in the kitchen an "extra long" time, about five (!) weeks.

She was a silly little Border Cheviot lamb and was bouncing around the kitchen in no time and her name got changed to Popcorn.  After five (!) weeks mopping up pee spots...her name morphed into Pee Pee and we'd call out "Pee Pee Pee Pee" and she'd come running.  Her full name became Popcorn Pee Pee Pants (PPPP) and she's never been called Pearl since.

I'd gone somewhere and left Saint Tim home babysitting.  I came home and he said "You're not going to believe what Pee Pee did.  I think I got some cute pictures."  Yes he did!  He'd seen her sitting there and snuck around the outside of the house to get the shot lined up down on her level.  It was taken with a simple point and shoot camera, further proof that you do not need an expensive camera to take nice pictures!

Pee Pee looks like she was a couple weeks old and it must have been a warm, sunny morning because she wasn't wearing her little gray coat.  I only have a few pictures of her as a baby :-(.  It was before I realized how much I enjoyed taking pictures.  Back in those days Iris didn't mind being a babysitter.  It was before she realized how little she enjoyed bottle lambs ;-).  All the lambs have loved climbing on that wicker furniture. 

When I finally got her moved out of the house I remember thinking, "Whew, that was a LOT of work.  I don't believe  I'll be doing that again!"

You know the rest of that story ;-).

Friday, November 15, 2013

Renny And Hershey

Sitting in a tree...

Hershey's delusionally pretty sure that Renny wants to be his girlfriend.

I tried to explain that with a hairdo like that...

"I know.  I tried to tell him too."

"Can't you do something about this?  I do NOT want to be his girlfriend."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Yarning And Wovembering Along

I'm enjoying playing around with the colors and patterning for my winter mittens.  The cuff is good I think, sort of a simple holly leaf look.  The next section...I don't like how it's centered so am taking it back down and adding in one extra stitch so I can move it over and give it a completely centered look because that's totally irrationally important ;-). 

I have a little over 350 yards of the black Jacob/Texel spun.  I am super happy with this yarn and can't wait to start weaving.  I think it's going to make a fabulous throw.

It's a lot of dark, solid color though.  I think an accent color, maybe a group of stripes running the length, would be nice.  My original thought was gray, but the "black" is more of a dark, dark, dark brown.  Sort of a warm black...if that makes sense.  Maybe a brown stripe would be better?  

Just for example/experiment I pulled out a handful of the walnut dyed roving.  Also a chunk of white. Which do you prefer?  Or something completely different? 

Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along...even though I don't have a new book...again...and the Wovember Wool Along.  If you aren't following all the neat, neat stuff for Wovember, I encourage you to do so!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's Such A Freezing Day

Yeah. Doesn't have quite the same ring to it ;-).

When I let Iris and Weaslie out this morning I got a kick out of our "white" fencing.  The first snow.  I also saw a few brave sheep venturing out, so grabbed the camera.  I knew Hank would be in the lead.  He's a snow dog :-).  And even if he wasn't, he's a still-head-out-with-his-sheeps-after-a-long-night-at-work-even-if-he-hated-snow-sort-of-dog. 

And who were the snow sheep?

Aw, it's Blossom and Maisie.  I always like to be out there to see the lamb's first experience with snow.  Not so with Maisie.  We lived it last year.  And yes, Chocula did try to come out with Blossom, but he's so afraid of her "dad" that he turned tail and ran back to the barn.  With the rest of the sheep ;-).

Monday, November 11, 2013

Perfect Day

I'm bad for getting songs stuck in my head. Usually it's something irritating.  Really irritating. The current one though is that non-irritating Lou Reed song Perfect Day that they are using to advertise PlayStation 4.  I finally looked up the lyrics, just for curiosity, as I don't think I've ever heard the song all the way through.  I'm not sure exactly how to take it, but if you've got to get a chorus stuck in your head on a beautiful fall day, then...

Oh, it's such a perfect day.
I'm glad I spent it with you.

...probably isn't a bad one ;-).

I'd walked up to the barn to start my next winterizing project and saw the entire flock napping in front of the horse stalls.  Usually that means the gate's blown shut and they are stuck out there, because inside the barn is their preferred napping spot.  Nope.  They too were enjoying a perfect day.  I went back to the house for my camera and joined them.

Allie, Boudreaux, Ford and Henri

For anyone wondering if that lil' speckled lamb with the wrinkly nose outgrew all that.  Nope :-).

Chocula and Hershey came over and sat down next to me.  About the time they got comfy, most everyone else decided to go back out.  Chocula's girlfriend (Blossom ;-) left, so he had to go with her.  Hershey stayed with me.

Daniel and B. Willard and Graham stayed, too.  As did Keebs and Lila.

Clover pillow.

Mom pillow.

Oh, it's such a perfect day.
I'm glad I spent it with you.

Friday, November 8, 2013


One of the biggest concerns heading into early fall, is making sure you have enough hay for the upcoming winter.  An empty loft in October is nerve wracking.  We've used the same hay man for many years now.  I trusted him when he told me that with the wet summer, our orchard grass hay was going to be late.  He's never let me down.  Still, the first week of November...

I took this picture walking back to the house the other evening after Lewis and his boys (every year a new batch of ag kids from the high school) had delivered and stacked the first load of hay.  



I glanced over at the setting sun and saw thousands of spider web threads.  The entire yard was covered and the sun glinted off every one.  It took less than two minutes to run to the house and grab my camera, but the sun had already started dropping down behind the trees.  The sun sets (and moon rises) fast if you take a minute to watch.  Even late, with only a few webs still shimmering, I thought it was  amazing.

The yearly hay delivery is a rush.  The rush of relief for us knowing we'll have plenty to feed, the rush of excitement for for the sheep knowing they'll have plenty to eat.  Our older sheep KNOW the hay truck.  Heck, they probably know Lewis himself and enjoy as much as I do hearing about the Kentucky Wildcats, what's going on around town and what we'd all do if we won the lottery...

After the bales are unloaded I scoop off any loose hay remaining on the trailer and toss it into the sheep lot.  As we still have quite a bit of green grass left this fall, it's not yet time to start feeding hay, so it's a special treat for them and I get just as much enjoyment watching them push and shove trying to hoover up every scrap.  

We have a lot of sheep.  Well, to me it's a lot.  We feed a lot of hay.  I remember being a kid with just one horse to support and being able to buy only 20 bales at a time.  Hay is expensive.  Our sheep will need 200 bales this winter.  That's a big check and it still makes me a little weak in the knees to write it.  

This year every bite of hay our sheep will eat has been paid for by calendar sales.

By you.



And even some of the grain we feed the youngsters and oldsters.

I'm not writing this to brag.  I am writing this to humbly say thank you...with a whole barn full's worth of gratitude.  Not only for all the orders, but also for all the kind emails that came with them.  I had no idea how far our little farm reached and the joy (and sometimes sorrow) that we all are sharing daily here, the sun glinting off each and every one of us.

Thank you.

Thank you.


Saint Tim and thecrazysheeplady, Hank, Iris and Weaslie, Betsy, Eli, Comby and Claire Bear, T-Bone and Hickory, Ewen McTeagle, Buddy, Boudreaux, Elizabeth, Jester, Peabody, Popcorn Pee Pee Pants, Ford, Beanie Baby, Emily, Annabelly, Casper Belly, Baby Belly, Billy Belly, Clover Belly, Petunia, Woolliam, Rebecca Boone, Heidi, Henrietta, B. Willard, Daniel Not-Boone, Count Chocula, Hershey, Maisie, Blossom, Lila, Keebler, Graham Lamb, Allie, Mia, Renny and all our guardian angels.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Yarn Along - Mittens

My new WIP (work in progress).  I'm really enjoying joining in Ginny's (say that three times :-) Yarn Along every Wednesday because it keeps me motivated gives me an excuse to always keep something on my needles. Why I think I need an excuse...  Sigh.

I've been wanting to try another Fair Isle project.  I've been wanting to try over-dyeing some of my gray Jacob wool.  Where two projects fit together like a glove...or cheerful winter mittens :-D. 

I have some leftover yarn from the Jester sweater, so after the Hug a Sheep party, dye woman extraordinaire Karen pulled out her box of dyes (and her dyeing microwave!) and we had a bunch of fun getting the exact colors I was hoping for.  Well, the lighter green was an experiment, but now I have the complete confidence to go get my own dyes and toss it back into the pot :-). 

I love how fiber folks are so willing to share their skills (and microwaves :-).  I really appreciate all the help I've received over the years and hope I'm doing a good job, in turn, of paying that forward. 

I'm a hair short on the MC (main color) gray yarn.  I knew going in that was probably going to be the case.  My first thought was to make the cuffs a different color, but then I remembered I had 4 ounces of Jester left from an earlier shearing tucked away in my SABLE (stash accumulation beyond life expectancy ;-). 

It's not the exact same "dye lot" but it's a very similar blend of his natural black and white.  That blend of black and white is what gives the gray yarn a slightly tweedy look which also shines through on the dyed colors.  I can't wait to start knitting!

Now for my design.  I can see it in my mind.  Getting it on paper?  Stay tuned :-).

And look - the sun came out :-D.

So, book-wise, I'm still reading The Improbable Shepherd by Sylvia Jorrin.  I'll leave you with another quote from the book.  Recognize anyone?

"I try to hold in my mind's eye forever that one moment when he lifts his face and looks at me and begins to run across the field, tail making circles in the air."


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