Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Birthday Girl

Since I'm terrible at remembering actual dates, I just always remember Maisie was born early Sunday morning of the Turkey Trot Dog Trial.  Is it just me or does it seem like way longer than two years ago???

"This is the best birthday cake ever!"

"Hey, how come you didn't light my candle?"

Getting every. last. Cheerio.

"Oh, I missed one?"

"How come I can't have any birthday cake?"

Not to worry.  Everyone got to share the "cake".  And look!  There's a kitty at the party with Kate :-). Actually, Claire Bear was there, too.  Good Girl, Kate!

Kate is on a lead only because coming from a real sheep farm, we weren't sure how she'd feel about one very opinionated sheep loose in the middle of the driveway chowing down on a box of Cheerios. I think she'd be just as happy to herd Cheerios ;-).

And like all good parties, it rapidly deteriorated into Maisie punching stuff.  Yes, that's her foot all the way up there!

And Maisie punching people.

And trying to grind them into the dirt.

Martha Stewart Pro tip - you need to anchor the "cake" box to the straw bale "table".  John used a couple big nail spikes.

And as the box is empty, John is trying to remove the nails, because the last thing The Danger Lamb needs is either an open candle flame or a rusty nail to gulp down :-o.


The little stinker.

"Who me?"

Happy Birthday Silly Girl.  We love you very much :-).

*     *     *     *     *

Let's see how many people we can get to wish Maisie a Happy Birthday!

There are two Christmas card designs featuring Crazy Miss Maisie, Baked With Love and Two Eyes Made Out Of Coal.  For every 25 people wishing Maisie a Happy Birthday here in the comments, we'll draw for a box of cards, winner's pick.  For example, if 75 people say Happy Birthday, we'll give away three boxes of Christmas cards...

Yes, it's that time of year already!

And no, I haven't started painting this year's design :-o.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Just What I Needed

The last few weeks have just been an almost out of control blur.  Yesterday was yet another crazy busy day.  I went into Lexington to help a friend with Thanksgiving services at four area hospitals. After playing We Gather Together and Come, Ye Thankful People, Come over and over and over and over, I'm thankful that it's almost time for some Christmas hymns ;-).

In lieu of a "sermon", everyone who wanted to could contribute what they were thankful for.  It was interesting to sit behind my piano and listen.  Of course family was high up on everyone's list. Having work, support from co-workers, friends, health, making it through challenging times, getting up everyone morning, enjoying the sunrises and the sunsets...  I hope the few people who didn't speak up were just too shy. 

I'd managed to dig out a pair of un-muddy shoes, pressed a clean pair of khakis, picked all the hay off my sheep sweater (I've been known to "bring a bit of the manger with me" to church on Sundays ;-). I shook hands, made small talk, pretty much looked like I fit in, but I never really do feel like that when I'm in town. A country mouse in the city.

When I got home I changed back into my barn clothes and muddy boots.  The dogs raced me to the gate and we headed out for a walk in the back field.  It had been a beautiful day...and I'd been cooped up in too many, too hot, too crowded rooms.  I stood up on the hill and took a deep breath. And another.  And thought about all the things I was thankful for.  And realized that, really, we weren't all that different.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

*     *     *     *     *

Beautiful sunrises and sunsets
Friends who like to take walks at the end of a busy day
Green grass at the end of  November
A barn full of hay for when that grass is covered in snow
Too much work to do - because that beats not enough to do...or so I'm told ;-)

What's on your list?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Playing Good In The Neighborhood

Frisbee trumps stick any day!

"Aren't I charming?  Look into my beautiful brown eyes.  You want to throw the frisbee.  You know you do.  Come on.  Throw the frisbee..."

Kate!  Don't you dare tear up that nice frisbee!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Working Good In The Neighborhood

"Look what blew out of that tree!"

"I'm pretty sure it shouldn't be here..."

"...or at least looks like it would be fun to play with!"

"I'll get to work removing it."



"What?  Time to go to work?"

"I'm on it!"

Meet Kate!  She's a very well trained nine year old Border Collie from Fetch Gate Farm who's been there, done that with sheep.  And sticks ;-).  She was a very successful trial dog who's ready to settle down a little and we are hoping our farm will be just the spot for her.

Other than a little trouble with being a little too, um, "friendly" with the cats, she's been great. She's very sweet, very friendly, hard working, obviously loves to play, gets along with Hank and Weaslie, been patient with our uneducated sheep, likes to ride in the car, good in the house...a perfect fit.

Kate and I spent this past weekend working at The Training Center.  They are getting ready for the Turkey Trot Dog Trial Thanksgiving weekend and we were to keep sheep moving along into the shearing trailer.  In the past I've done that with hands/hips/back/arms/legs...  I was interested to see how a good dog could help.

Since I don't have any experience with a trained working dog, I was concerned that I wouldn't be smart enough to tell her what I needed her to do and also that maybe she wouldn't listen to me even if I was.  You know the whole Will Rogers "If you think you're a person of some influence, try ordering someone else's dog around..."  Not to worry.  With some instruction from Vergil and Annmarie, we were up and running in no time.  

Kate moved sheep from the big pen into the little pen, from the little pen into the chute, stop and wait for the shearer to catch up, move more sheep into the chute, wait, more sheep into the chute, wait, more sheep from the bigger pen...  She did this for two long days and was sad there wasn't a third day. I was so proud of her.

There will definitely never be another Iris, but there is definitely room in our hearts for Kate.  We are all working hard to teach her the only thing she doesn't know (Leave those kitties alone, Miss Kate!) and I think it will all work out.  She's very smart and I bet a couple more scratches on her nose from Comby will make her even smarter ;-).

Friday, November 21, 2014

Resting Good In The Neighborhood

I set out the hay in the morning while everything was covered in snow.  Before they could finish it off, the snow melted and grass trumps hay any day.  That's okay, Hank got good use from it :-).

He loves his boys :-).

A nice soft bed surrounded by sheeps.  I just don't think it gets any better than that.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Eating Good In The Neighborhood

The first snow of the winter fall is almost gone. I just love to see sheep napping out in the winter fall sun :-).

B. Willard

Baaxter Black

Crazy Miss Maisie

Blossom, alias Baba ;-)

An unbelievably huge thank you for all the calendar, card and other orders over the last couple of weeks.  I think I have everything shipped (except wreaths and felted sheep - keep on me about them!), so if you haven't received your package from me, let me know.

I loved, loved, loved all the kind notes that accompanied many of the orders and payments, especially ones that reminded me of stories and pictures past, happy and sad.  What a gift to treasure.  The stories, yes, but also the reminders that show the stories stay alive for years and years.  It matters.

After the long frozen winter of last year that had everyone scrambling for extra hay long before it was even close to being over, we decided to order an extra 100 bales of hay right up front.  Saint Tim and Uncle John even added a new loft to hold it all.  

It's all (even the extra 100 bales) paid for, once again, by you.  Every. last. bale.  And the cookie coffer is overflowing as well.  

A humble thank you, thank you, thank you.

It matters.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Balmy 17 Degrees This Morning

The light wind must be coming up from the south though as it didn't feel that cold.  Supposed to go up to 40 today.  A veritable heat wave for November ;-).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Snowy Vista

Ford looks pretty happy in Del Boca Vista :-).

With his buddy Jester close by and cousin Henri just inside.  

An Odd Turn Of Events

...for the middle of November.  Three inches of snow and 10 degrees tonight sounds more like January!

At least the house is toasty warm.  The furnace woes of last year are over and just in the nick of time!

*     *     *     *     *

Here is a link to the auction for Karen's shawl.

You'll find some other excellent treasures there as well :-). 

Friday, November 14, 2014

While They Were Waiting

One of the ladies helped Karen spin and knit a gorgeous shawl and scarf.

This shawl is going to be auctioned off as a fund raiser for a cancer organization.  I'll post a link when it's available.

There are beads on both pieces.  You can see them pretty well in the shawl, but they are there on the scarf as well.  Never discount the wool from "commercial" sheep.  So pretty.

I'm bummed that blogger seems to be having trouble posting pictures these last couple of days.  I think if you click to "biggify" the pictures  should clear up.  Sigh.

Update - looks like it's back to normal, so I re-loaded all the pictures.  Much better :-).

And here's a link to the auction.


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