Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The After Party

"Please, ma'am, may I have some birthday cake?"

Oh course you can, sweet Daniel :-).  That's Liddy behind Maisie.

And you too, Baba (Blossom, Maisie's best friend :-).

Look at Murphy high stepping it over the trot pole!

"What'd they put on your head?"  "I don't want to talk about it, Chocula."

Lil Fat Bullwinkle.  Levi to his right.

Big Fat Willard (in the back) looks like he maybe needs to lay off the birthday "cake" :-o.

"This was a pretty darn good party if I say so myself."

Another Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Good Morning!

We  had rain yesterday.  Too late to do much good though now that it's cooled least off and on.  I think it's supposed to be in the upper 60s today, but we've had several nights down around/below 20, so I'm pretty sure our pastures aren't going to burst forth with new grass until spring.

I frequently snap a quick Instagram shot with my phone in the morning as I'm feeding dogs or drinking coffee.  It's a pretty place to wake up and hearing the sheep bells tells me the sheep are up and at it even if they are all fogged in.  

The fog was just starting to drift from the creek, up the hill.  I couldn't get what I wanted with my phone, so I grabbed the big girl camera.  Still not exactly what it looked like, but, hey...

Good morning! :-D  

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Our Little Girl Is (Maybe) Growing Up

Today is Maisie's birthday. Well, actually I guess technically it was the 24th, but in my mind/heart, she was born the Sunday after it's sort of a floating holiday ;-). "Cake" for all!

"What is the hold up with my cake?!?"

Oops, false start.  We forgot something!

"Wait....what the heck is that?!?"

Everything seems pretty calm, cool and far...

Yep, that's the Maisie we all know and love ;-D.  She actually tolerated her party hat pretty well after the initial fit.

And proceeded to stuff herself with birthday cake (Cheerios :-)

"Hey, what's going on over here?"

"REG!!!  Don't give her all my cake!!!"

The candle didn't last long in the "cake", but held just fine in her, um, fluffy-ness.

And as long as Reg tossed the Cheerios behind her back...

...she was okay with sharing.  One of these two sisters is the "sheep chicken".

And even Jester and Ford got a few handfuls.

"I  need more cake in my cake box, Auntie Reg."

And then, as with all good Maisie parties, things deteriorated quickly ;-).

The rest of the flock got to share the goodies, too.  More pictures tomorrow!

*     *     *     *     *

Kate and I had a blast working at the dog trial!  Here are some gorgeous pictures from Friday.  I'm hoping he took some on Saturday, too, and will share them if I see them.  Thank you thank you thank you!!!

Friday, November 25, 2016

A Big Weekend

"Where are we going?"

"To the Turkey Trot Memorial Stockdog Trial at The Training Center!"

I was honored to create the prizes for this year - sheep and wreaths made from wool from three of the actual trial sheep.

This is always one of my favorite weekends.  Usually I "clerk" (write scores for the judge), but this year Kate and I are going to be up on the hill "working the pens" (sorting out the groups of sheep for each competitor).  I can hardly wait!

Also this weekend...Maisie's birthday!  Big number 4!  I have all the ingredients to make her cake (a box of Cheerios and a wax number 4 candle ;-).  She can hardly wait!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Grateful Chicken

Remember the chicken who likes to sleep out in the sheep stall, up on the tall shelf?  The one who needs some help getting up there each night?  She's still out there and I just love to watch the sheep team up each night to help her get safely to bed.  

Daniel seems to be a favorite spring board, but Boudreaux is a good choice as long as he's already had dinner.  If he has to choose between helping a chicken or pushing his way up to the "table" in the aisleway, the chicken is on her own!

I didn't realize she was in mid climb one night and called the "dinner crowd".  Boudreaux came in from the outside stall, through the inside stall, with the chicken riding along.  She jumped from his back onto Daniel's (who's not an old guy needing some extra food, much to his dismay ;-) and he then walked out to the shelf and stood there until she was able to jump/fly up.

I've been trying to remember to get a video of this ever since. Something sweet like that happens nearly every night, but usually so fast that by the time I notice what's going on, it's too late.  I will get it eventually.  Here are a few quick phone shots from other night.  The sheep of choice this particular evening started out as Baby Belly.

You can see that as they are the only sheep in the barn, this is a deliberate attempt to work together to help their chicken friend, not just a "oh this one happened to be handy".  That's Spud facing the wall.

I'm not sure if Baby Belly was too close to the wall maybe or possibly just not tall enough, but the chicken couldn't make the jump.

It sure looks to me like the two sheep are conferring about what to do.  Spud must have told the chicken to change sheep.

And now watch him head over to the wall.

And the next thing you know, she's up on her perch.  I tried to take a mid-flight picture, but it was too dark and too blurry.  

Must. Remember. Video. Camera.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Plying Balls

I had a question over the weekend about plying from center pull balls.  How risky it was to do that - would the yarn get all tangled up...?  I'd actually taken some pictures a few weeks ago that I'd forgotten about never shared that demonstrated my favorite way to ply from center pull balls.

If I'm spinning a lot of yarn for a big project (remember when I used to do that?!?), I wind each bobbin off into a center pull ball and then at the end of spinning all my singles, I try to pair up the fattest singles with the skinniest singles so my plied yarn all best it can.

The other time I use center pull balls to ply is if I have a small bobbin of something and I just want to ply it back on itself.  In this case I'd discovered a very old ball of some Petunia that had been languishing in my stash for no good reason.  

I found the end buried in the center of the ball and the end wrapping around the outside of the ball.

And in my typical redneck style, I tied the two ends together.  Is there a "correct" way to do this?  

You can see how things could get really messy, really quickly, so I pulled out a trusting plying ball. This one is made of felted wool, but could be a cat toy, wadded up kleenex, whatever you have handy.  

And started winding the two strands side by side around the ball.

Nice and tidy.

And there's the center of the single strand, ready to safely start plying.

If you are plying two or three (or more) singles together, you'd just take the end from the center of each ball and treat them the same way as above, holding them side by side.  By using the center pull ball to get everything sorted ahead of time, you not only make sure your yarns are not going to get all tangled, but it also helps keep the tension even between the strands.

Thanks for the question!  It was nice to think about spinning for a change :-D.  Maybe this week I'll get to do more than just think about it!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sleeping On The Job

Hank's not really sleeping on the job.  The sheep headed out this afternoon to pick at what little grass is left in the side field and he followed them out.  He's doing a good job!

But that doesn't mean I didn't try to sneak up on him ;-).

And he immediately heard me.

"Wait.  You weren't taking pictures were you?"

"You WERE taking pictures!"

"It's a good thing I'm a good sport."

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Calendar Post...Finally

I was feeling pretty bad about how late it had gotten to put up the calendar post until I looked at last year and saw it was November 16th.  Hey, I'm two days earlier this year!  And then I scrolled down and remembered (trying really hard to forget!) that we were up to our necks in the big home remodel last year.  Oh right...

Without further ado, the 2017 calendars :-)

The Equinox Farm calendars - yes, two!

Same format as previous years.

Always Hank.

Here is your bizarre story of the day.  I took several shots of the Maisie month to make sure I had the camera straight.  I actually do that with all the pictures because I tend to tilt the camera as I squeeze the shutter sometimes.  Anyway, in looking through my Maisie pictures, trying to decide the straightest shot, it looked like she was winking at me (!).

Just think about that for a minute. I'm taking a picture. Of a picture.   In my head I figured out that it was just a camera angle issue, recording more or less of the dark color of the picture of her eye...but my heart knows she's probably just pulled another good one on me.  And she looks pretty smug about it.

"Please buy our calendar with a creepy picture of a half crazy sheep whose eye follows you around the room WHILE SHE IS SLEEPING!"

Yeah, I'm probably headed to McDonald's to flip burgers to pay the hay bill this year...

If  we all live through March, there's a little sweet Graham to wash our eyes out.  In more ways than one.  I miss that big, funny, sweet, annoying goofball :-/.  It's good to remember though. Always.

Baby birds!  Okay, so we just have to make it through til June! :-D

Lots of little pictures again.

And my all time favorite far.

And don't forget that Saint Tim printed two calendars this year.  You can pick which cat you'd like to spend September with or let me surprise you.  Just let me know what you prefer :-).

And the 2017 Lamb Camp calendar!

Bullwinkle on the cover.

Sweet mommas and babies.

Sleeping lambies.

Lambies on jungle gyms.

Okay, here's a cute story about taking pictures of calendars.  Actually, it is about note card pictures. I knew I'd taken some farm shop pictures back in the spring and this lambie reminded me.  I dug back and found them.

Bullwinkle's probably just looking at the shiny plastic, but I like to think he's looking at the picture.

And the lamb is looking back at him.  In a good way :-).

*     *     *     *     *

We'll do it basically like we do every year.  Equinox Farm calendars are $12.50 each and the Lamb Camp calendars are $10.00. Shipping (to the US) will be a flat fee of $6.10 (whoops, postage went up and they are now $6.80) using a Priority Flat Rate Envelope.  Shipping overseas last year was not as expensive as I feared.  I'm happy to get a quote for you. Likewise for Canada.

If you are buying just a small Lamb Camp calendar and you live in Lexington, I will use a smaller plain envelope and charge you the actual shipping costs, probably around $4.50. Everyone else will be pretty close to the actual costs using the USPS envelope.  

If you'd like to order one (or more), just send me an email with what you'd like and your shipping address. I'll send everything out with an invoice and a return envelope and you can drop a check in the mail upon receipt.

There are also Lamb Camp note cards, Christmas cards, drop spindle kits, Maisie Orneries, Mug Shot mugs, My Favorite Sheep canvas totes, a little the new Farm Shop (yes, it's finally mostly updated) if you are interested.

As always, we truly thank you for your support.


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