Friday, December 28, 2018

Oldies But Goodies

I think I've talked about "Easy Breezy" on the blog, but in case I haven't, it's the bigger version of Del Boca Vista, utilizing the end of the outside stall and the level paddock next to the barn.  DBV is perfect for a couple sheep, but when the population as a whole starts getting older, more and more sheep needed to move into "assisted living" this fall.

Silly Lila, one of my very favorite bottle lambs from quite a few years ago.  She's not exceptionally old, but she has some arthritis issues that make it hard for her to keep up with the younger sheep.

Popcorn PeePee Pants.  Her birthday is in January, but I don't remember the exact day.  I'd look it up on the blog...but she's older than the blog!  She will be 14 next month.  

PPPP is the lamb on the bookmarks we hand out in the festival booths :-).  She makes a nice puzzle, too ;-).

Renny the invincible.  She's not old and definitely not skinny, but she's starting to have trouble with her horribly damaged back legs and can't negotiate the hills on the other side of the barn any longer.  She's loving the Easy Breezy life ;-D.

Billy Belly and Heidi.  Heidi is another of the old girls.  She'll be 13 this spring.  Billy Belly is only 11 this year, but he was a bit thin heading into fall so I moved him into Easy Breezy so he could get some extra food.  He's also loving the EB life ;-D.

Ewen McTeagle (11), Woolliam (10) and Allie (12) do still come out and graze at least a little bit.  Ewen can usually be talked into grazing in the yard for a few minutes after breakfast if I stand out there with him.  Allie likes to go out in the afternoons and Woolliam does a bit, but he's also quite happy to hang out indoors and eat hay and wait for the next Bingo game ;-).

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Gold Christmas

No white Christmas this year, but the golden sunlight was a pretty good trade.  A couple new puzzles for you :-).

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

A Live Christmas Cookie Party?


You really need to biggify this picture to get the full wonder of Maisie's mouth!

*     *      *      *      *

Holiday greetings from the land of the not so super tech-y!  I THINK I've figured out how to do a live Facebook video and I'd like to share the Christmas Eve night check with you tomorrow.  We can peek in on all the sleepy sheepies and I'll also stuff my pockets with it might be my very first...and very Facebook video :-o.

Here is the plan:  At 9:30 p.m. EST I'll turn on the video and head to the barn.  That should be late enough for most folks to be done with dinner and still early enough to visit with the sheep for a bit and get to bed before Santa comes.  I think it will also save the video so you can watch it later.  I think.

Here is a link to the Punkin's Patch Facebook page  I'm guessing you'll just need to go to the page to start watching.  You shouldn't have to join anything.  If it's more complicated than that, somebody please chime in!  Maybe an icon that needs to be clicked?

I may do a quick test run tonight (without cookies :-o) just to make sure we are all up to speed.  Fingers crossed!

*     *      *      *      *

Okay, the test run seemed to work fine so it's a go for a Christmas Eve cookie party at 9:30 p.m. on Facebook and 10:00 p.m. on Instagram.  Two parties - the sheep are going to be thrilled! :-D

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Not A Creature Was Stirring...Except The Mouse

As anyone who's lived in the country knows, every fall, mice try to move into your house.  In the past, Betsy has taken care of this situation.  This year?  We had evidence of a mouse in the basement.  A mouse chewed a hole through the pantry wall.  A mouse got inside our oven.  It's been ridiculous.

Thanks, Betsy.

So, a couple of weekends ago Tim tore out the entire pantry, cleaned up the mess and rebuilt it with heavier duty walls.  The oven?  He tried to take it apart to see if it could be cleaned out.  We had to order a new oven.  It finally arrived this past week.  

In the middle of all this I was decorating for Christmas.

My dad spent a good effort this fall trying to talk me into taking some/all of my mother's Christmas decorations, specifically ornaments.  Our small tree is so full that I have several branches carrying two ornaments apiece, so I stood fast on No Ornaments.  I did ask for the Nativity scene though and he brought that down.

As I carefully unpacked each each character I found Mary, Joseph, the Three Wise Men, Baby Jesus...and then something that felt different.  I ornament.  It was a mouse.  Oh for crying out loud.

A camel, a few sheep, an angel...and other mouse ornament.  Oxen, more sheep, the shepherd...and another mouse.  Seriously!?!  

There were nine mouse ornaments tucked into the Nativity box.

I'm sure someone is laughing somewhere (hopefully not in the pantry).  It's only just now starting to be me.  They are pretty cute  though.  And one is even knitting.  

If you can't beat 'em...

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Thousand Words

I took this picture tonight as I was finishing evening chores.  I'm not sure now if I was behind the barn feeding Hank or back there checking the water tank, but I saw Maisie standing there by herself and quickly grabbed my phone.  

I knew what she was doing.  She was out there looking for Hank.  Of all the relationships within the flock, theirs is the most interesting.  Maisie had walked away from eating hay with everyone to go outside and check on Hank.

When I painted Maisie on the Christmas card, right up front, that's because that's where she sleeps.  Right up front.  I never really gave it much thought.  Many of the sheep have favorite sleeping spots.  A few nights ago, as I peeked in on everyone, I found her sound asleep...right up front.

As a few of the sheep rustled about, she woke up, looked around, got up, stretched and then walked out of the barn and to the left.  When she saw Hank sitting in the dark, facing the front field, she quietly called out to him "Mmmmmmmmm."  And I realized that's why she sleeps by the door.  As close as she can get.

I love the composition of this shot.  I love the colors - the midnight blue, the black barn, the warm lights.  I can't get over how small Maisie looks standing next to the barn.  I love the story behind scene. I wish I'd stayed out there a little longer to watch what happened next.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Road Crew(s)

No sooner did the road crew get finished and the inspectors showed up.

Farm efficiency!

Looks like it passed!

How about an on the road puzzle :-).

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Why This Is The Best Christmas Gift Ever


While mud is ugly to look at and irritating to slip and slide through, this is the real reason we are putting done so much fresh gravel.

There is probably a proper term for this, but I call them mud clods.  The sheep walk through mud, it sticks in between their two "toes", dries into a rock hard and usually sharp clod and then is very painful to walk with.

I picked these from Beanie Baby's hooves last night.

If this happens to the front foot of a friendly sheep who will let me just walk up to them and pick out the clod, it's not a big deal.  If it happens to a sheep who's not willing to be field caught, I have to bring them into a confined area in the barn to catch them.  That's too is not a big deal and I can't stress enough how important it is to have a catch pen area so you aren't having to chase your sheep down to catch them.

Picking clods from front feet is an easy job.  Picking clods from the back feet is a challenge even with a friendly "pet".  Liddy had mud clods in both back feet the other day.  I had to set her down on her fat butt (like for shearing) to reach them and pick them out.  This is has become a daily job lately and I had to catch, set down and pick clods from eight sheep's feet last night.  

Since it doesn't seem like it's ever going to dry out...  Wait, I didn't say that.  I'd always rather deal with mud than a drought :-o.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

And To All A Good Night!

This is the 15th year I've painted an Equinox Farm Christmas card.  We've been caroling and decorating, skating and sledding, sleigh riding, snowman building, snowball fighting, cookie baking, sweater knitting, card sending, eating Christmas dinner and even putting on a live nativity.  

As I was out of winter activity ideas for future cards, I decided 15 would be a good stopping point...and I wanted to do something different.  No light blue sky and bright white snow.  Nothing that couldn't actually be happening...except maybe that snowball fight ;-).

Once I got over feeling self-conscious about my goofy hillbilly voice and started actually enjoying doing live barn tours in the evenings on Instagram over the summer and fall, I knew what my card design for the final year would be.  


Here's where it gets a little crazy crazier.  Remember those adorable stamps with the sheep and horses last year?

Best. Christmas. Stamps. Ever.  

I knew the post office had some left over...I stewed on them all summer...and then bought enough for this year...and next year.  And then when I needed to add a little extra postage to two envelopes and the post office wouldn't sell me individual sheep stamps...and I saw there were only five books left in the drawer...I bought them all.

The moral of this story?  If something happens to me, would someone please remind Saint Tim that there is probably $200 worth of postage tucked away in the office (insert that funny grimace face emoticon from my phone). 

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

You're Going To Have To Work For It

This ought to keep you off the streets and out of trouble ;-).  But if you do feel like hitting the streets and come out to the farm this afternoon, we'll give you a real one!

Not to worry if you aren't a puzzle worker.  I'll do a full reveal on Monday.

Have some fun this weekend!

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Week In Review...Because It's Been A Busy One

Don't get excited.  There wasn't any knitting.  I had great hopes for posting with the monthly Yarn Along on Wednesday and even took some pictures of my current (sadly idle) project.......  Maybe today.

So, let's see...

The 2018 Christmas card is finished and printed.  Not stuffed and mailed, but they are painted, printed and on the dining room table.  Whew!!!  I'll post a puzzle version this weekend for anyone who'd like a sneak peak and I'll also have some at the Wool House tomorrow.  Not for sale (until next year), but if you come out to the farm (open this Saturday from 1:00-4:30), I'll give you one :-).  

If you didn't follow along with the Wovember Instagram photo challenge by daughterofashepherd last month, I encourage you to go check it out. There were so many interesting prompts and excellent posts from all over the world.  What a fun way to really focus on sheep and wool.  One of my posts was selected for the top ten!  :-D

The sold out calendars are back in stock.  Tim brought home some more Lamb Camp calendars last night, so everything still here on hold will ship out today.  Thank you so much for your patience...and all the orders.  Your support, on all levels, really means so much.

There are still three 2018 Equinox Farm fleeces left (Baaxter, Liddy and B. Willard) and several Tring Farm fleeces (lovely Maybelline and a few other white, gray and black), in case anyone is looking for a fun winter project.  Rebecca Boone was so dirty and greasy I offered to wash her fleece before shipping, so that was my fun project for yesterday.  Look at that shine!  Some is from the grease, some just because it's fun, shiny Cotswold.

I divided her into two parts so there'd be plenty of room in the washer to loosen up all the dirt.  Before washing on the left.  Washed on the right.

Washing wool in the winter is like an all day spa treatment.  The room gets warmer and steamier as the day progresses and it smells like heaven, not "smelly animal fur".  If you aren't aware of the Duluth "issue", here is one article that addresses it.  Clara Parkes always says it best.  

All washed and set out to dry.

Isn't she pretty?

So back to the picture of the yarn and project at the top.  That's Rebecca Boone!  I spun that yarn several years ago and had never found the perfect project for it.  Isabell Kraemer's Indigo Frost capelet kept showing up in my favorites and it (finally) dawned on me that the design shape looks just like Rebecca Boone's cool dreadlocks...and if I dyed some of the yarn, I could match her colors in the color patterning.  So I did!  

I overdyed her light gray to get a darker gray like her nose and legs and a reddish/brown to match her sunbleached locks.  I then spun some Woolliam for her white nose.  I wasn't thinking and didn't wash her yarn before I put it in the dye pot and the remaining fabric softener made the dye take up unevenly and I love the effect.  

I'm now ready to start the colorwork section and I can't wait.  Maybe today!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Since None Of Us Has Any Sun...Again...

How about a sweet picture of Biscuit enjoying the fleeting sun from the other day.  He's looking over at all of the rest of his buddies...on the other side of the fence.  Sometimes it's complicated being Biscuit ;-).  

I'd suggest "putting yourself in the photo, sitting in the sun up on the hill", but you'd end up with muddy pants.  Sigh...

Might as well just torture yourself with  a new puzzle!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Saturday, December 1, 2018

This Rainy Day Thing... starting to be a bit ridiculous.

So how about a new puzzle!

If you are looking for something else to do indoors today, I posted Maisie's birthday party in two parts on YouTube.  This is the footage from the live Instagram video...but the live comments and questions didn't transfer over, so it just sounds like I'm talking to myself.  Only a little bit crazier than normal ;-).

I'm working on the new Christmas card today.  Plenty to keep me busy indoors :-o.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Today Is Mah Birthday!

"Believe it or not, I've managed to live to six years old without killing myself...even though I've sure tried over the years ;-).  Mom's going to make me a birthday "cake" this afternoon and is going to try to broadcast my party live on Instagram at 3:00 EST*.  This oughta be exciting :-D."

I think you'll need an Instagram account, but maybe not.  And I think you'll have to follow me, but maybe not.  I think if you have Instagram open at 3:00 and you follow me, when I "go live" you should get a notice telling you that and then you'll tap on a link or something and should be able to see and hear all the craziness festivities.

If you aren't free at that time, the recorded video should stay available for 24 hours and you can watch it later.  When you open to your feed/account/homepage/whatever it's called, look for one of the circles near the top and you should see an icon of 20 with a blue background.  You may need to scroll through the circles to the right.

I'm not super social media savvy so if this doesn't seem right or is confusing, either go to the Instagram site and look for help or, better yet, find a teenager ;-).  

*This is a plan.  It is only a plan.  If something happens and I can't pull it off at 3:00, I will try again at 4:00.  If I can't pull it off at 4:00...well, that's just Maisie...and we are just going to roll with it ;-).

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

[Sheep] Business Saturday

Because shopping with Maisie is way more than going to the mall!

We are developing an exciting new program here in the commonwealth (Kentucky is a commonwealth, not a state), The Kentucky Fiber Trail.  Kentucky is already well known for it's Bluegrass Trail (horse farms) and Bourbon Trail.  Now you can discover fiber farms throughout the state as well!  

Our farm shop (and barnyard :-) will once again be open the Saturday after Thanksgiving (November 30, 2019) from 1:00-4:30 for Small Business Saturday.  We'll call it Sheep Business Saturday :-D.  

We'll have calendars, fleeces, roving, spindle kits, Christmas cards and ornaments, wool sheep pins, a few wool wreaths, maybe some felted sheep and for fun, let's make Maisie Orneries!  I'll have a basket of "Ornery"  supplies set out and teach you how to make your own wool roving wrapped ornament.  

So, come hide out (bring your wheel! :-) on the farm with us that Saturday and take care of all your sheep and fiber-y gift giving needs.  We promise you won't be mobbed by fellow shoppers...unless you have cookies ;-).  If you need directions, just drop me an email.  

Monday, November 19, 2018

The 2019 Calendars

How on earth can it be almost 2019?!?  I remember back in grade school being asked to figure out how old we'd be in 2000.  It was a legitimate math problem!  Boy, 2000 seemed so far away.  2000 stills seems so far away...but in the other direction :-o. When I added the page for the upcoming 2020 year...I don't know...that was a shock.

If you are crabby about the cold and snow, you can have a laugh being crabby with Baaxter...who really doesn't mind the cold...he just likes looking crabby ;-).

As always, lots of little pictures.

And dear old friends.

Large and small.

The Lamb Camp calendars have...lots of lambs :-).

Favorite lambs.

Bewildered lambs.

Chocolate lambs.

And angelic lambs :-).

Hopefully there are still a few folks out there who haven't already bought a 2019 calendar.  Sorry to be slow getting these posted.  I appreciate the kind folks who have emailed asking about them and we surely appreciate the support.  Each calendar pays for at least two bales of hay for the winter...and the sheep surely appreciate that!  Saint Tim's back...maybe not so much ;-).

Prices are still $12.50 for the farm calendar and $10 for the Lamb Camp calendar.  If you'd like to purchase, please shoot me an email and tell me what you'd like to order and where you'd like it shipped.  Looks like postage is going to run around $7.25 for a flat rate padded mailer.  

If you are local, or somewhat local, (or looking for a fun road trip :-) and are interested in coming out to the farm to do some holiday shopping, we are hosting a Small Business Saturday event...this Saturday...from 1:00 to 4:30.  I'll share more about that tomorrow.


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