Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Friends...With Assigned Seats

Remember how I painted all the Jacobs sleeping together on the right side of the barn in the Christmas card?  They really do all tend to sleep there.  There actually being the aisleway stall...which is the furthest to the right in real life.

Blossom is sleeping in there with them right now.  She picks a spot for awhile, then moves to another spot and then when she's tired of that spot she moves again...  I should keep a note of how many days she stays each place, just for curiosity.  The "T" in this picture is not actually a "T".  That's Clover Belly.  

Clover Belly stayed with her mom, Baby Belly, her whole life, the way Muffin did with Mrs. Pepperpot.  After Baby Belly passed, Clover Belly just sort of drifted.  No one ever picked on her (Baby Belly saw to that early on ;-), but she didn't really seem to have any close friends.  

I'm not sure why that was and I don't want to speculate on all the reasons that might factor in.  I'm just happy to see six T's now, whether out in the field or napping together in the sunshine.  It's nice to know which table you are going to sit at for lunch every day :-). 

Don't get excited.  It's not sunny here.  I took this picture last week before the weather changed.  Sigh...

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Corner

All the horses have loved this low corner of the front field.  It's nice to see Frankie out there.  It was his first day in the "big field".  He'll sleep well tonight ;-).

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Friday, January 11, 2019

Thursday, January 10, 2019

How YOU Doin'?

Jared.  Jared, Jared, Jared...  

I was there for his 'tutering so I know he's not able to breed anymore, but since he slept through it, maybe he doesn't know?  Jared has sweet talked every ewe...over and over...all fall...and he's still at it!  It's a good thing I didn't how much I'd love this silly old guy back then or I'd have been sorely tempted to have a couple Jared babies this spring :-o.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Dead, Dying Or Asleep?

This may just be weird shepherd humor, but there is a thing (is it called a meme?) on Twitter where people post a picture of a sheep laying out, usually in the sun, and tag it "dead, dying or asleep?".  Those are pretty safe to click on because it's done to be funny, not shock people ;-).

I spend much of my day and even one last time before I go to bed, peeking in on everyone to make sure everybody's okay.  When I looked down the barn aisle, into the arena where Frankie was turned out on Saturday and didn't see him anywhere, I immediately walked out to get a closer look.

Since it was a warm, sunny morning, I felt pretty sure he was just cashed out asleep, but still...

Laying there flat out on the ground with his knocked over water bucket, it sure looks like it could be a bad scene.

"I'm okay!"

"I was just resting my eyes."

I felt bad that I'd woken him up.  Heck, I'd have loved to have been out there sleeping as well...except for all the mud.  I am always happy to see an animal lay down to sleep here.  They don't do that unless they feel safe and secure :-).

Something else not dead is my camera!  I'm thinking Frankie must have loaned me one of his old horse shoes.  The saying around here when you get by with something you really shouldn't have is "You must have a horse shoe up your ****!"  The saying when you do something you really shouldn't is "You need a foot up your ****!"  

I apparently need both!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

If Anyone Can Help, It's 20

Back in the summer my neighbor bought a Serta mattress pad and sent me a picture of the box because the sheep pictured was 20!  It's hard to be just a farmer.  Most of us have second and third jobs or pick up extra work whenever we can.  20 is no different.

"Oh, wow!  Can I have the box?"

"Oops, I already got rid of it." 
I really didn't need a mattress topper...  But it had 20's picture on the box...  I guess I could put it on the spare bed...  And it IS on sale...  I got a mattress topper ;-).

I'd planned to do a post sharing the cute box, but I never did.  And while it would be fun if there was now a baby lamb or some kittens warming up in there...it's not.  It's my camera.  Yeah...  The deluge rain I was complaining about yesterday?  My camera and favorite lens was sitting out in it.  I am beyond sick.

20's helped clean up several messes I've gotten myself into.  Okay, I was going to link a couple posts here, but there are so many fun 20 posts that I'm just going to suggest following this link to read/reread all of them :-).  

In the meantime I've got my camera and lens inside this perfect big, vented box with a space heater running.  Everyone cross your fingers. 

Oh, and yes, it's January 5th and I have the kitchen door standing open.  Yeesh...

Friday, January 4, 2019


The watercolor "painting" from the Wool House Crafters post and the picture above were actually done with an iPhone/computer app.  The app is called Waterlogue and it's one of my very favorite apps.  

And speaking of waterlogged, we have been deluged yet again.  2018 was officially the wettest year on record.  At the risk of jinxing things and causing a drought, we are all ready for a bit of a dry out around here.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Those Boys

When Rocky and Jared moved here last summer it was fun to watch them out exploring the farm, side by side, best friends forever.  When they moved into the main flock I hoped they'd both become friendly pets, but wasn't sure that at their age that would happen.  

Jared immediately bought into the cookies and was happy to let me scratch his head and back.  Rocky was Not Interested At All.  No cookies, definitely no scratches!  In fact, as soon as I'd come around, he'd head for the field...and tell Jared to come with him.  And Jared would.  For a few weeks ;-).

I'm not sure why Jared is so fascinated by Frankie, but I keep finding him standing in front of Frankie's gate.  They actually sniffed noses just a second before I was able to grab my camera and take this picture.  

The best part of this picture?  Well, sure, Jared and Frankie are pretty darn cute, but look in the background.  Rocky.  You can just see the disappointment written across his face.  "We don't act like that, Jared!"

Jared has become one of my all time favorite sheep.  I love Rocky, too, but Jared is extra special :-).

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Other News

I've had some inquiries lately about spinning and weaving guilds in the area.  Luckily we have several throughout the state and I'm always happy to forward on information about them.  Before we moved to the farm, I participated with a couple of the groups and really enjoyed the camaraderie and educational opportunities.  

Post farm, I haven't been to a guild meeting in years :-(.  Heck, I have a pretty darn complete studio right here on the farm and I still don't show up near as much as I should I'd like.  I always have big hopes that various events we've hosted here will allow me to sit down and spin, but I always end up talking and teaching...and watching over my shoulder while everyone else makes and uses yarn.

I've decided to start a small guild here on the farm, open to anyone interested in wool crafts.  Any fiber crafts (or any crafts as I guess there are other crafts than just wool based ;-) and not just from our sheep, although if you show up with some alpaca, mohair, camel, rabbit...we might make you sing a silly sheep song! ;-)

We are going to meet on the second Tuesday of each month, starting at 6:00 p.m.  While that sounds like an odd day and time, I don't want to conflict with the Monday, Friday and Saturday meet times of several other local groups.  Plus, it's nice to have something mid-week to look forward to :-).

Most folks coming out to the farm enjoy visiting with the sheep.  Some even want to learn more about what it takes to have sheep, how to care for them, shearing...  If that's you, come a little early and you can help with the evening chores (or just watch if you prefer).

We'll even have food!  Don't get too excited.  It will most likely just be a loaf of fresh bread and a Trader Joe's soup...or blue box mac and cheese...just kidding...mostly ;-).  You are welcome to bring something to share, but absolutely can just show up and relax.

The first meeting will be next Tuesday, January 8th.  I sure wish everyone was "local" or they'd get that stupid teleporter working.  Please join us in spirit!

P.S. I didn't paint the Wool House picture.  That was done with a phone app ;-).  Still pretty though!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019 Is Off To A (Not) Racing Start

Well, I thought the big news for New Year's Day was going to be something fun I'm going to try with the Wool House this year, but it turns out the big news is we got a new horse!

Being without a horse this past year has been...so...(insert so many words).  Robin helped me clean all my tack for my birthday when she was here in August and it was a Job as I hadn't even been in the tack room all year and everything was molded and...so sad.

I had several kind people offer me horses throughout the year, but I knew the only horses I'd be willing to try on our rich grass were Thoroughbreds...and I am not a Thoroughbred person.  They are beautiful and versatile and talented...and, as a whole, way more horse than I would ever feel comfortable with.  I'd accepted that my horse days were over until a carriage driving friend asked if I'd considered a Standardbred.  

Um...no...I hadn't.  

I honestly didn't really know anything about Standardbreds other than seeing them pulling Amish buggies around town and that a girl I groomed Saddlebreds with many years ago told stories about jumping on and riding them around the backside of the tracks in the afternoons when they weren't racing.  

I talked to our vet and a friend who has handled Standardbreds, did some research online and found the Standardbred Retirement Foundation and New Vocations, a race horse (Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds) adoption program.  The SRF had several nice sounding possibilities, but they were all in NY and NJ.  New Vocations has a Standardbred facility much closer, in Ohio, and they had a couple strong candidates as well.  

With high hopes, but no expectations, we hooked up the trailer yesterday and headed north to check out a couple horses we'd been approved to adopt.  I was extremely impressed with all the horses we looked at, the knowledge the manager had of each horse, the talented rider who came in to show the horses...and the breed in general.  Without further ado...meet Frankie's Rockstar :-).

Frankie is a three and a half year old gelding who has had some soundness issues and was not going to make it as a race horse.  Apparently the groom who cared for him throughout thought enough of him that she bought him herself so she could send him to New Vocations in hopes he'd find a safe pleasure horse home, not pulling an Amish buggy or...

Frankie walked right into the trailer and rode like a trooper all the way home in the horrible rain and wind yesterday afternoon.  We got home in the dark, but he quietly backed off the trailer and walked right into the barn full of sheep.  We got him set up in one of the outside stalls and while he was obviously scared and missing his buddies, he handled his first night here like a...rock star :-).

Because the weather in Ohio has been as wet as here, he hadn't been turned out for a good while.  I turned him out in the arena this morning rather than the big field.  He skipped around for few minutes but then settled right down.  After about 45 minutes I brought him back to the barn, brushed him, trimmed his bridle path, took him outside to hose his muddy legs off and put him back in his stall.  He was a complete gentleman.

Now keep in mind that even though he IS very well mannered, he's honestly just a baby, even more so because of the time off he had due to his leg injury.  We have plenty of ground work to do before we can safely ride or drive off into the setting sun ;-).  That being said, I'm very excited to start the new year with a horse again.  The relationship you have with a horse is something so different than any other.  

And while Frankie is puzzling things out... ;-)


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