Saturday, January 29, 2022

For National Puzzle Day

I am now working on my fourth 'on the table' puzzle this winter.  They've been a fun distraction and keep me from falling asleep in weird positions on the couch and waking up crippled when it's time to do the night check and go to bed.

Today is National Puzzle Day so I thought I'd pull out a picture from the archives, something with Hank and a bunch of other old friends we'd all like to visit with again.  The screen saver on my laptop is an old favorite, but just for fun I decided to just scroll back through the blog and look for a more spring like picture that hadn't already been puzzle-tized.  

I had to scroll back to November of 2015!  Have we really been doing these online puzzles for over six years?  Time flies.  And guess what my very first puzzle was...

My screen saver :-).  I've updated it with a different puzzle piece count to make it "new".  

Happy National Puzzle Day!

Friday, January 28, 2022

Snow Angels

B. Willard was a gift that kept on giving.  He came over as a lamb from Tring Farm years ago.  I think he'd been weaned.  I don't remember bottling him...but maybe I finished him here...  Okay, blog to the rescue.  He was 5 weeks old and anyone looking at this youngster would know this was Baby Willard.  That classic Willard look.  

It's fun...and a bit go back and read the old stories and look at pictures.  Willard was a never ending source of entertainment.  We called him the Sheep of Impeccable Character.  He truly was.  I said B. Willard B. Mine to him all the time.  He was the star of the very first Hug a Sheep Day.  

Willard's biggest gift to me was his sweet and cheerful personality.  He ended up with terrible arthritis in his legs, but he kept "making the donuts" as long as he could, hobbling out to graze in the yard each morning, giving me a nod as he walked past the porch where I was usually sitting.  He and Cheeto took the best care of Early and he never seemed to mind when Ellie used him as a springboard.  I think he loved those lambs.

A gift we gave each other was the late night and early morning barn checks.  Willard had always been a good napper and loved to sleep flat out on his side.  I can't count how many times I saw him like that over the years and raced over to make sure he was still breathing.  As he got old and stiff, he frequently could no longer get himself back up and he'd get himself in trouble trying.  

After one too many times finding himself "upside down" for too long (sheep are not designed to lay like that) and worrying that one day I'd find him dead, I started making a late night trek to the barn and setting my alarm to get back up there early in the morning so he wasn't unsupervised so long.  

I am not a night owl.  I like being up in the morning, but I'd used the rising sun as my alarm.  Trudging up to the barn in the pitch dark was something new.  I didn't hate it.  In fact, walking up there with a big cup of coffee and the dogs and cats, especially when Salt was here, became the highlight of my day.  

I'd click on my flashlight, and say "Hey guys, just me." before I walked into the barn in an effort not to startle everyone else.  If there was a problem, I'd fix it and if not I'd say "'Morning, Willard.  'Morning, Cheeto." and go sit on the Wool House porch, drink my coffee and watch the sun come up.  

I did this for at least two years and I think they loved that morning routine as much as I did.  And seeing the two of them cuddled up together at night sharing a pile of hay was the sweetest way to end each day.  They took the best care of each other...and that took care of me.

I miss that so much.

It's getting better.  My day is not ruined now by not seeing their smiling faces, but I did have the conversation with myself the other day that there was really no reason anymore for making that early morning trek.  They were gone.  My driveway buddy Salt was gone.  The rest of the barn would really prefer I not bother them until daybreak.

That morning I found Ellie stuck somewhere needing help.  This morning I found a "snow angel".  In the near dark it just looked like a dark spot on the ground, but when I got closer I saw it was a sheep print (camera brightened).  Seeing the two legs stretched out in front told me this had been where a comfortably warm and happy sheep had slept...and that made me happy.  

I'd have missed it if I'd not been out there early.  A gift.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

No Words

My head knows it was the right thing to do...but my heart is broken.

Cheeto and B. Willard

2011 and 2010 - January 20, 2022

Monday, January 17, 2022

A Luxurious Wool Mattress

Nothing beats a warm wool bed, especially when it's your momma's back :-).

Winter Whoops Lamb Camp is finished at Tring Farm.  Four sets of fancy black twins.  Most have at least some facial "drama" and this sweet girl's pencil thin mustache is my favorite.  Well, I haven't seen the last set of lambs.  There's always room for a new favorite sheep ;-).

If you'd like a new puzzle, you can nestle down into this one.  I accidentally set the pieces to a bigger size than normal.  If you'd like a better challenge, you can change the number of pieces using the drop down menu "play as" at the top right of the puzzle screen.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Said No Sheep Ever

This has always been one of my very favorite Far Side cartoons and I couldn't help thinking about it when Amos arrived here yesterday.

This is Amos.  He's an eight year old border collie and he's here to help me with farm work and be my new best friend, as only a border collie can.  Hopefully he can settle Bea down a bit as well, but as they say, "There are some messes no one should have to clean up." ;-)

Amos is 20's cousin from Georgia.  His dad, Camp, was one of my all time favorite border collies and I feel so fortunate to get the opportunity to have him here on our farm.  He's very too patient with obnoxious puppy Bea and has met the chickens and Archie.  Possum is still laying low, but I think he'll be fine with her as well.

The sheep aren't thrilled with him being here, but the next time I leave a gate open and they end up in the yard sassing me about going back where they should, I'm looking forward to having some back up who'll be more than happy to tell them "when to eat and where to stand" ;-).

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Contemplative Corgi

I think the trash toy is a nice touch.  Bea likes to shop in the recycling bin ;-).

Sunday, January 9, 2022

New Kid On And In The Block

In an effort to get things recorded and caught up here, this post is mostly going to be "just the facts, ma'am" with some more photos coming later.

Meeting Ellie and Christopher.

This is the new kid.  We first heard about this sheep about a month ago.  He was living by himself in a paddock outside a nearby town.  His only companion had been killed several months ago and he was, of course, horribly upset.  His neighbors felt awful about it and befriended him over the fence and he quickly became part of their family.

They'd been told the owner was going to bring in some new buddies for him, but when nothing came of that and winter drew in and while the paddock was nice and full of grass, it did not offer any sort of shelter from the weather, they contacted me to see what they could do.

While definitely not ideal, a healthy animal can manage to get by with limited shelter.  What I felt worse about was his lack of even a single friend.  Sheep are flock animals.  They are wired to be part of a group of sheep. Even worse, his one companion who'd been killed...had been his mother.  

To make a long story short, they were finally able to purchase the sheep and we brought him over here Wednesday, just before the big winter storm hit south of here.  Normally he'd be in quarantine due to health reasons, but he'd already been all by himself since September.  His issue is he'd not been castrated as a lamb.  

I've got him set up where he can see and talk to the main flock, but hopefully not be able to breach the fence and gates to get in with the girls.  We sure don't need any baby Maisies!  He has a vet appointment on Monday, but even after being 'tutered, he can't be around any ewes for at least 45 days.  

I'm working on a better set up for him where he can have some wether companions, but want to get through the vet work first.  Currently he's living in Del Boca Vista, which would normally be just fine.  The issue with DBV is that's where Rocky and Jared ate breakfast and dinner.

"That's where me and Rocky EAT breakfast and dinner!"

Sigh...  I built a new "block" right next to the old restaurant and nothing has changed with the menu or service, but Jared is still a bit lot sore about it all.  It might look like he's talking to the new guy, but he's really just staring at the shed, horrified that it's not his anymore ;-).

The new sheep came in with the name Buddy, but as we've already had a Buddy, he's looking for a new name.  We are leaning towards Pinto.  

As far as breed, I'm stumped so far.  It sounds like his mother was probably a hair sheep, maybe a Katahdin.  He's got wool though so maybe a cross onto a wool breed?  He also has tiny horn scurs.  Some Jacob in the background?   Any thoughts?

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Meanwhile Back At The Ranch

So back about a hundred years ago...on Tuesday...I texted a friend saying "Can I call you with a laundry list of complaints?".  Aren't you glad I don't have your phone number?  She's a good sport though and said "Sure."

"I've alphabetized them.  First up, Archie.  He's a maniac and won't let me work in the washroom without terrorizing me."  There's no telling how many people he emailed or what he might have ordered online by jumping on my keyboard.  Repeatedly.  If you've been waiting for a blog post or an email, it's all Archie's fault.

"Bea."  At this point I don't really remember which particular complaint I had or, more likely, how many complaints I had, but I'm sure she was making me angry by chasing Possum too much and I think maybe she was also chewing on her foot that day as well.  

You get the picture.  I think there were seven "major issues", but now I'm having trouble remembering them all and they are boring anyway.  

Down the list under P was Possum.  Possum is refusing to come in the wash room now that Archie is here.  They've finally met each other out in the barn a couple of times and even sniffed noses once.  She's hissed at him, but hasn't been really ugly like the way she and Betsy treat each other and I think she's actually a little interested in making friends.  

She's made it perfectly clear that she's the top cat and he's been very submissive and borderline afraid of her and shows it, but she still won't trust things enough to come inside on cold nights.  We had some really cold nights coming up and I was really stressed about her.  I felt bad that I'd created this situation for her by bringing in the new kitten.

That afternoon I received a box in the mail from a good friend in Colorado.  Linda loves animals maybe even more than I do and she had packed up this deluxe super puffy and padded cat cave and sent it as a baby gift for Archie.  I looked at the thick layers of insulation and the removable bottom pad that would let the cave sit right down on Possum's heating pad and not block the warmth and knew she wouldn't mind if I repurposed her gift to help another cat in need.

It is so deep and cushy that I had to sew down a "doorway" so Possum could still crawl into her plastic box house.  I was a little worried that by changing things up she might get funny about it, but I think she took one look at the now super well insulated (from the inside) house and said "Dis my new warmest bed!"

Yesterday was super cold and she spent much of the day in the main room of the Wool House.  The night time low was predicted to be 8 so I ended up setting up a litter box and food for her so she could stay in there all night.  She's a polite house guest, but prefers to come and go at her own leisure so I'm sure she's going to be happy to be back in her cozy box tonight.

I'm sure most of you already know Linda, but if not, she has a great farming blog and is a collector of rainbows and other magical gifts and is one of the kindest people I know :-).   Thanks, Linda, for your magical mail. 

Monday, January 3, 2022

Insert Face Palm Emoji

A "terrible" friend gave me a puzzle for Christmas.  "It had sheep on it so I had to!"  At first I was really excited.  I love doing the online puzzles and had been toying with getting a table puzzle, but had just never done it.  I started working on this one immediately.

It was a 1000 piece puzzle.  That's a lot of little pieces.  I finally got the edge done and started trying to work on the inside and almost wasn't having a lot of fun with it and was a bit disappointed.  I stuck with it though and got better as I went along and then I got sort of obsessed with it.

I started seeing puzzle pieces in my sleep.  The shapes, the colors, the textures in the painting and even though I'd given myself "permission" to work on it over the holiday, I felt like it was taking up too much time and decided I'd be glad when it was finished!

I stayed up late one night and finally snapped the last piece into place.  It was a pretty puzzle.  It was fun.  I was sort of sad it was finished...but the next morning I gave it one last look and carefully took it apart and put it away. 

Whew!  Thank goodness that's over!  


And then I started to get a little itchy.


I kind of wished I had another puzzle to work.


Hmmm, I wonder if there are any more puzzles out there with sheep on them...


I'll just take a quick look.


Oh look!  There's a pretty one with sheep.  It's called "Evening at the Barnyard".  

"After a hard day's work, this farmer is headed back into the barn to wrap up the day and head home for dinner.  Dominic Davison helps us observe a typical evening at the barnyard."

I had to laugh...and immediately clicked "buy".  Why?  Not just because it's a pretty puzzle and it has sheep on it.  Look closely.  Where are the sheep?  Loose out in front of the barn haha.  And the chickens are running around out by the road ;-).

Yep, that's a pretty typical evening at the barnyard here :-D. 

If you'd like to work a puzzle of my puzzle...

Saturday, January 1, 2022

And What To My Wondering Eyes Did Appear


But we sure won't complain about a little Christmas Lamb Camp, will we! This sweet set of lambs, one boy and one girl, are Rocky and Jared grand[lambs].  There look to be a couple more ewes that might have had a little summer fling.  Fingers crossed!  ;-D

Tring Farm
Cynthiana, Kentucky


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