Sunday, February 26, 2023

My Favorite Sheep...Of The Week

Biscuit, one of the fleece "show ponies" of the flock, out grazing pastorally by the big pond with his friends, raising beautiful wool in preparation for shearing next month.


These pictures were actually taken almost three weeks ago now.  The grass has greened way up since then.  This is not good for fat sheep or fat horses, but does make it easier to keep them from foraging for snacks in places where I have to pull off a bunch of, ahem, vegetable matter.

Biscuit grew up to be one of the more "background sheep".  He's still cute and sweet and loves attention, but he's not going to fight his way into the mix of the big personalities that hog all the attention in the "foreground".

His BFF is still Muffin and I find them either side by side or near each other most of the time.  I just love that.  Mini Moose, the gray sheep next to him in the first picture, is another of his best buddies.  Mini Moose is another of the background sheep.  Both boys are polite and kind and well worth the effort to visit.

I can identify many of the sheep by their voice.  Well, I should say of the talkers in the flock, I can identify most of them.  Not everyone says much or even anything.  Biscuit is easy though.  He has one of the deepest baaas ever.  I don't think he's talking to me much anymore, but I should start paying more attention to see if I can figure out what he's saying and to whom.

Here is a link to his new baby post.  He was definitely a cutie.  
If you'd like to hang out with the background boys for a bit, here's a fun new puzzle :-).

Any special requests for the next Sheep of the Week?

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Silly Boys

"Looks like we're going to have some entertainment today, girls."

"Think Pinto can take those big boys, Muffin?"

"Are they going to get hurt?"

"Nah.  There's probably only one shared brain cell in the whole bunch."

"You two think you're tough, but you're just big and fat!"

"You're getting pretty big and fat too, Pinto!"

"Okay, them's fightin' words!"

"We hope you enjoyed the show!"

Monday, February 20, 2023

Major Sled Repair

Saturday started off cold, but turned nice by the afternoon.  I love sitting and knitting in the sun on cold days and my favorite spot is still the old Grahaminator.  20 decided to join me,  Archie jumped up and climbed into my knitting bag and then Zelda walked up the ramp.  Possum was sitting over on the water tank cover, Bea was just under our feet and the sheep were hanging around the barn lot.  

Since we were obviously now having a barn party, we called Auntie Reg.  I half jokingly told her that I hoped I didn't end up in the ER by falling through the very frail wooden stand.  There was one basically solid section in the top, right in the middle.  The two sides and the front corner were "spongy" at best.

The Grahaminator had been built in February of 2012 and had been designed to give Hank a safe place to eat without having to deal with Graham stealing his food.  Luckily Saint Tim built it pretty heavy duty, because I loved sitting up there too.  For the last year or so, when it really started to fall apart, he kept saying we needed to take it down.  So we did :-(.

And then we rebuilt it! :-D

I was able to find enough scrap lumber so we didn't need to buy a single board.  The new top was made from an old shearing board a friend had given me years ago.  They had stopped shearing their own sheep and I sure hope I don't have to start shearing ours, so I gave it a new job.  I think it will be happy. 

I was able to save the old end boards and several of the short boards.  They weren't in great shape, but with the new framework they were no longer structurally needed and I wanted to keep as many of the old boards as possible.  That's where the memories are stored!  Tim had left by this point ;-)

As I worked to fit the face pieces I looked over and saw Bea sitting up on the hill watching the sheep and I immediately thought of Hank.  Was it just because I was already thinking about him as we rebuilt his old "tree fort"...or was he still around, checking in.  That was one of his favorite spots to sit.

Everything was going well until the last two boards.  I'd decided to add a bottom board to cover up all the rotted ends and cut the front one just a hair too short.  I remembered from an earlier barn project that "Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and barn building," but if we've learned nothing from all the knitting rip outs...  It matches perfectly now ;-).

All it needs is a good coat of fence paint!  And maybe the old ramp, just for posterity...or the chickens.

Archie approved.

There are some great posts about the old Grahaminator.  You can follow this link if you'd like to remember some funny stuff.  I love this picture from 2017.  The good old days.  Hank and Comby were still here and the view was uninterrupted up the hill.  I love that I coincidentally took a picture with my old Crazy Creek chair, a new orange cat and the same knitting bag.  

The view from up top last night.  Click to biggify for sheep.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

My Favorite Sheep...Of The Week

This week's Sheep of the Week is Spud, although as I scrolled back through all the old Spud posts, he was usually referred to as Sweet Spud.  

Spud arrived here in the summer of 2014 along with Murphy and Woody to be buddies for Baaxter.  They got into all sorts of fun that first year.  Besides normal teenage hijinks, they dressed up for Halloween and even had a Christmas party.  Do you remember the Spaceship?  He was one of the Spaceship sheep :-).

Spud earned Sweet Spud by, well, by being sweet.  He loved Hank and would always stop to visit with him and "close talk".  Hank never seemed to mind.  Spud would also check in with me almost every morning, lean into me for a sheep hug and we'd visit for a couple of minutes before he headed out for breakfast.  

My favorite Sweet Spud story however, is how he was one of the main Sheep Chicken sheep, helping the old hen up onto her perch each night.  My favorite of those posts was this video.  There are several pictures and a couple of videos of the sheep working to help that old hen.  I loved that.

The picture up top was taken last winter.  It's the December picture on the 2023 calendar.  Salt was Miss December in 2022.  That calendar is still hanging in the wash room.  I can't bring myself to take it down.  I doubt I'll take 2023 down at the end of this year either.  I had to make the hard call this past week.  

Sweet Spud

Spring 2014 - February 13, 2023

He was one of the very best.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Wool You Be Our Valentine?

Last year was a pretty funny Valentine's Day with Pinto still in quarantine/lockdown in Del Boca Vista.  It's hard to believe he's only been here a little over one year.  Somehow I never thought to share the pictures from his Kissing Campaign over here so for fun and posterity I'm going to share them here this year.

He was pretty sure ALL the girls wanted to be his girlfriend and when he did finally get released into the general population later that month,  Jared quickly set him straight.  I'll share that video at the bottom.  It's long and not super action packed until around the 16 minute mark, but it was a beautiful afternoon so if you want to hang out on the farm for awhile, you are welcome.

This year we are going to have a Valentine's party for everyone.  I have a big stash of cookies from farm friends who included some cookie money with their calendar checks.  The kind notes that get included* in the return envelopes completely make my day.  The cookies make the sheep's days :-).  One of my favorites was the extra money specifically designated to replace the Cheerios Archie ate from Maisie birthday cake.  Thank you!

It's supposed to be a nice afternoon, so the cookie party will be at 4:00 eastern time tomorrow, February 14.  It will be live on Instagram, but if you can't join us there, I'll post the recorded footage over here and on Facebook later.  

Without further ado...Happy Baa-lentine's Day from Pinto (2022).  He's hoping everyone can be his Baa-lentine this year!

"Yeah, that ought to work."

"How you doin'?"

"No one wants to be my Baa-lentine?"



*You absolutely do not have to include a note or extra cookie or hay money.  Your purchases themselves support the farm and are very, very appreciated.  The personal touches though make it very hard to even consider turning the farm shop into a "click to purchase" website :-).

Sunday, February 12, 2023

My Favorite Sheep...Of The Week

By special request...

Muuuuuffin ("You gotta say it right." :-)

I also had some questions about the black sheep turning gray so I thought I could talk about both things in one post, but then I thought about all the sweet pictures of Muffin and her mom that I wanted to include and decided to leave the focus just on the sheep and do a separate post about the interesting colors.

Muffin had a rough start in life with a mom too old to really take care of her.  Like most tough little girls, she probably shouldn't have made it, but her momma loved her very much and her shepherd did everything she could to help and against all odds, here she is...six (!) years later.  

I doubt there has ever been a sweeter momma and baby.  "Granny" (later named Mrs. Pepperpot when she moved here) might not have been able to feed her own lamb, but she watched every bottle given to her.  Every time we gave her baby medicine, she watched.  Mean shots...she was right there.  Naptime was where she shined.

I loved both the darling lamb and her kind old mom and when I ready to get a buddy for Biscuit, I picked them.  I knew Pepperpot wouldn't care about Biscuit hanging around and I also knew that compromised little lamb would be less stressed moving over here if her mom was with her.  They both needed a soft spot to land and they became one of my favorite chapters in the Punkin's Patch story.

This is how they always slept.  I have a feeling they might still sleep together if Mrs. P was still here.  The day I had to make that hard call was heartbreaking.  I'm so glad I was able to save enough of her wool to make their mother/daughter sweater.

Something I always marveled at was how pretty Mrs. Pepperpot got after she moved here.  She was definitely not a pretty ewe in those early pictures...and I always chose the prettiest pictures to post.  I wish she'd have had more years here, but the time she spent I know she enjoyed.

By the way, that's Biscuit looking on from the background.  He was never really a snuggler, but he always stayed close.  He and Muffin are still almost always side by side. 

Remember, if you want to read more stories about any of the featured sheep, just follow their link in the tags at the bottom of the post or their label on the right hand side of the blog.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

An Interesting Development

We've long been fascinated by Maisie's watchful flock dog behavior.  I've always just chalked that up to growing up with Hank as her best friend.  I'd like to think he taught her everything she knows.  And maybe/probably that's true.

When she basically forced her way into Easy Breezy this winter I noticed that she was no longer guarding the back of the barn as much anymore.  I've pondered on that and maybe she feels ineffective behind the closed gate now or maybe feels more secure behind the gate...or maybe she just decided to retire.

After the coyote incident last week...

...I've found Krista and Maggie sitting out back every night and/or early morning.  Now they have done this off and on for as long as they've been in the main flock, but up until now, not every night.  Krista is still a very devoted mother and as street smart as they come. I think they are out there with a purpose.

I took the above picture this morning.  It was actually still pitch dark, but the iPhone can draw in crazy amounts of light we can't see so I was able to enhance it to show Maggie sitting in Maisie's old spot with Maisie nearby.  

I love to watch the sheep and try to figure out who's doing what and why.  Hank and Salt were interesting as well.  Bea is super interesting to observe, but not in a peaceful flock sort of way ;-). Cats are cats...  

I think we may have a new flock guardian sheep.  Interestingly, she too is a very small white sheep.  And note that her big brother (nor any of the other boys) is not out there with per usual ;-).

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Archie On A Monday Morning

Who are we kidding, this could easily be a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday....


Sunday, February 5, 2023

My Favorite Sheep...Of The Week

Some sheep here seem to get more than their fair share of online attention.  It's not always all about Maisie or Jared or Short Round or the lambs...well, it usually is all about Maisie...or else someone pays the price ;-).  

Still, there are lots of really great sheep here and in an effort to keep up a better blogging routine, I'm going to start doing a Sheep of the Week feature and give someone else a chance to shine. It will probably be whoever gets a good picture during the week, but if there's someone special you'd like to see, shout it out in the comments!

This week's Sheep of the Week is Baaxter Black, also known as Baby B or by what he thinks his real name is, Lamby Lamby.  Baaxter was one of our funniest and most precocious lambs and he got in so much trouble as a baby.  

We made the mistake of giving him a piece of a corn chip in the kitchen one day - I'm sure it was really early on - and he became a corn chip junkie.  He'd climb as high up the counter as he could and try to steal corn chips and if he knew you had chips in your hand or on your plate, he'd jump on you like a naughty dog.

He still loves treats of all kinds, but tends to hang towards the back of the crowd during cookie parties.  If I want to sneak him something, all I have to do is quietly call "Lamby, Lamby" and he ducks around and comes to find me.

Baaxter's wool is no longer black, but a fairly light gray.  He's a Jacob/Polypay cross, so it's pretty soft and very easy to spin.  I have a blanket I wove from his lamb shear and my Carbeth sweater came from his second shear.  I seldom get to use the blanket because Archie has claimed it, but I wear the sweater all the time.  His gray added a hint of color to the Lamb Camp Bottle Lamb yarn.

Baby B is still a character.  At nine he's starting to slow down, but he still goes out to graze with everyone.  He likes it when I sneak him some extra food though.  His favorite person in the world is still Auntie Reg and I'm going to wrap this up with my favorite Baby B video :-).

Friday, February 3, 2023

Sixteen Candles

Yesterday was my 16th blogiversary!  

I'd like to type out something really profound to commemorate this, but I can't figure out what I want to say, so here's a cute picture (and puzzle) of Christopher and Maggie sharing a hay snack this afternoon while Krista looks on, still keeping watch over her little family.

I'm glad they're here and could stay a family.  I'm glad you all are here, too :-).  

Wednesday, February 1, 2023


The first month end photo compilation of 2023 is done, right on time.  Having to put five together to catch up at the end of the year will definitely scare you straight!  

January was a....a...month. Definitely some highs and lows. So many highs and lows that by the end of the 365th day of the month I'd forgotten some of the earlier ones.  That horrible storm in the middle of the night and then torrential rains for the whole day after that...forgotten.  The late evening walk out to the back field with the sheep as the moon rose...forgotten.

I sort of didn't care that I'd forgotten that bad storm and flooding rains.  I'm glad to remember the evening walk though.  To remember that weird feeling of...relief?...that that long day was over.  The whole month has felt a bit like that.

This was a "live" walk out back that night.  It's a fine memory.

January was frequently "damp" and almost always muddy. I lost a good friend, Archie lost a couple of his nine lives, I ripped out an entire months work of knitting and the sheep lost their ever loving minds a couple of times. Those memories are all here - in the pictures that many would say are just sharing the sweetness and light and not the real life.  

You have to pay attention to see it.  But it's also good to pay attention to see the moon rise at the end of a long day, the way it feels to stroke the hair on Jared's head as you both watch the sun rise and know your friend isn't suffering anymore, to be happy your injured cat is able to find comfort sleeping on his favorite person. 

How it feels to ride your horse on a semi dry afternoon, the cozy fire while you (re)knit and watch Archie contemplate cashing in another life, the golden girls out grazing in the yard, Bea sleeping on the couch and an old sheep still working it for some cookies.

I treasure these compilations.



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