Sunday, March 31, 2024

Weekend Wrap Up

The first part of the week was still a struggle mostly due to dealing with the weather, worrying about the weather, being beat down from dealing with and worrying about the weather.  It started warming up during the days some, but stayed cold at night.  We all took advantage of the sun when we could.

Jared and Short Round have been sweet for a couple of years now.  Remember when Jared lost Rocky and she sat out with him in the yard?  They are often seen together, but I've never seen him cuddle up and rest his head on her.  He was tired and still a little beat down by the weather and I was so glad to see him get some comfort from a friend.

You'll have to zoom in to see the bird gathering up stray locks of wool leftover from shearing.  Spring is here...even when it doesn't feel like it.

This video of everyone heading out one morning was fun.

And on one warm afternoon even Betsy came up to the barn for a bit.  I enjoyed sitting out with everyone for awhile and got a few rows of knitting in.  I love to knit in the barn.  I'm still mushing.

This is an interesting picture and not just because the barn wall is reflecting green...surely not from the grass outside (?).  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this was again a weather feature.  Look how many sheep are standing in the outside shed and how few can be seen in the inside stall.  

The wind was blasting from the south, the back end of the barn.  I had all the doors pulled closed, but left an opening in the door on the inside stall so they could still go out and get a drink and if anyone wanted to brave some grazing.  That opening was enough to drive everyone to the closed off side.  

Wind from the south sounds warm, but it always feels extra cold to me...and it looks like to the sheep and chickens as well.

I have always suspected that if Murphy stopped leading everyone out, Krista would take over.  She's not going to put up with his nonsense and headed out to get busy that morning.  Her kids weren't far behind her and when Murphy realized everyone was leaving without him, he ran to catch up and take back the lead.

For a couple of days Pinto decided he'd like to settle down and tie the knot.  He got sweet on Muffin after shearing and stayed pretty infatuated for awhile, not letting her out of his sight and making sure no one got too close to her...including Biscuit :-/.

Muffin put up with it for several days and then I noticed her walk away with Biscuit once morning and Pinto just kept eating and didn't seem to care.  I wonder how that all got decided.  I never saw any fighting between the boys, so I'd like to think Muffin took care of it ;-).

When Maisie gets cold she stands in the skirting area surrounded by bags of wool.  She's so clever.  That's also how I've been deciding if she needs to warm her puffy coat each night.  Sleeping in the straw with your friends has to be so much more comfortable than standing up by yourself.  She happily kits up.  Last night was the first night she didn't need her coat.

This was a fun new addition to the family and will be a funny story to share heading into the new week, so stay tuned :-).

* * * * *

The week ended on a much better note and I feel like things are getting back to "normal" finally.  Frankie and I have started back to work...just in time for a week of heavy rain predicted.  I'm hoping I don't lose my momentum outside and can instead focus on some inside jobs on the deluge days.

I'm really tired of complaining about the weather.  

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Good Help

"I can't believe you were going to start without me."

"I don't know who thinks they're in charge around here."

"So this is what you're using."

"Doesn't look too hard."

"Interesting technique."

"Well, I guess that's one way to do it."

"This sheet feels about the right size."

Archie took lots of breaks...

"It's important to make sure everything stays secure."

These are my friend Rebecca's sheep.  She's been bringing them over for shearing for many years now.

"You should probably add a strap up there."

"It'll ride."

"And that's a wrap."

Shearing doesn't happen without a lot of good help and this year's crew was the best...including Archie...most of the time ;-).  

Friday, March 29, 2024

A Rare Sighting

I was downloading some pictures for a friend yesterday and found some pictures that Miss B took after shearing.  I don't remember exactly what was going on here, but this group of sheep were probably thinking my coffee cup had treats in it.  I don't think most of them would just choose hanging out with me over eating green grass ;-).

Thanks, Miss B.  I don't have many pictures of me with my friends :-).

I have a funny series of pictures of Archie during shearing.  Stay on me so I don't forget to post them!

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Weekend Wrap Up

I'm going to try something new.  I've actually been thinking about doing this for a couple of years, but apparently needed the FB debacle to push me to actually do it.  

The Plan - even if I do some blog posts throughout the week (the ideal situation), I'm going to try to do a Weekend Wrap Up post that picks some important IG posts and shares them over here and on FB.

I hate that there are so many good (frequently really good) memories stored over on IG that never make this searchable blog.  While I don't care much at all about FB, I do care about the people who follow me over there and who are now missing all the daily posts.

At some point maybe I'll figure out a way to fix the FB issue, but at this point, a few posts are hopefully better than no posts.

And while there is much of this past week that I'd like to forget, that's not how life and farming works, so without further ado...the first Weekend Wrap Up.

* * * * * 

I'd like to start off by saying thank you for all the kind comments, messages and notes about Blossom.  I knew that was going to hit a lot of us really hard.  I still can't believe she's gone, but I hope she's out grazing along the creek with Hank and dancing in the moonlight. 

If you'd have asked me last Saturday, I'd have said shearing went great.  It did, as far as shearing goes.  Once again, after weeks of really nice weather, we got hit with a horrible cold snap and honestly I think it was worse than last year because it was still blasting us with a miserable cold wind today, eight days later.

I am definitely not going to forget any of that because it's going to dictate how I schedule things next year.  In the meantime, let's remember everyone out grazing that afternoon, the last warm day, and enjoy seeing Biscuit and Muffin still grazing side by side just as they have done since they were lambs :-).

Here's a short flock walk from Monday evening:

While I don't like the story behind this picture, I do like the picture.

Jared was miserably cold.  On Wednesday, he finally felt well enough to leave the barn and sneak out to get his special second breakfast.  I nearly cried.  He started improving every day after that and was almost back to normal this afternoon.

On a happier note, I heard the first Purple Martins chirruping Friday afternoon.  They'd have been happier a week or two ago when it was warm and there were bugs everywhere, but they'll be happy tomorrow when it warms back up.  

This was a screen capture using the Merlin Bird app.  If you aren't already familiar with that, check it out.  Big fun!

While it might appear that I've just been wandering around lost in the Alaskan wilderness, I am still working on my Iknitarod project.  We'll get there eventually.

* * * * *

Okay, this wasn't too hard and on a better week, might actually be pretty fun to put together and hopefully I'll do more than just hit the high spots.  There were more pictures on IG and some pictures that never even got shared over there, so maybe I'll do a couple of catch (further) up posts.

On to the new week!

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Pretty Baba

April 2012 - March 18, 2024

I loved this picture Saturday night.  Now it just makes me sad.  We don't know what happened.  Everything was okay...until it wasn't.  Blossom was fine Saturday night and by Sunday morning was not.  Nothing we did helped and we lost her Monday morning.

Blossom was one of my very favorite lambs and continued to be a favorite her whole life.  She was a true character known best for her outstanding napping ability, sleeping through much of the day and then going out to graze by herself in the dark.  Once I got used to that odd behavior, I enjoyed seeing her out as I walked up to the barn for the last night check.

I made a small batch of drop spindles for the Shepherd's Market earlier this year.  As far as I can remember, those 12 kits are the only kits that didn't include Baba's roving (I was out).  Her fleece was beautiful and easy to spin and she was part of over 400 drop spindle kits over the years.  I'd love to know how many spinners got their start using her wool.

I wish I go back through the archives and pull out some of my favorite pictures, but I just can't yet.  I did go find one that long time readers will remember.  If you don't know about Baba and her cot, that would be a fun trip down memory lane.

She slept on that cot until it completely fell apart :'-).

Thursday, March 14, 2024

A Good Night

My favorite time of day tends to be evening.  I love stopping to watch the sheep and chickens head in for the night, all the birds looking for a spot to sleep and, unless you're a bat, the feeling of settling in for the night.  The bats aren't here yet, but I doubt they are far away.

The day is done.  A good day or not, there's comfort in knowing we've all made it through another one.  I think that's part of the attraction of fall.  Knowing I made it through another summer.  It's time to settle in for the winter.

While spring is not my favorite season, there are a few things I really do enjoy.  Hearing the spring peepers in the Frog Pond might be my favorite.


Monday, March 11, 2024

Just A Few Years Older

I saw Liddy out grazing under one of our favorite old trees this afternoon and wondered if I sat down out there if she'd still come sit with me.  She laid down on her own so I walked over to sit with her.  It was a perfect spring afternoon.  Bright blue sky, greening up grass, busy birds, a few bees and cool enough that it was still enjoyable to sit out in the sun.  

There is almost nothing that smells as good as a warm sheep napping in the sun.

Liddy will always be my little girl :-).

From the Way Back Machine - May 2015

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Fun With Friends

"Hi!  My name is Marshmallow!  I just spent a week here at Equinox Farm and while I was here the sheep lady knit me a sweater before I headed for my new home up north."

"It's a really nice sweater and it's super warm.  It was made from a sheep named Renny.  She said you'd all know who that was."

"Once she got my sweater finished I got to go out to the barn and meet all the sheep.  I didn't get to meet Renny though.  She said she lived here a long time ago.  I'm sad I didn't get to meet her.  She sounded like a great sheep.  Pinto was really nice though and he even let me kiss him on his nose!"

"Then we had a big cookie party.  That was pretty crazy.  I'm glad we took lots of pictures. If you ever get to come to the farm, you definitely want to do a cookie party!"

"Then I went in and wrote a story about all the fun things I got to do while I was at the farm.  It has lots of pictures. You can read it here if you'd like.  There's a funny picture of what the sheep lady said was "Maisie, being Maisie."  That sheep is a little scary if you don't have a lot of cookies!"

"I had a really good time, but I'm glad I made is safely to my new home with my new mom.  The sheep lady says she's known her for a long time and that I'm going to have a lot of fun here, too."

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Who Am I?

I like this little cartoon.  I really didn't think I'd be able to successfully put that many friends into a small square, but it works :-).

I didn't do my Muffin sweater right.  It's now a yoke sweater with Mrs. Pepperpot's white showing.  Much better.  I fed Muffin a lot of bottles, but she never lived in my kitchen so I hadn't included her in the yarn mix...but she fits perfectly in this scenario.

I don't have a stuffed sheep Iknitarider this year.  I stewed on that a bit and finally decided Bea was obviously my rider this year.  Duh.

I've finally cast on and have a few rows knitted.  I really struggled with what to knit this year and had it narrowed down to two choices, neither of which I was super thrilled with.  One I will do eventually.  The other...maybe with some different yarn.  I ended up going with a back burner third choice.

More to come!

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Wait! I'm Here! I'm Here!

I'm off to a late start, but we are finally ready to hit the trail.  I'm still not 100% certain of what I'm making, but I'm going to be using the Lamb Camp Bottle Lamb yarn so I put everyone on the Ravatar with me.  I'll start knitting tomorrow.

When you aren't competitive and are mostly in the race for the experience, it's called a "camping trip".  That's going to be my plan for this year.  I'm going to enjoy spending time with some of my very best friends and hopefully have a vest to show for it at the end.

Can you identify all the sheep above?  A couple are a little vague, but the "characters" should be easily recognized :-).


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