Friday, September 23, 2011

Up and at 'em

Things are better around here this week ... on several fronts.  I am on my feet and the crutches have retired to the garage attic once more.  I'm thrilled that I was able to get back up and running ( so to speak ) so soon.  This time last week,  I wouldn't have wanted to put any money on how long it would take me to resume my regularly scheduled program.  Any other time,  I might have taken advantage of an excuse to stay couch-bound ( with knitting time ) as long as possible,  but the wedding to-do list waits for no one!
Remember her?  It's little Olive!
Best of all,  we have had rain.  Beautiful,  slow,  all day rains.  The grass is green again after being given up for dead.  All humans and animals are much happier,  even if it does mean I'm back on the mower.  The only down-side to the rain is that the greenhouse construction is not finished.  The builder still says it will be done before the wedding.  I have my doubts,  but at this point,  I'm not going to stress about it.
Holly standing - Aslan reclining
So,  how about a Holly and Aslan report?  They are best buds.  Holly goes in to Aslan's field once or twice a day to visit,  maybe have a little romp,  and then back to her group of ewes,  who are still in the "outfield".   Aslan is still with the little girl lambs,  plus Strawberry and Pippi,  and is doing great.  His first day here,  he barked at the llamas because he'd never seen anything like them before,  but once he was in the field with them,  he accepted that they were a normal part of his new world.  Great Pyrenees are sometimes a little weird about their routines and surroundings,  but Aslan has adapted very,  very well.  Our dear,  sweet Holly is probably the weirdest LGD  ( Livestock Guardian Dog ) I have ever owned and having Aslan here has made it even more obvious.   That's okay.  We love her anyway!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Why they don't call me Grace.....

No one could ever call me graceful.  I tend to throw myself into whatever I'm doing and,  as Mike likes to say,  it becomes me against the world.  I've always assumed, if I tried hard enough, I could make it happen,  which some people ( named Mike ) might call hard headed-ness.  At the moment, I'm having another one of those dreaded lessons in slowing down,  being patient and not forcing the issue.

Late Sunday afternoon,  I was doing battle with the flower bed above the koi pond.  I have decided to clean out most of the beds close to the house and simplify the plantings,  so that there isn't so much constant maintenance.   I'm ready to spend more time in the vegetable garden and less time weeding flower beds,  especially those being overtaken by Virginia Creeper and vinca.....with some poison ivy thrown in for good measure.  So,  I've been pretty aggressive in the clean up,  as we are preparing for the wedding.  Anyway...........I was using my handy dandy 4 tine cultivator/mini-rake to pull vines from the flower bed and was careless enough to prop it against the garden cart.  While my back was turned,  it fell down,  directly behind me and when I backed up,  I stepped right on it.  One of the tines went through my shoe and into my foot.  I don't think I need to tell you how that felt.  Yeow!  So,  after a trip to the Urgent Treatment Center for a tetanus shot,  x-ray,  pain medication,  antibiotics and crutches,  here I sit,  with my leg propped on pillows,  looking out at all the work I need to be doing.   Can you say frustration?

So, plans and to-do lists are being revised and I'm settling in on the couch with my knitting.  At least, that's one good thing to come out of this.  Thank goodness for knitting.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Want to guess what this is?  Here's a hint - she has four legs and some big ears that she needs to grow in to.  I was out in the little girl's pasture this afternoon,  just checking up on Aslan and how he was getting along with his charges.  Anytime I'm with these little girls,  I can count on Luna and Birdie coming in close for a scratch under the chin and a little sweet talk.  I so love that about my bottle babies.  No matter how old they get,  they never forget that I'm their mother.  Of course,  once I've fed them for months and spent so much time with them,  I don't forget either and can't bear to sell any of them,  so I have quite a collection of sheep that see me as their mama.  Anyway,  back to the picture.

Do those look like a shepherd's hands, or what?  I need some hand care!
This is Birdie's fleece and I think it's  gorgeous.  I already know I won't be selling this fleece at shearing time next spring.  It already has my name on it!  There are other ewe lambs in the flock with similar fleeces,  including Birdie's two sisters,  and those I'll be willing to part with because they are not my special babies.  The ewe lambs are still a little shy about Aslan and,  when he walked up beside me,  Birdie got those ready-for-takeoff ears going on.

As you might be able to see,  just below the dried up stubble,  our pastures are starting to come back to life after the many inches of rain we've had this past week.  I'm so grateful for the remnants of hurricane Lee making it's way to us.  A week of cloudy, drizzly days has done wonders for my frame of mind.  I think we might actually survive the summer now!
Luna hopes you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Joining forces

( That's Aslan on the inside and Holly on the outside. )
Our security staff had a meet-up today and decided to work as a team.  I am happy to report that Aslan and Holly are doing well together.  Holly goes to visit in the field where Aslan and his girls are staying.  So far,  he has not realized that he could follow her out,  if he chose to.  Aslan was raised on a farm with electric fencing and he is respecting our woven wire fencing,  which is just how I was hoping he would react.  So far, so good.
( Those two white objects are on duty. )
Thanks to an impressive cold front and remnants of hurricane Lee,  we have finally gotten much needed rain and a drastic cool off in temperature.  We are an unbelievable 40 degrees cooler than we were two days ago !  Already,  there are hints of green in the pastures again.  Ah,  Kentucky weather.  Always interesting.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Thermometer in the barn.
I'm hot!
Buddy says, "Wake me when it's cooler".

Friday, September 2, 2011

It's a boy!

He's such a handsome boy
A boy dog that is.  Aslan has come to live at Tanglewood Farm.  In my whole dog-owning life,  I've only owned three male dogs.  About a hundred years ago,  I had a male mini-Schnauzer and then,  in the not so distant past and at different times, I've adopted male Great Pyrenees from friends who were selling their sheep and needed a working home for their dogs.  Sadly,  friends of ours have sold their flock this week,  due to health problems,  and asked if we would take their dog.  We already knew he was a great dog because Mike has been his veterinarian since the beginning.  So,  we were more than willing to try him.

Aslan has been here since Monday night and most of that time,  unless I could be out with him and supervise,  I've kept him in his kennel in the barn aisle,  next to where the lambs spend the night.  My hope is to bond him to my "keeper" group of ewe lambs,  so they will have protection with them all the time.  Right now, the adult ewes are in the "outfield",  the most distant pasture from the barn.  Poor Holly has been going back and forth,  back and forth,  trying to keep an eye on everyone.  I think she's been nervous about having everyone scattered about.  So,  reinforcement has arrived.  This morning, Aslan went out with his girls and,  cross my fingers,  it's going well.  Apart from a little bit of romping around in the beginning,  which scared those silly little girl lambs into running away,  he has settled and seems happy to be back with sheep again.  The worst part is that it is predicted to be 97 degrees today.  They all have access to the barn,  plenty of cool water to drink and all the barn fans are running on high,  so they will be as comfortable as is possible in this kind of weather.

Our pastures have reached the extra crispy stage and we are praying that the front coming through late this weekend will bring us rain.  Otherwise,  it looks as though I'll start feeding hay much,  much earlier than usual. 

This holiday weekend means we have an extra day to work on wedding preparations.  I'm starting to feel a little ( more like a lot ) anxiety about all that remains to be done,  but I suppose the wedding will happen and it will turn out fine,  no matter what's left on the to-do list.  Seems somehow ironic that this is the Labor Day holiday !