Monday, November 28, 2011

Refocus day

 While positioning myself to back my little Subaru into the garage on Saturday, I happened to catch this trio enjoying the last sunny day we will have for a while.  Rarely do I see Holly hanging out this closely with the llamas.  It's not that they dislike each other.  It's more that they move in different social circles.  Of course,  as soon as Strawberry saw me stop the car and get out with the camera,  she stood up and that was the end of that.

Whew ..... is it over already ?  Thanksgiving is only a memory because,  though my camera sat on the kitchen counter the whole time,  I never picked it up.  Between getting that huge meal on the table (which,  even with two ovens,  requires some real juggling ) ,  visiting with the grands and trying to participate in all the different conversations going on in various rooms,  the whole day is a bit of a blur.  I'm always a little stunned that a meal I spend nearly a week preparing can be decimated in about 30 minutes !  Last night was turkey hash for dinner and I made and froze the turkey stock this morning,  so I'm ready to refocus.  Believe it or not,  I am sick of having so much food around.  Right now,  I would love a week at an upscale spa where someone else prepared lovely little portions of healthy,  low calorie meals and served them to me ( and also did all the cleaning up! ).  Oh well,  a woman can dream,  can't she?

So,  now it's on toward Christmas.  I'm working on a few small knitting projects,  some gifts,  some things to sell at "Art on the Farm",  which will be held at my friend Lindy's Seldom Scene Farm on December 10.   I'll post all the details soon.  It will be a fun event and well worth the drive out to her beautiful farm.   ( I have a serious case of barn envy ! )

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Big Show

Tuesday was the day thecrazysheeplady and I drove in the rain to Louisville for our annual pilgrimage to the North American International Livestock Exposition.  NAILE is the BIG SHOW and pretty much culminates the show season for folks who do that sort of thing.  Many years ago,  when I thought raising purebred Romney sheep was my life-calling,  I was into it.  Now,  I love just going to watch and can't even imagine how I summoned up all the energy it took !  I often bump into people I met back then and the first thing they ask is if I am still raising sheep.  As I get older,  I try to imagine what that day will be like,  when I no longer have my sheep.  So far,  I can't even imagine it.  Anyway,  I'm taking the Scarlett O'Hara approach,  "I'll think about that tomorrow".

It's fun to walk around and see all the different breeds of sheep,  just waiting for their moment in the show ring.  Actually,  the show ring is the last thing on a sheep's mind.  As long as the food shows up when it's supposed to,  they mostly resign themselves to lounging in their straw filled pens,  probably dreaming of green pastures and their own familiar barn back home.   So many of them were standing with their heads resting on the top rail of their pens, as if to say, "Is it over yet?"  Tomorrow is the end of the show and you could tell that some of them were ready to get in the trailer and head home.

Sara has a great little video of this goofy little Tunis ram looking for a fight.  What on earth was he thinking?  Testosterone was definitely in charge.  The big guy treated the little one like he was a gnat buzzing around,  when he could have stepped over the side of the pen and finished him off !

We also wandered around the commercial area,  checking out sheep equipment and looking for sheepy stuff.  We found a really good vendor with some of the best sheep merchandise ever.  It looks like her website is a work in progress,  but you might check back later or catch her at a show near you.

( Love the bed-head look ! )

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Isn't she pretty?  This is Maybelline and she is one of my little girls produced by Henry.  Belle,  her mom is one of my favorite ewes.  Belle is not the friendliest ewe in the flock,  but she's no ding-bat either.  She's friendly when she wants to be,  but otherwise doesn't have much to say.  She is a wonderful mother to her lambs and is calm and easy to work around,  all good traits in a ewe.  Belle has a beautiful silver fleece and she's passed on the character of her fleece to Maybelline.  Combined with genetics from Henry,  this little girl has got a fleece to love.  Maybelline is a triplet and I kept both of her siblings,  so that should tell you that Belle and Henry made a good match.  ( I sure wish Henry was still around,  so I could play matchmaker again. )

We are most likely in the last days of having color on the trees.  The weather is supposed to be much colder the next few days and in the 20's at night.  It will really start to look like winter,  once all the leaves are down.  I'm thinking about and planning for Thanksgiving this week.  I'm hoping to get a jump on some of the manic grocery shopping that takes place the week of Thanksgiving and be finished early next week.  I don't know about where you live,  but around here,  grocery shopping seems to be an olympic sport!  Unless you've been training hard,  you don't want to go to Kroger's during Thanksgiving week!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Mister

 That's what I'm calling him.  He's our rent-a-ram and he came with no name.  I've got to have something to call him,  so .....  "The Mister" is it.  If he were here to stay,  I'd work a little harder at naming him,  but he'll be leaving in a few months ( or less,  if he gets the job done quickly! ).  The Mister is a Wensleydale ram lamb ( born this past spring ) and he's got the most gorgeous fleece.  If you look closely,  you can see that he has no britch and his fleece is beautifully consistent,  front to back with plenty of luster.  I can't wait to see what kind of lambs he gives me.

The Mister has not been handled at all,  so it's been a little challenging to settle him in here.  He's been penned where he could see other sheep and that has kept him fairly content,  but this morning the last of our hay was delivered and he did not like the noise from the hay elevator.  He was starting to get anxious and was trying to jump over the sides of his pen,  so we gave him a girl to keep him company.

As you can tell by her expression,  she is not that pleased or impressed.  This is Gabby  (sister to the famous Graham ).   She's 3/4 Bluefaced Leicester and 1/4 Romney and has a beautiful fleece herself.  I'm hoping these two make some beautiful babies !
( Kinda looks like a wide load - not her best angle,  but look at that fleece ! )
 Tomorrow we plan to put the marking harness on The Mister and introduce him to the rest of the ewe flock.  Crayon number one will be orange and,  if you don't know what that means,  stay tuned and I'll explain it all next week.

Happy weekending !


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Watching and waiting ......

You know,  most of the time I love where and how I live,  but sometimes,  well sometimes,  not so much.  The last week has been not so much.  Last Wednesday ( not today ) morning we had a ferocious storm .... lots of thunder and lightning,  followed by much rain.  The problem came with the lightning, which struck our phone line and blew my dsl filter right off the wall and into many little burned pieces.  So,  no phone and no Internet.  This is a major inconvenience because all the calls for my husband's veterinary practice come in on our home line,  not to mention the fact that most of my interaction with the outside world comes through my computer these days.  After many calls to the phone company,  and their many promises for having it fixed by certain time ( which came and went ),  we resorted to  having all calls forwarded to his cell phone.  Now,  mind you,  we do not have cell phone coverage here at the farm,  so we could only get phone calls if we were not at home.  But,  I couldn't leave home because I was supposed to be here waiting for the repairman from the phone company,  who was supposed to arrive immediately,  if not sooner.   Now,  I know these things do happen to people who live within the boundaries of civilization,  but it seems that living "out here" means that we have to cry louder and longer to get the service that was promised to us when we signed up with Windtream and when we send in our check each month.  Finally,  finally a very nice repairman arrived Friday afternoon and,  after much going back and forth,  he found that lightning had broken a wire inside the box on the pole at the road and again about 2 feet outside that box.  Weird,  but I was grateful that it was not something inside the house,  because then they charge you big time if they have to come inside to repair anything.  So,  why am I still being gripey about it?  Because at this moment,  we once again have no phone service,  since sometime Monday morning !  Six days out of eight with no service.   When I called yesterday to remind them that they had promised to have it repaired by Monday evening,  I was told the repairmen were especially busy and they would get here when they got here.  Sigh ....... and it's not as if we have any alternative.  So, we wait.  Anyway,  that accounts for my silence for the last week and I'm hopeful that I still have one or two readers left out there in the world!

So,  what are else are we watching and waiting for around here?  I'm watching the trees turn and the leaves fall ( along with the pecans from those huge pecan trees around our house - those are the big trees that are still green ).

These girls?  They're waiting for the "man of the year"  or I should say "ram of the year" .  Of course, they don't know it yet,  but  they don't have long to wait.  He'll be arriving at Tanglewood Farm tomorrow!