Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Luna asked me to wish everyone who comes here to read about Her,  a Happy, Happy New Year !  ( She also asked why I wasn't bringing Her dinner now,  instead of messing with the camera. )  As far as Luna is concerned,  it's all about Luna ......... all the time !

From everyone here at Sheep Dreams,  we wish all of you a year of good health and peace of mind.  And plenty of time for fiber fun !  We'll see you next year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Many blessings to all of you

All of us here at Tanglewood Farm wish you a Merry Christmas,  with many blessings in the New Year to come.  Thank you for visiting here and your friendship.  I'm so grateful for all of you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gone, so soon

 We've had a sad few days around here.  Sweet Phoebe died suddenly,  early this week.  I've been conflicted about whether to share that news here,  especially in this season of celebration.  I finally decided that silence was,  in some way,  being dishonest.   She was such a joy and I'm finding it difficult to believe that she is already gone.  Every time I have gone to feed,  her empty cage has been a shock.  This morning,  I disassembled it and put away all of her food and toys.  Life and death are so much a part of living on a farm with animals,  but sometimes it just feels worse than others.

Meanwhile,  I have no time to sit around and dwell on it,  which may be just as well.  I'm so far behind in my baking,  cookie and candy making and present wrapping that I cannot stop long enough to wallow in bad feelings.  So,  I'm making a strong effort to remember how much fun she was and I how much I enjoyed her while she was in my life.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The peace-keeper

 Maude ( the CVM ) apparently got up on the wrong side of her hay bale this morning.  She was a grouchy girl and started picking on Olive as soon as they went out into the big field.  That head-butting stuff is disturbing to watch ( and hear ), but they rarely carry on with it for any length of time.  Usually,  the instigator gets bored with it and wanders off.  That big white sheep is Buddy and he's the peace-maker, lamb baby-sitter and company keeper in the flock.  Buddy is a wether ( remember this post ? ),  so he's allowed to be in with the girls now that breeding season is over.  I love that he was trying to peacefully discourage this little dust-up.  I watched for quite a while this morning,  just to be sure I wasn't imagining it.  He kept stepping between the two and protecting little Olive from Maude.  How sweet is that ?  He didn't give up until Maude quit harassing Olive.

Maude is a Romeldale/California Variegated Mutant.  Romeldales originated in the early 1900's,  from breeding Romney rams to Rambouillet ewes,  for the purpose of getting finer, heavier fleeces and market lambs of good size.  CVMs came about in the 1960's when a breeder in California noticed the unique markings of a ewe in his flock and continued to breed for that.  So,  while it is somewhat confusing,  all CVMs are Romeldales,  but only Romeldales with the distinctive badger face markings are classified CVMs.  CVMs are on the American Livestock Conservancy's endangered list and are listed as critical.  Because I no longer have a purebred CVM ram,  I will not have any CVM lambs next spring,  though those distinctive markings often show up in crossbred lambs.  You can see a little of that in Olive's markings.  In all the years I have been raising sheep,  I've never had any with the personality traits that my CVMs display.  I don't know what it is.  Maybe I just bring out the weirdness in them !  They are the only ones in the flock who climb,  eat tree bark and generally stay completely to themselves.  I'd be interested in knowing if anyone else has CVMs that do those things.

Don't you just love that face?
 Anyway ....... peace has been restored,  thanks to Buddy.  He's such a good boy and truly the buddy-sheep around here !

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Who are you .......


and what have you done with The Bun?  You'd never know it was the same girl, as in this picture. Phoebe is,  oh so patiently,   allowing me to learn how to harvest her fiber.  When I had bunnies before,  I always combed or plucked their fiber,   which required working on the bunny for several sessions.  When Phoebe came home with me this past summer,  I decided to harvest it all at once,  by clipping her.  Poor thing looks a little moth eaten.  ( Yikes,  moth is a four-letter word for people like me ! )

( I think I'm feeling a little lighter ! )
Even though she's living in the barn now,  she is still affectionate and ( mostly ) calm when being handled.  This morning,  she allowed me to hold her chin up to clip underneath and turn her over to clip her belly.  Afterwards,  we sat in the sun,  with her sitting in my lap or stretching up to put her head on my shoulder ( aawww - how sweet is that ? ) .  I put her in the big dog crate for a little exercise and she discovered clover growing through the bottom - hence the green stain around her mouth !  I didn't even see that until I downloaded the picture from the camera.

I'll have a few of my felted bowl sets and some really cute, tiny little mitten, sweater and hat ornaments.
On a completely different subject:  I'll be at Seldom Scene Farm's "Art on the Farm" event this coming weekend.  Lindy has lined up an impressive list of artists ( with the exception of me ), who will set up in her beautiful,  enclosed barn ( the space will be heated ) and, besides some wonderful local and handmade items for your Christmas shopping,  we'll treat you to tasty refreshments.  It looks like the weather is going to be clear and sunny and it will be a great day to drive away from the mall and crowds,  and out to the peace and quiet of the countryside.  Hope you will join us.  You can get directions and find out more about the event here .

Monday, December 5, 2011

Because they've been such good girls ...

( they wanted to wear their Christmas halters )
All last week,  Luna and Birdie kept hinting about going see Santa.  (They had heard that Uncle Graham had gotten to go before. )  They were afraid that if they didn't get there to deliver the message in person,  Santa might not realize their presents needed to be delivered to a barn,  not to a house.  Frankly,  I wasn't so sure how the whole thing might come off.  The possibilities for chaos seemed almost unlimited.  Saturday morning it was dry,  sunny and warm-ish and,  on the spur of the moment,  I said,  "What the heck?  Let's do it".   Santa was at the closest Southern States farm store and when I called ahead,  to be sure it was okay,  they said come on over.   After begging asking Mike to go along as photographer,  we discovered that I'd grabbed the camera that needed the battery charged,  so documentation was done by iPhone.  ( I need to make notes to myself,  in case I ever do this again. )

( Is it my imagination or does Santa look a little wary ? )

Luna and Birdie could have used a little more grooming ( like a bath,  maybe ! ) and I'm pretty sure Santa had to change his white gloves after we left,  but a good time was had by all.  The folks at Southern States were tickled to have sheep in the store ( go figure ? ).  Luna and Birdie played it like they go to Southern States every Saturday morning.  They walked right in,  let everyone pet them and stood  ( sort of ) willingly by Santa for pictures.  The only thing Luna and Birdie complained about was that the floor was pretty slippery and required some tricky moves on their part to stay upright and moving forward.   We should receive the official Santa shot from Southern States soon, but in the meantime,  we have Apple to thank for these shots.  Funny thing about my personal photographer ..... I think he enjoyed it as much as anyone else,  once he realized it wasn't going to turn into disaster !

( They thought these automatic door openers were something we really needed in the barn ! )

Friday, December 2, 2011

Phoebe meets Sadie


There was a ( very ) small meet and greet in front of the barn on Saturday afternoon.  The Bun was introduced to Sadie,  our itty-bitty barn cat.  Phoebe was in an exercise pen taking the air,  when Sadie decided to check her out.  Sadie is a bit of a wild child.  She's three years old now ( still so tiny )  and she only tolerates your affections when she wants to.  She's a fierce warrior when it comes to protecting the barn from critters who don't belong there,  so we're happy to have her,  even if she's not a lap kitty.  The Bun was interested in getting to know Sadie,  but I think Sadie was put off by the sheer size of her.  It's funny to look back at the pictures I took when I first brought Phoebe home.  She's definitely a big girl now.

Phoebe has "graduated" to living in the barn now.  About a month ago,  she developed a bad habit of flinging litter out of her litter box and it was landing all around the kitchen of the studio.  Not good.  She still has visitation privileges and comes in for grooming and play time.  I felt bad about putting her out,  but honestly,  I think she is just as happy in the barn where there is always something going on.   I do think starting her out inside the studio was a good thing,  because she's still very friendly and loves to be held.  She's due for shearing soon and I'm close to having enough angora to actually spin up some yarn.  Not sure what I'll make with it.  When I raised angoras before, I began by using some of their fiber to knit a hat for my first grandchild (who is now 21 years old ! How did that happen ? ).  It was a sweet little hat with the fair isle patterning done in the angora.  Maybe this time I should knit a big girl version with The Bun's fiber.

They all grow up so fast !

Anyone else, but me, having difficulties with blogger uploading photos today?  There were better pictures, but blogger kept putting stripes through them !  I give .............