Wednesday, January 25, 2012


( Almost dinner time )

( Poor Buddy - it's exhausting to be in charge of all these pregnant girls )
  We are in a little lull at the farm right now.  There's not much happening but the ordinary, day-to-day barn chores;  feeding hay in the mornings,  feeding hay and grain in the evenings,  cleaning out the automatic waterers,  keeping clean bedding down for the teenagers (nearly one year old ewe lambs), feeding the dogs and cats,  feeding the chickens and collecting the few eggs they are giving us at this time of year.  Those are all mundane tasks, but they add a certain rhythm to my day.  I still have the washing, ironing, cooking and cleaning stuff to do, but the animal related chores are the framework everything else fits into.  I sometimes wonder how it would be to not have those animal chores on my schedule.  At this point in my life,  I simply can't even imagine.  I know the day is coming,  sooner rather than later,  when I won't physically be able to do the heavy work that shepherding requires.  I hope when the time does come,  I am able to focus my energies on something as personally rewarding as what I do now.

I have been thinking a lot about shearing and lambing.  Usually,  that happens earlier than it will this year.  I purposely decided to start lambing a little later,  so the weather would be warmer and the grass starting to come on.  ( Little did I know that winter wasn't going to make much of an appearance this year. )  I'm hoping that shearing day will be pleasant because I would really like to have a "Shearing Day" event here at the farm.  Something very casual.  Maybe a come-on-down if you feel like it sort of event.  Maybe even a potluck meal for anyone interested in participating.  I'll know more as we get closer to the time and will issue the invitation here,  if I manage to get my act together.

(  the ears crack me up - they're like antenna........always scanning )
In the meantime,  these pictures are what you'd see a lot of,  if you were to stop by.  Nearly all of us just lying around,  waiting for our next mealtime !!

Friday, January 20, 2012



Carson has come to Tanglewood Farm and we love him already.  He's a sweet boy and we are hoping that eventually Miss Sadie will make friends with him.  So far,  she seems determined to make sure he knows she is the boss around here.  Carson appears to be around 7 months old now,  judging from his teeth ( exam courtesy of my resident veterinarian ) .  He's already about twice as big as Sadie,  so it will be interesting to see how long she can keep up that charade !

Carson came to us courtesy of the Friends of the Animals of Jessamine County.  Recently,  my friend,  Teresa,  adopted a precious little dog named Tilly from the Friends.  I had seen Tilly's picture on the Friends' facebook page and it looked like a match to me,  so being the good friend that I am,  I sent her the picture and the rest is history.  Not one to leave well enough alone,  I found myself looking at their Available for Adoption page late one evening and there was Carson ( formally known as Peaches - which is way too girly a name for such a big boy ! ) looking out at me as if to say,  "Take me,  I'm yours".  How could I resist ?


Of course,  the name Carson came about because we are 'Downton Abbey' fanatics here at Tanglewood Farm.  Sunday night is now our favorite night of the week because it means the latest episode will be on Masterpiece Theatre !  I suspect that there just might be a 'Downton Abbey' themed lamb crop arriving here at the farm around the end of March !

Friends does such a wonderful job.  They have members who work tirelessly to rescue as many cats and dogs as they possibly can and they furnish foster care until they find loving,  forever homes.   If you have room in your heart and home for another pet,  please take a look at the Friends' website and schedule a home visit for pet who will be so grateful.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012



Just for the record,  we are no longer confused.  We are having Kentucky weather,  which means it can be almost any temperature at any time of year.  Yesterday we had spring ( complete with thunderstorms and tornadoes ) and last night and today we're having winter.  Nothing new.

So,  I've neglected this little feature lately and need to catch up on introducing you all to another one of my teenagers.  You know,  those silly little girl sheep that are ( mostly ) sweet and can sometimes be so flighty !   This is Stella.  It took a while for me to give Stella her name.   Sometimes I know the name as soon as they're born ( as with Luna ) ,  other times,  I have to get to know them before I know what suits.  Stella was a triplet,  born to a first time mama,  and as with nearly all of the ewe lambs I kept,  her father was Henry.  She's got that beautiful,  lustrous,  soft fleece I've been working toward for several years now.   Just look at those lovely, crimpy locks !  I love that she has virtually no britch - that luster and crimp runs all the way down to her knees.  ( It's fairly common for some sheep to have coarser fiber on the lower part of their back legs and that is referred to as britch.  For me,  it's not a reason to get rid of a sheep who has an otherwise wonderful fleece,  but having nice fiber all the way down is certainly a trait to encourage in a breeding program. )  Stella is a little shyer than some of the other girls .... only wants to be petted on when she decides.  She's a girl who knows her own mind !  Although,  if I go into the pen and just sit down and wait for the girls to gather 'round,  she'll step up ( if she can shoulder her way through Luna and Birdie ) for a scratch behind the ears.

I didn't breed any of my ewe lambs this year,  so none of the little girls will become mothers until next spring.  Often,  the shyer girls will get to be much friendlier during lambing season,  especially if they end up needing my help when their lambs are born.  It's always interesting to see how their personalities and temperaments develop.  Sometimes the ones you least expect will become a sweetheart when they grow up.  Amazing how much they are often like children !

**So,  here's a news flash ( at least for me ).  My " local " Kroger grocery has a Starbucks that has WiFi !  So,  while my less than stellar service by Windstream,  who supposedly supplies me with Internet at home,  continues with no resolution,  I only have to drive 12 miles to find a reliable connection !

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

We are confused

Where,  oh where,  is winter?  Last week, while dragging our Christmas tree to the grandchildren's bonfire pit,  I passed a blooming dandelion.  How can that be ?  It gets worse ..... today,  while walking to the garden to harvest a head of Chinese cabbage,  there was a daffodil blooming in the border by the garden fence.  It's just all too weird.  I suppose I can admit that these nice,  dry days in the mid 50's make it pleasant to work outside and it has encouraged me to start a regular walking routine ( one of my 2012 goals - figure out a way to exercise here on the farm,  rather than drive somewhere to get on a treadmill ).  But,  still,  this just seems wrong.  Besides,  this is the south and if we don't get some really cold weather,  come summer the bugs ( mosquitoes especially ) will make war on us !

One good thing about the warm weather is that it's allowing the bees to come out for cleansing flights and feed on some frames of honey that I've been putting out for them.  Hopefully,  this mild winter will leave me with a strong and healthy hive when spring really does come.

**The above was written yesterday and today is a different story.  Rain,  rain,  rain today and lots of it. And I'm told that winter is coming tonight.  So, I'll try not to complain too much for getting what I asked for !

Monday, January 9, 2012


 I don't believe I've shared any pictures of our most recent building project.  We waited several years for this one to get underway because we wanted the builder who built the additions to our house to be the one doing it.  Of course, we were assured that it would be finished well before the wedding.  ( Can it be possible that it was only 3 months ago ?  Seems like much longer. )  Anyway,  they finished about 4 days before the wedding and the painters finished the day before the wedding.  Fairly typical for most projects around here!
( one of the best things - looking straight through to see the ewes grazing )
I love it so much.  I'm not growing much in there right now,  but all my pots from the terrace are in there ( I've got geraniums blooming right now ),  and a few herbs.  In a few short months,  I'll be able to start seeds for planting in the garden come spring.  Though we haven't had much really cold weather,  yet,  I love going in there when it's cold outside and sitting in my wicker chair to soak up some of the warm,  moist air and smell that green smell of things growing.

( I think our next project should be a shed to put that big hunk of boat in )


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Be prepared ....

Don't talk with your mouth full !

Yes,  be prepared for a little rant and some bad pictures.  I am so aggravated with Windstream,  if I had any option at all,  they would lose my business right this moment.  For several weeks now,  my Internet connection has been so poor that uploading pictures has been a real exercise in frustration.  It has taken me at least 15 attempts to get any picture loaded without stripes of color running across them.  My usual inclination is to assume that I am doing something wrong.  After consulting with my computer genius stepson over the weekend,  I have discovered that,  once again,  Windstream does not quite deliver on what they promise.  I finally called to request help from them and was told that there is a "latency" in the lines in my part of the county and they are working on it.  The nice lady at Windstream said she had the same problem at one time and it took three months for them to get the lines repaired !  Ack !!  This might be one of the few times I wish I lived close enough to town for there to be a Starbucks with free wifi down the road.  Unfortunately,  the closest Starbucks is at least 25 miles away,  maybe more.  This post was written nearly a week ago and I've been trying to upload pictures since then.  I give up .... this is the best I can do right now.  I'm sorry for the way they look,  but it's this or nothing !  I'm just hoping my " latency " ( whatever that is ) is repaired soon.  Rant over ... for the time being.

The holiday celebrations are finally over.   I try to not schedule any family get-togethers too close to the actual day because I want my sons to be able to stay at home with their children and establish their own traditions.  So, our family gathering time was last Thursday.  I like to think that instead of procrastinating,  I was just prolonging the celebration.  ( That's my story and I'm sticking to it ! )

Other random goings on around here -
  • All the sheep and alpacas are getting hay at feeding time now.  It's so funny to me that all I have to do is show up with hay once,  and from that day forward,  the sheep are gathered in that spot waiting for what they know is coming .... and woe be unto me,  if I don't show up at the appointed time.
    • We've broken a record for rainfall in central Kentucky this year.  Unbelievably,  the grass is still somewhat green,  which is why I was able to put off feeding hay for so long.  Until yesterday,  that has meant that we have mud,  mud  and more mud,  so I'm happy for the change in the weather that made the ground freeze.  In fact,  I'd be even happier if it would stay frozen until spring.  These periods of unseasonably warm weather had me wondering if we were even going to have winter this year.
    Decorations on the head courtesy of her breakfast partner,  Birdie.

    • The chickens are even getting out to scratch around sunny days.  I usually keep them inside when the weather is unpleasant,  but like children ( and some adults ),  they tend to get cranky after a while,  so it's good to give everyone a little more space to stretch their wings ( so to speak ).
    • We are still getting some food from our garden !  The chinese cabbage, kale and brussell sprouts are still edible .  Why have I never planted a fall garden before?
    • I'm hoping to spend a little time in the studio this week.  My yarn came back from Fleury Sheep and Wool,  right before Christmas , and I'm anxious to start playing with it.  It turned out really, really nice.  It's a blend of our alpaca and sheep fleeces in a light worsted weight.  I've started a shawl,  so may have something to show before too long.