Saturday, March 28, 2009

Let Me Tell You a Tale

NOTE: This post was written Saturday ...

...of broken washing machines, bad coffee, mud, fish chowder, and shearing sheep.
I guess it's true what the song take the good, you take the bad, you put them all together.......

The bad ... my washing machine died with a load of towels...filled to the top with water.
THE GOOD ...( see how I made those letters bigger :) ) my husband is somewhat mechanically inclined and just ordered the new timer.

The bad ...I woke up waaay too early this morning, got up and brewed a pot of coffee that was waaay too weak, but since I cannot waste anything, poured myself a big cup.
THE GOOD: Max jumped up on the couch with me and I spilled most of my big cup all over my lap & laptop. So I had to brew an new pot.

The bad ... MUD ...need I say more?
THE GOOD ...the slow warm up is giving the ground enough time to slowly absorb the water and mud so in another week or so it should get much better around here.

That's it, there is nothing bad about the tasty fish chowder I that is filling the house with a yummy smell. Biscuits with butter and fish chowder for dinner tonight!

....AND let's not forget shearing! My shearer will be here in a few hours, I have locked everyone in the barn to stay dry as it is rather foggy and damp here today. Last night when I brought them in, I stood amidst the munching and made my list. Whites, darks, lamb fleeces, weights for CD&T doses, and scales to weigh fleeces.

I have special projects for some of the wool. Katie and Sam's little fleeces are going to be blended with Uma's mohair and some bunny. I think I will keep it for myself. Old Joe is my all time favorite to hand-spin, so he will become roving. The rest will be decided as I skirt them next week.

And so ends my tale for today. I will leave you with a shot of fully clothed sheep.

In a few hours they will be naked and many pounds lighter ...hmmmmm wouldn't that be sweet if we could do the same! Pictures tomorrow ... of naked sheep.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What's Up?

Please bare with me as I go through another one of my " time for a new look" phases. I like to keep things fresh and evolving. :)

Time goes by so fast these days. It seems I was complaining about the cold not too long ago, and yesterday, while raking up in the barn, I was sweating! The slow melt is good, and if we can keep the rain away for a week or so, I may not have the "boot-sucking" mud to deal with much longer.:)

The lambs are growing and thriving. I can't help pulling up my bucket chair each afternoon and watching them. The sun shines on the front of the barn in all afternoon, and they seem to pile up like hound dogs on the porch, basking in it's warmth.

Lyra and Pixie continue to follow me around as I rake or pick up fallen branches each time I am in the paddocks. Winter storms left us with quite a mess this year. Both ewe lambs are friendly as puppies, enjoying my attention. The boys, Mike and Angus, are gorgeous lambs. Beautiful Romneys that I am so happy to have.

My yarn shop has had a make-over. I rearranged shelving and displays to maximize space, and have added new goodies. My latest blend of Romney, Corriedale, Mohair and Angora has dyed up beautifully, and I have taught myself to crochet some great little hats using this yarn. I also started a pair of legwarmers for my daughter ...I used to wear those!:)

I have spoken for a little Angora buck this spring, and I hope to make a trip to pick him up soon. He will be wethered and used just for fleece, then if Queen Uma gives me any babies, my little herd of Angoras will grow. They will have their own new barn and paddocks and work on keeping the saplings from growing.

Chickens arrive soon as well, and seeds will be planted an a few days ....busy, busy, busy.

Life is very good ...if you don't listen to the news.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Long-legged Monster

A full, round moon shines brightly over the tree tops as I write this early in the a.m. It is quite silent in the early morning innocents of the day. In a few moments I will pull on my boots, coat and hat and inhale to cold air that smells a bit like spring is close by. The deck will crackle from my weight as I step on to it's cold planks. The gate will creak, and then I will hear it. The ear-piercing "maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" that belows from the small, long-legged monster. Lyra knows I am coming!

She will gallop down the hill from her warm straw nest. He little voice will be as mighty as that that comes from a trumpeting elephant! The old sheep will shake their heads at the young whipper-snapper. The younger sheep will rise, startled from the noise. And I will step into the paddock, pull up my bucket-chair, and produce a warm bottle of milk from my coat pocket. The attack will ensue.

This is no exaggeration. It is an attack. After sucking down the warm milk in record time, Lyra will try and climb in my lap. If I don't rise from the bucket immediately after the frenzied feeding, tiny sharp hooves will dig into my legs. As I feed the others, spreading hay around, filling all of the feeders, a nose bonks my legs. The swift black monster weaves in and out of my legs, occasionally tripping me, or sending me, off balance, into the fence.

When every creature is contently munching hay, I stop, sit back down on my bucket and allow Miss Lyra to take all she needs from me. my hands rub and scratch her back and head. I kiss her cheeks and talk to her. What else can I do?

Lyra's ovine mother enjoys her breakfast, oblivious to the fact that she is the one who should endure the incessant "bonking" and demanding. She is the one who should be climbed on and calling this little creature to her side ...this little pest.

Mother nature hold many mysteries. The mystery of why Lyra's mother rejected her. The mystery of my patience, and the energy that this little soul has tapped from me ... where does it come from?

It will then be time for me to come inside and wake my own two-legged monsters. Time to get ready for school, and the day. The little black face will watch me walk away. Her full belly has recharged her to hop and pop around the paddock with the other lambs, pesting the older sheep, tasting the different grasses from the hay, and exploring all corners of her world.

"I'll be back soon.", I always tell her. And I will ...ready to face the next attack.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Mike & Angus

The much awatied birth of Mike and Angus came yesterday morning around 5 a.m.
All are well ...and I am pooped. Mike is the larger of the lambs, and Angus slightly smaller.

The story of their birth and of Lyra The Pest who fogot she is s a sheep a bit.