Friday, February 27, 2009

Got cotton ?

I had an opportunity to throw a few spindle tops yesterday.
I really thought that tops made out of clay would be really heavy, so I trimmed them on the thin side and I just might need to start growing cotton! They are from .45 oz to 1.77 oz but the weight will be much less whey they are completely dried and they take a couple of trips thru the kiln.
I have really enjoyed spinning on a drop spindle, and looking forward to testing new ones.
We are starting to have signs of spring here - first the warm rain, along with 50 degree days. I was just thinking yesterday that if the groundhog were to come out in his raincoat that he would tell us that the grass was going to green up and we would have spring after all. When we got home last night, the tree frogs were singing! We haven't heard them in so long. It's spring. This morning, not only were 'blades' of grass spotted out in the pastures, but patches of green grass that you could see from a distance. Time to get the mower blades sharpened ...and the wool clippers sharpened too. ( i really was going to send those off back in early winter )

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Winter is slowly fading...

it's a beautiful time of year.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A correction to the last post...

He's not "always" on guard.. sometimes he clocks out and puts Carlie in charge

Our Rosco..

If any character around here has earned his keep .. it's this little guy!

By the look on his face, I believe this was his first day here. He seemed quite sad to have left behind his life of play and friends for a fenced area with bullies! He didn't have the opportunity to bond to the sheep or lambs with the over-protective mothers here.. they let him know right off that there would be no play, and certainly no friends!

I know, it's pitiful.
But he overcame all those issues, and has grown into a wonderful guard dog. (who loves to have his picture taken)
(I do remember a time though when he would wait for me to leave from feeding and run off the 'mean' sheep, and let the 'nice' sheep and the goats eat! I don't blame him, the gals were pretty mean to him when he was little)


He has proved to be invaluable. We hear coyotes quite often, and we know they are close - I don't think sleep would be possible without him.
btw: That "counting sheep" if you can't sleep? I get it now.

Thanks Rosco. Good boy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's in the kiln...

There's between 50 and 60 pots lined up awaiting their bisque firing, and today is the day to get them in the kiln! There are a lot of bowls, a handful of pitchers, boo-coo flowerpots, several vases and 2 pottery sinks.


I'm excited to get this group fired and ready for glaze!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another crazy place for a bird nest...

I was really glad when these guys were up and out of the nest! Of all places, she thought the edge of the driveway would be a great place. (the barbed wire nest was much safer!) Every time we would pull in the drive, or walk across it, she would just fuss and throw a fit! "oh, my wing is broke! my wing is broke!" If you've seen these birds, you know what I mean. I think they're called killdare, or kill deer? I ended up putting a little post in the drive so that we wouldn't run over the nest, and if we had company, "watch the nest" would be included in our goodbye. On the "camaflouge" factor, I'd give her a 10, but on "safety", no points. We're posting a 'no nests' sign in the driveway this spring!


Monday, February 16, 2009

More spring and summer shots?

What do we have left of winter? Is it 4 weeks now?

One of the first projects of last spring was taking down more old fence on our property. Just a short time after rolling up this barbed wire and hanging it on a limb, it was quickly transformed into a residence. I would only guess that the mother bird realized that this home offered quite a line of defense to keep the predators away! (wonder if we could market this idea? we have lots of old barbed wire! lol)

I really don't know where all these iris came from! We've been here 3 years now, and I remember planting 'some' iris. I am looking forward to the new colors and varieties that were planted last year.
And little lambie... I've posted recent pictures of her and some older ones, but this is 'lambies first photo' She was the last lamb born here last year. She was one of a twin. Her brother was average size (approx 7 lb if i remember right) and little lambie was less than a pound! She was sooo tiny. Her mother had her while she was standing up and cleaning the first lamb. The mother would not accept lambie - even after 3 days of trying every trick in the book. Thanks to Marlene and the wonderful milk and colostrum from her nubians, we were able to keep lambie going. I was determined that we wouldn't or couldn't have a bottle lamb, but on day 3 - after witnessing the mother butting her around and rejecting her for the last time, I brought her in the house.

Lambie was so small and delicate, she didn't even stand on the first day. On day 3 (in the barn still) Just as she was learning to walk, she would take a few steps and climb right up on my lap. (this was her silent plea to move into the house with us) (it worked) Even in the house, and loved, she wanted to just sit in your lap.. I finally just left my pants in the floor for her.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Animals we haven't told you about....

It wasn't intentional, but we have goats.

This is Tanna, she's into everything - and if she can figure out what you don't want her to get into, that becomes her focus! Tanna was given to us about 2 years ago from a friend that said she was 'dropped off' in their yard. I guess if you live far enough out in the country, people don't just drop dogs, and cats,... they drop goats. (and roosters)

And this is Hank... and the girl he tells all his secrets to. We actually bought him so that Tanna would have a friend. (Little did we know that our ram Joe would fall in love with her) (She's not interested, but he won't take no for an answer) (Is this TMI?) (do these kind of things happen on other farms?)

And this is Hank again... getting ready for his saturday evening bath...
So that he can take Tanna out on the town...

Since he's learned to drive, he thinks he's something else!

And this is Jack, and the gang, walking off into the sunset.

So, long story ... longer... we didn't intend to have goats, but we are glad they're here.

From the kitchen window...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bare, naked..


Another thing that I love about this time of year is the trees.

This tree is on our hillside ... where we hope to be fencing this year for pasture. Can't wait to get the sheep over there!

This tree is one that I always enjoy seeing on my way home from town. It's on the last hill before home. The picture isn't so good, but it is a beautiful tree. (it's hard to get a good shot while you're driving... on a curvy road!)

This old cottonwood was on my Grandpas' farm. This was taken last year, just a few months before a windstorm destroyed it.

A storm was brewing...

The predictions were right about this storm! Lots of wind - it was reported to have been in excess of 50mph, 60, even 70 mph!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's starting to feel like spring out there!

These pictures were taken last year - and posted today as a reminder of spring being just around the corner!

our garden... before the invasion of the weeds! (i won't show an 'after' picture, it's embarassing)

(If you have to mow your garden when 'company's-a-coming, it's out of control!) lol. Hopefully this year, it will be better.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

More 08 spring photos to break up the winter..

Sweet Carlie

Joe - he's a character!

Bo - the biggest lamb we had ever seen! (but out of one lambing season, that may not be saying much) Unfortunately we lost him this summer - he was a beautiful fella, and wild as could be.

And what posting would be complete without lambie? This was obviously after she took over the dogs' bed! And by the looks of it, it was a day that she had called in sick. She had her ups and downs, but didn't give up and pulled through them all.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Six more weeks of winter?

It snowed again yesterday. I was wondering if the groundhog was right and we would have 6 more weeks of winter? Well, enough of these snow pictures, I'm going to fast forward to spring! Green grass, apple blossoms, baby lambs... even if we have another six weeks of snow, spring will be here before we know it.

sheep grazing in the shadows on a beautiful spring day

These were our first lambs of the season (2008, and our first lambs as sheep owners) The lambing season was exciting and stressful all at the same time. We learned many lessons, and are excited about the lambs that are on the way!

This is Alice with one of her babies, Delilah. She is a wonderful mother (and a great wool manufacturer)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What's on the spindle...

When we brought our sheep home last year, I did not have the slightest interest in spinning yarn. Long story short - new hobby. (and it's quite addictive) The white wool is from one of our adult Icelandics and the grey yarn is made from purchased lincoln longwool roving. Maybe someday they'll be lacey scarves. But not yet... still in the spin cycle.

I love the simplicity of spinning on the drop spindle (love the spinning wheel too!) I have been quite surprised at how quickly yarn can be spun on the drop spindle once you get it 'a whorlin!

It's a lot of fun.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The tale of three lambs...

or is it just three lambs' tails?

actually the story 'behind' this, is lambie finally has friends! (lambie is the one on the far right) lol. She wasn't well accepted for the longest time, I suppose growing up in the house wasn't good for her social skills. But, through sympathy, the other lambs are finally starting to buddy up with her.

Sheep really are funny animals to observe.

Our barn quilt - framed in ice... which is quickly melting!