Friday, June 24, 2016

Assigned Seats

When I peaked in on everyone this afternoon, Boudreaux was cashed out, eyes closed.  He was so cute I had to go get the camera.  Of course he was wide awake when I got back.

"I wasn't sound asleep, I swear!"

"That's right, because no one sleeps sound when I'm around hee hee hee ;-).

As I was reviewing the pictures I noticed Boudreaux was in his spot, Maisie in hers.  Beanie Baby and Andy were in the old hay mangers, right on cue.

Ewen's sleeping in his spot.

And Keebs...the first one not in his assigned seat.  Surely it's not cooler in this stall (?).

"Nope, it's hot both places." 

Bullwinkle provided a little distraction for Baaxter...who is, yep, in his assigned seat.  If I had the time I'd go back and pull out all the old posts that show everyone in these same seats year after year. I think that's interesting.

Stay cool!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Yarn Along - A Summer Yarn Swap

I've been doing some spring cleaning.  Well...wait...I've been thinking about doing some spring cleaning.  Yeah, that's a little more correct honest :-/.  Mostly I've just been (still) trying to catch up the spring yard and fleece work.  And trying to get Bullwinkle off to college.  


Mostly he's good out there, but the afternoons and evenings are still a bit of a challenge. He's old enough now that I could let him cry it out a bit except it's been in the 90s and So Humid almost every day and that in itself is stressful enough without adding in additional stress of weaning.

I either go sit in the shade with him for awhile so he can relax and graze or let him come out in the yard and barn with me.  Saint Tim babysat him the other night so I could ride for a few minutes. Boys are harder to wean than girls, but they'll be your baby for the rest of their lives.

So back to the Summer Yard Yarn Sale!  

On Saturday July 9th from 10:00 until 3:00ish we are going to have an 
Open Farm Day/Swap Meet 

Come hang out with the sheep, dogs, cats, chickens, 20, other spinners, knitters, crocheters, weavers, felters...AND, bring any stash you'd like to sell or trade with something in someone else's stash.  Let's keep it all fiber related - yarn, spinning fibers, fleeces, tools and equipment...  

We can all "set up" in the barn aisle, under shady trees, on the Wool House porch, in the tack room, garage...  Plenty of cool(ish) spots.  No fancy set ups - card table, chair, big plastic bag... Keep it light and easy.  And bring something fun to work on or for show and tell.  

If you don't have a SABLE (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy) or just want to give spinning/knitting...a try (also known as Just Don't Have A SABLE Started YET ;-D)? There will be plenty of good enablers on hand to help you out.  Don't be shy!

If your stash is all organized and under control please don't come just bring a chair and something fun to work on and enjoy the public shaming fellowship ;-).

Just want to come out and hug some sheep?  That's fine, too.  Their favorite summertime treat is tortilla chips (wink wink, nod nod).

There may be a local Girl Scout Troop here selling lemonade and Girl Scout cookies (fingers crossed).  Other than that, if you would like/need to eat something other than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and ice water, I'd pack a lunch.  Just sayin'... 

Feel free to leave a comment telling everyone what you'll be bringing (aka free advertising in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich sort of way ;-).  I'll do a couple more posts leading up to the 9th, so don't panic that you really don't know exactly what is in your SABLE.  

I'll have all the usual Punkin's Patch stuff, plus some used equipment, books, yarns that I know I'll never find time to use and someone should be enjoying...

We've also timed this to coincide with a visit from Sheepmom from Nistock Farms (no, she's not bringing any lambs this year :-/).  If you are interested in a fancy butt scratcher or some beautiful fleeces, roving or yarn, let her know and she'll be happy to bring it along.  If you are interested in one of their awesome skein winders, I'd let her know ASAP in case That Andy has to make an extra.

Sound fun?  Any questions?

*      *       *       *       *

In All The Knitting News That's Fit To Print, I haven't started the Renny sweater yet :-/.  Still stewing over a yardage issue (and working in the yard and barn too much and it's way too hot and humid to knit outside :-o).  It will all work out though and mostly what I wanted to share is if you haven't listened to The Martian, it's outstanding!

Joining in with Ginny...

Monday, June 20, 2016

Everyone's Flying The Coop...Or Nest

"What do you think?"

"Looks pretty far down there."

"You go first."

"No, YOU go first!"

"Ain't nobody going nowhere just yet, so y'all just pipe it back down."

They are close though!  This is the first year we've had barn swallows.  I have to say, between the martins, the bats and the swallows, we are pretty happy with our (lack of) bug situation and they are all fun to watch as well :-).

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Stillness

We got up this morning, well, Bullwinkle got up this morning, went out to graze with Baba in the barely light, came back in and woke me up at 6:00, we went to the house for babas (small 'b' is bottle, big 'B' is Blossom, plural babas means I got coffee ;-) and cereal and then happily went back out to the barn.  I took these pictures on the quiet, lonely walk back to the house.  

The light was perfect so I grabbed my camera from the barn.  I missed the best of the light (the sun rises quickly), but these are not too bad.  Early mornings are about the only thing I enjoy about summer.  Well, lightning bugs.  And purple martins.  Barn swallows and bats.  Lavender blooming.

....I thought I was on a roll there, but that seems to be the end of my list ;-).

Billy Belly


Burrnie, Chocula, Baaxter

Hank came out to make a yard loop this morning, but stopped when I stopped, but never took his eyes off his sheep.

Friday, June 17, 2016

The 2016 Great American Barn Yard Camp Out

Well, we are two nights down in the transition to the barn.  He woke me up several times the first night "Momma?"  "Hey baby. You okay?"  "I guess so."  "Okay, go back to sleep." "Okay."  and a few times last night.  I'm hoping tonight he'll sleep on through.

I sleep out there with them for a few nights just to make sure they aren't any more stressed than they have to be.  During the day I try to take/keep them out there as much as I can and we graze and nap in the barn so they get used to their new home.  

Usually I really enjoy hanging out in the barn, but this has been the hottest "camp out" ever.  Even with an extra fan blowing right on us yesterday afternoon we were all pretty close to miserable. Luckily the nights have cooled off enough to sleep, but the fans are running 24/7 these days.

Cashed out by my cot.

Waking up for a few seconds and then back out.

Poor Baba in the other corner with her gate pillow. 

This is how we all feel.  Groggy.

But then, when you wake up and you are hungry, you can just walk out the door to eat even if your mom is too hot to go out with you.

Hershey is currently winning the fan war this year.  The big fan is sandwiched between the two gates.

The view from my cot.

A closer look at handsome Keebs.  At least there was a good breeze yesterday.  It helped a little.

You have to have a sheep pillow case for sheep camp!

Oops, he must have heard the camera clicking.

"Is it baba time yet?"

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Batty Sheep Lady

I've been noticing a row of black "rice" at the barn entrance.  Seemed an odd place for mice so I googled bat poop and sure enough, our bats are back :-D.

They are definitely living behind the barn quilt.  I saw three leave the other night at 9:25.  They whoosh, whoosh, whooshed out from the bottom at Top Speed.  Just fascinating!  I'd love to catch a video of that, but it's too dark.  Hopefully there are more than three, but three is better than none if not.  

Bullwinkle and I camped out in the barn last night.  Blossom aka BaBa has pretty willingly volunteered to be the auntie again this year.  We all had some vanilla wafers (probably her main motivation ;-) before bed and it all went pretty well.  The end is near :'-(.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Momma's Little Ray Of Sunshine

I was doing some (apparently boring) work in the barn the other night.  It took longer than I'd thought it would and when I got done I looked around for Bullwinkle and couldn't find him.  With some lambs (cough Baaxter) this would be very bad, but I trust Bullwinkle quite a bit...or I wouldn't have let him out of my sight in the first place.

Kate and I looked out in the yard but didn't see him.  Hmmm, that's odd.  He usually grazes in front of the Wool House.  I checked around the back side, no "baby".  As I walked back to the barn, I saw him. He'd taken himself out to the side field and was grazing away like a good boy.  I guess he's ready to move to the barn :-/.

"Move to the barn?"

This is some of my favorite light.  Shining into one of my favorite paddocks.  On one of my favorite sheep.  I got a bit carried away.  But that's okay.  It's all fleeting, so enjoy.  

The sunbeam shots are all SOC (straight out of camera, meaning no editing or special Instagram filters...).  This last picture of Bullwinkle and Kate was taken at the same time, but from a different angle - facing the neighbors not the road.  Shots from this angle could be pretty too, but I think the golden sunbeams make the other pictures magical.  

Here's a new puzzle.  This was a really fun one to work :-).


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Making Hay While The Sun Shines

We've had such a wet spring that I was afraid we were going to be in the same situation as last year, scrambling to the very end to find local hay.  Not only was last year stressful because of the shortage, but remember the last 100 bales that I thought looked like nice hay but ended up making the sheep sick because of the clover (at least that's what we're guessing)?  I couldn't risk that again.

Fast forward to this spring.  Stella's grandson Jason has taken over the family farm and offered to sell me square baled hay from one of their fields.  I could pick any field I wanted...but as spring turned to summer, we all decided there was too much clover there to feel safe.  The neighbor who usually takes the roll bales off our back field said we could trade our clover free field for one of Jason's.  That'd work!

We've never been able to find anyone who was willing to come square bale our small five acre field. Rolls are so much faster and easier to handle.  Square bales require more a lot more equipment, labor and time...and hassle.  While it's all the same hay, rolls are too hard for me to feed, so I budget $1600 per year for 400 square bales.  

While that probably works out to be a bit high for plain grass hay cut from our own farm, at least I know exactly what grass is in it, that it hasn't been sprayed with any chemicals, that it was put up correctly and I've supported a very local farmer.  But between gathering equipment, people, worrying about the weather, lots of sweat and tired bodies, I'll have to guess that's some of the hardest money he's earned!

They (because nothing is done by yourself in this "neighborhood association" ;-) decided to cut and bale our field in two parts so in case the weather ruined the first half they'd still have the second.  The first part was baled on Saturday.

103 bales

Cutting the second part.

First load headed to the barn.  Boy, it's a good feeling to see a big wagon load of hay coming in the driveway!

Saint Tim tossing a bale to the loft.


"Wow, that's a lot of hay!"

As soon as the second part was cut, they changed Sunday's forecast from 10% chance of rain to 60%. While I always worry when I see hay on the ground and storms rolling through, this time it was personal.  As the clouds bulldozed their way across the county late in the afternoon I thought we were toast.  They held together though and oh so slowly eased down the road.  WHEW!!! Yesterday was perfect hay weather.  Thank you!!!

Look sharp!  Here comes the boss.

Part of the quality control team :-D.

"This weed shouldn't be in here, so I'll pull it out."

"Everything else looks good!"

Bullwinkle had a blast running around, jumping the rows and taste testing everything. 

Jason's brother Matthew helped.

Other friends and neighbors were in and out to help.

And the wagons filled - 327 bales total.  

We can probably make it with 350, but I like a 50 bale cushion in case we have a long, hard winter. The (new :-) neighbors on the other side of us (which used to be part of our farm years ago) have offered up their back field to make up the difference.  So, for the first time I'm going to be feeding home raised hay.  That's probably not a big deal to most farmers, but I'm really excited about it.  

"Putting up hay is sure thirsty work!"


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