Thursday, October 26, 2006

This is Baron, a moorit Perendale wether. He's a big sweetie. He LOVES cookies and will stand and give the most pitiful begging look ever for a cookie ( too bad he never gets any attention or cookies ). Can we say spoiled rotten.

This black ewe is Wen. She gave me the spotted ram lamb this year and has produced very nice colored moorits in the past. She has also produced 1 set of triplets and is an excellent mom. The white ewe behind Wen is Brooke. She had a nice black girl this past spring but was unable to deliver her and the lamb had to be put down to be delivered. Brooke makes some of the softest wool ( outside of her mom ) of any sheep I have.

This pretty girl is Candi, a grey katmollet and is the spitting image of her father Underhill Ferguson. She also carries spots and produced her first set of spotted twin girls this spring.

And here he is ... the one ... the only ... Snowy, the big white spot. The only color this guy has on him is light black eye make-up and small black spots in his ears. He was neutered this summer due to being related to the rest of the girls in the flock ( and I didn't want any inbreeding to happen ). He has a nice soft solid white fleece, and if he ( along with the black and spotted ram lambs, after they are neutered ) to a spinning flock with Bandit's moorit wether, he will stay here for wool production.
And, I can't forget the clean-up crew, of 12 hard-working, bug-chasing, water-splashing, dog-teasing blue Swedish ducks. These guys are the after dinner entertainment. If they're is anything to get into ( a water bucket that's almost full ) they are there. I can't count how many times I've had to fish a duck out of a 2/3 full 5-gal water bucket because it decided it needed to take a bath in the bucket and, after the bath , found out it couldn't get out. Sometimes I wonder about the intelligence of these guys but they do earn their keep in that I do not have a tick problem now and they will got to where the sheep are fed and clean up what the sheep missed.

And, now, for some of the " older " woolies at the farm.

This is TJ, a silver border Leicester cross wether, who thinks it's HIS job to protect mom from any and all new rams. As you can see, he doesn't miss too many meals - and talk about a sweet tooth!!!

This is Lacie,( in the middle pic ) an unregistered Shetland ewe. She didn't have any babies last year but has been visiting with Ditto already. Her first baby was a grey/ white yuglet/ flecket ewe ( grey and white spotted ) named Bandit. And last year, Bandit made her a grandmother of a nice little moorit wether with a white cap. Lacie will help you feed by putting her head on the back of your thigh and gently push you along - she DOES like her food.

In this picture is Mollie ( left center ) a musket katmollet ewe who carries spots ( she's the mother of Snowy - the BIG white spot ),a black ram lamb ( to her left ) and a spotted ram lamb ( to her right ). The spotted ram lamb is out of Wen and is the most colorful baby Wen has produced to date. The black ram lamb is Pekin's boy and has Peke's voice ( for some reason at least one of Peke's babies will sound like her ). And that's Pekin herself on the right upper corner of this picture. She has produced some of the loudest colored babies for me since she's been here and she's a VERY protective mom.

Here is another girl from Stephen Rouse's flock in MI - this is Sheltering Pines Branwyn, a light moorit ewe. She is starting to get friendly but is still a little hesitant about taking a cookie from my hand. She is a lighter version of my Maddie ( a darker more hot cocoa moorit ).

This is a mother/ daughter pic of Sara ( on the left ) and Sheltering Pines Kalliope on the right. When Gail brought them down she felt that Kalliope was a emsket ( charcoal/pewter to the non-Shetland folks out there ) and Stephen says she carries the mioget modifyer, so breeding her to Ditto should be interesting.
This is Sheltering Pines Markella, a very nice black ewe. It took everything I had to get her away from Gail. This girl has a beautiful crimpy fleece and good conformation and is becoming friendly also.


Thought you might like to see some of the old and " new " woolies here on the farm and what better time to do this than at feeding time .... so,


This handsome fellow ( in the center of the above picture ) is the new flock sire and he hails from west central IN and his name is Underhill Bandito ( aka Ditto, as I already have a " Bandit " ). He is a fawn katmogut that carries the modifyer gene and Gail says I shoud get some interesting babies from him and my girls.

Next we have Sheltering Pines June Bug modeling the feed of the day. June is a black ewe that has a sweet tooth and likes to have her chin and entire neck scratched. I'm hoping for some solid black babies from her.

This little girl Stephen let me name and here it is: this is Sheltering Pines Moonlight Serenade ( aka Sara ). She has started to talk to me at feeding time and does have a fairly nice voice ( for a sheep ).

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

This is another roving done with a little different mix of the same dyes but it looks like a forrest in person ( the camera makes it look more orangy but it has more of a darker green to it ).
This is the third sample of dyeing I did that day . In person, this looks kind of like the sky looks at dusk with all the deep purples,reds,oranges, and blues mixed together.
these 2 rovings haven't been spun into yarn yet but they are next to go onto the wheel. They should look great when done.

I have been busy trying my hand ( again ) at dyeing wool. I found a box of generic wool th eother day and some dye that I had bought from Ebay and thought I'd mix the 2 together and see what happened. Here, I have collectd all the toys needed to dye the wool.

In the green bowl, below, is the measured wool in it's water bath waiting to be dyed.

Here are the dyes I used - cherry red, emerald green, yellow, dark orange, sky blue, and violet. The dyes are in the squirt bottles ( or quart containers ) where they are mixed with the acid and ready to be added to the wet wool.

This is what they wool looked like once I added the dye to it and before I put it into the oven for 35 minutes to " bake " and set the dye.
Here is the finished roving from th efirst batch of dyeing. The colors remind me of autumn leaves.

Well, it's 27 degrees outside and when I let the girls out this is what it looked like, so I ran back in and put on some warm clothes and went out to take some pictures of the " frost on the woolies ".

This picture is looking down towards the woods with the sun starting to shine throughthe tree tops. To the left of the picture, under the dark tree ,are some woolies.

Here they come with Baron, my moorit Perendale in the lead - probably thinks he's gonna get some cookies if he gets to me first ahead of the girls. He has SUCH a sweet tooth.

This is Baron up close and personal. Ain't he a cutie?!!! Here, he's showing you the frost on his back ( he's in the bottom picture ).

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I finally drug myself to the orthopod the other day so he could tell me what was wrong with my left hand. About 2-3 weeks ago, I was sitting at the computer and just turned my head to the left and felt a pulling sensation in the back of my left armpit ( no pain at all ) and then developed a tingling in my left elbow and thumb, index, and long fingers. Sometimes, I get a tingle on the back of my left forearm that feels like an itch but not. I figured I had pinched a nerve in my back and would probably need surgery ( not the thing you want to think about when you've just started a new job ) to fix it.
The orthopod took my history of what had happened and said he thought I had carpal tunnel in my left hand ( whew! ) and went to turn my hands palm side up and they didn't turn too far - he didn't like this and asked if I'd had any type of injury to my wrists ( my left wrist will only turn parallel to my upper arm while my right wrist will turn my hand almost completely palm up ), so I had another set of xrays done ( the 1st set was of my left forearm and elbow ). He looked at the xrays and said I had carpal tunnel but nothing bad enough for surgery, just wear a cockup splint for a while - he said the nerve was irritated but it didn't know where so it was tingling from my elbow to my fingertips. At least, I didn't do much damage - he said I had sprained my back earlier this year when I carried a 50 lb block of salt to the sheep and had used my left arm differently and so, when I turned my head that day it pulled part of the injured muscle and cause the nerve to act up in my hand.
So, now I get to wear this lovely cream colord splint til my hands gets better - around 3-4 weeks. Oh well, it could have been a lot worse.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Well, Chloe is at it again. Because I have to go to work tonight ( I work 7p-7a in a hospital ), I told Chloe that I didn't want her to wake me up this morning ( Friday ) until at least 8:30 or 9 am. So, I'm sleeping away and I get the urge to wake up - it's light outside and the sun is shining through the bathroom window. Wonder what time it is because Chloe hasn't come in to see if Stylle and I am awake, so I get out of bed and check the alarm clock and just about pass out. It's 9am !!! When Chloe hears me up she comes bouncing in barking that she has to go potty.
Now, I know this pup is smart but come on ... this is just toooo much, even for her. I'm afraid to see what she's going to do next.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Well, I had to break down and turn on the space heaters in the living room/kitchen and in my bedroom this morning - it was a tad bit nippy. The temperature out side was 34 when I let the girls outside around 8 am and the inside temp was 59, but Willie, the cockatiel, was all puffed up complaining about being cold at the top of his lungs ( it wasn't pretty ). So the heaters are on - the one in the bedroom just take the chill off the room making it good for sleeping ( don't like to sleep in a very warm room, namely under 3 quilts ) and the one in the living room is turned up higher to bring the temp up more. The weather servce on tv is calling for possible snow tonight into Fri morning. No use in complaining about it as there's nothing anyone can do to stop it ( and besides, you don't want to piss Mother Nature off because her revenge it horrible ).
The sheep are content with the cooler weather, actually when it gets cooler they have a tendency to get " cold and stupid " and bounce ( literally ) allover the place - from my youngest babies to my oldest ewes. They are hilarious to watch when it starts to get colder - you wouldn't think that sheep could have soo much fun, but they do.
Am planning on doing some dying of roving this afternoon. I found a new way to dye on the 'Net yesterday by using the oven. I have some generic roving that I bought quite a while ago and am going to experiment with it ( after I get back from buynig sheep feed ) before I try it out on my Shetland roving ( if I'm going to screw it up then I want to do it on generic wool and not my Shetland - which I use to make things to sell ). Will take pix of the whole process and post it later.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Well, my baby puppy, Chloe, is a year old today. Ain't she cute?! ( Ok, in this picture she's 10 months old, but you get the idea. ) Looks real sweet and innocent, doesn't she?! Well, looks can be deceiving

This monster is too smart for her own good. Usually, I only have to tell her something about 2-3 times and she knows it ( either that or she got me twisted around enough to believe she knows things ). If I really want to get on Stylle"s nerves ( my beautiful very pale yellow Lab girl ), I will tell Chloe to go tell Stylle that she wants to talk to Chloe and I'll be damned if that pup doesn't go up to Stylle and stare into her face like she's repeating what I just told her to do. This pup is scary. Now I've raised several breeds of dogs and 1 other breed of hound ( Dachshund, to be exact ) and this coonhound pup is as intelligent as or more so than any Dachshund I've ever met.

She will sit and look so sweet and innocent and then the next minute it's Katie bar the door because Chloe is off and running.

Her latest thing is to give puppy hugs. What she does is to get up on the sofa next to me ( as close as possible - forget about breathing for a while ) and then she will put her head ACROSS my chest and lean into me. She does this at least once a day, but what really got me was she started doing this when DeeDee was so sick and even more after DeeDee passed. It's almost like it's her way of making me understand that she loves me. Of course, after she gives puppy hugs she's off like a light and into something.

She has kept things jumping around here since she walked, or rather was carried, in the door last November and she took control and hasn't given it up yet. She got the labs up and moving and got me to chase her ( namely when she has some of my knitting in her mouth ) !!! She has been a joy and a pain in the ass but I wouldn't trade her for any other dog on the face of the Earth. She's a definite mamma's girl and, believe it or not, Chloe loves to be dressed up in hats and coats and sweaters and such. She just amazes me every day as to what she'll do next ( just don't tell her I said so - she already thinks she's the greatest thing on 4 feet ).

But, that's my girl!!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Tranquil picture of the sun coming through the trees on the east side of the back. Looks very peaceful.

Here are some of the woolies coming up to see if I have any goodies for them just because I'm out on the back deck. Can we say " spoiled sheep".

This is what I saw out the back door when I let Stylle and Chloe back in from their morning visit to the great outdoors. This is looking towards the east though the fog that 30 minutes before was just coming up over the hill - here it is about 125 feet from the backdoor. Thought it looked neat.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

It's been quite a while since my last post because things have been nuts around here.
Labor Day weekend, I went to the big coonhound dog show up in Richmond,IN, and had a great time. Saw lots of coonhounds and the breeders I want to buy from next spring ( I plan on having a coonhound kennel along with my lab kennel ).
Came home after the show to find out my oldest lab - DeeDee - was very sick. She wasn't able to get up on her feet and was having trouble keeping food and water down. This went on for about 4 days and then suddenly on the Thursday after Labor Day, she was up walking around and wanting to go outside. This didn't last long because she went downhill the next day. By 9/19, she wasn't able to eat or drink and could barely scoot around to change position. I had to make the hard decision to have her put down. The vet came out after office hours and, with Stylle, Chloe, and the rest of the kennel dogs close by, DeeDee was put down very peacefully. The dogs barked and howled during this time and while I took her to her last resting place. After I had finished burying her, Chloe placed a tennis ball on the edge of her grave. It was a nice tribute ( even tho Chloe picked the ball up after I left DeeDee's grave ).
The girls ( Stylle and Chloe ) have finally started to eat and play again - I didn't even realize that they weren't doing this as much during DeeDee's last days but now they seem like they are almost back to normal. They have also put tributes to DeeDee on their own websites.
Maybe things will start to get better. I finally got off orientation from Deaconess after 3 weeks of being treated like a brand new grad ( somewhat insulting after 20 years of work ), and will be starting on night shift next weekend.
Will try to post more often since it looks lie things have started to settle down. Do need to post new pics of the new sheep that came after DeeDee died.
Need to go see what Chloe is into as she's really quiet.