Wednesday, October 25, 2006

We're Almost There!

Well, here is the kitchen with the new Corian countertops installed! Finally! We are now owners of a working kitchen sink again for which I am very grateful as I was tired of trying to do dishes in the bathroom sink. :)
We still have a bit more to do....Tomorrow sees a repairman for my brand new, out-of-the-carton Bosch dishwasher that doesn't work yet, and we have the crown moulding as well as the toe-kicks to put in place. Yes, there is water TO the dishwasher, but the dishwasher refuses to do anything but hum. At least it's all warranty covered. It was disappointing to say the least. It's been over 14 years since I had a dishwasher and I was so looking forward to having one. Oh, well...se la vie!

As for the sheep, they are all doing well. I have caught Skittles looking longingly at the ewes. Methinks a young ram's fancy is turning to thoughts of lusty behavior with them as there is a definite glint in his eye when he looks their way. He's got a couple of weeks to go before he finally gets his wish. Next week will see the "Division of the Flock" as the older ewes will be separated out and their feed increased to "flush" them for better chances of twin lambs next spring.
I've decided not to breed the young ewes, if at all possible and Skittles doesn't jump the fencing. In nature, they would be fair game, but I am leaning on letting them finish growing before they become moms themselves. They can watch their mums with new lambs next spring and get a wee bit of an idea as to what's expected.

And our weather is turning bitterly cold as tonight sees temperatures dip into the teens for our lows. Today was also very windy and rainy. But as I took out the trash this evening, I could see fog developing in the low area behind the house. I love fog. I used to love riding my horse in the fog and had a ball in the dull quiet it brings with it. Maybe it's something going way far back in my roots that calls to me when I see fog rolling in. Now let's see...where DID I put my Druid robe and the black chicken? Or maybe it's just time to go howl at the moon.
Either way, it seems to be fitting for the approach of Halloween. ;-)

Friday, October 20, 2006

30 Years and Counting...

Today is our 30th Wedding Anniversary. At first I was tempted to just think of it as another anniversary, another day, as we both have been through quite a bit this year. Highlights include a trip to New Zealand and our daughter's wedding, a wonderful visit from our New Zealand Family and "The Kids" here in Arizona, getting the sheep I'd been planning on for a year and making accomodations for them, a massive kitchen remodel we did ourselves, a whirlwind trip to Wyoming to pick up our ram, Skittles...and all the little things in life that happen while you're making other plans.
I am reminded on this day of what a wonderful person I married. In this day and age of everything happening at a blurred rate we have steadfastly remained a couple - something not easily done as those who have lived with one person for a long time can attest to. There's a lot of give and take. Sometimes you have to give and sometimes, even though it makes you uncomfortable, you have to take and lean on your "Other Half". There are times when one is a kite, soaring above everything just floating from place to place on the wind. And there are times when one can be an anchor, remaining grounded and solid. Sometimes you are the kite. Sometimes the anchor. But you have to remember that if it weren't for the kite the anchor would remain mired in the earth never seeing the light of day. And kite would just fly away and be torn to shreds by the wind if it were not for the anchor keeping it grounded. The trick is to realize who you are.
So, while we may not be off on an adventure to mark this date (no...no cruises or fancy dinners, or expensive gifts), we both know in our hearts that today is indeed special. It makes you very aware of all you've gone through together - the good and the bad, the up days and the days you wonder why you ever got married in the first place.
Life is a series of choices. I can feel good in that there's one time I know I made the right one.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Skittles and the Marvelous Toy

>Here's a recent picture of Skittles with his new favorite thing...The Marvelous Toy. I found the "horse ball" at our local feed store and Ralph installed it, at first, on a 4x4 redwood post, which Skittle demolished the first day. Note well that now the ball is attached to a heavy 6x6 pressure treated - HEAVY - post. (Did I mention it was heavy?) And while Skit hasn't demolished this one, I must admit it does remind one of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I guess it's the "Leaning Tower of Sheep". He loves it. He guards it. He rubs his forehead and horns all over it and every once and a while you can hear the "thonk" of him just beating the ever-loving life out of that poor ball. Better the ball than me. :-)
And as soon as he saw someone with a camera, being as well trained by Nancy K. as a fashion model on a Paris runway, he got up, came over, and posed for a photo-op. What a ham!
We are both enjoying Skittles. He's so very mellow and well-mannered. He walks around the place with me and is a gem on a lead. Better than most dogs I see. He'll even walk to the mailbox and see what's going on as traffic goes by the house.
And yesterday afternoon we had a nice surprise. Ralph's mother, Sadie, and her sister, Tommie, came from Nevada for a quick trip to see us. We had a great visit even though they left early this morning to head back to Nevada. Tommie is a very interesting person and we don't get to see her too often. She's a quilter and a painter (and makes great peanut brittle)and gives the best hugs. My only problem was I was having so much fun with talking to them that I forgot to even pick up the camera and take a few snaps. It must've been that flu shot I had.
Well, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. ;-)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I Know, I Know...

This is Ziggy, our "Sumo-Kitty", weighing in at 10 kilos. (Sounds better than 22 lbs. doesn't it?) Zig and my friend, Nancy K., have reminded me that I need to update this blog. And they're right....
We have been extremely busy with getting little things done in the kitchen in preparation for our counter tops to be installed on the 23rd. I can hardly wait to start cooking real meals again! We are getting very tired of Take-Away and Microwave Meals and I'm sure they're not very good for our health.
And I have been recovering from the mad dash to get Skittles, the Ram, here. Whenever I travel and particularly when there is a change of altitude involved, I flare up to where I can hardly move for about three days. It just goes with the arthritis and the Fibro, so I have come to expect to do "Light Duty" on those days.
This time, however, our getting back coincided with a big change in the weather. It was like adding "insult to injury" as my mother used to say. And yes, I am finally coming out of that as well. So it's time to get back into the swing of things! :)
Skittles has decided that he definitely wants to be outside. This morning when I opened up that end of the barn I found myself staring, eyeball to eyeball, with Mr. Skittles. He had managed to tear out the hardware Ralph used to mount the pen into the cinderblock wall. Oh, it can be repaired, but I took this as Skit saying, "Listen! I was in a barn all darned summer long and I'm NOT going to stay in here unless it's snowing! OK?"
The thing was...I couldn't help from laughing as all the chickens were squawking at Skit with their little chicken-eyes bugging out! Skit must've just gotten out as nothing was really damaged and only the chicken feeder had been tipped over. But the look on the chickens' faces was priceless and gave me a good chuckle to start the day with.
I can't blame him for wanting out either. And for some reason, he's really bonded with me, not overly chummy but respectful. But I know he needs a friend in with him, or some ladies in there to keep him occupied. He'll just have to wait until his quarantine is over and it's time for a turn in with the girls.
And Ziggy has been following me all around the house today just purring away for the pure joy of it. He's been my Best Buddy today.
He doesn't even mind if smell a little, just a little, like a sheep. :)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Help! I'm Being Held Prisoner In Arizona! - But Wait A Minute...There Are Ladies Here!

I have had a very strange summer. First, I was in my field in a place called "Minnesota" and then my human "Mom", Nancy, helped her friend, Kim, load me into a prison cell in the back of the thing that I've seen hay brought to the farm in. I was so scared! I've never been away from home and the thing started to move! All I knew was that I wanted out. The thing was moving me farther and farther away from my home. My mom was crying and she mentioned something about a place called "Arizona", whatever that was.
All I knew to do was bang on the walls of the little place I was put in. It was hard to stand 'cause the Thing that was moving me was moving very fast and bumping me all around. I banged, and banged, but it didn't help.
Later, the Thing stopped and I was put into a pen inside a place called a barn. I was by myself. I could smell that there were others here and I could hear them talking but I didn't know where I was or how to get home. I missed my pasture and the other guys. I couldn't figure out what was going on.
Summer was starting to change into Fall and the Kim-human feeding me came and put me in that Thing again and we started going a long way this time. At first I thought I was going home, Kim and another human called "Bob" kept the Thing moving day and night. I couldn't sleep. I kept banging on the Thing to see if I could get out, but I couldn't even dent it.
After a long time we stopped. I thought I would finally be set free but when the door of the Thing opened there were strange humans with Kim and Bob. One of them tried to feed me a cookie like Mom used to do but I didn't want it. She put something on my head and told me it was OK to come out. But I was more afraid of coming out into this very strange place. Then Bob and another human they called Ralph helped me out of the Thing. I thought I would be free, but they picked me up and put me right into another Thing! Then the human called Kathy gave me some water. I was so thirsty and I hadn't had anything to drink in a long while.
Soon, this Thing started to move again. I looked out and it sure didn't look like Minnesota any more. After a while, it got dark. We would stop for a short time and they would put something they called "gas" into the moving Thing. Kathy would try to give me water and food, but I wasn't too hungry...just tired and tired of being in the Thing.
Then, when it was very dark, we stopped for a longer period. Kathy and Ralph were still inside the moving thing, but they were quiet. Once and a while Kathy would check on me and make sure I had water and hay. I was so tired I laid down and slept.
After a bit they got ready to move again. But I was tired and wanted to sleep. It didn't matter. We started to move again.
It was dark and I couldn't see out of the Thing very well. I had good footing and was comfortable standing. Once and a while I would lay down. I wondered if this was going to be my life now.
When the sun came up, we stopped at a place Kathy said was Arizona. It was near a big pond. Kathy and Ralph said that we would soon be "home". And we started to move again. We weren't moving for too long a time before the Thing stopped and the humans were opening the back of the Thing and putting the halter on my head again. They said we were home.
I was so happy to get out of the Thing that I almost jumped over Ralph as he tried to lift me from the Thing! Soon, I was in a pasture again with green grass! It smelled wonderful, but I was so tired I didn't want to eat. Kathy walked me around for a bit then we headed for a barn I had never seen before.
And I could smell and hear other sheep! I wasn't alone! But Kathy put me in a pen by myself and explained that I had to stay there until the morning to rest. There were the funniest birds there. They called themselves "chickens" and they talked most of the night telling me about everything. A couple of them seemed OK, but some of them were just talking to hear themselves talk. There was a little rooster called "Slick" there just balbbering on and on about how he was the boss of everyone and everything. That was until he saw me. He got real quiet after that.
There was plenty of grass hay and I got a great sleep. In the morning, Kathy came and put that halter on me again and led me out into a pen just for me! She said I had to stay in quarantine for a while. I thought I was in Arizona, not Quarantine. But the nicest thing was that I could see other sheep! And I could talk to them and they could talk to me. It was far away though. There are two fences between us. I can only hope that someday we can all be together. I miss being with other sheep.
The sun is shining. I have lots of food and water and even toys to play with.
It's not Minnesota but maybe it will be a nice place to live. And Kathy says that someday my mom, Nancy, may come for a visit. Maybe they are friends. And I can see (and smell) that there are ewes here. Hmmm.
Maybe, just maybe, Arizona will turn out to be a nice home after all. I hope so.
-Skittles-