Friday, May 25, 2007

I Just Seem To Be Dancin' As Fast As I Can...

I have been promising people pictures of some of the lambs, but for the past week or so, all the lambs have NOT been cooperating...at all! On top of that my camera hasn't been working well. It eats batteries and is getting to the point where I think it needs a good drop-kick into the swamp before too long. In reality I'm sure it's been the Gremlin that lives in the camera. Even the lambs colors aren't coming in correctly...so I will try to explain the pictures:
















These first three photos are of Sheep Thrills Sven. Sven was the chilled lamb we brought into the house the night he was born to warm him up. He's the bruiser of the group weighing in at 23 lbs. last weekend! He is a solid black ram who I believe is going to look like a clone of his sire, Bluff Country Skittles, right down to the tips of his little toes. The only thing missing is the white "Krunet" marking on the crown of his little head. Skittles had a pronounced one when he was young. Sven and his brother, Sheep Thrills Ole, both carry genetics for spotting even though they are both black.

Sven is the one of the group who is stand-offish. He genuinely likes people, but he doesn't really want to get too close. He'd rather ram the ball they play with or just spend some time with his mother grazing while the others run around and pester me. Actually, he's exhibiting proper etiquette for a well-behaved young ram. Sven is built very squarely and solid. A chip off the ole Man's block!

This fourth photo is of Ole, complete with nose decorated in the mineral bin right before his picture was taken. I think he planned this. (Well, I did warn you all that the lambs were uncooperative during this photo shoot. ) Ole is the Charmer of the group. He's the first one to come running up to me when he sees I'm around. He doesn't charge me - it's more of a "Oh, she's here! She's the one Mom says gives her something called a "treat". I don't know what that is exactly, but Mom seems to think it's a good thing so maybe she'll give me one!" Ole also is beginning to think that I'll play with him and I am nipping that right in the bud. No shepherd wants a ram who thinks that they should "play" with the shepherd. It's too bad, in some ways...Ole is the Ferdinand of the group. Remember the story of the bull who would rather sniff flowers than charge a matador? Well, that's Ole. He seems to be a very peaceful and outgoing soul.


And here is Blessa. Blessa is a moorit color showing signs that she will lighten as she gets older. She does have a few white fibers on the crown of her head as well as in her ears. I wish I could say she was super-friendly, but she's actually been much more stand-offish than all the boys. I wonder if this is a "ewe thing" as last years ewe lambs had to be won over as well. But once you won their hearts, they became your best buddy. I'm hoping Blessa will finally warm up to us. I have noticed that lately she'll walk up to me if she thinks I'm not watching her. I even caught her tasting my jeans yesterday but as soon as she saw me glance at her, off she went as if it never happened. we'll see, Blessa. Time will tell. :)


Here's a close-up of Blessa's face (right). You can see lighter areas that look almost like diluted spots on her face.










And this last picture (of the lambs) is of Shaun, Blessa's big brother. After all, he was born 15 minutes before she was! He, too, is a moorit. And while he also has a few white fibers here and there on his crown and face, he's a darker moorit brown than his sister even though he looks lighter in this photo.
I promise, as soon as I get some better pictures, I will post them. It has been a couple of crazy weeks around here: We've had a new kitchen floor put in as well as MRIs and having surgery scheduled for my back at the end of June.
Here's the picture of the new floor you asked for, Michelle ! :) It's been a really nice and easily cared floor already. I know I'm going to like it.
Now, if you'll excuse me...I hear sheep bleating to be let into the pasture and two cats are bugging me about filling their foodbowl. See? I can't even have a few minutes to myself to blog.
But above all the sheep and cat-noises I can hear the red-winged blackbirds and the House Finch singing their hearts out.
Maybe it's time to go just sit, listen and melt into the pasture with the sheep........

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Where Have You Been All My Life?


It's here! I can't imagine how I've gone without one of these for the past 30 years. This is my marvelous new toy - an electric Ertoel Roberta Spinner. But I need to go back a bit to tell you how it got here:
I have always been interested in these electronic spinners. Now, before I get into discussing this spinner with all of you, I do want to say that I still love, and will always love, spinning with both of my traditional human-treadled spinning wheels. But I also came to the realization that with some health issues leering at me, I needed to see if there was a better way for me to be more productive as a handspinner without having to either hurt myself, or be so slow I never got anything done. The Roberta Spinner was the answer.
I had talked with several people who already own Roberta spinners and something became very evident - everyone I talked to said they loved this contraption and would not part with it...that it was wonderful to spin on and was a very comfortable tool to use. People also mentioned how portable it was and that you could even place it on a coffee table and spin while you sat on the couch or chair. Wait a minute....you mean that I could sit comfortably in my recliner and still spin? And it's quiet enough to use while both my DH and I were watching TV? Well, the more investigating I did as to the use of an electric spinner, the more I found that a machine such as this could really make things easier for me.

So, I started searching for a used one at first...no luck. People loved these things so much that they didn't part with them. And if you did happen to find one used, it went for the same price as a new one. Hmmmm. Interesting. The next move was contacting the company who makes them and get more information. But the more information I got, the more I realized that: 1. These were a great tool to have, 2. I could up my production and thereby have more handspun yarns to use weaving, knitting, etc. , 3. That if I were finding this tool making my life easier, how many others of my age were finding themselves in the same situation? One thing led to another and before I knew it, voile! I became a dealer for Ertoel Wheels!
Yes, Folks...I became a dealer! :-) I picked the Ertoel Wheels as I found them to be the very best of the electronic spinners out there, in my humble opinion. There are other brands, but the Ertoels have been around for over 30 years, have a great track record, and a guarantee on the motor for 10 years. I had found that Roberta owners had nothing but good things to say about their spinners and would not part with them. And they have the best track record for durability that I found.
I had received an earlier part of my order which included another Roberta Spinner, but I had ordered this Limited Edition one for me especially. It's more expensive for it, but I had loved the one I had seen Becca use. (And yes, Becca - your bobbins are in!) It spins like a dream! Now, I can be in the living room watching TV with my DH and still spinning in a comfortable chair without having to get up and move every so often to work the kinks out of my body. It's wonderful and I'm sure my Roberta and I will have a long and productive relationship. :-)

As for the sheep: Right now the lambs are growing like weeds! I will have my DH take pics while I hold each one this weekend. That's the only way I'm going to get close-ups of each one so everyone can see faces, horns, fleece and other bits.
Here you see them in the middle of one of the many "Lamb Races" they conduct throughout the day! In this one, I believe Shaun and his sister, Blessa, are in the lead with Sven and Ole close behind! Where do they get all that energy?
















Once and a while they do take a break to catch their breath and see if there is an unsuspecting chicken to chase.





As always, Bran is ever vigilant, watching over all of us. He's even taken to making sure I make it to the back door of the basement, flying from post to shed to roof. Of course, I tell myself that he's watching over me but I know darned well he's watching to see if I drop anything good like an anmial cracker or cracked or dirty egg for him. He's almost started taking "gifts" from right out of my hand! I found myself leaning on the fenceline watching the Lamb Races and noticed that a certain individual had moved closer to me and was about 4 ft. from my head, talking to me - a comment on who was coming in first, no doubt!

Thanks for watching over me, Bran...it's comforting to know you're around...but will you please stop pooping on Ralph's freshly washed truck?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Thank You, Tina!


My friend, Tina,has just nominated me for a Creative Thinking Blogspot Award for 2007! Who would have thought I would be instrumental in someone actually "thinking"???

One of the conditions of the award is to pass along five other blogspots that I feel makes me stop and take time to actually think about something. This condition alone made me think, as I have run across many blogs composed of pure fluff. Those are the blogs I only visit once. In actuality, when I stop to think about it, I never go back to those.

Well...Here are MY choices:

--My daughter Kelly's blog always gets me to thinking - if it's not something new to ponder, it can even be wonderful (or painful) memories.
--Tina's blog! I just love reading about the coming and goings of the cats, Sinda and Neelix and the Vishus sheep that John, and now Shepherdess Tina, take care of. We've just got to get Tina spinning up all of those fleeces!
--Leigh has a wonderful journal of not only her weaving, but her beautiful handspinning. Leigh is the one who inspired me to get back into weaving after a long hiatus.
--Farmgirl is one of the most interesting accounts of farm life, or at the very least of a "city-folk-makes-good-in-the-country" blog.
--Michelle's blog is a great one as well as Michelle asks intelligent questions that she can answer! And in the process makes one stop to think as well.
--ShepherdChik is a great blog from fellow shepherdess Rebecca and the goings-on at her farm. Becca is a shepherdess whom I admire - probably 'cause we think an awful lot alike. (But then so do Tina and Michelle as well)
*And yes, I do know that's six people I wish to nominate!*

And one comment I would like to make...of all the blogs to make me think, I have to include mine. I haven't had to do this much thinking with my grey-matter in years - to think of what to write that doesn't sound trite, or incoherent, among other things. Hell, just coming up with an idea is, at times, so taxing to the brain that the room fills with smoke as I try to get those two brain cells I have left rubbed together fast enough to create the spark of a thought. There are days when all I have is smoke but no fire. ;-)

So "Hats Off!" to all of these people for being as creative as they are. They are MY inspiration to continue this folly and see it through. And bless every one of you who takes the time to remind me: "We haven't seen a blog entry from you in a long time...."
Even if it has only been one day! :-)

---The participation rules are simple:
1. If you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link back to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.