Monday, December 09, 2013

What a poser!

This is Junior.    He is anything but little, but he has always been photogenic.  I couldn't resist this pose on the kitchen table with the ewe and her twins and the pine branch. 

We are experiencing a cold snap.   It has already lasted much too long, and it is only early December.  I hope this is not a portent of things to come.   I just keep getting older and colder.    The older I can handle, the colder..........not so much!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Mixing dog hair and wool

What do you mean; there is dog hair in my wool?   One thing I am sure to tell anyone who buys a product of either my spinning or knitting------------There will be other types of animal hair in the product.    It could be either dog or cat---------more likely dog.   I have to sit in my computer desk chair if I want to sit alone.  I always have a friend if I sit on the couch.   I even get a friend if I sit in my platform rocker.

Yesterday and again this morning, I had five helpers while I was knitting.   Just imagine me in-between the two corgis.   However, it is not all bad.   They keep me warm, and it has become that time of the year now.  I was fine knitting this a.m. until the collie got down and the others moved away from me.    Then I was cold.   The dogs are a great joy to me most of the time.
Yesterday, as in the picture, I was knitting white wool with black Little Beaver hair mixed in.   Today it is charcoal gray with white mixed in from any one of them.   (The brown one on the end is not mine.)          snowed last night about an inch, but it is nearly clear and sunny now.

Thursday, November 07, 2013


More about wool, especially Shetland wool, at a later date.    I am seven days late with this announcement of celebration.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Mr. Zippy

This post is all about Zippy.  He is not one of those fabulous talented dogs with letters after his name, but he is an awesome Cardigan.   He is a major couch potato who is more likely to be found in the recliner with Jake.  He seldom runs....just in the evening after being outside he might come flying into the living room.  He only plays on special occasions.  He likes going for walks, but doesn't fly around..... just bounces along.  We think he is very handsome, and his main job is being the fun police when the other two corgis are playing or the cat needs correction.

Here are two of his recent activities:

First he decided that he would be much more comfortable if he laid on the two pillows at the end of the couch.

Then, the other afternoon he decided to excavate a covered place for himself on the other end of the same couch.    First he dug on the cover with hit front feet; then he crawled under the cover and was completely covered.    Finally he turned around under the cover and stuck his head out and laid down.
It was a lot of work, but somebody had to do it.   Maybe he knows that Wisconsin winter is coming.

We love our Zippy!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Brockhaus Petting Zoo

The Brockhaus Petting Zoo, or, as otherwise known, more work for the farmer's wife.    There are five ram lambs and two calves, in the background.   This could also be titled, "Why there was so much noise on Tuesday night and Wednesday during the day".    Weaning took place, but everyone is doing better now.   Of these lambs, the four in the front are from our farm, and the one in the background is Casey from Kelly at OK Acres.    I have great plans of his adding some grey color next spring.   The two calves were abandoned by their mothers in the space of two days and became our bottle babies.    The two species just ignore each other.    They have an elaborate set-up in the garage to allow for different feeding for sheep and calves.   I think they have a pretty good deal going.
The lamb on the right is Campbell, and he may get to stay and be more than a companion for Casey.    Time will tell.

Monday, July 08, 2013

AAA---Alien Abduction Alert!!!

Poor Zippy said that he was abducted by aliens yesterday morning when we were at church.    He said  that when he regained consciousness, he was in this position-- behind bars in the kitchen.   Doesn't he look pathetic?

This barrier is set up specifically because of him since the cat food is on a shelf in the top left hand corner of the picture.    We have no idea how he gets into this position, so I guess the alien thing will have to be our story, too. 

 Although I had not planned on it, that corner of the kitchen is nice and clean now.    Everything got moved and changed.   I found an old wash stand that belonged to Jake's grandparents and filled all the drawers and shelves.   Jake moved the refrigerator, and things look much better now.    I wonder where the aliens will put Zippy the next time they visit...............

Friday, June 07, 2013

Green acres

 This post is just .....'how it is today'...... for my friend in Hungary who has not seen it for more than five years.  

 This is the view from the road.   Poppy and Virginia, yesterday's calf, are the closest cows on the hill.
This is just a field.  Jake has been through it once, but, like the rest of the farm, none of it is planted yet.   No corn this year just soy beans and alfalfa if all goes well.
 This is Holly and Vinnie in the middle of the shot.   He was born this morning early.  They weren't close enough to get good pictures.  He is still trying to figure just exactly where the "milk bar" is located.
 These are some of my girls and their lambs.   They are growing so fast.   My special friend, Coco,  is on the far right.
 These are two of my little lawn mowers.   Willie and Johnny, I think..    No trimming is needed around the sheep pasture.   When the lambs were real young,  they went in and out of the pasture on this side whenever they pleased.
 My handsome twins.   Campbell in front and Carrie to the left of him.   Their mom is to the left of Carrie and back some.
This is the 'forest' and the dog yard.   Grass needs mowing, for sure, but can't mow when it doesn't stop raining.    This afternoon might be a possibility, but I am off to my knitting group.   Maybe it will be dry enough for a little cutting before I go.

To Peti:   Hope the flooding of the Danube that you mentioned is less than expected.  Our big river has been quite well behaved this year even though we have gotten so much rain.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Finally.............a calf

It sure took long enough!    We have been waiting, not too patiently, for this calf to arrive.   Today she made her appearance.   She was just what I asked for..........healthy, female, and red.   Tonight we observed her nursing, so she is on her way in this new environment.   She will be named Virginia. Her mom is one of the cows that we brought up here when we came from Kenosha.   She isn't young, but she is productive and friendly.

Lambs are growing fat and sassy.   All the sheep look wonderful because all it does is rain which keeps their wool looking good.   Our weather is the exact opposite of last year.    Jake can't even get into the fields to do the planting because everything is so wet.  Best thing about it is that the grass in the pastures is growing like crazy.   We really are "green acres" right now.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Oh, goody!!! New hay!!!

There isn't enough fresh grass in my small pasture to make the girls happy, so they were real enthusiastic about a fresh bale of hay,   The lambs had never had hay this way, so they were excited, too, for the novelty of the experience.  Yes, they all got full of chaff, but they really didn't care.
Look carefully and you will see a white lamb in the bottom of the feeder.    Black gulmoget girl on left. 

These are five of the seven lambs.   Little girl, single, on the left.   Gulmoget twins-- moorit in the foreground and black at the feeder.    Solid moorit single and and one of the white twins.

Maybe the rain or snow tonight will clean them up.   Today it is winter again with lots of wind and spotty showers.    Once I even saw those tiny snow balls when I let the dogs in the house.    Next week we are supposed to have a day in the mid-eighty's.  Go  figure--------Wisconsin!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Carrie & Campbell

Sunday early afternoon brought the last two lambs.    They are Carrie and Campbell.    Carrie is a black gulmoget and Campbell is a moorit gulmoget.    I wish it was the other way around, but can't complain since at least one of them is a ewe lamb.
Here they are getting acquainted with the guy in the next cell.  It is probably Whalan since he is the most outgoing of the "W" twins.
Everyone has a name now.    Denver, moorit ram lamb,  Martina, white with brown spots ewe lamb, Johnny, black ram lamb, Carrie, black gulmoget ewe lamb,  Campbell, moorit gulmoget ram lamb, Whalan, white ram lamb, and Willie, white ram lamb.   It won't be long, and they will be makin' some powerful good music together.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lambing, so far..............

Wheat had twin ram lambs last Saturday night.    

 Minnie had a single ewe lamb at 7:30 yesterday morning.

 This is a closer picture of my lone ewe lamb.   She is adorable.

 Juni B had a single black ram lamb. Johnny, about two hours later.

 Juni's mom, Darla had a single moorit ram lamb two hours after her daughter from last year.

Whalen and Willie really like basking in the rare sunlight in the front of the garage/lambing barn door.  I put the blanket down, and they promptly settled down for a nap.  I have one ewe yet to lamb.  She is Minnie's mom.  Maybe their line will give me all girls this year.

My herd is very small, so lambing is a real big deal here.   I was so shocked to have three ewes lamb yesterday morning.  The weather was not cooperative, but we managed.  They did most of the work to get them dried and fed and warmed.  Today they are jumping all over their jugs and keeping me from doing anything because I keep running out there to snuggle them.

Their names will reflect their mother's first initial and the names, first or last, of country singers.   Little girl and one boy are not yet named.    Some suggestions have been made, but they have been rejected by the shepherdess.   (All suggestions would be appreciated.  I don't do country music.)

Saturday, March 02, 2013

March is here!!!

Here it is................our official photo for 2013.    They all look so sweet in the picture when they are not making a fuss about something.     They really do get along quite well.    They went for a walk a few days ago.   They remember all their commands when walking, but they were not happy when they did not  go out again the next day.   I will be so happy when we can get out every day. 

In the sheep shed:    I am happy to just have my nine poll carrying sheep.    I am hoping for the three mature ewes to lamb this spring.    We will be late, after May first.    I want to be able to go out to check for lambs in the night in my bed clothes.   No cold shepherdess or cold lambs.   I am not breeding for any particular time, so warm weather lambs are just fine here.  One thing I do know is that I will be looking for a new ram for next year.    I need one so that I can breed my lambs from last year.   Right now the next thing on the calendar is shearing and lamb fleeces.     Hooray!

In the house, Jake has had one of his thumbs fixed.    The thumb joint was bone on bone just like the shoulder and knees.   He is doing well having skipped the cast and just jumped to the splint after three weeks in a soft cast post surgery.   On March 25 he may begin being weaned off of the splint.    He does not have pain in the thumb now.    Next year he plans to have the other one fixed.    Then I think he will be done with the arthritis thing.

We have had much snow in February, but I am ready for spring.   I have done a lot of spinning during the winter and knitting also.    I have only knit shawls since they use up a great amount of wool.    I did make a cowl that I liked, also.    I don't spin or knit well, but I enjoy doing the shawls because they are simple to knit.    I have joined a small group that knits at a library on Thursday afternoons in a small town nearby.    It had been lots of fun and the source of many laughs and many new books to read and, best of all, new friends.

This is the first shawl.   It has kept me warm through some cold days this winter.    Since this one, there have been four others.    They are all different colors and have different edges.   The first two were three ply, and the rest are two ply.    Two ply is heavy enough, but I like my heavy one.  Beaver doesn't look particularly happy to be modeling the shawl, but he is still in the same position as I write this.   Guess it can't be too bad.

Everyone here at the farm will be very glad when spring gets here.