Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas gift




Say "Thanks!" to G.W.Bush for the "Get out of jail free card" he gave them yesterday.

P.S. Jake reminded me that Fuzz Nutless got his name from his former life when he was just plain Fuzz Nuts. Jake is good with names. Who knows what he calls me when I am not around.

(Peter, if you didn't understand, it is a U.S. joke. By the way.....We would gladly send you some of our snow.)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas blessing

Wishes to you for a blessed Christmas. Love your family and try to realize how blessed you are to have them near you to celebrate in this season. (Peter, is Europe having a horrible winter, also?) Don't willfully get to the point where you do not celebrate with your family. (advice from me)

It is snowing AGAIN up on the ridge. Jake left about 8:00 am to be in the LaCrosse County garage if any of the snow plow trucks needed mechanical help. It was going to be two days extra off from work, but "old man Winter" had other ideas. Doesn't winter care that we won't have lambs in the spring if Jake doesn't get some more time off?

And these are the two outside porch kitties. The big yellow one, Fuzz Nutless, can't go in the house because he is mean to everyone. The "other house" room schoolhouse moved here and turned into living quarter by former owner) is the "cat house" when it is cold. The other cat, Spotty, is "challenged" and can go in but sometimes doesn't. They have formed a "mutual admiration society" when it is bitter cold. They huddle together to stay warm here on the ugly, ugly porch.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Christmas Miracle

On the day after I picked up two new lambs from Nancy Krohn, one of them broke her leg. It was a back leg, and it was just dangling there when I found her. My vet wasn't even willing to try to treat it. I found a vet that was willing. Jake and I took her to the clinic where Dr. Brown examined the break, totally snapped below the hock but not compound, and put a splint on it. We took her home with penicillin to give her for five days being told that 48 hours and 10 days were the times to be especially observant. has been four weeks now, and today Pia went to the vet and had her bandage changed. Dr. Brown said it was healing and it was warm, both good things. In fact, not good, GREAT!!!!! She has been kept in a small pen in the old milk house which is attached to the barn with her friend, Aggie. Many cookies have been consumed by those two little dolls. Pia is exceptionally friendly, and we have bonded, big time.

When I got home from the vet this morning, I made the call I have been dreading and hoping for. It was to Nancy to tell her how sorry I was that Pia had gotten hurt, but that she was getting better. I didn't want to worry Nancy about the treatment when the outcome was in doubt. I have been waiting and wanting to make that call for four weeks now. It is so good to have good news to share with someone.

PIA IS MY CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! Dr. Brown is part of the miracle. I guess I have a new vet for my sheep.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Creature Comfort

Pansy liked the stove when it was in the old living room, now dining room. As you can see, she still likes it. It is hard to believe how warm/hot she can get and still lay in front of the fire.

Sure is a cozy place to be here in the below zero weather.

The winds are blowin ............ (as the song says.) But we can weather the storm........ It's a lot easier with that fire in the corner of the room.

You warming.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Welcome Addition

What a good day to have my DH decide to get the stove set up in the living room. It took longer than he thought it would, but it is excellent. It will warm up the room when we are sitting around watching TV in the evening.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Girls on the Ridge

Just girl pictures today. I went out to Nancy K's to pick up two young brown girls. They are adorable. Right now they are getting pushed around a bit by some of the other ewes, but that will end soon. They are about the same size as my lamb from last spring. The other picture is Ami and her daughter Sugar, a yearling. Ami is the grandmother of young Meg, my lamb. Meg's mom is an HsT. Cassy and Mystery will be companions for Meg. (I hope I got their names right.)

Toonces is still here. I made a place for him on the first porch, and he has sat on a blanket all day. Maybe it was a long trip getting home, and he is "plum tuckered out". He hissed at all the cats he saw last night, but when I took his brother onto the porch this morning, they just touched noses like Toonces had been here all along.
Go figure.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Home for the Holidays

This is Outside Toonces. (of SNL fame) He was born here about four years ago. His mother was left here when we bought the farm. He has one brother and one sister. The summer that they were a year old, they all went on "walkabout". The sister never came back. The brother, Puff, came back with half a face and a broken front leg. He was nursed back to health. Toonces came back but continued to disappear. One time he never came back. Last year on Thanksgiving vacation, when my son and dauther-in-law were up here, Toonces reappeared. I kept him in the little house for a day, and then let him out. He left and hasn't been seen again. He had been living inside somewhere because he was sleek and fat.

This afternoon while I was working in the kitchen. I looked out the window and saw a cat sitting in front of the barn facing away from me. I thought that it was awful dark to be one of our cats. All I could think of was.........Outside Toonces. Sure enough, I went out and it was him. Here he was at the same time of the year. He is still friendly to us, and I captured him on camera. I will not keep him inside this time. I am just glad that he came home for the he here for deer hunting? Either way, it is good to see him again.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It feels good!

Today is the first time that I have been working on a project that it felt good. It has been a long time since this happened. All I can think about is all of the things that I have that I can do. The picture is the blanket that I just finished for a wedding next week. It isn't wonderful like all the knitting projects that I have seen on your blogs, but it is what I can do. I really feel like working on several things right now. My therapist will be happy to hear this tomorrow. AND........I feel like this with totally "poopy" weather outside. Maybe the fog has lifted from my brain, and I can become a productive member of society again.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Libby's Surprise!

Well, Libby, my Florida dog, got a real surprise when she went out into the back yard this morning. Normally, she flys around the corner of the house when I let her out, but today, she got to the end of the stones where the grass starts, and she stopped. She looked down at her feet, and then checked out that white stuff with her nose several times. After that, she decided it wasn't going to hurt her, and she joined Scooter in their yard. It means nothing to her now. I sure wish I felt the same.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


I'm hiding. I'm hiding.
But no one knows where.
Cause all they can see,
Is a bunch of my hair.

The poem is changed a little from the one that my mom used to read to me when I was small. For some reason I have never forgotten the first part of it.

I have no idea which end is up on Pansy, but I do know that she was comfortable this morning when I caught her napping.

I told you he was sassy! After all the work I am going through so that he can have a soft comfy bed, he has the nerve to stick his tongue out at me.

Junior is wondering how much longer it will take to get the table filled up again because it is getting close to nap time. Go figure.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My mother told me.........

The stars of this show are Puff on an unwashed fleece and Junior on the drying table.

My mother told me there would be days like these. This small spurt of warm weather has been a blessing for us at High Ridge. We were able to make some third crop hay. It will be offered up in exchange for two ewe lambs to round up our color chart. I finished my job on a customer's quilt and started physical therapy for the pain that I get when I run the quilting maching or spin or try to braid roving. That has got to end because I want to all all three of those things.

I finally got around to washing my fleeces. This was supposed to be done this summer. My summer was a complete failure. Nothing got done that was supposed to be done. BUT.......on the high side, Junior Minty Fresh loves the new drying table that Jake made for me especially when it is full of drying wool. Last night he was cuddled up in a white fleece looking like an angel kitty floating on a cloud. Wrong! Looks can be very deceiving especially in his case. He is a terror. But he makes for some good laughs with his antics, so I guess it is worth the trouble.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Indian summer

Now the trees across the road are in full color. Going to town or to the village is a real treat because you get to see the fantastic fall foliage. All the hills around here make terrific viewing when it comes to autumn color. We didn't have that where we lived down by the Illinois line. It was too close to flatland. Of course, you can see the elm that will become fire wood since it succumbed to Dutch elm disease.

Today Jake is working outside. He has to take advantage of the wonderful weather. He is digging a trench for a water line that won't freeze. The dairy barn was not equipped with a line that did not freeze. It always froze towards the end of winter when the last thing we wanted was trouble getting water out to the cows. This should take care of that problem. That will be a big improvement.

But.....Jake found another "attachment" that he "must" have for his Bobcat. We rented the backhoe attachment from the implement dealer. He loves it. I guess I love it, too, since it will mean that I won't have to drag a hose to water the cows in the dead of winter. I guess "you got to give get some."

It is quite a mess, but he knows what he is doing. It is a good thing because to me it just looks like a mess.

Ruffy and Dickie Smothers got a new home today. Neither of them is particularly happy about it, but that can't be helped. Fluffer may join them later; I just can't decide if I should do that or just leave him in with the big boys. There is no pasture, but there won't be green grass for much longer. They can get into a large pen in the barn when the weather is bad. The only problem is that their door will have to be closed when the weather gets snowy because otherwise the whole barn will fill up with snow. It is a west wall.

Of, course, we can't forget Junior. In the wall we bared last week, there was a hole for a chimney. Junior had to investigate. If there is trouble to get into, he will find it.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

And today.............

This is where we started this morning after church and a great breakfast at the local bar. It sure isn't how things were in the Methodist church, but the bar serves a great breakfast and a lot of local color.

Of course, Libby had to get into the picture.

Here is the wall without the chimmney. When that was done, I remembered that wall is log. We decided that we had better bare the log before he put in the stove
since that will influence how far out from the wall we will place the stove. It was studded out. It wasn't even that much of a mess since it was drywall.

This is how it looked when Jake finished working today. The only thing he added after I took the picture is a cover for the hole in the ceiling. The room looks so much better now that it fits in with the rest of the house where we have log walls. Of course, there is still a lot of work to do, but that sure isn't news to us.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Oh, boy! Oh,boy! Oh, boy! Oh,boy! Oh, boy!

I am getting an improvement on our house. Jake is taking out a chimney in the living room and replacing it with the soapstone propane stove that we have in the dining room. The dining room was our living room for the first four years that we lived here. The chimney was framed in and had 1970's carpeting on it with mirrored squares over that. What a nightmare! It will almost be like we have a fireplace in our living room. That will be pretty special. I am SOOOOOOOOOO excited! And....besides that Pansy, the calico cat, loves to lay in front of the stove to cook herself. She is sooooo excited, too.

This is the stove that will be moved into the living room

This is how the chimney looked in our living room, except now there is light coming in through the hole in the roof.

This is how the chimney looked on the outside. It is already gone! Plus.......Jake is fighting a losing battle with the bees outside. I hope they don't come in here in herds through the hole in the roof.

What's that white stuff?

Libby, my Florida dog, was very surprised to see that "white stuff" on the grass this morning. What can I say? I tried to tell her that it was a "Wisconsin thing", but she just didn't understand. Wait until the "real" white stuff happens. She is in for a total surprise.

The pictures are fall happening here. It looks different than it did this summer, and I love it. Jake started the outside wood stove yesterday evening. It is good to have heat and not have to think about paying for the propane. It is early, and he said we only had the wood stove off for four months. I guess that is just the way things are in this part of Wisconsin. Still, I hope for a much easier winter than we had last year. I really cannot believe that we are close to the start of another winter. Most of this year has been a very unpleasant blur for me. So far the only pleasant thing I can aremember about 2008 is the beautiful Shetland twins that Lucy gave me. They are still a joy to behold.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

When I wasn't looking----

Then I was looking, and there were two dogs looking like misplaced bookends on the small couch. It was afternoon nap time. It really is "a dog's life".

Dave and Holly and their dogs came up for the weekend. Holly and I went to Cranfest. That is quite a "fest". We got there early and left early. I don't know how anyone would be able to see it all. I couldn't even remember what we had seen so I could tell if we needed to proceed in a certain direction. Much too much for me to take in. The best part of it was finding two of my cousins in their booth. That made my day.

Todd will leave the rehab place next Monday and go home. He will get home services, I hope, until he can get out to continue his rehabilitation. He sounds good and is VERY ready to be home and especially away from hosiptal food. ---Next step in a long journey.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I am home again, and it is fall, my favorite season. The trees are turning, but most everything is still green. I have never been so happy to return to my home.

Todd is in an intensive rehabilitation facility. They have a very structured regime which he needs. Tonight he told me that he had walked quite a distance with a walker today. Last week he did walk from the hospital room out into the hall, but we followed him with a chair. It sounds like he is improving.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Twisting in the Wind

This is Bruno Junior. Wasn't he a cutey?

I can see the Goodyear Blimp Garage from the window in Todd's new room.

Here I am in Florida, in a hospital with a sick son. I do not know anyone here. I am staying at his house and taking care of his dogs in the morning and when I go home at night. I sit from 9 - 9 in his hospital room. Yesterday, I read a whole book. Today, I brought the computer and by afternoon, I was able to get on the internet here. That was good. I buy my food at the cafeteria or a Subway or McDonald's.

Today the case manager nurse told us we would have to select a rehab facility for Todd to go to when he is released from the hospital. What do I know? For that matter, what does he know? He never had to do something like this before. Tonight his internist suggested one of the four that the insurance company would pay for. Now, I must get out there somehow and see the place. We will probably select that one since Todd really likes his doctor and values his opinion. Maybe one of Todd's friends will drive me out there.

Jake is not happy at home. Last night when he got home, Lucy was walking around out of the pasture. It has happened twice before, and she has happily come for cookies and returned to her captivity. He called me and asked what to do. I suggested the corn that she was getting before and after the twins. This was about 5:00. When I talked to him again at 9:00, he said that the corn had worked and that he had reinforced the staples holding the fence panels. Another problem solved.

Here................I feel like I am dangling at the end of a string........twisting in the wind. Tears just pop up at the most unexpected times. Responsibility sits heavy upon my shoulders. I hope I will be back to just my problems at home...soon.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Todd had a mild heart attack and a small stroke. What next? He has some kind of problem with his back and cannot walk. Tomorrow they will transfer him out of ICU to a regular floor. Intensive PT seems to be the only hope for walking.

Yes, Michelle, I am a bulldog caretaker for part of each day. They said to say "Hi" back, and "When is Todd coming home?"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I am in Florida attending to my son who is in intensive care in a hospital down here. Won't be much news from me for a while.

Friday, September 05, 2008

This is NOT a hobby farm.

hobby n.: a pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in esp for RELAXATION.

I am sick and tired of our endeavor being called a "hobby farm". It is not for relaxation. Believe me. It is as far from relaxation as anything I can conceive. It eliminates relaxation. Instead of relaxation we have exhaustion. I have seldom seen Jake "relax". When he sits down, it is more like exhaustion.

Last night I went off on the insurance agent who was here to go over our insurance for the coming year. He had the nerve to suggest that this was a hobby farm. I set him straight. He was lucky. Because when he suggested that we had toooooooo much machinery, I was ready to singe his ears with another comment, but I restrained myself. Maybe it was because I wasn't feeling well. I had spent the day at the quilting machine so that I could finish a job for a women who had a deadline to finish her pillow shams. I paid for it. The accident is still holding be back in several ways. Maybe I don't hold up my weight around here, but I try. I know it isn't easy for Jake, but it could make it possible for us to have a good retirement. The farm is planned to provide us with additional income when he retires.

I hope I live that long. I wish he was retired now so that we could enjoy this together now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Are they keepers?

This is all about Nutmeg and Sweet Woodruff ------ aka. Meggy and Ruffy. They are about three and a half months old now.

This is specificaly a "Shetland" post. I need help in evaluating my only lambs from last spring. If you are a "Shetland person", please leave a comment and tell me truthfully about these two youngsters. I am a big (read "old") girl, and I can take the truth. I will still love them very much because they are mine and because they are so darn cute.

This is what Ruffy's horns look like now. Is there hope for them and him?

These are rear views. I know they are not great photos, but I tried.

Please leave a comment and tell me what you think because I just don't get around any other Shetland people, and I don't know enough to make any kind of intelligent judgement.