Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gus Is Snooping Into Packages

Gus feels sure there's something in the bag just for him.
video

2010 Lambs - Wrapping Up Breeding Season


Electric sheep with eyes all aglow. Ten of these ewes are mine and ten are from my breeding and come back annually to breed again.
Don't tell the ram but his glory days are just about kaput for this year. The shearer worries about Blue being too thin going into breeding season. It's been my experience that he actually gains weight once he gets with his girls. It's prior to breeding, pacing the fence row 24/7, that wears him down.
P.S. This photo was taken Dec 17 - just 2 days before the big snow.

It's a Marshmallow World in the Winter...


The foot of snow we got is beautiful, light and fluffy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Morning Sunlight - Life is Good

I can't say if it's due to being at work or the days of rainy weather(probably both) but it seems like a long, long time since I've seen the morning's golden light. The sheep were bathed in it this morning. Look at the golden light in that clump of red cedars on the hillside. Sweet. Click on photo for a larger view.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Reese's Homecoming

Reese is a matriarch. She and her oldest daughters, Clara and LoveHeart, were born here on the Guitner Road. In fact, Clara and Lovey were born here during my 50th birthday party. Now they live in Boyertown, PA, east of Reading. Without a ram at their farm, they come here each fall to get new babies. This year the Reese clan has arrived, ten strong. Five last weekend and five today. We followed them out to pasture today to join up with the other breeding ewes and the ram. Here's a brief video of that meeting. Blue should be in his glory. He's got 19 ewes to attend to and such fine weather for courting:
video
They will be here well into December. I would love to know if they recognize each other from living here and from their previous visits. Studies say sheep are supposed to have good face recognition. Don't you wonder how the sheep communicates that to the surveyor?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

East Meets West (of Dawn and Moonset)


It happens sometimes that the full moon is setting in the west when the sun is waking up in the east. The sky is lovely in both directions at once. This morning was one of those mornings. As the moon was just above the west horizon the sun was just below the east horizon and here on the Guitner Road the stage is set for a brilliant Autumn day. I went to the deck and photo'd the moon and out to the driveway to shoot the east sky then to the computer to blend the 2 shots. I want you to see where they meet but matched the mountains that make our south central PA location so special.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Gus's Catnip Mat

Georgie is a dear soul. Georgie loves cats. She loves them so much she bought my Gus a neat catnip mat. Gus didn't know he liked catnip until he got his mat. Now he plays with it and gets really large pupils. Then he lays around and licks himself.
video

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Autumn Stroll

I love this time of year, beautiful foliage and crisp blue sky days. The weekends this month surely haven't looked that way here on the Guitner Road. We've had lots of rainy weekends. But today the sun is out and the fall colors are lovely. We enjoyed the warm Indian summer day. BR and I walked to the creek to check on the bridge. It's closed for repairs until April. Although it causes both of us to detour to work, the upside has been far less traffic on our road.
Merlin got to play in the creek. Brad and Merlin pause before heading home. A piece of good news: The ram finally got to be with the ewes yesterday. He's been pacing the fence row for weeks awaitng breeding season. Click on photo for LARGE Size.
I have a short verse for the occasion:
"What sheep on yonder hill doth breed?
'Tis bide-a-wee Blue with the Shepherd's Loft ewes."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

West Texas Pioneer Couple

I have never been to Texas and have never met these people. This couple and people like them impress me so much. When I listen to them speak it brings up a sweet longing in me. I would like to be more self sufficient, more removed from today's crazy living. They are strong in my eyes and I am just... a weiner.
I won't follow in their footsteps. I am too lazy to give up electricity and I love my high speed internet. I feel materialism and commercialism aren't healthy for us in many ways.
I hope you'll enjoy watching this as much as I did. I wish them long and healthy lives.
Pioneer couple

Shared via AddThis

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I knitted a new fall bag

I spun yarn and I knitted. Now it's ready to tote...

... my new bag.
I love it. It's not too big but there's room for all the essentials.
If you're a Ravelry member, you can read the fine print here.
The fall jewel tones are just right for the season.

Monday, September 7, 2009

"It's not everyday your young man turns 35..."

NBC will be 35 this week. It looks good on him. He's a fine son, he's always been. His daddy and I have always thought the most of him. I can hardly think he's 35. It wasn't long ago that I was that age. Time truly does go faster as we get older.
Here's NBC with his Mrs: and his grandparents:The seven of us went to supper at Outback last evening and had a fun time. Wishing you all the best life can give you, son.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Spinning a Yarn

After returning home from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in May, I was ready to spin yarn. I had purchased 8 ounces of roving from Gale's Art while I was there. Then, I ran across a Fiber Fancy ad and found more roving that I needed to have.
All summer the roving has been calling to me. Finally, I got out my spinning wheel and I've been spinning. I've been having a grand time. Gus would like to assist. He thinks fiber preparation is his forte. I think I don't want him anywhere near my roving and yarn. When he sees it, he becomes excited. His mouth flies open and his hind claws extend. I've been sending him outside to chase bugs in the evenings as I spin.
Here are some photos. When you click on the photos to enlarge them, they come alive. This is the Gale's Art roving: The sigle ply being spun: and as 2 ply yarn:
Currently I'm working on spinning Fiber Fancy's Earthy Rainbow roving: This is how the singles look:I took this photo yesterday as I was trying to best capture the colors in the yarn. The wonderful fall jewel tones put a smile on my face. When I finish spinning this, I plan to spin some of my own gray roving. Then with both yarns I can knit a new fall bag for myself.

Foggy Guitner Dawn


Up before sunrise these days to go to work. For just a time now, the sun will be coming up while I'm getting ready to leave for work. Here on the Guitner Road we enjoy sunrises, sunsets, moonrises and moonsets. Speaking of such things: Have this summer's sunsets been especially beautiful or do I just appreciate them more? I missed seeing the sunsets when I worked evening shift. Next month will be two years I've been on day shift. I miss my second shift co-workers but I love going to bed before midnight and waking up with the sun. Those are the hours this body functions best.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ocean City MD Get Away

BR and I left the Guitner Road Sunday morning for a few days at the shore. The last time we were at Ocean City, the sun appeared about an hour before we left. We watched the weather maps carefully this time, since Hurricane Bill was headed for the same destination we were. We were delighted that he stayed off shore through the mid-Atlantic area. The coast was rough when we arrived Sunday afternoon. The lifeguards earned their pay that day. I had never seen so many surfers at Ocean City before.
Monday, I awoke to a storm off the coast north of Ocean City. I watched lightning in the distance as the sun came up. Though the thunderstorm never came our way brief showers did. The early morning sky had sun dogs around the sun. The surfers continued on despite the storm. The rain didn't spoil our day either. It soon moved on. Though the sky was cloudy, it was plenty warm and we were able to enjoy a day on the beach with out getting ourselves sunburned. We stayed at Rodeway Inn on 29th Street. It's beyond the north end of the boardwalk and has some sand dunes in front of it. I was up to watch the sunrise each morning, sitting on the balcony knitting and taking photos. We rode bikes on the boardwalk one morning. It's been many years since we've done that. We parked the car upon our arrival and didn't get back in it until leaving for home this morning. We walked quite a bit and took the tram down the boardwalk one evening and walked back. Another evening we played a round of miniature golf. This morning I went on a shore side shell search. They were few and far between. Some sandpipers scurried along the water's edge. Here's a 30 second video of one of them:
video

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Winter Hats for Great Nieces and Nephews


Hey! I actually completed a project. I knitted hats for my brothers' grand-children.
I just hope they'll still fit when winter arrives.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Grand-dog-ter visits the Guitner Road

Our son and daughter-in-law were out of town for a long weekend at Ocean City, MD. Their Scottie, Chloe, came to stay with us Wednesday evening and will go home this afternoon. Other than chasing Gus, she's been very good. Merlin has enjoyed her visit.
Gus has had a tougher time adapting to her. He's spent most of the last four days atop every piece of furniture to swat at her. His nights have been under the bed out of her reach. It's hard to imagine that a dog the same size as he is would bother him more than the giant slobber box he lives with.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gussie's Sunday Afternoon Nap

Gus found a quiet spot in the guest room. No Merlin to torment his sleep.

But then, Merlin's not allowed on the bed and he and Gus ARE friends. So here's what happened next:
Gus left his soft, lofty beddy and joined those he loves in the living room to finish his nappy.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rhonda,Ellen,Sue


Rhonda,Ellen,Sue, originally uploaded by lamb lady.

Rhonda, Sue and I went to Pittsburgh Sunday and spent the day visiting and sightseeing with Ellen. Ellen arrived in Pittsbugh last September and has made a home for herself there quickly. It was good to see her smiling face and spend the day in her company. She took us to look over the city, pointing out items of interest, took us on the Incline and down to the waterfront. She saw that we had plenty of good food to eat. Sightseeing, good food, good company and fair weather, who could ask for anything more?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gus on the Prowl

Gus's (and Merlin's) video debut. Gus will chase anything. Here he's after the box elder bugs, so populous in the river rocks between the driveway and the barn. Merlin want his mug on view, too. You can hear Merlin breathing through the great bug chase. There's a tiny cat sound in the final few seconds of the clip.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Garden Time

I planted peas in an early warm spell - March 8 - just before it got cold again. Today, June 9, I picked about 9 quarts of peas. Then I showered and dashed off for a fun day with friends from work. The peas are waiting in the fridge but they will meet with me here on the swing first thing tomorrow morning for shelling. I found these onions growing in the garden. Interesting how they're stuck to each other like kissing faces. As I shell peas tomorrow I can enjoy the clematis blooming on the arbor.
P.S. Seven bags of peas in the freezer. Not bad for the first picking.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Madison's Dance Recital

Madison is my great-niece. She had her second dance recital Friday night. It was a fun evening. Her first recital was my opening blog post. I'm including a small clip from her routine "I Enjoy Being a Girl." She's under the "III" on the clock.
video

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"'Bye, Dave, we'll miss your bright smile and shining eyes."


BR's Friend and Co-Worker, Dave, passed away quite unexpectedly last week. Dave was a good guy and fun to be around. Dave and his friend, Mick, played a round of golf Monday night and Dave never arrived at work Tuesday morning. If you've gotta leave this life, he went out the way we'd all like to go, quickly and quietly and on top of his game.
BR was pleased to see so many co-workers at his viewing and glad to meet Dave's mom, brother, sister-in-law and nephew as well as Dave's other friends.
He will be sorely missed.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

2009 Youth Conservation Project at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

Katie Burroughs was this year's recipient of the YCP Navajo-Churro ewe, Journey. The YCP is a mentoring program to help interested youth get started raising heritage breed sheep. There were about 20 sheep of various heritage breeds donated this year. This was my fourth year participating. I have met some great kids and generous shepherds through this program.
Katie is an amazing youngster. I selected her because her essay was astounding. I anticipated meeting her. She is well versed in agriculture. She was (again this year) the first place winner in the Sheep and Wool Skill-a-thon in her age group. You can read about that here: www.sheepandgoat.com/programs/skillathon/skillathon.html Katie raises sheep, goats, pigs and chickens. She just got a miniature zebu. (if you don't know zebus, you can read about them here: www.miniature-zebu-cattle.com/ )
Katie has a great future in store. The world needs more Katies.
I wish her the best with Journey. She is keeping in touch with me by email and sent a thank you by mail yesterday.

Marsha was kind enough to go with me again this year to MDSW Festival. We had a fun time but were cold and soaked to the bone until we left. Maybe the weather will be better next year.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Leaping Lamb Video


watching you, watch me, originally uploaded by lamb lady.

We've had a cold spring. Finally, a pretty day for sheep and lambs to graze. Jensen looks at me, walks away, turns back toward me and leaps away with her friend, ZENN. By the end of the clip, all the ewes and lambs have gathered by the fence row to graze.

Friday, April 3, 2009

New Barnyard

BR built a new barnyard and new gates recently. He's so talented and I'm so appreciative. We purchased the rough sawn 1x6 oak boards from a local sawmill for a very resonable price. We had gotten the original boards from the same sawmill and they were in place for 15 years.
The new layout provides increased security for lambs and no chickenwire mess between the boards. I guess painting will be in my future but not before Open Barn (April 11.)

Mesa's Miata (or why weren't you born when I was on vacation?)

Just like last year, someone had to wait until I returned to work to give birth. I'm so grateful Mom and Dad agreed to go on standby while I was at work. When I put hay in the racks Monday morning, I noticed that Mesa wasn't eating. It's a classic "I'm in labor" sign. She gave birth to Miata around noon. I named him Miata as in "Me oughtta been born while the shepherd was on vacation." He's pretty cute and our only single. The final tally is one single, six sets of twins and 2 sets of triplets. That's eleven boys and eight girls if you were wondering.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Aurora's Amigo, Aries and Avalon

Aurora finally delivered her babies Friday, March 27. All are doing well but it was a tough couple days for her prior to delivery. I may come back and write more later but not just yet. I'm tired.
I'm still recovering from the lambing blitz. Eight ewes have had babies in nine days. Daddy Blue did a great job. And then there's Mesa. I thought she was expecting but now I'm just not sure. Keep posted.

Zenith's ZENN and Zephyr

Zenith's ZENN and Zephyr, originally uploaded by lamb lady.
Zenith delivered her boys March 25, in the wee hours. I was in the barn with them from 1 - 3 AM.
Zephyr was born first. He's black with a white cap, tail, a spot on his nose and a bib. It's been awhile since we've had a lamb with a white bib. ZENN is a lovely badgerface with a white cap and tail.
In keeping with our "Cars" naming theme, let me note that cars beginning with "Z" are few and far between. Zephyr's name wasn't too hard to choose. I had to go online to find ZENN's name. ZENN is a Canadian vehicle. ZENN stands for Zero Emissions, No Noise. The ZENN lamb is quiet but he can't claim "zero emissions."

Tamar's Titan and Tundra


Tamar's Titan and Tundra, originally uploaded by lamb lady.

Tamar gave birth in the pond field on Tuesday, March 24. Her twins are doing well. Way to go, Tamar.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Brooke's Bentley and Blazer

Brad woke me about 5 AM Sunday and said, "I think you need to go to the barn." Just for the record, he's not psychic. We keep a baby monitor on at the barn and he heard muttering. New moms mutter to their babies when they are in labor and after the little ones arrive. Muttering is a quick, soft, low "Baa" repeated many times.
Before I went to bed I thought Brooke was behaving differently, so I wasn't surprised that it was her standing in everyone's favorite birthing spot, the back of the large stable.
Brooke is the oldest ewe in the flock and an experienced mom. She prefers I keep my hands off her business. She doesn't even want me to look at her babies. I did my best to stand back and let her take care of business. While I waited I refilled an empty water bucket and when I looked at her next she'd delivered a black lamb. I called it Bentley and watched as it got to it's feet and finally nursed with mom's gentle nudging and muttering. Bentley has the oft seen white cap, a marking called "the palm of God" and 2 white anklets on hind legs.
I waited quietly for another 45 minutes. I was getting chilled by then. I had put a bucket of warm molasses water in the stable with Brooke when I went to the barn. It was surprising how much she sipped up after the first delivery and before the second, as she labored.
Finally, she settled down to deliver the second lamb. Two good strong pushes and it was out. A black lamb with a few white hairs on top it's head.
I stepped into the stable, trimmed their umbilical cords, dipped their navels in strong iodine, checked to see what sex they were and returned to the house for a cup of tea by 6. Sweet!
I went back later for a photo. She had them nestled in the corner where the sun was shining. Take a good long look at little girl Bentley (L) and little boy Blazer (R) because any other photos I try to take will be with her blocking my view and all three of them running from me. Notice how Brooke's topknot stands on end, she makes me smile when I think of it. I think I do that to her. There are days when my hair feels like hers looks.

A One Minute Lamb Video

New lambs in the barn with their moms at 2 days old. Lexus and LeBaron are at the back of the stable. Leah quickly covers them from our view. Moms are protective that way. Jetta and Jensen are at the front. Jujubee steps in to view as Jetta explores a water bucket and Jensen sees what's in the next stable.
video

Cassie's Triple Play


The neighbors called Saturday morning to tell me there was a ewe with lambs in the pasture. I had just left the ewes out a short time earlier, so was surprised that lambs were on the ground that quickly. That's twice in less than 15 hours I missed the birthing.
I asked BR to help me carry babies in from the field, as I had just done it the evening before. (It's an exhausting task with Momma nervously beside trying her best to trip me up.) I was glad he came along as there were three, yes 3, babies to be taken to the barn. Once at the barn everyone got a drink from mom and though they are small, they're doing quite well. A white boy, Charger, and two black girls, Cooper and Camero.
Last year, Cassie held out until the day I returned to work to deliver her lambs. She was so big, I knew she was having triplets. I asked Mom and Dad to be on standby to watch over her. Did she have triplets? No! They helped her deliver two 13 pound babies. These three might weigh 26 pounds total. They're nice, Cassie, you had nice babies.

Lyra's Lincoln and Liberty


Lyra's Lincoln and Liberty, originally uploaded by lamb lady.

These twins were born in the pasture early Friday evening. I was home but obviously not attentive enough. Brad and I had been working around the barnyard from late afternoon through to early evening.
When I went to the field to bring the ewes in for their grain, Lincoln and Liberty were beside their Ma in a low area of the pasture away from the other sheep. I carried them from the field, a back breaking task, with Ma trying to confound my every step. After all, they were her babies not mine. Finally, I put Lincoln down to follow Lyra. I carried Liberty low to the ground so her Ma knew exactly where she was and followed me.
I was starving till I got to the house well after 8 PM.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Leah's Lexus and LeBaron

I was sure it would be triplets, not that I wanted triplets, but she was so big. Once again, I was wrong at trying to guess what to expect. But that's quite all right. First time mommas have plenty to handle with two.
Leah had twin boys, somewhere between 8 and 10 PM, March 19.
It wasn't as easy a delivery as Jujubee's, but good just the same. The boys are smaller than Jujubee's girls, they weighed in at 9 pounds each. They are similar in size to each other and quite handsome. It looks as though they will each have 2 horns like their daddy, Blue. This isn't a great photo but it showed the lambs better than the others I took.

With 10 days of vacation remaining:
Two ewes done and seven to go.
Count: Girls - 2 Boys - 2

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Let the Birthings Begin - Jujubee's Girls


jujubee jetta and jensen, originally uploaded by lamb lady.

I took 2 weeks off work to deliver lambs and it wasn't till the fourth day that any have arrived. The theme for naming this year is "Cars." My co-workers composed a great list. It's nice to start the baby names with mom's first initial. That helps me to remember who they are.
Jujubee was in labor when I went to the barn this AM. She gave birth unassisted to twin ewes between 8:40 and 9 AM. Each weighs in at a respectable 10 pounds. They are nice and strong and off to a good start with big drinks of Momma's rich, warm milk. What pretty girls they are.
Jetta, on the left, is named in honor of her Grandmother, Jett.
Jensen is a British auto manufacturer. They just didn't look like Jaguars, either of them, so I dug a little deeper to come up with Jensen.
Now, I just need to convince the other 8 to drop their babies before I go back to work. I hope they go like dominoes.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

GUS!

Look who's new at our house. AuGUStus. Life will never be the same. Knitting with a cat is different than before. Now I get to pry the yarn from the cat.
Blinking your eyes is different than before. It's now a reason to be attacked.
Anything that moves is fair game for Gus, even air, just ask BR.

Gus is so glad for a warm home, he tolerates being loved by Merlin. Mer thinks Gus is the best toy ever. See the love shining from Mer's eyes?