Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday's Hang Outs

Today was my day to hang out......actually I am avoiding grading papers. But I have a very good reason because my priority was to "hang" my new ladder that my super Dad made for me. I had to do a lot of whining, complaining because he built one for my mom and not me, and then I had to point out the fact that I was his first born & the first one in the family to go to college & get a BA & MA and that I work so know the guilt trip stuff.

But it worked and I have new ladder to decorate in my living room!!! If you bigify the picture you can see all the sheepy stuff I have hanging on dust because its new!! I love these decorative ladders.......I think they add character to a house!!!

Even the farm animals were content to hang out today.......this is a nice family picture of the
J-Crew (with a LaMancha head peeking in:)

T.J. my super friendly Black Cotswold ram was content to hang out in the sun & snow!
Bigify the pic to check out the curls on that fleece!!

Chickens were hanging out catching a few rays of sun in the coop!

And of course Dixie was hanging out in the fresh dump of manure because that's what dogs love to do and then they try to kiss their owners!!

My next guilt trip will be to see if Mom will make me a new heart for the garden fence I went to put up this summer........I like the weathered look!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wooly Award & Tag

So yesterday Tracy tagged me for the 6th photo in the folder (I think I said that right) and this was what I found..........

This is Ethan, my big wooly Black Cotswold wether!!! He is 2 years old and is just super loveable! I think I posted this before but if you missed it, you have to bigify the picture to see his face. This pic was actually taken last year........he is a very good barn buddy. His fleece is the one I posted a couple of days ago.
So, anyways after reading Tracey's comment, Claire's comment said I had an award on it that she made..........
.........too cute!!! And NO, I did not plan it that way!! It really did work out that way!!
So, thanks Tracey & Claire!

I really would like to pass this wooly award over to Kara, Tammy, and Deb who always have great pictures of their sheep on it. Opps, better say Michelle too because she just put that pretty picture on her blog header:)

PS.......I would highlight/hyperlink your names but I haven't figured out how to do that yet:)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Think I Am in Love!!!

Oh, no, I think I am in love............with this face......with this sheep.....oh no!!

(picture compliments of Hopping Acres)
The stress of winter, too much computer time, reading blogs, websites, deciding what I should do with my little farm..........
So, as a single, hobby farm woman with no one "directly" to answer to (except Mom and Dad and I usually still lie to them about "certain things") I made a firm decision.
I emailed Kelly Smith at Hopping Acres who breeds Black Leicester Longwools and guess what???
I am on a waiting list for a ewe lamb!!!!! Isn't that cool?
No, seriously, isn't that flippin' awesome?
No, seriously, am I crazy?
Seriously, Mom & Dad I didn't do that ;)
Don't you just want to run your fingers through those beautiful black locks of wool?
(Oh, I forgot, this is a clean blog)
All joking aside.........I think I am in Love!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today's History Lesson

I would like to share with you the words and images of the President's Inaugural Speech that captured my heart today. The images I have chosen represent people that were reflected upon in the speech in some way. May we never forget those that made our lives possible today.

"We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.
For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.
For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sanh.

Abraham Lincoln's Gettsyburg Speech

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction………………………..

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it)."
George Washington

America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come……….when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us…………….." President Barack Obama, January 20th, 2009

........we all have our dreams, may we all have the strength and believe in the power to make them come true in this great nation called America.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wool Confessions, Samples, & Your Opinion

Today I decided to dress up as a little farm girl and play with my do you like the new look??

Seriously I was inspired by my own post yesterday, and I decided to go investigating in the garden barn where I have lots of bags of wool. I will confess that though I have Shetland and Black Cotswold sheep, I have yet to seriously dive into learning about their wool, texture, what is good wool, what is not good wool, and even understanding the terminology of wool "stuff".
My first 2 sheep were a Black Cotswold ewe and wether. I fell in with the breed because they were a rare breed and I just loved the love of them. The first time I had them sheared I just fell in love with the color and lustrous fleece, though clueless on what to do with it.
The next sheep I got were a Shetland ewe and wether. I liked the size of the Shetland and since I am a staggering 4'10 thought the size would be a better fight. Anyways, I love both breeds and it is my goal to learn more about the wool "stuff" this year. I label each bag after shearing so I remember which fleece went with who.
I thought I would post some pictures of some of what I consider to be the nicest of all the wool bags in the barn. If you are reading and know about wool, I would greatly appreciate some insight on what you think about the wool. My shoulders are big and I am a teacher, so I can handle "constructive criticism".......but I am a wool novice so still go a little soft:)

This fleece above and below is from one of my fawn kat. ewes Abigail.

Above is a close spread of Abby's fleece. Her fleece is seriously beautiful, even this years is looking great. In good fleece, the crimp is important correct?

The picture above and below is from my Black Cotswold wether, Ethan. I would sleep on this wool! It is so soft and beautiful! Ethan and his brother Ira have some serious fleeces going on this year. I really want to learn how to spin this wool because I think it is just awesome! What do you think?

Below is the fleece from Abby's twin sister, also a fawn kat ewe and she is the flakiest sheep I own; however I think she has some really nice fleece. Their mom is Lil'Country Acres Polly and the sire was Windswept Yankee (the ram I lost this year).

I tried to get a close up below but its a little fuzzy. I hope you can get an idea of the texture. What do you think? This ewe was bred last year to Jed., my polled gulmoget ram, and she had Jasper, the polled ram lamb. Between her fleece and Jed.'s, I am thinking and hoping it should produce a nice quality fleece?????

And of course, while I was doing this my cat Moo thought he would assist in analyzing the feel of the wool........he looks very "serious" in his analysis.

So, thanks for reading! I really would appreciate anyone's feedback on the wool.

Today was a good day to do this and I am feeling more inspired to find the time to work with the wool that I have!!!