Monday, February 8, 2016

Liddy And Andy

As everyone could probably guess, Liddy has always enjoyed "special privileges".  She is allowed to come out into the barn aisle to eat her food by herself, she can go into the hay stall and eat hay while I'm doing the rest of the feeding chores, she can go out into the yard and eat grass while I'm around to supervise.

When Andy moved in, he fell right into the special privileges club.  I hoped he and Liddy would buddy up and enjoy being teenagers together and they did.  Where Andy had no interest in hanging out with the other lambs at Frontier Farm, he adores Liddy having special privileges and Liddy is happy to have a kid brother someone her own size to play with...besides Maisie ;-).

This morning I let them both "escape" to graze in front of the Wool House while I raked up in front of the horse stalls.  The sun came out for a few glorious minutes and I ran to the house to grab my camera.  Of course the sun didn't hold, but the pictures are still pretty sweet.

I also took a couple short videos, but after they'd split up some.  Still, Graham's bell is pretty and the spring birds are already moving in and singing.  I was having trouble focusing and holding steady, so these aren't great, but still, not a bad way to start the week.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

How To Embed A Puzzle

First off, if you ask me a question and I don't answer it, do not feel at all bad bugging me. Sometimes I check something on my iPhone and forget to go back when I get to the computer. There are limited brain cells working here :-o.

Jo had asked how I uploaded the puzzles to my blog.  If you are interested in such things, read on. If you'd just like to work a new Hank puzzle, skip to the bottom :-).

I've only used Jigsaw Planet and have been very happy with it.  There may be better sites and better methods, but this is how I do it.  I don't think you have to have to sign up for an account to make or work puzzles, but I signed up and have not been inconvenienced in any way.

1. Go to
2. "Create" a puzzle - this is pretty intuitive, but if you have any questions, let me know.
3. Look to the upper right for "share" button.  Click that and then "Embed" (see below).

4. On the next page (it takes you there automatically) scroll down to decide how you want to embed your puzzle.  I use the "Game" option (see below).
5.  Click where it says "Select the code".  It then highlights the code you need.
6. Use "Ctrl C" to "copy" the code (see below).

7.  Go to your blog post page and switch from Compose to HTML mode (see below).
8.  Use "Ctrl V" to paste the code into your blog's HTML.  Where you put is is your own choice.  I tend to put it at the very end, but it can go in anywhere.
9.  The code with the "br" included is a line break - when you hit "return" in Compose mode or insert manually in HTML mode.  Handy to know.
10. Switch back to Compose mode and it should be right there.
11. Publish as normal.

And here's your embedded puzzle.

Enjoy! And let me know if I've totally confused you, aka welcome to my world ;-).

Friday, February 5, 2016

A Warm Winter's Nap

Hank and Baba (Blossom) napping in the sun, when...maybe two weeks ago?  I just remember that it was a lovely afternoon.  Even in the 20s with snow on the ground, if it's sunny, I can curl up outside just like that.  I must be a sheep.  I'm not hard working enough to be a Hank.

"You might think I'm sound asleep..."

Here's a new puzzle.  I made two actually.  Here is a link to my entire album of puzzles.  Have fun :-).

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Always Good For A Laugh

When I got up Monday morning, I thought I was taking Graham to the vet clinic to get a mouth x-ray. He'd been losing some weight and we were pretty sure he had a tooth issue, which is common with older sheep.  Not usually a big deal.

I don't ever like to haul a sheep by itself, especially an older one.  As with most things in life, having a buddy with you always helps.  When we took Maisie to Hagyards, I rode in the trailer with her.  I picked Maisie to ride with Graham.

And why did I pick Maisie?  Well, um, let's to put this, um, delicately...Maisie has a big boob.  She always has what the vets and I refer to as her "fat girl boobs".  Right now one is extra fat and I wanted it checked out.

I tricked her into the trailer with food (partly why she has "fat girl boobs" ;-) and then led Graham in behind her.   When we got to the clinic we unloaded Graham, I gave Maisie a flake of hay and told her we'd be back in a few minutes.  We weren't back for over an hour.

Graham collapsed in the hallway, they pulled a blood sample, his numbers were awful, there was something very wrong with his liver that the chances of fixing were pretty much zero, we talked to several other vets to make sure, Graham calmly sat next to me, the vet cried as much as I did as she gave him a shot and he laid his head across my lap just like he did when he was a baby, a class act to the end.

And then we had to carry on.  

As we walked outside, I carried Graham's bell to the truck and quickly warned the vet not to open the trailer door until I got back there.  She knows Maisie and completely understood ;-).  We carefully slid in and as I slammed the door behind us I heard "Oh my goodness, what's on her head?!?"

I took one look and knew exactly what she'd done.  I just had to figure out what she'd done it on. Maisie had eaten as much of the hay as she wanted, felt like she'd stood there as long as she should and with no people around to punch (the little darlin' ;-), had head butted the next best thing, the aluminum trailer divider post.  

"Yeah, I know.  I'm kind of a little stinker."

Maisie's boob doesn't seem to be anything serious, probably just a weird hormonal issue...which would probably explain a lot about Maisie ;-). We are supposed to keep an eye (and hand :-o) on it and wait and see.

"I'll let you feel my boobs if you scratch my butt [to distract me]."

The things we do...

Don't judge me.  I've been on the receiving end of that aluminum block, I mean, black head ;-D.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Yarn Along - The Knitting Bag Of Horrors

If you don't have good knitting to share, post a picture of your cat new favorite bag :-).

I have been trying to knit, but have not been happy with anything that I've worked on.  I did knit and mostly finish (just to feel like I could finish something I'd started :-o) the Baa-ble hat, but it's headed for a frog and re-knit.  I messed up one of the colors (no big deal) and was sloppy with my floats behind the sheep (a medium size deal) and it doesn't fit well (a big deal).

I then started a new shawl from the same designer from the Tales from the Isle of Purbeck shawl. When I knit the Purbeck shawl, I really didn't think I'd ever wear it, but during my camp out last fall I wore it almost every night.   I couldn't believe how warm it was even with all the lacy holes and I was hooked.  My only complaint is that it's a hair small.  

I love the look of the Stories from Snoqualmie Valley shawl and thought if I knit it with the worsted weight Lamb Camp yarn instead of the pattern's suggested DK weight, I'd get exactly what I wanted - a big, warm, smooshy shawl.  

I cast on using a new (to me) cast on technique that I liked, picked the fun pattern up pretty quickly and knit a couple repeats and decided my yarn overs were too loose and my cable too tight.  It may very well block out okay and I'll definitely try it before I frog it, but I sure don't want to knit on [without] confidence*, so...

...time to post another picture of my bag and the always not helpful Eli ;-).  

There is a story behind the bag.  My mother-in-law found a beautiful vintage "make a sheep" pattern/kit stamped onto material and gave it to me for Christmas awhile back.  I didn't think to take a picture, but I did find it online.  Does anyone remember these fun patterns?

I knew I'd never actually get around to making the two sheep and goodness knows I really don't need any more stuffed sheep, but you can always use another knitting bag so I sent it to Amy Klee at Stone Edge Fibers and asked her to work her magic.  If this adorable bag doesn't inspire me to knit, nothing will!

Look at all the inside pockets.  And notice that it's big enough to hold not only the Baa-ble Hat (in the green bag) and the Snoqualmie shawl...

...but also the Adama cowl that I decided was about as no-fail/confidence building as possible, so have now cast that on as well.

"That bag is sure getting a lot of attention!"

And that's exactly why I'm knitting on the other side of the little fence.  In the sun.  Without a hat or gloves.  In February.  Sigh...

You can see my sloppy floats in the the big white sheep.  I can do better.  And by doing better at that, the circumference will fit better.  The you think I can eliminate the first couple rows of stars?  The white at the bottom was supposed to be brown, so I think changing the symmetry of the two "lines" of white above and below the sheep won't be too noticeable. 

One last Graham pic.  I'd forgotten I'd taken this, thinking how clever that I got a picture of him checking out his hat.  If I'd known then what the future held, I'd have opened that stupid gate and let him frog the hat himself.  One of my all time favorite Graham posts was another time he came in there and wreaked havoc on my knitting.  I'd give anything...

Okay, a picture to (try to) make us all laugh a little.  "I love the yarn and the colors are perfect, but can you believe the sloppy knitting job?!?"  Not to worry, Blossom, it's only knitting.  It's always fixable.

I just started Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson.  Seems that I've been in a "reading" slump as well.  How's things with you?

Joining in with Ginny...

*"Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises."  Elizabeth Zimmermann

Monday, February 1, 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

Happy National Puzzle Day!

Boy, this week sure got away from me!  Sigh...  The beautiful snow has all melted and the 50s and 60s predicted for the next few days sure feel like winter is over :-(.  Hopefully February won't let me down.  

These are not the Hank pictures I mentioned last post, but I like them, too.  I will do a full(er) Hank post next week when my brain is working at full(er) steam.  If you have any more Hank or Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) questions, leave them in the comments or drop me an email.  

I'll let Hank take over now.

It was a beautiful foggy frosty morning.  I took a really nice shot focusing more on the cattails with the Frog Pond behind it, but I think Hank and his tracks add a nice element.

Passing the little Frog Pond, headed back to the "big pond".

On the way back.


Always paying attention to the back of the farm.

And his sheeps at the barn.

And me :-).

Headed back in.

Hank and I love the snow :-).

Here's a new puzzle to celebrate National Puzzle Day.


Monday, January 25, 2016

The Only Thing Better Than A Walk With The Dogs (And A Cat :-)

Is if a sheep joins you :-D.

Tilly, Hank, Kate, Comby and I started back to the right side of the ponds yesterday.  As we shooshed through the snow along the creek I heard a "galump galump galump" and Liddy came racing past, bouncing through snow drifts, kicking up her heels, chasing the dogs.  

She hasn't come on a walk since she was a little lamb living in the house.  I guess she was tired of being cooped up at the barn with the old fogeys.  Note, they all could have come along on our walk, but the ambition levels up there when everything's snow covered and I'm bringing them breakfast in bed...not so grate akshully ;-).

They all played around the trees at the end of the arena for awhile and Liddy snuffled down through the snow and found a little grass to pick around on.  Comby and I brushed off a spot and sat down in the sun and we all just enjoyed hanging out on a nice afternoon.  We'll make it back to the ponds another day.

Here are some iPhone pics.  My battery died before I could get any video.  I momentarily regretted not having my big girl camera, but in the end was glad I didn't.  I could never have captured pictures that were as fun as being there in real life.  

As always...  "Spend the afternoon.  You can't take it with you."  Annie Dillard

I've had a couple questions about Hank and about livestock guardian dogs in general.  I have some beautiful Hank pics to share tomorrow and I'd be happy to try to answer any questions you might have.  I am Not An Expert by any means, but I can share our experiences and some good resources.  

If you have a question(s), leave them in the comments or drop me an email and I'll do my best!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Poor Hickory

I was taking some snowy sheep pictures this morning and kept hearing an odd squeaking noise coming from somewhere around the barn.  I finally determined it was Hickory, rubbing on his closed stall gate.  

Wait a minute.......why is Hickory's gate closed?  ...and why is he in T-Bone's stall?

The "boys" get a little grain in the morning.  They each get the same amount, not much, so I don't bother to shut their respective gates.  They eat quickly and let themselves back out.  T-Bone never goes in to check Hickory's feed tub.  Hickory never doesn't check T-Bone's ;-).  

"Boy, that hay sure looks good!"

"Sure wish I could have some of that hay!"

I knew what had happened.  That gate falls tight against the eye hook that I'd hook into if I really wanted to lock them in.  I've seen the gate get wedged in like this before.  The interesting thing is that it can only happen from the outside and with a fair amount of push.  It wouldn't accidentally shut like that.

"Yep.  T-Bone locked me in here so he could eat all the hay."

Poor Hickory.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Wanna Go For A Walk?

As I'm sure everyone well knows, I love winter and especially love snow.  Just before time to start evening chores yesterday, Kate, Tilly, Hank, Comby and I decided to take a walk and go back to check for tracks at the ponds.

We looked at tiny mouse and bird tracks, little rabbit tracks and then found an interesting set of tracks crossing the not so frozen Frog Pond.  I'm not sure who made them. They were single file like a cat, maybe, but I don't think the ice would have supported a cat.

When I climbed over the dam for the big pond and saw the heron tracks, I decided to go back for the camera.  My original intent was to document interesting tracks, but as so often happens, the story ended up being the walk itself.  Enjoy!  I know I did :-).

Tiny tracks along the creek.

I'm sure Hank knows who made these tracks.

What first caught my eye was the set of skid marks (upper right).  Our heron has been here all winter. Did you know that herons will catch small rodents out in the middle of fields?  I'm guessing mice are not their first choice since they are mostly seen in creeks and ponds around here, but now when I see one out in the fields, I watch a little closer.

More single foot tracks crossing a busy intersection.  Any thoughts?

"I don't really care about heron tracks.  I'm going to go check the muskrat dens."

I was taking pictures of Hank on the far side of the pond when he crossed over the ice to the peninsula :-o.  I guess hope he knows what he's doing.  Luckily the water is not deep there, but still... Be careful!

Weaslie's in most of these pictures.  You just can't see her under the weeds.  Kate is checking tracks by the tree on the left.  Tilly is in front of the tree on the right.

And Comby is everywhere.  I was trying to explain to someone why it's so funny that Comby is always sleeping in the calendars when he's actually the hardest working only working cat on the farm. I don't think they believed me.  We know better :-).

Taking the high road home.

I love this picture of Hank watching Kate.

Looking back at the barn.  One of my favorite spots.

Hank loves to go for walks, but if we stay out too long, he heads back in without us.  I guess he's been away from his sheep as long as he wants.  Normally he'd be sitting up near the barn with them, but part of his flock (me, Comby, Kate and Tilly) is still out back, so he's sitting down by the creek, splitting the difference.

Headed up to punch the clock.

Headed back to the heated cat condo.  I give Comby credit though.  The only other set of cat tracks anywhere on the farm are the ones that might be crossing the pond.  Claire Bear and Eli haven't ventured out in days.  They don't know care what they are missing ;-).


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