Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I Promised...

Mom promised me that since I've been SUCH a good girl and hardly EVER complained about not getting enough attention, I can have a whole post about ME today! Isn't that nice of her"???

Yeah, well...I brought Dream and Rosie out for a halter lesson this afternoon. The first time I actually took them out of the paddock they share with the adult ewes. They were both VERY good girls!

It is slightly difficult to hold two halter leads for two ewe lambs and a camera and try to take pictures at the same time. At one point, I let the girls go so that I could try to get some pictures (I did promise Dream this post!).

I quickly rescued my DH's newly planted shrubs and we resumed walking on halter.

The girls occasionally got tangled up...but for the most part, did quite well for their first time in strange circumstances. We even practiced walking on the gravel driveway and concrete parking area by the garage.

I was very happy with how calm Dream and Rosie were. I did lots of petting and touching their legs and tails and they took it all in stride. The boys also had halter lessons & practiced standing tied ~ a VERY important lesson for ram lambs!

Plus, I got a bobbin of yarn spun (Shetland/mohair blend) and knit a few rows on my "Peacock Shawl". What a great day!

Dream says..."Mom says that even though our lives are going on as normal, we should keep Stephen & Bill in our hearts and in our prayers..."


She actually arrived on Saturday, but I didn't feel celebrating was appropriate. Here she is: my lovely Roberta Electric Spinner ~ aka: "Betty". Isn't she beautiful? Oh yeah, you can't actually SEE her in this picture...

Betty came safely snuggled into her very own carrying case. She comes complete with dual power (wall plug in AND adapter for plugging into a car cigarette lighter! (how cool is that???) Don't worry, I promise I won't spin when I'm driving.

Here she is, all unpacked and recuperating from her journey on my living room floor. It's amazing how light, DARK green carpet looks in a "flash" photograph.

Sadie approves. Now I better get my rear outside ~ DREAM'S CALLING ME!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Passing of a Gentle Giant

On Saturday, Aug. 26, 2006, Bill Eatmon, beloved friend and partner to Stephen Rouse of "Sheltering Pines Shetlands" passed from this world. He will be deeply missed. My heart is breaking for Stephen and Bill's family. Please send any and all positive thoughts, prayers, dpn waving, whatever you believe in, to help them through this, most difficult, time.

I didn't know Bill well. But he was a big, gentle, kind and funny man. One of my fondest memories is of the time, last year, when I was purchasing a ewe lamb from Stephen. Bill was (as always!) urging Stephen to sell more sheep. He even offered me an incredible (read: ridiculously low price!) on a gorgeous ewe lamb that I would have loved to bring home. Unfortunately, Stephen was not quite so generous and informed me (and Bill) that he was keeping that ewe lamb. I got an e-mail shortly there-after saying that Stephen and Bill had discussed it and Bill, being a reasonable man, agreed that my little "Caramella" would stay on at Sheltering Pines. I still felt an alliance with Bill ;-)

I'm sorry that I did not make the trip to MFF, last week, to have a chance to say my final good bye to Bill. And to give Stephen a hug. I want to see the beautiful pond that Bill built around the wool-house/studio on their property. Then again, I'm not very good at final good-byes...

Saturday, August 26, 2006


There she is: "Mimi" makes her debut at "Weekend Cat Bloggin"! She has decided that my office (especially when I'm IN it) is one of her favorite places to be. Here she is keeping up with my blog.

Unfortunately, for me, she particularly enjoys laying with her head ON my computer mouse. This makes accomplishing anything, on the computer, rather difficult.

I must admit, I'm really enjoying having a cat again. ;-)

Regarding the bumper sticker that I have on the base of my computer monitor ~ Mimi seems to be thinking...."yeah, but look who's in the HOUSE !"

Dream says....

"What? You're looking for ME? I didn't think anyone remembered I even existed! Anyone want a cat?????"

Friday, August 25, 2006

Getting to know you....

Deb Sobkowiak came over yesterday afternoon to get acquainted with the ram lamb that she purchased from me: "Bluff Country Trinity". Trinity will be moving to his new home in a couple of weeks and Deb came out to do halter lessons with him. They hit it off famously!

I decided to work with "Black Diamond" (who hasn't had a halter lesson since he was a baby!) so Deb & I took the boys into the back yard to avoid the irritation of the other ram lambs being obnoxious. Here's Deb & Trinity while my girls look on from the side paddock...

This is what Diamond thought about doing halter lessons! Notice his tongue is spotted! Diamond is out of Flash Flood and sired by Windswept Bravo. I'll be showing him at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival, MSSBA show, next month. Awesome ram lamb!

Diamond didn't seem to mind wearing the halter. It was actually walking, while wearing a halter that seemed a bit much for him! ;-) He stood, quite nicely and would eat cookies. But he really didn't want to move ...

In this photo, I've let go of Diamond to go take a picture of Deb and Trinity. Diamond just stood there! He didn't move!! I'm thinking: I may have to carry him into the ring, but he should stand real nice for the judge!

Dream says....
..."I don't know why Mom's paying so much attention to those boys lately..."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Photos from Lois...

MY BEAUTIFUL BABY GIRLS! There they are, Bella Serenade and Premonition (Prima), safely ensconced in their new home at Stonehaven Shetlands in Oregon. Lois included the following note: "They say hello (Prima is speaking here), and they want you to know that they are happy in their new home.

Notice how sweet-eyed Prima is....she loves being petted. Sera likes
petting, but is feeling a little more materialistic just now, wanting
to be sure that I haven't forgotten what is important (cookies)! The
intensity of her gaze tells all...."

Now you know why I don't usually take cookies out when I visit my sheep! They really can become quite the little "Cookie Monsters"! The cookies sure work great for making friends with someone new or learning something new & scary though...I have a feeling my little girls aren't missing me one bit... ;-)

Dream says...

..."Don't worry Mom, I'll never leave you..."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Staying in touch ~

I love it when people that I sell lambs to stay in touch and let me know how "my" babies are doing. I got an e-mail today with pictures of one of my ram lambs (originally called Grand Finale) "Bluff Country Diesel" with his new owner, Debi Reida, in Washington State. Diesel made the trip with Bella Sera & Premonition last weekend. Thank you for sending the pictures Debi!

No pictures from Oregon yet, but I got an e-mail from Lois this morning. I've copied it here:
"Hi Nancy-
Your (my) girls are here safe and sound, and very content and
amazingly relaxed. Brook had been giving them cookies at stops since
yesterday when he picked them up, and they figure we are soft
touches...we put them out on grass for a little while this evening,
and they are in fine spirits.
Pine Valley seems a decent choice if they had to leave Bluff Country.
Both are as pretty and sweet as advertised. Sera is a little
monkey...quite a piece of work! Just what I like ;-) They both came
up for cookies and when I put the cookies away, Sera pawed me (no
cookie), then butted me (hmmph!). She knows me though thanks to you;
she came up to me when I sat in the grass with them for a pet, and
didn't even mind that there weren't any cookies then.
Premonition (whom I think I will call Prima...she is SO feminine) is
very sweet and after realizing that I was good for the cookies, came
up for chin scratches and gets that dreamy look in her eyes. I am in
love with both of them.

Photos tomorrow,

I'll share when I get the pictures. It makes me so happy to know that my babies have gone to such loving homes.

Speaking of loving homes...I have a cat! Her name is "Mimi". She's a 9 year old domestic short hair who needed a home. I've been thinking a lot about getting a kitten or cat, lately, so decided that maybe Mimi and I needed each other...

Since I have two (big!) house-dogs, I gave Mimi a "safe place" on top of a dresser-drawers in the master bedroom. I put a rug on top and a cat bed (which I went out and bought ~ along with a cat-nip mouse, feather balls, an electronic litter box and assorted other kitty paraphernalia). I put her food & water dish up there and Mimi enjoys her perch, high above the other household pets...

Dream says.....
..."HEY! No Fair!! How come SHE gets to be in the house?????"

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Group Halter Lessons...

I decided to give the ram lambs halter lessons today. I intended to do them one or two at a time, but quickly became frustrated with the head bobbing and nodding that several of them perform when I put a halter on them. So, I decided that it was time they learn to stand tied .

Trinity was one of the worst of the head bobbers and he quickly figured out that it did him no good ~ AND that if he stood, nicely, I'd walk over and scratch him and give him an animal cracker! ;-)

Bravo coached Hershey on the fine art of standing still...
I walked up and down the line of ram lambs ~ making sure nobody got tangled and giving pets and reassurance ~ and kept a close eye on them as they adjusted to standing tied.

Rhinestone Cowboy found the whole experience exhausting! Using the fence posts as 'hitching posts' worked great!

As soon as Rocky figured out there were cookies involved, he decided that this was a pretty cool game! Notice the black lamb walking, free, down the line of tied boys? That's Diamond. I didn't have enough halters! Diamond very much enjoyed walking from lamb to lamb and reassuring them that everything would be fine...

Nestle didn't think it was real fair that Diamond wasn't tied up.

After about 15 minutes of playing this game, Diamond and I performed the final inspection: All the boys were standing quite nicely! A job well done.

Dream says........"Silly Boys! I could have told them there's nothing to this halter lesson stuff!"

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Change of Plans....

I didn't go to Juliann's or Michigan. My Jeep needed unexpected repairs and the gal picking up three of my babies to deliver them to Washington State and Oregon couldn't get here until today (Friday). I was going to try to go anyway ~ in fact loaded up the sheep I was going to deliver to Illinois and set out, at about 5 o'clock, last night. I made it about 3 miles down the road and realized that I just couldn't do it. I was already exhausted and facing a 6 1/2 hour drive, stressed from worrying about the three lambs that would be picked up today, worried about whether or not my Jeep would hold up for the trip and already short $250.00 (repairs on the Jeep). So, I turned around and came home. I put the sheep back in their paddocks, unloaded the Jeep, unpacked my stuff and RELAXED. I know I made the right decision.

As it turned out, the gal picking up the lambs was late. She picked up her brand new, goose-neck trailer at the "Feather Lite" plant in Cresco, Iowa. What a nice gal!!
Her rig was too big to pull into my driveway and have room to turn around, so she parked at the bottom of the hill.

She likes animals!
I invited the driver ~ a VERY nice young woman, named "Mona Lisa Pederson" (from Washington State) in to freshen up and she quickly made friends with my dogs Buddy and Sadie.

We went out back and Mona Lisa met the babies she would be transporting to their distant new homes. Bella Sera and Premonition were not too happy to be waiting in a pen, away from their moms. But Mona Lisa quickly made friends with the lambs (yes, we used animal crackers!) and we led them by halter, down to the trailer.

The lambs seemed quite comfortable in their freshly bedded stall in the brand new trailer. We gave them fresh water and lots of hay to keep them comfortable for the long drive ahead.

I sent along extra hay and a big jug of water as well as some rumen buffer and animal crackers to keep the little ones comfortable on their journey.

As nice as Mona Lisa and her new rig are, it was still hard to see them go...

...Dream says:

..."Mona Lisa come back! You forgot ROSIE!!!"

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Lots of things...

I'm hoping that my rhododendron bush will survive it's attack of the Shetlands. There are a few, pathetic, yet determined leaves remaining on the branches. I watered and fertilized all my flowers today to give them a boost before I leave on my trip...

I'm heading for Illinois & Juliann Budde's today. Tomorrow Juliann and I are heading for the Michigan Fiber Festival. I can't wait! Of course, that means I won't be posting for a few days. So I'm filling you up with random shots today... This is my little Rosie (Bluff Country Dusty Rose). She's gone from shy girl to Miss Sweetheart (don't tell Dream I said that!). Here she is sandwiched in between two other ewes but pushing her way in for snuggles.

My beautiful Bella Serenade (shown here with her mom, Zest) will be leaving for her new home in Oregon today. I'm going to miss her! But I know that she and Premonition will be going to a very loving home with Lois & Brook Moore. Lois even decided to buy Premo too, so that Bella wouldn't have to make the trip alone! How's that for a great Mom??? ;-)

Premonition herself has become SUCH a love! From being the last of my "wild child" ewe lambs, she sure has come around. I love how fragile and delicate she looks. And she is such a sweetie. Gosh I hate to see my ewe lambs leave...

As if it's not bad enough saying good-bye to two of my favorite ewe lambs today; I have to take Hershey and Zanex with me to Illinois, to deliver them to their new owner! I can't believe I'm letting my beautiful Zanex go. But I'm so excited for her to be a foundation to a line of spotted Shetlands in Illinois. She will definitely be missed!

Terry came back for her second spinning lesson and brought her sister and nieces! Of course, they had to visit with the girls before going in to spin...
My girls are SO subtle, when it comes to introducing new people to Shetland sheep!

Speaking of spinning:Julie Chapman ~ of "Minnesota Minies" came over to practice on my , er, HER electric spinner. I warned her that it's a horribly complicated contraption and that I'm sure she'll HATE it. Unfortunately, Fortunately, Julie picked up spinning quite quickly and I'm sure will be repossesing (sp?) my HER electric spinner, shortly.

....per special request by Julie:
Dream says...."JULIE CAN SPIN!!"
(Julie asked that Dream make that official announcement) ;-)

I'll be back from my trip, sometime Monday. My Beautiful Baby Girl is coming out to take care of the animals until Saturday, and then SUPER NEIGHBOR! Julie Chapman is going to come over twice a day on Saturday and Sunday to take care of things until I return. I'll miss you guys!!!!! Have a great weekend!

Dream says......"Don't worry Mom, I'll keep an eye on things around here..."


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