Saturday, January 19, 2008
Anyway, if you have any ideas on how I can make it more user friendly let me know---are the colors easy on the eye? What about the setup? I like it tons better than the other, but I'm open for suggestions.
It's bitterly cold today. Up to a balmy 17 degrees at 1:00 p.m. Everybody gets extra bedding and groceries, but I still feel sorry for them. I'm mostly staying in the house, hovering near the wood stove!
Have a good weekend.
This addiction seems to be more prevalent than one would think. It's out there, whether you admit to it or not. Something, just something about a clean notebook of any form, shape or size. Never been used. The possibilities are endless. Opening to that first page, making the first stroke with your pen. This could be it. The greatest story ever written or your whole life organized and efficient in this notebook! However once they have been used... they lose their intrinsic appeal. They can't be thrown away of course, since they still have lots of good paper, so you spend hours tearing out all the written on, now worthless pages, and the little paper spirals in the binders. You might use them someday. If the world ends as we know it. In the above picture 'old, used, therefore unappealing' notebooks are in the back stack. The front stack represents fresh, new, world at their feet notebooks!
Two things. Good news--I got a bunch of these sharpies for Christmas, from my niece. Bad news---this isn't any of my special drawing pens, pencils and erasers. This is just the regular pen/pencil storage. And this sorta ties into another addiction of mine--useful decorative tins(primarily flat shaped, with interesting lids-preferably hinged....) Yet you see how I've tied one into the other to take up less space? Brilliant don't you think??
These next two pictures show progress. Yes, I have cleaned off both my desk and my table in the back room. Woo hoo. Now if they'd just stay that way. I mean there is just something about a clean table or desk. All that clear space, begging you to sit down, with that new notebook, write that list or story or........;-)
Sunday, January 13, 2008
It was a year ago yesterday that the big Ice Storm hit our area. Since this January 12th was much nicer than that day, I decided to spend some time burning a couple of little brush piles. These are from the big maple that is across the fence from me. I had planned to burn them before putting the breeding group in there this fall, but by then there was a luscious stand of grass growing around the piles and I didn't want to damage any of that precious stuff. So these little piles have been settling and drying out and providing chewy toys for the sheep for a year. We got around five inches of rain last week, so they were a bit difficult to get started. I kept using all those old feed sacks that pile up and soon they were both blazing away. While I kept an eye on the burning, I raked and cleaned up the area around them. I got a bunch more little pieces of kindling for my wood stove and cleaned up about two buckets worth of bricks and cement block pieces. Now I'm not sure what the sheep were doing, but I had all these bricks and block pieces piled out of the way, but by the time I took the sheep out there, they had scattered them all over the place. Sheep soccer perhaps?
Unfortunately there was a stiff wind that came up later in the evening and I had to douse the glowing piles with water, so I have some charcoal bits to clear away now. However, once that is done, this little section will be ready for reseeding in the Spring. It's really nice to have the brush piles gone. I have two more that are lots bigger that need to be burned as well. Those will be a little more scary though.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Whaaat...snort...hmmm? New blanket? Oh yeah. Thanks Auntie T. It's just what I been wanting. I sleeps on it every night, til I roll off the side of my bed and lay upside down on the floor. Boone
Can I go back to sleep now?
Thank you dearest Auntie T. I love my new hot pink blanket. It is such a fashion statement. And since it has my name on it that slob, er, my brother Boone can't steal it, or he will be in big, big, trouble. Ariel
Mine, mine, mine!!
Clipboard/notebook/pen & wormer, hanging from the rafters, safe from sheep lips.
I decided to take advantage of the nicer winter weather and work outside this morning. Number one on the agenda was 'working the sheep'. I wanted to worm all the Shetland girls and do a general condition check on them. It all went off pretty smoothly, with no histrionics on the girls part. Since I discovered the 'incredible shrinking catch-pen' awhile back, these things have become allot easier. I'm not sure why it took me so long to implement this. One of those long drawn out duh moments, I reckon. Since the Shetlands can be pretty crafty and clever, I have a catch pen set up that I feed them in all the time. It's fairly roomy to start off, and is comprised of cattle panels. Once I get the main 'gate' panels pulled together and wired, then they are at my mercy...mostly. If you are doing this yourself--then do not, do not, trust the sheep to be good little citizens and stay where they are suppose to! A little extra work before starting to catch them will pay off in the long run. Make sure you use sturdy fencing (tall cattle panels are good), and make sure they are wired together very good, especially at the bottom! Nothing like losing the whole flock when they shove into a corner and one clever soul pushes the wire open on the bottom of the panel, escapes and takes them all with her. So, once I've got them all in the main pen, it's time to start 'shrinking' their options. You have to be a little careful here too, if you have highly evolved escape sheep that watch your every move and prey on a weak moment. I unwire one end of one section of panel, and start moving in towards the sheep, with myself in the opening. I keep doing this until the sheepies are crowded in a smaller area. If you can put up a cross panel (if you have room) this works well too especially if you need to sort some off into a second pen. I put one up this time, but didn't actually need it, since all the girls were very cooperative today.
Today, I wanted to do a little more than just a quick worming, so I took a notebook, pen and clipboard with me. I wanted to evaluate condition, as well as make some notes on fleeces and markings (such as they are...). Since I do these things by myself, I have had to come up with some 'third hand' ideas. One of those is the tool-pouch reinvented as a sheep supplies pouch. It can either be worn on a belt, or a shoulder strap or tied to the fence. The belt didn't work well for me, since sometimes rodeos happen and things can fall out of the pouch at the worst time. Unless I'm trimming hooves and giving shots, I just tie it to the fence. (Well up, away from sheepy lips). I also tie the bottle of worm medicine up high where I can refill syringes but the sheep can't maul it. I use bailing twine. This time I had the clipboard, so did the same with it, although a nail would have been a handy place to hang it. This pretty much leaves your hands free so you only have to deal with the sheep and one syringe at a time. Cookies are kept in a pocket and doled out as a consolation prize to long suffering sheep.
It was interesting to really look at and observe things about the sheep that I had overlooked before. I even looked at tongue color just as a future reference as I continue to breed for spotted sheep. As far as condition, everyone looked good, and eyelid color was good all around. Next I will have to 'schedule' appointments for the big white girls, as they need to be wormed as well.
Just as an aside note, in the last picture you can see how I make use of an old hay ring that my horse used to use. It's not in very good condition, but I've turned it upside down and used panels and wire to make gates on either side of it. It's purpose is to keep the 'big' sheep out of the area where I feed the Shetlands. For the most part it works good, except right after shearing when some of the smaller Dorset's can scooch thru.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Well, all the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over. Now its just putting away all the holiday stuff, finding a nook or cranny to keep my newly acquired treasures, and sift through all my old stuff to see what has to go to make room for the new.
It was a good Christmas--spent with family and friends. Eating lots of good food, visiting and of course giving and receiving presents. Trying to savor and draw out the moments, knowing it'll all be over in just a short time.
I got several new movies, and books and books on tapes to add to my 'stash'. (okay, its a huge stash...but whatever...) I also got lots of other nice gifts that I have been enjoying the last few days. I'm working on getting all the cards and paper and sacks tucked away in the Christmas tub. Every year I write out what I got on a slip of paper and tuck it in the box too. It's fun to look back and see how long I've had something. (For instance, looking at a picture of me on a birthday, shall we say when I was very very young, I saw I got a desk light. Hmmm... no wonder my desk light is so ratty looking! It's over 25 years old!)
Now its ORGANIZATION time. Just like clockwork, once Christmas is over, I hit my 'I'm gonna get this place organized' phase. Sometimes I really make some dents too. Sometimes. At the head of the list is rounding up all the receipts for taxes. Then I really need to organize and categorize my sheep files. I've gotten the work table cleared off (one of those four foot plastic tables which has revolutionized my life! I set it up near the stove in the back and in the winter it becomes the dining table, my paperwork station and crafts projects table. Except when it becomes a catch all...then its just a mess station). Now I just need to get busy with the 'files'. Yuck.
The local radio station had a rare moment of clarity and realized this would be a slumpy weekend, so they have generously devoted the entire weekend to 70s music. Nice.
Alrighty, I can't think of any other excuses not to tackle that pile of papers. Not even one.