Sunday, October 31, 2010

halloween 2010

For your viewing pleasure:

The costumes this year, for those that chose to dress up, were a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich and a bunny.

They got quite a haul, as usual.

My mom and I made the bunny costume for Primo ten years ago, and Secondo wore it a few years back, so it seems it was worth the time investment.

As far as this year's costume goes, Secondo thought that getting to use spray paint was, hands down, the best part.

And Primo? He went as a grumpy fifteen year old boy.

That's not so much a costume as a constant state.

The pumpkin was left on the front porch by the Great Pumpkin, who visits us every year while we are out trick-or-treating. Unfortunately the Great Pumpkin suffered a carving-related mishap and had to come in for a quick two stitches in his finger this afternoon, a few hours before his pumpkin delivery.

No sign of any blood on the pumpkin, thank goodness.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

sunshine and lollipops and rainbows

Early one morning a few days ago, the phone rang and caller ID revealed it was my wonderful husband's cell phone. (In addition to all other reasons he is wonderful, a cell phone call from him that early in the morning means he is out doing the farm chores).

Now, a phone call while he is out doing chores can mean one of just a few things:
  1. please turn on the back faucet, I need to fill up a stock tank;
  2. did you remember to get cat food for the barn cats; 
  3. how many sheep are supposed to be in X pasture; or
  4. emergency, come quickly, a sheep is sick (or worse).

95% of the time, the reason for him calling is reason 1. Occasionally reason 2 is thrown in because I usually manage to get the cat food but unload it in odd places. However, my mind skips immediately, without fail, to reason 4, and my heart proceeds directly to my throat.

When he called the other morning, I was down in the basement doing laundry and Secondo answered the phone. My LSH could hear me thundering up the steps yelling "what's wrong? what's going on? what happened?" and so, simultaneously, he was saying "tell your mom it's OK! nothing's wrong! nothing happened!" because he knows all too well how my mind works.

What he wanted to tell us was to look outside, so we could see this out the front door:

And this out the back:

And while we're at it, the side as well (though none really do it justice, of course).

OK, so I lied about the lollipops.

Friday, October 22, 2010

rhinebeck the sequel

One of my pet peeves is when bloggers say that they will post pictures "tomorrow" and then they don't get back to it for, like, five days.

Drives me nuts.

So without further ado, here are more pictures of Rhinebeck in no particular order:

Awesome sheepy-specific sand sculpture at one entrance.

Judy Pascale teaching us Important Stuff on Friday.

I love watching set up on Friday night...

and early Saturday morning.
It feels as if the entire fairground is holding its breath --

for the onslaught.

Terzo was pleased by his blue ribbon
in the "junior" category.
(Photo may look familiar.)

Secondo was equally pleased --
and he was competing against adults.
The arrangement of needlefelted fruit & veggies
was entirely his idea and execution.

Fleece to shawl competition
(start with a raw fleece; carders card, spinners spin, weavers weave)
is always a pleasure to watch.

And look! I couldn't possibly miss Risa (for once!)
in this get-up, which she purchased the day before at a thrift shop
Thrift stores score again!

It being fall, pumpkins are carved,

and pumpkins are chucked.
The team in the front (from a high school engineering club)
is celebrating hitting the target twice in a row.

Time to go home.
Sheep queue up to be sheared as the festival ends.

Monday, October 18, 2010

rhinebeck 2010

Still so tired out twenty-four hours later that I am having trouble coming up with coherent commentary... but it was wonderful. Once again, I felt guilty as all-get-out leaving, and I probably would have backed out if I hadn't made the commitment to the sheep breed display barn. I am so glad I went, however, because it was an all-around great weekend.

A kind friend convinced me to go up on Thursday night and share a hotel room, so I didn't have to drive up, take an all-day class, and then have to set up the breed display all in one day (and then spend the night in my minivan that night). It was incredibly thoughtful of her and made the rest of the weekend physically possible for me. Our breed display, done with the help of the Deans at Fiddlehead Farm right there in Rhinebeck (so I didn't have to haul livestock myself) looked absolutely beautiful.

Hard to convey its loveliness with my little Nikon, but  in any event, the judges agreed. First place.

I joked that I could retire on top this year, since I won the breed display trifecta (MDS&W, Garden State Sheep Breeders, and now this one).

We were mobbed with people talking to us about sheep, fleece, yarn, dyeing, spinning, shepherding, you name it. It is a great marketing tool, which of course is the point but I forget it on a regular basis. To give you an idea of the crowds, here is the breed display barn early on Saturday morning (my favorite time to be there):

And just a few hours later:

I have no idea what the attendance was but it had to be record-breaking. Quite a few people have confirmed that Uma Thurman was there on Saturday, but I don't think she wandered my way. Truth be told, I was so caught up in what I was going that she would have had to be wearing a pin that said "Hi, my name is Uma Thurman" for me to figure it out, and possibly not even then.

I got to see lots of old and new friends, and make some even newer ones. I took two great classes, one with Judy Pascale and another with Candace Eisner Strick. As mentioned I slept in my van to be close to the animals in case of emergency, but even that was a positive! Surprisingly comfortable, quite relaxing (since I didn't have to answer to anyone's schedule but my own) and of course a great commute to the fairgrounds.

And it made returning to my own comfy bed last night all the more wonderful. I'm off to it now but I will try to get a few more random shots of the show up tomorrow.

Monday, October 11, 2010

run around

Where have I been? Well, this time of year is always a busy time as we run around like squirrels getting ready for winter. I have been hauling a... I mean HAY! Hauling hay!

See? 150 bales all stacked and stored. Why yes, my back is killing me, and that's even with making my kids do most of the work.

In addition to getting the hay in, we have gotten the rams and ewes into their breeding groups. Isaac (who is wearing a blue marking crayon, can you tell?) was quite a busy boy today.

We have trimmed everyone's hooves and checked everyone's condition and gotten everyone into coats that fit them.

Let the hay do its worst! All the fleeces are protected, at least until someone rips their coat off or steps out of it or any other way they conspire to drive me nuts.

In addition to hauling hay, I have also been hauling butts from pillar to post. So I have been watching a fair amount of this:

and quite a bit of this:

and some of this too.

All this to-ing and fro-ing makes it a wee bit tough to blog, what with the hay chaff, moving vehicles, running kids, etc. Bear with me, I hope to be back in a more regular pattern soon.

It'll probably be around the time cross-country season ends, whenever the heck that is.