Sunday, November 16, 2008

What has become of me????

Here's the thing. It's finally happened. I have finally crossed the threshold. I am now officially the "crazy cat lady". Send me the fuzzy slippers and the over sized, flowered house dress...oh, and a hair net. I'm all set.
I have shamefully admitted before that we have four, yes, four house cats. I know. Don't get me started. Most of our cats have ended up here, not by my choice, but by well meaning (manipulative) people knowing that I am a sucker for a sad rescue story.
Four cats in the house was bad. Bad, especially for an OCD person who is driven mad by cat hair and feels compelled to vacuum and clean out litter boxes continually.
Last week our beloved son Justin called to let us know that he needed to move to a different apartment, and the only one he could find would not allow him to have his you see where this is going? "Can you guys keep Vilka for a while?". So Vilka arrived...I don't know, maybe last weekend? I've lost track of time, maybe ingested too much cat hair, I don't know, it's hard to say. She has stayed here before, so she is really no trouble, other than she has a superiority complex and can't understand why she has to share things with the pesky boys, so she feels compelled to walk around growling and hissing at them all the time.

Don't let her pretty face fool you.

THEN. Last week, darling daughter Nicole called. Right away my "momdar" was giving me the feeling that I was not going to like what she had to say. She and Her boyfriend, Andrew, were going to L.A. for some Grad school interviews for a few days (I'm thinking, so far so good, no problems here that involve me......wait for it.....), and last time she was out of town for a couple of days, she had a friend take care of her cats, and apparently, the cats were NOT happy about being left alone at night and meowed so much that the neighbors downstairs complained to her when she got back. "So, can you and dad keep the cats for a few days"? And, there it is!

Pssshhhh, what's seven cats. Are you kidding me??? OMG! I have lost my mind, I have SEVEN cats in my flippin' house! S.E.V.E.N.

Here are the rest of the bains of my existance. Simon. Awww, isn't he cute?? Maybe... when he's SLEEPING.

But, he's usually doing something like this...
Then there's Lionel. His claim to fame is his disproportionately poofy tail, and the fact that he wants to sit on your lap....when you are in the bathroom...that's all I am going to say about that.
Not to be confused with my cat Bosco....who, by the way, is perfect.

Then there is Romeo. More comonly known by his other aliases," Little Kitty", or "#3".You may remember Baxter, he was the one playing with his tail in the video in an earlier post.
Yeah, there's stuff wrong with him.
Then there's Mr. Marshall. Also known as Mooshie, or Squishy Delicious. Mooshie is 14 years old and livin' large...oh, you don't think he looks that fat?
How about this pose then?
Nicole will be picking up her cats on Tuesday....right, Nicole? Picking them up Tuesday?
I better go, it's time for "The Price is Right", and then I have to put my hair up in curlers, and then I am putting plastic runners down over the hall carpet...I just hope I don't slide on them with my fuzzy slippers....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm not worthy!!

First I have to say thank-you to Nancy K. for giving me this amazing blog award! What a nice surprise, and yes, Nancy, it is worth at least a pumpkin cake for I just have to figure out how to mail it to Minnesota!
I am not sure that I am worthy of an award for the nonsense that I put in my blog, but I am honored that Nancy would think of me : ).

Update on breeding groups.
I put breeding pens together on Sunday, and, as you probably predicted, I changed my mind....a little. In my last post on this subject matter, I solemnly declared that I was going to put my new ram with 3 ewes, 3. Well, I did.....and then I added one. I decided to add Sommarang Dolly to the group. I have a completely rational explaination for adding another ewe....give me a minute............more spots.

Rammy with the ladies.
I put Max in with his girls. What? Oh, yeah, I did say that I was only going to give Max two ewes didn't I? Here's the thing, I was afraid that with only two ewes, I might get all Ag and no gulmoget, so my chances are better for gullies with an extra ewe.......right? I never was good at math.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

How to waste a a good way.

Normally on the weekends we spend our time catching up on projects and running back and forth to Menard's, Farm & Fleet or the Habitat for Humanity Re-store getting pieces and parts for said projects. This morning when we got up it was absolutely miserable outside. Gone was our 70+ degree weather and sunny skies of the previous week, instead we were greeted with snow flurries, dreary cloud cover, and biting wind. Not feeling very inspired to get any work done outside in that mess, I mentioned to Gary that I really needed to make a run to Stringtown. Stringtown Grocery is a little Amish grocery store in the heart of nowhere. My flower farmer friend, Miss Effie, and I became totally enamoured with the place this past summer and have been obsessed with it's quaint goodness ever since. If the weather is too cruddy to work outside, Effie and I will call each other, and all we have to say is, "it's raining" or "it's cold" and we know that is secret code for "we are going to Stringtown". This store is so tiny it would probably fit within the confines of most urban garages, but it stocks the most unusual assortment of bulk foods, spices and baking needs that you could ever want. My sister, Marie, had never been there, so when I talked to her this morning, I asked her if she wanted to go along, promising that we were just going to make a quick run so that we could get back because we had a lot of stuff to do. Of course she wanted to go, she is the evil shopping temptress and is always up for any kind of shopping expedition. So off to Stringtown we went.....sorry Effie, I went without you!

Parking lot.
Employee parking.

I like a lot of strange things to snack on, and stringtown has plenty of goodies for me like: Honey roasted sunflower seeds, roasted pumpkin seeds, corn nuts, roasted peas. And lots of great ingredients for making my homemade granola.
Gary has different ideas of yummy snacks.
There is also a "dent and bent" store down the road that sells random overstock or slightly outdated items really cheap. I found lots of chocolate there. Marie filled up a cart with all kinds of stuff ( Marie doesn't mess around when she has a grocery cart). We checked out and filled the car to capacity with our new found treasures (We should have brought the truck, darnnit). We headed down the road with every intention of going straight home.....until we saw this little shop along the way, with two building full of STUFF.
I love stuff (A.K.A. junk), just the thought of it makes my heart go pitter pat. I love antiques and bits and pieces of things and....whatever, I love it all. Mostly, I don't know why, but I love old chairs. Love them, don't need them, doesn't matter that I have no where to put them, I love chairs. Maybe it's the inner lazy person in me trying to get out and sit down? This place had stuff!

AND CHAIRS! After picking through rooms full of odds and ends, I found a chair that I fell in love with, don't know why, even had myself talked out of it, until 'evil shopping temptress sister' convinced me that I needed it. Gary is no help, he's like, "yeah, I like that, you should get it". I stayed strong, resolving that I would not crumble to peer pressure. Then E.S.T. sister says, "I will get that for you for Christmas". How could I say no to that?
YAY! Me and my chair...that is E.S.T. in the background. They didn't have shopping carts there, but she still managed to buy armloads of stuff.
Since Marie was so nice to buy me my chair, I had to buy this nifty tray....for myself!
What? I already have something for her for Christmas! Don't judge me.
My chair :).
Pretty details :).
Our "Quick trip" started at 8:30 a.m. and we returned home at 2 much for getting things done today. Next time we are taking the truck!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

News you can't use...for anything

It's that time again, fascinating snippets from the Eldridge police reports! For those of you who aren't familiar with this portion of my blog, I cut out some of the more (or less, depending on your prospective) interesting complaints in our local weekly paper...and add a few comments. I would also like to preface this by saying that although I think my tax dollars would be better spent on other things, I am glad that I live in a place that these are the types of 'crime' that we contend with. If for whatever reason, you enjoy this quirky stuff, there are older ones in my News section of the blog.

Oh, my friends, there has been a lot of frightening stuff going on here in Eldridge, a regular crime wave you might say. Very distressing indeed.
First of all, there seems to be a horrible rash of hate crime against members of the squash family, or maybe it's pumpkin on pumpkin crime, it's hard to say. Initially, there was some kind of pumpkinnapping, right off of it's own front porch. I am so glad that a concerned citizen called the police to report this sort of horror.

Then this!

Oh the humanity! I can't even think about it without picturing the chalk outlines of their broken little pumpkin parts. Seriously, did someone need to call the police at 3:30 am to report a smashed pumpkin? I dunno.

In other crime....I never thought there would come a day when this would happen....

OMG! What if that gets to be common place, and ads of questionable origin pop up willy nilly on the internet? Let's all just hope that never happens.

As a rule, if there are more than 2 youths in a group, especially if they are hanging out in a shady place like the rec center, they are bad news and not to be is always best to alert the authorities, and do it fast, before they do something like this..

But it's not just the kids that are up to nefarious activities.

Okay, I have to cut some slack on this one. I am pretty open minded, so I say, just because the cat didn't know the animal, if everything was consentual, who are we to judge?
Wait, let me read that again to make sure I understand..... Fire, behind the fire department, someone notified the fire department.......I feel safe.Hmmmm...can't add anything to that one, It's a nice little, alert, fleeing fox...didn't that used to be a typing test or something?

Monday, November 3, 2008

It takes a village to install a gate

The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous the last few days. Over the weekend it was in the 70's and I was able to go outside in just a tee shirt.....well, I had pants on too, my point being, that it was warm enough that I didn't need a jacket.

We have a lot of projects that we have been trying to get finished before the harsh reality of winter sets in, and last weekend's weather afforded us the opportunity to tackle some of those jobs.

There are a lot of things that I am perfectly capable of accomplishing on my my lovely daughter says, I am freakishly strong for my size, but when it comes to the use of power tools of any kind, I respectfully defer to my dear Husband's expertise. Power tools don't scare me, frankly, it's a just a safety issue for everyone involved. I am insanely accident prone, and I am more likely to sever an appendage (mine or anyone that has the misfortune of being in close proximity) than to..say, cut a board in half with a circular saw.

One of our weekend ventures was adding some new gates between the horse pasture and one of the sheep enclosures. Now, the only power tool required for that task was a drill to put the hinges into the wooden posts, however, knowing my predisposition to injury and mayhem, dear hubby asked for only my supervision and assistance...supervision because he has lived with me long enough to know that if he does it on his own and I come out and look at it later, the chances are good that I might say something like, "Ohhh, Honey, I'm not sure that I wanted that there...I was kinda thinking that we would put it more over this way...". It's a girl thing. So I decided to take a few photos while I hem, helping.

As it turns out, I was not the only one in a supervisory position. There was no shortage of helpful onlookers while Gary was installing the gate.......By the way, the other supervisors are all girls too.

Then the horses felt it necessary to put their two cents in.
Jake tries to offer his support and add a little testosterone to the situation.
"Here dad, let me take off your gloves for you".
"What, I wasn't doing anything!"

"Hey mom, let me help you with that camera thingy".

"You know, Willow, we live with a bunch of weirdos"!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Matchmaker, matchmaker

I promised some sheepie pictures, so here goes.

I am only breeding a few ewes this year, five....I think....maybe six, no five, yes five....that's it! So here are some of the players.

I will be using my new ram, who I don't think has a name yet, 'cause I was supposed to come up with one and haven't yet, so, unless Stephen has named him, he is Sheltering Pines something something. Maybe one of you can think of a strong masculine name for this guy.

I am really excited about the prospect of lambs out of this boy. He is gorgeous and has wonderful dense, crimpy, soft fleece...AND magnificent spots and horns. He looks brown, but he is actually black and white.
Here is the best I could do for a fleece photo of the boy. I was trying for a photo of fleece on the hoof, but, rams, surprisingly, are a little uncooperative and hard to hold on to while you are parting their fleece and holding a camera. You will have to take my word for it, his fleece is soft, dense and ultra crimpy from neck to breeches.
One of the ewes that will be making rammy's acquaintance is Willow. One of my favorite ewes. I know, she is Ag, and I am trying to keep Ag to a minimum in my flock, BUT, Willow is actually spotted under that grey and has thrown spotted and solid lambs. Plus she has wonderful fleece and outstanding conformation. Pay no attention to the "fence neck", she definitly believes that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence and reaches through every chance she gets, wearing all of that nice, soft, fleece off of her neck.
Daisy will also be dating what's his name. Daisy is another favorite. Compared to some of my girls, her fleece is not fabulous, but she has wonderful conformation and coloring.
Edrea is date #3. Edrea is one of my favorites...oh wait, I guess they are all my favorites.
This little katmoget girl has the most awesome fleece and conformation. And oh, look away if you are a Shetland purist, yes, I am mixing my spotted ram with my patterned ewe. She already carries spots, and since my main focus (after conformation, of course), is producing wonderful fleece, she is going with the spotted ram. Plus, I just happen to like funky colors and patterns.

Yum, Edrea's fleece.

Sorry Garrett, I don't have a micron report on her yet, I am planning on doing everyone in the spring.
Here is ram #2 Crosswinds Maxamillion, (F2 Dillon). Yeah, I know, I wasn't going to use him because he has a wonky horn....BUT..this gulmoget is awesome....except...the wonky horn. I was going to wether him, and the more I looked at him, I just saw too many good qualities that I couldn't ignore. I am only using him on two solid color ewes with good horn genetics to see what happens. He is also Ag, so he can either throw Ag or Gulmoget...let's hope for gulmoget.

Max's bum.

Max's fleece.

Lovey will be with Max.

Guinevere will also be with Max.

As of today those are my plans. I will be putting groups together next week, so we will see if I change my mind before then!

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