Monday, December 31, 2007

Bring on 2008

Good-bye 2007! I am ready for a new year. I have packed up the Christmas tree, taken down the decorations, and finished all of my year-end paperwork. Rent-a-ram will be going home this weekend (weather permitting), and I can reconfigure my barns and fencing back to where I am not climbing fences with buckets of water, and flakes of hay, and apologizing to my sheep when I swing my leg over a fence and whack one of them in the jaw accidentally.

2007 definitely had some high points. Who could forget the unexpected arrival of Ande, the llama, or the excitement when the first Shetland lambs were born here at Crosswinds? Okay, maybe it wasn't all that thrilling to everyone, but as I have mentioned numerous times before, I am easily amused.

This year has also presented some challenges for our family, and I am hoping for better things in the new year. That said, bring on 2008.

I think that what the girls would like in the new year, is a little less snow. We have had an incredible amount of snow/ice storms for this time of year, weather much more typical of February than December.

"Yes, less snow would be nice!"

Apollo, one of our ram lambs, says,"I would have to agree with the girls."

Frosty pony whiskers are awfully cute though.

Ande seems to be the only one enjoying the snow....

Oh, wait..

There is Emma

We are going to bury her with this ridiculous ball someday. She has actually worn her teeth down from carrying it around like it is her job.......I guess it kind of is, she is a retriever after all.

Happy New Year Everyone.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Doozy!

Our beautiful daughter Nicole is 22 today. Unfortunately, through someone's poor planning, the poor child's birthday falls firmly between Christmas and New Year's, which always seems to leave her a bit slighted when it comes to birthday celebrations. So, I want to say a little "Happy birthday" here.
I am not sure how we got to 22 already.
From the adorable little kindergartner that couldn't go to school without her stuffed bunny.

To the sassy little cowgirl that was usually more focused on the cowBOYS than her horse....HEY, over here, trying to take a picture, could you TRY looking this way?
To the perpetually smiling high school student who left a trail of broken hearts, and left her father and I with an empty wallet and a closet full of expensive prom dresses, shoes, and accessories worn once and never again to see the light of day.

To the all "grown up" college student, studying towards her degree in Neurobiology, working in two labs, and attempting to save the world single handedly........
And a wonderful daughter that we are always proud of. Happy Birthday Doozy!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007



If one didn't know that these two had just been trying to kill each other, one might think that these were expressions of affection between buddies.

Maybe next year they will get the girls!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


My darling Daughter, Nicole, reminded me this evening that I had promised to post some photos of my new little girl today. I have been having some trouble with my camera so these pictures are not the greatest....trying to navigate to get a decent camera angle while chasing sheep around on the ice was not nearly as enjoyable as one might think.

Here is Sommarang Edrea. She is a fawn katmoget with very nice conformation, a cute little fluke tail, a nice square rear, and she is very friendly.......

But, what I REALLY love about her, is her yummy fleece!

Last year when I was at Lori's Sommarang farm to pick up Daisy and Lilly, I was coveting Lori's katmoget ewe "Challis" who had the most incredible fleece. But alas, Lori would not part with her. So when I went to pick up rent-a-ram from Lori a couple of weeks ago, how could I pass up this Challis daughter....with this fleece????
I couldn't! I rest my case.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Can you stand any more ice pictures?

I was intending on posting some pictures of my new ewe lamb today, but after (yet another) ice storm last night, I found the scenery this morning too pretty to ignore. Unfortunately the camera lens couldn't capture all of the sparkle and glitz as the sun shone through the ice, but here are a few photos.

Sheep pictures tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Happy 24, Justin!

Oh, I am SOOOO going to get in trouble for this!

Our son Justin is 24 today, he generally is not a big birthday celebration kind of guy, so I will try not to embarrass him too much-HA! Given the fact that I am not a large woman, and he weighed 9lbs. 4oz. at birth, he owes me this indulgence!

"Yeah, I love physics!"

We are very proud of Justin, but most of the time we don't know what he is talking about. He is a physics grad student at the University of Iowa and a teaching assistant in the physics department. Sometimes he "dumbs down" explanations of his projects for us in hopes that we will grasp some of his physicsy jargon, but we still stare blankly at him and pretend that we understand...he doesn't laugh...that is a good son. This picture was taken while he was working at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland, it is the world's largest particle physics lab.

Among his other many interests, Justin is also an accomplished "chicken whisperer" and friend to white chicken.

Justin is a very well rounded young man. Here we see him honing his skills as a circus performer/parade Shriner. We had just taken off the training wheels for this photo. Good job, Justin!

Anyway....Happy Birthday Justin!!! You can't be too mad at me, after all, I didn't post any silly baby photos of you, ( I wouldn't want to embarrass you, would I ?).

Don't worry Nicole your birthday is just around the corner :).

Monday, December 3, 2007

I am real,real smart-like.

YUP, it's still cold, just checkin'..........note to self-make sure that your gloves are dry before you touch a fench post in 15 degree weather!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Iowa in December and sheep hoarding

Yesterday Gary and I made the 3 1/2 hour trip to Lori Stephenson's Sommarang farm to pick up my "rent-a-ram". I had intended on taking lots of photos while there. I brought my camera, even had it in my pocket, but it was as cold in Wisconsin as it has been here in Iowa and I couldn't muster the courage to take off my gloves long enough to get any good pictures. I wish I would have though, she has some really nice sheep and has exceptional fleece on her nice, in fact, that I ended up bringing one of her girls home with me! Shocking, I know. Who would have thought that I would go to pick up one sheep and come home with two??? Probably anyone who has read my blog! Unfortunately, I have a husband that is an enabler, he doesn't even so much as give me a raised eyebrow when I start getting that "but I don't have one this color" look in my eyes. So now I do have one in this color...She is a beautiful fawn katmoget with the yummiest fleece ever. BTW, Lori is also an enabler (and a lot of fun too), so clearly it is not my fault that I brought home an extra sheepie. Hmmmm, last year when I was at Lori's I brought two sheepies home also... but that time it was my sister Marie's fault, I went to pick up Daisy, and Marie decided to get Lilly to keep at our farm as her pet (Marie lives in town). So really it is not me that has a sheep hoarding problem, it is just the company that I keep.
I am so happy to have my pretty little katmoget girl, I will try to post pictures soon, but it has not been a picture taking sort of day.

Like much of the Midwest today, most of Iowa got socked with an ice storm. We started with freezing rain this morning and it has continued all day and is expected to go into the morning hours. Luckily the temperature is supposed to rise overnight so it should turn to just rain.

This is why it was a bad picture day.

This is looking out our living room, we don't have that funky wavy bathroom glass in the living room, all of our windows were coated with ice. For that matter, everything was coated in ice. I must admit though, the "glass half full" part of me found it to be kind of pretty. My lavender blooms were encased in an icy shell.
As were the pine cones, the grass, the get the idea.

We had to do some hasty rearranging in the barns to make separate areas for the ewe lambs that are not being bred, from the big girls with their new handsome "beau" so that everyone could have a comfortable place to get out of the elements. Given the weather that we were dealing with today, it was no easy task. Carrying bales of straw from one barn to the other in 30 mile an hour winds, skating on iced over grass while being pelted with ice pellet missiles...not fun...especially when the bales acted as quasi sails, pulling me across said frozen grass, not necessarily in the direction in which I was intending to go. Gary and I did manage to get it done though, and everyone is now warm, cozy and dry. Some of the chickens made their way into the sheep barn to warm seems as though "Ugly Betty" needed to warm up her feet.
I normally try to keep the chickens out of the sheep barn, they have lots of other places to go, and I don't want chicken poo in my fleece. But today I let everyone go where ever they could get warm...and I guess that if I were trying to get warm, Willow's fleece would be the first place that I would go too.

I suppose things could have been much worse, we only lost power for about an hour today....this is what happened in February when we had our last big ice storm.

Yes, those are power poles snapped in half all the way down our gravel road. We were without power for 8 days, thankfully that didn't happen this time.

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