Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays! From your slightly quirky friends at Crosswinds farm.

"Someone pleeeease call the humane society, this is bordering on abusive!"

Monday, December 1, 2008

It was bound to happen.

After all, it is the first of December, so it was probably long overdue, but I was still not quite prepared for the first snowfall of the season. We got just enough to lightly blanket the landscape, erasing the evidence of the withered garden plants that I have not yet cleaned up for the winter, and covering the unraked leaves that were clustered along the edges of the barns. I must admit, although I hate the snowy wet boots and mittens, and the chunks of frozen goodness that get trapped between the dogs' toes (and later dragged into the house), I do love the way a fresh layer of snow makes everything look clean and new.

Okay, well, maybe the sheep didn't share my enthusiasm.
The girls are all still divided up into their breeding groups, which is providing an added challenge of keeping extra water tanks from freezing, and as you can see I don't have the ideal hay feeding situation for each of the groups...uh, yeah, they are eating hay off the ground, that is to say, they are eating some hay off they ground and depositing the rest firmly into their fleece.

It's a good thing that my rams are well behaved for most of the year, because this time of year they really test my patience.....and my fences...and my buildings. This guy has been pretty well behaved, if anything he is a bit shy and has never shown any aggression toward me. He is, however, desperately trying to get to the girls that are being kept separate inside the barn, thus making it necessary for me to reinforce the divider with extra cattle panels in an effort to protect the virtue of my non-breeding girls. The other complicating factor is that the girls don't entirely want their virtue protected....hussies!
Max has been pretty good about the fences, probably because there is hot wire all the way around his breeding pen. His problem is that he has completely misunderstood the ram/shepherdess relationship. That is to say, he has fallen in love with me, and I am not okay with that.
The last few days when I have gone out to feed, he comes running over to me and makes that gurgley, grunty sound while leaning on me and pawing with his front foot (sure sign of love/lust in sheepie world). Today he crossed the line and tried to push me away from the rest of the flock, to which I responded by firmly grasping his horn and back leg and pile driving him into the nice clean snow until he relaxed and came around to my way of thinking. I am pretty sure that was not the type of physical contact that he was hoping for, but it worked for me, and now we have established a new understanding. Max has gone back to chasing the girls and doing the curly lip thing (another touching expression of love/lust).

As for Andy, he wants no part of this snow or any of the sheep shenanigans that are going on, I think he is just going to wait here for spring.

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!

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