Thursday, November 27, 2014

A song of thanksgiving

(video from a year ago)

Living proof that there can be beauty in brokenness
"(S)he who plants a tree, plants a hope." – Lucy Larcom

When I think back over the last year, I get a little unsteady on my feet. So thankful we are NOT given the ability to see into the future. How many of us would have the courage to move forward if we saw the challenges ahead?

Not matter the circumstances, there are always blessings too numerous to count. It is a good faith-exercise to try, though. ;-)  Here, in no particular order, is a short list out of many.
  • Our little piece of heaven in the middle of the "Eden at the End of the Oregon Trail."
  • A pantry full of food, a barn full of hay, and a woodshed full of firewood. (That's three big ones!)
  • A little flock of sheep the quality of which I couldn't even dream of when I first got into Shetlands.
  • My mental-health mustang.
  • My parents – my biggest earthly blessing.
  • A handful of dear friends, and a bounty of blogpals.
  • A big yarn and fiber stash (maybe not SABLE, but close) from which to create gifts; who needs Black Friday?
  • A new job.

Yeah; still not sure how I'm to shoehorn that last one into my life, but as it is an answer to prayer I am trying to embrace it. Duties and hours are still undecided; posts here may needs be more sporadic.

Happy Thanksgiving from . . .

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Who's afraid of the big, bad wolf?

Are these guys, with eyes left?
Nah. They're looking at Blake, who's looking at them – no doubt looking for greener pastures  fresh females.

How about the ewe group?
Nah. They're too busy stuffing their faces with forage. But do you see Annabelle off in the distance, next to our northern fence line against the neighboring trees? Every time I turn out the ewe group, Annabelle seems drawn to that fence line, and it makes me nervous. Our westerly neighbor has witnessed a big female coyote nabbing some of her free-ranging hens, and Brian has seen a big coyote trotting through those trees. Annabelle would make an easy target should a predator make a bold play; she would fall down if she tried to run. I usually turn the ewes out when I ride my horse, so I can keep an eye on them from the arena.

Barbados is still here, still intact, still for sale. Hopefully I can hang onto him for as long as it takes for his superlative quality to be recognized and desired by another Shetland shepherd.

Goldilocks, our Easter Egger, has joined the stubborn Buff still hanging out in a nest box. And yes, she insists on crowding into the same nest box.
The hens' egg production has dropped dramatically this month, as you can see by the sidebar tally. The youngest hens in our flock, the five Red Sex-links, have passed their peak production period, and the other eight haven't done a thing in months. I don't mind "carrying" non-productive hens, as long as they are good citizens. But the four Speckled Sussex hens – and I use that term loosely, as some of them seem to have "roosterized" – are mean. I'm tempted to turn them loose to free-range with the neighbor's hens – and keep the coyotes busy.

That's it for now from . . .

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cheers and jeers

We are back from a quick trip to see my dad. Not only is he doing better, I finished knitting one Christmas present and started on another; "Yay!" for road trips! And "Yay!" for getting to pick up our excited dogs on our way home tonight; Rick's office manager was kind enough to dogsit them for us while we were gone, but I always miss them – and the rest of our critters. And a big "Whoop!" for learning upon our return that Brian has been awarded a generous partial scholarship by the salle; thanks to them he will be able to continue taking fencing lessons!

As for jeers, I just do not get why people destroy the very community infrastructure they need and depend on – businesses, public safety equipment, etc – when they get angry. What, pray tell, does destroying your own community do for you??? Tonight in Portland, someone went stall to stall, releasing five of the Portland Police Bureau's Mounted Patrol horses, possibly in response to the grand jury's decision regarding the Ferguson, MO case. Fortunately, the horses were recovered without sustaining – or causing – any major injuries, but it could have turned out much differently. Like so many others have quipped, the more I see of human nature, the more I like my dogs.

That's it for now from . . .

Thursday, November 20, 2014

As promised

That's it for now from . . .