Friday, May 07, 2021

A double feature on The Chuckie Channel

 Chuckie finally gained access to the camera crew and filmed not one, but two new features for his fans!

Fair warning: the first one is for mature audiences only. The title of this feature?
CATNIP











The second feature is titled:
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CATS AND DOGS






Finally, a Friday bonus cameo from the vault:

Stay tuned for more sporadic updates from The Chuckie Channel!

Brought to you by . . .

Thursday, May 06, 2021

The bombing of Berlin ;-)

I'm about to bomb you with photos – and a video!

After saying yesterday that I needed to work harder at getting good photos of Berlin, I did just that. To better my chances, I haltered Vienna and tied her to the gate so she couldn't lead her 'precious' far, far away from me into the tall grass. Then I plopped myself down on the ground and shot away. (One of the keys to getting a few great photos is to take a TON of them. 😉) When Berlin showed an affinity for the base of the big maple, I switched to video mode – and caught a great leap!












I hope you enjoyed this peacetime bombing from . . .

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Purple rain

When I get stuck behind a backlog of photos and blog fodder, I have to think of a title or theme to jump-start the post. So I give you a mostly Purple Rain of flowers, since we are getting way too little of the real kind:







We are dry, dry, dry. April was the driest on record, and May isn't looking like it will rectify the problem. Hay should be ready a lot earlier this year; I wouldn't be surprised if our favorite hay guy is putting up his first cutting right now. We won't be needing as much this year.... (See next paragraph.) This was our upper pasture last week, when the 'neighbor boy' came over to play with Poppy:

Today I plan to lead Lance and Oliver up there to graze for a bit. With Lance's metabolic disease, I have to be very careful with fresh forage; if I just turn them loose, I might not catch Lance again before he gets too much! Oliver, on the hand, would probably be easy to catch . . . and can probably enjoy as much green grass as he wants right now. His front legs are shot, and it has been plain to Brian and me for months that he is miserable. Rick finally came to the same conclusion after taking the time to examine him more closely last Sunday; now the only question is when Rick is going to put him down. It is sad, but Ollie's had 20 more years of life than he would have had with his breeder, and 21 more years than it appeared he'd have when he almost died of sepsis as a foal. 


On the other end of the spectrum of age and vitality, little Berlin goes out to pasture with the big girls every day now and loves it, although she and her dam Vienna still go in their own enclosure when in the fold. (I just need to take the time to break down the lambing jug panels and open up the space.) She still looks tiny to me, but I realized when she stood next to the little water bucket last night that she has grown quite a bit. Here she is at two days old, followed by the photo I took last night:



It's hard to get good photos of her; I need to try harder because she is quite the looker. Definitely feminine with a pretty little head and properly pert Shetland ears; excellent conformation; and lovely, crimpy chocolate fleece all over. I sent in fleece samples on all my breeding animals except Bridget (shepherd oversight), and am very happy with the results. Seeing Vienna's and Spot's fleece data on paper along with their offspring in the flesh makes me want to see if I can help Vienna stay in good flesh to breed again this fall, as she is my finest-fleeced sheep even at ten years of age:

Vienna is still wearing her fleece, as is Bittersweet. I had hoped to have everyone sheared by the end of April, but my plans were overwhelmed by family drama and stress. In fact, I even started on Bittersweet on April 20 – and got interrupted by some of said family drama. Here he is as I prepared to start:


And here is Bette before I sheared her on April 21 (my iPhone battery was dead by the time I finished), and her mother Bree after I sheared her on April 27. Obviously both are in fine flesh.


I don't feel too bad about the two still in full fleece; Bittersweet is very thin and our weather is see-sawing between hot and cool, and Vienna has a lamb with pointy little hooves. So I am working on skirting the other eight fleeces for now. 

All our 'gardens,' flower beds and food-growing alike, are frustratingly overgrown and unkempt. Even if I was able-bodied, I can't do it all alone. I finally went to my favorite physical therapist for some help with my right shoulder and elbow; I've been struggling with a frozen shoulder for over a year now and I think that has contributed to developing tendonitis in my elbow. That leaves me without much grip in my right hand; I feel like I'm practically one-armed. Rick finally did a little work in the vegetable garden, weeding in and around the strawberries so I can at least water them and hope for a little harvest. I bought three pots of basil and may have to stick them in a pot on the deck; I'm having doubts that the rest of the garden will get prepped for planting anything. I am working hard to "let it go, let it go-o" and be at peace. Fortunately I can still spin and knit. Last month I spun up some homegrown Dorset/Merino cross roving I got from a blogpal years ago, then knit up some fingerless mitts from my go-to pattern. This month I'm working on pink BFL roving gifted to me by a different blogpal. (I didn't provide links because neither of them blog anymore.)




Spinning, reading blogs, snuggling a lamb, working Stella, and taking Poppy to agility class are good distractions in this crazy life.

That's it for now from . . .