Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thanks Alice!

Thanks to Alice Frazier for giving me this lovely blog award earlier this week. I am so honored to receive it! Now I am supposed to pass the "torch" along with these rules:
1.The winner may put this logo on her blog!
2.Post a link to the person who gave you the award!
3.Nominate 5 of your favorite blogs and post their links!
4.Leave a message for them on their blog!
I'm not real savvy when it comes to all this blogging stuff and I don't always have enough time for visiting other blogs. My list of favorite blogs are not that long but here are some that I would like to nominate:
Maria Barton's Blog (come on, Maria, post something for us to read! We love your work!)
Scary's West (this gal doesn't even know me but she was a "Blog of Interest" a while back and I've enjoyed her stories and photos ever since I found her--you'll like her blog too)
The Smiling Goat (OK, this gal doesn't know me either but I found her blog as I was lurking around the other day....I love the name of her blog ~tee hee~ and her primitive dolls are just adorable)
Sorry, I can only think of these four right now but I hope you enjoy them!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Hay Wagon Cometh....

The hay wagon came today. We had 155 bales of second cutting hay delivered right to the barn someone has to unload those bales and stack them in the pole barn. Before it rains.
Stacking hay is hard work. I can't even imagine what hard work my farmer friends go through to get it cut, raked, baled and put on the wagon to bring it here. All I know is that it is a dusty, dirty job to get that hay off the wagon and into our barn. I'm talking LOTS of dust swirling in the air and tiny bits of loose hay falling in your hair and getting stuck to your sweaty skin. It gets into your clothes, in your bra and underwear, into your shoes and pretty much permanently stuck in your socks. Your arms get scratched and if you don't wear long pants, your legs get scratched up too. Ouch.
On the other hand, I love this time of year when the hay wagon comes. It means that, for a time, I have an abundance of food for the goats and sheep. I always feel better knowing that I've got enough food put away for them and it's going to last a while.
The very best benefit about getting fresh hay is the SMELL! Ahhh! Have you ever smelled fresh baled hay? It it absolutely the most wonderful smell in the whole world...sort of spicy-sweet and clean...better than the aroma of bread baking! When we get a load of freshly cut hay, I can smell it all the way up to the house for days and days. The animals can smell it too...when the hay wagon arrives, they all chatter excitedly and pace back and forth along the fence lines...maybe someone will give them a handful of loose, fresh hay that fell off the wagon during the unloading....
I hope that when I cross through those Pearly Gates in Heaven, St. Peter puts me on the side that smells like heavenly hay! Ha!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This Is How I Am Greeted Every Day....

"Good Morning, Emma!" (scratch, scratch on the top of her fuzzy little head)
"Yup, 'morning, Mom......where's my breakfast???"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Emma and Lumi's Pumpkin Patch

We have a lovely pumpkin patch growing in the sheep's pen this year. They are "accidental" the fall, we give the sheep pumpkins to eat, so these plants sprouted from seeds left on the ground last year. The plants are sturdy and strong and already have several elongated green pumpkins which are growing rapidly. I love the vibrant green leaves and bright yellow flowers.
Emma and Lumi graze around the pumpkin plants and haven't disturbed them yet. Maybe the leaves are too prickly for their taste. So far they haven't seen the green pumpkins (I think they would eat those). Hopefully we'll have a few delightful orange pumpkins to decorate our porch come October!LOL! The camera flash made Emma's eyes glow... spooky things are already happening in the pumpkin patch!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Emma's British Relatives?

In May of 2006, I traveled to England with a rug hooking group organized by Barb Carroll. We stayed in a youth hostel outside the town of Reeth in the Yorkshire Dales. One day we were able to visit a charming little wool shop in the countryside. It was full of hand-knit sweaters, scarves, yarn, and other wool products made from Wensleydale sheep wool. The owner's husband took some of us down the road to see his flock of Wensleydale sheep. I had heard of Wensleydales before, but I think this is when I became fascinated with the breed. The farmer had a can of feed and when he shook it, the sheep came running from far and wide. It's not easy to get a picture when they are milling around looking for a snack!
I was looking at my pictures the other night and saw a little lamb in the corner of one of the photos. Yikes! I think it looks like Emma, don't you?
(if you need to take a closer look, click on the picture to make it bigger)
It made me excited to think that Emma looks like some of her British relatives! Maybe this is a cousin from way back in her just never know!
My "petting for food" bribe has been working very well. Last night I was able to get Emma to lift her head out of the hay feeder and she actually looked at me while I scratched her nose and her chin!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The (attempted) Taming of Emma

I'm a real "hands-on" person with my sheep and goats. They all get petted, scratched, patted, cuddled, hugged and sometimes even get a kiss on the nose. They are used to me handling them so they are really friendly. OK, I'll admit, we've owned Emma for less than 3 weeks but I'm really craving to scratch that fuzzy little head! Emma always stays about an arm's length away from me. She'd rather not be bothered...all she would rather do is eat....ah ha! I think I'm going to take advantage of that!

Emma must be going through a growing spurt because she is one lean-mean-eating-machine. When she sees me open the barn door, she hollers at me to bring that hay out...pronto! Then she buries her head up to her ears in the hay feeder. All you can hear is crunching and tiny satisfied grunts. She gets herself so wrapped up in eating that she is oblivious to anything else that goes on....
......hee hee..... So I've been sneaking in some good scratching and petting sessions while she's stuffing her face with alfalfa and grass. I figure that she'll eventually get used to me touching her and she'll warm up to the idea that being petted is good.
Did I dazzle you with my photographic multi-tasking??? I took the picture (above) while leaning over Lumi, petting Emma with one hand, and balancing the camera while I pushed the button with my other hand to take the! Now that's real talent for a "technology-impaired" farmer girl! I guess Emma and I are both learning some new tricks!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Lounging on a Lazy Day

It was a beautiful sunny day here in Michigan...perfect for lounging around in the shade and taking a nap. So that's exactly what Lumi and Emma did today! They are the best of friends now. Although Emma tends to "hog" the hay feeder, Lumi graciously allows Emma to eat her fill first.

When I walked out my back door yesterday evening to feed the animals, I heard a loud "whooshing" noise. Two hot air balloons glided right through my back yard!

Have a great week-end!

Friday, July 4, 2008

***July 4th ****

Happy Independence Day
She's a Grand Old Flag....Long may she wave over America, my beautiful Country!!!
Yankee Doodle Birthdays
Ooops! Forgot to wish happy birthday to my goat, Bella, who turned 3 years old today...we do celebrate our pets' birthdates...and to my cat, Cleo, who turned 19 years old. Yes, that's right! 19 years old, still going strong, and not a gray hair on her !!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Beautiful Lake Michigan

Oh, how I love Lake Michigan! My sister and I tried to go down to the beach on Friday night...we were merely one block from the sand when the skies opened up and poured down rain, causing us to run quickly back to the car. We tried again on Saturday evening. This time, the weather cooperated and we had a REALLY fun time! Here's Amanda walking on the beach...
We walked to the end of a cement pier that jutted out into the lake. Across from where we were walking, there was another pier and this quaint little lighthouse.
Then we came across a man on the beach who was sitting at a picnic table with 2 parrots. This white one was named Peaches and she was quite friendly. The man said Peaches wanted to sit on my I gave it a try! As you can see, Peaches began to fluff herself up, flap her wings, and chattered at me in "parrot talk" (she did say "Hi baby" plainly)! Parrots on the beach? Not what I expected!

We were able to sit on a picnic table and watch the sun set over Lake Michigan....simply spectacular! The picture says it all.
OK, here's my most favorite part of the whole week-end....on Sunday, I met a lovely 11 year old girl named Rachel. After seeing some of the rugs and wool in my booth, she thought she might like to try her hand at rug hooking. So I taught her how to hook while her mother walked around the quilt show. In one hour's time, she was pulling up even loops and she was absolutely "hooked" on rug hooking. Her first attempt was beautifully done.
You go, girl! I'm proud of you!

Maybe one day, we'll see Rachel's rugs at the Michigan State Fair...or even in Rug Hooking Magazine!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fun at the Quilt Show

My sister drove up from Nashville, TN on Friday to help me at the quilt show in Benton Harbor, MI on Saturday and Sunday. We had so much fun! And what a beautiful show! The quilt display was more like an art show. Here is the quilt that I looked at every day because it was across from my booth. It won a third place ribbon in the Large Quilt category. This quilt was called "Crazy Scraps" and Doris M. Petznick is the maker:
This quilt was in the "Junior Member" category and was made by Amanda Monroe. It's called "Goats of the World". It was one of my favorites! Oh gosh, there were so many good ones!

The quilter below is Sharon Mason. Her quilt is named "Grandma's Garden/Trip Around The World". She won a first-place ribbon in the Large Quilt category. She generously shared her quilt story with us.

I thought you might like to see the quilt that won Best of Show or People's Choice. It was called "March of the Elephants" and made by Vicki Nitz. It had many batik fabrics in it. Words and pictures cannot describe how truly wonderful this quilt is. The sewing and details in the design were astonishing!

I'm not a quilter but this show would certainly inspire you to take up this beautiful sewing art!
My sister and I went to the Lake Michigan shore on Saturday evening and I'll post some of those pictures tomorrow.