Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Backyard Buffet

Found just outside my kitchen door…


So nice when mother nature provides home delivery like that.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Four Lovely Llamas

The hair on Aibileen’s nose is growing back in nicely. She is the sweetest thing that ever lived and eats from my hand.


Minnie lost the catch lead on her halter. I think she did it on purpose. We’ve booked the round pen the entire month of April for intensive halter training therapy. Someday she’s going to let me halter her without running away, I just know it.


Thelma, somehow someway, has ended up on the top of the pecking order. I think she must have taken lessons from Louise. She’s in charge and doesn’t hesitate to put the other girls in their place, sadly she doesn’t want any actual responsibility, she just wants to be in charge.


Then there is Popcorn.


Yes, I’m aware she’s not a llama. Unfortunately, I don’t think SHE is aware that she’s not a llama. She spends all of her time with them, ignoring the other sheep.


I may need to buy her some high heels soon to make her feel better about herself.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Greener Pastures

The weather this year has been incredible. No sooner than I spread the seed in the east pasture it started to sprout.


And every spring bulb and shrub is blooming a full month or so ahead of schedule. I am normally still in the planning phase of gardening, but instead we spent part of the weekend pulling weeds in the raised beds and spreading compost. In March. In Indiana. The frost date around here is, like what, May?

I feel like we’ve been sprinting to catch up with spring. The rest of the weekend we spent cleaning out the barn and coop, both major operations. Now if visitors stop by I feel I should take them there. Both places are far cleaner than the inside of the house.

Next on the list is shearing. As well as having the vet visit to give the boys their little procedures.


“Gulp. Um, what exactly is a procedure,” asks Frankie? 

“Trust me little buddy, you don’t want to know.”

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Survived Basic Training

I have successfully finished my first week at Conner Prairie and can honestly report that I am humbled and even more excited now than ever before to be part of such a great organization. I cannot wait for the grounds to open next weekend!  Not only do I get to play with newborn lambs, I also get to milk a cow and spin on a great wheel. BEST JOB EVER!

If you haven’t been to Conner Prairie in a while, you really should go again. Things have changed. Events in April you may be interested in include the Sheep to Blanket weekend April 13-15 where you might see me shearing a sheep by hand. Or, if you are up for it, the award winning Follow the North Star program will run April 13-14, 20-21 & 27-28.

Civil War days will be May 19-20 and there will be a grand re-opening of Prairietown June 9-10. There is always something to do or experience, so come on out.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Brand Spankin’ New

A wee little Dorset lamb less than 12 hours old. 


I have the best job EVER.  There will be babies all summer. Woo hoo!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fringe Benefits

Guess what I got to do at work yesterday?


(Insert humongous cheesy grin here, followed by fits of laughter.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rooing Rose

A sheep shearer stopped by here a couple of weeks ago offering his services. I laughed and told him it was much too early, the poor dears would freeze plum to death.


It is a record setting 85 degrees today.

Rose is volunteering to be first in line for this year’s shearing extravaganza.


Even going so far as starting without me. Unlike most modern breeds, Shetland sheep have retained the primitive ability to lose their fleece naturally. A shepherd can actually pull the wool off by hand without shears, the process is called rooing.


Looks like I will be rooing Rose this weekend as well as Laverne, Paisley and Popcorn. I just need to get the barn cleaned out first.

Even though Sophia would very much like the attention, she’s not quite ready for rooing. This morning I monkey groomed her to keep her happy until then.




Monday, March 19, 2012

The Eagles Are Hatching!

The eagles are hatching!  The Eaglecam at Alcoa DavenportWorks is capturing it all on live video.  Check it out, but be aware, it is a little addictive. You may not get much accomplished the rest of the day.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Home is Where Your Sheep Are

It is true that I am quite smitten with this particular log cabin in Cades Cove.


It has a nice view.


This one is picturesque and makes me swoon.


Yet, another cabin has the most spectacular view in the valley, right from its semi-enclosed front porch.


However, it is this one that has the ideal location next to a babbling brook.


The accompanying barn is conveniently located as well.


And let's face it; if you are going to have to overthrow a government in order to get those pesky park rangers to let you live there, it’s all about location, location, location.

During this trip I realized that as beautiful as the mountains are,  I am, and always will be a prairie kind of girl. Give me wide open spaces where I can watch the horizon for weather changes and see my sheep grazing in the tall grass. Once a shepherd, always a shepherd.

Friday, March 16, 2012

On Top of Old Smokey

This week Milah and I, along with another friend, robbed a bank on the way out of town and then we headed for the hills. Okay, maybe we just stopped at an ATM. We were attending A Mountain Quiltfest. It sounds like a more interesting story if we robbed a bank though doesn’t it?

Of course, we had to make a few stops for provisions along the way.


Spring break when you are 40 looks a little different than when you’re 18. There were still a few topless moments, but due to hot flashes versus wild hairs. Oh, and the accommodations are just a little nicer.


Let me tell you, it was tough waking up to this view every morning, but we made the best of it.


And one morning it rained so we had to suffer through this.


Believe it or not, we managed to force ourselves to leave the cabin occasionally. For instance, we took in a quilt show.


Did a little gemstone mining.


Hit a few lots of antique stores.


And hiked Cades Cove.


I like spring break at 40: no husbands, no kids, no TV, no internet, no cell phones - just us girls. We weren’t even headed home before we were already thinking about going back again.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Working For a Living

I’m going on vacation this week. Funny thing is, I already can not wait to get back home. Why? So I can go to work next week! No, the sheep didn’t knock my head into the wall again.  You see, I went out and got myself a new job.

Interpreter at Conner Prairie

Hee, hee! Can you believe that they’re actually going to pay me to do this? Bah, ha, ha!

Okay, sorry, I’ll try to compose myself.


Please, come see me at Conner Prairie this summer, you’ll find me in or around the Loom House, The Civil War Journey or in the Animal Encounters barn.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It is Tough Being the Little Guy

Having been rather low on the totem pole myself when I was younger, I tend to take any pecking order establishment personally. I can tell by the amount of accumulated alpaca spit below his ear that poor little Joey here is getting more than his fair share of pecking. So much so, that he is also a little underweight. Picking on a special needs kid brings out a whole new kind of wrath in me.


I am pulling him aside and giving him extra special meals, which is resulting in glares from the peanut gallery. I had to explain that if they would have just left the poor boy alone, they wouldn’t have this problem.


And, had they not been such jerks, they maybe could have kept certain parts of their anatomy, too. But no. If I have anything to do with it, Frankie will be singing a higher tune by the end of the month.


Little Joey seems to be taking it in stride though. “Don’t worry about me, someday they’ll be old and feeble. What comes around goes around. I can wait.” 


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Meanwhile, Back in Frog Holler…


The ravine behind the house is coming to life. After sitting dormant all winter it is, once again, transforming itself into the wildlife equivalent of a singles bar. If you listen closely enough, over the sound of the courting frogs, I swear you can hear Marvin Gaye playing softly in the background.


I've been really tryin , baby
Tryin to hold back these feelings for so long
And if you feel, like I feel baby
Come on, oh come on,

Let's get it on
Lets get it on
Let's get it on
Let's get it on

We're all sensitive people
With so much love to give, understand me sugar
Since we got to be
Lets say, I love you

There's nothin wrong with me
Lovin you--- And givin yourself to me can never be wrong
If the love is true

Don't you know how sweet and wonderful, life can be
I'm askin you baby, to get it on with me
I aint gonna worry, I aint gonna push
So come on, come on, come on, come on baby
Stop beatin round the bush....

Let's get it on
Let's get it on
Let's get it on
Let's get it on

So can you picture some poor frog hanging out around the pond, approaching the ladies with, “Hey baby, you come here often?”  The girl frog looks him over and thinks to herself, “I waited a whole year for this?”

I can. That’s why I don’t need television.