Archive for March, 2007

Surviving

March 18, 2007

We are almost half-way through the run of Grease, and so far all have survived. I’m exhausted, and I’m only the mommy! But I have been there at least4 hours a day since last Sunday, helping with programs, concessions, and costumes (I’ve repaired one prom dress 3 times! Hopefully completely replacing the straps that kept breaking will be the last fix).

Last night was my chance to be in the audience and just relax and enjoy the show. It’s hard for me to do, but I think I managed ok. The kids did a great job (best show so far), but it was hard because my SigOt wasn’t able to come to the show due to his mother’s deteriorating health (he has been living with his folks for the last 2 1/2 years, helping his mom with his dad, who had a stroke about 5 years ago). He got to come home for a weekend a couple of weeks ago, but that may be the last time for a while. They just can’t get by without him, and there really isn’t any other family that can/will step up and do what he does. I know that we are doing the right thing, but it is hard, especially on him (I’m pretty self sufficient, so having him go stay with his folks was a no-brainer as far as I was concerened). I know that this is time that he will realize was a gift when his parents are gone.

While sitting in the audience at Grease I worked on my socks in progress (Don’t go very many places without either some knitting or a drop spindle and some fiber). I am working on developing a new pattern, so when they are closer to done I will post a pic or 2. I cast on a provisional cast so that I could work the feet first, then I will go back and do the legs. I tend to work both socks at the same time, so that when I am done I am truly done. I am doing the feet in a twisted stockinette, which is turning out quite pretty, though not as stretchy as regular stockinette. I want to do the legs with a leaf lace pattern. The yarn I am using is green, yellow, orange and brown, so I thought leaves would be very appropriate. I’m hoping these will be for me, but my daughter may lay claim to them. We’ll see… I’ve also been working on the sweater I have designed for my SigOt. He had been asking for a sweater for a while, but he’s a big guy, and the thought of knitting that many miles of plain stockinette was just overwhelming for me. So I devised a pattern using 24 different stitch patterns – 9 for the front, 9 for the back, and 3 each for the sleeves. I made up a heart sttich for one sleeve, since he wears his heart on his sleeve for real. It’s just a simple v-neck sweater, but it is turning out very nice, if I do say so myself. I am almost to the ends of the sleeves, but I need him to try it on for sleeve length now. I definately want to enter it in our local fairs this summer.

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Raising Sheep

March 16, 2007

In case anyone is interested, the lambs in the last post were Denzel (black lamb)  and Dmetri (CVM). I choose names alphabetically, which makes my life easier. I don’t have to pick a new theme every year, but I still have enough leeway to name babies appropriatly. And it makes it easier for me to tell what an animal was born. I have animals that came in already named, so there are a few that have names that don’t fit, but for the most part I know that anyone who’s name starts with a D was born in 2004. I’m up the H’s now, so my lambs this year are Harriett, Hermione, Hannah, Heidi, Hasna (the ewe lambs), Halsey, Heller, Horatio, Hugh, & Hubble (the ram lambs).

Raising sheep is a lot like raising children. You need to be really strict about certain behaviors. We don’t let the lambs do anything at 20 pounds that we are not willing to tolerate when they weigh 200. This is especially true of the rams. I enjoy being able to walk into my ram pen without fearing for my life, and any ram that is not willing to live with the fact that I am the boss doesn’t get to stick around no matter how beautiful he is. They can just be too dangerous. Even my daughter knows to deck the little boys if they start giving her attitude. A lamb that swings his head at you to get you to move out of the way when you are pouring grain is just steps away from hitting you for real. Not ok in my book. At about 18 months we have to re-educate a few of them. I’m sure my neighbors think I’m nuts, since I am not above chasing a teenage ram around his pen cuz he gave me an attitude. I yell, slap, stomp my feet, all sorts of things to reestablish the fact that I am queen of all I see. I try to catch them when they just start thinking they could take me. There’s a certain look they get, or they lower their head and back up a step. I’ve learned to read them pretty well, and we don’t have too many problems. My first ram was a real pain, and the kids couldn’t go in the pen at all, and I only went in if I had a stout stick (and used it on him more than once)

This doesn’t mean my animals are afraid of me. When I walk in the pen most of them cluster around to see if I brought any goodies. I can walk up to most of them and hand out nose pats or scratches, and even the most timid will come up to say hi when I sit on the edge of the water tub. I believe that, as with children, the beasties just want to know who the boss is and what the rules are. If you won’t step up, someone else does. Once the pecking order is established, there really are very few problems. The animals all know who’s at the top of the class and where they stand, and to them it is very comforting. They know who they can push around, and who they need to give ground to. When I bring in a new adult there is some tussling while that animal figures out their place in order, and then everything settles back down again. I’ve just rigged things so I am always at the top of the pile. And I think this holds true for most populations, human or animal.

Grease is the word!

March 14, 2007

2 lambs

My daughter’s High School is doing Grease for their musical this year (one of the few this year, since it is going to be on Broadway). Tonite is the final dress rehearsal, and I can hardly wait, because it means that we’re almost done.

Sometimes being a good mommy is a lot of hard work. Sunday, I spent 9 hours with the kids at their double rehearsal, doing all the costume adjustments. Monday was a light day, only 4 hours more doing the same (the last box of costumes finally came in from Toronto). Yesterday I spent 6 hours at the copier, making 1000 copies of the program (nothing like leaving things to the last second!), then another 3 hours stapling and folding. Lucky me, I get to repeat that today, since we figure we need at least 2000 copies to start. My back and arms hurt so much last noght! And in between all this fun, I still had to take care of the beasties.

The funniest thing about yesterday was how few people commented on the fact that I was sitting next to the copier knitting (of course I brought socks to work on! I’m no dummy) Only 2 people said anything, and they both made the same comment: “You must have a lot of copies to do.” They don’t know that I whip out the socks at the least provocation (even a long red light)

Well, back to the copy shop….

Hello world!

March 13, 2007

Well folks, this is my first attempt at blogging, so bear with me as I get my bearings. I’ve never been the kind of girl who faithfully kept a diary, so this is all new to me.

Who am I? I’m a sheep farmer, spinner and knitter living in beautiful central Oregon. Jobs around here tend to either be upper end (lots of doctors and lawyers semi-retire here) or minimum wage (for the rest of us). Not a lot of middle ground unfortunately. That’s where I got the title, since it is a very common saying around here. The view off my back deck encompasses a great swath of the Cascade Mountains, from Mt. Bachelor to Mt Hood.

I raise Romeldale/CVM sheep, one of the most endangered breeds in the U.S. I’ve been vice-president of the American Romeldale/CVM Association (ARCA) since it was started in 2000. For those of you not familiar with Romeldales, they are a fine wool sheep (think merino without the temperment). They come in an amazing variety of colors including the CVM, which is a variegated grey. Lots of them have spots and stripes, so it makes a very interesting yarn. Dyed a single color, it will give you a heathered yarn with a lot of variations in it without the work of blending colors.