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Snowed In

We’ve had some weather here lately. Worried about the sheep last week, especially the ram lambs, who had no shelter, I tried to get them to go into the barn. But they would not go! I put treats in. I tried everything. So, that was frustrating.

So I drove the truck up the hill and go some straw bales from Gary, (“You think they might nibble on it?” he asked. “They might,” I said. “Yep. They might nibble on it some,” he said.)  I trudged out into the ram pasture with my straw bales and my tarps (they don’t co-ed anymore, not after last year’s big surprises!) and I set up a quick shelter for our little rams, out of tarps and straw bales. It was already sub-zero when I did it, so the quality left something to be desired. But, it was good enough. It worked! Everyone survived the 2-3 days of -30 degrees. Huzzah!

(Incidentally, the temperature went up fifty degrees on Friday, and it was still below freezing! I thought that was funny.)

Afterwards, the shelter I had built looked pretty shabby. The sheep had started to eat the straw supports in the center of the lean-to. I climbed in and adjusted things. I added some ropes and tie downs. Yesterday, though, I deemed it unsuitable and decided that today I would dismantle it.

 

and then,

 

a snow storm.

 

I went out to see the sheep today. Many of them had not bothered to take shelter from the snowstorm, as was evident by their snowy fleeces.

 

Silly sheep.

I counted five dumb little rams, which made my heart pound quickly, as I’m supposed to have nine dumb little rams.

 

I thought perhaps the ram shelter had collapsed on some of them.

I ran (sort of, as best I could) down to the shelter that had been looking iffy, and sure enough, it was collapsed. Were the missing sheep inside, trapped?

I could see, through a little window in the shelter, something move. I couldn’t make out what. Kind of looked like a horn, though.

Snow had taken down the middle of the lean-to. I would have taken a better picture, but I was really worried about the sheep. Did they suffocate? Were they okay? If they were in there, they were completely silent.

 

I dug and dug and pulled tarp away. It was covered with three inches of ice and a foot of snow on top of that. When I finally got it dug out- and cut away some ropes that were supposed to hold things up, but ended up getting in the way- I pulled the tarp back and discovered four healthy, annoyed little ram lambs.

Lamb Solo looks like he’s mad at me. Maybe it’s just because I feel guilty.

 

That little wood wall on the left, which was supposed to make a good wind block, also served to completely trap the four little sheep inside when the roof partially collapsed. But they did have a “window,” a.k.a. a hole in the wall- so suffocation was never a danger. Look in the upper right part of the photo, and you can see the tarp caving in because it’s so full of snow. It was a soft cave-in. I just had ropes and straw bales holding things up. Part of the problem, I think, was that those silly lambs were munching on the supports (which were made of straw)(Gary warned me).

I know. I should have read The Three Little Pigs. Never make houses out of straw, right? But my options were limited. The ground was frozen.

I fixed it all up so this won’t happen again. Tomorrow, a different adventure will come, I’m sure.

 

 

 

 

Coloring Inside the Dreams

This blog brought to you by Coloring Inside the Dreams.

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Puppy Sleep Disorder

I’ve been acting strangely after going to sleep at night. Twice now, it’s happened. I went to bed, fell asleep, and then about half an hour later, I woke up with a start, thinking I FORGOT TO TAKE CARE OF THE DOG!

I then get up and go downstairs, looking everywhere for the dog. I can’t find the dog! Where is the dog? I haven’t fed it or taken it out or anything! The poor dog!

Last night, my husband informed me that we don’t have a dog.

And after a bit of conversation, in which he asked me what the dog looked like and I couldn’t tell him, I realized he was right. We don’t have a dog.

So, I went back to bed.

The first time if happened, no one else was up, and I just suddenly realized on my own that we have no dog.

But why do I believe so completely that we  have a dog that I’ve neglected? Am I dreaming? Am I hallucinating? Is it a sleep  disorder? Is it a puppy disorder? It’s a really strong compulsion to find the dog and take care of it. While it is happening, I 100% believe we have a dog whom I have neglected.

It’s ruff.  It’s sort of impawsable to diagnose. I’m apawled.

Maybe you can teach me some tricks.

 

 

This post brought to you by blogging in 1984.

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Deep Winter Angst Quiche Recipe

 This is a recipe for when your chickens’ eggs all freeze before you get to them. Just rinse them off and stick them in the freezer. Once you have ten or so, make this recipe.

If you live in a warmer region, you aren’t allowed to make this. Joking! You can make this by just putting your raw eggs in the freezer overnight (put them in shells and all. The eggs will expand and the shells will crack.)

Ingedients

10 eggs, frozen in shells

one pre-made pie crust

4 oz feta cheese

4 oz cream cheese

8 oz broccoli and carrot chopped frozen veggie mix

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

Newman’s own mango salsa

 

Set out eggs to thaw two hours before you want to eat.

One hour before you want to eat, preheat oven to 425.

Put you veggies in a covered dish with a cup of water and microwave for five minutes.

Take out pie crust. Coat the bottom with feta cheese.

Peal your eggs. Arrange them in the crust on top of the feta.

Take your veggies out of the microwave and drain them. Pour the veggies over the raw frozen eggs, arranging them so they fit in the grooves between eggs.

Add the garlic and onion powder over everything.

Put little chunks of cream cheese all around the top. The crust should be pretty full right now.

Bake for 50 minutes.

Serve with salsa on top.

 

 

 

 

 

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

 

This post brought to you by Having a Holly Jolly Christmas (Yes, that’s me.)

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I put a heat lamp in the barn for the precious ones.

Negative a lot f

Winter came late late and cold this year. 

Initially, the cats were hanging out in the highest point in the barn.

Although their choice for perches might also have to do with this sweet dog who’s been hanging out with us this week, Cooper the Standard Poodle who doesn’t know he’s big. 

Cooper loves me. Cooper is the first dog we have pet sat who has preferred me to all other people. Cooper has very good taste.

Cooper’s real mom is out saving the world.

He loves her better than me, I bet.

Did you see the Wolf Moon?

Sheep at night under the Wolf Moon.

It was cold and beautiful. I didn’t stay up for the eclipse because it was negative infinity outside, but I hear it was beautiful.

 

 

postcards from joshua tree

 

 

Brought to you by Postcards from Joshua Tree.

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Scruffy the Possum

We’ve known for awhile that we had a possum. Zanimal named him “Scruffy.” This year has been an insane year for mice- we’ve caught about eighty in mouse traps in our house and garage. Every day, I toss the dead mice from the traps outside, and they immediately disappear, because Scruffy eats them. He’s a little cutie. Sorry- no pictures (yet).

When we aren’t watching possums eat mice, we Marohn’s peruse the Murray-McMurray chicken catalogue, where Zanimal discovered they sell miniature chickens! Oh my glob! Must have!!!! We ordered fifteen, and they come in April.

Zanimal stayed out after dark in the barn, assembling a little chicken coop for the little April chickens. (She maintains that her chickens could never live with my chickens, because hers will be small, innocent angels and mine are monstrous cannibals. She is technically correct: my chickens have killed and eaten each other, at least twice.)

She heard a rustling. Looking over, she expected to see one or two of the four barn kittens looking back at her through the chicken coop doors.

Can you see both of the kitties?

Instead, she saw a possum! And it wasn’t Scruffy, either. It was a different possum! Looking right back at her, boldly.

She ran into the house,

”THERE’s A POSSUM IN THE BARN!!”

I didn’t know what to do about that, exactly. But Zanimal and I went back out to make sure she closed everything up correctly- to make sure the possum stayed in the barn, I guess.

We went out and I heard a lot of crunching. The possum was eating the cat food! I always feed the cats in a big animal carrier, so I just slammed the door on that possum! I hurt his tail, slamming it in the door. Other than that,  he was fine. It wS just a cut. So Zanimal and I just dragged that container outside. We had to shut the barn door from the inside to latch it. I went around front and down the side of the building to let him out of the container.

I was surprised to find that Scruffy was there, waiting outside the cage. Friends, I guess? Or relatives? Scruffy reminded me of a mom bailing her kid out of jail. Or perhaps a partner in crime.  Did Scruffy have a possum getaway car waiting? I don’t know. Probably. Scruffy is a Fast and Furious type, for sure.

I opened the door of the cage to let the possum out, and it just sat there. Scruffy sat outside the cage. Neither of them moved. So, I went to get my phone to get a picture, but when I got back, Scruffy and friend were gone.

.

They’ll be back.

 

This writing brought to you by Postcards from Joshua Tree.

postcards from joshua tree

 

 

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Temperature Blanket 2019

Tulip fields in Lisse, Netherlands

This year, I don’t have a resolution so much as a little project: a temperature blanket. A temperature blanket is a blanket where the colors are based on the temperature each day where you live. I got the idea from a friend who did it last year. She did it based on where she lives, in San Francisco, so it’s basically four colors. It’s really pretty. I thought basing it on the temperature where I live would be even more colorful, though, because the temperature varies so much more here in Wisconsin. These are the colors I chose:

Temperature quilt for 2019

Take the high temperature where you live and choose color accordingly. Each day, knit one row, 365 rows make a blanket. 

100+ yellow “aged brass”

90-99 maroon “redwood”

80-89 pink “peony pink”

70-79 purple “fig”

60-69 light grey 

50-59 teal “natural blend denim”

40-49 almond

30-39 orange “pumpkin”

20-29 dark gray

10-19 winter white

0-9 marine blue

Below 0 black

I’m thinking it might look like this field of tulips in Lisse, Netherlands when I’m done.

Tulip fields in Lisse, Netherlands
Tulip fields in Lisse, Netherlands

 

It was 24 degrees today, so I did my first row in dark grey.

Row one is dark grey because the high today was 24. 364 more rows to go! I’m excited.

 

This post brought to you by my books. ❤️Tinyurl.com/shobooks

 

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This Friday evening, Make it So

Come one, come all to the Jangle Soapworks Open House at the Old School House in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, this Friday, December 7, from 4-8. With every purchase of my books or wool objects or paintings, you will get a free bumper sticker of my head (while supplies last). Ten other vendors will be selling stuff from pottery to soap, to wool rovings to cards to I don’t even know what! We also have live music this year- one of the bands is my daughter’s violin duo, “The Octolots.” Also, food. It’s basically a party where you can buy stuff.

 

 

I’m including this just because I love it:

Facebook event page here. 

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Cat Butt Blindness

My cats put their asses in my faces so much that I don’t see them anymore. Case in point: I took Hannah to the vet today to have her spayed, and the vet says that Hannah is a tom cat.

This is not the first time this has happened. Teresa was a boy, too. (Named after the great Teresa Burritt.)

What’s the name for when you see something so much, you don’t actually look anymore? Is it Cat Butt Blindness? Because that’s what I’ve got. Cat Butt Blindness.

We tried changing Teresa’s name to a more masculine, “Terri,” but I never got used to it. To this day, if anyone everyone refers to “Terri the cat,” I say, “Who? We’ve never had a cat named Terri.”

So, maybe we should change Hannah’s name now, but I don’t know if it will work. Or should we just have a tom cat named “Hannah”? I think Z named Hannah after her cousin, so maybe we could name Hannah after person-Hannah’s brother, Skyler. Other names I like:

Dreadnought

Judge John Hodgman

Roland Jones

 

What would you do?

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Happy Halloween!

Free short story for you today and tomorrow, in celebration of Halloween.

I started to write this as blog posts, but I was afraid you all might think I was going insane.

It’s a short horror story. I have it for sale, but honestly, don’t pay for it! It might not be that good. I’m not exactly a horror author. For free, though, it might be just what you are looking for. This story may be the only horror story where the first victim is a Jacob sheep. It’s like a ten minute read. I call it,

DISAPPEARING

Bwa ha ha ha ha!

Download “Disappearing” here.