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Archive for the ‘daughter’ Category

Welcome!

I wanted to take this opportunity to re-welcome all of you to my blog. How do you like the “new digs”? I think it will work out wonderfully to have both the blog and the Sheep Thrills Farm website all in one place.

I do have to say that none of this would have been possible without the magic done by my daughter, Kelly. I don’t know what I would do without her. Not only does she keep me and my computer on track, even from New Zealand, but she’s so gracious to recognize that some days, when I’m having pain issues, she sees and takes the extra time to maybe repeat those things she might have said before but have become lost in the fuzziness of my brain. She’ll never know just how much that means to me. She’s a gem, although I have to say I’m a bit biased. 🙂

Soon, everything for the blog and farm will be here, in one place and easier to keep track of. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that if you make something easy to use, it will get used…and used more often.

So…welcome, dear readers! Stop in, relax, feel free to kick back and put your feet up. We have some time before lambing craziness starts so let’s enjoy ourselves while we can.

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It has been a crazy, wonderful week here at Oleo Acres (one of the cheaper spreads)! Since my last post, I have been cleaning, anticipating, excited, frustrated, and elated, then tired. Why? Our DD and 7 month old granddaughter arrived from New Zealand this past Sunday!
At the end of last week, I also bit the bullet and bought a laptop computer. Sitting at the desk for long periods of time was just not working out – my neck and spine were not happy no matter what I sat in or where I moved the computer screen. Something had to change or I had to give up doing anything on a computer. I did quite a bit of research before getting one. Since the DD, aka The Computer Guru, was installing a home server to back up our computer(s) each night and store information, I thought it best to time my purchase with her visit and get my laptop included with the rest of the system. She has been so generous in her help with all of this. So far everything is working well.
I LOVE the laptop. I can sit anywhere I feel comfortable. As I write this I am sitting in my recliner while everyone else is watching TV. My spine and neck are so much more comfortable although I am relearning where the keys are. Thank heavens for Spellchecker.
But enough about the computer…I feel so very blessed having my daughter here. Although we keep in touch almost daily through computers and emails…and Skyping on the weekends so everyone can see each other, I miss having her closer. While we get to see how our granddaughter is growing – the new teeth that have come in or the crawling on the floor – I love seeing my daughter and her wonderful husband as well.
I am a believer in children leaving home and making their own ways in the world, but that independence comes with a price. I love seeing her “fly”. I am proud of all her accomplishments. But with that comes a few feelings of being like a rock – grounded here while she soars. It’s the way it should be, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it all the time. Kelly has grown into a wonderful woman whom I am overjoyed to be friends with. My father used to say that a parent’s first duty was to be a parent…to teach your children to be good people. Sometimes that meant being tough, but that’s the job. If you ended up being friends at the time the child became an adult, so much the better. When I watch my daughter interact with people and hear what colleagues say about her, I know I both did the best job I could and that we’ve added the dimension of “friends” to our mother/daughter relationship. Win-win.
Now I get to see Kelly in the parent role. She’s a beautiful mother. It shows in the smiles my granddaughter, Gwen, has on her face as she goes through her day, embracing all the universe has to offer. It shows in the patience Kelly has with a cranky child fighting jet lag and time zone changes when she herself is so tired from the very same reasons. It shows in the way she cuddles and kisses her daughter when she thinks no one is watching.

I am also appreciative to my son-in-law…for sharing his family with us. It’s very clear that Gwen is a “Daddy’s Girl” and misses him, even though she loves her mommy.

And I’ll bet he’s missing them just as much…


(PS – As soon as I get access to photos again on my computer, I’ll be including some photos of The Visit with Kelly & Gwen) 🙂

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Getting Bigger!

OK…I just had to share a couple of photos of Gwen and her mum, Kelly. She’s over a month old now! I have to say that computers, cameras, and all the modern technology that goes with it has been a blessing since family is so far away.
When we had Kelly we were stationed in Germany and had only each other to lean on. Kel’s got all of Ross’ family for support, of which I am so grateful.

There’s nothing like Mom’s shoulder

I can see that Gwen is growing out of the “wrinkly” stage and getting her personality in her face now. Yes. We can hardly wait to see her! Well, I know I can hardly wait to see all of them. We are in the midst of planning for a trip now as Ralph’s surgeon encouraged him to travel while he was recuperating. Speaking of my Hired-Hand-With-Benefits, he’s doing extremely well. I guess it’s true…you can’t keep a good man down….although I have to admit that I’d like to “bean” him once and a while as he gets extremely grumpy when his pain meds wear off. If this is an indicator of what retired life would be like, I think we may need separate houses. 😉

I do want to share one of my favorite photos of my DD and new GD. This was taken by my Son-In-Law, Ross, soon after Gwen was born. Mother and daughter. Both tired from Gwen’s arrival. Beautiful. (Or at least I think so.)

Mother and Child

Tomorrow we’re off to take the three remaining ram lambs from last year’s breeding season to Chino Valley for “processing”. I hate to do it, but we don’t have room for extra rams we can’t use for breeding due to genetics. And with the economy the way it is (with hay $20+/bale) we just can’t keep them. They, like a couple of their former flockmates, will serve in other ways. Some of the meat will feed us, some will be sold to restaurants and/or friends, and some may go to the community kitchen. I thank God I haven’t had to go to bed hungry, but I know there are people right now who don’t have that comfort in these hard times.
I was talking to my friend, Tina, yesterday about taking them. We were discussing this part of shepherding. She and The Shepherd have had to send some of their boys to market through the years. This is the first time we’ve had to try this route. As usual, she not only comforted me but put things back in perspective. I have given them a good life with green pastures, food, and a shepherd’s love while they were in my charge.

…Thanks, Tina.

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I’m still here! But am I ever tired! Since both my Hired Hand With Benefits and his trusty lawn tractor/snow thrower are both out of commission for the season, I have been the one to shovel, and keep shoveling, our thigh-high snow. I know we wanted a White Christmas, but geez!
I informed the Hired Hand this evening that I do not need to take “walks” lately as I am getting more exercise than I’ve had all year long. The one thing I’ve had to realize is that I have to pace myself. I have had my heart skipping beats. I believe this is due to stress, shoveling, stress, snow, stress, splitting wood, stress…and have I mentioned stress? Yes, I’m making sure I eat regular meals and have added vitamins to my regime and I have noticed it acting better already. And yes, I will indeed visit the cardiologist…I promise.
I think it’s the worry about the HH. I have had a hard time getting through to him that he can not do things he normally does, like fill up the wood bin for the evening’s fire, split kindling, or even lift heavy grocery bags. Worry aside, I have to admit that I’m not as young as I used to be either. I really don’t mind snows like this, but I need to work smarter, not harder.
The sheep seem to be fine except they can’t understand why some of them are Barn-Bound. And Skit seems to insist I come in his pen and dig his tire out of the snow. (Yeah, right…like that’s going to happen!)
The one sheep I should really thank is Ole Olafson. I arrive at the gate huffing and puffing as I refuse to shovel a path and walk through the snow instead. When I lift my head up to see, there is Ole – encrusted in snow and a look of delight on his face. He wants his kiss and hug. I get through the snow while he waits patiently. Yes, I occasionally give Mr. Ole a peck on his clean nose and a big hug. He loves it. He would live in my back pocket if he could. I used to think Colin was the Love-Bug in the crowd, but Ole has turned out to be the one who seeks out attention. And on these snowy days it’s a pleasure to see him waiting to return the hugs with sheep kisses.

There’s another thing I’m a bit worried about: My daughter is due to deliver my first granddaughter any time. Well, that is IF this kid will turn around right. She’s backwards. And she’s staying backwards no matter what they’ve done to turn her around. Apparently this kid’s going to be like her mother – except that Kelly was just impatient and wanted to get going. heeheehee My DD was scheduled for a C-Section on the 24th, but that’s now been changed to the 23rd. We’ll still keep our fingers crossed that the kid decides the 21st is OK.

So, everything is actually pretty “normal” around here. But I warn all of you east of us…get ready for this storm system now…it’s a doozy!

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First Real Snow

The other day we had our first real snow – one that stuck on the ground for more than ten minutes. The day before, all of the animals here, myself included, were restless and tempermental. Little did I know that my reason for such mind-set was I was coming down with a cold-thing that has seemed to stick around and taken my voice to some other place for hiding.

I did get out to snap a few photos of the “dusting” the trees received. I only wish it had been more in accumulation as we really need the moisture.

Above is an offering to the ewes. They absolutely love pumpkins this time of year. Each day I try to give them a treat of a pumpkin sacrificed to the sheep-gods/goddesses lest I be made to endure the wrath of the ewes for no goodies. No, my sheep are not spoiled.

I love the frosty days of this time of year. It is my most favorite time. I just wish this stupid cold will make a decision to either stay and really have it out with me, or go away. My hope is the latter.
On other notes, I have been experiencing my computer’s decline from old age. Geez…I hope this is not a portent of upcoming trends in my life! 🙂 (I plan to go unwillingly and fighting all the way!) I am still able to send and receive emails, but I have started looking at new computers instead of just replacing bits and pieces of this one. While part of me loves new gadgets and electronics, the other part of me knows full well that as soon as I buy a new computer, it will become obsolete. It’s just like driving a new car off the lot – immediate devaluation.
The big news and bonus of the week has been finding out that my DD is having a girl next month! I was sitting last night thinking of all the joys (and some pains) mine brought me. No one should ever underestimate the bond between a mother and a daughter. Ours was and is a very strong one. I can only wish the same blessing for my daughter as the blessing she brought into my life.
And no, Kel…I won’t over-do the “Pink”-thing that little girls seem to go through. But you have my word that I will, most definitely, over-do the “Sheep”-thing. There may come a day when I’m about 97 that my sheep may just need a new shepherdess. 🙂

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30 Years Ago Today…

…my life changed completely. And for the better. Thirty years ago today my daughter was born!

I don’t think anyone really knows or understands parents until you become a parent yourself. I never knew what it meant to have the instinct to love, protect and nurture another individual until I became a mother. Oh, I don’t mean to discount being a wife or having a wonderful relationship with a husband at all. There’s just something about being a parent that makes you reach a bit further into yourself.

And today, my Darling Daughter is 30! Happy Birthday, Kelly! Both Dad and I sure wish we could be there with you to celebrate this event in your life. We’ll just have to celebrate when we are there in December. (Boy, we’ll have a lot to celebrate then, won’t we?)

I am so very glad to have you in my life. It wouldn’t have been as happy, trying, exciting, educational, and blessed without you! Happy Birthday, Sweetie! I love you more than you will ever know.
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