Archive for the ‘progress’ Category

As you have noticed, I have been spending time doing all sorts of things this Summer – things other than sitting at a computer writing.
We have had family visits from New Zealand, growing lambs, book reading, learning to knit socks, gardening, shepherdess-ing, and trying to keep cool in our hotter-than-usual summer, and fighting the reoccurring sinus-infection-from-hell.
One of the problems I have been having is accessing my photos to be able to post to this blog or even to access lamb photos to place on my sales list. I have been using Picasa, which I loved until I updated it and now can’t find anything…or I have multiple files showing up.
It’s frustrating and, in short, I hate it. Photos I have downloaded from my camera disappear. I’m not sure this is Picasa’s fault, or someone tinkering in my photos when they shouldn’t be. All our home computers share a home server unit and I suspect things are going on I have no inkling of.
Yup. Frustrating. Period. I had just taken lamb-for-sale photos, downloaded them into Picasa with the intent of getting them online as a few of you have expressed wanting lambs from me this year. I cannot find them anywhere at all. I will have to really give thought to a replacement program and educate myself as to how to remove Picasa while retaining the photographs I do have on that program to a safe place. It’s just been very aggravating.
Other than the “Photo Conundrum”, the summer is going by quickly here. We had Val & Hugo, our son-in-law’s parents, visit us and included them in a trip to Oregon and Black Sheep Gathering. Other than car problems, it was a nice trip. (I did get sick on the way home…) Oregon was beautiful! We managed to stop at Crater Lake before heading cross-country to Eugene.
Black Sheep Gathering was wonderful! I got to visit with friends as well as see more Shetland sheep from other breeders, look at vendors’ wares in the vendor tents, and I even got to help show my friend, Lois’, sheep in the show ring. I had a ball! That said, I found out I don’t get up and down in a show ring that well any longer, but it was a ball nonetheless. 🙂
It’s finally time to get some lambs moved into others’ flocks. Every one of them is a keeper, but that is a luxury a person on a small farm can’t afford, due to space availability. I have picked out three or four to keep in my ewe flock as replacements for their mums. Hard decisions, but decisions nonetheless.
I promise…I will try to write more as we start into Fall. And I do hope to have some photos to go with the entries as soon as I can find them….

wherever it is they are hiding…

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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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I Guess…

…it just doesn’t take much to entertain me anymore. Who would have thought I would be calling a new washing machine “sexy” and “exciting”? But, here I am, new washer freshly installed in the basement, and excited about the new technology. My poor dryer pales by comparison. I caught myself saying to Hizzoner, my DH, that I liked the washer so much I had wished we could have also gotten the dryer.
It all started about two weeks ago, just as Lois and Brook were making their way around the sites in Northern Arizona and staying at “Chez Sheep Thrills”, I had one of those days. You know the ones…things happen in spades. Well, that day both the washing machine and the vacuum cleaner decided to up and die. Usually we are people who fix things rather than replace them, but I guess the deck was just stacked against us this time.
When I called the repair shop for appliances, the technician remembered our POS washer. He listened to my description knowing exactly what had happened – it was the transmission. And it would cost no less than $400.00 to replace it. No brainer. After all the problems I had with that machine, fixing it would have been throwing good money after bad. Better to put that amount towards a new one.
Then, the work really began! I checked advertisements, consumer sites, and feedback from other people as well as store after store for pricing information. I had thought of getting a new top-loading washing machine again. You know the ones…just like all the other ones I have known throughout my life starting with my mother’s old washer with the wringer rollers on top. Then it hit me…why not take this opportunity to look into more efficient front loaders?
The only drawback I saw with the front loader (other than the expense) was how would I ever wash fleece again. Well, duh! Why not like I always did before I had a washer – in the sink, tub or laundry tub. Or I could send them off to be processed. Here in Arizona water is at a premium so sometimes it’s actually cheaper to send the fleeces out anyway. The more I read and researched, the more it made sense.
So, front loader it was and after even more research on brands and cleaning abilities of different models, I settled on an LG Steam Washer. I had heard and read that some front loaders had a reputation of not getting clothes very clean, but this particular LG model has a great record for clean clothes and efficiency as well as ease of use and longevity. The 10-year warranty on the motor wasn’t a bad thing either. 🙂 After running some heavy loads through it today to see what it could really do with farm clothes and Hizzoner’s grubby “I’ve-been-tinkering-with-the-’53 Merc” workclothes, I have to say I’m very impressed. Clean clothes without massive amounts of water.
Here she is:

And here’s a close-up of the console. No more horrid buzzers for me. This one sings a nice melody, chiming cheerfully as the buttons are pushed.

So, maybe it IS true…old dogs can indeed learn new tricks. Or maybe at least with the aid of modern technology. I will see if this really does save on both water and energy.

Now, on to the vacuum!

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