Hot off My Needles

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I found this pattern at a yarn store in North Carolina. It is a long tube made up of two different weights of wool. You twist the top and pull it over itself creating a double layered hat. It can also be used as a neck warmer or face mask and neck warmer. This one is my sons.

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Maternity Leave is so Hard

With the upcoming litter in a few days, I have placed Jipsey on mandatory maternity leave. We worked calves and one jumped her and landed on her leg. I decided that was too close. So she is staying home now.

She is not taking it very well. A working dog does not enjoy seeing others move cows or load up to go work.

This is her laying on the bed watching the other dogs move calves away from the house. She moved cows the day after she had pups last time. I’m sure she will be ready to go just as soon.

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Down the Road We Went

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Every fall I pack my bags and head home to Tennessee to visit my parents and the rest of my family. You see I am the only one in several generations to move more than an hour away. I moved across the country. Which might as well be across the world to my family. However in the fall I go home ALONE! You may think well that’s weird, but I leave my kids, the fabulous grandkids at home to attend school and allow them and their busy schedules to mix with my husband. It is a lovely experience for them trust me. I on the other hand get to spend uninterrupted time with my mom and dad. It is fabulous.

Well mom and I have become quite the knitters. She picked up her needles after close to a 50 year hiatus last November on our girls trip and I started this past July. She is a little deeper into it than me mostly because she lives so close to yarn stores and knitting classes that she is always doing something. For me Ravelry and You Tube are my closest friends.

Now to say we are excited about yarn is an understatement. We love it like a baby seeing the bottle headed his way. The excitement that emerges right when we walk into a new yarn store, is like nothing you can compare. The rush of colors and textures. Well it’s enough to cause at least small heart palpitations! It is just so fun.

Now we have yarn at home. We have yarn in bags we take with us everywhere. We have projects started and projects almost finished and finished projects. However the excitement of finding a new more beautiful yarn is exhilarating.

I am beginning to think we are moving toward yarn hoarders from simple yarn collectors. Mom however is so organized I could vomit. She puts her skeins of yarn with the chosen pattern into ziplock bags so she is ready for her next project to start. I mean she buys yarn with a project in mind. Crazy! My yarn stash looks like a store. I think I could actually open one. I have no idea what I am making. I just like yarn and I buy a skein or two. The majority of my projects are hats. (Well we live in Wyoming on a ranch. We work outside everyday. The kids have recess at school unless it is below zero, so a multitude of hats, scarfs, and cowls is essential. Well I can justify it anyway.) With making hats I only need one skein, so I’m okay with my stash. If I start making big things well I will be in trouble, but for now I’m good. I can usually find a fun hat pattern and then look for the yarn in my ever growing plethora of spun wool. I love wool. It is so soft and warm and I love sheep. Therefore I love sheep ranchers and I need to support them and buy more wool! Wow see how that all just worked out. I should buy some wool yarn today.

Well if you are a yarn shopper as I am. You have heard of a yarn crawl. Yes, YARN CRAWL! It is a fabulous little idea where yarn stores team up at certain times if the year and give away prizes. You travel to each store on the list collecting a stamp from each one and your name goes in for drawings. Sound Fun? Well it is! Wish we had one in Wyoming. I would do it like every month! I would be so broke I would have to go work for the sheep ranchers so I could buy more. Anyway when I went home it was already over.

Mom and I cleared up our disappointment like big girls and did what only grown ups do. We made our own! That’s right. We traveled all around East Tennessee and western North Carolina visiting so many yarn stores. We had a blast. I drove and mom finished so many of her projects I almost demanded a switch. But, she does have more projects started and I hate unfinished projects. I will say we saw some of the best stores ever and met some of the nicest people.

My mom works midnights at a hospital, so you can imagine that when she is off work she doesn’t exactly go to bed early. After a long day of driving and shopping, we would come home, unload our purchases and knit! Yes knit! I spent more time on Ravelry than I knitted, but it was productive. We would knit until around 2 or 3 am and then turn in. My dad would also stay up reloading bullets. He was our supper in the middle of the night guy. It had been years since I had Taco Bell at midnight.

My trip came to an end and I returned to ranch life and my knitting has slowed down due to cattle work. Mom however has taken several more classes and finished a few more projects. Next time I think we should hire a driver so we can both knit as we travel. That would is a splendid idea and down the road we would go just as happy as can be
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We are Artists! Well maybe.

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I have been envious of so many people that have been going to Casper to the Artisian Alley and doing a paint class. I signed the kids and I up and away we went. It was such fun. They walked us through step by step the entire time listening to great music. You could even enjoy a glass of wine while you’re painting.

We are already signed up again for next months family painting. If you have one of these studios in your area I Highly recommend that you go.

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Well It Happens!

I was careful. I mean careful.  When hunting season rolled around I made sure to keep them separated.  I didn’t want an accident or to have a huge problem again.  I really am not wanting to repeat the spring.  On the last day, of the last group of hunters. It happened. Yes, I let Jipsey out side and put Joe into the storage room of our basement. (Did I mention that they have the bar type door handles that you just have to push down to open? Well they do and Joe can open them!) I put Jipsey back upstairs, closed the door to the basement and headed over to cook cinnamon rolls for the hunters.

What a great day. The guys all left. They were a great group of hunters from Ohio. Mark and JJ were cleaning up the blinds and I headed back home to. . .   Yep you guessed it and dog with a wet behind.  I didn’t see them together. I didn’t see the deed. However I guessed my future was grim.  Oh how could I do this.

Well we are now about 2 weeks away from welcoming Jipsey’s 2nd litter of puppies. I know I am glutton for punishment. I am so praying, and praying that this litter is downsized from the 11 she produced in March.  I thought of having her fixed right after it happened. However when I emailed the owners of the puppies they all seemed so happy with them.  There were a few that have a little hyperness to them, but alas they are 7 months old.  Most are working cattle or sheep and learning quickly the rules of their ranches.

I have the pool already set up in the back room and we are in a tizzy of waiting. Jipsey is busy sleeping and eating. She has been quite upset the last couple of days because I put her on mandatory maternity leave from working cattle.  Last week while working calves, one jumped over her and landed on her back leg.  I was so scared it was going to hit right on her stomach. Therefore she is done until after the pups are born.  She doesn’t like it and makes sure that we know she doesn’t like it.

These pups will be ready to go at Christmas and this time we are keeping one. YEAH!!! I can’t wait.  The next time she comes into heat I will listen and put one in the horse trailer to stay until it is over.  But there is no going back and they will be here soon. I think I am a little calmer and Jipsey is definitely a little calmer.

Watch for pictures soon.

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