Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Changing of the guard

I know I've spoken many times on this blog of how good Keri was at her job.  She may have let me think I was the boss, but she probably knew way more about the goings-on in the field than I.  I had no idea how much I'd learn about guardian dogs until we had Keri.  While all our house dogs have been loyal and loving, it's a different kind of relationship than with a guardian dog.  I think Keri would truly have given her life for me and James and the goats.  I won't go on anymore about her as a guardian because I've probably written it all before.

Yesterday was tough.  When I went to the barn I could see she was in pain.  It was hard for her to walk and even lie down.  She couldn't get comfortable and she had no appetite.  She didn't even scold the cows when they were where she doesn't like them, in my way.  James called the vet because I knew I'd cry when I made the dreaded appointment.  They said they could take her at 5:15 so we had
all day to think about it.

Keri loved being in our station wagon, though she hardly ever got to ride in it.  It meant she had me all to herself and she didn't have to share me with the others.    So at 3:00 I picked her up from the field, helped her in the car and drove back to the house.  We sat in the driveway with the doors open for more than an hour and a half and cuddled.  She was uncomfortable but happy.  James came out and she had one of us at each end of her.  I'm pretty sure this was heaven for her.
We headed to the vet with Keri in the back seat.  Even though it was chilly we put the window down for Keri so she could stick her head out when she wanted.
As always, the vets were kind and gentle with Keri and patient with my blubbering.  It was all very peaceful.

I wondered how Rex would be this morning.  When he didn't greet me at the gate I got a bit panicky.  I was afraid he'd climbed over the fence to find Keri.  I called him and he slowly came out of the barn.  He's never done that.  He's always waiting for me.  He went back to his corner and laid back down.  He wasn't interested in his food and he was grumpy with the cows.  I've never seen him boss the cows like that; like Keri, his teacher, did.  It will be interesting to see how he takes over now.  I gave him some extra loving today and told him he was in charge now.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


I'm not up to writing an obituary for Keri tonight because there's too much to say and I'm too sad to say it.  So instead, I'll just post some wonderful memories.

Friday, April 21, 2017

My piano man

I probably shouldn't post a picture of this painting until I call it finished but I wonder if I'll ever know if it's finished.  I've been wanting to paint a picture of James' piano for a while and even had a sketch of it for a very long time before I finally dug into it.  For those of you who don't paint or draw, a grand piano is really hard to paint.  It has so many angles and descending lines, and lighting changes constantly on these angles.  I'm still awaiting comments from my real artist friends for their input so I'll probably make some more changes yet.  For now, James seems to like it and that's all that matters.  Baxter hasn't said if he approves or not.

I've been painting a lot these days and it's hard to tell if I'm getting better or not, sometimes.  I'll just keep painting because it's so much fun.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Garden gate is finished (and a lamb update)

This garden gate was supposed to be a Christmas gift for James but instead I finished it on his birthday.  It's not that it took so long to make it.  It's just that I'd work on it a little and then quit until I got inspired again.  I had stalled for a long while and then a friend who likes junk and rusty stuff as much as I do came over and helped restart me.  Here's the finished gate.  At least I think it's finished.  We can't hang it until we put supports on the post it'll be hanging from.  It's a pretty heavy gate.
The frame of it is all steel.  The sunshine in the top left is a piece of rusty steel with a rusty funnel I cut and splayed and filled with marbles.  The wires on it were a hanging basket that I removed the rim from.  The butterflies on the top right are leftover roofing copper that I cut with an acetylene torch.  The whole lower half is made from copper and of course you can see the bed spring flower on the right.  The center of it is something I found on the garage shelf.  It looks like it covered a filter or something.
If you zoom in on the sunflower you'll see a fly made out of I spark plug.  I didn't make that.  A friend gave that to me as a gift years ago.

I haven't decided whether to clear coat some of it or not.  I won't clear coat the stuff I want to get rustier.  I learned a lot while making this.  I still have another gate to build.  I have no idea what I'm going to do yet.  Hopefully something will inspire me.  It will probably also be made out of rusty things and copper because, well, I like rusty things and copper.  It might be a problem.

Take this silly bird.  Who could resist welding broken hedge trimmers, a bike chain and lawn mower blades together?  I don't even know what that rusty piece is that forms the belly.  I found it in the garage.
You know your friends know you pretty well when they find an old washing machine in their field and text you to see if you want it.  Guess what I said.
I have no idea what I'll do with it.  It's a bit too bulky to make into a gate :)

I know some of you only read my blog to see cute animals so here's your dose of cuteness for the day.
When Bobby and Petey see me or James they think we should feed them.  This is their chorus.

I had a repair project to do today and they were a big help.  They weren't the least bit afraid of the noise from a circular saw, jigsaw or compressor.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Bobby Black Sheep and Petey

We've adopted 2 sweet bottle lambs, Bobby (or Baaahby) Black Sheep and Petey.  We're keeping them in the yard closest to the house until they're off the bottle.  It makes things easier on us.  It's nice to have 2 so they can keep each other company.