Mona

Our beloved Shetland ewe Mona died today.  She was born in April 2005, the daughter of Monette and granddaughter of Babette, my all time favorite sheep.  Here she is at 2 months of age.

Mona in April 2005

Mona in April 2005

Here she is in 2007.

Mona 2007

Mona 2007

In 2006 she was bred to Jocko and in 2007 she lambed.  Here she is with her first lamb Moni who we still have.  

Mona and Moni 2007

Mona and Moni 2007

She was bred to Lewis later that year and had her second set of lambs, Josefina and Katarina, in 2008.  They were gorgeous lambs, and it was difficult selling them.

Mona with Josefina and Katarina in 2008

Mona with Josefina and Katarina in 2008

In addition to gorgeous lambs she always made lovely wool.  Below is her fleece from 2009.

Mona fleece 2009

Mona fleece 2009

Bred to Lewis again, in 2009 she had Buster and McFly.  This is a photo of Buster.  He was sold as an intact ram for breeding.

buster

This is Mona later in 2009.

Mona in 2009

Mona in 2009

Here she is sheared in March 2010.

Mona sheared in 2010

Mona sheared in 2010

One month later she lambed with Bo and Diddley, again sired by Lewis.  Both were wethered.  Bo was sold to a friend Denise and was renamed Chone.  Diddley is still with us and is our friendliest sheep.

Diddley with Mona

Diddley with Mona

In 2011 she busted into the chicken pen and got into their feed, along with other sheep and goats.  In that episode her half-brother Spike died, but she survived with veterinary treatments.  In retrospect, I think the goats had learned how to open the latch to that pen with led to this catastrophe.  We have a second latch on that pen now to prevent this from happening again.

Acidotic Mona

Acidotic Mona

She stayed in retirement from lambing but still made lovely fleeces for us each year.  Here she is after shearing in 2014 with our Gotland-Finn ewe Moll.

Mona and Moll sheared 2014

Mona and Moll sheared 2014

She remained feisty in her retirement.  Here she is fighting with Wilma with her son Diddley helping and her ancient uncle Bob staying un-involved.  

Mona and Wilma fighting in 2015

Mona and Wilma fighting in 2015

She seemed fine the last time I saw her, but I have not been out in the barn because of my crushed finger.  Tom said she had seemed mopey the last few days, but he gave her some grain which she ate well.  Yesterday she did not eat her grain and today was dead.  She seemed a little thin but not drastically so and not bloated.  Her last check up in November she was fine.  So not sure what happened to her other than winter is hard on older sheep.  Surprisingly though this has been our first sheep death this winter and I had expected more, given how old our flock is now.  But nonetheless this is a sad and somewhat unexpected loss.  I do have her 2016 fleece in the black roving we had made last year.  So I can still appreciate her with that fiber as well as with her offspring, Moni and Diddley.

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Finger Update

So it had been more than one week since I smashed my finger up.  It turns out I do not have a fracture, just arthritis on my x-ray.  But I still have a smashed finger.  I am in the splint until Monday when I get my stitches out.  I am now allowed to get it wet so I took off my splint and took a nice bath yesterday.  Out of the splint though I developed a new appreciation about how messed up my finger truly is.  I realized how swollen it still is, how tender and, most concerningly, how numb.  It is also pretty stiff.  I am not able to work and not sure when I can go back.  Here is an attempt to get a picture of the less gory side of my finger compared to my non-smashed one.

finger-update

It is hard even to take photos with a smashed finger.  I am learning just how important this finger is.  I can’t knit.  It is hard to type.  Going to the bathroom is challenging.  I tried cooking for the first time last night.  Let’s say the meatballs were not really balls.  (Probably not a good choice on my part).  I can’t go to the barnyard for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one is that I cannot get my hand into any gloves.  

So I am pretty much stuck at the house, outside of medical appointments which Tom has been driving me to.  We did have tickets to Los Lobos we bought in January so I got to see them and briefly forget my finger (except I could not clap).  I have often longed for time off for reading and knitting, but now that I have it I cannot knit and I am not reading.  I find myself really tired all the time.  But one saving grace in all of this (apart from Tom who has been amazing) is that I figured out that I can weave with this injury.  

I have wanted to make a woven cloak out of our Gotland yarn like from the Lord of the Rings for a long time.  I had found a pattern in Handwoven magazine from 2003 that I have saved.  I had already started finally warping the loom for this when I busted up my finger.  I managed, very carefully, to finish warping the loom and now I am able to weave.  

gotland-cloak

So each afternoon I have been weaving some, while catching up on Marc Maron’s podcasts.  Yesterday I was sipping some chilled Aquavit while doing this.  This has been helping a lot with my “farmhouse fever”.  Above is a photo in natural light and below with a lamp to try to show the pattern.  Wish me luck with my recovery.

gotland-cloak-lit

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February Mountain Trip

So we prepared for 4 long days and went to the mountains to snowmobile last weekend.  The last portion of the journey was treacherous with slush on the road.  The parking lot was really slushy, and we got stuck in it with the snowmobile trailer kattywompus.  We unloaded the snowmobiles, and it was my bright idea to manually move the unloaded snowmobile trailer out of the way.  While we were pulling and pushing the trailer into place, I got my index finger of my right hand caught between the trailer and a parked snowmobile.  I was wearing snowmobile gloves which are padded.  I knew it hurt but did not think I did any real damage.  Tom told me to pull the glove off, and I started dripping blood all over the snow.  Tom found a somewhat clean rag for me and told me we are going to the hospital.  He got the truck unstuck, and we headed quickly back down the road to town.

He had just set up bluetooth in his new truck so asked his phone through this for directions to the hospital in Ellensburg.  It gave directions for “kit”-“itis” (like inflammation of a kitten).  We were briefly confused, but then realized she was trying to say Kittitas so headed there.  Tom dropped me off at the ER door while he found parking.  I went to registration and just as I got there I got woozy and had to sit down.  Tom arrived and helped with the registration stuff, and they quickly got me back to a triage room.  My vitals were OK so they got a room cleaned and moved me. X-rays were done quickly.  Then I meet Chris, the P.A. there.  I had an L-shaped fracture into the lower finger knuckle and a 3.5 cm semi-circular laceration at the tip.  I had no idea I had smashed my whole finger.  I thought it was just the tip.  Chris said if it was not for my glove I could have lost my finger (Thanks Rick for giving me that glove so many years ago).  Chris put in a nerve block which hurt way worse than smashing my finger did and then cleaned up my finger.  I even said the F word which Chris thought was justified.  I got 12 stitches, but it seems unlikely all the skin is going to survive.  I got a long finger splint, a bandage and prescriptions for hydrocodone and antibiotics.  

We then went to Fred Meyer’s to get my meds.  I hit up the magazine section to find entertainment for myself for the long weekend.  We got the prescriptions and headed back to offending parking lot.

Now Chris said I could still go to the mountains.  I had a nerve block that was going to last 6 hours, and a snowmobile handle does not need your index finger.  I could go to the trailer and be in pain there or head home and be in pain at home.  I opted for the trailer as there were less chores staring at me and a prettier view.  So up to the mountain Boles trailer we went.

As I still had the nerve block working, I managed to clean the Boles and unload all the stuff into it while Tom brought things up in the snowmobile trailer.  Here is my lovely hand toward the end of this eventful day.

smashed-finger

We did have items to sustain us.  We had chocolate and wine!  

chocolate-and-wine

I was right about the views.  Here is the view shortly after the hand photo.

view-from-boles

 

sunsetsunset_2

So I spent the weekend taking Vicodin and sleeping in little spurts day and night, reading magazines when I was awake enough.  Tom and my dad went snowmobiling and cooked and cleaned too.  On Sunday, Tom’s fuel pump gave out on him, and it was a slow ordeal getting him and his machine down off the mountain.  While I was waiting for him, these deer approached the Boles.

deer2

We made it home yesterday and I am trying to be good.  I slept a fair amount last night, am taking a little less pain meds, and am struggling with typing left-handed.  

WARNING- somewhat gory photo below.

So here is my finger 3 days later.  Pretty huh?

finger

Tom didn’t want me take a photo of it in the ER- thought it was too bloody.  

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