Sunday, December 16, 2012

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How Tasty are Your Branches!

Dec. 15, time to get a Christmas tree.  I found a nice one close to the sheep pen.  The sheep were quite curious about it.  They associate me with  food and usually start bawling whenever they see me.  Sheep are generally quiet animals, but these two in particular have strong lungs and know how to use them when food is in question.

Gunnar came to the fence and started nibbling at the tips of the branches.  Not so fast, bud!

That gave me an idea.  I sawed down a small spruce and threw it over the fence.  The sheep attacked it with relish.  I guess eating hay every day gets kind of old, and spruce needles must add a little spice to their diet.  Spruce salsa?  The sheep also like pine needles during the winter.  The early French voyageurs suffered badly from scurvy, a disease caused by a Vitamin C deficiency - until they learned from the Indians how to make tea from cedar leaves.  They named the tree Arborvitae, the tree of life.  Sheep of course knew these sorts of things all along.  And we consider them dumb.

This one is ours.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pond Hockey

December 6 - Finnish Independence Day

Pond hockey at its finest.  Who needs snow when you have good ice.

Yours truly about to deke out three defenders...(Hey, I can tell it any way I like.)

The island added strategic options...

Whichever team got three goals first was the winner.  Afterward we mixed the sticks to choose new sides and did it all over again.

Jake putting a move on Johnny....

The Koivisto brothers - Carl and Mark - chased each other while the rest of us watched.  (We couldn't keep up.)

Yours truly about to drop the puck using the old behind-of-the-back-at-the-goal toss. Nothing against it in the rule book.  For matter there's nothing against anything in the rule book, for the rule book does not exist.


Johnny stealing the puck...

Pond hockey is open to all levels of talent.  When your goal is a five gallon bucket, even a rookie is likely to score.


Digging the puck out of the grass...

....breaking loose

The crowd around the goal...

After two hours of hockey, some post game refreshment - pannukakku.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Weighing Sheep - Thanksgiving 2012

Everything ready to go.

Jonathan tests the scale.  Unfortunately, right after the picture was taken, the knot slipped and the scale hit him on the head.

Daniel reties the rope.

Gunnar was a little suspicious of the proceedings and had to be coaxed with a handful of oats.

Our makeshift feedsack sling.


But all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't get Gunnar's front hooves off the ground.

Gwen holding Gunnar while we shorten the ropes.  Horned sheep are much easier to control because they come with convenient handles.

Finally, success!  Gunnar qualifies for the heavyweight series at 196 pounds!  As you can see, he's been home at mealtimes.

Baaaaah....the indignity of it all!  Nice fleece, Gunnar.

Johnny testing the ice.  Unfortunately it all melted by Thanksgiving.  No pond hockey this year.

Grandpa going to get his mail.  Not many 92 year olds ride mountain bikes.

Helga did not want to be weighed

Daniel and Gwen lifted the 2x4 from which the scale hung and we learned that sheep have plenty of traction when their front hooves find the ground.  Holding  a plank above your head when you're getting pulled sideways by a frantic sheep graphically demonstrates the instability of a high center of gravity and a long lever.

Time to shorten the harness and try again.  Helga came in at 126 pounds, Sonja 114 and  seven-month-old Vappu 110 - only 4 pounds less than her mother.  She's been home at mealtimes as well.
The table all set.

Johnny showing big bro how it's done on the pirunekeuhot.

Thanksgiving morning.  The girls getting moved to the winter pen where they were eagerly received by the boys.  That time of year...

Scrabble.  David and Deanna took the competition.

Black Friday, instant winter.  Mik and Jeni cut a little tree for their porch.

The winter war concluded with a victory for the deer.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall 2012

Maukku pointing out something to Johnny.

Eihan ne kapitaalistit tata saa.

Johnny bragging about his new broken arm.

Killin chickins.

First the scald....

George's Plucker works like magic.

You kinda get tired of pulling out chicken guts after a certain point.


The Regional XC Meet at the Kilpela Farm...

....involved some interesting weather.

We used the tractor to hang David's deer.  Although the temperature was in the 40's David had worked up a good sweat dragging the deer out of the woods and needed to remove a few layers.

David, the deer processor.  Thanks, Dave.  We're enjoying your venison very much.  Please shoot another one when you come up for rifle season.

The modern shepherd uses technology to move his flock.

Hey. that looks like good grass out there.

Go for it girls.

The annual Halloween Party - break the balloon game.  Johnny got smoked.

Snow that melts when it hits the ground,  just a reminder to get ready for the  real thing.

Moonshine.  The speck on the upper left is a star.

The weatherman predicted a sunny day, but it didn't arrive until just before sunset.