Monday, May 9, 2011

Overheard From the Trailer

I couldn't tweet from the road. Instead, I bombarded my mother and a few choice friends with some random texts. So instead of Texts from Last Night, I bring you: Texts Overheard From the Trailer. It was a fun way to keep folks informed of our progress on the road and to keep me occupied.

Friday, May 6

12:16 p.m. Edward, Collins, Knightly, Churchill and Weston say Haay from West Virginia.

12:32 p.m. The sheep ride more quietly than the kids.Just outside Charleston W.VA. with just a hint of rain.

2:20 p.m. One friend offers to be Churchill's godmother, but then questions if she has to be Catholic. I tell her they've waived that requirement since he's a sheep.

4:08 p.m. "Hold onto your woollies! We're in Kentucky! Weston thinks we can find some good varieties of hay here -- you know horses can be kind of uppity about their hay." -- Weston

7:27 p.m.  In a sing-songy voice "Sweet home Indiana .... What? We're going to Iowa?! Oh." -- Collins

Saturday, May 6

6:21 a.m. "Ewww Knightly you are so gross. you POOPED in the water bucket. It's good Shepherd Mariah loves us. She fixed it." -- Weston.

6:32 a.m. "Illinois? All I know is that I'm Illanoid with you guys hovering over me. Give me a fleece." -- Churchill. Churchill was the lone sheep facing the door of the trailer, the rest of them were packing him in the corner.

9:42 a.m. (and just inside the Iowa border) "We are where? Ioway?!? Is that on the way to the Maryland Sheep and Wool?" -- Edward.

10:23 a.m. "Dudes, I figured out where Iowa is. It's north of the Mason-Dixon Line. We're northern sheep, like almost to Minnesota, north" -- Churchill
"Good thing I brought my wool coat." -- Knightly

11:19 a.m. "We were just passed by the Dudes from American Pickers. We tried to Kinnear them, but we don't have opposable thumbs to take a picture." -- The sheep on I-380 near Iowa City.

1:54 p.m. "What do you see Edward?" -- Collins
"Nothing Collins. I see nothing. Shepherd Mariah wasn't lying when she said it's flat." -- Edward

4:20 p.m. "Really, I expected more knitters at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. They've got great grass though." -- Knightly

The Fab Five in the Fleece

I was going to give you a nice long post, with pictures. Then I realilzed the photos I saved on my thumbdrive didn't include all of the photos I wanted to add. In Lieu of that, I give you their offical Iowa portaits.

Hi! We like it in Iowa. The brome and big blue stem are so tasty.



Weston, the only ewe.




Collins. He's a little trickster, and the most skittish of the group.

Churchill. Churchill and Collins are twins.

And for those of you who really care, and while you don't want to admit it, you'll look up the birth info (I know I did) here it is.
  • Weston's mom is Queen Charlotte and was born on April 28, 2010.
  • Knightly's mom is Liberty and was born on April 26, 2010.
  • Collins and Churchill's mom is Snow and was born on April 15, 2010.
  • Edward's mom is Martha and was born on April 20, 2010.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

We're home!

Knightly, Weston, Edward, Churchill and Collins are settling into their pen/sheep shed. Weston is the only girl. Collins and Churchill are twins, and Weston is the only ewe.

We're going to get them turned out to the big pasture later today or perhaps tomorrow. They are hyper vigilant, looking around observing the flat land and listening to the different birds. Apparently Iowa birds are a lot louder than the Virginia bird -- or they are just different than what the Fab Five are used to.

Over the next day or so I'll be blogging about our adventure. Watch this space for highlights from the road and "Overheard From the Trailer.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On the road again!

We've nailed down a route, for the most part. We will be leaving northwest Iowa Tuesday evening, after dropping the minions and Baby O off at Grandma's. Then we'll be heading east and southerly direction.

This is what we look like when you pass us. Please note the barrel racer. That's what sets our rig with a semi-rusty horse trailer apart from the other semi-rusted horse trailers

This is what we look like when passing you. Please note the blue silhouette of a horse and rider.
Once we leave home we'll be heading toward Highway 20, and buzzing east across Iowa. until we hit Interstate 380 and we'll follow it south and east to Iowa City and then on I 80 to Davenport. Then we'll head south on I-74 flying through Peoria and Champlain in Illinois on our way to Indianapolis, IN. Then we'll head southeast again on our way to Dayton, OH, on I-71 and then we'll ride the along to Charleston, W. VA. Then we'll head west across West Virginia and buzz through the Monogahela National Forest over Interstate 64 to Charlottesville, VA and finally to Juniper Moon Farms.That's where we'll meet the gracious Susan, Caroline the Great and the sheep.

I've made several trips to across the northern part of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and into western Pennsylvania. This is the first time I've made a trip across the middle/southern parts of these states. The only time I've been to West Virginia is when we were visiting J's relatives in Marietta, OH, and we made a wrong turn and ended up in Parkersburg. Then we spent we spent an interesting afternoon exploring the town. This will be my first trip into Virginia.

Guess who's excited about the road trip?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Minions

Life with three kids ages 5 and under is interesting, to say the least. There's never a quiet moment, nor a moment where I feel unneeded. Most times it's great. However, there is a time when all I want to do is just escape for a few hours. A few hours where I can hear myself think, have an uninterrupted conversation with my husband, and knit. The 20+hour road trip will be a most excellent opportunity to get away.

This is what I'm leaving behind.
E-minion, age 5, going on 18.
I-minion, the boy with million mile eyelashes.
Baby O, who will eliminate any threatening string cheese that comes his way.

I hope Grandma is ready. She's never had all three of them, nor for this long. They'll still head to daycare during the day so she'll have a reprieve during work hours.

Travel Knitting

With a 20+ hour road trip in T-minus 50 hours I am slowly whittling my lists in preparation for the road trip. The kids' clothes are packed. We've rounded up a couple books, a movie and a couple little toys to go to grandma's house, which is where they are staying while we're gone.

Today's tasks have included washing what seems like a million loads of laundry, putting down bedding in the sheep shed, putting a bale in the bale feeder that J devised using a few old cattle panels and a picture he saw in a catalog. J took the horse trailer to town and to wash it.

While Baby O and E-minion napped, I packed my travel knitting. There is a delicate balance to find between bringing too much and too little; and too complicated and too boring.

So this is what I settled on:
A sweater. The pattern is Pink from "Custom Knits." It's about the color of a $20 bill. I am knitting the ribbing on the bottom, and then will move to the sleeves. A nice mindless knit, really.

A secret project: All I will say the pattern is from "A Knitter's Book of Wool" and I am using a fingering weight yarn. This is virtually a new project.

Then when I'm traveling there isn't much better than a pair of socks. This is Army green yarn, and they will become Red Cross approved hand knit socks for military service personnel. These are for my little brother. He's historian who specializes in World War II and the Cold War -- specializing in the Minutemen Missile Silos that were installed in western South Dakota and Wyoming.

All of it fits nicely in my Baggu Bags from The Loopy Ewe.

My intention is to have my knitting bag next to me in the car, and work as long as I can before dark. I intend to knit as much as I can when I'm not driving.