Monday, October 24, 2011


The very spring and root of honesty and virtue lie in good education.

Greek biographer & moralist (46 AD - 120 AD)

That's all I have for today.......

Toodles for now

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fable of the Porcupine

Have you

Ever seen a baby porcupine?

Fable of the


It was the coldest winter ever.  Many animals died because of the cold.
The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and
Protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.
After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.
Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close
Relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities.

Hello all,
I thought this little story was wonderful and a gentle reminder to myself and others of our capacity to accept the differences that make us all individuals.   Some folks like to use their blogs as daggers, which is a real shame, it only creates hard feelings and drama and does nothing to create an atmosphere of cooperation.   When feelings are hurt, it stops  productive conversations, it simply becomes negative energy.   
I decided long ago that my blog would not fall into the trap of being negative and a place to crucify others, does that make me a better person?  Not really, it just means I want positive things around me, and I don't get any pleasure from hurting others, so I made a decision that helps me avoid negativity.   
I get great pleasure from making people smile and if you've ever met me in person, you'd know that I am a upbeat, smarty pants that loves to make people laugh.  I get zero pleasure from confrontation, but if I am confronted by someone and I am clearly wrong, I will say I am wrong and apologize.    I have a temper, and on occasion, it rules the day.........less now than when I was 20, but it still has the power to make me say things I regret.  The difference between my 20 yr old self and my (let's just say "older") grown up self is that I take a deep breath and think about what I'm going to say.  (99% of the time)  
I guess I just thought this was a great little story........and it caused me to think about a few things that are going on in my life right now, so I thought I'd share it.  

Have a great weekend everyone!!!  5 (ish) months until new lambs!!! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Weird things make me happy

It can be said that that I am not normal.....I wish I could say that there isn't some truth to that statement.  For the most part, I am perfectly happy with not being a "normal" girl, but once in a while I wish I were a bit more girly, but that is not who I am, and that's ok too.
For example, one of my birthday gifts was a Hereford time I received a wheel barrow for a Mother's day present and for the most part, I'm not a "gotta have flowers" kinda gal.  Simple things make me happy.
So you can probably understand how this next addition to our place has me positively giddy with excitement.......
I uploaded this file 12 times.......I rotated the picture in every program I have installed on my computer and it still loads so that it has to be viewed laying, sorry, but I just can't seem to get this photo to load properly and I'm going to give up and just post the darned thing.  I think you get the idea here, it's a new fence and it's already been a huge asset to our place.  Now, if I can just get that addition on the shed.

This is a lace shawl made entirely of Cormo that has been spun and knit by Betty Garpow, and it's stunning.   Betty is such a talented spinner and knitter, and she was kind enough to bring along a few projects for all of us to see.  I can only dream of spinning and knitting at the level that Betty has achieved.  
Closeup of the front of the shawl

Toodles for now.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sheep Shuffle: Fall 2011

Garrett and I got up early on Saturday morning and headed to Beloit to meet Lori in order to transport 4 sheep to Cyndee Wolfe, who was going to be meeting us north of South Bend, IN.  Our timing was perfect and we pulled into the truck stop/sheep switching station, parked the truck and walked to the back to find the tailgate had popped open on the way.  HOLY COW!!!  Panic attack.  There were 2 rams (tied with halters) staring at us and one little ewe in the background pecking around them.  We were freaked out.
We got the sheep from Lori loaded and we were off again...............
ON the road again.........

2nd stop...South Bend, IN to deliver sheep to Cyndee from Lori
 Then we got to the second truck stop/sheep transfer site and got Cyndee's sheep loaded without incident.

Seriously???  Fruit acres??..........this amused me for some reason.
Who was the genius that named this place?

Hmmmm, I can't seem to find Michigan on this atlas.  

Yep, that's sheep alright. (arrival at Stephen's)

Three Amigos
 Here's a shot of the 3 of us on Saturday morning before hitting the road for home.   I will post more people shots in another post, so next....... my new girls...................

3 new ewes.......L to R: Maura, Catherine and Hermoine (back in Monroe, WI)



G & I co-own this little guy.  He is yet to be named...........Maybe Nessie!!!  LOL

The gang at the Grill House.   (just noticed the bunny ears G, sorry)  Grin!!!

Stay tuned..............

That which angers us, controls us.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I need a loving home

Chandler is SOLD!!!! Thank you Erin~
Chandler needs a loving home where his silky soft fleece can give someone years of joy.
He is a lovely moorit boy and is THE friendliest boy on our place, so much so that I can't possibly ship him to "you know where".
He has very small scurs that have never amounted to much and one of the sweetest personalities of any sheep I've ever owned.  I'd be willing to let someone have him pretty reasonably if they'd give him a good home.  
Chandler is a Sheltering Pines Ceylon x Sheltering Pines Bug twin.  His fleece is awesome and would be a wonderful addition to anyone's fiber/pet flock. 
Contact me via email:

Friday, October 07, 2011

My new ram

I never rarely go to garage sales any longer.  After all, don't I have enough crap treasures in my own home, do I really need to go buy more? Now you will see why I can't drive around town unattended, I end up bringing home more "stuff".  
I rarely find anything sheep related that is older and unique....But once in a while.........I hit the jackpot and this is one of those times.
This little antique pottery piece cost me a whopping $7.50 and I love it.
It's about 7" long and 7" high and approx. 4 1/2" wide.  It's like a mini soup tureen.  
Can anyone tell me what this might have been used for originally?  I have a hard time believing it was a soup tureen, it's pretty small.   

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Corn or carrot!!!???

This past weekend was very productive for me.........I got a number of items checked off my "to do" list and felt pretty good about myself, for about 1 1/2 days. The reality of the situation is that is just the tip of the iceberg......But I am going to bask in the glow of my completed tasks for a bit longer and hope I can get more done this coming weekend.  Cross your fingers for me, I not a spring chicken any longer.  
Finally got my onions and garlic dug ...then

~I got some herbs cut and drying~
We had a few left over carrots that I totally forgot about and guess what???  They are huge!  :)
**please note that that ear of corn is a normal size for corn!!**
Fortunately for us, they are still tender and tasty, I could not believe my luck.
And, no, we do not have a nuclear waste dump nearby.

This was full............but then I turned them into........
Thank you Donna~~~~ for the apples


Grape Jelly, Apples and Salsa

That which angers us, controls us.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Campaign Statement

Kelly K Bartels. OK Acres Shetlands
Monroe, WI . Flock 1774
I'd like to introduce myself; my name is Kelly Bartels from Monroe, WI.  My husband, my son, and I moved to our present 25 acre farm in 2000 with my 2 horses and one dog.   We acquired our first Shetland ram in 2004 from our friends that were moving to Arizona who couldn't take their sheep with them.  It only took
a short period of time for us to realize that this hardy, compact little sheep was something we wanted to preserve and so began our search for some ewes and the start of OK Acres Shetlands.
My real interest in preservation began a couple years later when I discovered that there were more than one type of Shetland fleece.  My first trip to a purebred Shetland show was an eye opener for me when I put my hands on some of the softest Shetland fiber that I have ever felt.  I came home from that show determined to do more research and find out as much as I could about the history of these wonderful sheep.  I found very little at first, there are so many places to look and the information is sometimes very dry and clinical, but the things I found got me even more excited to look further.  I found all the forums, got more links to research, met some helpful breeders, and more data just kept becoming available.  If elected to the board, I would
like to see this information and research put in one place for ease of access for NASSA members and their education.  My current participation on the NASSA Education Committee has allowed me to see the placement of historical information on the NASSA website move forward a bit more, and I think it can be an ongoing project that adds items as they become available.  I feel that the membership can benefit from reading all of the verified historical data in its entirety.

My primary reason for running for the board stems from my increased interest in preserving and promoting Shetlands at fiber events and within the fiber community.  I'd like to help this organization move past some of the past turmoil so that real progress can be made moving forward with some important projects, such as education and promotion of the wonderful fleece products that our sheep can offer the fi ber community.    All Shetland fleece has its ideal use.  We need to educate spinners and knitters so that they become more informed about what can be done with Shetland wool thereby promoting and preserving the Shetland breed, the primary purpose of NASSA.
One of my concerns that I'd like to address, if elected, deals with making sure our members have access to what the board does in a timely manner.    Details of discussions that aren't deemed confidential due to a personal matters, should be available to the general membership quickly and in detail.   NASSA belongs to its members, and I will always make sure to approach any matter before the board with that in mind.

I have experience in several areas that helps my understanding of board business.  I currently am involved in our county 4-H sheep show, I grew up showing dairy cattle in 4-H, have raised and shown Modena pigeons extensively,  I  am currently a member of Midwest Shetland Sheep Breeders Association, serve on the show committee for the 2011 MSSBA Shetland show, and am a member of Argylian Society of Knitters.
I am currently a board members for the Midwest Shetland Sheep Breeders Association and a member of the Green County Sheep Producers.

If elected to the NASSA board, I promise to always be open, honest and treat all members with respect.
Thank you for your consideration.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Announcement: I'm running for the NASSA board

My husband, Mike, me and my son, Tyler

I thought I'd take a moment to let all my blogging friends know that I'm running for the board of NASSA.  I'd thought it would be a good idea to let you put a face to the name you see when I'm leaving remarks on your blogs.  
I won't make a lengthy campaign speech here, but I do invite anyone that has a question for me the opportunity to do so.  Please ask away!  You can email me privately if you prefer at  
I encourage everyone to take a moment to review the candidates in the newsletter and mail in your ballot.  The newsletter is posted in the "members only" section on the NASSA website right now if you want to get a jump on looking over all the candidates.  

That which angers us, controls us.

Mike and I

Mike and I
Mike and I at Nick and Emily's wedding

Raised beds & chickens coops

Raised beds & chickens coops
Can't wait for this stuff to actually be food....