Monday, August 04, 2014

Shetland Island Trip Part 6

One of the reasons we planned our trip for October was because we wished to attend the Flockbook Ram Show and Sale.  So we crossed our fingers that the weather would cooperate and I think we got fairly lucky except for the unfortunate timing of our trip over. (aka The Ferry ride from hell) 
Friday night we were invited to watch Oliver Henry judge the Shetland Fleece show at the Mart where the Show and Sale would take place the next day and we just couldn't pass it up.  Oliver has been sorting and grading Shetland fleeces on the Islands for about 50 years, so he kinda knows what he's doing by now. 
We were pretty surprised to see that the fleeces were single coats, with a few fleeces having some minor guard hairs, but nothing excessive that would create an overly long tip.  We had heard that the purebred Shetlands on the Islands had much longer fleece, and I did see some of those, but they were simply sheep ON Shetland and I have no way of knowing if they were cross bred or purebred.  The sheep at the Show and Sale, however, were all purebred Shetland sheep and were first inspected prior to entering the show.  Not all the rams passed inspection, but a large share of them did meet all the criteria for inclusion in the Flockbook.

Left to right: Suzanne Meikle, Philip Cowen deep in thought and Alan Hill watching the show on Saturday

Hamish Hunter with the white ram

Fleece show photo

Oliver's "Scoring" sheet

Best group of 3

More winners

Add caption

Moorit group of 3

This one shows how the peat makes the fleeces appear to be grey, but it does wash out.  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer sunshine..........

My lilly's are blooming now and the hibiscus is on the verge of doing the same, my favorite of my perennial flowers at our place because neither requires much care to be spectacular. 

I always thought this was such an odd flower.......Red Hot Poker???  I just don't see it. 
And last but certainly not least......the hardy Pansy
And I'll include some shots of my nephew, the one that had open heart surgery last year and is now a thriving, delightful little toddler that brings my nothing but joy when he visits.  His mom, Emily, likes to bring him to the farm and turn him lose in the sheep pasture (of coarse  we are there!!)  and he can run to his heart's content.   No worries about him going anywhere and having to be on top of him out there, there's a fence that will stop him eventually. 
Fence Monkey!!!

10 acres of pasture is a lot of ground for little legs

Emily likes to pet the sheep and Landon is easily distracted by running sheep! 
I will leave you with a shot of my baby boy, Tyler, and his girlfriend in front of their new apartment in Madison.  Ok, ok, he's not a baby, he just turned 27, but he's always going to be my baby.  :) 
Tyler and Kara in front of their new apartment

Friday, June 27, 2014

Signs around Lerwick

We sure had a lot of fun with the different signs in and around Lerwick, on the rest of the Island and even in Scotland and England.  I suppose when UK folks visit us, they are equally amused by our signage, terminology and the names we have for everything here. 
Here are just a few of the ones that "the American's" found amusing.  I think we amused our UK friends far more than their signs amused us, we are all a bit different.  (big smile)

Apparently Lerwick residents abhor littering as much as we do, but without the photo.........Dunna Chuck Bruck seems like a nice name for a large meal. 

And here's Garrett, clearly violating the sign's directive of NOT obstructing the life saving appliance. 

Actually, this one concerned me a wee bit........were we supposed to pay the machine and then display some portion of ourselves to it?  Or were we being paid to display something entirely different?  Thank heavens Susan and Suzanne were there to help us with this one. 
You will notice the exceedingly lovely Floatel in the background, it's a very large floating hotel for the oil line workers that work on the Island.  Charming, isn't it?  (it's the giant grey box on the left) 

Back to more serious things in my next post..........

Friday, May 30, 2014

Shetland Island Trip Part 5 (picutre heavy)

How we got lucky enough to have such nice weather during our 4 day stay on Shetland is beyond me, but from what everyone has told me, the rain is usually an everyday occurrence during October.  After the ferry ride from hell, I'm guessing we got a small reprieve. 

We decided to stroll about Lerwick a bit in the morning, the weather was perfect for it with us only needing long sleeves and light jackets.

Mike on the left, then Amy, Suzanne, Kate and Garrett

Suzanne and Susan in a Lerwick alley that started as steps and was a steep grade to the bottom

Some of the ships at the docks

Fresh fish and chips

Lerwick Museum

Postal "tube"  I was intrigued by the cast iron tubes used for letters. 

This entire street is a no parking zone.........I

Shetland's Biggest Department store? ????  Mercy me.

Nothing says suppertime like meat hanging in the window.

Lerwick-fish and chips place on the left

This is me, being me.  Dorky  (No super hero costume, but that doesn't stop me) 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Crack filling news

Crack definition: That period of time between the end of spring lambs and the start of summer festivities.  

Not much going on in my world, the usual bustling about from one thing to another has me rolling right along.  My post surgical restrictions are in week 4, and I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with week 6 looming on the horizon and the lifting of the restrictions. 
I had some great help from a couple of my friends on Tuesday night when we rooed 4 sheep.  Terri has helped me in past years and is a experienced veteran, but Tammy and Mike were both rooing virgins and we had a blast showing them the ropes.......and teaching them our rooing song.  What song you ask?  Roo, roo, roo your sheep gently down the lane, merrily, meerily, meerily, merrily, life is such a dream.  (sorry you asked, aren't ya?)

The highlight of my spring, aside from lambing, has been the installation of a new pasture fence!!!  That's right, the best Mother's day gift on the planet for this country gal has arrived and I am as happy as a pig in mud.  My hubby and a couple of our friends got the main pasture fence done in 2 days!!  No more escaping sheep because the electronet is shorted out, no more babies getting their ear tags caught in electronet.  

Non-sheep related news is that we worked a fund raiser this past weekend for the charitable organization, Juda Fore Fathers.   We had a beer garden and food stand at the Kutter Harley Davidson Open House, and since we are members of the Fore Father's we showed up at 9 am and worked till about 5 pm.   As usual, we met a lot of generous people that came out to support our fundraising efforts.  There we a solemn and touching flag folding ceremony done by some local veterans, as well as a living statue in honor of our service men and woman.  Both ceremonies gave me goose bumps and you could have heard a pin drop it was so quiet while these were taking place. 
The flag folding ceremony begins.  (excuse the portable toilets in the background)  

Various branches of our military are involved with the flag folding ceremony.

Living Statue
Some of the members of the Fore Father's dishing up the grub.  (my hubby, Mike, in the foreground)

Poor man's prime rib sandwich, cheddar and swiss cheese, Mike's potato chips, cole slaw and a pickle (pickle not shown) 

I'll leave you with some random shots of some of my lambs gathering at dusk to race around the field with glee........

And one of the dogs.......
Campbell, our Cardigan Corgi with the flowering crab apple and birch tree as a backdrop. 
All boys.............go figure.

Ok..............a few more lambs photos. 

Sisters.......left side is Lamba & Eriska on the right

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....