Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Short week

Took off some much needed time from work on Friday and again on Monday of this week.  I wish I could say I'm refreshed, but we kept so busy doing stuff, that would be an exaggeration. Did some swimming on Friday, then supper that night, rode the Harley all day on Saturday, ran to Byron, IL on Sunday to see my dad for father's day, then went to a drive in movie with Mike's brothers and families that night.  Monday, got both the llamas sheared, trimmed, vaccinated and wormed.  Another job to check off the list.  The farrier comes tonight to reset my foundered mare.   See why I'm so tired? 
Wish I could say I don't love all the activity, but once in a while, it drags me down and I have to slow a bit.  My good friend, Kristi, from Argyle Fiber Mill came to help us with the llamas.  Kristi and her husband generously gave us about 2 hrs of their very busy lives to get our llamas done.  I have such great friends in my life, and feel truly blessed to have so many wonderful folks around me. 
The new sheep from Karen and Meghan Valley and Stephen Rouse are doing very well in their new home and I'm hoping to mix them with the rest of the herd sometime this coming weekend.  I see them looking longingly in the direction of the big pasture.  The nasty storms that moved through our area this week didn't seem to both the new residents in the least, they are such a calm little group. 
Moving the pullets into the big coop with the seasoned layers this week too.  I'm hoping we don't have too many feathers ruffled with the introduction of new girls.  I've always taken great pains to purchase chickens that are mild tempered to avoid that very problem.  Crossing my fingers. 
More storms coming to our area this week, so I'm sure none of the equestrian trails will be open again this weekend.  I might have to haul my horse several hundred miles to find a park with trails that are dry.  Very frustrating to have horses and the trailer all set up for riding and camping and not be able to utilize any of it.  At least it's not snow!
Tata for now

Monday, June 14, 2010

New sheep are here!!!!

It's always very exciting to get new sheep added to your herd, but it's made even more exciting when you know you are going to get quality sheep.
I bought my first 2 ewes from Karen and Meghan last summer and was so happy with the overall quality, that I got on their sale list for this year to take advantage of their wonderful fleece genetics.  As an added bonus, I got to purchase a very nice ewe from Stephen Rouse also.  This was my first time meeting Stephen and I am only sad that I had so little time to pick the brains of both Karen of Stephen before we had to hit the road back to Monroe, WI.  Stephen is one of those guys that you just like instantly and I know he has vast stores of knowledge that I could have tapped into if I had the time to sit and visit.  
After 12 hours of being on the road Saturday, we got 5 very confused sheep home to their new pasture.  Welcome to V Creek Sarah, a grey katmoget, her black 2010 ewe lamb,  Wintertime Solace,  Wintertime Garnet (moorit), and Sheltering Pines Bug, a moorit sokket smirslet from Meghan's flock,  and Sheltering Pines Ceylon, a moorit, flecket smirslet from Stephen's flock.  I'm especially anxious to see what Bug (09 Ram), can do for my flock, his lamb and yearling microns were great. 
Sheltrgpines Bug(Moorit spotted scurred NASSA Shetland yearling ram)--18.9 AFD, 3.4 SD, 17.8 CV, 99.9 CF.I think I'm going to go nuts waiting for next year's lamb crop!  (grin)
Who knows, maybe I'll even try my hand at showing a few next year!
Ta ta for now

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Micron Tests

Finally.....got the micron samples gathered up, bagged and labeled.  Off to Colorado with them, whew.  As I'm patting myself on the back later in the day, I suddenly realize, I didn't include my check with the samples.  Aaarrgghh, will my absentmindedness never end?  Just when I think I might be on a roll, reality rears it's ugly head, but my dear, sweet husband just reminds me that I have so many things going on that I couldn't possibly remember every detail.  And, THAT, is why we get along so well.  Ok, so maybe that's not the only reason, he does put up with my endless parade of animals on the place, feeds them, drags me around the countryside to purchase and look at them and does the majority of the manure handling.   It's not like the shetlands have money pouring into our farm, and I'm pretty sure I could get eggs up town cheaper than they are to raise, but there's just something about knowing that your food isn't full of chemicals and that the animals were treated with respect that makes it all worth it. 
Did I mention that the micron samples were from 2009?  GRIN.  Now, on to the 2010 samples! 
Heading for Stephen place this weekend to pick up a ewe and Karen Valley will be meeting me there with 4 sheep I'm purchasing from her daughter.  I am pretty excited to get to Stephen's farm and visit with someone as knowledgeable as he is regarding shetlands,  Karen has been a huge help to me as well, and I always enjoy speaking to her about fleece and sheep.
 Ta ta for now......

Friday, June 04, 2010

More lamb sales

I will have 3 more ewe lambs leaving very shortly, but am a bit sad, since I don't usually part with any lambs until July or August.  It seems as if lambing and all that it entails has become a tad bittersweet for me of late.  I love the anticipation of what the lamb crop will bring me each year, but hate parting with my favorite little ones too.  I do take comfort in knowing that the vast majority of them go to good homes, but there are always those that just are not good breeding stock and tough decisions must be made.  I've been very fortunate and have been able to find good pet homes for the majority of my lambs and sheep.  By keeping my flock small, I'm hoping to continue finding happy places for my lambs that can't be registered. 
Another busy weekend ahead for us as I'm hoping to get some fleeces skirted, help my friend shear a couple llamas and alpacas, attend a friend's wedding reception and attend a pool party on Sunday for another friends birthday.  Somewhere in there I have to comb out my angora bunnies and build them a new box to put on their cage so I can move them out of my little chicken coop.  There's hay to get home and stacked in the shed and my boss has generously given us a large shed that we are hauling to our house to house my next batch of meat chickens.
Gotta get a vacation on horseback planned soon, or the summer will be gone and we won't get to go.
Maybe someone can help me figure out how to clone myself so all this stuff gets done before the garden starts throwing produce at me. 
Hope everyone has a spectacular weekend........
Tata for now.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

New Angora bunnies

I can not believe I forgot to post pictures of our new bunnies!  Kerrin and Karin joined our little farm a couple Sundays ago, and they are so wonderful that I'm wondering why I took so long to get some.  Kathy did a fantastic job of taming them so they are just simply delightful. to be around. 
I have also realized that I don't have one single picture of my son, Tyler, on this blog.  What on earth kind of mother am I? 
Tyler is living in Whitewater, WI and is currently attending college to do "something" in the web design/business field.  He works hard and is doing the usual struggling college student thing, he's a nice young man and I'm proud of him.  Some day all this hard work will pay off for both of us.  :D

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Exhaustion reigns

Whew, what a busy weekend, starting with Friday evening as soon as we got home.  Fence had to be made in the large pasture in order to move the sheep again, so we did that until dark on Friday night.  Saturday morning came all too soon, up and out to the Green County Breakfast on the Farm at the DeVoe farm, grocery store trip, then home for more fencing, followed by a fast shower before our niece's graduation.  After graduation, grab a bite to eat, then home for more fence building until dark.  Sunday we got up early, headed to town for breakfast and then on to the Steinmann Memorial (motorcycles) ride that went up by Spring Green, WI. 
Back home at approx. 7 pm, do some chores, weed a little bit of the garden, then had a couple people over that sat and chatted until 11 pm.  Monday was a cookout for my father in law, Irv and the last of our guests left about 10 pm.  I needed to get back to work before I kill myself with all this fun I'm having.  I think we have every weekend filled until the end of summer. 
I have to head to Allegan, MI on June 12th to pick up a ewe and ewe lamb from Meghan Namaste and Karen Valley, and she has generously agreed to bring them as far as Stephen Rouse's farm so I can get the ewe I'm buying from Stephen and their sheep, all in one trip. 
I have purchased sheep in 3 different states this year, and thankfully I have a very understanding hubby. 
My new angora rabbits are simply lovely little creatures.  One is a fabulous champagne color and one is a rich, steely gray.  I can't wait to blend it with some shetland fleece or maybe even needle felt a lining in some mittens.  The added bonus is how friendly these two little wonders turned out, they just hop right up to you!
Hoping to get the new alpacas home soon and possibly even getting our llamas sheared soon, I'm kinda on a waiting list and it's been so hot here that I worry about them.  Cookie, our male llama just lays his entire head and neck in the water tank, and then looks at me as if to say, "What?  You've never seen a llama taking a dip before?" 
I've managed to sell 5 sheep already, the yearling ram, and two ewes will be going to their new home in about 3 weeks.  I will miss the ewes a lot, as they are my 2 friendliest, but I have to be strong and do what is right for the improvement of my herd.  I have to repeat it to myself in order to overcome the hurt I feel when I think I won't have them greeting me everyday.  But, I do know that it does no good to keep breeding substandard sheep, so I have to convince myself that I'm doing the right thing. 
Another busy week stretches before me, but it's Tuesday already.
Ta ta for now.

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....