Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hibernation is over

Turns out, I'm a bit of a baby when it comes to excessive heat.  This is no secret to anyone that knows me, but I've finally admitted it to myself.  So, when the heat and humidity finally released it's hold on our area, I cautiously  made my way to the garden and raised beds and found that I had really neglected my produce picking recently.
I picked a huge basket of Roma tomatoes, a pail of green beans, a pail of cucumbers and topped off another bucket with cherry tomatoes.  My husband, Mike, had pulled carrots the previous evening, so I got those scrubbed and cleaned.
My next project was to complete the final step of my Cravin County Pickles.  The recipe is a crock style method and gives you these wonderful, sweet, crisp bread and butter pickles.  I tried them last year for the first time and now I'm hooked.

Onions and tators: had to get them out of the ground, the wet weather was starting to rot some of them.
As I am bending over in the cucumber/squash garden, I can sense my chickens leering at me from behind the fence to the chicken yard, they can almost taste the less than perfect produce that will be sailing their way any moment.  Amid the buzz of a million mosquitoes I somehow find the courage to stay outside until I've found all the overgrown veggies hiding from me.  I did manage to rescue some moderate sized cucumbers, so they are going to the house with me, but the giants are pitched over the fence to happy, over fed chickens.  I love the way the roosters just pretend to eat and cluck happily in order for the hens to take notice and eat from the food HE'S found for them, as if to say, "The mighty hunter has returned!!!"
That's it for another action packed day at OK Acres (right), so..........
TaTa for now everyone.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Garden helper

Anna, my 2 yr old niece (well, almost 2)

And once you've worked up a sweat picking tomatoes, you gotta take a refreshing dip in the pool.

It's always so much fun to be able to have our niece and nephew at our house.  They are endlessly fascinated with the horses, chickens, geese, llamas and sheep.  John's favorite past time is to watch the sheep run when they come around, but it's not something I let him do, so he tries to pretend he's going to do something else and then walks close to the sheep to watch them scatter.  They both like to collect eggs, but neither of them understand that you can't just throw the eggs in the bucket!  We just laugh under our hands, because it's not really that big a deal that only about half of the eggs make it through their collecting efforts.  
Now that we have some garden bounty to pick, maybe we can save a few of the eggs.  
My son is 23, so it's refreshing to have the awe and wonder of a small child around our place again.  The simplest thing you do makes you seem as if you are a super hero!  And everyone needs to believe in super heroes.
Hope everyone will get some relief from the oppressive heat that's headed our way again in a day or two, keep those sheep and critters in the shade.  
TaTa for now.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


I know I'm the only one in this situation (inserting sarcasm), but here are 3 of the rams that currently have available. 
The two black rams are out of  Lil Country Velma by OK Acres Murdock and the moorit is out of Sheltering Pines Aster by OK Acres Murdock.  The moorit has scurs and they are quite small.  All three are polled carriers, single coated and have good tails and bites.  One of the black rams has an exceptionally nice tail, whereas the other one is ok, but not fantastic.   Both of the black rams have very dense fleece, the moorit is crimpy and soft, but not as dense. 

OK Acres Vaughn NASSA#W000630

                Tail shot of Vaughn

This is not the greatest picture in the world, but Victor is a pain to get near when their are strangers at our place.  NASSA # W000631

Side and tail shot of Aster's unnamed ram. 

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

My favorite time of year

My favorite time of year is quickly approaching.........Fall and time to put sheep into breeding groups.  This year, I'm particularly anxious, as all my research hours have bear fruit for me and I've managed to find some of the new blood I've been looking to add to my flock.   Patience has never been one of my strongest virtues, so waiting for spring lambs in 2011 is going to test me like no other prior year.  Could I ask for nicer rams than Bug and Tucker? I'm  not sure that I can, and hence the reason for my excitement.  And if that wasn't enough to get my blood churning, I managed to get a few lovely ewes to add to my flock too.
I'm not a competitive person, but all this excitement has me considering hitting the show ring in the near future.  Not so that I can win, but so I can get some feedback from my peers and the judge.  We all have a tendency to be a bit more bias regarding our own preferences in anything, why should sheep be any different? Some features or colors are just more appealing than others, it's that simple.  So, to keep me honest and heading down the correct path, I feel I need to at least explore the idea of showing.  
Now that I've found out just how great the shetland folks can be, I have no doubt that I can move forward and the generosity I've always experienced will spill over into that venue as well.  I have no illusions, I know that generosity can be tough to come by in a show ring, but I hope that once it's all over, we can all be open to the help or input from our fellow shetland lovers.
Now, if this oppressive heat and humidity could just STOP!  Who wants to teach a sheep to lead when it's this hot?
I've got 2 very nice black ram lambs with lovely, dense, crimpy fleecem out of Lil Country Velma (black) and OK Acres Murdock (moorit), One has a perfect tail, the other is ok, bite is good on both.......for sale.  Willing to let them go reasonably in order to move them to a good home.  Best fleeces of any of my lambs this year.  You can view their pedigrees under Flock#1774.  OK Acres Victor and OK Acres Vaughn. 
This kind of a bad picture of them as lambs, but will try to get outside tonight to get some decent ones. 

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....