Monday, February 28, 2011

Michigan trip

It's always fun to visit with my Shetland friends, but it's even more fun to travel with one and then stay the entire weekend around them too.
I took off Friday from Monroe about 1 pm, met Juliann in Joliet and we headed for Allegan, MI for a couple days with Stephen. My trip served two purposes, I purchased a lovely gray katmoget ewe in the fall, and had to get her before lambing and I got to see Stephen's lovely herd of sheep.
Saturday we went to the barn with ziploc bags to collect fleece samples. I was in heaven getting to sink my hands into one luxurious fleece after another. Then off to Saugatuk (sp) for a day of window shopping and a laughter filled lunch with friends.

I'd like to introduce Sheltering Pines Salicional to OK Acres

She's standing a bit funky here, so sorry for the goofy shot, but my shutter speed is horribly slow and I always miss the good pictures.

Salicional is bred to Wintertime Black Forrest (a polled ram)

Here's a shot of Juliann after her first knitting lesson. She is a natural, picked up on it right away, I was properly impressed.

We had to leave mid-way through the shearing, as we had a long drive ahead of us and the weather was a bit on the iffy side.
I'm hoping to make a lot more farm visits this year, I guess we'll have to see what fuel prices do to us this summer before I plan too much. As one point, it cost me $87 to fill up my truck!!! Thank you BIG OIL. (thick sarcasm inserted here)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My guys

My two favorite guys! My son, Tyler, is attending U of W Whitewater, and my hubby, Mike, works with me at Davis Welding and is the reason I am a ridiculously happy woman.
I'm a lucky woman.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yellow Roses

I needed a slight cheering up today, so decided that a gratuitous shot of my Valentine's Day roses would lift my spirits. Yellow roses are my favorite rose color, and it means more to me that my husband remembers that yellow is my favorite rose, than the fact that he bought me roses. Actually, gladiolas are my favorite flower, but those are harder to find in Feb.

We are experiencing a nice thaw in Southern Wisconsin this week and although I am not fond of the slop and mud, it's a precursor to spring and green, so I'm stifling my complaints and am just grateful for the lack of sub-zero temps. Even the sheep have renewed vigor, well the rams do, the ewes are heavy with lambs and are in their calm period of moving around cautiously. I wish I could see in there and tell what they will be giving me!!!
A couple of my stand-offish (yep, not a word) ewes are right on top of me now. I have one that has been flighty from day one on my farm, Ceylon, and she has been right under my feet the last couple weeks, so either she's calming down or it's simply a pre-lambing behavior for her.

The more I type the more I'm cheering myself right up, or maybe I'm simply waking up.
My lamb count down calendar is at 30 days today.
Come on Spring time.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I love books

By Author Susan Wilson

I just finished this book and all I can say is WOW, what a moving story. The story is written in the first person for both main characters, human and canine. It provided me a glimpse into the horrific world of dog fighting, and the heart wrenching details of the life a dog leads that lives in that world. The main human character is deeply entrenched in the world of "Corporate America" and his tale tugs at your heart because of his views of what he thinks is important in life. Both of them find out that there is a world beyond what they know and their realization that there is something more for both of them in this world is where the true story lies within the pages of this book.
Fast read, couldn't put it down.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Texting and Driving

I had to share this very moving video with everyone. If you have a teen or young adult in your house, make them watch this. Or, simply copy and paste the link and forward it, you just might save a life.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Saturday at the mill

I have no clue at all why I didn't take my camera with me on Saturday!  I found myself up early for a fundraising pancake breakfast with my husband and 2 of our friends, and since Mike had to go back to hauling milk, I decided to go to Argyle Fiber Mill.  My dear friend, Kristi, owns and operates a small fiber mill in Argyle, WI and for months I've threatened to come down there on a Saturday and "help" her.  She gave me a cursory introduction to fiber processing and put me to work washing a couple batches of alpaca fiber, then onto the the picker to run some fiber that had previously been washed and was dry enough to start processing. 
The day flew by for me and I can't wait to move on to the carder!  
I am so lucky to live so close to a fiber mill that's run by a friend.  I told her that some day I may even be skilled enough to help defray the cost of my own fiber processing, she laughed nervously.  :D   
While I was at the mill, a lovely couple stopped in that is part of the group that's holding a spinning event,  and now it appears as if I will be attending the Spin In that's being held in April in Pewaukee, WI.  (yes, that's a real place)   
For anyone interested, here is the mill's website: 
And if you want to attend the event in April, here's the link to their website:

Friday, February 04, 2011

Belated snow report...........

Ok, so I'm a little behind.  I'm going to use the tried and true excuse of being busy.  Lots going on right now, and the snow removal activities sure added to the pile (pardon the pun) of stuff that needs to happen.

Our house dog, Tess, was bouncing around desperate to get outside on Wed. morning to go to the bathroom and after trying every door in the house, Mike resorted to the garage and this is what greeted him when opening it.  It's a goofy feeling to have all your doors snowed shut.

3' snow wall behind my car.

            This is the front of our house, you will notice the drift is completely covering the bottom of the house
This is our front door,  you can see that there's only about 3' between our gutters and the  top of the snow drift.

We brought home our new Maremmas last Saturday and they are such a welcome addition to our place that they seem like they've always belonged.  What's that old saying, "You don't know what your missing until you have it",  certainly applies here.
John and Annie have settled in with 2 young rams nicely, we will release them in the big lot with the rest of the "herd" in a few weeks, but want to make sure they are firmly attached to their new home.   Our "herd" consists of 13 Shetland sheep, 2 llamas, 2 alpacas and 2 Toulouse geese.  We also have to make sure they are ok with our dog, Tess, being around (the outside of their lot) and the 3 horses that are pastured just over the west fence.
This first picture is a gratuitous shot of a ewe that I really like, Sheltering Pines Ceylon.  I've bred her to Bug, and hoping for some super soft spotted babies.  I have very little to say about what they decide to give me, but a gal can dream.  I am crossing my fingers that I get at least a couple nice sheep to take to WSWF in Jefferson this fall, either to show them or have them evaluated by Kate Sharp and some of her fellow UK Shetland sheep breeders.  
Ceylon Feb 2011  (I love this ewe)

Nantucket defending his tire from the intruders 
Say Cheese John.............

Bug trying to get attention where ever he can get it....human, canine, equine, fowl, it simply doesn't matter to him.

Annie, such a sweetheart, I pick up the camera and she retreats to the safety of the shed.

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....