Thursday, December 17, 2015

Terribly behind this year..........

Since I've completely neglected my blog this year, I wouldn't  be surprised to find that all of you have assumed I've dropped off the face of the earth.  But alas, this is not the case (no moans from the peanut gallery)  as I have only been so completely overwhelmed by life's events that I've found it hard to keep up my Facebook page AND the blog.  I'm hoping that I can pull myself out of this rut and exhaustive carousel of events to keep this blog more current in the coming months.

First things first........

I'd like you to join me in welcoming our new daughter to our family!!!!  We simply adore this lovely young lady, so it was a day filled with joy  for all of us.
Shelby and Tyler were married on October 31st on our farm and the weather did it's best to throw a monkey wrench into our plans, despite the wind, chilly temps and the rain we managed to make it all work by moving the ceremony into the tent.  There were approximately 150 people that attended the ceremony and we had just enough tent space for everyone to squeeze in for the ceremony and the reception.  Tyler had planned a surprise for Mike during the ceremony by changing his last name to Bartels and having my dad (who performed the ceremony) announce them as Mr & Mrs. Tyler Bartels!!  There wasn't a dry eye in that place, Mike was completely blown away and he was crying with joy.  Tyler felt that he wanted to honor Mike for being a dad to him all these years and so the surprise was planned for the end of the ceremony.  
Mike was and is a father to Tyler in every sense of the word, he's always there for him and has never treated him as anything but his son.  I am proud to have raised a son that would do something so special for someone he loves.  We were all overwhelmed..........

Mike's face right after he heard them pronounce Tyler and Shelby Mr. & Mrs. Bartels

Tyler and words needed here. 
Mr. & Mrs. Tyler Bartels 
I could not have picked a girl more perfect for my son than Shelby, she's kind, but tough and she values the things in life that are important---family and friends.  

Love and Light to each of you!!!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Tyler and Shelby

When Tyler (my son & only child) and Shelby announced their engagement to me, I was so happy!!!  They just seem to fit, and Shelby is such a lovely young lady and we adore her.  Tyler is happy, which is all I've ever wanted for him. So now we are frantically trying to prepare for a wedding at our farm on October 31st (OF THIS YEAR!!!!) and enjoying watching Shelby be so excited about it all. 

This photo was taken by one of my best friends, along with so many other great photos that were taken that evening, some serious and some pretty silly. 

I finally get my daughter........I'm a happy mom. 

Life is quite simply........grand!!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Introducing our 2015 MSSBA Sheep & Fleece Judges

Gilbert Meikle

Jean Meikle

Gilbert Meikle, the son of a Scottish Hill Shepherd, left school at fifteen years of age to look after a herd of cattle and some black faced sheep.   At twenty one years of age he joined the Police Service and served for over thirty years.   During his Police service he always remained interested in animals especially sheep and was for a considerable part of his service the Area Animal Health Inspector.   This duty was eventually taken over by the Local Authority.   Police Officers no longer had to attend sheep dipping or local livestock markets to issue animal movement licenses.

Gilbert’s ambition was always to breed and show his own flock of sheep.   In 1988 along with his wife Jean he was able to purchase a small parcel of land and a house in Tyninghame East Lothian. There they were able to breed some commercial sheep, along with Soay Sheep, Black Welsh Mountain Sheep and Shetland Sheep.   The breeding of Soay Sheep led to him going to the Archipelago of St Kilda to study Soay Sheep.   The St Baldred’s Flock of Shetland Sheep was established.   The Meikles competed in shows all over Scotland and the North of England with their Shetland and Black Welsh Mountain Sheep.   There are very few trophies awarded by these shows that do not have the name G E and J Meikle engraved on them.
Gilbert is a Committee Member of the Shetland Sheep Society and Past Chairman. He has been a recognized Society judge since 2002 and is present Chairman of the Judges and Inspectors Panel.

Jean Meikle, also born in the country, spent all her school holidays at her grandmother’s home in the Peeblesshire Hills.  Her grandfather was a Scottish Hill Shepherd keeping and shepherding Black Faced Sheep. All her life Jean has been interested in animals, especially sheep.   She is not a spinner but has been crafting woolen items since attending primary school.   She was always involved when the animals were chosen for the shows, and took half the animals into the ring at judging.   It was Jean who prepared and chose the fleeces for the shows and over the years has won many awards from Colored Champion at the Royal Highland Show to overall Champion at Peebles Show.

Monday, May 11, 2015

My family is growing!!!!

Friday, May 9th
Mike and I headed to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to bring home a new family member.  We were both sick (still are) me with an upper respiratory bug and Mike with lower GI bug.   Our trip was still very exciting because we got to bring home Abby, our new Australian Shepherd puppy that is proving to be a perfect fit for us and our farm.  She's got this quiet, thoughtful way about her that doesn't affect how sweet her personality is at all.  Her intelligence is apparent after just a few moments, but I was quite shocked to find out that a stern NO when she is thinking she needs to eat the cat food is sufficient to deter her.  We have a lot of lesson yet, but I'm certainly happy with this little girl and our Corgi, Campbell is in love with her as well.  I am lucky enough to have a place that allows me to bring her to work, so for the next 6 months or so she will be with me almost constantly. 
Allow me to introduce Abby...........
Helping dad in the shed

Campbell and Abby chewing on cow hooves during their bonding yesterday

Today at work spilling out of her doggie bed under my desk.
Then on Sunday, MOTHER'S DAY!!! 

I got the best Mother's Day gift son Tyler, announced his engagement to his lovely girlfriend Shelby!  I could not have picked a better young lady for my son and we are thrilled to welcome her to our family.  They are even going to have the wedding at our farm, just like we did when we got married, they will be married on our property.  I am a blessed woman. 

Shelby and Tyler 

So, in conclusion.......that's one new daughter, 28 new lambs and one new puppy!!!  Not bad for April & May 2015. 

Had a great day with my mom, sister, Tyler and Shelby.  (Mike spent the day with his mom) 
Tyler, me, mom, Leslie and Tiffany (my niece) Great nieces and nephew.  I am so happy at how well my mom is doing now, she's rallied and looks great. 

Friday, May 01, 2015

Safe Journey Terry

We lost a wonderful family member and all around great guy this week to Alzheimer's.  Mike's uncle, Terry Babler, was a loving husband, father and grandfather, was a veteran that fought for this country and never got to truly enjoy his retirement as he and Judy, his wife, had planned.   I only hope that his wife, children and grandchildren can find a way to say goodbye to this lovely man and not let the hurt lay too heavily on their hearts for too long.

Life Legacy

Terry Duane Babler, age 65, of New Glarus passed away on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at the William S. Middleton Memorial VA Hospital in Madison following an eight year struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was born on February 13, 1950 to his parents Duane and Virginia (Duerst) Babler in Monroe Wisconsin. Terry graduated from New Glarus High School in 1968. He then served in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1971 as a combat medic in Vietnam. After serving his country Terry was united in marriage to his soulmate Judy Bartels at St. Victor’s Church in Monroe on October 7, 1972. He then worked for Rayovac in Madison and later the Carnes Company in Verona for several years. Terry enjoyed softball he played and coached with the Swiss Lanes team for many years. He was proud of his military service and was very active as member of many veterans’ organizations including being a founding member of the WI Vietnam Vets Chapter III and the 1st Squadron 1st Calvary National Association. He was also a member of the Howard County, IN Vietnam Veterans, Vietnow, VFW Post #10549, American Legion Post #245, and Kenosha Area Vietnam Vets. Terry was also instrumental in organizing the Annual New Glarus WinterFest Veteran’s Rally R&R. Terry and Judy enjoyed making their annual trip to enjoy the warm Florida sunshine at Daytona every year. He loved his wife, children, grandchildren, dogs, New Glarus, and Country.

Terry is survived by his wife Judy of New Glarus, WI, children Cindy (Eric) Deml of Evansville, WI and Tony (Amanda) Babler of New Glarus, WI, grandchildren Noah and Camden Deml, Anthony, Christopher, and Sada Babler. He is further survived by his siblings Vicki (Ken) Bavery of Madison, WI, Debi (Ken) Schickert of Waukesha, WI, Jeff (Carolyn) Babler of New Glarus, WI, brothers-in-law John (Pam) Bartels, Irv (Connie) Bartels, Bill (Joann Borchart) Bartels, and Bob (Pam) Bartels, and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, special grandmother Lydia Duerst, father-in-law and mother-in-law John and Ann Bartels, and a brother-in-law Gary Bartels.
Terry's Obituary

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Second wave of lambs.........cuteness alert

Duchess x Kennsington with her twin ewe lambs from 4/14/16.

Salicional's grey katmoget ram and black ewe (possibly modified) from 4/11/15, sire is Danby (loving Danby's offspring, he's staying!!!)

And my last purebred Shetland ewe, Sarafina,  had a really lovely moorit krunet ram lamb on 4/21/14, his sire is Khan

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Lambapalooza 2015

It seems I've fallen behind with my lamb posts.  The last several days have been a bit crazy and I'm a walking zombie after yesterday's busy schedule.  I took the day off to have the vet come out and draw blood for OPP and Johnnes testing, then had a meeting in Brodhead, doctor appointment in the afternoon and then had to shear 3 rams that are going to the freezer today.  Since yesterday morning, 5 ewes had lambs and one of them was a gal that prolapsed 2 weeks ago, she had 2 lovely lambs about 6:30 pm and is doing well but I'm still watching her closely.

Here are the last several lambs to hit the ground.

Alabama x Khan gave me a single moorit ewe with minor head spotting

Catherine x Danby gave me 2 ewes, a black w/ minor head spotting and a black flecket (yuglet)

Cherish x Kennsington gave me 2 ewes, grey kat and fawn kat.  (spot carriers)

Seneca x Einstein gave me a moorit smirslet ewe and a black flecket (yuglet) ram

Seneca x Einstein Black flecket ram

Ellie Mae x Kennsington gave me a dark grey kat ewe and a fawn kat ram

Shania x Khan gave me this smirslet fawn kat ewe

Angel x Danby gave me a lovely set of ewe lambs, a flecket (yuglet) and one that is almost entirely white except for a fawn spot under her tail adn some dark spots on her legs.  She is one giant spot over that katmoget marking. 

Irish Mist x Danby gave me 2 stunning rams, this one that is dark grey with a krunet and some white bands on his ankles and a totally white tail.

Irish Mist x Danby's 2nd ram lamb, with a large krunet, some white spots on his ankles and a white tip on his tail.

Bee Sting x Danby gave me two ewe lambs, a lovely moorit krunet

Bee Sting x Danby's other ewe is a moorit flecket

Attina x Khan gave me a lovely black smirslet flecket ram

Attina x Khan black krunet ewe
I am pretty happy with the lambs so far, several are stand outs for me at this point, but I won't be too quick to judge since they can change as the mature.  I see little signs of what they will be as they grown and that has me pretty excited about his group.  I know I have 1 smooth polled ram so far, will see how the others develop. 

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Google Maps Flasher

Ok, now I've seen and heard it all......

It seems that there was a lady in Australia that aspired to get on the street view of Google Maps with her boobs showing and it seems as though she has accomplished her goal.   If we could just get some people to show this much ambition and initiative to be gainfully employed we'd really have something!!!  (no necessarily her, but the able bodied, non-working population)

Just click the link below for the WHOLE story and photo.  

Google Maps Flasher link

And now it appears as if Google has to pay this flasher for showing her breasts! 

Judges rules against Google


Have a great day all and keep those girls covered up!!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Lambing has started

Monday morning kicked off 2015 lambing this year with Sierra giving me a truly lovely moorit smirslet sokket ram lamb that appears to be a smooth polled boy.  (He has large divets in his skull where horns would normally appear)  This little guy made his entrance about 12 am on Sunday.

He hasn't told me his name yet, although I gotten some good suggestions that follow my naming theme this year.....Cars!

OK Acres Sierra x OK Acres Einstein

 Next is my resident lamb stealer, Garnet.  When the ole estrogen starts flowing and another ewe has lambs, she's relentless is her attempts to take one, which she was trying to do with Sierra but failed because Sierra is such a great mother.  I was pleased that Garnet decided to have a nice set of moorit (possilby modified) rams at about 7:30 am that same morning.  Still wet in this photo. 
Wintertime Garnet x OK Acres Einstein-the lighter of the two has some minor krunet on his head. 

Today's offering was a lovely set of twins from Anais when I went home at lunch to check on the sheep.  Both are large lambs, one is a black horned ram and the other is a spotted (body spots will likely fade as she grows) grey katmoget ewe.  This set of twins is still wet too. 

Sheltering Pines Anais Anais x OK Acres Einstein
I'm expecting Alabama to lamb next or possibly Ellie. 

Happy Lambing everyone. 

2015 Mature ewe micron results

I'm doing a multi-year comparison by sheep of my micron results starting in 2012 and I'm seeing changes where I think I should see changes.  For example:  Catherine was a bit under conditioned last winter, and the added strain of carrying twins at her age didn't help.  This year I made sure to constantly monitor her body condition and we supplemented her with grain.  There are also some differences in feed and pasture conditions from one year to the next.  This year's fleece results reflect the lusher pastures of last summer and the increased in alfalfa in our hay that we've been feeding.  Some of the yearlings from last year were on a lots that ran out of grass a bit sooner than the big pasture and I see the difference in that too.  All things that are interesting to track and which makes micron testing another tool to help us in our quest for answers determining how feed, climate and genetics affect our fiber quality.  It's not the only way to determine the quality of a fleece, but it's an additional one. 

If anyone would like to see my yearly fleece spreadsheet, just send me a private message and I'd be happy to share.  No secrets here.......just baffling data.  (big grin)

If you can't read the data, just click on the spreadsheet to bigify. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 Micron data for Yearlings and Mature Rams

This is all the yearlings, rams and ewes with their date of birth to the right of their registration numbers and their names to the left of that number.  Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the results, but since I have to get the ewe group down 6 total, there will be a few for sale from this group. 

This shows my mature ram results, nothing to complain about here.  Elvis is still for sale, as I've used him 2 years and have a lot of his offspring already.  If he doesn't sell.........well, I think you know what happens, which I don't want to do, but I will not sell a ram of his caliber for peanuts.  His offspring in the yearling results above are some of my best fleeced animals.  If someone is looking for a fine fleece ram with good structure, smooth polled and he can produce quality lambs to boot..........give me a call.
Click to biggify the images.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Short Folks and Plow Trucks

Some things just make you smile without doing much of anything.  Landon is one of those little folks that makes me smile just because he "is".  After a really rough start in life, which included open heart surgery at 3 months old, there is not a trace of him slowing down now.  Landon is bright, busy, very-very busy and full of more energy than you can shake a stick at.  His grandpa, Hollis, comes out to where I work to get some of my happy chicken eggs and brings Landon, he only does this because he knows how much joy it brings me to see Landon, even for a few moments.   So this is a big thank you to Hollis for knowing how much I enjoy those visits and a way to show off this amazing little guy sitting in a plow truck that we are fixing in our shop. 

He lights up the room with his smiles.

Landon "driving" the plow truck today............

Landon 2 years ago at Christmas time

And Landon in Jan.....2 years ago......what a difference 2 years can make in a child's life.  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Kidnapping fat people and love notes

I felt this little minion-im was appropriate for my "winter weight" justification.  Kidnapping generally is inspired by some form of payment or reward after the return of the kidnappee, so I'm not sure I was every really in any danger of being kidnapped. o man is it ever a relief to be ubber protected.

And just as proof that I have the world's best's one of the many sweet notes he leaves me.  This one was left as he went off to drive milk truck for the day, one of his many jobs he does after he's done working 40 hours at his main job.    I am blessed and he is a good man.  (and yes, I tell him all the time)

That's all I have for's a slow week.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Day 12 & 13

After boarding the train for Bristol, finally sorting out how we were going to Lesley's place, spending a perfectly delightful evening with Lesley and seeing her lovely, lovely flock...we were once again loading our luggage into a vehicle to spend the last few days of our UK trip with Maurice and Gilly Wakeling.  Maurice and Gilly had generously offered their home for the final 3 days of our stay so that they could drive us around to several UK breeders in the Somerset area and South of England.
Of coarse it rained quite a bit during our stay in the south, but we had enough breaks to get our hands on a couple hundred sheep!   I could not get over how green it was there in mid to late October, I could get used to 11 months of grazing for my critters.
Maurice had chosen a delightful cider maker/store where they still press the apples and store the hard cider in wooden casks.  The retail portion of the establishment had several kegs behind the counter for varying types of hard cider that included sweet, semi-sweet, dry, champagne style etc., there was no reason not to try all of them.  I am a big fan of the cider in the UK.

One of our stops was Heather Chapman and her lovely flock of Gulmogets (and some Katmogets).  Heather was a great sport about letting us paw through her sheep despite the rainy weather.  
Some of Heather Chapman's gulmoget ewes

A lovely fawn katmoget ram

Some of Heather's ewe lambs
The lane leading to Heather's was so beautiful........

Right to left: Maurice, Gilly and Heather
Mature Chapman ewes

 Another eye popping flock we got to visit and drool over belongs to Jean Curtis.  Jean is one of the sweetest ladies, sharp, funny and a very successful Shetland sheep breeder.  And a fine baker of cakes as we were to find out a bit later.  Another generous soul that too time out of her busy day to entertain us, show us her flock and then give us our fill of tea and cakes.  
One of our favorite katmoget ewes belonging to Jean Curtis.  (amazing flock of Shetland sheep at Jean's)
Jean Curtis' ewe

Some of Jean's girls on pasture

Jean with her ewe flock.  She has rubber mats under that straw, so her gals have some comfy digs

Another stunning Katmoget of Jean's.

A closer look at the wonderful badger face on one of Jean's ewes

A sampling of Jean's awards

Mike (my hubby) Garrett in the back Me and Jean in the front.  More of her many, many awards behind 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....