Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for 2010

In Memoriam

Bluff Country Skittles Bluff Country Skittles – May 7, 2003 to Summer, 2010

It is with deep regret that I inform long-time readers of this blog about the passing of one of the great Shetland rams. Bluff Country Skittles passed away in the high pastures of Colorado this past summer. Skit was a young ram, just 7 when he died, but he left a large impact, as big as he was, on many hearts during his life.

Skittles had gone up to Jared Lloyd’s ranch the summer about this time last fall. I needed new bloodlines for my small operation and Jared was very keen on adding Skittles genetics to his flock as well as “collecting” him for posterity and keeping his genetics available to future generations. Sadly, that was not to be.

One morning this summer, Jared said he walked into the sheep shed to find Skit lying down, front legs crossed and his chin resting on them the way he slept many times. But he didn’t move. When Jared went over to rouse him from his sleep, he discovered that Skit had passed on. There was no sign of trauma or markings in the dirt of a struggle or thrashing. Just Skit, asleep.

I know I will miss him. He was one of my first Shetland loves and a truly majestic ram in so very many ways. He had almost perfect conformation, was large but well-built and had personality to spare. I couldn’t have asked for a better ram to begin earnest breeding with. He had it all.

I will miss our walks around the place, Skit…and how you would gently sway me towards the apple tree for a snack of leaves if you could get away with it. You left some mighty big hooves to fill, Buddy…

…and I will miss you.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

So, you take your Vitamin D3 geltab each day, but do you know where that vitamin might come from? Guess. Go on…just take a guess. Fish liver oil? Well, maybe. But read the label on the bottle. Does it actually state “fish liver oil”? No?
If it states “cholecalciferol”, you may just have a sheep to thank for your health.

“There are two commercial sources of natural vitamin D3: fish liver oil and an oil extracted from wool. “If a label lists ‘vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)’ then it is from wool oil. This is considered a vegetarian source (the animal is not harmed, just sheared), but not vegan. Fish liver oil will be in parentheses if it is the source.” (6) Animals can obtain vitamin D from licking their fur, and in humans, rickets can be successfully treated by rubbing cod liver oil into the skin.”

(from: http://www.doctoryourself.com/dvitamin.htm)

Recently, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease. One of the markers used in determining a thyroid problem is the level of vitamin D in the patient. Even though I work outside, in the high-altitude sun we have here at Oleo Acres, I was way below the bottom of the range of this essential vitamin in my system. Most folks in this area can work outside for about 15 minutes in the sun and get more than their daily need of this vitamin. It is essential for a number of reasons. I guess I just have to be different, don’t I?
As I did more and more research on the need for vitamin D, especially in the D3 form, one item kept popping up in the sites I searched. Much of the D3 supplements are made from wool fat in the fleece of sheep.

It seems we shepherds have been on the healthy track and not known it. 😉 Just another reason to thank those four-footed creatures we have come to enjoy, love, and respect, eh?

Read Full Post »

He’s Back Again!

Yes, indeed-y do! I had someone show up at the barn this morning who has been missing this summer. You guessed it – Bran (pronounced “brawn”) is back!
No sooner had I finished feeding the sheep and headed for the water hose to water the flower beds when I heard a very familiar squawking at the barn. There he was.
He was chatting away in what I can only assume was an account of his summer travels – I’ve been here, here, and here and ate this, this and that. And while I was there I saw this, this and that other thing. He honestly rattled on and on much the same as a second-grader returning from a summer away and making sure all his friends knew every-little-thing he did that summer. It was the same for Bran.
The only thing was, after telling him it did my heart good to see him again, was he switched to the “Where’s my egg?” mode towards the end of his conversation with me.
So, like a friend, I did what anyone would have done…

…I went and got him an egg! Welcome back, dear friend!

Read Full Post »

As you have noticed, I have been spending time doing all sorts of things this Summer – things other than sitting at a computer writing.
We have had family visits from New Zealand, growing lambs, book reading, learning to knit socks, gardening, shepherdess-ing, and trying to keep cool in our hotter-than-usual summer, and fighting the reoccurring sinus-infection-from-hell.
One of the problems I have been having is accessing my photos to be able to post to this blog or even to access lamb photos to place on my sales list. I have been using Picasa, which I loved until I updated it and now can’t find anything…or I have multiple files showing up.
It’s frustrating and, in short, I hate it. Photos I have downloaded from my camera disappear. I’m not sure this is Picasa’s fault, or someone tinkering in my photos when they shouldn’t be. All our home computers share a home server unit and I suspect things are going on I have no inkling of.
Yup. Frustrating. Period. I had just taken lamb-for-sale photos, downloaded them into Picasa with the intent of getting them online as a few of you have expressed wanting lambs from me this year. I cannot find them anywhere at all. I will have to really give thought to a replacement program and educate myself as to how to remove Picasa while retaining the photographs I do have on that program to a safe place. It’s just been very aggravating.
Other than the “Photo Conundrum”, the summer is going by quickly here. We had Val & Hugo, our son-in-law’s parents, visit us and included them in a trip to Oregon and Black Sheep Gathering. Other than car problems, it was a nice trip. (I did get sick on the way home…) Oregon was beautiful! We managed to stop at Crater Lake before heading cross-country to Eugene.
Black Sheep Gathering was wonderful! I got to visit with friends as well as see more Shetland sheep from other breeders, look at vendors’ wares in the vendor tents, and I even got to help show my friend, Lois’, sheep in the show ring. I had a ball! That said, I found out I don’t get up and down in a show ring that well any longer, but it was a ball nonetheless. 🙂
It’s finally time to get some lambs moved into others’ flocks. Every one of them is a keeper, but that is a luxury a person on a small farm can’t afford, due to space availability. I have picked out three or four to keep in my ewe flock as replacements for their mums. Hard decisions, but decisions nonetheless.
I promise…I will try to write more as we start into Fall. And I do hope to have some photos to go with the entries as soon as I can find them….

wherever it is they are hiding…

Read Full Post »

Soon, I Promise

It’s been an uber-busy month here with family visiting from New Zealand, going to Oregon to attend the NASSA (Shetland breeders) annual meeting at Black Sheep Gathering, as well as day trips and shopping and eating and…
Well, you get it.
But today, if you have a moment, please stop in at Rascal’s World (http://welcometorascalsworld.blogspot.com) and give Leigh a hug. Rascal crossed the Rainbow Bridge this afternoon, leaving a hole in many people’s hearts, especially Leigh’s.
There is a new star in the heavens this evening…

Read Full Post »

OK, OK…

Yes, I’ve been bad. I’ve been “living life” and not blogging. There’s actually so much that has been going on I’ve gotten to the point when I sit down in my chair I think I’ll just “rest my eyes” for a bit, and well…you know how that old chestnut goes. I think it just gets worse with age. 😉
The lambs are growing like weeds. The winds have finally stopped. It was hard getting good photos of bouncing lambs running 110 mph in winds of 40+ mph. I either had blurs or nose-prints. Or, was pelted with volcanic cinders being thrown about in those winds. I actually had places on my face where the stinging cinders drew blood as they hit me down by the barn. I will try to get some photos up soon…but life just might get in the way.
We are expecting relatives from New Zealand in about a week and a half. And we are delighted they are coming. Both of us can hardly wait!
When your family is an ocean away, you start to cherish visits much more so than if they were a mere two hour flight away. I envy people who talk about visiting family “all the way back East!”. Let them try a 14 to 16 hour flight and see if they still have exuberance in their voices. 😉 For those of us who don’t take sitting in one place for too long very well, long flights can be torture. I think airlines should install treadmills in those big jets for those of use who need “to move”. We’d get our moving and the people sleeping with their feet in the aisles wouldn’t be bothered. Hmm…if there were enough of us moving on treadmills, could we make it Down Under by using “Human Gerbil Power?” I wonder.
And I have fallen into doing research on my ancestry. What started out as a simple look-see to find out more information has turned into a captivating journey for me. I have run across incredible ancestors and find the history behind them absolutely fascinating. My DH, the Hired-Hand-With-Benefits, has been cheering me on – almost as gobsmacked as I am. This journey has explained a few things both in my mind and soul, as well as educating me more about history I glossed over during educational endeavors. Now, I am enthralled in to wanting to know what lies behind the next turn…and beyond.
I suppose this all encourages the old investigator that I once was. That, and the deeply-instilled training from my father of wanting to see “what happens if we do this!??”
I will try to get back on the farm-track, dear Readers…just bear with me a bit longer. It’s getting way hot during the days now. I think we had, maybe, three days of Spring in here somewhere? But, as I mentioned, the winds have died down immensely so I don’t fret about having my Nikon outside any more.

Now, if I can just get over this darned cold…

Read Full Post »

Here are a few more pictures taken last week. Upon looking at the lambs this morning, I have realized just how fast they are growing…not only in their bodies, but in their behavior and minds as well. The lambs have started eating more and more solid foods while the moms have shortened nursing times dramatically. I find this funny as the lambs simply run a circuit of “Lamb Races” only to head back to Mama for a quick drink before heading out again. They may not be nursing as long but what they lack of in time they make up for in quantity.

Sugar (white/gray with spot) and her sister, Candy, were a few days behind the other lambs. These are Ailee’s girls who were born by c-section. They are two of the sweetest sheep I have ever seen – hence the names.

This little charmer is one of Amanda’s triplets. I haven’t named her as yet. Her sisters are darker but she’s got some interesting markings – or is it pheomelanin coming through the white? Wikipedia has a nice simple definition for we mere mortals: “Another common form of melanin is pheomelanin, a red-brown polymer of benzothiazine units largely responsible for red hair and freckles.” Hmm…maybe I should name her “Freckles”???

Here’s Loretta with her two. We’ve tentatively named her ram lamb “Rory”, after the little sheep of The Barn comic strip. I need to get a nice photo of Rory to send to the cartoonist who does the strip. He is so very nice and really gives us a chuckle each morning.

Candy and Sugar taking a bit of a siesta in Ailee’s feeder.

Candy, being sweet. Normally she’s jumping all over me wanting a scratch or a brisket rub. We’re working on “minding our manners” this week.

And finally, They’re Off!!! The Lamb Races have begun in earnest here at Sheep Thrills Farm!
So…whose YOUR money on?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »