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Moving again

This blog has now moved!

The blog (only) is now at http://sheepthrillsfarm.blogspot.com.

The farm’s website (including information on fleece, yarns, and the flock) will remain at http://www.sheepthrillsfarm.com.

 

Yes folks…I am still around. It’s been a year like everyone has – with its ups and downs, excitements and doldrums, thrills and duds. I have been meaning to write more blog entries but have found myself wanting to be outside, or spinning (hand spinning), or knitting, reading…or even checking my eyelids for holes while “listening” to a tv program my DH is watching.

What I have put off doing is becoming more enlightened on this WordPress blog as I had frustrating problems uploading photos. Some of that is resolved, but it still isn’t as easy as blogspot was – or I should really be honest and say I haven’t wanted to devote the time to re-teach myself and become more efficient at it.

The sheep are fine…the cats are mostly good except for Shadow showing his age and Pixel is battling lymphoma. The HHWB and I are getting older, getting much closer to retirement and thoughts of moving from Arizona to a place that has more moderate temperatures and weather. I hope to get back to blogging on a more regular basis but just wanted everyone to know that, yes, I am still upright and above ground. 😉

 

Cheers!

For A Friend

Tonight, my friend Tina is hurting. Earlier today, Tina said a sad goodbye to a long-time cherished friend, her cat, Sinda.

Tina and Sinda shared over 20 years together. Sinda was there before Tina met her husband, John, and was her constant companion over the years. I know too well what she feels this evening. It’s more than just the loss of a cherished pet, but more of the loss of a friend and companion who shared the ups and downs of life with grace and love.

My heart goes out to my friend tonight. I know that with time, the hurt of this time will be replaced by warm memories of the beautiful times they shared together. And if you wish to leave Tina your support, here’s the way to her blog:

http://ablipontheradar.blogspot.com

 

 

 

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.

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?

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!

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…