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Archive for the ‘changes’ Category

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…

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Subtraction and Addition

Skittles left yesterday. His new home is with Jared Lloyd in Colorado. Jared has a bevy of beautiful ladies just waiting for Skit! And yes, I had a few tears in my eyes when Jared walked him into the trailer. Skittles was my first Shetland love. Oh, I loved the girls when they came with their babies, but it was Skit who turned my head and heart the Shetland direction.

What made it easier letting him go was knowing that his genes will have more of an opportunity to be best utilized at Jared’s place. The fact that Jared is interested in collecting and saving Skittles genetics (for AI) showed me that he really appreciates all Skit’s attributes. The fact was that I needed some new genes in the flock and Jared had a young up-and-comer I was interested in.

Meet soon to be named, Jehovah’s Loki. Jared had wanted me to pick out a name for this youngster and after seeing that impish look on his face, “Loki” seemed like a fit. His sire is Skeld, a top ram on the Shetland Isles. No, Skeld didn’t visit Colorado…except in a little tube. 😉 Loki is the result of an AI breeding.

All the lambs we get from Loik will probably be white. White is a color that has been lacking in my flock. I am hoping to use Loki for a few years, then he may have to do some traveling as well. When you have a very small operation, you have to make hard decisions as to whom to keep and whom not to. It’s the one aspect of this sheepy-business I really don’t like. But I do not have the luxury of having different fields in which to stockpile sheep I want to keep. We have limited space. I would never want more than two rams on this place at any one time. The fact is, it’s easier to replace the rams than the ewes, so most rams do not get to spend their lives on one farm. sigh.
Loki’s fleece feels just like soft clouds. I realize that this is his “lamb fleece”, which is always the softest fleece any sheep has, but his fleece is softer to the hand than some of the others we’ve had here. I can hardly wait to see what he throws next spring.
Normally, I don’t like using ram lambs for breeding. In fact, this will be the first time I’ve ever done it this way. We’ll just have to see how it goes. I am a believer in letting a sheep mature before breeding, usually not using them until they are a year old at least. Since we did not breed last year, and I have a growing list of people wanting lambs from us, I think this year we’ll just have to see what Loki can do.


Bye, bye, Skit, my love. I will miss you and always cherish you in my heart. I know you’ll make us proud.

Welcome aboard, Mr. Loki. Just in case you didn’t know it, you’ve got some mighty big hooves to fill.

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The pumpkins on the kitchen counter attest to our first hard freeze of Fall. Last night our temperatures here at the farm saw us in the low 20s F. And this morning saw the first ice formed on the waterers for the sheep. Oi! I hope we get Fall back again before winter gets here in earnest.

I also remembered a few plants we still had out on the decks at about 10 o’clock last night. I thought I would try to winter over the rosemary (above) and the miniature rose (below). The rosemary was placed on a metal chair in the sunroom and the rose, poor thing, was uncereamoniously scooped up with its pot in a barn bucket then placed on top of “stuff” I had on the glass top table in the sunroom. I hadn’t planned on bringing in plants just yet, but I always check The Weather Channel before I head for bed. There it was in big bold letter for our area exclusively: HARD FREEZE WARNING!

I now feel vindicated for putting the electric blanket on the bed this last week. I just had a feeling that we needed more than the wool blanket. I was so glad I did too.
As I wasn’t sleeping well and the cats kept yowling at me around midnight, I got up and went out in the living room for a bit to see if they would settle down. When I came back to bed I saw my Hired-Hand-With-Benefits curled up as if he was freezing. I looked over and saw that yes, his blanket was “on”. I knew his feet must’ve been cold (mine were!) so I grabbed a quilt and doubled it up over our feet for the night. By morning I had a nice little World of Warmth created for myself and I really didn’t want to come out from under to face the morning.
And if it weren’t for the smell of fresh coffee, I might have stayed longer. The heater hadn’t kicked on, but I had three cats curled up in my lap as I drank my first cup. Three Dog Nights just don’t compare to Three Cat Mornings…

*Note: Yes, Michelle – pumpkins and squash will ripen if you keep them in a dry place, elevated off the floor a bit. I use old worn out drainers for dishes from the kitchen as they elevate the pumpkins and let air circulate beneath. This since I don’t have a root cellar. 🙂

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